How to Address a Counterargument
in an Argumentative Essay

Addressing a counteragument is very persuasive because it shows your audience that you're thinking about their concerns. Even though you might not agree with them, you respect them enough to consider their side of the argument. The idea is to look at the key objections someone might have about your claim, assertion, or proposal. You address these concerns, thoughtfully rebutting (arguing against) each one.

Here's how you could structure the topic sentence of a counterargument paragraph:

X = the con or objection

Y = the pro or rebuttal

EXAMPLE 1:

Structure: I know that you might feel X, but Y.

Example: I know that you think a fish club will be too expensive, but we will make it affordable.

Support: ways that we'll make fish club affordable

Paragraph: I know that you think a fish club will be too expensive, but we will make it affordable. First of all, we will solicit donations from fish and pet stores to get any supplies we might need. In addition, we will study up on what types of fish are more common and less expensive to buy. Finally, we will learn how to make some of the decorations and equipment we need for the aquariums that our fish live in. With a little ingenuity, we can find some creative ways to save money.

EXAMPLE 2:

Structure: Some people might think X; however, Y.

Example: Some people might think that a rock-climbing club is too dangerous; however, we will take plenty of safety precautions.

Support: the safety precautions we'll take

Paragraph: Some people might think that rock-climbing is too dangerous; however, we will take plenty of safety precautions. One thing we will always do is wear safety gear such as helmets and good quality harnesses. Also, no one will be allowed to climb until they've passed a test that demonstrates their knowledge of how to rock climb safely. And don't forget, there will be two adults with us at all times, showing us to do climbing in a safe and responsible way.

EXAMPLE 3:

Structure: I know some people might say X, but actually Y.

Example: I know some people might say they're too tired to do sports after school, but actually a good athletic work-out can be re-energizing.

Support: reasons why exercise can be re-energizing

Paragraph: I know some people might say they're too tired to do sports after school, but actually a good athletic work-out can be re-energizing. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have more energy that those people who don't. Think about how you felt the last time you spent all day on the couch. Was it really that relaxing? When you exercise, you increase the flow of adrenelin and oxygen to the brain. Then when you get home you'll actually have more energy to do all the things you need to do such as chores and homework, and even relaxing.