Counterclaims & Rebuttals ENGLISH III Reminder: Definition A COUNTERCLAIM is stating the opposing viewpoint or opposing argument on an issue. Example Claim: McDonald’s should be considered a healthy restaurant because they offer water, fruit, and salad. Counterclaim: Even though they have a few healthy options on the menu, McDonald’s should not overall be considered “healthy” because the vast majority of their options are greasy, fried, and high in calories. You try! Come up with a possible counterclaim for this claim. CLAIM: Canton High School should become a year- round school because students will be able to retain more information over shorter breaks. COUNTERCLAIM: You try! Come up with a possible counterclaim for this claim. CLAIM: Students in all of Canton School District should have personal devices at school and home, so they are able to complete homework more easily. COUNTERCLAIM: You try! One more: CLAIM: Only seniors should be able to attend Prom at CHS because it makes it more special, and with less students attending, it’s easier to organize. COUNTERCLAIM: Rebuttals Remember, a rebuttal is your response to the counterclaim. This is an argument. A rebuttal is essentially “having the last word.” You should try to pick apart the counterclaim and explain why it is incorrect. To make your rebuttal more credible, you should have at least one piece of evidence (from sources) to support it. Example Claim: McDonald’s should be considered a healthy restaurant because they offer water, fruit, and salad. Counterclaim: Even though they have a few healthy options on the menu, McDonald’s should not overall be considered “healthy” because the vast majority of their options are greasy, fried, and high in calories. REBUTTAL: Even though McDonald’s does have some unhealthy options, they are really trying to improve their healthy meals over the last few years by “championing children’s well-being, expanding and improving nutritionallybalanced meal choices, and increasing customers’ and employees’ access to nutrition information” (“McDonald’s USA”). This includes reducing the sodium in their foods and giving more healthy options for kids’ Happy Meals (“McDonald’s USA”). You try! Below I listed the first claim, and a possible counterclaim for it (you can also use the counterclaim you created). Try to write down a rebuttal for the counterclaim. You may not have sources available to you, so you may have to omit the evidence part. CLAIM: Canton High School should become a year-round school because students will be able to retain more information over shorter breaks. Possible Counterclaim: CHS should not be a year-round school because, even though the breaks are shorter and students will retain more, students may also get worn down and “tune out” because of having less lengthy breaks. REBUTTAL: Try another one Claim: Students in all of CUSD #66 should have personal devices at school and at home to make it easier to get homework completed. Possible counterclaim: Even though it may be easier to do homework, a lot of assignments require Internet, and not all students have Internet access at home. Plus students may forget the devices at home. REBUTTAL: And one more Claim: Only seniors should be able to attend Prom at CHS, so that it becomes more special and is easier to organize. Possible counterclaim: The attendance requirements should not change because having more students attend equals more money coming in, and Prom can possibly be held at a nicer location. Plus, Prom can still be special, even if you have attended for three years. It is different each time you go. REBUTTAL: In your essays…. Look at section IV on your outline. First, brainstorm what counterclaims someone might have who disagrees with you. For instance, if I think Oprah achieved the A.D. because of XYZ, what might someone who doesn’t like Oprah/doesn’t think she has achieved the A.D. say in opposition to me? Write your counterclaim Once you have thought of a counterclaim, write it on your outline. Rebuttal What will you say to “have the last word” so to speak? How can you argue against their counterclaim? Write a rebuttal on your outline (could be as simple as one sentence). Evidence Now, spend time looking through your sources to find EVIDENCE to back up your rebuttal, just like I did in the McDonald’s example. Write out your evidence as either a quote, paraphrase, or summary, and include a proper citation on your outline. Example Counterclaim: Oprah Winfrey hasn’t achieved the American Dream because, even though she participates in charities, she does so for notoriety and not for the good of the people. Rebuttal: Oprah Winfrey actually does give to charities and gives aid to other people out of the kindness of her heart. Evidence: According to “Oprah Winfrey’s Official Biography,” “Oprah has long believed that education is the door to freedom, offering a chance at a brighter future. Through her private charity, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, she has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that support the education and empowerment of women, children and families in the United States and around the world.” She is doing this because she firmly believes in the power of education. Homework Your entire outline should be completed by the beginning of Monday’s class (sections I-IV). On Monday, we will practice writing our conclusions and begin drafting these on Tuesday.