“The reader over your shoulder”

On making concessions, a skill novice writers typically have yet to develop:

Although as writers it is important to construct a strong argumentative thesis and develop it over the course of an essay, it is equally important to avoid tunnel vision and to take into account positions on the issue in question that do not necessarily agree with our own. In a book called The Reader over Your Shoulder (1943) by Robert Graves and Alan Hodges, the authors urge that writers should always compose their argument as if they had a crowd of people reading over their shoulders and asking questions. In other words, writers should try to be cognizant of possible weaknesses or omissions in their logic and should anticipate what a “devil’s advocate” might point out about their argument. This approach to writing will encourage you to shore up your weaknesses and foresee any possible objections to your line of thinking.

Opposing Opinions and Making Concessions (password protected)

Concession words & examples

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