Opposition Argument Analysis
Just like the Argument Summary assignment you just completed, this is designed to help you become more familiar with argument, and with your position in general, by analyzing the opposing points of your own argument. Too often, we either dismiss opposing views or divert our argument away from them without fully exploring or understanding them. As a result, we often focus on one-sided arguments that are overly simplistic or, too often, disingenuous because we don’t fully understand how complex they are or why people hold positions different from the one we present. This kind of closed thinking is evident as our nation debates many important issues and in our own lives as well. To help us avoid this thinking error in our own work, this assignment will help us better understand our overall topic by becoming intimately familiar with the opposing points of view.
The object of this assignment is to summarize the strongest opposing arguments from the conditions of rebuttal in your Toulmin Outline. To do this successfully, you will summarize the opposing points in specific detail, using unbiased language. Our job in this essay is not to pass judgment on the position, but to come to truly understand it by informing ourselves. From this, we may see a side to our topic that we have dismissed or that we are unaware of, and we may gain a deeper understanding of the underlying issues that make these topics so difficult to solve. This summary should follow the same format as the previous assignment, including a clear introduction of the argument, a body (in which you detail the argument), and a conclusion that summarizes the strongest points. If there are multiple sources of opposition, please choose the one you feel to be most credible for this assignment.
For examples, please look at the UMN Writing Center at:
One-page, single-spaced analysis of your Toulmin Outline