In gathering information for your Problem/Solution Research Paper, you have collected information that shows varying perspectives. In this assignment, you will be focusing on explaining and responding to the arguments of those who are opposed to your proposal. Part of writing a convincing argument is showing that you have a good understanding of the opposing side and that you have a reasonable response to their views. To build your ethos (credibility), you must show that you have considered the opposing side fairly and have good reasons for continuing with your proposal.
For your Counter Argument, follow this pattern:
First paragraph: Give the background on the topic and the proposal you plan to support in your paper. Try to give the proposal in some detail since this is generally what the audience will oppose.
Second paragraph: Give one of the major objections to your proposal and then respond to it.
Third paragraph: Give a second major objection to your proposal and then respond to it.
You may continue to have additional paragraphs if there are additional major objections to your proposal.
Your response to the opposing side’s points can use any of these approaches:
1. You might feel that the opposing side’s point is inaccurate. This might be because the research has since been shown to be wrong, conditions have changed and now the position is inaccurate, there was a logical flaw in the thinking, etc. If you are countering the opposing side’s position this way, be careful to keep your tone respectful when noting how the position is inaccurate.
2. You might decide that the opposing side’s point is correct but is not relevant. Perhaps the opposing side’s definition differs enough from yours that their evidence does not fit in with your position, for instance. Perhaps the opposing side’s position is correct in some cases but not in the cases you are considering.
3. You might decide that the opposing side’s position is correct and relevant, but there are more reasons or stronger reasons for your side. This is a common form because in any real controversy there are two reasonable sides.
The counter-argument MUST show research. Use quotes or summaries (or both) in explaining the opposing side and in your response. Be sure to document all material taken from the research with both internal documentation (signal phrases, parenthetical citations) and with a Works Cited page, done in current MLA format.
Going through this thinking can help you prepare part of the Problem/Solution Research Paper since you will have thought through the opposing side’s position carefully and know how you will answer each of their points.
Please see the attachment for a sample Counter-Argument. NOTE: I made this counter-argument up, so the references are fake!
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