2 Sample Refutation Paragraphs
(Each these samples have 2-paragraph refutation; some essays may only have a 1 paragraph refutation while other essays, like research papers, may require a much longer refutation)
Charter Schools Vs. Public Schools (School Choice)
By Mark Liles
Thesis: School choice turns out to not only be a bad idea; it’s also a violation of our constitution.
Refutation: ...[Introduce Opposing Arguments] Considering the many challenges facing public schools, it’s understandable that many people would be eager to pursue new options. Supporters of school choice point out that under the current public school system, parents with economic means already exercise school choice by moving from areas with failing or dangerous schools to neighborhoods with better, safer schools. Their argument is that school choice would allow all parents the freedom, regardless of income level, to select the school that provides the best education (Chub and Moe). Schools would then have to compete for students by offering higher academic results and greater safety. Schools unable to measure up to the standards of successful schools would fail and possibly close. [Acknowledge Valid Parts] Activists within the school choice movement can be applauded for seeking to improve public education, but the changes they propose would in fact seriously damage public education as a whole.
[Counter Arguments] One of the biggest dangers of school choice is the power behind large corporations specializing in opening and operating charter schools. Two notable companies are Green Dot, which is the leading public school operator in Los Angeles (Green Dot), and KIPP, which operates 65 schools in 19 different states [KIPP]. These companies represent a growing trend of privatization of public schools by large corporations. It is feared that these corporations could grow to a point that public control of education would be lost. Education policy would be left in the hands of entrepreneurial think tanks, corporate boards of directors, and lobbyists who are more interested in profit than educating students [Miller and Gerson]. [Begin Concluding] Education should be left in the hands of professional educators and not business people with MBAs. To do otherwise is not only dangerous, it defies common sense.
What I liked about this refutation: The writer calmly and clearly outlines the true concerns and reasons why people oppose the opinion. He makes sure the reader knows that he is outlining opposing viewpoints because he gives hints like "Supporters of school choice point out that..." or "Their argument is that...". This is a nice way for readers to be aware of what others think.
Also, towards the end of the first paragraph, and throughout the second paragraph, the writer spends time clearly attacking these opposing views. He helps the reader feel like the opposing views might SEEM good on the surface, but they are indeed not good enough. He helps the reader see this with hints like "One of the biggest dangers of school choice is..." or "It is feared that...". This paragraph particularly draws in any hostile readers; the writer cunningly draws them in by complimenting their views when he says "Activists within the school choice movement can be applauded for seeking to improve public education," but he immediately points out the flaws, saying that " the changes they propose would in fact seriously damage public education as a whole." Complimenting the opposing argument really invites all your hesitant readers; they’re not threatened, and they’re now more willing to listen to the arguments.
Finally, at the end of the refutation, there is a clear conclusion.
Safe Traveler Cards
Taken from College Writers pg. 733-734
........[Introduce Opposing Arguments] As attractive as Safe Traveler Cards or national ID cards are, they are not without drawbacks. For one thing, as Easterbrook notes, these cards would expedite security procedures only for travelers who do not mind volunteering such information to obtain a card. Moreover they would not prevent passengers with "clean" backgrounds from bringing weapons or explosives on board, as was the case in the September 11 attacks. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that some people believe that these cards would deprive people of their privacy and that for this reason, their disadvantages outweigh their advantages (168).
........However, there are many who disagree with these contentions. [Acknowledge Valid Parts] While national ID cards could lessen a person's anonymity and privacy, [Counter Argument] this is a small loss that would be offset by a great increase in personal security. To Dershowitz--a self proclaimed civil libertarian--this tradeoff would be well worth it. According to Dershowitz, the national ID card would be only a little more intrusive than a photo ID card or social security card. Best of all, it would reduce or eliminate the need for racial profiling: "Anyone who had the [national ID] card could be allowed to pass through airports or building security more expeditiously, and anyone who opted out could be examined much more closely" (590). Such cards would enable airport security officials to do instant background checks on everyone. [Begin Concluding] The personal information in the system would stay in the system and never be made public. The only information on the card would be a person's "name, address, photo, and [finger]print" (Dershowitz 591).
As you may already know, an argumentative essay is a writing genre where the student establishes a position on a given or chosen topic and then uses evidence to persuade the audience to see things from his/her point of view. To write a great argumentative essay the students first have to investigate several sides of the argument, which allows them to make an educated stance. Then, they have to collect evidence, including facts, statistics, and claims from experts in the topic’s field.
Generally, the primary objective of writing an argumentative essay is to learn how to convince people to change their mind about things which many of them are pretty firm about.
What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay Topic?
When you are asked to choose a good topic for your argument, start with something you are familiar with. Even if you hire a professional writer to help you with this assignment, speaking about something you know will be a much better sounding presentation of your arguments. Choosing an emotional topic is also a good idea. Appealing to the readers’ emotions connects them to the side of the writer and draws them in. One of the best ways to change anyone’s mind is with an emotional investment.
Pick Your Own Topic or Get Your Essay Done For You
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If you would like to write the paper on your own, below is the actual list of argumentative essay topics along with sample essays on most discussed ones:
Middle/High School-Level Argumentative Essay Topics
College-Level Argumentative Essay Topics
Try to Avoid These Argument Topics
Funny Argumentative Essay Topics
Classic Argumentative Essay Topics
Argument on Bioethics
Argument on Issues in the IT Sphere
Argumentative Topics for Legal Discussions
Argumentative Topics of Social Concerns
Society and the Media
Now, once you have chosen a good topic from the list, try to lay down your thoughts on your screen. Here are some tips on how to do it right:
Tips on Writing a GREAT Argumentative Essay
Here is how your argumentative essay should be structured:
Adhering to the above structure of an argumentative essay will hold your creative process together:
- The first paragraph offers a brief review of the topic, explains its importance, and shares the essay’s clear and concise thesis statement.
- After the introduction come the body paragraphs, in which the writer develops his/her arguments and supports them with valid and reliable evidence.
- The support should be anecdotal, logical, statistical, or factual depending on the essay’s topic.
- Following the argument paragraphs, the writer shares the opposing views.
- Ending the paragraph is the conclusion. This paragraph is quite important since it leaves the reader with the most immediate impression. The writer should synthesize the information shared in the body of the essay as they restate the topic’s importance, review main points, as well as review the thesis. No new information should be shared in the conclusion.
Here is another cool tip to make your arguments sound stronger: use connection words!
How Do I Use Connection Words While Writing an Argumentative Essay?
Transition or connection words and phrases hold your essay together. They provide flow as they connect thoughts and ideas.
|Addition||additionally; also; and; as a matter of fact; as well as; equally; equally important; furthermore; identically; in addition; in the first place; like; likewise; not only…but also; not to mention; similarly; together with; too|
|Contrast||above all; after all; albeit; although; although this may be true; as much as; be that it may; besides; but; conversely; despite; different from; even so/though; however; in contrast; in reality; in spite of; nevertheless; nonetheless; notwithstanding; of course…, but; on the contrary; on the other hand; or; otherwise; rather; regardless; whereas;|
|Cause or Purpose||as; as/so long as; because of; due to; for fear that; for the purpose of; given that; granted (that); if…then; in case; in view of; in order to; in the event that; in the hope that; lest; only/even if; owing to; provided that; seeing/being that; since; so as to; so that; unless; when; whenever; while; with this in mind|
|Examples or Support||another key point; as an illustration; by all means; chiefly; especially; for example; for instance; for this reason; in fact; in other words; notably; specifically; surprisingly; to point out; truly|
|Consequence or Result||accordingly; as a result; because the; consequently; due to; for; for this reason; hence; in effect; in that case; since; so that; therefore; with the result that|
|Conclusion / Summary / Restatement|
after all; all things considered; as a result; as can be seen; as shown above; consequently; for the most part; generally speaking; given these points; in conclusion; in fact; to summarize;
How Is Knowing All This Going to Help Me?
Writing a good argumentative essay develops your argumentative thinking. You will need it to not only survive among your peers today but also succeed among the humans around you in the future. Most of the businesses and partnerships prosper through argument. Getting the right arguments will help you prove your point and win.
The modern world is ruled by the intellect. Those win who keep themselves focused on becoming stronger at what they are set to choose as the profession. It means no distraction on things of little importance.
That's right, in order to succeed, you need to stay focused on what you really feel and are willing to devote your life to. And it should really take up most of your time. Seriously. The more research you can do to get better at your future profession, the better.
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