Common Application Essay

Academic English argumentation

Date of publication: 2017-08-28 05:39

In a persuasive essay, the counterargument explores the views of the opposing side. For example, when a student crafts a thesis statement detailing her position on an issue, the counterargument should detail reasoning against her position.

Writing the Persuasive Essay

Persuasive writing is a fixture of modern life—found in advertising, newspaper editorials, blogs, and political speeches. Often persuasive writing assignments and test prompts concern contemporary issues, for example: “The school board is debating on whether or not to ban cell phone use in school. Write an essay convincing the board to adopt your position.” As shown in this persuasive writing prompt, the main purpose is not to inform, but to “persuade” or “convince” an audience (the school board) to think or act a certain way.

Sample Argument Essays

Addressing a counteragument is very persuasive because it shows your audience that you're thinking about their concerns. Even though you might not agree with them, you respect them enough to consider their side of the argument. The idea is to look at the key objections someone might have about your claim, assertion, or proposal. You address these concerns, thoughtfully rebutting (arguing against) each one.


A counterargument is a viewpoint that opposes your main argument. Counterarguments are part of good persuasive writing and speaking strategy because they show that you've considered other points of view. They also set up the chance to refute the opposition and show why your position is the right one to have. Placing a counterargument in your persuasive essay increases your ethos (credibility) because it shows fairness.

Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.

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Counter Argument Transitions This sample of counter argument transitions teaches a writer, how he can transition from one paragraph to another while writing an argument for and against a particular statement or topic. It explains the importance of quick transition lays importance on the usage of certain keywords which can help the writer to achieve logical progression of thoughts.

Example: I know some people might say they're too tired to do sports after school , but actually a good athletic work-out can be re-energizing .

So, how do we write a counterargument? Begin by expressing the counterargument objectively and give it more than just one or two sentences, because you want to be fair to the opposition. Avoid inflammatory language (calling the opposition 'foolish,' for example) and maybe declare that you understand their points. Next, go to work on the holes in their position. Attack the counterargument in a way that shows solid reasoning, because the last thing you want is to undermine your own thesis. What are the weaknesses and fallacies of the counterargument? Find these and state them clearly in neutral language. Refute their position with arguments that directly focus on the opposing claims.

It should be focused and the statement put thereon should be clear. Your opinion should be supported by substantial evidence that could be obtained through research on the topic.

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Another example of a thesis statement might be a claim that raising the driving age to 68 on a national level is important for highway safety. Again, a good approach for supporting this claim would be to find examples of states and countries where there's a direct correlation between older drivers and fewer accidents. A counterargument might be that many 66-year-olds need jobs, and without driver's licenses they may not be able to get to those jobs. You would then refute this argument.

A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in. Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion. Whether you're arguing against junk food at school or petitioning for a raise from your boss, the persuasive essay is a skill that everyone should know.

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