English 101

Four strategies for counter-arguments

The Argument assignment will take one of two forms:

  1. Writing about a single article, state whether the article is persuasive or not
  2. Writing about two articles, state which is more persuasive

In either case, you should rest your argument on the evidence and reasoning (assumptions) in the article(s).

In either case, your counter-argument should contradict the thesis.

Here are four different ways you can develop a counter-argument for this assignment.

  1. Find a new example of evidence from the article(s), that your paper has not already discussed, and use it as an example to show why some might disagree with your thesis.
  2. Re-interpret some of the evidence that your paper already discussed, explaining another way of looking at it that would, if true, contradict your thesis.
  3. Find an assumption in the article that your paper has not already discussed, and use it as an example to show why some might disagree with your thesis.
  4. Re-interpret one or more of the article's assumptions that your paper already discussed, explaining another way of looking at it (them) that shows why some might disagree with your thesis.

In all cases, be sure to watch out for these common mistakes in writing the counter-argument.