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Counter Argument Starters to Start Your Essays
Starting your essay with a counterargument is often one of the most difficult ways to begin an essay. This is due to the fact that you would need to introduce an alternative viewpoint that is in direct conflict to the initial stance provided.
Starting your essay by making a counterclaim in writing from the very first sentence may seem daunting, but you will find that it often provides a profound impact to the argumentative strength of your opposing claim.
In this article, we explore various useful counter argument starters and example phrases for you to incorporate into the first few sentences of your essay.
Best Way to Make a Counterargument or Counterclaim in Writing
To begin, a counterargument is an opposing argument to your opponent's view or stance. If we think back to the most memorable debates between politicians, we will notice that the politician will choose either to immediately provide a strong rebuttal, or choose to slowly break apart your opponent's argument.
Within the first few sentences of your essay, you will also be required to do the same. You must either provide a direct rebuttal to your opponent, or approach the counterargument by slowly breaking apart your opponent's argument.
Think back to the most memorable debates between politicians - notice that the politicians will either choose to immediately provide a strong rebuttal, or choose to slowly break apart your opponent's argument. You will also be required to do the same in your essay!
How to Write a Rebuttal
A rebuttal occurs when one person directly responds to another's argument. This is a more aggressive approach to making a counterargument, but can be very effective as it is clear and concise.
In order to execute a clear rebuttal, you first have to acknowledge your opponent’s viewpoint. This can be as easy as simply repeating the opponent’s viewpoint in a manner where you plant a seed of doubt in your mind of your reader or audience.
Example opening phrases to acknowledge your opponent’s viewpoint while planting a seed of doubt in your reader’s mind in a rebuttal could look like this:
- You may have heard that…
- Some may argue that…
- It has been claimed that…
- It is commonly believed that…
- It is understandable that most of us may consider that…
Below are refutation examples that immediately follow these opening sentences:
- You may have heard that… however, recent evidence actually demonstrates that…
- Some may argue that… In reality, this is not the case.
- It has been claimed that… however, there has been no evidence supporting this.
- It is commonly believed that… but is has been proven time and time again that…
- It is understandable that most of us may consider that… but it is simply because we choose to turn a blind eye to what is really happening behind the scenes?
Breaking Apart Your Opponent's Arguments through Counterclaims
Although a rebuttal is often more effective due to how concise your counterargument is, there may be situations where your opponent's viewpoint has merit to their claim. This may arise in instances where the discussion revolves around topics with no correct answer, as some elements of the argument from both parties may be justifiable. In this scenario, it would not be viable to immediately refute the opponent's viewpoint. Instead, you would look to break apart your opponent's argument through counterclaims.
Breaking apart your opponent's argument requires, again, to first acknowledge your claim your opponent has made. You will then respond with your counterclaim, which demonstrates that although your opponent’s claim may be justifiable, it is simply not robust enough for the reader or audience to make a final decision.
Example opening sentences to first acknowledge your opponent’s viewpoint followed by a counterclaim as a response:
- You may have a point in thinking that, and, to a certain degree this may be true…
- On one hand, you may say that… However, on the other hand…
- Although there has been cases where…. Contrary to this, it can be said that...
Further Phrases to Reaffirm your Rebuttal or Counterarguments
Lastly, whether you are writing a rebuttal or a counterargument, using the correct transitional phrases to lead into your writing can make a profound impact. Below is a selection of phrases useful in joining your responses that are able to reaffirm your arguments at the same time.
Examples of subtle emphasis through rephrasing:
- In other words
- In which case
- As a result of this
- To put it simply
- One could say
Examples of direct emphasis through incremental additions
- A perfect example as proof of this would be
- In reality, this can be seen in situations such as
- Unfortunately, the truth would be that
- Additionally, moreover, furthermore
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Alex Hills
Ninia Dilsiz on April 11, 2019:
Nice tips! I'm sure they will help me to improve my essay writing!