What is a counterargument?

With any argument or position, there are alternative or opposing positions. These opposing positions are called counterarguments. Think of it this way: if my argument is that dogs are better pets than cats because they are more social, but you argue that cats are better pets because they are more self-sufficient, your position is a counterargument to my position.

Why include a counterargument?

Including a counterargument paragraph when writing an argumentative paper shows your reader you know and understand that other positions exist, you have considered these, and you can respond to them. Doing this gives you credibility and can strengthen your own argument.

What is included in a counterargument paragraph?

Keep in mind that you must do more than simply identify an opposing position. When writing your counterargument paragraph, you should respond to that other position. In your paragraph:

  1. Identify the opposing argument.
  2. Respond to it by discussing the reasons the argument is incomplete, weak, unsound, or illogical.
  3. Provide examples or evidence to show why the opposing argument is unsound, or provide explanations of how the opposing argument is incomplete or illogical.
  4. Close by stating your own argument and why your argument is stronger than the identified counterargument.

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