Tips On How to Write an Argumentative Essay

At some point, every college student wonders, how to write an argumentative essay? It’s a common task in all educational establishments, regardless of what country you’re from or what major you’re specializing in. An argumentative essay is a piece of academic writing where you provide your view on a specific topic, discuss evidence for supporting it, as well as acknowledge and refute opposing views.

The goal of such paper lies in learning how to analyze a subject and defend your position on it, using research as a persuasion method. It’ll sharpen your skills at convincing others as well as boost your critical thinking. But if you want a high grade for your work, you should know which types it has and what strategies should be followed.

Argumentative Essay Structure

The first question that students need to be answered concerns the structure of argumentative paper. There are four major parts in it, each having its peculiarities. Take a look at them and keep them in mind before you start working.

  1. Introduction. This is the first part of an essay where you present the background of your topic and do everything in your power to intrigue your readers. Since this is what they will see first, many consider argumentative essay introduction the most important writing component.
    • The first thing you need is called a ‘hook.’ It’s an opening sentence that must be interesting and appealing for readers. Provide some statistics associated with an essay, ask a provoking question, or start with a shocking fact. This will stimulate the interest of people reading your work, urging them to look through it further.
    • Briefly discuss topic What is a problem you’re planning on investigating? How did it occur?
    • State the existing positions. Every argumentative topic will have at least two perspectives on it, so introduce them both. Don’t make them overly long — a few sentences would be enough.
  2. Thesis. While thesis is a part of an introduction, it’s so important that it deserves a separate spot within the structure of an argumentative essay. Thesis always comes as the last introduction sentence, and it expresses the whole meaning of students’ work. Audience should understand what you’re arguing about just by reading this line. It cannot start with words like “this paper is about…”: it should be a direct controversial claim that you’ll be defending.
  3. Body. It’s the largest part of your paper. Keep it structured, not chaotic: each paragraph should have an appropriate size and deal with just one major discussion point. Start them with opening sentences and then provide a brief summary for the ending. Put research, exploration, personal views into this part.
  4. Conclusion. Many students relax when they reach this part. They think that the worst is over now and they can quickly copy-paste some elements from other sections for forming conclusion. That’s not the case. In reality, conclusion must leave your audience satisfied and willing to share your views. Restate the major points; reinforce your position for the last time.

What Is an Argumentative Essay in Terms of Types?

Each argumentative paper could be divided into three different models. Sometimes college professors will tell students which of them to follow, but in other cases, you’ll have to figure it out on your own. We’re going to guide you step-by-step so that you could understand what these models are.

Classical

  • This model requires writers to start with introduction where they attract their audience’s attention.
  • Background statement follows. Students formulate what factors shaped the subject and contributed to division of opinions on it.
  • Proposition means that writers express their major viewpoint, taking a side in a conflict.
  • Evidence stage denotes just that, the provision of proof in support of your position. Get audience to see what made you believe what you do.
  • Refutation comes next. Mention an opposition’s arguments and counter them.
  • Make a final statement and appeal to emotions of your audience.

Rogerian

  • Rogerian argumentative essay format also starts with introduction. The rules are the same here: explain what problem you’re researching.
  • Explain opposing point of views. Be objective here, treating them with respect.
  • Show understanding for opposite views. Address what evidence the opposite side has and disclose how valid it is.
  • State your own position. It’s time to present your views here.
  • Introduce context. Where could your views be applied? Illustrate this here.
  • Describe benefits your perspective has. Some readers could still have doubts, so do everything you can to persuade them.

Toulmin

  • How to write a good argumentative essay by relying on this model? It’s easy: you need to start with a claim. Present argument to readers.
  • Establishing grounds takes place next. What facts and circumstances shaped your claim?
  • Warrant part is where you build on a link between points 1 and 2.
  • Qualifier requires students to acknowledge the possibility of them being wrong, explaining reasons for it.
  • Rebuttal is next. Not only your view is correct — others could be valid, too. Acknowledge this fact.
  • Backing. Reaffirm that your claim makes the most sense.

5 Major Tips When Creating Argumentative Essay Outline and Essay

Even when students know all the rules, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to write good essay. For that, they need some tips that could act as a guide. There are five of them — check them out below.

Pick topic you truly like. Considering that argumentative essays require writers to argue for their position, it’s obvious that you must love your topic a lot and be prepared to discuss it. What are your passions? What makes you argue until your voice goes hoarse? The more you like your theme, easier writing is going to be. When you are genuinely invested, you’ll be able to make an audience feel the same.

Do research. Before writing an argumentative essay, students should determine their position and scope of sources. For example, look for academic articles or books. Read their abstracts or summaries: what do their writers believe in? Do they provide enough evidence for solidifying their views, and if yes, how strong are their arguments? This could help you decide on a perspective to argue as well as find relevant sources you’ll be using for support.

Make an Outline. Next, students should make writing plan featuring every major element they’ll be discussing. The first thing to determine is, what body parts will one’s work have?  Each paragraph should be responsible for each point mentioned in thesis, so outline them in advance. This gives a sense of direction, which is vital in argumentative essays.

Follow Outline and Structure Rules. Once you’ve made a plan, follow it. Keep structure-related rules in mind: thesis must be strong and informative; each paragraph shouldn’t exceed 200 words; opening and closing sentences must be on point; introduction should be appealing while conclusion shouldn’t have any new info. Check back with an outline whenever you feel you’re slipping.

Edit and Proofread. Every argument essay should be edited as well as proofread. Not all students see a purpose in this action, but it’s a big mistake that often results in low grades or repeated revision requests. First, do some editing. Re-read an essay from the start, paying close attention to flow, coherency, and consistency of presented arguments. If something doesn’t make sense, correct it. If there is an info dump at some place, try to make it more refined. Cut overly long paragraphs into several parts; expand overly short paragraphs, etc. After all, content looks okay, start proofreading. Read through an essay again, preferably out loud — you’re guaranteed to find grammar issues, missing words, and some other mistakes.

Use Our Tips and Write Excellent Argumentative Papers

After reading all info outlined above, students should be able to understand what definition argument essay is and which parts it’s supposed to consist of. Writing this kind of work isn’t as difficult as it could seem, so don’t worry. Select great topic that gets your blood pumping; find good credible sources that could expand and support your words; create a detailed outline after extensive brainstorming, and then get started. As long as you’re enjoying the discussion, you are unlikely to face any troubles.

But exceptions happen, too. Not all students are capable of succeeding with argumentative writing, no matter how much they love their topics and discuss them. Real life is a constant and unstoppable force, so you might not have enough time or feel too exhausted for any academic work. If so, contact us at any time you want. Share instructions, send additional materials, and our experienced writers will start working right away. They can do all the work from scratch or edit your already existing paper — just let us know what you want! 

Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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