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Acknowledging difference.  In most arguments there is usually an opposition with equally valid points that disagrees or somehow confounds your argument.

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Presentation on theme: "Acknowledging difference.  In most arguments there is usually an opposition with equally valid points that disagrees or somehow confounds your argument."— Presentation transcript:

1 Acknowledging difference

2  In most arguments there is usually an opposition with equally valid points that disagrees or somehow confounds your argument. No matter how brilliant your argument may seem, somebody is bound to disagree with you.  Sometimes these disagreements are ideological, other times experiential, and sometimes just in principle.  To persuade those who haven’t made up their mind (and even those who have), it is important to demonstrate to your audience that you understand and have considered differing viewpoints, claims and evidence.

3 Opposing Claim Counter Claim Counter Evidence 1.You begin be listing the differing viewpoint or opposition (refutation) 2.This is followed by a counter claim in support of your thesis (rebuttal) 3.This counter claim should be followed by evidence

4  The refutation begins by considering your argument from the opposition’s standpoint. What is disagreeable in your argument?  Premises/warrants?  Claims?  Evidence?  What it looks like:  “Some would argue…”  “Opponents have argued that…”  “Jones and Smith have found…”

5  The rebuttal is offering a counter-claim in support of your original thesis that “counters” the refutation.  What it looks like:  “…However…”  “…In fact…”  You should follow the rebuttal up with evidence to support this counterclaim. The rhetorical trick is that you are denying the opposition its share of evidence in the refutation.

6 Wal-Mart opponents claim that the company pays its workforce slave wages. In fact, according to Payscale, Wal-Mart’s lowest wage for part-time cashiers is $8.04/hour. By comparison, Target pays its cashiers $7.77 and Burger King pays its cashiers $6.41 (Payscale). The opposition has raised a great amount of concern over the leaked “Health Memo” released to Wal-Mart managers stating that the company was seeking to hire a younger and more fit workforce, as well as encourage fit activity in its employees. If this is policy is so wrong, then I worry about our future. I guess we would be better off encouraging all businesses to hire unfit workers and make sure they sat on their butts all day.


8  Rogerian argument relies on finding common ground between differing arguments. The point here is to demonstrate that your point is not all that different from the opposition’s point and then build from there.  This is often realized in writing by suggesting that the opposition’s argument and your own have the same motives or goals.  What it looks like:  “While [opposing claim] may conflict with the present argument, it quickly becomes apparent that the outcome would be the same as [your claim]. In fact, there’s common ground enough to suggest maybe these two positions could work together in achieving the same goal. [Compromised claim+evidence]”

9  Sometimes, refutations and claims and evidence that disagree with your thesis are irrefutable. In this case, a counterargument might come in the form of a concession  To concede is not to really give up as much as it is to merely acknowledge that the opposition is right, not that you are wrong.  If I make the argument that college professors should be paid a salary of $1 million per year, I can make all the noise in the world as to how professors are the future and what is more important to us than our future. However, the counterargument to this is that such money would require an increase in tuition that would make colleges unrealistic to all but the richest. I would gladly concede this point, but this does not disprove that college teachers should make less than a $1 million; it just suggests that the entire education structure would have to change.  What it looks like  ”I will concede to the opposition’s [opposing claim]. However, this doesn’t disapprove the need to [your claim].”

10 According to Wal-Mart Watch, the company routinely caps hours on part-time employees so that they will not qualify for full-time benefits. Although this may be true, it is also true in just about every business in existence. If we go after Wal-Mart for this practice, then we should go after just about every university since they do the same thing to adjuncts and part-time faculty (Hess 15). Although Wal-Mart is a fine company, like most large companies, it has had its share of unfortunate problems. It currently is facing the largest workplace bias lawsuit in the history of the Unites States. Figures collected by Richard Drogin found that women make about $0.37 less than men (18), and comprise the majority of the lower level positions at the company (17). As this research has been brought recently to Wal-Mart’s attention through this court case, the company will probably make substantial changes to its hiring and pay.

11  Go to the course website and read through the entries about the advergame Red Bull Soapbox Racer.  Select a post that you did not (co)author.  In the comment to that entry, write a counterargument as if you were the original author of that post.  Imagine a one sentence refutation about one or more claims the poster is making.  Follow that up with a rebuttal (counter-claim) to that refutation.  Follow that with at least one bit of evidence to support that counter claim. REMEMBER: The goal of the counterargument is to AGREE and further support the original argument.

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