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Last updated July 10, 2007



Concession Paragraphs


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:

 Rock Music

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.