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RWS 305 SDSU Rebuttals Playing Devils Advocate Paper

RWS 305 SDSU Rebuttals Playing Devils Advocate Paper


Prompt: “Playing Devil’s Advocate” (Monday)

Looking ahead, Project 4 asks you to “Research a civic issue that is of concern to a specific community” by “finding an argument (opinion/editorial) and responding to it.” 

To complete this week’s assignment, “Playing Devil’s Advocate,” I’d like you to submit your topic and article to our class discussion board. That means including a link to the article you’ve selected and writing a brief summary of the issue that the author addresses. Then, present YOUR OPINION on the issue and support your reasoning for having that opinion. Submit this by Monday night and then respond to two of your peers, Playing Devil’s Advocate, by Wednesday night.

Selecting a Topic/Article.

  • The Topic must be the center of some debate.
    • (e.g. “Poverty is bad” or “It’s really hot” are not worthy topics of debate). 
  • The Topic must be the center of some recent debate.
    • (e.g. “end daylight savings” or “lower the drinking age” would not apply) 
  • The Topic examples, but not limited to these:
    • Is Jonah Hill manipulative? Should Andrew Tate be allowed on social media? Should Cardi B face criminal charges? Controversies related to Barbieor Oppenheimer. I’m open to other ideas, so ask if you are uncertain that your topic will work for Project 4. It doesn’t need to relate to pop culture.
  • The Article must be recent (published since May 1st). 
  • The “Article” can be in many forms: editorial, youtube video, podcast, etc.
  • The  Article must be an argument, not informative, so it should be biased and persuade the audience.

Section 1) Article: Publication Title, Publisher, Publication date, Author and Short Bio.

Section 2) Write a brief summary of the issue that the author addresses and their stance.

  • Confirm that the article is an editorial (an opinion rather than an unbiased news report). 

Section 3) Quote the author. Explain the rhetorical strategy in the quote (see lectures, texts, and me as needed). Articulate how the author makes an appeal to ethos, pathos, or logos. Determine the article’s target audience and what assumptions the author makes about this demographic. Evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy. 

  • 6-10 sentences.

Section 4) Articulate your own position on the issue addressed in the article, and support your position with a brief explanation of your own (Use a rhetorical strategy to prove your point).

  • 6-10 sentences.

Prompt: Peer Rebuttals (Wednesday)

To Play Devil’s Advocate: “(When) someone who pretends, in an argument or discussion, to be against an idea or plan that… people support, in order to make people discuss and consider it in more detail.” -Cambridge Dictionary

Rebuttal: Responding to your opponents objections with acknowledgment, counter evidence, demonstrating irrelevance, and/or reframing tactics. 

Rebuttals are an important part of any argument, as acknowledging your opposition’s point of view is often the first step to finding common ground. You are validating their concerns, addressing those obstacles which prevent them from seeing the situation your way, and then resolving those issues through various strategies.

Respond to your peers by providing a counter argument for their position:

  • Support your position with a few rhetorical strategies.
    • E.g. comparison, definition, analysis, citing another source, etc. (You don’t need to explain the strategy).
  • Make two to three appeals.
    • Ethos and Logos, or Pathos and Ethos, or Logos and Pathos. 
  • You don’t need to personally support your counterargument.
    • If you notice that no one would reasonably take a countering position, you should inform your peer that their argument doesn’t seem debatable.
  • Response Length: 
    • At least a paragraph, but I’ll assign a grade based on the strength of the counter argument, strategies and appeals.  

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