The Study Blog : Tips

8 counter argument examples to help you write a strong essay.

By Evans Oct 26, 2020

A one-sided essay is like a beautiful dish with no flavor. Everyone looks at it, but nobody wants to partake of it. An essay presenting one side of a debate shows that you are not reasonable. Instead of persuading your readers, it ends up feeling like you’re just forcing an opinion on them. How do you change this? How do you make your essay interesting and persuasive? Counter argument! You heard me right. Using the counter argument is one of the best ways that you can strengthen your essay.

8 Counter argument examples to help you write a strong essay

Before we proceed further, what exactly is a counter-argument? An academic essay means that you need to come up with a thesis, a strong one at that, and even stronger points that support that particular thesis . You also need to come up with an argument that opposes your thesis. This is what we call a counter-argument. It is basically, an argument that is against your thesis.

Are tight deadlines, clashing assignments, and unclear tasks giving you sleepless nights?

Do not panic, hire a professional essay writer today.

What is the purpose of a counter-argument?

When writing an essay, especially to persuade, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your readers. What are they likely to think about your thesis? How can they possibly argue against it? What questions might they have against the idea you are trying to sell to them? A counter-argument allows you to creatively and wisely respond to these questions. A counter-argument clears any doubts that your reader may have on your argument. It also shows them that you are the bigger person by actually addressing arguments against your thesis.

Counter argument examples

Let’s say your argument is about getting the patient to consent to it, rather than have the doctors decide on it.

A reader might argue: a patient may be too sickly to even consent for euthanasia.

Refutal: you can refute the counter-argument by proving that it is possible to get a patient in the right frame long enough to sign the consent form.

Overprotective parents

Argument: overprotective parents often treat their grown-up children like babies. As a result, these children grow to be very dependent on the parents and unable to make decisions on their own.

Counter-argument: parents have seen more than their children. Protecting them from the problems they encountered saves the children from getting hurt.

Refutal: Though parents think that shielding their grown children protects them from the dangerous world, they only end up protecting children from living. As a result, if such a child makes a mistake, it might be very hard for them to recover from it.

Getting a dog as a pet for young children

Argument: getting a dog as a pet for younger children is not a very good idea as children may not understand how to take care of the dog.

Counter-argument: having a pet teaches the children responsibility.

Rebuttal: While it is true that having a pet can teach kids how to become more responsible, the fact remains that taking care of a pet is a full-time job. A pet is not like a toy that you can discard when tired of it. Young kids may not have the stamina or the time to take care of a pet.

Exposure to technology

Argument: Technology provides children with an amazing learning experience. Children who have been exposed to technology learn pretty first how to deal and respond to different situations better than students who have no exposure to technology.

You may also like: How to write a technology essay: tips, topics, and examples

Counter argument: early exposure to entertainment and violence affects the cognitive skills of a child.

Rebuttal: Although some form of technology may affect the cognitive skills of a child, it doesn’t mean that children should be kept away from technology. There are learning programs that provide a better learning experience as compared to formal education. Doing away with technology is not the answer. The answer is controlling what children are exposed to.

Argument: taking part in elections is not only a right but a responsibility that every citizen should participate in.

Counter-argument: It is better not to vote than vote in a corrupt person.

Rebuttal: While you might feel like not taking part in the voting process keeps you from the guilt of choosing the wrong person, the truth is that you only give other people the right to choose for you. This means that if a corrupt person gets in, you’re still responsible for not voting for a better candidate.

Argument: Smoking should not be allowed on campuses.

Counter-argument: smoking is not illegal, especially to someone above 18 years old. Since it is not illegal, students should be allowed to smoke within the campus vicinity.

Rebuttal: indeed, smoking is not illegal. However, smoking on campus can prove to be fatal especially to students with health issues such as asthma. It is widely known that smoking affects not just the person holding the cigar but everyone else around them. Therefore, to keep students safe, smoking should not be allowed on campus.

Animal testing

Argument: animals should not be used as test subjects.

Counter-argument: animals happen to be the best test method for health products

Rebuttal: While it is true that over the years animals have been used as test subjects, it doesn’t change the fact that these tests often subject animals to excruciating pain. Research shows that there are better alternatives that can be used, thereby saving animals from unnecessary pain.


Argument: Cyberbullying is a serious issue and therefore it is very important to understand how to protect yourself from cyberbullies.

Counter-argument: the victims do not need to learn how to protect themselves and use the internet fearfully. The internet should be made secure for every user and all cyberbullying should be put to jail.

Rebuttal: nobody deserves to be afraid while using the internet. However, while it is a very good idea to have all cyberbullies jailed, that remains to be just a dream. This is because almost everyone can be a cyber-bully at one point or another. It, therefore, remains your responsibility to protect yourself and also learn how to handle cyberbullying.

Earn Good Grades Without Breaking a Sweat

✔ We've helped over 1000 students earn better grades since 2017. ✔ 98% of our customers are happy with our service

counter argument essay sample

Final thoughts

As the examples show, a good persuasive essay should contain your thesis statement , a counter-argument, and a rebuttal of the counter-argument. This makes your essay strong, very persuasive, and with a very good flavor.

You may also like: The little secret why your friends are earning better grades

Popular services

The little secret why your friends are earning better grades.

Hire an Expert from our write my essay service and start earning good grades.

Can Someone Write My Paper for Me Online? Yes, We Can!

Research topics

Essay Topics

Popular articles

Six Proven ways to cheat Turnitin with Infographic

Understanding Philosophy of Nursing: Complete Guide With Examples

50+ Collection of the Most Controversial Argumentative Essay Topics

50+ Economics research Topics and Topic Ideas for dissertation

20+ Interesting Sociology research topics and Ideas for Your Next Project


Hire a professional academic writer today.

Each paper you order from us is of IMPECCABLE QUALITY and PLAGIARISM FREE

Use code PPH10 to get 10% discount. Terms and condition apply.

counter argument essay sample

Ready to hire a professional essay writer?

Each paper you receive from us is plagiarism-free and will fetch you a good grade. We are proud to have helped 10,000+ students achieve their academic dreams. Enjoy our services by placing your order today.

hire a professional essay writer

Write my paper

Do my assignment

Essay writing help

Research paper help

College homework help

Essay writing guide

College admission essay

Writing a research paper

Paper format for writing

Terms & conditions

Privacy Policy

Cookie Policy

Money-Back Guarantee

Our services

counter argument essay sample

Copyright © 2017 Paper Per Hour. All rights reserved.

helpful professor logo

25 Counterargument Examples

counterargument examples and definition, explained below

A counterargument is a response, rebuttal, or refutation of an argument with your own argument. Its purpose is to oppose and disprove a theory that someone else has put forward.

We use counterarguments extensively in debates as well as argumentative essay writing.

When teaching essay writing, I teach my students to always present counterarguments to their opponents’ points of view. This helps them to strengthen their own argument and demonstrate awareness of potential rebuttals.

Below are some methods, with examples, that could be used – be it in essay writing, debates, or any other communication genre.

Counterargument Examples

1. empirical challenges.

An empirical challenge is, simply, a rebuttal that challenges the facts presented by the opponent, showing that their facts are wrong and yours are right.

To undermine your opponent’s set of facts, it will be your job to present facts that show that the opponent’s supposed facts are wrong, perhaps due to misreading data or cherry-picking.

Then, you would need to present concrete information, data, or evidence that negates the claim or conclusion of an opponent’s argument.

The core strength of empirical challenges is in their reliance on hard facts and numbers, which are difficult to refute without equally credible opposing data.

Example of Empirical Challenge: If your opponent argues that global warming isn’t a serious issue, an empirical challenge would be to provide scientific data or research studies showing the increase in global temperatures and the harmful effects.

See Also: Empirical Evidence Examples

2. Challenging the Relevance

Challenging the relevance means questioning whether your opponent’s argument or perspective is applicable to the discussion at hand.

This sort of counter-argument seeks to destabilize your opponent’s view by showing that, while their facts or arguments might be sound in isolation, they do not bear any relation to, or are unfit for, the topic at hand, making them irrelevant.

The power of relevance challenge lays in its ability to destabilize your opponent’s argument without needing to directly dispute the truth of their claims.

Example of Challenging the Relevance: You will often find this argument when comparing the usefulness of various research methodologies for a research project. Multiple research methods may be valid, but there’s likely one that’s best for any given study.

See Also: Relevance Examples

3. Reductio ad absurdum

Reductio ad absurdum is a latin term that means reducing to the absurd . This method involves demonstrating the absurdity of an opponent’s argument by showing its illogical or extreme consequences.

The goal is to show that if the argument were valid, it would inevitably lead to senseless or ridiculous outcomes.

The application of reductio ad absurdum is especially effective in debates or discussions where flawed logic or hyperbolic statements are used to influence the audience’s opinion, as it discredits the credibility of the other person’s argument.

Example of Reductio ad absurdum : Consider a scenario where someone argues for the total removal of all regulations on vehicle speed to improve the efficiency of transportation. You can counter this argument through reductio ad absurdum by stating, “By that logic, let’s allow cars to travel at 200 miles per hour down residential streets. After all, it would make the mail delivery much faster!” It becomes evident that permitting extremely high speeds could lead to dangerous conditions and potential for disastrous accidents.

4. Pointing Out Logical Fallacies

The strategy of pointing out logical fallacies involves identifying and highlighting flaws in your opponent’s reasoning.

In a debate or discussion, logical fallacies are often subtle errors that lead to invalid conclusions or arguments.

By identifying these fallacies, you avoid being swayed by flawed reasoning and instead promote cognizant, logical thought.

Successful use of this strategy requires a good understanding of the different kinds of logical fallacies , such as straw man fallacies, ad hominem attacks, and appeals to ignorance.

Example of Pointing Out Logical Fallacies: Consider an argument where your opponent asserts, “All cats I’ve ever seen have been aloof, so all cats must be aloof.” This is a hasty generalization fallacy, where a conclusion about all members of a group is drawn from inadequate sample size.

5. Counterexamples

A counterexample is an example that opposes or contradicts an argument or theory proposed by another.

The use of a counterexample is a practical and powerful means of rebutting an argument or theory that has been presented as absolute or universally applicable.

When you provide a singular example that contradicts your opponent’s proposed theory, it demonstrates the theory isn’t universally true and therefore, weakens their argument.

However, this tactic requires sound knowledge and a good command of subject matter to be able to identify and present valid exceptions.

Example of Counterexamples: Consider an argument where someone states that “Mammals can’t lay eggs.” A solid counterexample would be the platypus, a mammal that does lay eggs. This single example is sufficient to contradict the universal claim.

6. Using Hypotheticals

Hypothetical situations, in essence, are imagined scenarios used to refute your opponent’s point of view. It’s, in essence, an example that is plausible, but not real.

Using hypotheticals assists in clarifying the ramifications of a particular argument, policy, or theory. When a hypothetical scenario effectively illustrates the flaws or shortcomings of your opponent’s viewpoint, it can completely unsettle their position.

However, care must be taken to frame the hypotheticals reasonably and realistically, lest they distort the argument or derail the conversation.

Example of Using Hypotheticals: If someone argues that raising the minimum wage will lead to job loss, you could counter with a hypothetical that if businesses paid their employees more, those employees would have more spending power, bolstering the economy and creating more jobs.

7. Comparison and Contrast

Comparison and contrast entails directly comparing your argument to your opponent’s, showing the strength of your perspective and the weakness of the opponent’s.

This tool allows you to support your arguments or disprove your opponent’s by using existing examples or situations that illustrate your point clearly.

The technique relies heavily on the logical thinking of comparing two or more entities in a manner that is informative, convincing, and significant to the argument.

Example of Comparison and Contrast: Let’s say, for instance, you are arguing against privatization of public utilities. You could compare the rates and services of private utilities to those of public ones showing that private companies often charge more for the same services, thereby supporting your argument against privatization.

See More: Compare and Contrast Examples

8. Challenging Biases

Challenging biases involves questioning the objectivity of your opponent’s argument by pointing out the predispositions that may influence their perspective.

Biases can greatly affect the validity and reliability of an argument because they can skew the interpretation of information and hinder fair judgement.

By challenging biases, you can expose the partiality in your opponent’s argument, thereby diminishing its credibility and persuasiveness.

However, it’s important to respectfully and tactfully challenge biases to prevent the discussion from turning into a personal attack.

Example of Challenging Biases: If your opponent is a staunch supporter of a political party and they provide an argument that solely favors this party, you could challenge their bias by questioning whether their support for the party is unduly influencing their viewpoint, hence the need for them to consider the opposing perspectives.

See More: List of Different Biases

9. Ethical Dispute

Ethical disputes involve challenging your opponent’s argument based on moral values or principles.

Ethics play a crucial role in shaping people’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions. Therefore, ethical disputes can serve as powerful counterarguments, especially in debates concerning sensitive or controversial topics.

If your opponent’s position contradicts generally accepted ethical norms or values, you can point this out to weaken their argument.

Just remember, ethics can occasionally be subjective and personal, so it’s important to approach ethical disputes with sensitivity and respect.

Example of Ethical Dispute: If your opponent supports factory farming based on economic benefits, you could challenge their argument by pointing out the ethical issues related to animal welfare and the environment.

10. Challenging the Source

Challenging the source is a tactic used to question the credibility or reliability of the information used by your opponent in their argument.

This technique focuses on examining the origin of the evidence presented, probing whether the source is credible, trusted, and free from bias.

To do this, I recommend using this media literacy framework .

If the source used by your opponent is flawed, biased or unreliable, their argument loses credibility, making your position stronger.

Example of Challenging the Source: If your opponent uses an obscure blog as their primary source of their argument on a scientific topic, you could challenge the source by questioning its credibility and offering information from reputable scientific journals instead.

See More: Good Sources for Essay Writing

A Full List of Methods for Counterargument

  • Empirical challenges
  • Challenging the relevance
  • Reductio ad absurdum
  • Pointing out logical fallacies
  • Counterexamples
  • Using hypotheticals
  • Comparison and contrast
  • Challenging biases
  • Ethical dispute
  • Challenging the source
  • Questioning assumptions
  • Slippery slope argument
  • Challenging a false dichtomy
  • Historical Precedent
  • Anecdotal Evidence
  • Challenging the Definition
  • Socratic Questioning
  • Highlighting Unintended Consequences
  • Appeal to Emotion
  • Challenging the Frame
  • Highlighting Inconsistencies
  • Challenging Completeness
  • Temporal Challenge
  • Offering alternative explanations
  • Exposing oversimplifications
  • Appeal to authority

Counterargument is an essential skill for debaters and essay writers. You need to be able to know and understand strategies for countering the arguments of your opponents to position your argument in the best light possible. To do this, we have to vectors of attack: First, you can undermine their arguments and demonstrate the flaws. Second, you can present your argument as stronger.

The key, however, is to ensure your arguments are as airtight and foolproof as possible to prevent effective rebuttals to your own counterarguments!


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 30 Globalization Pros and Cons

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

When you write an academic essay, you make an argument: you propose a thesis and offer some reasoning, using evidence, that suggests why the thesis is true. When you counter-argue, you consider a possible argument  against  your thesis or some aspect of your reasoning. This is a good way to test your ideas when drafting, while you still have time to revise them. And in the finished essay, it can be a persuasive and (in both senses of the word) disarming tactic. It allows you to anticipate doubts and pre-empt objections that a skeptical reader might have; it presents you as the kind of person who weighs alternatives before arguing for one, who confronts difficulties instead of sweeping them under the rug, who is more interested in discovering the truth than winning a point.

Not every objection is worth entertaining, of course, and you shouldn't include one just to include one. But some imagining of other views, or of resistance to one's own, occurs in most good essays. And instructors are glad to encounter counterargument in student papers, even if they haven't specifically asked for it.

The Turn Against

Counterargument in an essay has two stages: you turn against your argument to challenge it and then you turn back to re-affirm it. You first imagine a skeptical reader, or cite an actual source, who might resist your argument by pointing out

  • a problem with your demonstration, e.g., that a different conclusion could be drawn from the same facts, a key assumption is unwarranted, a key term is used unfairly, certain evidence is ignored or played down;
  • one or more disadvantages or practical drawbacks to what you propose;
  • an alternative explanation or proposal that makes more sense.

You introduce this turn against with a phrase like  One might object here that...  or  It might seem that...  or  It's true that...  or  Admittedly,...  or  Of course,...  or with an anticipated challenging question:  But how...?  or  But why...?  or  But isn't this just...?  or  But if this is so, what about...?  Then you state the case against yourself as briefly but as clearly and forcefully as you can, pointing to evidence where possible. (An obviously feeble or perfunctory counterargument does more harm than good.)

The Turn Back

Your return to your own argument—which you announce with a  but, yet, however, nevertheless or still —must likewise involve careful reasoning, not a flippant (or nervous) dismissal. In reasoning about the proposed counterargument, you may

  • refute it, showing why it is mistaken—an apparent but not real problem;
  • acknowledge its validity or plausibility, but suggest why on balance it's relatively less important or less likely than what you propose, and thus doesn't overturn it;
  • concede its force and complicate your idea accordingly—restate your thesis in a more exact, qualified, or nuanced way that takes account of the objection, or start a new section in which you consider your topic in light of it. This will work if the counterargument concerns only an aspect of your argument; if it undermines your whole case, you need a new thesis.

Where to Put a Counterargument

Counterargument can appear anywhere in the essay, but it most commonly appears

  • as part of your introduction—before you propose your thesis—where the existence of a different view is the motive for your essay, the reason it needs writing;
  • as a section or paragraph just after your introduction, in which you lay out the expected reaction or standard position before turning away to develop your own;
  • as a quick move within a paragraph, where you imagine a counterargument not to your main idea but to the sub-idea that the paragraph is arguing or is about to argue;
  • as a section or paragraph just before the conclusion of your essay, in which you imagine what someone might object to what you have argued.

But watch that you don't overdo it. A turn into counterargument here and there will sharpen and energize your essay, but too many such turns will have the reverse effect by obscuring your main idea or suggesting that you're ambivalent.

Counterargument in Pre-Writing and Revising

Good thinking constantly questions itself, as Socrates observed long ago. But at some point in the process of composing an essay, you need to switch off the questioning in your head and make a case. Having such an inner conversation during the drafting stage, however, can help you settle on a case worth making. As you consider possible theses and begin to work on your draft, ask yourself how an intelligent person might plausibly disagree with you or see matters differently. When you can imagine an intelligent disagreement, you have an arguable idea.

And, of course, the disagreeing reader doesn't need to be in your head: if, as you're starting work on an essay, you ask a few people around you what  they  think of topic X (or of your idea about X) and keep alert for uncongenial remarks in class discussion and in assigned readings, you'll encounter a useful disagreement somewhere. Awareness of this disagreement, however you use it in your essay, will force you to sharpen your own thinking as you compose. If you come to find the counterargument truer than your thesis, consider making  it  your thesis and turning your original thesis into a counterargument. If you manage to draft an essay  without  imagining a counterargument, make yourself imagine one before you revise and see if you can integrate it.

Gordon Harvey (adapted from The Academic Essay: A Brief Anatomy), for the Writing Center at Harvard University

counter argument essay sample

  • Walden University
  • Faculty Portal

Writing a Paper: Responding to Counterarguments

Basics of counterarguments.

When constructing an argument, it is important to consider any counterarguments a reader might make. Acknowledging the opposition shows that you are knowledgeable about the issue and are not simply ignoring other viewpoints. Addressing counterarguments also gives you an opportunity to clarify and strengthen your argument, helping to show how your argument is stronger than other arguments.

Incorporating counterarguments into your writing can seem counterintuitive at first, and some writers may be unsure how to do so. To help you incorporate counterarguments into your argument, we recommend following the steps: (a) identify, (b) investigate, (c) address, and (d) refine.

Identify the Counterarguments

First you need to identify counterarguments to your own argument. Ask yourself, based on your argument, what might someone who disagrees counter in response? You might also discover counterarguments while doing your research, as you find authors who may disagree with your argument.

For example, if you are researching the current opioid crisis in the United States, your argument might be: State governments should allocate part of the budget for addiction recovery centers in communities heavily impacted by the opioid crisis . A few counterarguments might be:

  • Recovery centers are not proven to significantly help people with addiction.
  • The state’s money should go to more pressing concerns such as...
  • Establishing and maintaining a recovery center is too costly.
  • Addicts are unworthy of assistance from the state. 

Investigate the Counterarguments

Analyze the counterarguments so that you can determine whether they are valid. This may require assessing the counterarguments with the research you already have or by identifying logical fallacies . You may also need to do additional research.

In the above list, the first three counterarguments can be researched. The fourth is a moral argument and therefore can only be addressed in a discussion of moral values, which is usually outside the realm of social science research. To investigate the first, you could do a search for research that studies the effectiveness of recovery centers. For the second, you could look at the top social issues in states around the country. Is the opioid crisis the main concern or are there others? For the third, you could look for public financial data from a recovery center or interview someone who works at one to get a sense of the costs involved. 

Address the Counterarguments

Address one or two counterarguments in a rebuttal. Now that you have researched the counterarguments, consider your response. In your essay, you will need to state and refute these opposing views to give more credence to your argument. No matter how you decide to incorporate the counterargument into your essay, be sure you do so with objectivity, maintaining a formal and scholarly tone . 

Considerations when writing:

  • Will you discredit the counteragument by bringing in contradictory research?
  • Will you concede that the point is valid but that your argument still stands as the better view? (For example, perhaps it is very costly to run a recovery center, but the societal benefits offset that financial cost.)
  • Placement . You can choose to place the counterargument toward the beginning of the essay, as a way to anticipate opposition, or you can place it toward the end of the essay, after you have solidly made the main points of your argument. You can also weave a counterargument into a body paragraph, as a way to quickly acknowledge opposition to a main point. Which placement is best depends on your argument, how you’ve organized your argument, and what placement you think is most effective.
  • Weight . After you have addressed the counterarguments, scan your essay as a whole. Are you spending too much time on them in comparison to your main points? Keep in mind that if you linger too long on the counterarguments, your reader might learn less about your argument and more about opposing viewpoints instead. 

Refine Your Argument

Considering counterarguments should help you refine your own argument, clarifying the relevant issues and your perspective. Furthermore, if you find yourself agreeing with the counterargument, you will need to revise your thesis statement and main points to reflect your new thinking. 

Templates for Responding to Counterarguments

There are many ways you can incorporate counterarguments, but remember that you shouldn’t just mention the counterargument—you need to respond to it as well. You can use these templates (adapted from Graff & Birkenstein, 2009) as a starting point for responding to counterarguments in your own writing.

  • The claim that _____ rests upon the questionable assumption that _____.
  • X may have been true in the past, but recent research has shown that ________.
  • By focusing on _____, X has overlooked the more significant problem of _____.
  • Although I agree with X up to a point, I cannot accept the overall conclusion that _____.
  • Though I concede that _____, I still insist that _____.
  • Whereas X has provided ample evidence that ____, Y and Z’s research on ____ and ____ convinces me that _____ instead.
  • Although I grant that _____, I still maintain that _____.
  • While it is true that ____, it does not necessarily follow that _____.

Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2009). They say/I say: The moves that matter in academic writing (2 nd ed.). Norton.

Didn't find what you need? Email us at [email protected] .

  • Previous Page: Addressing Assumptions
  • Next Page: Revising
  • Office of Student Disability Services

Walden Resources


  • Academic Residencies
  • Academic Skills
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Customer Care Team
  • Field Experience
  • Military Services
  • Student Success Advising
  • Writing Skills

Centers and Offices

  • Center for Social Change
  • Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services
  • Office of Degree Acceleration
  • Office of Research and Doctoral Services
  • Office of Student Affairs

Student Resources

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Form & Style Review
  • Quick Answers
  • ScholarWorks
  • SKIL Courses and Workshops
  • Walden Bookstore
  • Walden Catalog & Student Handbook
  • Student Safety/Title IX
  • Legal & Consumer Information
  • Website Terms and Conditions
  • Cookie Policy
  • Accessibility
  • Accreditation
  • State Authorization
  • Net Price Calculator
  • Contact Walden

Walden University is a member of Adtalem Global Education, Inc. Walden University is certified to operate by SCHEV © 2024 Walden University LLC. All rights reserved.

counter argument essay sample

Your version of Internet Explorer is either running in "Compatibility View" or is too outdated to display this site. If you believe your version of Internet Explorer is up to date, please remove this site from Compatibility View by opening Tools > Compatibility View settings (IE11) or clicking the broken page icon in your address bar (IE9, IE10)

counter argument essay sample

Missouri S&T Missouri S&T

  • Future Students
  • Current Students
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Online Resources
  • Writing Guides
  • Counter Arguments

Writing and Communication Center

  • 314 Curtis Laws Wilson Library, 400 W 14th St Rolla, MO 65409 United States
  • (573) 341-4436
  • [email protected]

Counter Argument

One way to strengthen your argument and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the issue you are discussing is to anticipate and address counter arguments, or objections. By considering opposing views, you show that you have thought things through, and you dispose of some of the reasons your audience might have for not accepting your argument. Ask yourself what someone who disagrees with you might say in response to each of the points you’ve made or about your position as a whole.

If you can’t immediately imagine another position, here are some strategies to try:

  • Do some research. It may seem to you that no one could possibly disagree with the position you are taking, but someone probably has. Look around to see what stances people have and do take on the subject or argument you plan to make, so that you know what environment you are addressing.
  • Talk with a friend or with your instructor. Another person may be able to play devil’s advocate and suggest counter arguments that haven’t occurred to you.
  • Consider each of your supporting points individually. Even if you find it difficult to see why anyone would disagree with your central argument, you may be able to imagine more easily how someone could disagree with the individual parts of your argument. Then you can see which of these counter arguments are most worth considering. For example, if you argued “Cats make the best pets. This is because they are clean and independent,” you might imagine someone saying “Cats do not make the best pets. They are dirty and demanding.”

Once you have considered potential counter arguments, decide how you might respond to them: Will you concede that your opponent has a point but explain why your audience should nonetheless accept your argument? Or will you reject the counterargument and explain why it is mistaken? Either way, you will want to leave your reader with a sense that your argument is stronger than opposing arguments.

Two strategies are available to incorporate counter arguments into your essay:


Refutation seeks to disprove opposing arguments by pointing out their weaknesses. This approach is generally most effective if it is not hostile or sarcastic; with methodical, matter-of-fact language, identify the logical, theoretical, or factual flaws of the opposition.

For example, in an essay supporting the reintroduction of wolves into western farmlands, a writer might refute opponents by challenging the logic of their assumptions:

Although some farmers have expressed concern that wolves might pose a threat to the safety of sheep, cattle, or even small children, their fears are unfounded. Wolves fear humans even more than humans fear wolves and will trespass onto developed farmland only if desperate for food. The uninhabited wilderness that will become the wolves’ new home has such an abundance of food that there is virtually no chance that these shy animals will stray anywhere near humans.

Here, the writer acknowledges the opposing view (wolves will endanger livestock and children) and refutes it (the wolves will never be hungry enough to do so).


Accommodation acknowledges the validity of the opposing view, but argues that other considerations outweigh it. In other words, this strategy turns the tables by agreeing (to some extent) with the opposition.

For example, the writer arguing for the reintroduction of wolves might accommodate the opposing view by writing:

Critics of the program have argued that reintroducing wolves is far too expensive a project to be considered seriously at this time. Although the reintroduction program is costly, it will only become more costly the longer it is put on hold. Furthermore, wolves will help control the population of pest animals in the area, saving farmers money on extermination costs. Finally, the preservation of an endangered species is worth far more to the environment and the ecological movement than the money that taxpayers would save if this wolf relocation initiative were to be abandoned.

This writer acknowledges the opposing position (the program is too expensive), agrees (yes, it is expensive), and then argues that despite the expense the program is worthwhile.

Some Final Hints

Don’t play dirty. When you summarize opposing arguments, be charitable. Present each argument fairly and objectively, rather than trying to make it look foolish. You want to convince your readers that you have carefully considered all sides of the issues and that you are not simply attacking or caricaturing your opponents.

Sometimes less is more. It is usually better to consider one or two serious counter arguments in some depth, rather than to address every counterargument.

Keep an open mind. Be sure that your reply is consistent with your original argument. Careful consideration of counter arguments can complicate or change your perspective on an issue. There’s nothing wrong with adopting a different perspective or changing your mind, but if you do, be sure to revise your thesis accordingly.

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons
  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

9.7.3: Counter Argument Paragraphs

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 20657

  • Athena Kashyap & Erika Dyquisto
  • City College of San Francisco via ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative


Counter-Argument Paragraphs

The purpose of a counter argument is to consider (and show that you are considering) perspectives other than your own. A counter-argument tears down other viewpoints; it does not build up your own, which you should do in separate paragraphs.

Placement of Counter-Arguments in an Essay

A counter argument can appear anywhere in the essay, but it most commonly appears:

  • As part of your introduction—before you propose your thesis—where the existence of a different view is the motive for your essay. This works if your entire essay will be a counter-argument and you are not building up your own argument.
  • As a section or paragraph just after your introduction, in which you lay out the expected reaction or standard position of opposing viewpoints before turning away to develop your own.
  • As a quick move within a paragraph, where you imagine a counter-argument not to your main idea but to the sub-idea that the paragraph is arguing or is about to argue.
  • As a section or paragraph just before the conclusion of your essay, in which you imagine what someone might object to in what you have argued. (However, this is really too late to be very effective in persuading someone to your position. It only shows you are considering other points of view.

Watch that you don't overdo it. A turn into counter argument here and there will sharpen and energize your essay, but too many such turns will have the reverse effect by obscuring your main idea or suggesting that you're ambivalent about your point of view. At the worst, it can sound like you are contradicting yourself. Writing a lead-in sentence with subordination or concession can help avoid this problem.

Example Counter-Argument

The following paragraph explains an opposing point of view to the writer's position in almost the whole paragraph. Words in bold italics explain the essential component of a counter-argument that a writer is doing in the following sentence(s).

The next paragraph is the counter-argument to the previous paragraph. Notice, however, that this count-argument does have some problems. The writer doesn't distinguish between public and private charter schools and also creates some logical fallacies in the process. Counter-arguments should be logically solid, cite sources, and argue logically.

At this point, the writer would then begin to argue their point of view with sub-claims and facts developed in a number of paragraphs to support their thesis.

If a writer is constructing an entire essay as a counter-argument, then the writer will need to fully develop multiple, well-supported arguments against the other point of view. The writer may also want to point out any logical flaws or other errors in the argument that they oppose.

Contributors and Attributions

  • Revision, Adaptation, and Original Content. Provided by: Libretexts. License: CC BY-SA 4.0: Attribution.

This page most recently updated on June 6, 2020.


A counterargument involves acknowledging standpoints that go against your argument and then re-affirming your argument. This is typically done by stating the opposing side’s argument, and then ultimately presenting your argument as the most logical solution. The counterargument is a standard academic move that is used in argumentative essays because it shows the reader that you are capable of understanding and respecting multiple sides of an argument.

Counterargument in two steps

Respectfully acknowledge evidence or standpoints that differ from your argument.

Refute the stance of opposing arguments, typically utilizing words like “although” or “however.”

In the refutation, you want to show the reader why your position is more correct than the opposing idea.

Where to put a counterargument

Can be placed within the introductory paragraph to create a contrast for the thesis statement.

May consist of a whole paragraph that acknowledges the opposing view and then refutes it.

  • Can be one sentence acknowledgements of other opinions followed by a refutation.

Why use a counterargument?

Some students worry that using a counterargument will take away from their overall argument, but a counterargument may make an essay more persuasive because it shows that the writer has considered multiple sides of the issue. Barnet and Bedau (2005) propose that critical thinking is enhanced through imagining both sides of an argument. Ultimately, an argument is strengthened through a counterargument.

Examples of the counterargument structure

  • Argument against smoking on campus:  Admittedly, many students would like to smoke on campus. Some people may rightly argue that if smoking on campus is not illegal, then it should be permitted; however, second-hand smoke may cause harm to those who have health issues like asthma, possibly putting them at risk.
  • Argument against animal testing:  Some people argue that using animals as test subjects for health products is justifiable. To be fair, animal testing has been used in the past to aid the development of several vaccines, such as small pox and rabies. However, animal testing for beauty products causes unneeded pain to animals. There are alternatives to animal testing. Instead of using animals, it is possible to use human volunteers. Additionally, Carl Westmoreland (2006) suggests that alternative methods to animal research are being developed; for example, researchers are able to use skin constructed from cells to test cosmetics. If alternatives to animal testing exist, then the practice causes unnecessary animal suffering and should not be used.

Harvey, G. (1999). Counterargument. Retrieved from argument

Westmoreland, C. (2006; 2007). “Alternative Tests and the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive.” Hester, R. E., & Harrison, R. M. (Ed.) Alternatives to animal testing (1st Ed.). Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Barnet, S., Bedau, H. (Eds.). (2006). Critical thinking, reading, and writing . Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Contributor: Nathan Lachner

logo for, an ESL website

English Current

ESL Lesson Plans, Tests, & Ideas

  • North American Idioms
  • Business Idioms
  • Idioms Quiz
  • Idiom Requests
  • Proverbs Quiz & List
  • Phrasal Verbs Quiz
  • Basic Phrasal Verbs
  • North American Idioms App
  • A(n)/The: Help Understanding Articles
  • The First & Second Conditional
  • The Difference between 'So' & 'Too'
  • The Difference between 'a few/few/a little/little'
  • The Difference between "Other" & "Another"
  • Check Your Level
  • English Vocabulary
  • Verb Tenses (Intermediate)
  • Articles (A, An, The) Exercises
  • Prepositions Exercises
  • Irregular Verb Exercises
  • Gerunds & Infinitives Exercises
  • Discussion Questions
  • Speech Topics
  • Argumentative Essay Topics
  • Top-rated Lessons
  • Intermediate
  • Upper-Intermediate
  • Reading Lessons
  • View Topic List
  • Expressions for Everyday Situations
  • Travel Agency Activity
  • Present Progressive with Mr. Bean
  • Work-related Idioms
  • Adjectives to Describe Employees
  • Writing for Tone, Tact, and Diplomacy
  • Speaking Tactfully
  • Advice on Monetizing an ESL Website
  • Teaching your First Conversation Class
  • How to Teach English Conversation
  • Teaching Different Levels
  • Teaching Grammar in Conversation Class
  • Members' Home
  • Update Billing Info.
  • Cancel Subscription
  • North American Proverbs Quiz & List
  • North American Idioms Quiz
  • Idioms App (Android)
  • 'Be used to'" / 'Use to' / 'Get used to'
  • Ergative Verbs and the Passive Voice
  • Keywords & Verb Tense Exercises
  • Irregular Verb List & Exercises
  • Non-Progressive (State) Verbs
  • Present Perfect vs. Past Simple
  • Present Simple vs. Present Progressive
  • Past Perfect vs. Past Simple
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • The Passive Voice
  • Subject & Object Relative Pronouns
  • Relative Pronouns Where/When/Whose
  • Commas in Adjective Clauses
  • A/An and Word Sounds
  • 'The' with Names of Places
  • Understanding English Articles
  • Article Exercises (All Levels)
  • Yes/No Questions
  • Wh-Questions
  • How far vs. How long
  • Affect vs. Effect
  • A few vs. few / a little vs. little
  • Boring vs. Bored
  • Compliment vs. Complement
  • Die vs. Dead vs. Death
  • Expect vs. Suspect
  • Experiences vs. Experience
  • Go home vs. Go to home
  • Had better vs. have to/must
  • Have to vs. Have got to
  • I.e. vs. E.g.
  • In accordance with vs. According to
  • Lay vs. Lie
  • Make vs. Do
  • In the meantime vs. Meanwhile
  • Need vs. Require
  • Notice vs. Note
  • 'Other' vs 'Another'
  • Pain vs. Painful vs. In Pain
  • Raise vs. Rise
  • So vs. Such
  • So vs. So that
  • Some vs. Some of / Most vs. Most of
  • Sometimes vs. Sometime
  • Too vs. Either vs. Neither
  • Weary vs. Wary
  • Who vs. Whom
  • While vs. During
  • While vs. When
  • Wish vs. Hope
  • 10 Common Writing Mistakes
  • 34 Common English Mistakes
  • First & Second Conditionals
  • Comparative & Superlative Adjectives
  • Determiners: This/That/These/Those
  • Check Your English Level
  • Grammar Quiz (Advanced)
  • Vocabulary Test - Multiple Questions
  • Vocabulary Quiz - Choose the Word
  • Verb Tense Review (Intermediate)
  • Verb Tense Exercises (All Levels)
  • Conjunction Exercises
  • List of Topics
  • Business English
  • Games for the ESL Classroom
  • Pronunciation
  • Teaching Your First Conversation Class
  • How to Teach English Conversation Class

Argumentative Essays: The Counter-Argument & Refutation

An argumentative essay presents an argument for or against a topic. For example, if your topic is working from home , then your essay would either argue in favor of working from home (this is the for  side) or against working from home.

Like most essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction that ends with the writer's position (or stance) in the thesis statement .

Introduction Paragraph

(Background information....)

  • Thesis statement : Employers should give their workers the option to work from home in order to improve employee well-being and reduce office costs.

This thesis statement shows that the two points I plan to explain in my body paragraphs are 1) working from home improves well-being, and 2) it allows companies to reduce costs. Each topic will have its own paragraph. Here's an example of a very basic essay outline with these ideas:

  • Background information

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence : Workers who work from home have improved well-being .
  • Evidence from academic sources

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic Sentence : Furthermore, companies can reduce their expenses by allowing employees to work at home .
  • Summary of key points
  • Restatement of thesis statement

Does this look like a strong essay? Not really . There are no academic sources (research) used, and also...

You Need to Also Respond to the Counter-Arguments!

The above essay outline is very basic. The argument it presents can be made much stronger if you consider the counter-argument , and then try to respond (refute) its points.

The counter-argument presents the main points on the other side of the debate. Because we are arguing FOR working from home, this means the counter-argument is AGAINST working from home. The best way to find the counter-argument is by reading research on the topic to learn about the other side of the debate. The counter-argument for this topic might include these points:

  • Distractions at home > could make it hard to concentrate
  • Dishonest/lazy people > might work less because no one is watching

Next, we have to try to respond to the counter-argument in the refutation (or rebuttal/response) paragraph .

The Refutation/Response Paragraph

The purpose of this paragraph is to address the points of the counter-argument and to explain why they are false, somewhat false, or unimportant. So how can we respond to the above counter-argument? With research !

A study by Bloom (2013) followed workers at a call center in China who tried working from home for nine months. Its key results were as follows:

  • The performance of people who worked from home increased by 13%
  • These workers took fewer breaks and sick-days
  • They also worked more minutes per shift

In other words, this study shows that the counter-argument might be false. (Note: To have an even stronger essay, present data from more than one study.) Now we have a refutation.

Where Do We Put the Counter-Argument and Refutation?

Commonly, these sections can go at the beginning of the essay (after the introduction), or at the end of the essay (before the conclusion). Let's put it at the beginning. Now our essay looks like this:

Counter-argument Paragraph

  • Dishonest/lazy people might work less because no one is watching

Refutation/Response Paragraph

  • Study: Productivity  increased by 14%
  • (+ other details)

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic Sentence : In addition, people who work from home have improved well-being .

Body Paragraph 4

The outline is stronger now because it includes the counter-argument and refutation. Note that the essay still needs more details and research to become more convincing.

Working from home

Working from home may increase productivity.

Extra Advice on Argumentative Essays

It's not a compare and contrast essay.

An argumentative essay focuses on one topic (e.g. cats) and argues for or against it. An argumentative essay should not have two topics (e.g. cats vs dogs). When you compare two ideas, you are writing a compare and contrast essay. An argumentative essay has one topic (cats). If you are FOR cats as pets, a simplistic outline for an argumentative essay could look something like this:

  • Thesis: Cats are the best pet.
  • are unloving
  • cause allergy issues
  • This is a benefit >  Many working people do not have time for a needy pet
  • If you have an allergy, do not buy a cat.
  • But for most people (without allergies), cats are great
  • Supporting Details

Use Language in Counter-Argument That Shows Its Not Your Position

The counter-argument is not your position. To make this clear, use language such as this in your counter-argument:

  • Opponents might argue that cats are unloving.
  • People who dislike cats would argue that cats are unloving.
  • Critics of cats could argue that cats are unloving.
  • It could be argued that cats are unloving.

These  underlined phrases make it clear that you are presenting  someone else's argument , not your own.

Choose the Side with the Strongest Support

Do not choose your side based on your own personal opinion. Instead, do some research and learn the truth about the topic. After you have read the arguments for and against, choose the side with the strongest support as your position.

Do Not Include Too Many Counter-arguments

Include the main (two or three) points in the counter-argument. If you include too many points, refuting these points becomes quite difficult.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

- Matthew Barton / Creator of

Additional Resources :

  • Writing a Counter-Argument & Refutation (Richland College)
  • Language for Counter-Argument and Refutation Paragraphs (Brown's Student Learning Tools)

EnglishCurrent is happily hosted on Dreamhost . If you found this page helpful, consider a donation to our hosting bill to show your support!

23 comments on “ Argumentative Essays: The Counter-Argument & Refutation ”

Thank you professor. It is really helpful.

Can you also put the counter argument in the third paragraph

It depends on what your instructor wants. Generally, a good argumentative essay needs to have a counter-argument and refutation somewhere. Most teachers will probably let you put them anywhere (e.g. in the start, middle, or end) and be happy as long as they are present. But ask your teacher to be sure.

Thank you for the information Professor

how could I address a counter argument for “plastic bags and its consumption should be banned”?

For what reasons do they say they should be banned? You need to address the reasons themselves and show that these reasons are invalid/weak.

Thank you for this useful article. I understand very well.

Thank you for the useful article, this helps me a lot!

Thank you for this useful article which helps me in my study.

Thank you, professor Mylene 102-04

it was very useful for writing essay

Very useful reference body support to began writing a good essay. Thank you!

Really very helpful. Thanks Regards Mayank

Thank you, professor, it is very helpful to write an essay.

It is really helpful thank you

It was a very helpful set of learning materials. I will follow it and use it in my essay writing. Thank you, professor. Regards Isha

Thanks Professor

This was really helpful as it lays the difference between argumentative essay and compare and contrast essay.. Thanks for the clarification.

This is such a helpful guide in composing an argumentative essay. Thank you, professor.

This was really helpful proof, thankyou!

Thanks this was really helpful to me

This was very helpful for us to generate a good form of essay

thank you so much for this useful information.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How To Write A Counter Argument In An Essay

Steps of how to effectively design and write a counter argument.

Has your professor asked you to include a counterargument in your next assignment? Are you puzzled about where to start and what to write? If you wonder how to write a counter argument essay, worry not. Many students struggle to come up with the right standpoints in their papers, so we’ve decided to lend you a hand.

Expressing conflicting positions on a hot topic is a critical skill in the academic world. In short, you need a well-grounded contradicting stance with supporting facts to refute the opponent’s opinion. Keep reading to find out how.

What Is A Counterargument In An Essay – The Definition

Counter arguments should clear any doubts readers might have about your positions. Moreover, the purpose of an opposing argument is to offer a reason to disagree with the thesis statement. Whether you include it in the introduction or dedicate an entire paragraph to it, your counter argument shows that you’re aware that various views exist.

Addressing claims against your main standpoints makes you savvier, and your paper well-structured and substantiated. Since your  argument essay outline will urge your readers to agree with your claim, it’s advisable to mention a reason to believe differently.

Why Are Counterarguments Important

By incorporating a contradicting standpoint in your assignment, you demonstrate that:  

  •       You are knowledgeable about the topic and know how to back up your thoughts.
  •       You have researched the subject matter well and can tackle alternative views.
  •       You don’t underestimate opinions that clash with yours.
  •       You don’t stick to your perspectives blindly but are ready to discuss opposing ideas.
  •       You aren’t biased but have come to the ultimate standpoint through reasoning.
  •       You solidify your arguments and give them credibility.

How To Start A Counterargument

This segment will alert readers that a different stand from the thesis follows. So how to write a counterargument paragraph? The beginning of the denial section should explicitly or implicitly tell whoever’s reading to prepare for a contradiction. Omitting hints about the rebuttal in the paper will make it look one-sided and blunt.

So, how do you start the segment containing the counter argument? When you write your argumentative essay , ensure you include relevant starters and transitions. These may be a single word, a phrase, or an entire sentence supporting the overall statement.  

Counter Argument Starters

Let’s discuss the possible phrases you can use to introduce the counter argument. Here are a few starters that inform whoever’s reading to expect a change of direction:

  •       However, yet, but
  •       Even though/although
  •       In spite of/despite the fact that
  •       On the contrary
  •       On the other side/hand
  •       A possible concern/problem is
  •       Conversely, in contrast

Another approach that arouses interest is to use a rhetorical question. For instance, try the following starting phrases:

  •       Wouldn’t it be better if…?
  •       But, what if…?
  •       Nonetheless, how can this be true…?

Similarly, you may take an indirect stance and present the counterviews of others to express your opinion. For example, say this:

  •       However, scientists claim that
  •       Yet, many people believe that
  •       On the other hand, students stand for
  •       Critics say that

Transition Words

Choosing the right counter argument starter is just a part of the equation. A coherently written assignment requires you to use transitions that make the argument flow smooth. Even the best custom essay writing service will fail its purpose if it lacks linking phrases.

Coordinating transitions ease the reading process by linking ideas into a cohesive whole. These phrases show that two things are alike or that you add extra information along the same lines. Here are a few relevant examples:

  •       What is more
  •       Not to mention
  •       Likewise
  •       Then again
  •       On top of that
  •       Not only
  •       Additionally
  •       Furthermore

Why Include A Counterargument In An Argumentative Essay?

Including a counter argument in your essay will make your written piece more convincing. Though you may think this approach will weaken your position or undermine your claim, this isn’t true. On the contrary, by doing so, you respectfully acknowledge evidence or standpoints that differ from your argument.

Some students believe a counter argument will lead the readers away from the main claim. However, any top-notch argumentative essay writer service will include it because it demonstrates the issue was elaborated from multiple perspectives. Finally, you enhance critical thinking by presenting both sides of the problem.

Example Of Counter Argument Paragraph

Below, we share a relevant example of an argument on a specific topic with guidance on avoiding writing an irrelevant counter argument.

The argument:

Many students prefer to smoke on college campuses. They often argue that authorities can’t ban smoking on campus if it isn’t illegal.

Ineffective counter argument:

However, the college management is the ultimate decision-maker and can prohibit whatever they deem harmful on campus.

This counter argument is useless because even if the college management has the right to impose bans, it can’t disregard students’ requirements on all grounds.

So, how to write an argumentative essay with a relevant counter argument? Check the suggestion below.

Effective counter argument:

Yet, second-hand smoke can harm people in the vicinity that suffer from conditions like asthma, thus putting them at risk of health deterioration.

This example will achieve its primary purpose – discuss the other perspective openly. You may disagree with this view but demonstrate you’re aware that some people might take a different standpoint. And they have every right to because no issue is one-sided. In the second example, the reader can see how students smoking on campus might harm those around.

How To Respond To A Counterargument: The Refutation

Among other things, you must address the counterviews in your written piece with a rebuttal . Stating and refuting the contradicting idea is critical if you want to give credence to your standpoint . No matter how and where you incorporate the rebuttal, do it objectively by maintaining a formal and scholarly tone.

The best approach is to oppose the counter opinion logically by considering these questions:

  •       Will you discredit the different perspectives by bringing in contradictory research?
  •       Will you say that the other point is valid but that your argument is more relevant by means of comparison?

Responding to these questions and taking a specific route will refine your stance and clarify the issues considered. Moreover, if you suddenly agree with the counter opinion, revise your statement and main points to reflect your new thinking.

Common Mistakes And Fallacies To Avoid While Writing Opposing Arguments

Keep these things in mind when you write argumentative essays, and avoid them as much as possible:

  •       You haven’t done research on the multiple perspectives on the topic.
  •       You don’t include supporting ideas for the positions against your thesis.
  •       You dedicate too much space and attention to contradicting reasons.
  •       You don’t bring up a different perspective in the introduction but keep to your opinion only.
  •       Your line of thought is incoherent, and you constantly switch standpoints throughout the paper.
  •       You use offensive or biased language to refute the opponent’s viewpoint.
  •       You believe the opponent’s stance is wrong and don’t give it credit.
  •       Besides having a strong argument , you make the counterview weak and ineffective.
  •       You can’t explain how your position responds to the contradicting idea.
  •       If you aren’t a rhetoric expert, avoid using sarcasm and satire.

Bottom Line

When writing your work, you might decide to include a sentence or a whole segment that presents a denial statement. Whatever your choice, use a specific layout to express your views clearly and accurately. It is important to remember that for urgent essay writing , the need for incorporating counterargument examples is even more critical to ensure a well-substantiated and persuasive written piece. Therefore, it is essential to consider both sides of the argument when constructing your response.

Hopefully, this post helps you understand what is a counterargument and how to write a counterargument. Provided you follow the tips outlined above, it won’t take long to polish your work. If you have any concerns about your writing assignment, always ask your teacher for support.

Do Synthesis Essays Need A Counter Argument?

Yes, ensure you include a counter argument and oppose it to justify your viewpoint. It’s best to place it in the first body segment of your synthesis essay. By doing so, you show your capacity to appreciate different opinions than yours.

Does An Argumentative Essay Need A Counter Argument?

Yes, argumentative papers should contain a well-presented contradicting idea than the one expressed in the thesis. Taking a single standpoint doesn’t add value to your work because readers with a different opinion will see it as biased and unfair.

Where Does The Counterargument Go In An Essay?

One idea is to write it in the introduction to create a contrast for the main claim. Alternatively, you may explain the contradictory opinion in one section that acknowledges the idea and then discredit it. It is often better to place it before your opinion to end the paper on a positive note that supports your perspective.

Related posts:

  • 6 Step Process for Essay Writing
  • How to Write an Appendix for a Research Paper: Step-by-Step Guide
  • How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  • Footnotes 101: A Guide to Proper Formatting

Improve your writing with our guides

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Definition Essay: The Complete Guide with Essay Topics and Examples

Definition Essay: The Complete Guide with Essay Topics and Examples

Critical Essay: The Complete Guide. Essay Topics, Examples and Outlines

Critical Essay: The Complete Guide. Essay Topics, Examples and Outlines

Get 15% off your first order with edusson.

Connect with a professional writer within minutes by placing your first order. No matter the subject, difficulty, academic level or document type, our writers have the skills to complete it.

100% privacy. No spam ever.

counter argument essay sample

How to Write a Counter Argument: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feeling behind on ai.

You're not alone. The Neuron is a daily AI newsletter that tracks the latest AI trends and tools you need to know. Join 400,000+ professionals from top companies like Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce and more. 100% FREE.

A counter argument is a crucial element in debates and persuasive essays. It adds depth and complexity to an argument by considering different perspectives and opposing viewpoints. Incorporating a counter argument strengthens your position, demonstrates logical reasoning, and shows that you have critically evaluated the topic. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to writing a compelling counter argument.

Understanding Counter Arguments

Definition of a counter argument.

Before delving into the specifics of writing a counter argument, it's important to understand what it is. A counter argument is an opposing argument to the one you are presenting. It's a statement that challenges or disagrees with your main argument. It's not simply a contradiction, but an informed and well-supported statement that offers a contrasting viewpoint.

For example, if you were arguing in favor of stricter gun control laws, a counter argument might be that such laws infringe upon an individual's Second Amendment rights. This counter argument acknowledges the opposing viewpoint and presents a valid argument against your position.

It's important to note that counter arguments should not be dismissed or ignored. Rather, they should be addressed and refuted with evidence and logical reasoning.

Importance of Counter Arguments in Debates and Essays

Counter arguments are essential in debates and persuasive essays as they provide an opportunity to explore the topic from different angles, anticipate objections, refute opposing views, and strengthen your own argument. They show that you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic and have considered all perspectives.

Furthermore, counter arguments can actually strengthen your own argument. By addressing and refuting opposing views, you demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched the topic and have a deep understanding of the subject matter. This can lend credibility to your argument and make it more persuasive.

Additionally, including counter arguments in your writing shows that you are open-minded and willing to consider different viewpoints. This can help you connect with readers who may have differing opinions and increase the likelihood that they will be receptive to your argument.

In conclusion, understanding and effectively utilizing counter arguments is an important aspect of persuasive writing. By acknowledging opposing viewpoints and addressing them with evidence and logic, you can strengthen your own argument and make it more persuasive.

Identifying the Main Argument

When it comes to writing a counter argument, the first step is to identify the main argument that you are opposing. This may seem like an easy task, but it can be quite challenging, especially if the argument is complex. The main argument is usually found in the thesis statement of the essay or debate. The thesis statement is a concise summary of the author's main argument or position. It is the backbone of the entire piece of writing and sets the tone for the rest of the essay or debate.

Analyzing the Thesis Statement

Once you have located the thesis statement, it is important to analyze it carefully. You need to understand what the author is trying to argue and what position they are taking. This will help you to form a clear and concise counter argument. To analyze the thesis statement, you should ask yourself a series of questions. What is the author's main argument? What evidence do they use to support their argument? What assumptions do they make? What are the implications of their argument?

By answering these questions, you will gain a deeper understanding of the author's position and be better equipped to craft a persuasive counter argument.

Recognizing Supporting Points

Once you have a clear understanding of the author's main argument, it is time to identify the supporting points that they present in the essay or debate. Supporting points are the specific examples, facts, or statistics that the author uses to bolster their main argument. By recognizing these supporting points, you will be able to evaluate the strength of the opposing argument and determine which points you need to address in your counter argument.

It is important to note that not all supporting points are created equal. Some may be more convincing than others, and some may be based on faulty reasoning or incomplete information. It is your job as the counter argument writer to carefully evaluate each supporting point and determine its validity.

In conclusion, identifying the main argument and recognizing supporting points are crucial steps in writing a strong counter argument. By taking the time to analyze the thesis statement and evaluate the supporting points, you will be able to craft a persuasive and effective counter argument that challenges the author's position and offers a compelling alternative viewpoint.

Researching Opposing Views

Finding credible sources.

Once you have analyzed the main argument, it's time to research different perspectives and opposing views. This will help you to build a more comprehensive understanding of the topic and to find evidence to support your own counter argument. It's important to find credible sources that are reliable and unbiased.

Evaluating the Strength of Opposing Arguments

When conducting research, it's important to evaluate the strength of the opposing arguments. This will help you to anticipate objections and strengthen your own counter argument. Evaluate the evidence presented in the opposing argument and consider its relevance, reliability, and strength.

Formulating Your Counter Argument

Addressing the opposing view.

The first step in formulating your counter argument is to address the opposing view. This means acknowledging the main argument and explaining why you disagree with it. Be clear and concise in your explanation and support your position with evidence and logic.

Providing Evidence to Support Your Counter Argument

Once you have addressed the opposing view, it's time to provide evidence to support your own counter argument. This could include statistics, expert opinions, case studies, or personal experiences. Make sure that your evidence is credible and relevant to the topic at hand.

Demonstrating Logical Reasoning

It's essential to demonstrate logical reasoning in your counter argument. This means explaining the logical steps you have taken to arrive at your position and using clear and concise language to articulate your views. Avoid emotional language and stick to the facts to make your argument more persuasive.

Incorporating Counter Arguments in Your Writing

Choosing the right placement.

The placement of your counter argument is crucial to its effectiveness. You should place it in a strategic location in your essay or debate where it will have the most impact. This could be at the beginning of the essay, in the body paragraphs, or at the end of the essay.

Balancing Your Argument and Counter Argument

It's important to strike a balance between your main argument and your counter argument. Your counter argument should not overwhelm your main argument, but rather enhance it. Make sure that your counter argument is presented in a way that is respectful to the opposing view and that it strengthens your own position.

Using Transitions for Clarity and Flow

Finally, use transitions to ensure that your counter argument flows smoothly and is easy to follow. Transitions are words or phrases that connect ideas and paragraphs, making your argument more cohesive. Examples of transitions include "however," "on the other hand," "in contrast," and "nevertheless."

ChatGPT Prompt for Writing a Counter Argument

Use the following prompt in an AI chatbot . Below each prompt, be sure to provide additional details about your situation. These could be scratch notes, what you'd like to say or anything else that guides the AI model to write a certain way.

Compose a written response that presents a viewpoint opposing the original argument, providing evidence and reasoning to support your position.


By following these steps, you can write a compelling counter argument that adds depth and complexity to your essay or debate. A strong counter argument shows that you have thoroughly researched the topic, evaluated all perspectives, and arrived at a logical and well-supported position. Use these guidelines to write a counter argument that is convincing, well-reasoned, and enhances your overall argument.

You Might Also Like...

Logo for Pressbooks @ Howard Community College

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

21 Argument, Counterargument, & Refutation

In academic writing, we often use an Argument essay structure. Argument essays have these familiar components, just like other types of essays:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs

But Argument essays also contain these particular elements:

  • Debatable thesis statement in the Introduction
  • Argument – paragraphs which show support for the author’s thesis (for example: reasons, evidence, data, statistics)
  • Counterargument – at least one paragraph which explains the opposite point of view
  • Concession – a sentence or two acknowledging that there could be some truth to the Counterargument
  • Refutation (also called Rebuttal) – sentences which explain why the Counterargument is not as strong as the original Argument

Consult  Introductions & Titles for more on writing debatable thesis statements and  Paragraphs ~ Developing Support for more about developing your Argument.

Imagine that you are writing about vaping. After reading several articles and talking with friends about vaping, you decide that you are strongly opposed to it.

Which working thesis statement would be better?

  • Vaping should be illegal because it can lead to serious health problems.

Many students do not like vaping.

Because the first option provides a debatable position, it is a better starting point for an Argument essay.

Next, you would need to draft several paragraphs to explain your position. These paragraphs could include facts that you learned in your research, such as statistics about vapers’ health problems, the cost of vaping, its effects on youth, its harmful effects on people nearby, and so on, as an appeal to logos . If you have a personal story about the effects of vaping, you might include that as well, either in a Body Paragraph or in your Introduction, as an appeal to pathos .

A strong Argument essay would not be complete with only your reasons in support of your position. You should also include a Counterargument, which will show your readers that you have carefully researched and considered both sides of your topic. This shows that you are taking a measured, scholarly approach to the topic – not an overly-emotional approach, or an approach which considers only one side. This helps to establish your ethos as the author. It shows your readers that you are thinking clearly and deeply about the topic, and your Concession (“this may be true”) acknowledges that you understand other opinions are possible.

Here are some ways to introduce a Counterargument:

  • Some people believe that vaping is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes.
  • Critics argue that vaping is safer than conventional cigarettes.
  • On the other hand, one study has shown that vaping can help people quit smoking cigarettes.

Your paragraph would then go on to explain more about this position; you would give evidence here from your research about the point of view that opposes your own opinion.

Here are some ways to begin a Concession and Refutation:

  • While this may be true for some adults, the risks of vaping for adolescents outweigh its benefits.
  • Although these critics may have been correct before, new evidence shows that vaping is, in some cases, even more harmful than smoking.
  • This may have been accurate for adults wishing to quit smoking; however, there are other methods available to help people stop using cigarettes.

Your paragraph would then continue your Refutation by explaining more reasons why the Counterargument is weak. This also serves to explain why your original Argument is strong. This is a good opportunity to prove to your readers that your original Argument is the most worthy, and to persuade them to agree with you.

Activity ~ Practice with Counterarguments, Concessions, and Refutations

A. Examine the following thesis statements with a partner. Is each one debatable?

B. Write  your own Counterargument, Concession, and Refutation for each thesis statement.

Thesis Statements:

  • Online classes are a better option than face-to-face classes for college students who have full-time jobs.
  • Students who engage in cyberbullying should be expelled from school.
  • Unvaccinated children pose risks to those around them.
  • Governments should be allowed to regulate internet access within their countries.

Is this chapter:

…too easy, or you would like more detail? Read “ Further Your Understanding: Refutation and Rebuttal ” from Lumen’s Writing Skills Lab.

Note: links open in new tabs.

reasoning, logic

emotion, feeling, beliefs

moral character, credibility, trust, authority

goes against; believes the opposite of something

ENGLISH 087: Academic Advanced Writing Copyright © 2020 by Nancy Hutchison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 3 strong argumentative essay examples, analyzed.

author image

General Education


Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.


Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.


Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.


3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

What's Next?

Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!

You'll probably also need to write research papers for school. We've got you covered with 113 potential topics for research papers.

Your college admissions essay may end up being one of the most important essays you write. Follow our step-by-step guide on writing a personal statement to have an essay that'll impress colleges.

author image

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

counter argument essay sample

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”


Counter Argument

counter argument essay sample

In the realm of persuasive writing, crafting a strong argument is essential to sway the audience’s perspective. However, to truly excel in the art of rhetoric, one must also be adept at presenting counterarguments. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of counter-arguments, exploring their definition, step-by-step guide, and addressing frequently asked questions. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or seeking to enhance your argumentative skills, this comprehensive resource will equip you with the necessary tools to construct compelling counter-arguments.

1. Argumentative Essay Example

Argumentative Essay Format Template

2. Simple Argumentative Essay Example

argumentative essay

Size: 200 KB

3. Counter Argument Essay Example

counter Argument Essay

Size: 167 KB

4. Persuasive Essay Example

persuasive essay

Size: 205 KB

5. Counter Argument Outline Example

counter Argument Outline

Size: 392 KB

6. Counter Argument Rebuttal Example

counter Argument rebuttal

Size: 204 KB

7. Counter Argument Paragraph Example

counter Argument paragraph

Size: 189 KB

8. Counter Argument Starters Example

counter Argument starters

Size: 72 KB

9. Counter Argument Concession Example

counter Argument concession

Size: 120 KB

10. Counter Argument Debate Example

counter Argument debate

Size: 139 KB

11. Position Paper Example

position paper

Size: 73 KB

12. Counter Argument Transition Example

counter Argument transition

Size: 188 KB

13. Counter Argument Research Paper Example

counter Argument research paper

Size: 282 KB

14. Counter Argument Thesis Statement Example

counter Argument thesis statement

15. Counter Argument Essay Structure Example

counter Argument essay structure

Size: 152 KB

16. Counter Argument Opinion Essay Example

counter Argument opinion essay

Size: 175 KB

17. Counter Argument Synthesis Essay Example

counter Argument synthesis essay

Size: 96 KB

18. Counter Argument Writing Example

counter Argument writing

Size: 14 KB

19. Counter Argument Social Media Example

counter Argument social media

Size: 207 KB

20. Counter Argument Counterclaim Example

counter Argument counterclaim

Size: 160 KB

21. Counter Argument Format

Counter Argument Format

Size: 130 KB

22. Teaching Counter Argument Example

Teaching Counter Argument

Size: 119 KB

23. Counter Argument Example

Counter Argument Example

Size: 404 KB

24. Counter Argument Refutation Example

Counter Argument Refutation

Size: 142 KB

25. Counter Argument Activity Example

Counter Argument Activity

Size: 12 KB

26. Simple Counter Argument Example

Simple Counter Argument

Size: 41 KB

27. Counter Argument Worksheet Example

Counter Argument Worksheet

Size: 24 KB

28. Printable Counter Argument Example

Printable Counter Argument

Size: 106 KB

29. Counter Argument Conclusion Example

counter Argument conclusion

Size: 920 KB

30. Counter Argument in PDF

Counter Argument in PDF

Size: 112 KB

What is a Counter Argument?

A counter-argument, often employed in an argument essay , is a powerful literary device used to challenge and refute opposing viewpoints. It serves as a potent means to anticipate and address potential objections that may arise in the minds of the audience. By acknowledging alternative perspectives and presenting well-reasoned counterpoints, writers can strengthen their own argument, adding depth and credibility to their discourse. Effective counterarguments showcase the writer’s ability to analyze multiple angles, fostering a more comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

How to Write a Counter Argument

Mastering the skill of crafting compelling counter-arguments requires a systematic approach. By following these steps, you can effectively incorporate counter-arguments into your writing, elevating the overall impact of your work.

Step 1: Thoroughly Understand Your Audience and Opposing Viewpoints

Before constructing a counter argument, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with your audience’s beliefs, values, and concerns. Analyze opposing viewpoints to identify the most compelling arguments against your own stance. By gaining a deep understanding of the opposing side, you can tailor your counter argument to resonate with the target audience.

Step 2: Choose the Most Potent Counterpoints

Select the strongest counterpoints that challenge your own argument. Look for weaknesses, inconsistencies, or evidence that contradicts your position. By choosing compelling counterpoints, you demonstrate your ability to engage with diverse perspectives and effectively address potential objections.

Step 3: Present Evidence and Support

Once you have identified the key counterpoints, substantiate your own argument with evidence and support that refutes the opposition. Utilize various persuasive techniques, such as analogies, understatement, or anecdotes, to bolster your counterargument and enhance its persuasiveness.

Step 4: Structure Your Counter Argument

Organize your counter-argument in a clear and logical manner, following an outline format . Present each counterpoint concisely and follow it with a well-reasoned rebuttal. By employing a coherent text structure , you ensure that your counterargument flows seamlessly within the overall framework of your writing.

How can counter arguments strengthen my overall argument?

Counter arguments introduce an element of intellectual rigor into your writing. By acknowledging and addressing opposing viewpoints, you demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic, engendering trust and credibility in your audience. Furthermore, counter arguments provide an opportunity to preemptively address potential objections, making your argument more robust and persuasive.

Is it necessary to present counter arguments in every piece of writing?

While counter arguments can greatly enhance the quality of your writing, their inclusion is not mandatory for every piece. Consider the context, purpose, and audience of your work. If you anticipate significant opposition or if exploring alternative perspectives is crucial for the topic, incorporating counter-arguments becomes paramount.

Are there any effective techniques to make counter-arguments more persuasive?

To make your counter-arguments more persuasive, employ various rhetorical techniques such as appealing to emotions, presenting compelling evidence, or utilizing powerful language. Additionally, employing rhetorical devices like analogies , understatement , or anecdotes can add depth and impact to your counterargument, capturing the attention and interest of your readers.

In the realm of persuasive writing, mastering the art of counter-arguments is an indispensable skill. By diligently crafting and skillfully presenting counterpoints, writers can engage with opposing viewpoints and strengthen their overall argument. Through a strategic approach, understanding the target audience, and employing persuasive techniques, your counter-arguments will not only refute opposing perspectives but also enrich the discourse, making your writing more compelling and thought-provoking. So click here for 10+ short argumentative essay examples and explore 5+ argumentative essay examples for students , expanding your repertoire of persuasive writing strategies.


AI Generator

Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

10 Examples of Public speaking

20 Examples of Gas lighting

  • Study Guides
  • Homework Questions

Counter Argument Stem Starters


  1. FREE 8+ Counter Argument Samples in PDF

    counter argument essay sample

  2. FREE 8+ Counter Argument Samples in PDF

    counter argument essay sample

  3. Beautiful Counter Argument Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    counter argument essay sample

  4. 8 Counter argument examples to help you write a strong essay

    counter argument essay sample

  5. FREE 8+ Counter Argument Samples in PDF

    counter argument essay sample

  6. 🌷 Counter argument topics. Counter Argument Example: How to Write an

    counter argument essay sample


  1. Success in Planning I Arguments & Counterarguments

  2. Ukraine Confirms Counter-Offensive Is On Against Russian Forces

  3. Writing the Counter argument

  4. Written Statement, Counter, Written Argument

  5. Argument Writing

  6. Has Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Failed? (A Warographics Analysis)


  1. 8 Counter argument examples to help you write a strong essay

    Counter-argument: having a pet teaches the children responsibility. Rebuttal: While it is true that having a pet can teach kids how to become more responsible, the fact remains that taking care of a pet is a full-time job. A pet is not like a toy that you can discard when tired of it. Young kids may not have the stamina or the time to take care ...

  2. Counterargument

    Some counterarguments will directly address your thesis, while other counterarguments will challenge an individual point or set of points elsewhere in your argument. For example, a counterargument might identify. a problem with a conclusion you've drawn from evidence. a problem with an assumption you've made. a problem with how you are ...

  3. 25 Counterargument Examples (2024)

    Counterargument Examples. 1. Empirical Challenges. An empirical challenge is, simply, a rebuttal that challenges the facts presented by the opponent, showing that their facts are wrong and yours are right. To undermine your opponent's set of facts, it will be your job to present facts that show that the opponent's supposed facts are wrong ...


    Counter-Argument 2 Cabrini University Writing Center - Revised 9/16 2) Cite an actual source, critic or group of critics, who might resist your argument Here many feminists would probably object that _____. But social Darwinists would certainly take issue with the argument that Nevertheless, both followers and critics of Malcolm X will probably argue that

  5. Writing a Counterargument Paragraph

    When writing your counterargument paragraph, you should respond to that other position. In your paragraph: Identify the opposing argument. Respond to it by discussing the reasons the argument is incomplete, weak, unsound, or illogical. Provide examples or evidence to show why the opposing argument is unsound, or provide explanations of how the ...

  6. Counterargument

    Counterargument. When you write an academic essay, you make an argument: you propose a thesis and offer some reasoning, using evidence, that suggests why the thesis is true. When you counter-argue, you consider a possible argument against your thesis or some aspect of your reasoning. This is a good way to test your ideas when drafting, while ...

  7. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Responding to Counterarguments

    Writing a paper can be challenging, especially when you have to address counterarguments that may oppose your main claim. In this academic guide, you will learn how to respond to counterarguments effectively and persuasively, using strategies such as refutation, concession, and rebuttal. This guide will help you improve your writing skills and achieve your course goals.

  8. Counter Arguments

    Counter Argument. One way to strengthen your argument and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the issue you are discussing is to anticipate and address counter arguments, or objections. By considering opposing views, you show that you have thought things through, and you dispose of some of the reasons your audience might have for not ...

  9. 9.7.3: Counter Argument Paragraphs

    Placement of Counter-Arguments in an Essay. A counter argument can appear anywhere in the essay, but it most commonly appears: As part of your introduction—before you propose your thesis—where the existence of a different view is the motive for your essay. This works if your entire essay will be a counter-argument and you are not building ...

  10. The Writing Center

    With a counterargument, you have an opportunity to acknowledge and respond to any objections from the opposition, giving you the advantage since the response comes from you. Usage of a counterargument also demonstrates that you're a rational and fair arguer who is well-versed in your issue since you acknowledge both sides of the argument.

  11. Counter Argument Example: How to Write an Rebuttal

    Make sure you introduce your counter argument using phrases like "It is argued that" or "It may seem as if". In general, you should present a counter argument towards the end of your thesis but prior to your conclusion. This gives you a chance to express your key points in advance of the counter argument and provide a rebuttal for your ...

  12. Counterarguments

    A counterargument involves acknowledging standpoints that go against your argument and then re-affirming your argument. This is typically done by stating the opposing side's argument, and then ultimately presenting your argument as the most logical solution. The counterargument is a standard academic move that is used in argumentative essays ...

  13. Argumentative Essays: The Counter-Argument & Refutation

    An argumentative essay presents an argument for or against a topic. For example, if your topic is working from home, then your essay would either argue in favor of working from home (this is the for side) or against working from home.. Like most essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction that ends with the writer's position (or stance) in the thesis statement.

  14. How to Write Counter Arguments in an Essay: Guide with Examples

    Example Of Counter Argument Paragraph. Below, we share a relevant example of an argument on a specific topic with guidance on avoiding writing an irrelevant counter argument. The argument: Many students prefer to smoke on college campuses. They often argue that authorities can't ban smoking on campus if it isn't illegal.

  15. How to Write a Counter Argument: A Step-by-Step Guide

    The Neuron is a daily AI newsletter that tracks the latest AI trends and tools you need to know. Join 400,000+ professionals from top companies like Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce and more. 100% FREE. A counter argument is a crucial element in debates and persuasive essays. It adds depth and complexity to an argument by considering different ...

  16. Argument, Counterargument, & Refutation

    Debatable thesis statement in the Introduction. Argument - paragraphs which show support for the author's thesis (for example: reasons, evidence, data, statistics) Counterargument - at least one paragraph which explains the opposite point of view. Concession - a sentence or two acknowledging that there could be some truth to the ...

  17. Persuasive Essay Examples (With Counterarguments!)

    An example of a high school-level persuasive essay could look like this: Thesis statement: Euthanasia should be allowed. Argument: Ending a loved one's life in order to ease their pain should be allowed if the patient had consented. Counterargument: Allowing someone to murder another living human being is illegal.

  18. Parts of an Argumentative Essay

    The 4 parts of an argumentative essay are the claim, counterclaim, reasoning, and evidence. The claim is the author's argument that they are attempting to prove in the essay. The counterclaim is ...

  19. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    Argumentative Essay Example 2. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Each year, over half a billion people will become infected with malaria, with roughly 80% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  20. PDF Counter argument Example

    Counter argument Example A counter argument gives you the chance to respond to your readers' objections before they have finished reading. It also shows that you are a reasonable person who has considered both sides of the stimulus. Steps to follow: 1st = Opposing Viewpoint (Think of what someone would say if they disagreed with your claim.)

  21. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Examples of argumentative essay prompts. At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response. Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  22. Counterargument

    When writing an argumentative essay, it is important to understand what exactly a counterargument (sometimes referred to as a counterclaim) is.In an effective argument, the writer or speaker will ...

  23. Counter Argument

    Step 4: Structure Your Counter Argument. Organize your counter-argument in a clear and logical manner, following an outline format. Present each counterpoint concisely and follow it with a well-reasoned rebuttal. By employing a coherent text structure, you ensure that your counterargument flows seamlessly within the overall framework of your ...

  24. Counter Argument Stem Starters (docx)

    Sample Counter Argument and Refutation Argument: Human Trafficking is a major problem in the world today. We can all help to end this problem by avoiding the purchase of products made by slaves. For example, I will challenge my audience to exclusively purchase fair-trade chocolate and boycott all chocolate producers that cannot guarantee their ...