How To Write an Argumentative Essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by step guide

While some essays are mainly based on opinions and emotions, others require irrefutable evidence. Going through various research materials helps one to come up with proof that their arguments are correct. Argumentative essays are some of those pieces of writing that are more objective than subjective. You have to take a side by providing credible reasons as to why your point of view is the right one. Argumentative essays are some of the most common ones that students encounter in the course of their studies. However, they still find it difficult to come up with a flawless paper without the use of outside help.

What is an argumentative essay and how to write it?

To start with, one has to understand what makes a perfect argumentative essay. It is a piece of academic writing where a writer uses supporting evidence to convince the reader about a stand they take. The writing skills are mandatory to ensure that there is a flow of the information provided. However, the writer must also conduct thorough research to come up with evidence that strengthens their point of view. The audience must feel that they have been provided with ideas that convince them to believe in the argument.

Types of arguments that can be adopted

Numerous arguments can help a writer produce a flawless argumentative essay. However, we will focus on three major ones: Classical, Rogerian and Toulmin arguments

  • Classical

This approach helps you when the reader has minimal information about your topic of discussion. It entails presenting a problem, stating your solution and trying to convince the reader why it is the right one. Since the reader has no strong opinion or adequate information, your task is to make them agree with you. This approach is also known as Aristotelian.

  • Rogerian

In this method, you present a problem and acknowledge its opposing arguments. You further state your opinion in the argument, explaining why your approach is the most suitable. This approach is used to polarize ideas where both sides do not seem to agree.

  • Toulmin argument

This approach involves introducing your claim and backing it up. It also presents another claim that the opponent will also agree with, hence creating a neutral ground. This technique is also used in highly charged debates.

Structuring an argumentative essay

An argumentative essay takes the five-paragraph approach to present the ideas. However, others are longer than that especially when the writer has to present data from own research. The first paragraph is the introduction, the next three present the arguments while the least is the conclusion.

Introduction

Your introduction plays a crucial role in determining the reader’s attitude towards your entire argumentative essay. It would be disappointing to be judged from a poor introduction while the rest of the essay is intriguing. Therefore, make a habit of grabbing the audience’s attention from the word go. You must introduce your topic, provide background information and introduce the main argument. The following techniques help in coming up with a perfect introduction;

  • Use a hook to start your introduction
  • Be concise
  • Consider your readers’ emotions
  • Have a clear thesis statement

How to write a thesis statement

A majority of students find it difficult to come up with a compelling thesis statement. This is the backbone of your essay and hence, should be carefully thought. The following tips can help you come up with an ideal thesis statement;

  • Question/answer format

Come up with a question relevant to your topic and answer. This answer gives a perfect thesis statement.

  • Refute objections

You can present two sides of an argument but refute one claim by using some proof to lean towards the other side. You can use words such as while, but, and nevertheless in such a thesis statement.

  • Roadmap

Use a statement that shows the ideas you intend to unveil in your arguments. This strategy states a claim, gives your opinion and the supporting points too.

Body paragraphs

Having grabbed your readers’ attention, you must keep them hooked throughout the entire essay. How you present and organize your arguments determines whether the audience remains interested in your work. The body paragraphs are the meat of your essay and need to be as spiced as possible. However, remember that this is an argumentative essay where credibility is essential. Divide your paragraphs according to the arguments you will present and conduct thorough research on each. Ensure that you cite other people’s work according to the required referencing styles.

In the first two paragraphs of the essay’s body paragraph, present the arguments that support your thesis statement. Provide facts, statistics, data and any other credible information to back up these arguments. Ensure that they are strong enough to sway the reader’s opinion and look at them from your point of view. In the third body paragraph, anticipate your rival’s opinion. Therefore, present the reader with a counterargument that differs from your prior arguments. Go further and explain why you stand against your rivals’ opinion. Again, ensure that you have credible evidence to help you do this.

Conclusion

Provide a summary of the arguments through the evidence presented. Do not restate the thesis statement, rather show how the evidence you give supports it. At this point, you should not introduce new ideas that were not covered in your arguments. However, you can use a personal experience to highlight a lesson you may have learned from such a topic. Ensure that your argumentative essay resembles a debate held with a friend or classmate. Your conclusion should, therefore, present the strongest opinion from the debate.

Argumentative Essay Post writing tips

Your essay remains a draft as long as you do not go through it after completion. Take time to proofread your work and identify any grammatical, punctuation, spelling or citation anomalies. Also, consider the flow of your work and if your arguments arrive at the intended point. Have you formulated your arguments appropriately? Can you easily identify the thesis statement and relate it to the entire essay? How strong are the arguments you have presented? You can also make use of a friend, classmate or professional to revise your work.

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