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Rebuttal Essay Writing Guide

September 14, 2018

rebuttal essay writing guide

Rebuttal essay or Your Way to Disagree

There are certain situations when we have to or have a desire to disagree with an opinion expressed by somebody else. The talent to correctly and respectfully contradict is given not to everybody, but this is a good skill everybody is able to work out.

Writing a rebuttal essay gives you a feeling of being a lawyer or a procurator in a court. If you are a professional minister of justice, you are familiar with formulating counter-arguments. If you are not, a rebuttal essay is what is going to teach you how to represent your own point of you which is different or contradicts another opinion expressed in written form. You have to be ready for a real brainstorming and long hours of preparation, but the positive results are going to surprise you.


Before creating a paper tearing the represented idea to tatters, you are advised to study thoroughly the document and to grasp the given subject. Pay attention to every example and facts supporting the main idea. Do not neglect tiny nuances; sometimes that can transform into the secret weapon in this counter-argument war.

Without understanding an opposing viewpoint you won’t be able to rebut duly. If we have called this essay writing the “counter-argument war”, you have to be well-prepared for it. You are to make a list of an opponent’s ideas, examples and arguments. You are to elaborate the steps for convincing the primary audience in your rectitude. You are to make it believe you and to make it take part with you.

What to start with?

Like every type of essay, a rebuttal one should have an Introduction. There are many ways how to start a paperwork, but there is one common thing for all of them — a thesis. Being a means for arguing an opponent opinion, it should contain a thesis, which definitely, accurately and briefly represents your idea. Having studied the given document from every side, you need to represent your own idea.

The only one sentence, created by you, should provide the counter-argument to the whole idea and give a clear argument with specific wording. You are recommended and advised not to start the rebuttal essay by saying that your opponent is telling lie and is completely wrong. He/she has already written the paper, and it is your decision to agree with it or not. You have decided to disagree, so make it correctly and politely.

The Introduction of your paperwork should not be very long, but to represent the information about the further development of the subject. You are not expected and not advised to list all the arguments which are opposite to the initial document; you are to provide the essential argument, which will help your reader become familiar with the subject. For example, if your opponent states, that the kids should attend kindergartens before going to school, you, in your turn, state, that this is not obligatory. Later on, you will provide more arguments to support your thesis.

Counter-arguments presentation

Do not try to provide all counter-arguments altogether. You have a lot to say, you are full of ideas and you are torn apart by a desire to express your own point of view. This is natural when you completely not agree with the opponent’s viewpoint. But do not be in a hurry and provide counter-arguments one by one.

The Main Part of the rebuttal essay should consist of the paragraphs, each of which challenges the opposing argument. You can start with the smallest argument and provide your counter-argument. Once you finished, you can turn to the next issues. Should you find some false data, invalid information or a lie in the opponent’s information, you should highlight this. Support your words with real examples, true facts, explanations and validated data. Your rebut should be trustworthy. When you counter the opinion, you should not only express your disagreement but are expected to show that another viewpoint is paltry to be considered by a reader.


When all the counter-arguments have been represented, it is time to make a good Conclusion. It is the Conclusion which leaves an imprint on the reader’s memory. It is a part which summarizes the information given before and provides the results of the work conducted. Keep in mind that the main feature of the Conclusion is not repeating the arguments, you have presented in the Main part or in the Introduction, but rephrasing them and synthesizing.

You are recommended to write the last sentences in the form of theses which contain the main ideas of the paragraphs from the Main Part. The final part of the rebuttal essay should be the strongest part of the whole paperwork. Do not make it long; five-six sentences would be enough if the whole work takes two pages. Always keep in mind, that the shorter sentences have more power than the long ones, though the most people are used to consider differently.

There is also an important point which is to be taken into consideration — the Conclusion should be written in the same style and tone as the other parts of the essay. The beginning of the final part should flow smoothly from the Main Part and be connected logically with the Intro and the body of the essay. The last words are what is remembered by the reader. You should do your best to add vigour to them and to reinforce your credibility.

Whatever your contradiction is about, keep the friendly tone and never try to offend the opponent. Take the lawyers or the politicians, for instance, who have to rebut more often. They do it politely but accurately. They provide their own validated information against the mistakes, blunders and faults made by their opponents. If they contradict convincingly, the target audience has no option but to be loyal to their side. Now it is your turn to convince your reader that your information is more valid and trustworthy.