Math teacher here. The problem is that I'm teaching a course where students are being asked to write online and then respond to each other. Suppose a student responds to disagree with a single point from the original post. With this type of writing, is it typically understood that they

a. agree with all the other points in the post
b. disagree with all the other points in the post, or
c. have no opinion (or at least have expressed no opinion).

I remember reading once, somewhere, that it's either choice a or b, but I can't remember which. On the other hand, if I were to apply math logic, it would clearly be c.

P.S. Is this expository writing? That's the tag I added, anyway.

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  • In my experience, it typically means that they don't want to address the other points -- for whatever reason, of which no opinion is only one. (So blazingly angry that no response would be civil is another.) Why is it important to interpret it as agreement or disagreement? That can influence what the default is. – Mary May 23 at 13:39
  • A response is simply that. It can express any kind of opinion, in any combination, on what went before. The nature of the response can be anything—barring context-specific situations. – Jason Bassford 2 days ago

My response would be D: agree with some points and disagree with others. However, it depends on the type of text, the topic, the subject and the purpose. For example, if the original post is an explanation for how to prune roses, that is going to require a completely different response to a letter trying to persuade people to become vegans.

It may be appropriate for a student to pick just one point from an argument and agree or disagree with it.

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