ELA 5: Rebuttals Made Easy

When one buttal isn't enough, you may just have to make a rebuttal. After today's video you'll be rebutting like it's nothing. Check it out.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:24

Even the strongest of arguments can attract counterclaims, and unanswered counterclaims [Man lifting weights and girl approaches]

00:29

can make even the best argument seem unconvincing.

00:32

If we don't do something about 'em, they'll buzz around and crawl all over our argument. [Insects crawling on skin]

00:36

It's kind of like watermelon at a picnic. It might be crisp and refreshing, but if it's

00:40

covered in ants, it loses its appeal. Yuck… Luckily, that's where rebuttals come in. [Slices of melon with ants all over]

00:45

A rebuttal shuts down a counterclaim, and it works in three easy steps:

00:49

1. Identify the counterclaim 2. Acknowledge the opposing counterclaim

00:54

3. Provide evidence against the counterclaim [Hand squishes bug on a persons arm]

00:57

Think of it this way: if counterclaims were Superman, rebuttals would be kryptonite.

01:01

Take that Superman. So here’s an example. [Man holding kryptonite and superman runs away]

01:04

Say you're writing an argument against driverless cars, and at some point you write:

01:08

"Being the pilot of a driverless car is dangerous, because computers don't have the experience

01:13

of dealing with other human drivers and the ability to anticipate the mistakes they make."

01:18

Just like any argument, this one is open to counterclaims. [Man driving a car]

01:21

For example, since you're talking about how humans are better drivers than computers,

01:25

someone might put focus on the strengths that computers have that humans lack.

01:29

For example, "Engineers like to point out that with the advancement in computer technology,

01:33

these smart cars can see all sides of the car at one time where as humans

01:37

always have a blind spot."

01:39

See? These counterclaims can come out of nowhere. They’re lurking in every corner. [Monster appears from trash bin as boy walks by]

01:43

There’s probably one behind you right now.

01:47

But we know what to do. We add the counterclaim to our argument, by rebutting it. [Coop pointing to chalkboard]

01:52

We can do that by going back to our research materials, and seeing if anything there blocks

01:57

the counterclaim. [Girl watching a martial arts video]

01:58

This stuff is basically mental karate…

02:00

And after we check our materials, we see that there's actually a lot of research being done

02:04

towards solving blind spot problems, both through advanced technology and mirrors, so [A vehicle speedometer]

02:09

if we follow the counterclaim with a statement summing up these ideas, we'll have our rebuttal.

02:14

The counterclaim has been shut down and our argument is safe to live another day. Huzzah!

02:19

Whether you're writing about driverless cars, aerospace technology, or the best way to open

02:23

a can of soup, rebuttals make controlling counterclaims a breeze. [A tin of rebuttal soup]

02:27

Oh, and make sure to always have a spare watermelon handy.

02:30

We might be able to help with rebuttals, but we can't do anything about those pesky ants… [A couple having a picnic]