Rebutting an argument is an essential part of argumentation. It is rarely sufficient to simply present your argument; others will have different arguments that seem just as valid. As part of supporting your own argument, you must be aware of these other arguments and address them, showing how they are not if fact as valid as yours. Not only is rebuttal a skill that allows you to defeat other arguments, but, by understanding how they could be attacked, you will make your own arguments rebuttal-proof.
Respond to one of the argument essays from the text listed below. Your objective is to consider the writer’s claims, support and warrants, to uncover weak places in the essay’s argument that will help you to write a rebuttal. You can challenge the claims, showing how they are false or unsupported. You can challenge the support itself, showing how a particular study has been disproven or a particular source lacks credibility. You can challenge the warrants that underlie the argument, showing how the writer is making unfounded assumptions about the evidence or the audience. You can challenge the language, showing how the writer’s verbiage is confusing or inflammatory, or how terms are not accurately defined.
In your essay you will provide background to the issue being argued (for which you will need to cite at least two outside sources). You should separately address each weakness in the essay you are rebutting, using your research to back up your position if appropriate.
Recommended length: 4-6 pages not including the list of works cited
Here is the Article from my text to Rebuttal. I have also attached it
Why “Safe Spaces” Are Important for Mental Health — Especially on College Campuses
Megan Yee is a freelance writer for Healthline Media. Her article appeared on Healthline.com on June 3, 2019, and the byline included a note that it was “medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD.”
For the better half of my undergraduate years, nearly everyone seemed to have something to say about “safe spaces.” Mentioning the term had the potential to elicit heated reactions from students, politicians, academics, and anyone else remotely interested in the topic.
Headlines about safe spaces and their relevance to free speech on college campuses flooded the editorial sections of news outlets. This occurred, in part, as a result of widely publicized incidents regarding safe spaces at universities across the country.
In the fall of 2015, a series of student protests over racial tension erupted at the University of Missouri over safe spaces and their impact on freedom of the press. Weeks later, a controversy at Yale over offensive Halloween costumes escalated into a fight over safe spaces and students’ rights to freedom of expression.
In 2016, the dean of University of Chicago wrote a letter to the incoming class of 2020 stating that the university didn’t condone trigger warnings or intellectual safe spaces.
5Some critics suggest that safe spaces are a direct threat to free speech, foster groupthink, and limit the flow of ideas. Others accuse college students of being coddled “snowflakes” who seek protection from ideas that make them uncomfortable.
What unites most anti–safe space stances is that they focus almost exclusively on safe spaces in the context of college campuses and free speech. Because of this, it’s easy to forget that the term “safe space” is actually quite broad and encompasses a variety of different meanings.
What Is a Safe Space?
On college campuses, a “safe space” is usually one of two things. Classrooms can be designated as academic safe spaces, meaning that students are encouraged to take risks and engage in intellectual discussions about topics that may feel uncomfortable. In this type of safe space, free speech is the goal.
The term “safe space” is also used to describe groups on college campuses that seek to provide respect and emotional security, often for individuals from historically marginalized groups.
A “safe space” doesn’t have to be a physical location. It can be something as simple as a group of people who hold similar values and commit to consistently provide each other with a supportive, respectful environment.
The Purpose of Safe Spaces
It’s well-known that a little anxiety can boost our performance, but chronic anxiety can take a toll on our emotional and psychological health.
Feeling like you need to have your guard up at all times can be exhausting and emotionally taxing.
Anxiety pushes the nervous system into overdrive which can tax bodily systems leading to physical discomfort like a tight chest, racing heart, and churning stomach,” says Dr. Juli Fraga, Psy.D.
“Because anxiety causes fear to arise, it can lead to avoidance behaviors, such as avoiding one’s fears and isolating from others,” she adds.
Safe spaces can provide a break from judgment, unsolicited opinions, and having to explain yourself. It also allows people to feel supported and respected. This is especially important for minorities, members of the LGBTQIA community, and other marginalized groups.
That said, critics often redefine the concept of a safe space as something that’s a direct attack on free speech and only relevant to minority groups on college campuses.
Perpetuating this narrow definition makes it difficult for the general population to understand the value of a safe space and why they can benefit all people.
15Using this constricted safe space definition also limits the scope of productive discussions we can have regarding the topic. For one, it prevents us from examining how they relate to mental health — an issue that’s just as relevant, and arguably more urgent, than free speech.
Why These Spaces Are Beneficial for Mental Health
Despite my background as a journalism student, racial minority, and native of the ultra-liberal Bay Area, I still had difficulty understanding the value of safe spaces until after college.
I was never anti–safe space, but during my time at Northwestern I never identified as someone who needed a safe space. I was also wary of engaging in discussions about a topic that could ignite polarizing debates.
In hindsight, however, I’ve always had a safe space in one form or another even before I started college.
Since middle school, that place was the yoga studio in my hometown. Practicing yoga and the studio itself was so much more than downward dogs and handstands. I learned yoga, but more importantly, I learned how to navigate discomfort, learn from failure, and approach new experiences with confidence.
I spent hundreds of hours practicing in the same room, with the same faces, in the same mat space. I loved that I could go to the studio and leave the stress and drama of being a high schooler at the door.
For an insecure teenager, having a judgment-free space where I was surrounded by mature, supportive peers was invaluable.
Even though the studio fits the definition nearly perfectly, I had never thought of the studio as a “safe space” until recently.
Redefining the studio has helped me see how focusing solely on safe spaces as a barrier to free speech is unproductive because it limits people’s willingness to engage with the topic as a whole — namely, how it relates to mental health.
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