Adding a counterargument

by Lydia Pierce

Do you ever feel like you’re talking to a wall? Like no one is listening to your writing, or as if what you’re writing doesn’t matter? Adding a counterargument may be a quick solution to find a place for your ideas in the greater academic conversation.

A counterargument is a short deviation from writing about your main thesis. Similar to the bridge in a song, it is a break to the normal pattern. A counterargument is a way to explore the arguments of those who might try to discount you, and it adds context to your writing. After presenting the counterargument, it is important to explain why your argument still holds.

Why should I add a counterargument?

Adding a counterargument into your writing can strengthen your piece greatly. A counterargument proves that you are well-educated about the subject. It shows that you aren’t blindly stating your opinion, but rather are thoughtful and aware about every aspect of the topic.

A counterargument may often start out with “however” or “some may argue.” When you begin this way, you may follow with a reference to another scholar who does not agree with you. Finally, circle back to your original ideas by stating how your argument holds strong in the face of this opposition.

What if I can’t think of a counterargument?

The best way to find a counterargument may not be to look for it, but rather to come across it during your research. When doing research, I will often find some sources that support and some that negate my argument. I end up using the ones that contradict what I’m trying to argue as my counterargument in my paper.

By adding a counterargument, you add context to your writing. This allows you to contribute to the ongoing academic conversation between scholars about different topics. Being a part of the academic conversation is what makes your writing matter because it is contributing to the progress of thought in society.Don’t be afraid of the opposition, embrace the counterargument!


Lydia Pierce is a sophomore majoring in mathematics. She loves to swim, mark books, and ride her bike.

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