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Writing task 2 - Showing Concession - An Advanced Technique

Showing Concession - Another Technique for Academic Writing. In today's blog, I will explain the technique and leave you an exercise to do at home or to send me for correction.

The technique of showing concession is very useful in essay writing. The word “concession” comes from the verb “to concede” - to admit that someone else may be right, even if you do not agree with him or her. In a debate with another person, you “concede a point” to show that you do agree with part of the other persons’ argument, even though you still maintain your overall opinion.

For example: imagine you are discussing the topic of “which pet is best” with a friend. Your friend may point out that cats are more independent than dogs. You can concede that point (agree with it) but then mention that you think that loyalty is a more important quality than independence for a pet.

This technique is especially useful when writing a ONE SIDED essay in which you take a position FOR or AGAINST an issue, or AGREE or DISAGREE with an opinion.

This technique makes your writing more academic and also helps to strengthen your arguments by showing that you also understand BOTH sides of the issue, even though you mostly agree with 1 side.

 

Look at the following example:

QUESTION: In recent times, an increasing number of students have decided to study abroad for various reasons. These students feel that it is much better to get an education overseas than in their home country. To what extent to you agree with this statement?

 

Brainstorming results: Is studying overseas better?

Agree

  • it’s good for the future

  • good job, high salary

Disagree

  • it’s expensive

Imagine you choose to write a ONE – SIDED essay in which you completely AGREE that it is better to get an education overseas. In this case, you can either:

  • (A) ignore the “disagree” ideas OR

  • (B) incorporate them into your essay by showing concession

(B) is the better choice because showing concession makes your argument stronger.

 

​USEFUL LANGUAGE

  • Although studying overseas is expensive, I believe that it is worth the price.

  • Admittedly, studying overseas involves a huge financial cost. However, I am of the opinion that this cost is small compared to the benefits that an education overseas can provide.

  • Critics of overseas study point out that the tuition fee is extremely high. This is undoubtedly true. Nevertheless, I would argue that it is a smart investment for the future.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: After showing concession, good writers counter (or sometimes refute) this point with a STRONGER argument to show that the writer’s point of view is more convincing.

 

EXERCISE: