Counter-Argument Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Joseph Wallace

Joseph is a recently retired elementary school principal and is a teacher with 36 years of experience in elementary education. He hold an EdS in Advanvced Professional Studies

Have you ever wanted to convince someone that your point of view was correct, but you just could not get him or her to agree with you? This lesson will introduce you to a strategy that can make your arguments much more convincing.

What Is a Counter-Argument?

What do you think the word 'counter' means? It is a surface in your kitchen, but what else could the word mean?

As a verb, counter means ''to oppose'' or ''to go against.'' So a counter-argument is an argument that goes against your main argument.

Imagine that you're pushing a piece of furniture across a room. It gets stuck on something, so you go to the other side and push it in the opposite direction until it's loose, then you turn around and push in the original direction again to get over the obstruction. That's kind of how a counter-argument works.

In a counter-argument, you say what you believe, what the other person believes and why (counter-argument), then you go back to explain why you are correct and the other person is not.

Reasons to Use a Counter-Argument

You might think that using a counter-argument is a strange thing to do, but it really isn't. You actually make your argument stronger by showing that you understand and respect the other person's point of view, and have considered their argument before coming to your position. It shows that you have thought carefully about your position and you understand the reasons why someone might disagree with you.

Counter-arguments show that you have come to your point of view fairly and thoughtfully. Counter-arguments are great, especially if you're arguing with an adult. Counter-arguments make you look mature and intelligent, and help you to show why you are right.

Tips to Make a Good Counter-Argument

Now, there are some rules that you need to follow to make a good counter-argument. You must be fair, and you must give good reasons why someone might disagree with you. This can be hard, because it's almost as if you're arguing against yourself, but if you don't honestly try to give good opposing arguments, then your counter-argument will fail.

Always remember to be respectful. Don't use words that make it seem as though you think that anyone who disagrees with you is silly or stupid. It's very important that you not be rude.

Counter-arguments make your argument stronger.
Counter-arguments make your argument stronger.

Examples of Counter-Arguments

Now that we know what a counter-argument is and how to use it, let's look at some examples.

Your parents ask you to give up some of your video game time to play outside instead. You probably wouldn't want to do that, so your argument will be that spending most of your time indoors playing video games is better than playing outdoors.

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