Rebuttal Examples


A rebuttal is a contradiction to someone else's argument. In a rebuttal, one attempts to present reasons and evidence for why the argument is not true. In a literary sense, a rebuttal is when a writer presents reasons or evidence that disprove or contradict the opposing argument.

There are several characteristics of a strong rebuttal:

1. The opposing viewpoint has to be presented accurately and clearly.
2. The reasons and evidence used to undermine the opposing viewpoint must be accurate and logical.
3. The rebuttal must be presented without personal attack or malice and in a courteous manner.

Examples of Rebuttal:

Examples of Rebuttal:

Those who argue that school uniforms would create more school unity and pride have a compelling argument. However, school uniforms also undermine personal creativity and individuality for students.

My opponent makes a strong argument that senior citizens should not have to pay taxes. Yet, he does not address the fact that some senior citizens are more capable of sharing the tax burden than young, working families. He makes no provision in his plan for a needs-based exemption from paying taxes.

Examples from Literature and Media:

Benjamin Franklin wrote this rebuttal to a newspaper correspondent who had criticized corn:

A writer in your paper comforts himself, and the India Company, with the fancy that the Americans, should they resolve to drink no more tea, can by no means keep that resolution, their Indian corn not affording 'an agreeable, or easy digestible breakfast.' Pray let me, an American, inform the gentleman, who seems quite ignorant of the matter, that Indian corn, take it for all in all, is one of the most aggregable and wholesome grains in the world; that its green ears roasted are a delicacy beyond expression; that samp, hominy, succotash, and nokehock, made of it, are so many pleasing varieties; and that a johny, or hoe-cae, hot from the fire, is better than a Yorkshire muffin."

Martin Luther King, Jr. also used rebuttals in many speeches and writings, such as this one from his "I Have a Dream" speech:

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird delivers a powerful rebuttal during his defense of Tom, a black man accused of attacking a white woman:

What did her father do? We don't know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led most exclusively with his left. We do know in part what Mr. Ewell did: he did what any Go-fearing, preserving, respectable white man would do under circumstances-he swore a warrant, no doubt signing with his left hand, and Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses-his right hand.

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