Writing a good introduction for an argumentative essay is very important because it determines the quality of the entire essay. In fact, a well-written introduction can increase your arguments’ effectiveness and make your paper more convincing. However, writing an argumentative essay introduction is not easy simply because there are some rules you should follow. This article explains what these rules are and suggests ways of how to meet them.
What is the purpose of an argumentative essay introduction paragraph?
The purpose of an argumentative essay introduction paragraph is to pull a reader into your essay. This can be done by writing an introduction that incorporates the thesis statement and/or includes a hook.
In many cases, arguments are needed to provide counter-points or offer differing perspectives on topics of different interests. In academic settings, arguments come in the form of essays as well as speeches. In either form, an argumentative essay introduction must be persuasive in order to convince the reader that there is merit in the argument.
Within academic settings, it can be difficult to convince someone of an opinion or perspective based on reason alone without the influence of emotion. However, with a good argumentative essay introduction, emotions can be engaged successfully and begin to influence the reader. This can be done by writing an emotionally charged essay introduction that sets the tone for the rest of your academic essay.
For example, if you’re arguing in favor of gun control, it might read something like: “Guns kill people every day – and we do nothing to stop it.” While this statement isn’t completely true – many individuals use guns to protect innocent people – it does a good job of evoking emotion through hyperbole.
In caring for others, debate is often necessary. In order to argue your point effectively, you must be able to convince readers that your argument or opinion has merit. This can be done by including a thesis statement in the middle of an introduction and/or including a hook to capture the reader’s attention and engage their emotions.
Once you’ve completed your research, begin writing an introduction that will convince the reader of your argument or perspective as demonstrated by examples such as those provided above. Use this guide for assistance in crafting high quality introductions designed to begin an argumentative essay.
11 Tips on how to start and write an argumentative essay effectively
Here are 11 tips to start an argumentative essay effectively.
Use our checklist to make sure you include all the elements of a good argumentative essay introduction.
1. State your thesis clearly
Your opening sentence should include your position on the topic and why it is valid. This will be your thesis statement. Make sure your reader knows where you stand before they begin reading, or else they may not understand what your essay is about. So try to include the following information in your opening sentence:
- Your position on the topic (e.g., Pro, Con)
- Why it’s valid (e.g., because…, due to…, etc.)
2. Provide examples
After stating your thesis, provide an example or illustration that supports this argument. This will give your reader a better understanding of why you’re taking the stance that you are and will also help them follow along with what you’re trying to say since they now have something concrete to relate back to.
3. Include subheadings
If your essay is more than one page long, break up important ideas with subheadings so it’s easier for your reader to follow along. This will help you organize your thoughts and make it easier for the reader to know where they are in your argumentative essay, so they can better understand what your position is.
4. Use a mixture of narrative and description
5. Include counter arguments
It’s important to acknowledge both sides of an argument early on if there are opposing viewpoints, since this will likely be part of why someone would choose one side over another when agreeing with you (e.g., “Yes, I agree that… But…”). This way, it becomes clear straight away that there is more than one side to an argument, so your reader isn’t left wondering why you’re taking the position that you are.
6. Discuss opposing viewpoints
As mentioned above, it’s always better to discuss both sides of an argument if they exist. Doing so can help strengthen your essay by explaining all possible pros and cons of the issue at hand (e.g., “For these reasons, some people might be inclined to agree with me…”). You can also use this as a way to convince your reader that your side is the best one; for example: “However, my opponents may believe X, Y and Z but there are several things wrong with their reasoning.”
7. Don’t make any assumptions about what your readers know
Your opening sentence doesn’t have to be a catch-all for every reader that will pick up your essay. If you’re writing about a specific topic or idea, you can assume that most of your readers are familiar with it already and therefore don’t need excessive background information.
8. Provide context
For essays that cover current events, include some background information in order to help the reader better understand what’s going on in the world. In these types of situations, it can often be assumed that they know at least a little bit about the event in question but not necessarily enough to understand your argument right away – so providing some context is always helpful.
9. Keep your sentences brief
In general, try to keep all of your sentences relatively short and simple by avoiding unnecessary complex sentence structures. This will make it easier for your reader to understand what you’re saying, since it forces you to be clear and concise when explaining your points.
10. Use active verbs:
Instead of using forms of “to be” (e.g., is, am, are), use a more direct verb that’s appropriate for the sentence structure in order to better engage your reader or listener from the beginning.
11. Use transitional words and phrases at the beginning of new sentences.
In general, start a new paragraph whenever you begin discussing a different idea or topic so it’s easier for your reader to follow along with what you’re trying to say. In addition to transitioning between topics, try introducing any supporting evidence you have by using transitional words and phrases at the beginning of your sentences.
Steps to how to write an introduction for an argumentative essay
Here are the steps to follow when writing argumentative essay introduction paragraphs:
- Introduce your topic by telling readers what you’ll be discussing.
- State your thesis statement.
- Include a brief, general background of the issue’s history, if relevant to your argument.
- Provide support for why the reader should care about the issue or agree with your point of view on it.
- Defend your thesis against any common counter-arguments.
Steps to start an argumentative essay
Here are steps to follow to start an argumentative essay:
- Choose the topic. It can be anything that you feel strongly about. It can be something like ‘Is football the best sport ever’ or something like ‘does homework help improve grades’. You will need to state your opinion on this topic in the introduction.
- Introduce your position without sounding too biased. Use a word like “I believe” before stating your opinion, but do not argue it yet. Write the thesis statement for your argumentative essay after you have stated your position on the topic. Your thesis statement should also include an argument using “therefore”. The best way to go about doing this is by starting with “I believe” and then ending with “therefore, I am of the opinion that”.
- Create an outline using the notes you took while brainstorming ideas. Use these notes to help write each paragraph that supports your thesis statement. Remember, you will need two paragraphs: one that speaks against the side of your argument and one that speaks in support of it. Basic outline will include: Introduction, Support, Opposing ideas, and a Conclusion
- Start writing your essay. Do not write the introduction last because it is really important for you to know what you are arguing against, as well as what you are arguing in support of before writing your essay.
Once you have written your argumentative essay, go back and revise it so that it reads smoothly. Proofread the final draft to check for any errors or mistakes.
References: argumentative essay intro
- Argumentative Essay: Introduction
- Argumentative Writing
- How to Write an Introduction to an Argumentative Essay – Youtube
- 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed