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- Thesis, Analysis, & Structure
Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays
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1. Select an arguable topic, preferably one which interests, puzzles, or appeals to you.
Make sure your topic is neither too broad--something which warrants a dissertation--nor too limited. Decide what your goals are for the paper. What is your purpose? What opinion, view, or idea do you want to prove? Try to articulate your purpose clearly before you begin writing. If you cannot state your purpose clearly, try to freewrite about your topic.
2. Take a position on your topic, and form a thesis statement.
Your thesis must be arguable; it must assert or deny something about your topic. To be arguable, a thesis must have some probability of being true. It should not, however, be generally accepted as true; it must be a statement with which people may disagree. Keep in mind that a thesis contains both an observation and an opinion:
A good way to test the strength of your thesis is to see if it yields a strong antithesis.
Common thesis pitfalls:
- A thesis expressed as a fragment.
- A thesis which is too broad.
- A thesis worded as a question. (Usually the answer to the question yields the thesis)
- A thesis which includes extraneous information.
- A thesis which begins with I think or in my opinion.
- A thesis which deals with a stale or trite issue.
- A thesis which contains words which lead to faulty generalizations (all, none, always, only, everyone, etc.)
Thesis writing tips:
- A thesis evolves as you work with your topic. Brainstorm, research, talk, and think about your topic before settling on a thesis. If you are having trouble formulating a thesis, begin freewriting about your topic. Your freewrite may suggest a workable thesis.
- During the writing process, consider your thesis a working thesis and be willing to modify and re-focus it as you draft and revise your paper.
- Copy your working thesis on an index card and keep it in front of you as you research and write. Having your thesis in plain view may help focus your writing.
3. Consider your audience.
Plan your paper with a specific audience in mind. Who are your readers? Are they a definable group--disinterested observers, opponents of your point of view, etc.? Perhaps you are writing to your classmates. Ask your professor or GSI who you should consider your target audience. If you are not certain of your audience, direct your argument to a general audience.
4. Present clear and convincing evidence.
Strong essays consist of reasons supported by evidence . Reasons can be thought of as the main points supporting your claim or thesis. Often they are the answers to the question, "Why do you make that claim?" An easy way to think of reasons is to see them as "because phrases." In order to validate your reasons and make your argument successful, support your reasons with ample evidence.
The St. Martin's Guide to Writing (Axelrod & Cooper, 2nd ed., New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988) lists the following forms of evidence:
- textual evidence
For most college papers, you will include evidence you have gathered from various sources and texts. Make sure you document your evidence properly. When using evidence, make sure you (1) introduce it properly, and (2) explain its significance. Do not assume that your evidence will speak for itself--that your readers will glean from your evidence that which you want them to glean. Explain the importance of each piece of evidence-- how it elucidates or supports your point, why it is significant. Build evidence into your text, and use it strategically to prove your points.
In addition to using evidence, thoughtful writers anticipate their readers' counterarguments Counterarguments include objections, alternatives, challenges, or questions to your argument. Imagine readers responding to your argument as it unfolds. How might they react? A savvy writer will anticipate and address counterarguments. A writer can address counterarguments by acknowledging , accommodating , and/or refuting them.
5. Draft your essay.
As is the case with any piece of writing, you should take your argumentative essay through multiple drafts. When writing and revising your drafts, make sure you:
- provide ample evidence , presented logically and fairly
- deal with the opposing point of view
- pay particular attention to the organization of your essay. Make sure its structure suits your topic and audience
- address and correct any fallacies of logic
- include proper transitions to allow your reader to follow your argument
6. Edit your draft.
After you have written a developed draft, take off your writer's hat and put on your reader's hat. Evaluate your essay carefully and critically. Exchange a draft of your essay with classmates to get their feedback. Carefully revise your draft based on your assessment of it and suggestions from your peers. For self-assessment and peer response to your draft, you may want to use a peer editing sheet. A peer editing sheet will guide you and your peers by asking specific questions about your text (i.e., What is the thesis of this essay? Is it arguable? Does the writer include ample evidence? Is the structure suitable for the topic and the audience?).
You may also want to avail yourself of the Writing Drop-In Tutoring or By-Appointment Tutoring at the Student Learning Center .
Luisa Giulianetti Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley ©1996 UC Regents
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Tips for Organizing an Argumentative Essay
Addressing “flow”: tips for organizing an argumentative essay.
“Flow”, in regard to a characteristic of an essay, is a fairly murky and general concept that could cover a wide range of issues. However, most often, if you’re worried about “flow”, your concerns actually have their roots in focus and organization. Paragraphs may not clearly relate back to the thesis or each other, or important points may be buried by less-important information. These tips, though by no means exhaustive, are meant to help you create a cohesive, “flowing” argumentative essay. While this handout was written with argumentative essays (particularly within the humanities) in mind, many of the general ideas behind them apply to a wide range of disciplines.
- There are not many aspects of the writing process that are as universally dreaded as the outline. Sometimes it can feel like pointless extra work, but it actually is your best safeguard against losing focus in a paper, preserves organization throughout, and just generally makes it easier to sit down and write an essay.
- It doesn’t matter what form your outline takes as long as it’s something that details what points you want to make and in what order. Figuring out your main points before you start drafting keeps you on topic, and considering order will make transitions easier and more meaningful.
2) Make sure you begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.
- Example : Carroll uses Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire Cat about madness both to explain the world of Wonderland and critique a Victorian emphasis on facts and reason.
- Example : In Alice in Wonderland , Alice has a conversation with the Cheshire Cat about madness.
3) Make sure every topic sentence (and therefore, every paragraph) relates directly back to your thesis statement.
- e., If your thesis claims that Alice in Wonderland critiques Victorian education for children by doing x and also y, every topic sentence of each of your body paragraphs should have to relate to Victorian education and x and/or y.
- e., you might want to talk about the White Hare as a symbol for Victorian obsession with time. However, if your paper as a whole is otherwise about passages/paragraphs that critique Victorian education, then it is out of place, and will only confuse your paper’s focus.
4) Use effective transitions between paragraphs
- Paragraph A: talks about Alice’s encounter with the caterpillar
- Transition to Paragraph B: Similarly , Alice encounters another strange creature in the form of the Cheshire Cat, with whom, like the caterpillar, she holds a conversation with larger implications for the world of the novel.
- Paragraph A: details how the madness of Wonderland critiques the fact-based Victorian England
- Transition to Paragraph B: Despite the nature of madness and this criticism of facts and order, there is a kind of logic to Wonderland, and it is deliberately inversive.
- NB: These are only two examples of how to involve transitions in your paper; there are many other ways to do so. But no matter what transition you use, it should in some way establish a relationship between a previous point in your essay and the one you’re about to talk about.
5) Re-read your paper!
- Many issues that might hamper flow are small/general enough that you can catch them just by proofreading–i.e., sentence fragments, clunky/lengthy sentences, etc.
- Reading your paper out loud is especially helpful for catching awkward phrases/sentences
- Active and Passive Voice
- Tips on Writing Effective Dialogue
- Setting Up an Effective Argument for a CC Paper
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8 Effective Strategies to Write Argumentative Essays
In a bustling university town, there lived a student named Alex. Popular for creativity and wit, one challenge seemed insurmountable for Alex– the dreaded argumentative essay!
One gloomy afternoon, as the rain tapped against the window pane, Alex sat at his cluttered desk, staring at a blank document on the computer screen. The assignment loomed large: a 350-600-word argumentative essay on a topic of their choice . With a sigh, he decided to seek help of mentor, Professor Mitchell, who was known for his passion for writing.
Entering Professor Mitchell’s office was like stepping into a treasure of knowledge. Bookshelves lined every wall, faint aroma of old manuscripts in the air and sticky notes over the wall. Alex took a deep breath and knocked on his door.
“Ah, Alex,” Professor Mitchell greeted with a warm smile. “What brings you here today?”
Alex confessed his struggles with the argumentative essay. After hearing his concerns, Professor Mitchell said, “Ah, the argumentative essay! Don’t worry, Let’s take a look at it together.” As he guided Alex to the corner shelf, Alex asked,
Table of Contents
“What is an Argumentative Essay?”
The professor replied, “An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that presents a clear argument or a firm position on a contentious issue. Unlike other forms of essays, such as descriptive or narrative essays, these essays require you to take a stance, present evidence, and convince your audience of the validity of your viewpoint with supporting evidence. A well-crafted argumentative essay relies on concrete facts and supporting evidence rather than merely expressing the author’s personal opinions . Furthermore, these essays demand comprehensive research on the chosen topic and typically follows a structured format consisting of three primary sections: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.”
He continued, “Argumentative essays are written in a wide range of subject areas, reflecting their applicability across disciplines. They are written in different subject areas like literature and philosophy, history, science and technology, political science, psychology, economics and so on.
“When is an Argumentative Essay Written?”
The professor answered, “Argumentative essays are often assigned in academic settings, but they can also be written for various other purposes, such as editorials, opinion pieces, or blog posts. Some situations to write argumentative essays include:
1. Academic assignments
In school or college, teachers may assign argumentative essays as part of coursework. It help students to develop critical thinking and persuasive writing skills .
2. Debates and discussions
Argumentative essays can serve as the basis for debates or discussions in academic or competitive settings. Moreover, they provide a structured way to present and defend your viewpoint.
3. Opinion pieces
Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often feature opinion pieces that present an argument on a current issue or topic to influence public opinion.
4. Policy proposals
In government and policy-related fields, argumentative essays are used to propose and defend specific policy changes or solutions to societal problems.
5. Persuasive speeches
Before delivering a persuasive speech, it’s common to prepare an argumentative essay as a foundation for your presentation.
Regardless of the context, an argumentative essay should present a clear thesis statement , provide evidence and reasoning to support your position, address counterarguments, and conclude with a compelling summary of your main points. The goal is to persuade readers or listeners to accept your viewpoint or at least consider it seriously.”
Handing over a book, the professor continued, “Take a look on the elements or structure of an argumentative essay.”
Elements of an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay comprises five essential components:
Claim in argumentative writing is the central argument or viewpoint that the writer aims to establish and defend throughout the essay. A claim must assert your position on an issue and must be arguable. It can guide the entire argument.
Evidence must consist of factual information, data, examples, or expert opinions that support the claim. Also, it lends credibility by strengthening the writer’s position.
Presenting a counterclaim demonstrates fairness and awareness of alternative perspectives.
After presenting the counterclaim, the writer refutes it by offering counterarguments or providing evidence that weakens the opposing viewpoint. It shows that the writer has considered multiple perspectives and is prepared to defend their position.
The format of an argumentative essay typically follows the structure to ensure clarity and effectiveness in presenting an argument.
How to Write An Argumentative Essay
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an argumentative essay:
- Begin with a compelling sentence or question to grab the reader’s attention.
- Provide context for the issue, including relevant facts, statistics, or historical background.
- Provide a concise thesis statement to present your position on the topic.
2. Body Paragraphs (usually three or more)
- Start each paragraph with a clear and focused topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
- Furthermore, provide evidence and explain the facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, and quotations from credible sources that supports your thesis.
- Use transition sentences to smoothly move from one point to the next.
3. Counterargument and Rebuttal
- Acknowledge opposing viewpoints or potential objections to your argument.
- Also, address these counterarguments with evidence and explain why they do not weaken your position.
- Restate your thesis statement and summarize the key points you’ve made in the body of the essay.
- Leave the reader with a final thought, call to action, or broader implication related to the topic.
5. Citations and References
- Properly cite all the sources you use in your essay using a consistent citation style.
- Also, include a bibliography or works cited at the end of your essay.
6. Formatting and Style
- Follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.
- Use a professional and academic tone in your writing and edit your essay to avoid content, spelling and grammar mistakes .
Remember that the specific requirements for formatting an argumentative essay may vary depending on your instructor’s guidelines or the citation style you’re using (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Always check the assignment instructions or style guide for any additional requirements or variations in formatting.
Prof. Mitchell continued, “An argumentative essay can adopt various approaches when dealing with opposing perspectives. It may offer a balanced presentation of both sides, providing equal weight to each, or it may advocate more strongly for one side while still acknowledging the existence of opposing views.” As Alex listened carefully to the Professor’s thoughts, his eyes fell on a page with examples of argumentative essay.
Example of an Argumentative Essay
Alex picked the book and read the example. It helped him to understand the concept. Furthermore, he could now connect better to the elements and steps of the essay which Prof. Mitchell had mentioned earlier. Aren’t you keen to know how an argumentative essay should be like? Here is an example of a well-crafted argumentative essay , which was read by Alex. After Alex finished reading the example, the professor turned the page and continued, “Check this page to know the importance of writing an argumentative essay in developing skills of an individual.”
Importance of an Argumentative Essay
After understanding the benefits, Alex was convinced by the ability of the argumentative essays in advocating one’s beliefs and favor the author’s position. Alex asked,
“How are argumentative essays different from the other types?”
Prof. Mitchell answered, “Argumentative essays differ from other types of essays primarily in their purpose, structure, and approach in presenting information. Unlike expository essays, argumentative essays persuade the reader to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action on a controversial issue. Furthermore, they differ from descriptive essays by not focusing vividly on describing a topic. Also, they are less engaging through storytelling as compared to the narrative essays.
Alex said, “Given the direct and persuasive nature of argumentative essays, can you suggest some strategies to write an effective argumentative essay?
Turning the pages of the book, Prof. Mitchell replied, “Sure! You can check this infographic to get some tips for writing an argumentative essay.”
Effective Strategies to Write an Argumentative Essay
As days turned into weeks, Alex diligently worked on his essay. He researched, gathered evidence, and refined his thesis. It was a long and challenging journey, filled with countless drafts and revisions.
Finally, the day arrived when Alex submitted their essay. As he clicked the “Submit” button, a sense of accomplishment washed over him. He realized that the argumentative essay, while challenging, had improved his critical thinking and transformed him into a more confident writer. Furthermore, Alex received feedback from his professor, a mix of praise and constructive criticism. It was a humbling experience, a reminder that every journey has its obstacles and opportunities for growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
An argumentative essay can be written as follows- 1. Choose a Topic 2. Research and Collect Evidences 3. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement 4. Outline Your Essay- Introduction, Body Paragraphs and Conclusion 5. Revise and Edit 6. Format and Cite Sources 7. Final Review
One must choose a clear, concise and specific statement as a claim. It must be debatable and establish your position. Avoid using ambiguous or unclear while making a claim. To strengthen your claim, address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. Additionally, use persuasive language and rhetoric to make your claim more compelling
Starting an argument essay effectively is crucial to engage your readers and establish the context for your argument. Here’s how you can start an argument essay are: 1. Begin With an Engaging Hook 2. Provide Background Information 3. Present Your Thesis Statement 4. Briefly Outline Your Main 5. Establish Your Credibility
The key features of an argumentative essay are: 1. Clear and Specific Thesis Statement 2. Credible Evidence 3. Counterarguments 4. Structured Body Paragraph 5. Logical Flow 6. Use of Persuasive Techniques 7. Formal Language
An argumentative essay typically consists of the following main parts or sections: 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Counterargument and Rebuttal 4. Conclusion 5. References (if applicable)
The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a particular viewpoint or position on a controversial or debatable topic. In other words, the primary goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the audience that the author's argument or thesis statement is valid, logical, and well-supported by evidence and reasoning.
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How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Impact
Unraveling the threads of persuasive prowess, it's intriguing to note that legal minds, in the heart of courtroom battles, rely heavily on the art of argumentation. Lawyers, often hailed as modern-day rhetoricians, strategically construct persuasive narratives to sway judges and juries. This underscores the real-world impact of effective argumentation, where the stakes are high, and every word carries weight. As we embark on our exploration of argumentative essays, much like lawyers building cases, we'll learn to structure our essays with precision, anticipate counterarguments, and present a compelling narrative.
In this exploration, we'll define the argumentative essay, providing you with expert tips and step-by-step guidance to enhance your persuasive writing skills. You'll discover the power of well-structured essays, learn effective techniques to support your stance and explore real-world examples that bring theory to life. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just beginning your writing journey, join our argumentative essay writer on a journey into the heart of argumentative writing. Learn how definitions come to life, tips turn into skills, and enhance your writing adventure!
What Is an Argumentative Essay
Argumentative essays thrive on issues that elicit diverse opinions. This is a genre of writing where the author presents a stance on a particular issue or topic and supports it with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The chosen topic should be one where reasonable people can disagree. The primary aim is not just to express a personal opinion but to persuade the audience to adopt the writer's point of view.
The language used in these essays is often persuasive and authoritative, similar to when learning how to write persuasive essay . Writers aim to convince readers of the validity of their perspectives. Let's consider an essay addressing the topic of online education. The writer might assert:
- 'Online education is a more flexible and accessible mode of learning compared to traditional classrooms.'
This thesis sets the stage for the subsequent exploration of reasons, evidence, and examples supporting this viewpoint. Additionally, these essays rely on factual information, statistics, research findings, and concrete examples to support the author's claims.
And if the thought of crafting such an essay feels like a dragon to slay, worry not – there are expert writers out there ready to champion your cause. If the notion strikes you to cry out, ' Write essay for me !' let the scribes of wisdom weave your narrative with the finesse of literary wizards.
Argumentative Essay Examples
Below you can find some good argumentative essay examples from our argumentative essay writing service . The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of being able to strike for public workers.
Argumentative Essay Example
The second essay from our dissertation writing services discusses the importance of economic equality in a nation, alongside possible repercussions and potential threats if not met.
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Argumentative Essay Outline
Knowing how to structure an argumentative essay demands more than just strong opinions; it requires a well-organized framework that guides both the writer and the reader through a logical progression of ideas. In this section, we'll delve into the intricacies of argumentative essay outlines, exploring three distinct approaches: the Aristotelian (Classic) method, the Toulmin model, and the Rogerian strategy. Each approach brings its unique framework, offering writers diverse tools to build convincing and well-structured arguments.
The Aristotelian, or Classic, argumentative essay structure follows a traditional structure inspired by Aristotle's rhetorical theory. This method comprises three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Hook: Engage the reader with a compelling opening.
- Background: Provide context to the issue.
- Thesis: Clearly state your position on the topic.
- Logos (Logical Appeal): Present evidence, facts, and logical reasoning.
- Ethos (Ethical Appeal): Establish credibility by incorporating authoritative sources.
- Pathos (Emotional Appeal): Appeal to the reader's emotions for added persuasion.
- Summarize key points.
- Reinforce the thesis.
- Provide a thought-provoking closing statement.
Developed by philosopher Stephen Toulmin, this model emphasizes the components of an argument and their interrelation. Here's what this outline should look like according to our dissertation writing services :
- State the main argument or thesis.
- Offer evidence and support for the claim.
- Explain the connection between the claim and evidence.
- Provide additional support for the warrant.
- Acknowledge the limitations or scope of the argument.
- Address opposing viewpoints and counterarguments.
The Rogerian approach to an argumentative essay, inspired by psychologist Carl Rogers, focuses on finding common ground and promoting understanding.
- Establish a neutral tone.
- Acknowledge the complexity of the issue.
- Present the issue from multiple perspectives.
- State your position while acknowledging opposing arguments.
- Discuss areas of agreement and shared concerns.
- Present your viewpoint with empathy.
- Emphasize shared goals and potential compromises.
- Encourage further dialogue.
Argumentative Essay Structure
Understanding how to write an argumentative essay involves a well-thought-out structure that guides both the writer and the reader through a coherent and persuasive journey. Here's a breakdown of the essential components: introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
1. Introduction: The introduction serves as the gateway to your argumentative essay, capturing the reader's attention and providing context for the issue at hand.
- Hook: Engage your audience with a captivating opening. Example: 'In an era dominated by technology, the impact on human relationships cannot be ignored.'
- Background: Offer a brief overview of the topic to provide context. Example: 'As virtual communication tools continue to reshape how we connect, the dynamics of interpersonal relationships undergo a profound transformation.'
- Thesis Statement: Clearly state your position on the issue. Example: 'This essay contends that while technology enhances accessibility, it concurrently challenges the depth and authenticity of face-to-face interactions.'
2. Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is the anchor of your essay, succinctly encapsulating your main argument.
Example: 'Online education is a more flexible and accessible mode of learning compared to traditional classrooms.'
3. Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs constitute the core of your argumentative essay, presenting evidence, analysis, and supporting details.
- Topic Sentence: Introduce the main point of the paragraph. Example: 'One key advantage of online education is its flexibility, allowing learners to customize their study schedules.'
- Evidence: Provide facts, statistics, or examples to support your point. Example: 'According to a study by XYZ, 78% of online learners reported higher satisfaction with the flexibility offered by virtual courses.'
- Analysis: Explain the significance of the evidence and how it supports your thesis. Example: 'This flexibility not only accommodates diverse learning styles but also caters to individuals with busy schedules, making education more inclusive.'
4. Conclusion: The conclusion wraps up your essay, summarizing key points and reinforcing your thesis while leaving a lasting impression.
- Summary: Recap the main arguments made in the essay. Example: 'In conclusion, the flexibility of online education addresses the diverse needs of learners in today's fast-paced world.'
- Thesis Reinforcement: Restate your thesis in a compelling way. Example: 'Embracing the adaptability of online education is not just a technological shift but a fundamental transformation in how we approach learning.'
- Closing Statement: End with a thought-provoking remark or a call to action. Example: 'As we navigate the future of education, embracing flexibility may pave the way for a more inclusive and accessible learning landscape.'
Building a Compelling Argumentative Essay Thesis
Constructing an impactful thesis statement is the cornerstone of a persuasive, argumentative essay. Here's a step-by-step guide to crafting a thesis that captivates readers and sets the tone for your entire essay.
Pose a Question and Provide a Response
Engage your readers from the start by posing a thought-provoking question related to your topic. Follow it up with a clear and assertive response that establishes your stance.
Example : Can increased reliance on technology truly enhance our interpersonal connections? In this essay, we contend that while technology facilitates communication, it simultaneously challenges the depth and authenticity of face-to-face interactions.
Present an Argument, Then Challenge It
A good argumentative essay should start with your primary argument in a direct and assertive manner. However, add depth to your thesis by acknowledging potential counterarguments. This demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the issue and strengthens your overall position.
Example : While advocates argue that social media fosters global connectivity, it is essential to recognize the potential drawbacks. This essay asserts that the pervasive use of social platforms may lead to superficial relationships and hinder genuine human connection.
Outline Key Points for Clarity and Impact
Provide a brief roadmap of the main points you will explore in your essay. This not only clarifies your intentions but also prepares your reader for the arguments to come.
Example : Exploring the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships, we will delve into the challenges posed by virtual communication, analyze the role of face-to-face interactions, and consider potential solutions for a harmonious coexistence between the virtual and real worlds.
By adding these steps from our experts in research paper help to your thesis-building process, you establish a base that not only clearly expresses your standpoint but also captivates readers with interesting questions, challenges, and key points that will unfold in your essay.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Quick Steps
Here's a deeper dive into each step that goes into your writing process. By incorporating them, you'll navigate the complexities of argumentative writing with finesse, producing a piece that not only communicates your viewpoint effectively but also engages and persuades your audience.
The ideation phase is crucial for developing a strong foundation for your argumentative essay. Consider conducting extensive research to understand various perspectives on the topic. Engage in freewriting or mind mapping to explore different angles. Generating a pool of ideas allows you to select the most compelling arguments when you move to the next steps.
Preparation is key before diving into the writing process. Organize your thoughts and argumentative essay topics into a coherent structure. Craft a concise thesis statement that is not only clear but also sets the tone for the entire essay. This preparatory stage is an opportunity to refine your focus, ensuring that each subsequent paragraph serves the central argument.
Putting Pen to Paper
As you begin drafting, remember to maintain a logical flow in your essay. Craft an engaging introductory paragraph that introduces the topic and states your thesis. In the body paragraph section, delve into each argument with supporting evidence and examples. Address potential counterarguments to showcase a comprehensive understanding of the issue. This step is about giving substance to your ideas and constructing a persuasive narrative.
Perfecting Your Work
The review and refinement phase is where you elevate your argument essay from a draft to a polished piece of writing. Assess the coherence of your arguments, ensuring that each paragraph contributes meaningfully to your overall thesis. Consider the clarity of your language and the effectiveness of your evidence. This stage allows you to hone the persuasiveness of your essay.
Polishing the Final Product
Meticulous proofreading is the final touch that transforms your essay into a refined and impactful work. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Verify the consistency of your writing style and refine any areas that may be unclear. In the concluding paragraph, reiterate your thesis with a thought-provoking statement to leave a lasting impression. This attention to detail ensures that your argumentative essay is not only compelling but also a testament to your writing prowess.
Essential Argumentative Essay Tips
Mastering the art of argumentative academic essays involves honing key skills to make your case compelling and persuasive. Here are essential tips on writing an argumentative essay to enhance your writing prowess:
Strengthen Your Case with Solid Facts
The foundation of a convincing argument lies in factual evidence. Support your assertions with well-researched data, statistics, and examples. According to our essay writing help , a robust argumentative essay is built on a bedrock of reliable information, demonstrating your understanding of the topic and reinforcing the credibility of your stance.
Example : Citing data from reputable environmental agencies, it is evident that there has been a significant increase in carbon emissions over the past decade.
Take Charge with Language
While learning how to write an argumentative essay, remember that the language you use in your essay plays a pivotal role in influencing your reader. Adopt a tone that is assertive yet respectful. Clearly articulate your points and use persuasive language to guide your audience through your reasoning. Words have the power to evoke emotions and shape perceptions, so choose them wisely to strengthen your argument.
Example : Undoubtedly, the ramifications of climate change are far-reaching, demanding immediate action to mitigate the environmental crisis.
Employ Tools for Effective Writing
Equip yourself with writing tools that enhance the effectiveness of your argumentative essay. Similar to the approach when mastering how to write an explanatory essay , ensure that your essay has a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use transitional phrases to create a seamless flow between ideas. Additionally, employ rhetorical devices to add flair to your writing and make your arguments more memorable.
Example : Transitioning from the impact of deforestation to potential solutions, the essay navigates through a spectrum of strategies, each aiming to strike a balance between ecological preservation and human needs.
In this guide, we've covered the essentials of crafting compelling argumentative essays. From generating ideas to polishing the final product, we explored effective strategies, outlined key structures, and shared tips for constructing powerful theses. Armed with insights into language, facts, and writing tools, you're now equipped to create impactful essays that captivate and persuade. Your journey into the art of persuasive expression begins here, offering a roadmap for confident and compelling argumentative writing.
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Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
To be effective, an argumentative essay must contain elements to help persuade the audience to see things from your perspective. These components include a compelling topic, a balanced assessment, strong evidence, and persuasive language.
Find a Good Topic and Point of View
To find a good topic for an argumentative essay, consider several issues and choose a few that spark at least two solid, conflicting points of view. As you look over a list of topics , find one that really piques your interest, as you'll be more successful if you're passionate about your topic.
Once you have selected a topic you feel strongly about, make a list of points for both sides of the argument. When shaping an argument you'll have to explain why your belief is reasonable and logical, so list points you can use as evidence for or against an issue. Ultimately, determine your side of the argument and make sure you can back up your point of view with reasoning and evidence. Work against the opposing point of view and prove why your stance is correct.
One of your essay's first objectives will be to assess both sides of your issue. Consider strong arguments for both your side, as well as the "other" side—in order to shoot their statements down. Provide evidence without drama; sticking to the facts and clear examples that support your stance.
You may look for research that provides statistics on your topic that support your reasoning, as well as examples of how your topic impacts people, animals, or even the Earth. Interviewing experts on your topic can also help you structure a compelling argument.
Write the Essay
Once you've given yourself a solid foundation of information, begin to craft your essay. An argument essay, as with all essays, should contain three parts: the introduction , the body, and the conclusion . The length of paragraphs in these parts will vary depending on the length of your essay assignment.
As in any essay, the first paragraph of your argument essay should introduce the topic with a brief explanation of your topic, some background information, and a thesis statement . In this case, your thesis is a statement of your position on a specific controversial topic.
Present Both Sides of the Controversy
The body of your essay should contain the meat of your argument. Go into more detail about the two sides of your topic and state the strongest points of the counter-side of your issue.
After describing the "other" side, present your own viewpoint and then provide evidence to show why your position is the correct one. Work to discredit the other side using some of the information you discovered in your research. Choose your strongest evidence and present your points one by one. Use a mix of evidence, from statistics to other studies and anecdotal stories.
A strong conclusion can help summarize your point of view and reinforce with your reader why your stance is the best option. You might consider reserving one overwhelmingly shocking statistic for the conclusion, one that leaves no room for doubt in your reader's mind. At the very least, use this final paragraph or two as an opportunity to restate your position as the most sensible one.
When writing your essay, consider these tips to help craft the most rational and poignant argument for your readers. Avoid emotional language that can sound irrational. Know the difference between a logical conclusion and an emotional point of view.
Don't fabricate evidence and don't use untrustworthy sources for evidence, and be sure to cite your sources .
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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
What is an argumentative essay?
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Please note : Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important ( exigence ) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis ( warrant ).
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph essay
A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.
Longer argumentative essays
Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.
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- Writing Tips
How to Write an Argumentative Essay
- 4-minute read
- 30th April 2022
An argumentative essay is a structured, compelling piece of writing where an author clearly defines their stance on a specific topic. This is a very popular style of writing assigned to students at schools, colleges, and universities. Learn the steps to researching, structuring, and writing an effective argumentative essay below.
Requirements of an Argumentative Essay
To effectively achieve its purpose, an argumentative essay must contain:
● A concise thesis statement that introduces readers to the central argument of the essay
● A clear, logical, argument that engages readers
● Ample research and evidence that supports your argument
Approaches to Use in Your Argumentative Essay
● Clearly present the central argument.
● Outline your opinion.
● Provide enough evidence to support your theory.
● State your claim.
● Supply the evidence for your stance.
● Explain how these findings support the argument.
● Include and discuss any limitations of your belief.
● Explain the opposing stance of your argument.
● Discuss the problems with adopting this viewpoint.
● Offer your position on the matter.
● Provide reasons for why yours is the more beneficial stance.
● Include a potential compromise for the topic at hand.
Tips for Writing a Well-Written Argumentative Essay
● Introduce your topic in a bold, direct, and engaging manner to captivate your readers and encourage them to keep reading.
● Provide sufficient evidence to justify your argument and convince readers to adopt this point of view.
● Consider, include, and fairly present all sides of the topic.
● Structure your argument in a clear, logical manner that helps your readers to understand your thought process.
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● Discuss any counterarguments that might be posed.
● Use persuasive writing that’s appropriate for your target audience and motivates them to agree with you.
Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay
Follow these basic steps to write a powerful and meaningful argumentative essay :
Step 1: Choose a topic that you’re passionate about
If you’ve already been given a topic to write about, pick a stance that resonates deeply with you. This will shine through in your writing, make the research process easier, and positively influence the outcome of your argument.
Step 2: Conduct ample research to prove the validity of your argument
To write an emotive argumentative essay , finding enough research to support your theory is a must. You’ll need solid evidence to convince readers to agree with your take on the matter. You’ll also need to logically organize the research so that it naturally convinces readers of your viewpoint and leaves no room for questioning.
Step 3: Follow a simple, easy-to-follow structure and compile your essay
A good structure to ensure a well-written and effective argumentative essay includes:
● Introduce your topic.
● Offer background information on the claim.
● Discuss the evidence you’ll present to support your argument.
● State your thesis statement, a one-to-two sentence summary of your claim.
● This is the section where you’ll develop and expand on your argument.
● It should be split into three or four coherent paragraphs, with each one presenting its own idea.
● Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that indicates why readers should adopt your belief or stance.
● Include your research, statistics, citations, and other supporting evidence.
● Discuss opposing viewpoints and why they’re invalid.
● This part typically consists of one paragraph.
● Summarize your research and the findings that were presented.
● Emphasize your initial thesis statement.
● Persuade readers to agree with your stance.
We certainly hope that you feel inspired to use these tips when writing your next argumentative essay. And, if you’re currently elbow-deep in writing one, consider submitting a free sample to us once it’s completed. Our expert team of editors can help ensure that it’s concise, error-free, and effective!
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- How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips
How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips
Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.
Table of contents
When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.
You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.
The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.
Argumentative writing at college level
At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.
In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.
Examples of argumentative essay prompts
At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.
Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.
- Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
- Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
- Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
- Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
- Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
- Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.
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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.
There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.
The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:
- Make a claim
- Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
- Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
- Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives
The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.
Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:
- Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
- Cite data to support your claim
- Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
- Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.
The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:
- Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
- Highlight the problems with this position
- Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
- Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?
This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.
Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:
- Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
- Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
- Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
- Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.
You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.
Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .
Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.
Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.
The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.
In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.
Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.
This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.
Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.
A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.
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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.
No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.
Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.
The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.
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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.
An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.
In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.
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