1 Conclusion
2 Arguments in favour of your conclusion (same source for ¶4)
3 Arguments against your conclusion
4 Explanations as to why the arguments in ¶3 fail. (Call these rebuttals)
+ Restatement of your conclusion

To exemplify my proposed format above, I chose the negative position of this question because it looks harder to argue, NOT due to personal beliefs. (¶ = paragraph)

  1. No, affirmation action should cease.

2.1. 'Preferences primarily benefit minority applicants from middle- and upper-class backgrounds. ' and 'Because admissions are a zero-sum game, preferences hurt poor whites and even many Asians (who meet admissions standards in disproportionate numbers).'
2.2. 'If "diversity" were really the goal, then preferences would be given on the basis of unusual characteristics, not on the basis of race.'
2.3. 'Very significant achievements of minority students can become compromised.'

3.1. 'significant way to compensate' and 'affirmatively includ[e] the formerly excluded.'
3.2 'killing affirmative action would do little ... to ameliorate the stigmatization of minorities.'
3.3. '[W]e have not been able as a society to overcome the issues of race' and 'still judged in everyday life, by race.'

4.1. '...there is a growing sense that if affirmative action has not succeeded in ending discrimination after 25 years of determined implementation, then perhaps it is time to try something else.'
4.2. 'But race and ethnicity (or gender or sexual preference) do not have a place on this list; these are traits, not achievements.'
4.3. 'When people do start to suspect the worst -- that preferences have skewed the entire class -- they are accused of the very racism that justifies these preferences'.

Is ¶4 now a cheap move, and NOT a rebuttal to ¶3's arguments, because ¶4 just offers further arguments to those in ¶2?

Instead, how should ¶3's arguments be rebutted? should I argue that 2.1 and 3.1, 2.2 and 3.2, ... differ?

marked as duplicate by Chris Sunami, virmaior, James Kingsbery, Einer, Lukas Oct 1 '14 at 14:32

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.


3.1 - Could rebut it by claiming it's treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the problem. Could also use discrimination against the majority arguments.

3.2 is a strawman, unless people are actually arguing that eliminating affirmative action makes minorities less stigmatized.

3.3 is irrelevant. An argument for affirmative action should be about why affirmative action is a solution to the problem rather than merely stating the existence of the problem it's trying to solve.

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