How to use a Counter Argument

How to use a Counter Argument

            Counter arguments are like an older sibling, they don’t always admit they’re wrong, but they always have your back. In an argumentative paper, counter arguments are used to acknowledge a difference of opinion on the topic and also strengthen the writer’s argument. When incorporating a counter argument students should use these techniques for an effective and helpful argument:

  • Use words to describe and explain the counter argument that allow for an unbiased presentation of the argument such as; stated, said, explained, etc.
  • Students should also fully explain the counter argument; this meaning writing enough about the counter argument, just because it is disagreeing with your stance does not mean you should ignore it. By thoroughly explaining the counter argument you can make your own argument seem that much stronger.
  • Counter arguments can be added anywhere in the body of your paper. It is usually best to add them right after the point they’re contradicting or somewhere around there.


You are writing a paper about abortion and have the opinion that abortion should be legal in the U.S. under all circumstances. For a counter argument you would choose a quote discussing the opposition to abortion. Here’s an example of an appropriate quote to use as a counterargument and how to use it in you own writing.

Many Christians believe abortion is morally wrong and should not be legal The Christian Reformed Church states “Mindful of the sixth commandment…the church condemns the wanton or arbitrary destruction of any human being at any stage of its development from the point of conception to the point of death.” This belief is consistent and appropriate for all Christians but for other citizens who do not have those beliefs might not agree with a law outlawing abortion. The values the U.S. were founded on also states that the U.S. government cannot establish a national religion according to the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

  • The counter argument was properly introduced
  • The supporter/group of supporters were clearly stated
  • The counter argument was explained
  • The counter argument was rebutted

It is important to be fair when writing about your counter argument this makes you look better as a writer. It makes you seem very level-headed and willing to consider others’ opinions rather than ranting on and on about your own argument and therefore to your reader coming off as irrational and in turn making them less interested in what you have to say.


Writing a good counter argument can be a very important element in your argumentative paper to make your own argument stronger. Introducing the argument properly and giving it enough attention to be explained are all necessary for the counter argument to be effective. Having an effective counter argument can strengthen your own argument and increase the trust your readers have your you and your opinions. It can also disprove itself in comparison to your own argument and make you argument seem like the better opinion on the matter. Counter arguments were a very easy but very important technique learned in English 150.