Answered By: Writing Center
Last Updated: Nov 09, 2015     Views: 9

A: Before writing a counterargument, it's important to make sure that your topic has more than one side to it; for example, one could present reasonable arguments 'for' or 'against' the topic.
o In this case, the topic could be an argument used for a supporting paragraph, or even your thesis.
Next, consider your opposition's viewpoint. Where might your opposition disagree with you on the topic, and why? Those ideas will make up the counterargument. Be sure to not endorse the counterargument; phrase the counterargument in such a way as to be clear the counterargument is the viewpoint of your opposition.
o For example, 'others may say…' or 'Author X, on the other hand, states…'
Finally, write the rebuttal, which will refute or minimize the counterargument. You can use new evidence to either show why the counterargument is incorrect, or you can even concede to the counterargument, but use evidence to show why the counterargument isn't enough to invalidate your viewpoint.
EXAMPLES:
o Arguable thesis with more than one side: 'Because tuition and other costs related to school are increasing, living in the residence halls should not be mandatory.'
o Counterargument: 'However, some might say that mandatory on-campus housing is to the students' benefit. Sally Jones states in her article that students living on campus will be more social and involved.'
o Rebuttal: 'While that viewpoint may be true, there is nothing stopping an off-campus student from being involved on campus, and the student's convenience of living near campus activities isn't enough to offset the economic stress of living on campus.'

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