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Can I argue both sides of the Issue Task prompt?

You'll often find that you don't strongly agree or disagree with the AWA Issue Task prompt. Many students are thus tempted to take a middle ground, to take both sides of the issue.

We advise against doing this. Although it might seem as though you're compromising your position, we strongly advise to choose one side and stick to it. 

This is because trying to argue both sides can make it very difficult for the reader to tell what your main argument is. If the reader can't tell which side you're arguing for, you won't score higher than a 3.

But don't despair! You will have a chance to acknowledge the other side in your concession point.

The concession point is where you bring up a potential debate point (an argument contrary to yours), concede some of its merits, but then continue to defend your side.

The point of doing this is to address potential criticisms of your argument. When you're making an argument in an essay, you need to be prepared for such criticisms. The concession points addresses these criticisms in advance, and limits how strongly someone can attack your argument.

Read more about the concession point — where it should go in your essay, how long it should be — here.

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