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Assignment Sheet

Refutation Essay

Your second short paper should be a refutation of a substantive argument. A refutation is

not a mere statement of the points with which you disagree with the source argument, but
a carefully constructed argument in its own right that analyzes the target audience,
formulates a purpose, and constructs the essay using a structure and style that is more
likely to be persuasive than offensive to the audience. This requires that you carefully
analyze the target audience in order to most effectively accomplish your purpose, as you
will address the same target audience as the argument you are refuting.

At the discretion of your instructor this may be based on your Argument Analysis
assignment. However, your refutation must be substantially different from the previous
assignment in that it focuses on those parts of argument that you thoroughly disagree with
and elaborates your own argument in response to If it is an expansion, it should be
approximately 50% longer than the Argument Analysis and represent a substantive
revision. It should not, in other words, simply be the first paper with the refutation
“tacked on.”

Your paper should include:

1. introduction detailing the context of the argument you are refuting (basic context
about the article, such as title, author information, journal or book information
where applicable, target audience, purpose, and any other relevant information
if/when available (e.g., the event or issue the article responds to, if the article is
part of a controversy or of a series, critical reception, etc.);
2. a summary of the argument;
3. your main counter-claim supported by reasons and grounds, refuting point-by-
point the chosen argument (note that you may offer rebuttals for the argument’s
claims, reasons, grounds, warrants, or backing);
4. a conclusion that wraps up your analysis and comments on the significance of the
argument and/or anticipates future discussion of the issue.

Length requirements: ~750 words (3 pages, double spaced, 1-inch margins, font and size:
Times New Roman 12; sources cited in APA style).
Argument Analysis
Scoring Rubric

Skill Area Exceeds Meets Standards Approaching Below Score

Standards Standards Standards
8 6
10/9 5 or less
Purpose/Focus The purpose of Contains a Focus deviates Lapses into
the essay focused somewhat and primary
demonstrates argumentative lapses into argument with
advanced critical thesis and arguing a little analysis of
thinking and maintains focus broader issue. source text.
analysis. on summarizing
and refuting
source article.
Structure Summary and The essay is Organization is Organization is
refutation work logically somewhat haphazard.
particularly well organized so that confusing Essay fails to
as a logical the argument making the logic achieve unity and
progression. In- builds toward a of the essay comprehension.
depth analysis of convincing sometimes
evidence. conclusion. difficult to
Content Refutation of the Accurately Either summary Fails to support
source article is summarizes of source assertions with
particularly material without material or adequate
insightful. distortion. refutation is evidence.
Analysis of Substantively weaker than it
fallacies and analyzes should be.
other rhetorical weaknesses and
forms are refutes claims in
employed. detail.
Style Style is Essay is written in Style is not Style shows little
particularly an engaging appropriate to control of voice
engaging, academic style. audience. or tone.
making the essay Errors in Mechanical Mechanical
a pleasure to mechanics are errors are errors are
read. absent. present. abundant.
Documentation Passages cited Quotation, A few Citations are not
demonstrate paraphrase, and documentation in APA style or
advanced critical summary are used errors are may be missing
thinking in correctly to present. Cited altogether.
selecting support analysis. material may not Evidence from
passages for APA style is be well-chosen. source article
critique. followed without absent.