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Concession paragraphs for “do I agree / disagree essays”

Home » GMAT academic task 2 » Concession paragraphs for "do I agree / disagree essays"

What does concession mean?

Concession is when you have your that you believe in and support, however, you can see there is some validity to the other side as well.

You concede that the other side of the argument is also valid.

It shows that you have looked at the issue from all of its sides and you can come up with a reasoned mature response.

This is important if you are aiming for Band 7, 8 or 9, because it shows you can think and write complex ideas in English.

What is a concession paragraph?

Basically, a concession paragraph is where you’ll talk about the side you don’t really support before going on to the side that you do support.

Essentially you write about both sides of the issue.

Examples of concession paragraphs in task 2 questions

Take this typical task 2 question:

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old fashioned values such as honor, kindness, and trust no longer seem important. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Step 1: Identify the keywords
We are judged on social status and material possession... honor, kindness, and trust no longer seem important.

The second statement is extreme.

We can all pretty much agree that social status and material possessions are important and we are judged by them often whether we like it or not, but if you look at the second statement, it does seem a little extreme and a little absolute that these values are no longer seem important.

How do you write your position?

First, make your position clear from your introduction.

You can use "While" to start the essay, it shows contrast and forces you to include both sides of the argument immediately.

Example:

While we clearly live in a materialistic society that puts great worth on money and status, principles like integrity and honesty remain a core part of who we are.

What am I really saying here? I’m agreeing that we are judged according to social status and material possessions, but we really place a lot of value on honor, kindness, and trust.

I’m disagreeing with that idea that they are no longer important, we’re still people with integrity.

It’s a partial agreement, a concession.

Where do we place our concession paragraph?

It comes right after your introduction and then the second body paragraph would be the side that you support more.

This is not only a writing convention but also used in formal debates.

We first we talk about the side that we disagree with and then we talk about the side that we do agree with.

This gives our side of the argument more weight, it acts like an anchor, and it remains fresher in the mind of the reader (the examiner).

Audio tutorial

You can download or listen to the audio version here:

| | | | | | Transcript |

 

Tutorials and Tips to Prepare for Task 2

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