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The Three Moves of Countering

What is Countering?
This argumentative move involves acknowledging or even conceding an opposing view to your own, and then countering that view by presenting your different way of thinking about the evidence. Countering means "pushing back" against the text or opposing argument. This pushing back may be disagreeing, challenging something said, or interpreting the facts differently. Countering means not simply negating--it can be that--but suggesting a different way of thinking about the subject. In classical rhetoric, this move is called "concession and refutation" or we might more simply call is "point-counterpoint." See more about Argumentative Techniques.

Move #1:  First, acknowledge a claim in opposition to our own.
More on Concession Used in Rhetoric

Example:
Others will argue that our school our school should not change its menu options.

Move #2: Next, present or summarize a piece of evidence supporting that opposing claim.

Example:
Those who are against further menu changes refer to the large number of complaints about our new menu options. These opponents suggest we give students additional time to adjust to the changes, rather than causing more confusion with new changes.

Be sure that your representation of this opposing argument is "fair." Don't misrepresent this opposing view.

Move #3: Then, push back against this evidence, suggesting a different way of thinking about this evidence.
More on Refutation in Argument

Example:
This position is misguided. Students are extremely resilient. Making additional menu changes that provide both tasty and nutritious options should lead to more satisfaction, not more confusion.

Put all three moves together to form a paragraph in your draft.

Sentence Stems for Acknowledging Opposing Views

            Some believe that ____                     Others will argue that ____
            Those opposed to ____ state that ____
            People against this view believe that ____


Sentence Stems for Countering the Opposing View

            However, this view is incorrect because ___
            But ____                    This position is misguided. …
            Those who support this view may have a point, but I disagree because ___

Example Countering Paragraph:

Michael Boczek makes the claim that his way of biometric security using ears is "stable and enduring." He argues that because the ear changes very little over the course of someone's life the ear is secure to use. Although it is true that the ear changes little through someone's life, risks still exist to using this type of biometric security. No matter which body part is used for biometric security, there will still be risks that cannot be avoided. According to Woodrow Hartzog, and Associate Professor of Law at Stamford University, "if biometrics are compromised, you're done. You can't get another ear." His point is that once the body part used as a security system is compromised it can't be undone. The consequences of this compromise are permanent since you can't change your biometric information.

Example Countering Paragraph Color-coded and Annotated:

Michael Boczek makes the claim that his way of biometric security using ears is "stable and enduring." He argues that because the ear changes very little over the course of someone's life the ear is secure to use. Although it is true that the ear changes little through someone's life, risks still exist to using this type of biometric security. No matter which body part is used for biometric security, there will still be risks that cannot be avoided. According to Woodrow Hartzog, and Associate Professor of Law at Stamford University, "if biometrics are compromised, you're done. You can't get another ear." His point is that once the body part used as a security system is compromised it can't be undone. The consequences of this compromise are permanent since you can't change your biometric information.

Acknowledging opposing claim
Summarizing some evidence supporting that claim

Countering the opposing claim
--presenting evidence to support the counterargument

... this paragraph could present more evidence to support its counterargument

 

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