A claim is an assertion that supports a thesis. To support the thesis that a women's center should be funded by your college, you may claim that:

1. All groups that qualify for affirmative action funds should be entitled to a center.

2. Women need a place to call their own.

3. Strong support already exists for such a center on campus.

Each of these claims supports your thesis, and now needs good evidence to back it up.

Counterclaims are simply the arguments opponents make to refute your claims. If your position is indeed debatable, you can bet the other side will also have good arguments. For example, opponents to the women's center may claim that:

1. Women are not a minority group.

2. Limited campus funds already support a women's studies program.

3. There are other more pressing needs for scarce college funds. Each counterclaim, in turn, needs strong support from relevant evidence.

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