Jul 04 2022

How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument?

Stefani Holloway photo Stefani Holloway Content strategist and writer
Writing Advice

An argumentative essay aims to persuade your audience to consider your position on an issue as correct regardless of their current beliefs. In writing, you can advocate for your viewpoint provided the evidence you provide is convincingly rational and well thought out.

Notably, argumentative essay assignments require you to do more than state your perspective on an issue and backing it up with relevant, unbiased evidence. You also have to discuss the opposing points of view in your argument.

Original: SourceIn this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s essential to address opposing points of view;
  • When to address the opposing viewpoint;
  • The right way to address the opposing point of view in an argument.

How Significant Is It To Address Opposing Points of View in Argumentative Essay

Perhaps the most exciting thing about writing a persuasive essay is that you’ll come across logical arguments that easily challenge your very own belief or standpoint on an issue.

We often refer to these logical arguments as a counterclaim – an essential component of argumentative writing.

Even if you've adopted a strong stance on an issue, your audience (or readers) are fully aware of the opposing viewpoint. In some cases, your audience may prefer the opposing stance to yours and might consider your position if you persuade them that your stance has more merits.

Therefore, your argument must include a counterargument to counterbalance your position. Understandably, you don't want to derail your case, but you can't just disregard or deny the legitimacy of the other side of the argument.

It should be clear at this point that an argumentative essay that doesn’t include an opposing point of view is not only weak but also less convincing. As a result, your argumentative essay is less successful in conveying your idea because you've undermined your argument by failing to consider both sides.

By including counterclaims in your argumentative essay, you demonstrate that you’ve researched and considered both sides of the argument.

More importantly, you demonstrate your ability to match your claim with the most relevant counterclaim. You may even bolster your case by citing examples from other people's arguments.

When Should You Address the Opposing Points of View in an Argumentative Essay

The first step is to address your position on an issue. Ensure you have enough objective and reasonable evidence to back up your claim.

Once you’ve addressed your stand on the issue and you’re confident that you’ve provided enough information to support your stand, focus on the possible counterarguments that might arise.

As a rule, you don't want to delve too deeply into the other viewpoint in your essay.

If the counterclaim is correct, even if it’s true only to some extent, first acknowledge it and then use the most substantial reason or proof to show that the counterclaim is indeed wrong.

How to Address Opposing Points of View in an Argument Step-by-Step

Before a jury gives a verdict on a case, they have to consider both sides of an issue so that their conclusion on the subject is relevant, unbiased, and justified.

It’s no different when it comes to writing an argumentative essay. There’s less conviction and satisfaction if you don’t consider counterarguments in your writing.

To put it another way, you won't be as persuasive if you don't respond to concerns or present proof to counterclaims. To persuade and convince your audience that your stand on an issue is a more reasonable position to consider, you must thoroughly investigate the other viewpoint.

1. Do Your Research on Both Sides of the Argument

Your audience may first reject your stance on an issue if you don't take the time to examine both sides of a debate. So before you begin writing your argumentative essay, do your research on both sides of the argument to have enough information for the assignment.

Keep away from sympathetic sources as you do your research, and look for sources that both support and oppose your position. Examine how the author presents the opposing position, and note the arguments and the evidence they offer.

2. Understand the Counterclaim

Finding out why individuals retain their ideas is a logical next step after learning what the alternative viewpoints look like.

  • How do they come to their judgments?
  • What evidence do they rely on?
  • What criteria do they use to judge the validity of the evidence?

Being familiar with the opposing viewpoints can help you identify why your audience is likely to reject your argument outright.

Here’s a video by Worldwide Speak about writing counterclaim arguments.


3. Provide Evidence to Prove Your Position to Be True

The onus of evidence rests solely on your shoulders when confronted with counterarguments in an argumentative essay.

Instead of merely stating the opposing points of view, disprove them. Clearly state the counterclaims' weaknesses by emphasizing your understanding of their truthfulness, and then use your most potent arguments to disprove the opposing points of view.

Back your claims with proof such as expert statements, academic research, statistical data, and literary works.

When responding to counterclaims, the most important rule is to remain impartial and mindful of others' feelings. By being distinct, make it apparent that this isn't what you're arguing for. Remember that fairness and accuracy go hand in hand, and you shouldn’t compromise.

It's not enough to be aware of the other side's perspective. You must demonstrate that your logic is superior to or invalidates the opposing argument.

Final thoughts

An argument that considers both sides of an issue is more effective and articulated to strengthen your argument and entice your readers to continue reading the essay.

Even if your readers disagree with your point of view, they're likely to respect the time and effort you put into expressing them.

Sometimes, getting people to change their minds and accept your stand on an issue is possible, even if they didn't initially agree with you.

Useful links:

Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay: 10 Do's and Don'ts

How to Write a Strong Conclusion Paragraph in an Argumentative Essay

What are Good Argumentative Essay Topics: 5 Tips to Make the Right Choice (+ 15 Topic Ideas)

Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay: What It Is and How to Write One?

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay

last edit at Sep 20 2022