• Jacklyn Dougherty

Refutation Essay

Refutation of a Written Argument College English 101 Jacklyn Dougherty how to do examples
Photo Credit Jacklyn Dougherty


There is a great debate on what children should be allowed to read in schools. Teachers and parents alike believe that their children should read fiction materials because it is suitable for their reasoning and thinking. When children calm and start reading good storybooks, they lose themselves and appear in a different world. Reading fiction allows a reflective pastime, provides a quiet environment and offers students numerous other benefits. According to President Obama, reading gives people the ability to fit in someone else's shoes and allows people to slow down and get perspective. While some people support fiction material, others support nonfictional materials. Sources have stated that nonfictional books are essential for children because they expand children's vocabularies and prepare them for later grades. They also provide solutions to real-life issues, assist second language learners, and teaches children more about the world they live in. A great debate has emerged whether children should be allowed to read fictional or nonfictional materials. Therefore, in this paper, I will provide a refutation against the article and argue that the article has significant weaknesses in presenting the argument.

The article's thesis is sound, but there is a significant weakness in the presentation of the argument; that is, there is insufficient evidence in the report. The thesis is sound because it states that students need to be exposed to nonfiction literature to improve their expository writing and essays. The writer says that better nonfiction would enable students to convey information, make an argument effectively and vividly, and tell factual stories. However, the writer uses minimal evidence to support this argument. One evidence used by the writer is a statement from Tom Wolfe, who states that New Journalism could be used in student writing for telling details and dialogue, imaginative scene setting, immersion in a subject, and intense reporting (Mosle 2). However, this is not enough evidence. The writer ought to have added more evidence on why reading nonfiction materials would benefit children. He does not explain that nonfictional books would prepare students for later grades. Higher grades often involve informational texts which focus on specific subjects. Therefore, the writer should have described that introducing nonfictional materials as early as possible would prepare these children to this tone and writing style, enabling them to transition easily. Another significant benefit that the author does not bring out is that nonfiction provides solutions to real-world issues. Nonfictional reading materials offer kids life skills, new perspective, and information that these children can apply to address life challenges that they may experience.

Moreover, the article does not use enough shreds of evidence from real studies but instead uses statements from other authors, which may be unproven. In supporting a given argument, the author should highlight some of the significant researches or studies that support the given statement (Mosle 2). For instance, according to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, children were found to spend approximately 4 minutes reading nonfictional materials, compared to 25 minutes reading the fictional materials. Another study from Duke University found out that informational texts in first-grade classes made up only 10% of the texts in libraries. The author should add such research findings to support his statements. These shreds of evidence indicate that there is little content on nonfiction for children. This case tells us that public school systems need to undergo policy changes to introduce more nonfiction which we have found more beneficial for children.

Additionally, the article has a sound thesis but uses an ineffectual tone. The paper is presented so that only people who already agree with it would support its claim (Mosle 1). The author should give facts about both sides and how both sides benefit children before concluding. Also, the author may convince us that fiction has always been used in the past and has been successful in its objectives among children. He should then tell us why the public school system should be changed from traditional fiction to the new nonfiction. He should then provide appropriate benefits of nonfiction and support them with evidence. This way, he would be successful in convincing people from both sides to support nonfiction.

In summary, careful reading is essential in advancing excellent writing skills in children. In the past, the majority of the readings for students have consisted of fictional materials. It is high time for a change in the public school system to include more, but healthy dose of nonfiction. Nonfiction is very important for children because it develops their expository writing, prepares students for later grades, enables them to develop solutions to real-life issues, helps second language learners, improves their vocabulary, and gives them more information about the world they live in. Another importance of nonfictional reading materials is that children do not find their way to reading through fictional materials. Therefore, nonfiction would motivate such readers by emphasizing their interest and curiosity in the world surrounding them.

Work Cited

Mosle, Sara. "What should children read." New York Times 22 (2012

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