Knowing how to write a counter argument is very important in the academic world. It enables you to express opposing views or disagreement with certain positions. But, what’s a counter argument and how do you write one?
Whether it’s in academic theses or debates, countering an argument can weaken the opposing viewpoints while strengthening yours. And, critical thinking is at the core of any argument. Therefore, you should learn how to formulate an effective, persuasive counter argument to excel in academic writing.
What is a Counter Argument?
You most likely want to know what this argument is even before you learn to write it. Ideally, the counter argument definition describes it as a reasoning that counter-argues a thesis or a viewpoint.
A counter argument is an argument that opposes the stated thesis. It explains why the stated thesis is in full or partly incorrect. It does this using logical reasoning and evidence to undermine the stated thesis.
A common counter argument synonym is a rebuttal argument. That’s because a rebuttal refers to the presentation of reasoning and evidence that is meant to undermine or weaken the claim of an opponent.
Writing a Counter Argument
Now that you have understood the counter argument meaning, you can proceed to learn how to draft it. An ideal approach is to ensure that your argument is successful in convincing the audience and compelling. Essentially, you should not address an argument that nobody agrees with. Therefore, focus on ensuring that your reader will reflect internally after reading the argument. They should also be interested in the way you disarm the perspective you are disagreeing with. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a counter argument:
- Step 1: Brainstorm
Brainstorm the major and obvious objections to the viewpoint that you’re disagreeing with. Rank the objections starting with the weakest to the strongest. Choose the most convincing objections to include in your paper or essay.
- Step 2: Choose transitional phrases or words
Counter argument transitions are used to link ideas. They are used to demonstrate that two ideas or things are similar. Examples of these words and phrases include “likewise”, “not to mention”, “also”, “by the same token”, “then again”, “not only”, and some words which are rather hard to spell. Use these transitions to suggest issues with the opposing argument or thesis. You can also use them to suggest logical liabilities or inherent disadvantages to what the opponent is proposing. These words can also be used to point glaring problems that make a thesis invalid or improbable.
- Step 3: Elaborate the argument
Compose your counter argument essay with a focus on explaining why the audience should believe your objection. Include examples in your essay to show demonstrate why the proposed viewpoint is invalid. Also, show the readers why your viewpoint or thesis is valid. Use counter argument transition words effectively to explain the difference between your viewpoint and what you’re opposing. This will show your understanding of your opposing argument and what makes it wrong.
- Step 4: Reassert your argument or thesis
Acknowledge your thesis or viewpoint using the right counter argument words. How you state your viewpoint or thesis is very important. That’s why you should pay keen attention to your diction. Choose words that make your thesis or viewpoint appear stronger than what you’re opposing. Make sure that the words that you use make an average reader feel persuaded to take your position.
How to Start a Counter Argument
You have learned how to write counter argument, but how do you start it? Well, how this argument starts should depend on the subject. However, you should be careful when starting the argument to ensure that your reader knows that you’re about to introduce a differing opinion or idea.
Perhaps, the best way to learn how to start counter argument is to analyze the starting sentence. Your starting sentence should introduce or state your topic. For instance, if you’re discussing the controversial pit bulls topic, you could argue that they are safe to keep as long as they are raised properly.
Statistics that show that pit bulls are aggressive dogs could be the basis of the opposing argument. The rebuttal could focus on the aggressive behavior of these dogs. You can argue that their aggressiveness is due to poor upbringing.
Your counter argument sentence starters should alert your readers that you intend to express a different view. And, your essay should serve the purpose of supporting that view.
How to Introduce a Counter Argument
You should introduce an opposing viewpoint in a manner that will tell your audience that what you’re about to say is not in agreement with what has been said or what is known. Perhaps, this explains why you should learn how to start a counter argument sentence before you proceed. Some of the easiest ways of starting an opposing argument sentence is using words like “but” and “however”. Here are more examples of counter argument starters:
- A major concern is…
- Even though…
- This is a major concern, however…
- In spite of these facts…
The inclusion of a counter argument paragraph tells your readers that you understand and acknowledge the existence of other positions.
Counter Argument Outline
You may have seen a counter argument example and realized that the author presented ideas in a certain way. Well, your paragraph should be outlined properly to present the opposing viewpoint properly. Here is a simple outline that you can follow:
- Start the paragraph with the acknowledgment of the opposing viewpoint. For instance, you can star that “Some people argue that…” or “My opponents believe that…”
- Transition to your argument using the right starters. For instance, say “However,…” “Conversely…” or “But,…”
- Provide evidence or examples to support your viewpoint. For instance, use real-world event examples as your evidence. You can also quote a book or share a personal experience. However, you must be specific.
- Elaborate your evidence or example by explaining how the evidence or example proves the viewpoint that you’re opposing wrong or invalid.
- Elaborate all the examples that you provided as evidence.
- Conclude the paragraph by recapping your position. Make sure that you also acknowledge the opposing viewpoint in your conclusion.
Read Counter Argument Examples
Perhaps, the best way to learn to compose this argument is to read more examples from best assignment writers. When you read a good counter argument example essay, you will learn how an opposing thesis or viewpoint should be introduced. You will also see how the author supports their thesis and signal the readers a transition from the pro argument to a rebuttal. Thus, you will learn how to make this transition without appearing or sounding contradictory and incoherent.
Drafting a rebuttal requires critical thinking and the ability to present opposing ideas seamlessly. You must disapprove of the existing evidence by providing evidence and examples. You should also use the right starters and transitions to ensure that your argument doesn’t sound contradictory or incoherent. But, writing this essay is not easy. That’s why many students want to learn how to write it before they start the actual task. By following this guide, you can learn to write a great rebuttal essay. You should also get a counter argument essay example to learn how to present opposing ideas seamlessly.