Counter Arguments and Counter-Counter Arguments for the Persuasive Essay.

Dear Dr. D',

I need help with Counter Arguments and Counter-Counter Arguments for the Persuasive Essay.

That’s a tough part of argumentation and depends on a student having knowledge of different people’s perspectives on an issue.  Think of it—you’re asking an 8th grader to understand the objections and assumptions on a controversial issue.  Tough, Tough.  That being said, I think the kids need to read more nonfiction and more current events.  That would help.  Then, with writing we have to be careful that the counter-argument (concession) is not stronger than the counter-counter argument (refutation), right? I offer two different approaches:  1) ask the students to begin each paragraph with a one-chunk (2+:1) concession, and the next one or two chunks are counter-counter arguments (refutation) to that concession; 2) the advanced students might want to have one paragraph for the concession and then spend the next several refuting, but be careful that the concession paragraph is not longer and more detailed than the refutation paragraphs. Practice, practice, practice.