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Opposition Arguments

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The Opposition Arguments strategy in general is considered a common debate technique. This technique is the action of considering, understanding, and ultimately anticipating a debate opponent’s arguments so as to better prepare refutation for those arguments.


How’s how a possible variation of the activity looks:

  • Select a topic that involves differing opinions. This is usually in the context of some kind of persuasive task such as delivering an argumentative speech.
  • In some cases, it may be even more effective to provide a theme under which students select their own topics. That theme can be articulated as a driving question or be associated with a content standard.
  • Have students take positions on the topic, perhaps allowing for time to research the topic first in order to establish enough context.
  • Switch sides: Once the position is established, instruct students to continue research, but this time in the interest of defending the opposing position.
  • Share Arguments: After time has been provided (more if the topic is complex, less if it is simpler), have students articulate that position either in a live presentation, written essay, recorded presentation, or group discussion.
  • Reflect: As a final reflection, have students discuss or note what considerations influenced their thinking, either with new ideas and thinking or by solidifying existing perspectives.


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