This introductory page of the
"Disagreement" chapter offers a simple, brief summary. For more, go to "Basics" and
to "Sample Papers"
by students. If
you understand this type of paper already or want to explore it in more depth, you might prefer to read "Advanced
Methods." All five web pages of this chapter are listed in the
right-hand column--simply click on the page you want to see.
disagreement with a reading or text is a response to something intelligent you have read.
It is often a short, argumentative essay--a response in which you disagree in a
logical, organized way (with some agreement possibly allowed).
It is not a simple report on what an author has
said, but rather an argument that goes beyond the author's own thoughts.
It also is not an emotional speech against a text or a friendly, uncritical
review of why the author is right or good; rather, it is a strong but calm,
logical, and fairly argued series of statements and supports about why the
author is wrong (and/or right). If there is agreement allowed (by your
instructor), it is a minor part of your response; the majority of your response
usually should be disagreement.
Some examples of disagreements to texts are longer,
high-quality editorials in newspapers that respond to what some other author has
written; and fairly and reasonably given speeches that argue against what
someone has written or said. The Gettysburg Address, for example, is in
part a disagreement with the gloom-and-doom editorial writers of the time who
were suggesting that the Union was bound to lose the Civil War.
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The goal of writing a
disagreement is to choose
an argumentative text with which you disagree in whole or in part, and then
to write your disagreement so that it appears as a calm, logical, and strong
argument to readers. If you need an online text, go to the chapter in
"Section D" called "Resources & Readings." If your instructor requests it, you may
have a brief first section, after the introduction, that summarizes the
Then you should write the body of your disagreement
by responding to several of your text's points or ideas. Depending on what your
instructor expects, you may organize your paper in three or four topic sections
or as several point-by-point responses. In the beginning of each topic
section or point, first offer your own disagreement briefly. Then support
your disagreement in one or more paragraphs with quotations from your
text/source and other details. Your other details may include one or more
of the following: personal-experience examples and stories; the experiences of
others you know; and facts, details, and/or experiences from documented
sources. In your introduction and conclusion, clearly indicate the type of
paper you are writing--a disagreement--and the author's overall argument, your
own overall disagreement, and an interesting quotation, stories, and/or set of
facts in each.
If you are writing a research paper, each body
section must include quotations and/or paraphrases from additional sources.
These quotations and/or paraphrases should support your own points of analysis,
should be substantial in quality and quantity, and should come from
authoritative sources. Also attach a bibliography appropriate to your
field, discipline, or profession.
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Here is a typical structure or organization for a
development of this structure is shown in the "Basics"
Organization of Disagreement Paper
[BELOW, SUBSTITUTE THE CORRECT INFO IN PLACE OF THE
"ANALYSIS" BELOW. ALSO, BE SURE TO KEEP THE "BIBLIOGRAPHY" BOX AT THE
and introductory details
Body Section 1: first disagreement and supporting details
Body Section 2: second
disagreement and supporting details
Body Section 3: third
and supporting details
Body Section 4: fourth
and supporting details)
and concluding details
Jones, A.J. Book One, et al.
Smith, B.K. Book Two, et al.
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A "focus" in writing helps you at any given moment
to concentrate on writing. Here are several helpful, important focuses
people use to develop a disagreement.
If helpful, brainstorm a list of texts you would like to use or, once you
have one, a list of possible disagreements with it (and several main
disagreements, if you wish). Then choose carefully. Will your
points of disagreement appeal to you throughout your writing time? Do
you have enough details or examples to support what you are saying, or can
you find them easily? Can you write about them objectively? What
is the main problem and solution your paper will represent? Will your
audience find your disagreements clear and interesting?
& SECOND DRAFTS:
Start with one or two methods that work best for you, but develop the
others in later drafts.
critically: take your text apart so that you understand its
contents and structure thoroughly (see "How
to Read Critically").
Free-write: write as much as you
can quickly on what you know about your text or your disagreements.
mark or type the quotations in your text that best summarize the
points with which you disagree and agree. Write descriptions or a
list of the proofs you have for your disagreements--facts, quotations, and/or
Write for your audience: visualize it. What details does it need to take seriously your
Organize: make an outline using the
above or whatever structure your instructor suggests.
if required, mix
your disagreements with the above methods to develop a first draft during your
TONE, and WRITER'S ROLE: Develop (in early or late drafts) an
academic style and tone of calm, reasoned, fair, balanced logic. In
your role as a writer, it may be acceptable to include strong or even dry
disagreement (ask your instructor), but you must give the impression of
being emotionally fair, balanced, and logical.
AUTHENTICITY: Be as real and
you can to your audience, your content, and yourself. First, respect
your audience: try as fully as you can to consider its own beliefs about
your text. Second, find the heart of the meaning
in both your reading and your examination of it, and write about them clearly
using high-quality supporting details. Third, make your
disagreements your own: develop them in a way as meaningful to you as possible.
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