Wouldn’t it be convenient if there were one thing you could say that would win any argument? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could include one approach in your ACT essay that would guarantee you make an effective point?
Well, there is, and most people don’t know about it.
This is what you do: show that what the side you’re arguing against wants to do would actually accomplish the opposite of what they desire.
Here’s what we mean. If the other side prefers doing “X” so that they can accomplish “Y,” demonstrate that if they do “X” they’ll actually get further from “Y” and not closer.
For example, if a child hits another child and his parents spank him, that child could say, “Spanking me teaches me to hit.” What he’s doing – the little devil – is stating that his parents’ solution to the problem was to spank, but instead of helping the problem it actually makes things worse!
Another example: If a teacher wants to assign more homework because they believe it makes their students smarter, the students can counter by saying, “The more homework you assign, the less attention each assignment gets and we will do worse, not better.” Here, these crafty students show their ambitious teacher that their plan for making students smarter would backfire.
And: If an administrator argues that her plan for making a stricter dress code would help promote a more positive atmosphere at school, disagreeing students might try to fire back saying, “More restrictions would reduce the amount of self-expression and individuality we have, thus making us feel less comfortable, not more comfortable.” Then the administrator’s proposal seems to accomplish the opposite of what she intends.
All you have to do is show that what someone who disagrees with you desires would actually produce the opposite effect of what they actually want to accomplish! All you have to do, then, is show how your proposal is better and would accomplish a better result than your opposition. It’s a simple logical approach that entirely deflates the opposition’s argument and makes your position look really, really convincing.
Here are a few sample situations. Try to practice using this strategy by filling in your own responses to each person’s proposal:
“If a teacher says that a long test is what’s needed to accurately assess your skills and knowledge, you could say that instead of actually giving an accurate assessment, a long test would _______________________________ .”
“If your boss tells you that you need to work a little more quickly with an assigned task, you might suggest to them that instead of getting the job done faster, it’s better if ____________________________.”
“If an administrator wants to enforce harsher penalties for tardies, you could point out that instead of making students be more on time for class, it would ________________________.”
So now you’ve got the ACT prep online that helps to decisively win the argument for you. Apply this to all your ACT writing essays and you’ll quickly find that you’ve got an easy, winning logical trick!