Counterargument in Academic Writing
In academic writing, you need to provide an argument. You need to write a thesis statement and to use evidence to explain why your thesis statement is true. However, you can also address arguments against your thesis. We recommend that you consider counterarguments while writing your first draft so that you can revise your claims while writing. This approach can help you make your essay more persuasive because it allows you to anticipate possible objections and doubts. Learn more about counterarguments with College-Writers writing service.
Of course, not all of the possible objections are worth your attention but you should understand that your readers might hold different views. A good essay should withstand critique so most professors will appreciate counterarguments in your essay, even if your prompt doesn’t ask you to provide them.
Challenging Your Argument
There are two stages of using a counterargument in writing. First, you should challenge your own argument, and then you should reinforce it. Imagine that you’re dealing with a skeptical reader who will look for weak spots in your argument. Here are some things you may want to address:
- Disadvantages of your suggestion;
- Conclusions that might be interpreted in different ways;
- Alternative suggestions that appear to make more sense.
Return to Your Argument
Once you’ve addressed the weaknesses of your point, return to it and prove that it’s still right. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to just dismiss the opposing arguments. You should approach them critically.
- Refute the counterargument by showing that this problem isn’t real.
- Acknowledge the validity of the counterargument but prove that your point is more relevant or your solution is more beneficial.
- If a counterargument undermines a certain aspect of your thesis statement, restate your thesis with more details, taking into account the opposite opinion.
Where to Use Counterarguments
There are no rules regarding where exactly you should use counterarguments. However, most often, they appear in the following places:
- in the introduction; you may address the opposite opinion before introducing the thesis statement;
- a paragraph right after the introduction where you can anticipate your readers’ reaction and address counterarguments before developing your idea;
- within a paragraph, if a counterargument is related not to your thesis as a whole but to its particular aspect;
- before the conclusion.
When including counterarguments in your writing, the main thing is not to overdo it. Addressing the opposite opinion can make your argument stronger but it can also cause the opposite effect, making your readers think about the drawbacks of your thesis statement.
Pre-Writing and Revising
Socrates said that good thinking always questions itself. However, when writing an academic paper, you should also state your strong opinion. Having a conversation with yourself can make your argument stronger or distract you from forming your opinion. Just imagine how your readers might disagree with you or look at the topic from a different angle, and make sure that you can reply to possible objections.
To better understand what aspects of your thesis statement may raise questions, read it to your friends or relatives and listen to what they say. Their disagreement can be very useful, helping you formulate your thesis statement in a better way or to improve your way of thinking. Finally, if you realize that the counterargument is right and your initial thesis cannot withstand it, consider making this counterargument your thesis and using the initial thesis as a new counterargument.