ENG 101 Research Paper: Writing Counterarguments

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ENG 101 Research Paper: Writing Counterarguments

  1. 1. A counterargument offers the other side of the issue (if someone were to disagree with your thesis, what would he/she say?) and demonstrates why your claim is “better.” • The purpose of offering the other side is to show that you have done your research (by looking at this issue from all sides) and to strengthen your argument by weakening the opposition.
  2. 2. • The counterargument paragraph can be any body paragraph, but it typically works best as either the first or the last body paragraph. • If using an “although” clause in your thesis, having your counterargument first usually works best for organization and flow. • When conducting research, always try to find an article that disagrees with your claim or offers statistics that weaken your claim; you can then include this information and demonstrate its weakness. • Note that if you are having trouble finding an opposing view to your thesis, then you might not have a strong argument, and you should consider revising your thesis.
  3. 3. • • • • offer the “they say” concede to strengths of “they say” disprove (or weakens) the “they say” are often a separate paragraph(s) in essay
  4. 4. Example: Some would argue that if a student has graduated high school, then the high school has completed its task. While the goal of high school is to graduate, people who place the college dropout rate on colleges fail to realize that all high schools are not equal. Colleges are not all equal, either, but students at a college come from differing education levels. If high schools fail to offer college prep classes, students cannot be expected to perform as well as students who did have preparation for higher education.
  5. 5. Disproves or weakens “they say” Example: Some would argue that if a student has graduated high school, then the high school has completed its task. While the goal of high school is to graduate, people who place the college dropout rate on colleges fail to realize that all high schools are not equal. Colleges are not all equal, either, but students at a college come from differing education levels. If high schools fail to offer college prep classes, students cannot be expected to perform as well as students who did have preparation for higher education.
  6. 6. • The ENG 101 Guidebook, available at http://hgtc101guidebook.weebly.com, offers ways to organize an essay when including a counterargument.

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