Is So! Is Not! Why Counterarguments Matter
In addition, addressing counterarguments adds ethos to your argument by showing that you have thought about other positions and aren't attempting to ignore them.
According to Delmar.edu, "one can acknowledge and even concede a point in counterargument without directly refuting it. For example, in an argument that girls should play competitive sports you might concede a point to an alternative perspective by saying
Of course, participation in sports is not the answer for all young women. Competitive sports can be cruel -- the losing, jealousy, raw competition, and intense personal criticism of one's performance. All athletes must learn to deal with these issues.There are some basic rules when constructing a counterargument:
- Acknowledge and represent accurately other interpretations
- Grant the validity of certain opposing points, even when they support an unacceptable conclusion
- Identify shared ground (when present)
- Indicate where you have enlarged your views to accommodate alternatives
- Use a respectful tone. (You defeat your purpose if you call those who oppose you "ignoramuses" or if you use belittling language.)"
Counterargument: While some may say that spending 25 percent of the federal budget is too high considering the many social problems we currently face in the United States, if we don't limit pollution it may cause widespread serious health problems and could lead to even more social problems like declining property values, the creation of ghettos because poor people who would be forced to live in polluted areas, and limited access to health care.Now you practice. Pick one of these thesis statements and write a counterargument.
1. America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars.
2. Hybrid cars that use both gasoline and electricity would decrease our country's dependence on foreign oil.
3. Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence.
4. The habit of bullying is caused by parental neglect.