Argumentative Essay Writing: What You Should Know About It

Oct 12, 2017 by

Got an argumentative essay to write for your next class but have no idea what it is? It won’t be a problem if you follow these tips.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

College students struggle with essay writing whatever the type is. As for argumentative writing, it is a responsible and challenging task. But you are the lucky one because you have found this guide. So, let’s figure out a secret of argumentative essay writing together.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

Among all types of essays, argumentative is the most commonly assigned one. It requires a student to conduct thorough research on a topic, collecting as much information as possible. After researching is done, a student needs to provide a summary and choose one viewpoint to dwell upon. The main purpose of this type of an essay is to present arguments about that viewpoint, which are strong enough to convince the reader that this is the best position one can take towards the topic.

Which Topics Are Good for Argumentative Writing?

Obviously, everything that can be characterized as “arguable” is potentially a good topic. The more opposing views it has, the better. Also, since one of the key goals is to show your professor the best about your abilities to argue, defend your opinion, and persuade, a perfect topic should belong to the circle of your interests. Feeling bored and indifferent about the subject will make you suffer trying to find convincing facts. You will likely end up postponing the work up to when it’s too late to do it properly.

One more thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid arguing about the issue that has been discussed million times before. So, forget about things like banning alcohol, tattoos at work, or school bullying. There are hundreds of topics much more interesting than these. Make sure to pick the one that your audience will love.

How to Structure Your Essay?

A well-known five-paragraph pattern is traditionally applied to argumentative essays, but the number of paragraphs can change depending on the number of arguments you are going to make:

  • one paragraph introducing the main idea;
  • three paragraphs introducing arguments;
  • one concluding paragraph.

Let’s have a closer look at each structural element now.

Introduction of the main idea

A hook and a thesis statement are two structural elements of an introductory paragraph. You can start with a rhetorical question or a citation, explain it in the next few sentences, and provide a smooth, logical transition to a thesis. Your thesis statement should reflect the viewpoint you have on the issue.

Note that it makes sense to include some background information in the intro to explain the subject of your essay and prepare the reader for the information that will come in the rest of the paper.

There’s one more important part that comes at the very beginning of a paper – a title. Argumentative essays require you to make up more than just a catchy title. It should make the reader want to start arguing with you right away. The more controversial it is, the more emotion and interest it will cause in the reader.

Paragraphs introducing arguments

Following the same old structure, you must devote a paragraph to your every argument. The main part of the essay should also contain information about opposing arguments.

It may seem illogical simply to present other opinions on your topic to the reader. Therefore, when doing your research, make sure you study different points of view and provide your own argument to beat each of those opposing arguments. Note that your purpose is to answer the reader’s questions and objections before they pop up in their mind.

Be careful with introducing your counterarguments – explain why they are worthy of the reader’s consideration and why the opposing arguments are wrong without literally saying that they are wrong.

Convincing conclusion

Getting back to the purpose of argumentative writing, what does the conclusion serve for? In this part, you should have the reader already nodding your head in agreement with the point of view you were defending. Just restate it and don’t forget to review your key arguments first. If you have written the body paragraphs correctly, writing a convincing conclusion shouldn’t be a hard task for you.

Note that if the argumentation was based on scientific works and your opinion summons to more research in the future, you may mention this in your conclusion to make your paper look even more professional.

Final Tips

Now, check out a few additional writing tips, which are often ignored:

  • Find all existing opinions on the issue.
    Your research on the subject should be as thorough as possible, and you need to find and mention all existing points of view, leaving no space for the reader to have any doubts.
  • Use only relevant sources.
    Argumentative writing is based on profound research, meaning you should ensure each book or journal you use is credible. Visiting a local library is advised because it stores official and reliable sources only. Besides, there you can ask a librarian for help.
  • Don’t neglect to proofread.
    The best time to do it is a couple of days after you have finished writing so that your mind would be rested and clear. Thus, you will notice all grammar and spelling errors faster. An important aspect to pay close attention to is correct uses of quotations and their appropriate formatting.

Having mastered a skill of argumentative writing, you will be able to build strong points around your opinion both on paper and in speech. Isn’t it a good reason to try to enhance it?

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