When you are writing an argumentative essay, you need to acknowldge the valid points on the other side of the table, otherwise you will come off sounding narrow-minded and thereby less effective. Rather than weakening your paper, a good concession paragaph will actually strengthen your essay by showing that you have thoughtfully considered both sides before arriving at your own point of view. In ninth grade students are taught to write a concession paragraph which concedes to the opposing side a valid point, but then presents a counter argument, and finally a concluding statement which will either restate the original position on the issue, suggest a course of action or even suggest a compromise.
Consider the following concession paragraphs excerpted from student essays:
It is true that some rock music contains lyrics that are both provocative and rebellious. In fact, one form of rock music, punk rock, concentrates purely on antisocial subjects as a basis for its songs. However, rock music itself is not enough to make a teenager rebel against society. Even though some lyrics contain hints of social rebellion and moral decline, the average teenager does not take this seriously and concentrates more on the musical value of the songs rather than the inner meaning of the lyrics. In conclusion, I feel that even though lyrically rock music shows hints of anarchy and social rebellion, it is not a threat to society.
Source: Rebecca Caplan's Writers in Training
In the above paragraph, transitional phrases have been italicized for emphasis. These help the guide the reader through the three parts of the paragraph. Below are some additional transitions you make find helpful in writing concession paragraphs.
|Certainly, grades do serve as a powerful motivational tool for students. The fear of failure gets otherwise disengaged students to complete their work, and the desire to receive excellent marks (A's) motivates good students to push themselves to do their very best work. It is also true that grades contribute to a productive classroom environment that benefits the entire group; students who know they will be graded down if they don't have their homework done tend to come prepared, thus improving the quality of class discussions. On the other hand, the positive motivational effects are overpowered by the negative impact of competition between students. Students who don't earn those A's often feel like failures, even though they have learned a great deal. What is gained from the B is often lost in the desired an A. Often students compare their grades with others in an effort to see how tthey rank. This relative status has little to do with how much an individual is actually learning. In short, we must find another way to motivate students that puts the emphasis on learning rather than on the delineation of winners and losers.|