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Posted by on Jul 27, 2017

Strengthen Your Argument by Including a COUNTERargument

Counterargument is one of the great missed opportunities by high school and college writers.

This is understandable, because including a counterargument may feel like you are weakening your own argument (which may already be teetering on the brink of being totally boring already).

A counterargument, however, will dramatically strengthen your writing. It’s also a great way to finish an essay. So rather than writing one of those lame, “In conclusion” sorts of conclusions where you simply repeat everything you’ve already said, you leave your reader astounded at your ability to introduce new material by nailing the chief opposing argument to your own.

Including a counterargument, means that you summarize a major opposing view to your own main argument. Note that this requires that you have an argument to begin with; it is hard to counter an argument like, “gun violence is bad.”

You often hear politicians and TV news reporters use counterargument. There are a number of key phrases that let you know that someone is turning to an opposing view. These include:

  • According to some people…
  • While many feel XXX, others feel YYY…
  • It’s true that…
  • Admittedly…
  • One might object that…

This is a “rhetorical turn” or a “rhetorical move” – just like a through-the-legs dribble in basketball, or finger picking a guitar. The words let the reader know that you will introduce an opposing view.


This is how your writing gets stronger: you acknowledge that there are some good points that may seem to contradict your argument, but then you show that they are untrue, illogical, or both.


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