What Is a Counter Argument in an Essay?

What Is a Counter Argument in an Essay?

What is a counter argument in an essay? Counter argument writing is one of the arguments students develop in essays. When students learn how to write a counter argument, they develop communication skills. The ability to write a counter argument helps students debate when they have to make a personal argument and oppose the ideas of others using reason and evidence. Developing a counter argument in the flow of debate, you think better considering the problem from different perspectives that allow you to win in any dispute as your arguments will leave no chances for an opponent to make counterarguments since you already consider them.

By writing a counter argument, students make their essays more impressive and stronger. It allows them to build a logical justification of personal argument with a higher level of supportive evidence. A strong counter argument helps writing an academic paper with a substantial amount of examples and critical statements, and it makes an essay stronger.

What Is a Counter Argument in an Essay? Essential Information

What is a counter argument? A counter argument is a statement that contradicts the main argument developing evidence that does not agree with what a student has written in the man part. The main purpose of a counter argument is to help a student to justify the main argument by means of providing evidence of why it is wrong. Writing a counter argument allows developing the objections to it that makes the essay sound belligerent. Using a counter argument in an essay shows strong features of a student, such as communication, research, and justification skills.

How to Write a Counter Argument

  1. List the major objectives of the argument that come to your mind immediately when you think about your argument. Conduct research if you do not have any particular ideas in this direction. Rank the objections from 1 the strongest to 3 the weakest. Make sure that the ideas listed make your argument stronger but do not destroy it.
  2. Think about an essay structure; how you are going to implement these counter arguments in your paper. You may gather all counter arguments in one paragraph at the end of an essay, which is a common essay structure in this case, or you may add some portions of counterargument throughout the paper, both contradicting your statement and seeking for the persuasive arguments why the counterargument cannot be considered as an argument in your case. Both variants will make your paper stronger. Remember about transitional and linking words.
  3. Remember that you need to develop a couple of sentences regarding your counter argument to elaborate on it; do not leave one phrase without explanation. It may be useful to provide several examples to give a better explanation of what you mean by your counter argument.
  4. Mind that you have to explain in detail why the counter argument you have developed is invalid. You need to perfectly indicate the reasons why the counterargument does not contradict your argument. Use examples and sources as a reference to justify your response.
  5. Check your thesis one more time and ensure that the counter arguments developed to make your paper stronger as even though they try to contradict your ideas, the presence of the explanation of their validity makes your main argument more developed.

Where to Write a Counter Argument

Your counter argument may be located anywhere in the paper. You decide where to put the counterargument. You may place it at the end or throughout the paper. Just mind that each counter argument must be properly explained no matter where it is located. Here is a list of the sections where you may place your counter argument:

  • In the introduction. You may state a counter argument and further write a thesis statement. In this case, you will have an opportunity to justify your thesis by referring to the counter argument provided.
  • A paragraph next to the introduction. You are sure to make the strongest argument in favor of your thesis statement here; this, it may be logical to offer the counterargument you are going to argue.
  • A part of any paragraph. In this case, you may offer some examples justifying the thesis and the topic sentence you currently work on.

Mind that you should do not write too much about the counter argument not to make it a focus of your paper. A counter argument is just an assisting point that helps you justify your thesis statement.

How to Start Writing a Counter Argument

Even though a counter argument is a part of an essay, you need to incorporate it in such a way that it does not sound like a center of discussion. Use transition words to make a counter argument a part of your writing. You need to resort to transitional words or phrases to make the change of ideas slight and reasonable. Remember to make your discussion logical. This is the only way of making your essay strong.

Counter Argument Transition Words

There are many transition words you may use for your counter argument. Writing opposing points of your argument may require specific transition words. Check the list below and use the words that may be interesting for you, and comply with your writing. Here are some of the transitional phrases:

Transition Words Examples

Rather than


Although this may be true

On the other hand

On the contrary


In contrast


Even though

Some experts argue

There is a good strategy to resort to question worlds as a part of your transition:

However, why

However, if

Nonetheless, how does

Check a Counter Argument Example Developed by Our Professional Writers

In the paper I wrote “Genetic Engineering-Salvation or Damnation?” I argued that genetic engineering in the field of agriculture is a dangerous endeavor given the weak regulations that guide the field. In this light, I explored potential dangers of genetic engineering as it is carried out presently and pointed at clear examples of the adverse effects posed by practice that hinder its initial objective of solving food crisis around the globe. Genetic engineering interferes with indigenous species, and there is little research carried out to establish its long-term effect on the environment and the social welfare of communities. In addition, it is under-regulated and seeks to give the power of food security to a few corporations who patent their products.

However, there are some weak points in the argument above as it purports that genetically modified foods brought a new era of bio-colonialism that endangers indigenous crops. The paper presents genetic engineering as a potential threat to current and future survival of indigenous species. While there is evidence of interference from such crops, a lot of research and lab tests are carried out to ascertain their safety. The paper also fails to recognize the crucial role played by genetically modified foods in curbing global food insecurity.

The logic that my argument rests on is as follows: Genetic engineering is damnation. However, someone might object to the logic of this unstated assumption due to evidence that genetically modified foods make significant contributions to food security, as they can thrive in conditions that indigenous food would fail. Such foods are drought and pest resistant making them suitable for all-year production thus averting hunger crisis. In addition, genetic engineering allows modification of indigenous crops, making them tolerable to pests and harsh weather conditions.

I can identify strong arguments that someone might make responding differently to my question on the issue of genetic engineering. Genetically modified food is unhealthy for human consumption and further has more non-health based negative effects. Consumption of such food involves consuming the modifying genes in the product and the gene remains in the body of the consumer, leading to unpredictable chronic diseases and harm to unborn babies. There is a deficiency in research on the long-term effects of GMOs. The plants affect the environment, social welfare and have economic costs. The plants and their herbicides degrade the environment, affect biodiversity, and pollute water, which in turn affect communities and bears economic costs.

The future of food security lies in the genetic engineering. Despite the huge population and massive population growth trends around the world, only 10% of the earth is arable to feed that population. As such, alternative means of food production to ensure food security are necessary to avert a crisis. Genetic engineering offers a perfect solution to the problem since the plants are pest and drought resistant.

In addition, genetic engineering allows the transfer of desirable genes to various plants, thus increasing their production capabilities. Indigenous crops are the most prominent beneficiaries of genetic engineering since they can be improved to enhance their productivity and increase their resistance to perennial problems of pests and drought. The seeds are also relatively cheap and hence affordable to farmers.

There are weaknesses in this argument as well. Genetically engineered plants interfere with local species, as was the case in Minnesota where genetic rice cross-pollinated with local rice causing sterility, thus affecting production rates. In addition, such foods tend to deprive farmers of the benefits of their traditional foods due to their replacement thereby endangering their existence. In other situations, companies seek intellectual property rights for their products, which ensures that they continue to increase their products, thus further commercializing food security.


Thus, writing a counter argument is both simple and complicated as n the one hand, you need to provide the argument that contradicts your statement, and on the other hand, it should ensure that you can prove your thesis. When you manage to see the points that may contradict your argument, you also see the statements that may protect your argument. It makes your writing interesting. Moreover, the development of a counter argument increases the validity and strength of your thesis statement, your major argument. The skills required for developing a counter argument will help you in your future to deal with many controversial events. Seek professional assistance if you are not sure that you can properly develop a counter argument but still try to complete the task yourself.