English 4: Counter Claim Paragraph Tips and Examples

The final draft of your essay must include a counter claim paragraph. This paragraph serves to acknowledge the other side of your argument and then should be repudiated in order to reinforce your own thesis. (Note: If you can’t figure out what the other side of your argument is, then that probably means your thesis needs to be more debatable.)

Your counter claim paragraph:

1) Explains the other side of the argument with at least one piece of evidence.

2) Repudiates (denies the validity of) that counter argument with at least one piece of evidence that also helps prove your POV/Thesis.

3) Should be placed either at the beginning of your essay (think about Gladwell’s Small Change argument structure) or at the end.

4) Either way, you need to follow up the counter claim with repudiation of that claim in a way that proves your thesis.  

Examples for each essay prompt:

Media: If you’re arguing that media helps create positive change, then you’re counter claim should include how it also creates negative change (think about the reality shows in “Voting Democracy Off the Island”). You can acknowledge the validity of this claim, but then make sure to point out that, ultimately, media is creating positive change.

Medical Technology: If you’re arguing that medical technology should be trusted and relied upon, then you need to point that we can’t rely on these technologies for all of our health problems (think about the robots in “Alone Together”). The point being: there are problems medical technology should not be relied upon to cure, but, for the most part, it can be used to fix human beings.


English 4: Expository Essay Introduction Tips

The introduction of your expository essay should include three main components: an opening hook, a set-up of the problem or controversy you’re exploring and your thesis. Below are some tips and questions you should be asking yourself as you write your introduction and to evaluate it after you’ve finished your first draft.

Hook: Should be compelling and provocative to grab the readers attention and get them interested in the topic you’re writing about.This is your opportunity to be creative and add your own voice into the essay. Use vivid description and active verbs to make your language colorful and interesting.

Context/Problem/Controversy: Here you’re getting more specifically into the subject and controversy you’re going to be exploring in your essay. This is also the place to introduce the primary texts you’re going to use in your essay. Some questions you should be answering here: What are you talking about, specifically? What are the opposing view points that are creating the controversy? What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

Thesis: Here’s where you take your stand on one side of the controversy. Which side are you on and, based on evidence in the text, why are you right? It should be specific, arguable and preview your the argument you’ll lay out in the body of your essay.