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How to Write a Claim for An Argumentative Essay Step-By-Step

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by  Antony W  

October 24, 2022

how to write a claim for an argumentative essay

Have you searched for a guide on how to write a claim for an argumentative essay but came out empty?

You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re looking forward to working on a difficult argumentative essay topic or you already have easy subject to work on, this guide will show you how to write a claim that you can defend using evidence and reason.  

Key Takeaways

  • A claim is a declaration sentence subject to debate.
  • Claims are different from topic sentences in that they appear only in the thesis statement of the essay. A topic sentence appears in every paragraph of an essay.
  • For a sentence to be a claim, it should communicate a message that engages an audience to do something or act in a certain way.

What is a Claim in an Argumentative Essay?

A claim in an essay is a debatable statement and a part of an argument’s declaration sentence. In respect to academic writing standards, a claim must exclude personal feelings and already known facts and it must leave room for debate.

Just as personal opinions are unacceptable in argumentative writing, a claim must not have a link to how you feel about a subject. Rather making a bold statement that potentially demonstrate that you’re right about an issue, you must bind your claim up for inquiry within the specific subject.

The purpose of a claim in an argument is to convince, persuade, or give proof to move your audience to agree with your point of view. You can focus on communicating a message, but it’s best to double down on moving an audience to think in a certain way.  

Types of Claims in Argumentative Essay

A claim is one of the elements that drive an argument . For the best outcome, you need to use the right type of claim depending on the topic presented in the prompt.

You can make a:

  • Claim of fact
  • Claim of definition
  • Claim of cause and effect
  • Claim of value
  • Claim of policy

Let’s look at each of these types of claims to help you understand what they mean.

Claim of Fact

How valid is the statement you’re about to give? Is there an element of truth in the statement you intend to present?

Should such be the statement you want to present, you’re looking at making a claim of fact.

A claim of fact mainly presents an argument that demonstrates whether something is true or false. It holds that if you’re going to challenge what we consider as facts, you must have concrete research to back it up. 

Claim of Definition

A claim of definition argues about definitions of things or phenomena. Ideally, you may argue that something means another thing altogether, even if some people don’t consider your definition sounding.

Rather than offering a discount explanation of your claim, you shouldn’t hesitate to give your personal explanation. However, you must ensure that you sound neither emotional nor biased.

Pay attention to the information that you provide when dealing with a claim of definition. Remember that when writing an argumentative essay, even a claim of definition must be debatable.

Claim of Cause and Effect

The claim of cause and effect requires you to do two things:

First, you should describe the cause of an event. Second, you should explain the implication or impact the issue has.

By doing so, your essay will be so comprehensive and valuable that you earn top grades.

Claim of Value

If you’re going to base your argument on the significance of the topic in question, you will have to make a claim of value. 

Claim of Policy

You can also make a claim of policy in your argumentative essay.

This type of claim seeks to give readers the reasons why they should care about what you have to say. It also should suggest what they should do after reading your essay.

How to Write a Claim for an Argumentative Essay

You’ve learned three important things so far. You know what claim is in an essay, why the claim is important, and the types of claims you can write in your argument.

But how do you write a claim for an argumentative essay?

1. Explore the Essay’s Topic

Exploring your focus topic is a good way to determine what claim can best fit in your argumentative essay.

Whether you’ve selected your own idea or received a focus topic from your teacher, you should do preliminary research and develop concrete ideas that you can easily argue.

Let’s say you’re working on a topic about global warning. Deforestation would make a good focus topic here. From this, you can present evidence and give reasons why cutting down trees is the major cause of global warming.

2. Ask a Question

Narrowing down to a specific subject has two benefits.

  • It’s easy to come up with tons of useful ideas for your central argument.
  • You can develop reasonable questions to help you develop a relevant claim for the essay.

The most relevant question for the project is one that summarizes your thoughts. For the claim to be bold, you must follow the question with a short, clear, and direct response to summarize your positon.

3. Determine the Goal of the Essay

Another way to come up with a strong claim for an argumentative essay is to look at the assignment brief once more to understand the primary goal of the argument .

Determining the goal of the assignment can help you to develop a claim that can easily challenge the opinion of your readers regardless of what they assume to be true.

From a writing standpoint, your essay will focus on multiple issues. However, you’ll need to ensure that they all tie together to address the central theme in the thesis statement. In this respect, your claim should demonstrate a clear stand on the main issue. 

4. Take a Unique Approach

We’ve looked at hundreds of argumentative essay samples in the last few months. What we discovered is a similarity in the way students approach the assignment.

Either they state arguable facts followed by blunt claims.

There’s nothing with this. The problem, though, is that it becomes difficult to grab the attention of a reader.

So we recommend that you take a different approach. By doing so, you can write a claim that’s not only interesting but also sustainable.

Our team of professional writers and editor, who hold college and university degrees in various fields will research, write, and validate the information in the essay and deliver results that exceed your expectations.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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Argumentative Essays

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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.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will define what an argument is and explain why you need one in most of your academic essays.

Arguments are everywhere

You may be surprised to hear that the word “argument” does not have to be written anywhere in your assignment for it to be an important part of your task. In fact, making an argument—expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence—is often the aim of academic writing. Your instructors may assume that you know this and thus may not explain the importance of arguments in class.

Most material you learn in college is or has been debated by someone, somewhere, at some time. Even when the material you read or hear is presented as a simple fact, it may actually be one person’s interpretation of a set of information. Instructors may call on you to examine that interpretation and defend it, refute it, or offer some new view of your own. In writing assignments, you will almost always need to do more than just summarize information that you have gathered or regurgitate facts that have been discussed in class. You will need to develop a point of view on or interpretation of that material and provide evidence for your position.

Consider an example. For nearly 2000 years, educated people in many Western cultures believed that bloodletting—deliberately causing a sick person to lose blood—was the most effective treatment for a variety of illnesses. The claim that bloodletting is beneficial to human health was not widely questioned until the 1800s, and some physicians continued to recommend bloodletting as late as the 1920s. Medical practices have now changed because some people began to doubt the effectiveness of bloodletting; these people argued against it and provided convincing evidence. Human knowledge grows out of such differences of opinion, and scholars like your instructors spend their lives engaged in debate over what claims may be counted as accurate in their fields. In their courses, they want you to engage in similar kinds of critical thinking and debate.

Argumentation is not just what your instructors do. We all use argumentation on a daily basis, and you probably already have some skill at crafting an argument. The more you improve your skills in this area, the better you will be at thinking critically, reasoning, making choices, and weighing evidence.

Making a claim

What is an argument? In academic writing, an argument is usually a main idea, often called a “claim” or “thesis statement,” backed up with evidence that supports the idea. In the majority of college papers, you will need to make some sort of claim and use evidence to support it, and your ability to do this well will separate your papers from those of students who see assignments as mere accumulations of fact and detail. In other words, gone are the happy days of being given a “topic” about which you can write anything. It is time to stake out a position and prove why it is a good position for a thinking person to hold. See our handout on thesis statements .

Claims can be as simple as “Protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged,” with evidence such as, “In this experiment, protons and electrons acted in such and such a way.” Claims can also be as complex as “Genre is the most important element to the contract of expectations between filmmaker and audience,” using reasoning and evidence such as, “defying genre expectations can create a complete apocalypse of story form and content, leaving us stranded in a sort of genre-less abyss.” In either case, the rest of your paper will detail the reasoning and evidence that have led you to believe that your position is best.

When beginning to write a paper, ask yourself, “What is my point?” For example, the point of this handout is to help you become a better writer, and we are arguing that an important step in the process of writing effective arguments is understanding the concept of argumentation. If your papers do not have a main point, they cannot be arguing for anything. Asking yourself what your point is can help you avoid a mere “information dump.” Consider this: your instructors probably know a lot more than you do about your subject matter. Why, then, would you want to provide them with material they already know? Instructors are usually looking for two things:

  • Proof that you understand the material
  • A demonstration of your ability to use or apply the material in ways that go beyond what you have read or heard.

This second part can be done in many ways: you can critique the material, apply it to something else, or even just explain it in a different way. In order to succeed at this second step, though, you must have a particular point to argue.

Arguments in academic writing are usually complex and take time to develop. Your argument will need to be more than a simple or obvious statement such as “Frank Lloyd Wright was a great architect.” Such a statement might capture your initial impressions of Wright as you have studied him in class; however, you need to look deeper and express specifically what caused that “greatness.” Your instructor will probably expect something more complicated, such as “Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture combines elements of European modernism, Asian aesthetic form, and locally found materials to create a unique new style,” or “There are many strong similarities between Wright’s building designs and those of his mother, which suggests that he may have borrowed some of her ideas.” To develop your argument, you would then define your terms and prove your claim with evidence from Wright’s drawings and buildings and those of the other architects you mentioned.

Do not stop with having a point. You have to back up your point with evidence. The strength of your evidence, and your use of it, can make or break your argument. See our handout on evidence . You already have the natural inclination for this type of thinking, if not in an academic setting. Think about how you talked your parents into letting you borrow the family car. Did you present them with lots of instances of your past trustworthiness? Did you make them feel guilty because your friends’ parents all let them drive? Did you whine until they just wanted you to shut up? Did you look up statistics on teen driving and use them to show how you didn’t fit the dangerous-driver profile? These are all types of argumentation, and they exist in academia in similar forms.

Every field has slightly different requirements for acceptable evidence, so familiarize yourself with some arguments from within that field instead of just applying whatever evidence you like best. Pay attention to your textbooks and your instructor’s lectures. What types of argument and evidence are they using? The type of evidence that sways an English instructor may not work to convince a sociology instructor. Find out what counts as proof that something is true in that field. Is it statistics, a logical development of points, something from the object being discussed (art work, text, culture, or atom), the way something works, or some combination of more than one of these things?

Be consistent with your evidence. Unlike negotiating for the use of your parents’ car, a college paper is not the place for an all-out blitz of every type of argument. You can often use more than one type of evidence within a paper, but make sure that within each section you are providing the reader with evidence appropriate to each claim. So, if you start a paragraph or section with a statement like “Putting the student seating area closer to the basketball court will raise player performance,” do not follow with your evidence on how much more money the university could raise by letting more students go to games for free. Information about how fan support raises player morale, which then results in better play, would be a better follow-up. Your next section could offer clear reasons why undergraduates have as much or more right to attend an undergraduate event as wealthy alumni—but this information would not go in the same section as the fan support stuff. You cannot convince a confused person, so keep things tidy and ordered.

Counterargument

One way to strengthen your argument and show that you have a deep understanding of the issue you are discussing is to anticipate and address counterarguments or objections. By considering what someone who disagrees with your position might have to say about your argument, you show that you have thought things through, and you dispose of some of the reasons your audience might have for not accepting your argument. Recall our discussion of student seating in the Dean Dome. To make the most effective argument possible, you should consider not only what students would say about seating but also what alumni who have paid a lot to get good seats might say.

You can generate counterarguments by asking yourself how someone who disagrees with you might respond to each of the points you’ve made or your position as a whole. If you can’t immediately imagine another position, here are some strategies to try:

  • Do some research. It may seem to you that no one could possibly disagree with the position you are arguing, but someone probably has. For example, some people argue that a hotdog is a sandwich. If you are making an argument concerning, for example, the characteristics of an exceptional sandwich, you might want to see what some of these people have to say.
  • Talk with a friend or with your teacher. Another person may be able to imagine counterarguments that haven’t occurred to you.
  • Consider your conclusion or claim and the premises of your argument and imagine someone who denies each of them. For example, if you argued, “Cats make the best pets. This is because they are clean and independent,” you might imagine someone saying, “Cats do not make the best pets. They are dirty and needy.”

Once you have thought up some counterarguments, consider how you will respond to them—will you concede that your opponent has a point but explain why your audience should nonetheless accept your argument? Will you reject the counterargument and explain why it is mistaken? Either way, you will want to leave your reader with a sense that your argument is stronger than opposing arguments.

When you are summarizing opposing arguments, be charitable. Present each argument fairly and objectively, rather than trying to make it look foolish. You want to show that you have considered the many sides of the issue. If you simply attack or caricature your opponent (also referred to as presenting a “straw man”), you suggest that your argument is only capable of defeating an extremely weak adversary, which may undermine your argument rather than enhance it.

It is usually better to consider one or two serious counterarguments in some depth, rather than to give a long but superficial list of many different counterarguments and replies.

Be sure that your reply is consistent with your original argument. If considering a counterargument changes your position, you will need to go back and revise your original argument accordingly.

Audience is a very important consideration in argument. Take a look at our handout on audience . A lifetime of dealing with your family members has helped you figure out which arguments work best to persuade each of them. Maybe whining works with one parent, but the other will only accept cold, hard statistics. Your kid brother may listen only to the sound of money in his palm. It’s usually wise to think of your audience in an academic setting as someone who is perfectly smart but who doesn’t necessarily agree with you. You are not just expressing your opinion in an argument (“It’s true because I said so”), and in most cases your audience will know something about the subject at hand—so you will need sturdy proof. At the same time, do not think of your audience as capable of reading your mind. You have to come out and state both your claim and your evidence clearly. Do not assume that because the instructor knows the material, he or she understands what part of it you are using, what you think about it, and why you have taken the position you’ve chosen.

Critical reading

Critical reading is a big part of understanding argument. Although some of the material you read will be very persuasive, do not fall under the spell of the printed word as authority. Very few of your instructors think of the texts they assign as the last word on the subject. Remember that the author of every text has an agenda, something that he or she wants you to believe. This is OK—everything is written from someone’s perspective—but it’s a good thing to be aware of. For more information on objectivity and bias and on reading sources carefully, read our handouts on evaluating print sources and reading to write .

Take notes either in the margins of your source (if you are using a photocopy or your own book) or on a separate sheet as you read. Put away that highlighter! Simply highlighting a text is good for memorizing the main ideas in that text—it does not encourage critical reading. Part of your goal as a reader should be to put the author’s ideas in your own words. Then you can stop thinking of these ideas as facts and start thinking of them as arguments.

When you read, ask yourself questions like “What is the author trying to prove?” and “What is the author assuming I will agree with?” Do you agree with the author? Does the author adequately defend her argument? What kind of proof does she use? Is there something she leaves out that you would put in? Does putting it in hurt her argument? As you get used to reading critically, you will start to see the sometimes hidden agendas of other writers, and you can use this skill to improve your own ability to craft effective arguments.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald. 2016. The Craft of Research , 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ede, Lisa. 2004. Work in Progress: A Guide to Academic Writing and Revising , 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Gage, John T. 2005. The Shape of Reason: Argumentative Writing in College , 4th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A., and John J. Ruszkiewicz. 2016. Everything’s an Argument , 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Rosen, Leonard J., and Laurence Behrens. 2003. The Allyn & Bacon Handbook , 5th ed. New York: Longman.

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in writing an argumentative essay when is the best time to introduce the claim

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Easy Guide with Tips and Examples

in writing an argumentative essay when is the best time to introduce the claim

What Is an Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays involve a strong stance on an issue to sway the reader toward the author's viewpoint. This differs from a persuasive essay, which relies more on the writer's emotions and views.

This kind of essay typically necessitates a deep study of argumentative essay topics and is structured in three main parts consisting of five paragraphs: one opening, three body, and one closing. Argumentative essays aim to get the reader to agree with the thesis statement, which is backed by evidence, facts, and data. At that point, you should specify your main thought or thesis statement while considering this. It will be the focus of attention for whatever comes after this juncture.

A student is given this kind of paper to practice debating. As a result, it may significantly impact a person's ability to speak in front of an audience later in life. Concentrating on facts and information while writing an argumentative essay rather than your opinions or preferences is crucial. The author may choose to present opposing views equally or to favor one over the other. Nevertheless, the thesis must contain all the main arguments and rebuttals discussed in the paper. It is similar to a political dialogue with oneself in many aspects. Now that you understand what is an argumentative essay let's browse through more interesting details that make up an argumentative essay.

Elements of an Argumentative Essay

The key elements of an argument include the following:

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

1. Problem Statement - Academic papers often begin with an unanswered question, a contradiction, or an explanation of a crucial concept. This is standard practice in academic writing to grab the reader's attention, highlight the importance of the study, and identify the literature to which the study will add.

2. Literature Review - After stating the problem, describe a gap in the literature that the research is trying to fill. This gap can be an unresolved question, a paradox, a missing piece of information, a theoretical inconsistency, or any other flaw in the existing understanding of the phenomenon in question.

3. The Research Focus - A statement describing the specific emphasis of the research is included after the literature review. This might be expressed in various ways, such as a question, a hypothesis, or—more frequently—a declaration of the research's goals or objectives.

4. Method and Methodology - The approach and methodology explain how you would answer the inquiry or how you achieved your results. Normally, the argumentative essay introduction and abstract concisely summarize the procedure and methodology. Here you outline your extensive research process, present conclusions, and explain why these steps were essential for the project. You should aim to concisely provide the most pertinent information using a few terms.

5. Results/Evidence - You're informing the reader of what you discovered. Evidence may be arranged according to methodological components, major topics, theories, concepts, case studies, historical eras, laws, literary genres, contexts, geographic regions, or other categories. The discussion must be directly related to the thesis's issue or argument, which is crucial.

6. Discussion and Conclusion - The last part of the storyline involves providing the answer to the inquiry or summarizing the argument and the primary proof used to validate it. This is then followed by a review of the importance of the research and the implications that result from it.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Steps

For an argumentative essay to be effective, having more than one opinion isn't enough. A strong stance won't be impactful if improperly organized and supported with sound reasons and facts. With this easy-to-follow guide, let us discover how to write an argumentative essay tailored to your target audience!

In the meantime, you can always ask us - ' write essay for me ' without putting in your effort!

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Choose Your Research Sources for Your Argumentative Essay

Researching the available literature in-depth is necessary for an argumentative essay. Additionally, they call for empirical study, where a writer gathers the data through the following techniques.

  • Interviews.
  • Experiments.
  • Observations.

Present your readers with dependable sources that back up your assertions. It's wise to read material from both sides of the subject. For the most current data, try and use sources released within the last two decades unless there is a distinct reason why not. Here are some good sources to look at:

  • Books produced by scholarly presses
  • Scholarly journals
  • Academic resources such as EBSCO and JSTOR
  • Nationally distributed publications like The New York Times

And if you struggle with finding good academic sources, feel free to use our research paper help !

Consider the Argumentative Essay Outline

As the argumentative essay structure is contingent upon its content and argument, each essay will have its particular structural difficulties. However, a fundamental part of the writing process is honing the ability to put forth an argument that is both convincing and lucid. Let's take a look at the argumentative essay format:

Start with the main claim in the introduction – The core thesis you want to support. Establishing your claim is one of the most crucial components of any academic work, whether a movie review essay , a presentation, a dissertation, a research paper, or a thesis. A strong assertion should be audacious, captivating, and, most crucially, debatable.

Present the proofs in the body paragraphs - Facts, data, sources, and examples must be provided as evidence and correctly connected. It is essential to acknowledge that just because there is evidence, it does not necessarily make the proposition true. You must contribute some effort to convince your reader of the relationship between the data and your reasoning.

Find opposing arguments and respond to them - Taking other perspectives into account and looking for potential objections is also essential. We may favor ideas that endorse our views, which can result in one-sided or faulty arguments. If we take the time to actively consider opposing opinions and incorporate them into our own thinking, we can create arguments with more depth and complexity.

Conclusion - The last piece of your argumentative essay outline is the conclusion, which should be an informed summary of the argument, using language that is in line with the reliability of your discoveries. You may use this as a chance to make predictions or recommendations, offer some practical applications, or identify potential further research.

Add Transitions within Argumentative Essay Paragraphs

At this point, you should have at least three strong body paragraphs, each containing 3-5 pieces of supporting evidence and your personal analysis/synthesis. It's a good idea to ensure that the paragraph's topic sentences still reflect the rest of the content. And consider the relationship between these arguments.

If needed, reorganize your paragraphs for the most logical order. To take your entire essay to the next level, add some sentences at the beginning or end of each paragraph to link the argumentative essay ideas together.

Add Bibliography to Your Argumentative Essay

See what bibliographic style your teacher wants you to use. Generally, the instructions will include 'MLA style,' 'APA,' etc., or they will give you their own rules.

These guidelines will specify how to structure your 'works cited' section after your essay with the complete bibliographic information and how to format your citations in the body of your essay.

Revise Your Final Argumentative Essay

As you are editing, look through your work from start to finish. Does everything make sense? Are there any quotations or paraphrases that don't have a context? Are there any sudden changes in the subject? Fix it up!

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Verify your thesis statement twice, as your essay's success hinges on the clarity of this statement, and without a clear thesis, it is difficult to write an outstanding essay. Make sure it is:

  • Debatable because someone could disagree with this assertion notwithstanding the facts.
  • Narrow & specific: Avoids a stance that is too wide to support.
  • Complex: demonstrates your profound thought processes by taking into account the qualifiers and/or objections in your argument.

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3 Ways to Approach Argumentative Writing

Classical Approach - This is the most common approach and where you should:

  • Introduce your issue. Most lecturers will want you to deliver a strong thesis statement after your introductory paragraph. The goal is to introduce your main points to your audience before delving further.
  • Explain the problem in detail. Provide the reasons why a certain course of action or thinking is required to make your case. This will happen throughout several sentences.
  • Address the opposition. Briefly describe the opposing viewpoint in a few paragraphs. Make each argument against the adversary.
  • Provide your proof. After addressing the opposing viewpoint, explain why your side is superior.
  • Present your conclusion. Reiterate your core claim or thesis and highlight the important aspects of your argument in your conclusion. This is a good time to urge your audience to act if you advocate for change. Inform them of the changes they might make.

Rogerian Approach - The Rogerian method works well for argumentative pieces on contentious issues like global warming, gender identity, and philosophical problems. In contrast to other approaches, there is no set framework to adhere to. Instead, it involves giving both sides of an argument equal weight when presenting the facts. A broader view is essential, and finding a compromise is more significant than finding a solution.

Toulmin Approach - Polemical debates can benefit greatly from this tactic. It seeks to reduce pointless debates by locating areas of agreement within a discussion. For instance, if your topic is whether animal testing is banned, you would need to examine the most important points on both sides of the debate. You may discuss the benefits and drawbacks here.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics

Here are some good argumentative essay topics from our dissertation writing services you can consider for your next assignment:

  • Are virtual personalities expected to adhere to the same ethical codes as human influencers?
  • Should businesses be mandated to offer retraining and educational opportunities for workers that have been laid off?
  • Do social media networks bear any responsibility for the harm caused to their users?
  • Is remote work a workable solution for contemporary workplaces?
  • Is gene editing appropriate to remove inherited illnesses or improve physical characteristics?
  • Is it wise to prioritize sustainable agriculture and plant-based diets to lessen carbon emissions?
  • Who should be held liable for incidents involving autonomous cars?
  • Are gig workers deserving of the same advantages and security as regular workers?
  • Does playing violent video games correlate with aggressive behavior in children and adolescents?
  • Should corporations be permitted to secure exclusive rights to genes and genetic data for commercial gain?

Read also an informative article about the movie review essay .

Argumentative Essay Examples

Below you can find some good argumentative essay examples from our argumentative essay writer . The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of being able to strike for public workers.

Argumentative Essay Example: Should Public Workers be Allowed to Strike?

Say goodbye to 'stress at work' and welcome the 'freedom to express yourself.' Most public workers are denied their right to expression even after being exposed to bad working conditions and rights violations. These violations deny them the morale to perform well in their duties. Enabling workers to strike motivates them to work since it encourages them to speak out whenever they feel their rights, safety, and/or regulations have been compromised. Countries across the globe should always allow public workers to strike. ‍

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.

At this point, you should be well aware of the argumentative essay definition and the ways you can structure it perfectly. You might even have already composed your argumentative essay and would like to have it evaluated. In this case, don't hesitate to contact us. We can review your academic essays and help you gain the grade you deserve. If you haven't written it yet, our essay writing service can assist you. Even if you want to know how to write an autobiography , all you need to do is submit your essay writing help request, and we'll take care of it in a flash!

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  • UWSSLEC LibGuides
  • 7th Grade - Argumentative Writing
  • Introducing Your Claim
  • Home - Argumentative Writing
  • Task Definition
  • Topic Selection
  • Gathering Information
  • Evaluating Information
  • Organizing Information
  • Providing Reasons and Evidence
  • Refuting the Opposing Claim
  • Concluding the Argument
  • Revise and Publish
  • Bibliography

What is a Claim?

The time has come to write the claim of your argument.  But what exactly is a claim? A claim is a speaker's position on an issue. Essentially, you are stating and supporting your opinion on a topic. Use the provided links to assist you with the necessary tools to successfully understand and immerse your claim into your introductory paragraph.

Each column has been designated with a focal area:

Column 1 = Understanding a claim

Column 2 = Writing Introductions

Claim - Interactive Tutorial

Click on the image to deepen your understanding of a claim.

How to Introduce Your Claim

Watch the following video to help guide you through the claim writing process.

Thesis as a Claim

Use this link to understand how your claim serves as your thesis.

Teacher Guide and Smartboard Lesson

Effective introductions guide, capturing the audience.

  • The Importance of an Introduction Watch this video to receive advice on capturing the attention of your audience.

in writing an argumentative essay when is the best time to introduce the claim

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  • Next: Providing Reasons and Evidence >>
  • Last Updated: Dec 8, 2015 2:23 AM
  • URL: https://uwsslec.libguides.com/c.php?g=218000

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Matt Ellis

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince readers of a particular position on a topic. Because of its reliance on structure and planning, the first step in writing one is often drafting a solid argumentative essay outline. 

Of course, drafting an argumentative essay outline can be just as daunting as actually writing one. Choosing topics is one thing, but organizing your thesis , research, reasoning, and conclusion is a whole other endeavor—and that’s all before beginning the first draft! 

So in this quick guide, we explain how to make an effective argumentative essay outline, covering all three major formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin. We’ll also include argumentative essay outline examples and templates to help you understand what works. 

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How is an argumentative essay structured? 

An argumentative essay uses facts, data, and logical reasoning to substantiate a specific stance on any given topic. They are typically structured to “build an argument,” with a clear thesis statement , unambiguous conclusion, and as much evidential support as needed.  

While all seven types of essays follow the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, argumentative essays tend to be more complex to fit all the necessary components of a convincing argument. For example, you may want to dissect opposing points of view to strengthen your own argument, but where would you put that section? Before your argument? After? Intermingled throughout the essay with each new piece of evidence? 

There’s no one right way to structure an argumentative essay; it depends on your topic, opposing viewpoints, and the readers, among other things. In fact, to accommodate different types of argumentative essay styles, three methods have emerged as the go-to formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin, explained below.  

No matter the format or topic, a strong argumentative essay outline makes it easier to organize your thoughts and present your case in the best possible way. So before you get down to the actual essay writing , take a little time to prepare what you want to say in an outline. 

How to create an argumentative essay outline

Knowing how to write an outline is just half the battle. Because an argumentative essay outline requires extra structure and organization, it often requires more extensive planning than the standard essay outline . After all, the goal is to present the best argument for your topic, so you need to make sure each section is in the optimal place. 

As mentioned, there are three main options for how to structure an argumentative essay. Before we dive into the details, let’s look at an overview of each so you can decide which one best fits your essay. 

Classical (Aristotelian)

When to use it: straightforward and direct arguments

The most forthright approach, the Classical or Aristotelian format is closest to traditional essay structures. It follows a simple layout: explain your argument, explain your opposition’s argument, and then present your evidence, all the while relying on credibility ( ethos ), emotion ( pathos ), and reasoning ( logos ) to influence the reader. 

When to use it: both sides make valid arguments; your readers are sympathetic to the opposing position

The Rogerian format gives ample respect to opposing stances, making it a great “middle-ground” approach for representing both sides. This method is ideal if your thesis is a compromise between conflicting positions or an attempt to unify them. 

Likewise, this format is best if you’re writing for readers who are already biased toward an opposing position, such as if you’re arguing against societal norms. 

When to use it: complicated arguments with multiple facets; rebuttals and counterarguments

The Toulmin method is a deep analysis of a single argument. Given its methodical and detailed nature, it works best for breaking down a complicated thesis into digestible portions. 

The Toulmin method is rather nitpicky in a very systematic way. That makes it an ideal format if your essay is a rebuttal or counterargument to another essay—you’re able to dissect and disprove your opposition point by point while offering a more reasonable alternative.  

Classical argumentative essay outline template

Aristotle had a gift for explaining things clearly and logically, and the Aristotelian argumentative essay structure leans into that. Also known as Classical or Classic, the Aristotelian format is the most straightforward: the writer presents their argument first and then refutes the opposing argument. 

Let’s look at the details in this argumentative essay outline example for the Classical or Aristotelian format. 

I. Introduction

A. Open with a hook, something to keep the reader interested enough to read until the conclusion (known as exordium ) B. Give any background information or context necessary to understand the topic (known as narratio )  C. Provide a thesis statement explaining your stance and why you feel that way (known as proposito and partitio )

II. First reason 

A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio )
2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on

B. Summarize your first reason again and tie it together with evidential support 

III. Second reason, etc. 

A. Continue to list your reasons in the same format as the first. List your reasons from least to most controversial 

IV. First opposing point of view

A. Explain the reasoning of the opposing side. Point out their defenses and evidence—what would they say if they were writing the essay?  1. Point out weaknesses and inconsistencies in their argument
2. Refute their points with evidential support (known as refutatio )
3. Reinforce your position as the more reasonable position

V. Second opposing point of view, etc. 

A. Continue to present and refute opposing points of view in the same format as the first 

VI. Conclusion

A. Reiterate your position and thesis statement, drawing on your strongest evidential support and rebuttals of opposing points (known as peroratio ) B. Wrap everything up with a thought-provoking ending or call to action (a suggestion you want the reader to take) 

Rogerian argumentative essay outline template

Of all formats, Rogerian gives the most attention to opposing arguments. Its goal is to create a middle ground between two arguments, pointing out the validity of each and finding a way to unify them as one. If positions on a particular topic are too polarized or unable to coexist, this format won’t work. 

Let’s take a closer look at the Rogerian argumentative essay outline example below and notice the concessions for opposing points of view. 

A. State the problem that needs to be solved and any context necessary for understanding it B. Explain the ideal solutions from your position as well as the ideal solutions from opposing positions (and point out any overlap) C. Make your thesis statement

II. Summarize the opposing position

A. Summarize the opposition’s point of view respectfully; consider their defense and reasoning  1. Present evidential support for the opposing position
2. Comment on or refute their support

B. Follow the same format for additional opposing points of view

III. Validate the opposing position

A. Show that you understand and/or sympathize with the opposing position 1. Explain the context and reasoning behind your opposition’s perspective
2. Elaborate on the evidence and data from opposing positions

B. Affirm the areas in which you agree with the opposition

IV. Present your position

A. Summarize your first reason for holding your position 1. Present your first piece of evidential support
2. Present your second piece of evidential support, and so on

B. Summarize your second reason for holding your position, and so on 

V. Bring both sides together (compromise)

A. Consider which aspects from each argument are most reasonable B. Propose a compromise that combines the best elements from each position
A. Reaffirm your respect for the opposing point of view B. Reiterate the areas in which the opposition can benefit from your argument and vice versa C. Summarize the earlier compromise and, if possible, end on a positive note

Toulmin argumentative essay outline template

Stephen Toulmin’s original purpose was to analyze the nature of arguments, but the application of his teachings has evolved into an argumentative essay format, especially for challenging existing arguments. It focuses on the six elements that make up a good argument: claim (thesis), grounds (data and reasons), warrants, backings, qualifiers, and rebuttals. 

The argumentative essay outline example below shows the recommended order in which to put these elements: 

A. Open with a hook, if you can, to garner interest B. Explain the topic and its necessary context C. Make your thesis statement

II. Present the grounds (hard evidence) to validate your thesis

A. Present your first evidential support of data or logical reasons  B. Present your second evidential support of data or logical reasons, and so on 

III. Explain your first warrant (justification for your thesis)

A. Explain how the warrant relates back to your thesis B. Provide backing to support your warrant (could be more evidence or data or just logical reasoning) C. List any qualifiers that undermine or limit your warrant—the idea is to acknowledge any weaknesses in your own argument

IV. Explain your second warrant, and so on

A. Continue to explain your individual warrants as above 

V. Discuss opposition

A. Explain the first opposing point of view 1. Discuss the opposition fairly and transparently
2. Explain your rebuttal to defend your thesis

B. Explain the second opposing point of view, and so on 

A. Connect all your warrants and data together  B. Reiterate the opposing position and your rebuttals C. Draw a conclusion to make your final claim and reaffirm your thesis

Argumentative essay FAQs

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a short, nonfiction piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince the reader of a certain point of view. 

Argumentative essays typically include an explanation of the writer’s position (thesis), evidence supporting that thesis, opposing points of view, and rebuttals against that opposition. The order in which these sections are presented, however, depends on the format. 

What are some common ways to organize an argumentative essay outline?

The most straightforward approach to an argumentative essay outline is to first present your position, including the evidence and reasoning to back it up, and then address the opposing points of view. However, the more complex the topic, the more layers must be added to the outline. 

in writing an argumentative essay when is the best time to introduce the claim

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Guide to Writing Strong Introductions for Argumentative Essays

Adela Belin

Table of contents

Have you ever stared at a blank document, the cursor blinking back at you, as your mind races to conjure the perfect starting line for your argumentative essay? If so, you're in good company.

Opening an essay is often the most daunting part for many students. They oscillate between typing out a line and hastily hitting the backspace, feeling the pressure of that first sentence. After all, first impressions matter, right? So, your introduction should be nothing short of spectacular.

But here's the good news - crafting a powerful introduction for your argumentative essay is not as elusive as it seems. In fact, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you out, and trust us, they work!

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who has ever struggled with introducing their argumentative essay - so essentially, every student ever! We're going to break it down, step by step, showing you the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and even providing you with some solid examples.

Hire Us To Write Your Argumentative Essay

And if you're worried about whether you can do it on your own, don't fret! Our expert argumentative essay writers at Writers Per Hour are always ready to help you.

So, let's dive into the art of crafting a compelling introduction for an argumentative essay, shall we?

Understanding the Purpose of an Introduction

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of writing a killer introduction, it's important to understand why it matters so much.

Your introduction, essentially, sets the stage for your argumentative essay. It is your reader's first glimpse into the argument you're about to unfold. An effective introduction grabs your reader's attention, piques their interest, and provides a clear road map for what's to come in the essay.

In simpler words, the purpose of an introduction in an argumentative essay is threefold:

Engage the reader : A well-crafted introduction acts as a hook, capturing the reader's attention and encouraging them to read further.

Provide background information : It sets the context of the argument by offering necessary background details about the topic.

Present the thesis statement : Arguably the most critical part of your introduction - the thesis statement clearly outlines your position on the argument.

REMEMBER : a great introduction is your ticket to a good grade. It is the first impression you make on your reader. So, if it isn't engaging, concise, and clear, you might lose your reader before they even get to the main argument.

The Anatomy of a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

Now that you understand the purpose of an introduction, let's break down the structure.

An effective introduction to an argumentative essay will generally have three main sections: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.

The Hook : This is the first sentence of your introduction, and it needs to grab your reader’s attention. An effective hook could be a surprising fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing statement that challenges common perceptions. This needs to be relevant to your topic and should provoke curiosity, pushing the reader to continue.

Background Information : Following the hook, provide some context to your argument. Explain the relevance of your topic or problem, its history or evolution, or the common debates surrounding it. This provides a basic understanding for your reader and sets the stage for your argument.

Thesis Statement : This is where you state your position clearly and concisely. The thesis statement is arguably the most important part of your introduction—it is the crux of your argument and should be compelling and thought-provoking. It needs to clearly indicate what your argument is and give a hint of how you plan to approach it.

IMPORTANT : your introduction is not a place to present all your evidence or explain every aspect of your argument—that's what the body of your essay is for. Instead, your introduction should hint at these things, creating a roadmap for the reader.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay

Crafting a strong introduction for your argumentative essay is about adhering to some key dos and don’ts. Let's take a look at some of these:

1. Engage your reader : Your introduction's first job is to engage the reader. You can achieve this with a compelling hook that draws them into your essay. Remember, first impressions matter!

2. Provide relevant background information : Your reader may not be as knowledgeable about your topic as you are, so be sure to provide some context and background information to help them understand your argument.

3. State your thesis clearly : Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and debatable. The reader should have no doubts about your stance on the issue.

4. Preview your argument : Give your reader a sense of what's to come by previewing your main points or arguments. This prepares them for the rest of your essay.

1. Don't make your introduction too long : Remember, the introduction is just a sneak peek into your essay, not the main event. Keep it concise and to the point.

2. Don't use clichés : Starting your essay with clichéd phrases or overused quotes can make your introduction feel unoriginal. Instead, aim for a fresh and unique opening line that will pique your reader's interest.

3. Don't be vague : Be clear and precise in your introduction. Vague statements can confuse your reader and make your argument seem weak.

4. Don't forget your audience : Always keep your audience in mind while writing. Your language, tone, and the context you provide should be appropriate for your audience.

REMEMBER : your introduction sets the tone for the rest of your essay, so take your time with it.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing the Introduction

Crafting an engaging introduction for your argumentative essay is like setting the stage for a compelling drama. It should hook your audience, provide context, and present your stance on the issue. But how can you bring all these elements together effectively? Let's break it down step-by-step. Here's your comprehensive guide to writing a riveting introduction for your argumentative essay.

Step 1: Understanding Your Topic

Before you begin writing, ensure that you thoroughly understand the topic and the argument you wish to present. This means going beyond surface-level research and really digging deep into the subject matter.

Step 2: Define Your Stance

Clearly outline your stance on the argument. This will be the foundation of your thesis statement and guide the tone and direction of your essay.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Hook 

Begin your introduction with a hook - an interesting fact, a question, a quote, or a compelling statement that grabs the reader's attention.

Step 4: Provide Background Information

Next, provide some context to your reader about the topic at hand. Remember not to delve too deep into the specifics - just enough information to guide the reader to understand the relevance of your argument.

Step 5: State Your Thesis

Lastly, present your thesis statement - a concise summary of your main argument. This should be clear, precise, and strongly worded. The thesis statement will guide the entirety of your essay, so make sure it's impactful.

Step 6: Preview Your Main Points 

Briefly preview the main points that you will elaborate on in the body of your essay. This helps your reader to understand what to expect from the rest of your argumentative essay.

Step 7: Revise and Edit

Always revise and edit your introduction after writing. Look for any grammar mistakes, unclear sentences or ideas, and ensure that your introduction smoothly transitions into the body of your essay.

REMEMBER : the introduction is the first impression your reader gets of your argumentative essay. Make it impactful, clear, and concise, and you'll have set a strong foundation for the rest of your essay. If you're ever in doubt, reach out to our legal essay writing service , and we'll help guide you on your journey to mastering argumentative essays.

Case Study: Good vs. Bad Introduction

Bad Introduction : "The topic I am writing about is the use of social media. It is very popular. People are always on their phones checking their social media accounts. I am going to talk about if it is good or bad."

Analysis : This introduction falls flat for several reasons. It doesn't grab the reader's attention, and the thesis statement is unclear and broad. It doesn't offer any specific viewpoint or direction for the argument to follow.

Good Introduction : "Every minute, approximately 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 347,222 stories are posted on Instagram, and 2.4 million snaps are created on Snapchat. The rise of social media platforms is more than a trend - it's a global phenomenon. But as these virtual communities continue to grow, a vital question arises: Is the widespread use of social media enhancing human connection or creating deeper isolation? This essay will delve into the multifaceted impacts of social media, arguing that despite its potential for fostering a global network, it often serves as a platform that promotes isolation and disconnection."

Analysis : This introduction starts with an attention-grabbing statistic, clearly showing the extent of social media usage. The background information provided is concise and relevant, offering enough context without overshadowing the argument. The thesis statement is clear, arguable, and offers a specific direction for the essay to take.

By comparing these two examples, you can see how a well-crafted introduction sets the tone for the entire essay, providing a clear, compelling roadmap for the argument to follow.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Crafting an engaging introduction for an argumentative essay doesn't have to be an intimidating process. By understanding the crucial elements involved, practicing, and continuously refining your writing, you're well on your way to creating introductions that captivate your audience and set a strong precedent for your arguments.

  • Start with a powerful hook.
  • Provide necessary background information.
  • State your thesis clearly and concisely.
  • Set the stage for your main argument.
  • And most importantly, revise and refine your introduction.

And there's one more thing to bear in mind: you're not alone in this journey. Writing can be challenging, but help is always within reach.

Additional Resources

To further solidify your introduction writing skills and broaden your understanding of argumentative essays, here are some additional resources that are worth diving into:

Posts from Writers Per Hour Blog

  • How to Write Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
  • How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument
  • Argumentative Essay Topics Ideas
  • Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay

External Resources

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: Introduction to Argumentative Essays
  • University of North Carolina Writing Center: Introductions
  • Harvard College Writing Center: How to Write an Essay

Remember, becoming proficient in writing argumentative essays is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, practice, and patience. But don't forget - if you ever find yourself in need of help, our argumentative essay writing service is here for you. Our experienced argumentative writers are adept at crafting essays and can support you in reaching your academic goals.

Last edit at Jul 08 2023

Adela Belin

Adela Belin

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 3 key tips for how to write an argumentative essay.

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General Education

feature-couple-arguing-1

If there’s one writing skill you need to have in your toolkit for standardized tests, AP exams, and college-level writing, it’s the ability to make a persuasive argument. Effectively arguing for a position on a topic or issue isn’t just for the debate team— it’s for anyone who wants to ace the essay portion of an exam or make As in college courses.

To give you everything you need to know about how to write an argumentative essay , we’re going to answer the following questions for you:

  • What is an argumentative essay?
  • How should an argumentative essay be structured?
  • How do I write a strong argument?
  • What’s an example of a strong argumentative essay?
  • What are the top takeaways for writing argumentative papers?

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepped and ready to write a great argumentative essay yourself!

Now, let’s break this down.

body-brick-wall-question-words

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents the writer’s position or stance on a specific topic and uses evidence to support that position. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince your reader that your position is logical, ethical, and, ultimately, right . In argumentative essays, writers accomplish this by writing:

  • A clear, persuasive thesis statement in the introduction paragraph
  • Body paragraphs that use evidence and explanations to support the thesis statement
  • A paragraph addressing opposing positions on the topic—when appropriate
  • A conclusion that gives the audience something meaningful to think about.

Introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion: these are the main sections of an argumentative essay. Those probably sound familiar. Where does arguing come into all of this, though? It’s not like you’re having a shouting match with your little brother across the dinner table. You’re just writing words down on a page!

...or are you? Even though writing papers can feel like a lonely process, one of the most important things you can do to be successful in argumentative writing is to think about your argument as participating in a larger conversation . For one thing, you’re going to be responding to the ideas of others as you write your argument. And when you’re done writing, someone—a teacher, a professor, or exam scorer—is going to be reading and evaluating your argument.

If you want to make a strong argument on any topic, you have to get informed about what’s already been said on that topic . That includes researching the different views and positions, figuring out what evidence has been produced, and learning the history of the topic. That means—you guessed it!—argumentative essays almost always require you to incorporate outside sources into your writing.  

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What Makes Argumentative Essays Unique?

Argumentative essays are different from other types of essays for one main reason: in an argumentative essay, you decide what the argument will be . Some types of essays, like summaries or syntheses, don’t want you to show your stance on the topic—they want you to remain unbiased and neutral.

In argumentative essays, you’re presenting your point of view as the writer and, sometimes, choosing the topic you’ll be arguing about. You just want to make sure that that point of view comes across as informed, well-reasoned, and persuasive.

Another thing about argumentative essays: they’re often longer than other types of essays. Why, you ask? Because it takes time to develop an effective argument. If your argument is going to be persuasive to readers, you have to address multiple points that support your argument, acknowledge counterpoints, and provide enough evidence and explanations to convince your reader that your points are valid.

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Our 3 Best Tips for Picking a Great Argumentative Topic

The first step to writing an argumentative essay deciding what to write about! Choosing a topic for your argumentative essay might seem daunting, though. It can feel like you could make an argument about anything under the sun. For example, you could write an argumentative essay about how cats are way cooler than dogs, right?

It’s not quite that simple . Here are some strategies for choosing a topic that serves as a solid foundation for a strong argument.

Choose a Topic That Can Be Supported With Evidence

First, you want to make sure the topic you choose allows you to make a claim that can be supported by evidence that’s considered credible and appropriate for the subject matter ...and, unfortunately, your personal opinions or that Buzzfeed quiz you took last week don’t quite make the cut.

Some topics—like whether cats or dogs are cooler—can generate heated arguments, but at the end of the day, any argument you make on that topic is just going to be a matter of opinion. You have to pick a topic that allows you to take a position that can be supported by actual, researched evidence.

(Quick note: you could write an argumentative paper over the general idea that dogs are better than cats—or visa versa!—if you’re a) more specific and b) choose an idea that has some scientific research behind it. For example, a strong argumentative topic could be proving that dogs make better assistance animals than cats do.)

You also don’t want to make an argument about a topic that’s already a proven fact, like that drinking water is good for you. While some people might dislike the taste of water, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that proves—beyond the shadow of a doubt—that drinking water is a key part of good health.  

To avoid choosing a topic that’s either unprovable or already proven, try brainstorming some issues that have recently been discussed in the news, that you’ve seen people debating on social media, or that affect your local community. If you explore those outlets for potential topics, you’ll likely stumble upon something that piques your audience’s interest as well.  

Choose a Topic That You Find Interesting

Topics that have local, national, or global relevance often also resonate with us on a personal level. Consider choosing a topic that holds a connection between something you know or care about and something that is relevant to the rest of society. These don’t have to be super serious issues, but they should be topics that are timely and significant.

For example, if you are a huge football fan, a great argumentative topic for you might be arguing whether football leagues need to do more to prevent concussions . Is this as “important” an issue as climate change? No, but it’s still a timely topic that affects many people. And not only is this a great argumentative topic: you also get to write about one of your passions! Ultimately, if you’re working with a topic you enjoy, you’ll have more to say—and probably write a better essay .

Choose a Topic That Doesn’t Get You Too Heated

Another word of caution on choosing a topic for an argumentative paper: while it can be effective to choose a topic that matters to you personally, you also want to make sure you’re choosing a topic that you can keep your cool over. You’ve got to be able to stay unemotional, interpret the evidence persuasively, and, when appropriate, discuss opposing points of view without getting too salty.

In some situations, choosing a topic for your argumentative paper won’t be an issue at all: the test or exam will choose it for you . In that case, you’ve got to do the best you can with what you’re given.

In the next sections, we’re going to break down how to write any argumentative essay —regardless of whether you get to choose your own topic or have one assigned to you! Our expert tips and tricks will make sure that you’re knocking your paper out of the park.

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The Thesis: The Argumentative Essay’s Backbone

You’ve chosen a topic or, more likely, read the exam question telling you to defend, challenge, or qualify a claim on an assigned topic. What do you do now?

You establish your position on the topic by writing a killer thesis statement ! The thesis statement, sometimes just called “the thesis,” is the backbone of your argument, the north star that keeps you oriented as you develop your main points, the—well, you get the idea.

In more concrete terms, a thesis statement conveys your point of view on your topic, usually in one sentence toward the end of your introduction paragraph . It’s very important that you state your point of view in your thesis statement in an argumentative way—in other words, it should state a point of view that is debatable.

And since your thesis statement is going to present your argument on the topic, it’s the thing that you’ll spend the rest of your argumentative paper defending. That’s where persuasion comes in. Your thesis statement tells your reader what your argument is, then the rest of your essay shows and explains why your argument is logical.

Why does an argumentative essay need a thesis, though? Well, the thesis statement—the sentence with your main claim—is actually the entire point of an argumentative essay. If you don’t clearly state an arguable claim at the beginning of your paper, then it’s not an argumentative essay. No thesis statement = no argumentative essay. Got it?

Other types of essays that you’re familiar with might simply use a thesis statement to forecast what the rest of the essay is going to discuss or to communicate what the topic is. That’s not the case here. If your thesis statement doesn’t make a claim or establish your position, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

Example Thesis Statements

Here are a couple of examples of thesis statements that aren’t argumentative and thesis statements that are argumentative

The sky is blue.

The thesis statement above conveys a fact, not a claim, so it’s not argumentative.

To keep the sky blue, governments must pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions.

The second example states a position on a topic. What’s the topic in that second sentence? The best way to keep the sky blue. And what position is being conveyed? That the best way to keep the sky blue is by passing clean air legislation and regulating emissions.

Some people would probably respond to that thesis statement with gusto: “No! Governments should not pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions! That infringes on my right to pollute the earth!” And there you have it: a thesis statement that presents a clear, debatable position on a topic.

Here’s one more set of thesis statement examples, just to throw in a little variety:

Spirituality and otherworldliness characterize A$AP Rocky’s portrayals of urban life and the American Dream in his rap songs and music videos.

The statement above is another example that isn’t argumentative, but you could write a really interesting analytical essay with that thesis statement. Long live A$AP! Now here’s another one that is argumentative:

To give students an understanding of the role of the American Dream in contemporary life, teachers should incorporate pop culture, like the music of A$AP Rocky, into their lessons and curriculum.

The argument in this one? Teachers should incorporate more relevant pop culture texts into their curriculum.

This thesis statement also gives a specific reason for making the argument above: To give students an understanding of the role of the American Dream in contemporary life. If you can let your reader know why you’re making your argument in your thesis statement, it will help them understand your argument better.

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An actual image of you killing your argumentative essay prompts after reading this article! 

Breaking Down the Sections of An Argumentative Essay

Now that you know how to pick a topic for an argumentative essay and how to make a strong claim on your topic in a thesis statement, you’re ready to think about writing the other sections of an argumentative essay. These are the parts that will flesh out your argument and support the claim you made in your thesis statement.  

Like other types of essays, argumentative essays typically have three main sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Within those sections, there are some key elements that a reader—and especially an exam scorer or professor—is always going to expect you to include.

Let’s look at a quick outline of those three sections with their essential pieces here:

  • Introduction paragraph with a thesis statement (which we just talked about)
  • Support Point #1 with evidence
  • Explain/interpret the evidence with your own, original commentary (AKA, the fun part!)
  • Support Point #2 with evidence
  • Explain/interpret the evidence with your own, original commentary
  • Support Point #3 with evidence
  • New paragraph addressing opposing viewpoints (more on this later!)
  • Concluding paragraph

 Now, there are some key concepts in those sections that you’ve got to understand if you’re going to master how to write an argumentative essay. To make the most of the body section, you have to know how to support your claim (your thesis statement), what evidence and explanations are and when you should use them, and how and when to address opposing viewpoints. To finish strong, you’ve got to have a strategy for writing a stellar conclusion.

This probably feels like a big deal! The body and conclusion make up most of the essay, right? Let’s get down to it, then.

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How to Write a Strong Argument

Once you have your topic and thesis, you’re ready for the hard part: actually writing your argument. If you make strategic choices—like the ones we’re about to talk about—writing a strong argumentative essay won’t feel so difficult.

There are three main areas where you want to focus your energy as you develop a strategy for how to write an argumentative essay: supporting your claim—your thesis statement—in your essay, addressing other viewpoints on your topic, and writing a solid conclusion. If you put thought and effort into these three things, you’re much more likely to write an argumentative essay that’s engaging, persuasive, and memorable...aka A+ material.

Focus Area 1: Supporting Your Claim With Evidence and Explanations

So you’ve chosen your topic, decided what your position will be, and written a thesis statement. But like we see in comment threads across the Internet, if you make a claim and don’t back it up with evidence, what do people say? “Where’s your proof?” “Show me the facts!” “Do you have any evidence to support that claim?”

Of course you’ve done your research like we talked about. Supporting your claim in your thesis statement is where that research comes in handy.

You can’t just use your research to state the facts, though. Remember your reader? They’re going to expect you to do some of the dirty work of interpreting the evidence for them. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between evidence and explanations, and how and when to use both in your argumentative essay.

What Evidence Is and When You Should Use It

Evidence can be material from any authoritative and credible outside source that supports your position on your topic. In some cases, evidence can come in the form of photos, video footage, or audio recordings. In other cases, you might be pulling reasons, facts, or statistics from news media articles, public policy, or scholarly books or journals.

There are some clues you can look for that indicate whether or not a source is credible , such as whether:

  • The website where you found the source ends in .edu, .gov, or .org
  • The source was published by a university press
  • The source was published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • The authors did extensive research to support the claims they make in the source

This is just a short list of some of the clues that a source is likely a credible one, but just because a source was published by a prestigious press or the authors all have PhDs doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best piece of evidence for you to use to support your argument.

In addition to evaluating the source’s credibility, you’ve got to consider what types of evidence might come across as most persuasive in the context of the argument you’re making and who your readers are. In other words, stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of the entire context of your argumentative paper is key to choosing evidence that will strengthen your argument.

On some exams, like the AP exams , you may be given pretty strict parameters for what evidence to use and how to use it. You might be given six short readings that all address the same topic, have 15 minutes to read them, then be required to pull material from a minimum of three of the short readings to support your claim in an argumentative essay.

When the sources are handed to you like that, be sure to take notes that will help you pick out evidence as you read. Highlight, underline, put checkmarks in the margins of your exam . . . do whatever you need to do to begin identifying the material that you find most helpful or relevant. Those highlights and check marks might just turn into your quotes, paraphrases, or summaries of evidence in your completed exam essay.

What Explanations Are and When You Should Use Them

Now you know that taking a strategic mindset toward evidence and explanations is critical to grasping how to write an argumentative essay. Unfortunately, evidence doesn’t speak for itself. While it may be obvious to you, the researcher and writer, how the pieces of evidence you’ve included are relevant to your audience, it might not be as obvious to your reader.

That’s where explanations—or analysis, or interpretations—come in. You never want to just stick some quotes from an article into your paragraph and call it a day. You do want to interpret the evidence you’ve included to show your reader how that evidence supports your claim.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be saying, “This piece of evidence supports my argument because...”. Instead, you want to comment on the evidence in a way that helps your reader see how it supports the position you stated in your thesis. We’ll talk more about how to do this when we show you an example of a strong body paragraph from an argumentative essay here in a bit.

Understanding how to incorporate evidence and explanations to your advantage is really important. Here’s why: when you’re writing an argumentative essay, particularly on standardized tests or the AP exam, the exam scorers can’t penalize you for the position you take. Instead, their evaluation is going to focus on the way you incorporated evidence and explained it in your essay.

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Focus Area 2: How—and When—to Address Other Viewpoints

Why would we be making arguments at all if there weren’t multiple views out there on a given topic? As you do research and consider the background surrounding your topic, you’ll probably come across arguments that stand in direct opposition to your position.

Oftentimes, teachers will ask you to “address the opposition” in your argumentative essay. What does that mean, though, to “ address the opposition ?”

Opposing viewpoints function kind of like an elephant in the room. Your audience knows they’re there. In fact, your audience might even buy into an opposing viewpoint and be waiting for you to show them why your viewpoint is better. If you don’t, it means that you’ll have a hard time convincing your audience to buy your argument.

Addressing the opposition is a balancing act: you don’t want to undermine your own argument, but you don’t want to dismiss the validity of opposing viewpoints out-of-hand or ignore them altogether, which can also undermine your argument.

This isn’t the only acceptable approach, but it’s common practice to wait to address the opposition until close to the end of an argumentative essay. But why?

Well, waiting to present an opposing viewpoint until after you’ve thoroughly supported your own argument is strategic. You aren’t going to go into great detail discussing the opposing viewpoint: you’re going to explain what that viewpoint is fairly, but you’re also going to point out what’s wrong with it.

It can also be effective to read the opposition through the lens of your own argument and the evidence you’ve used to support it. If the evidence you’ve already included supports your argument, it probably doesn’t support the opposing viewpoint. Without being too obvious, it might be worth pointing this out when you address the opposition.

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Focus Area #3: Writing the Conclusion

It’s common to conclude an argumentative essay by reiterating the thesis statement in some way, either by reminding the reader what the overarching argument was in the first place or by reviewing the main points and evidence that you covered.

You don’t just want to restate your thesis statement and review your main points and call it a day, though. So much has happened since you stated your thesis in the introduction! And why waste a whole paragraph—the very last thing your audience is going to read—on just repeating yourself?

Here’s an approach to the conclusion that can give your audience a fresh perspective on your argument: reinterpret your thesis statement for them in light of all the evidence and explanations you’ve provided. Think about how your readers might read your thesis statement in a new light now that they’ve heard your whole argument out.

That’s what you want to leave your audience with as you conclude your argumentative paper: a brief explanation of why all that arguing mattered in the first place. If you can give your audience something to continue pondering after they’ve read your argument, that’s even better.

One thing you want to avoid in your conclusion, though: presenting new supporting points or new evidence. That can just be confusing for your reader. Stick to telling your reader why the argument you’ve already made matters, and your argument will stick with your reader.

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A Strong Argumentative Essay: Examples

For some aspiring argumentative essay writers, showing is better than telling. To show rather than tell you what makes a strong argumentative essay, we’ve provided three examples of possible body paragraphs for an argumentative essay below.

Think of these example paragraphs as taking on the form of the “Argumentative Point #1 → Evidence —> Explanation —> Repeat” process we talked through earlier. It’s always nice to be able to compare examples, so we’ve included three paragraphs from an argumentative paper ranging from poor (or needs a lot of improvement, if you’re feeling generous), to better, to best.

All of the example paragraphs are for an essay with this thesis statement: 

Thesis Statement: In order to most effectively protect user data and combat the spread of disinformation, the U.S. government should implement more stringent regulations of Facebook and other social media outlets.

As you read the examples, think about what makes them different, and what makes the “best” paragraph more effective than the “better” and “poor” paragraphs. Here we go:

A Poor Argument

Example Body Paragraph: Data mining has affected a lot of people in recent years. Facebook has 2.23 billion users from around the world, and though it would take a huge amount of time and effort to make sure a company as big as Facebook was complying with privacy regulations in countries across the globe, adopting a common framework for privacy regulation in more countries would be the first step. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself supports adopting a global framework for privacy and data protection, which would protect more users than before.

What’s Wrong With This Example?

First, let’s look at the thesis statement. Ask yourself: does this make a claim that some people might agree with, but others might disagree with?

The answer is yes. Some people probably think that Facebook should be regulated, while others might believe that’s too much government intervention. Also, there are definitely good, reliable sources out there that will help this writer prove their argument. So this paper is off to a strong start!  

Unfortunately, this writer doesn’t do a great job proving their thesis in their body paragraph. First, the topic sentence—aka the first sentence of the paragraph—doesn’t make a point that directly supports the position stated in the thesis. We’re trying to argue that government regulation will help protect user data and combat the spread of misinformation, remember? The topic sentence should make a point that gets right at that, instead of throwing out a random fact about data mining.

Second, because the topic sentence isn’t focused on making a clear point, the rest of the paragraph doesn’t have much relevant information, and it fails to provide credible evidence that supports the claim made in the thesis statement. For example, it would be a great idea to include exactly what Mark Zuckerberg said ! So while there’s definitely some relevant information in this paragraph, it needs to be presented with more evidence.

A Better Argument  

This paragraph is a bit better than the first one, but it still needs some work. The topic sentence is a bit too long, and it doesn’t make a point that clearly supports the position laid out in the thesis statement. The reader already knows that mining user data is a big issue, so the topic sentence would be a great place to make a point about why more stringent government regulations would most effectively protect user data.

There’s also a problem with how the evidence is incorporated in this example. While there is some relevant, persuasive evidence included in this paragraph, there’s no explanation of why or how it is relevant . Remember, you can’t assume that your evidence speaks for itself: you have to interpret its relevance for your reader. That means including at least a sentence that tells your reader why the evidence you’ve chosen proves your argument.

A Best—But Not Perfect!—Argument  

Example Body Paragraph: Though Facebook claims to be implementing company policies that will protect user data and stop the spread of misinformation , its attempts have been unsuccessful compared to those made by the federal government. When PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a Federal Trade Commission-mandated assessment of Facebook’s partnerships with Microsoft and the makers of the Blackberry handset in 2013, the team found limited evidence that Facebook had monitored or even checked that its partners had complied with Facebook’s existing data use policies. In fact, Facebook’s own auditors confirmed the PricewaterhouseCoopers findings, despite the fact that Facebook claimed that the company was making greater attempts to safeguard users’ personal information. In contrast, bills written by Congress have been more successful in changing Facebook’s practices than Facebook’s own company policies have. According to The Washington Post, The Honest Ads Act of 2017 “created public demand for transparency and changed how social media companies disclose online political advertising.” These policy efforts, though thus far unsuccessful in passing legislation, have nevertheless pushed social media companies to change some of their practices by sparking public outrage and negative media attention.

Why This Example Is The Best

This paragraph isn’t perfect, but it is the most effective at doing some of the things that you want to do when you write an argumentative essay.

First, the topic sentences get to the point . . . and it’s a point that supports and explains the claim made in the thesis statement! It gives a clear reason why our claim in favor of more stringent government regulations is a good claim : because Facebook has failed to self-regulate its practices.

This paragraph also provides strong evidence and specific examples that support the point made in the topic sentence. The evidence presented shows specific instances in which Facebook has failed to self-regulate, and other examples where the federal government has successfully influenced regulation of Facebook’s practices for the better.

Perhaps most importantly, though, this writer explains why the evidence is important. The bold sentence in the example is where the writer links the evidence back to their opinion. In this case, they explain that the pressure from Federal Trade Commission and Congress—and the threat of regulation—have helped change Facebook for the better.

Why point out that this isn’t a perfect paragraph, though? Because you won’t be writing perfect paragraphs when you’re taking timed exams either. But get this: you don’t have to write perfect paragraphs to make a good score on AP exams or even on an essay you write for class. Like in this example paragraph, you just have to effectively develop your position by appropriately and convincingly relying on evidence from good sources.

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Top 3 Takeaways For Writing Argumentative Essays

This is all great information, right? If (when) you have to write an argumentative essay, you’ll be ready. But when in doubt, remember these three things about how to write an argumentative essay, and you’ll emerge victorious:

Takeaway #1: Read Closely and Carefully

This tip applies to every aspect of writing an argumentative essay. From making sure you’re addressing your prompt, to really digging into your sources, to proofreading your final paper...you’ll need to actively and pay attention! This is especially true if you’re writing on the clock, like during an AP exam.

Takeaway #2: Make Your Argument the Focus of the Essay

Define your position clearly in your thesis statement and stick to that position! The thesis is the backbone of your paper, and every paragraph should help prove your thesis in one way or another. But sometimes you get to the end of your essay and realize that you’ve gotten off topic, or that your thesis doesn’t quite fit. Don’t worry—if that happens, you can always rewrite your thesis to fit your paper!

Takeaway #3: Use Sources to Develop Your Argument—and Explain Them

Nothing is as powerful as good, strong evidence. First, make sure you’re finding credible sources that support your argument. Then you can paraphrase, briefly summarize, or quote from your sources as you incorporate them into your paragraphs. But remember the most important part: you have to explain why you’ve chosen that evidence and why it proves your thesis.

What's Next?

Once you’re comfortable with how to write an argumentative essay, it’s time to learn some more advanced tips and tricks for putting together a killer argument.

Keep in mind that argumentative essays are just one type of essay you might encounter. That’s why we’ve put together more specific guides on how to tackle IB essays , SAT essays , and ACT essays .

But what about admissions essays? We’ve got you covered. Not only do we have comprehensive guides to the Coalition App and Common App essays, we also have tons of individual college application guides, too . You can search through all of our college-specific posts by clicking here.

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Argumentative Essay Guide

Nova A.

The Ultimate Guide to Argumentative Essay Writing

11 min read

Published on: Feb 3, 2018

Last updated on: Feb 23, 2023

argumentative essay guide

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Are you struggling to write an argumentative essay? Do you want to learn the essential tips and techniques to craft a convincing argument? 

Argumentative essay writing needs more than just a personal opinion. It requires you to present evidence and facts to support a claim. But where do you begin?

Look no further! This blog post will provide an in-depth guide on how to write an effective argumentative essay. 

Read on to learn how to craft a perfect argumentative essay in this simple step-by-step guide.

Argumentative Essay Definition

An argumentative essay is a type of essay where the writer takes a strong stance on an issue and presents arguments for it. 

These essays are built around a central argument. These arguments must be supported by logical evidence and facts. The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade readers to accept the writer's point of view on a particular topic.

It is similar to a persuasive essay. The only difference is, it is based on logic and evidence. Whereas, a persuasive essay may use emotional appeals.

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Five Types of Argument Claims

There are five types of arguable claims that you can support in your essay. These include factual claims, definition claims, value claims, cause-and-effect claims, and policy claims.

Let's discuss each type in detail:

Factual Claims

These claims focus on facts and events that have occurred in the past. They can be supported with evidence such as statistics, examples, or expert opinions.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay to support the claim that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. You would present evidence such as scientific research findings and expert opinions to back up your argument.

Definition Claims

These claims focus on the definition of something or a concept. You can use logic, historical facts, and evidence to support a definition claim.

For example, you could write an argumentative essay to define what “success” means for a person or organization. You would need to back up your definition by providing evidence from experts or historical data.

Value Claims

These claims focus on the value of something and can be supported with facts and expert opinions.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay to argue that technology has a positive effect on our lives. You would present evidence such as surveys and studies that show how technology has made life easier and more efficient.

Cause and Effect Claims

These claims focus on how one event or action leads to another. They can be supported with evidence such as experimental data.

For example, you could write an argumentative essay to argue that poverty causes crime. You would need to present evidence from experts and other sources to back up your claim.

Policy Claims

These claims focus on specific initiatives or policies that people want to implement. They can be supported with evidence from experts and other sources.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay to support the implementation of a new government policy for healthcare reform. You would need to provide evidence such as reports and studies on the issue to back up your claim.

So, there are five types of arguable claims that you can make in your essay. Each type requires its own unique approach. 

Three Argument Structures and How To Use Them

There are three main types of argument structures that may be used in an essay. Let's see how each of them works:

Classical (Aristotelian) Argument

The classical argument structure is the oldest and most common type of argument. This model has its roots in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. 

It consists of five parts: 

  • Introduction
  • Your Arguments
  • Counter Arguments

To construct a classical argument essay, you would need to:

  • Present your position on an issue
  • Provide evidence to support it
  • Acknowledge opposing views
  • Refute those views with evidence
  • Conclude by summarizing the main points.

Rogerian Argument

The Rogerian model is used in essays where the main purpose is to find a common ground between opposing sides. It was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers.

It consists of four parts: 

  • Both Sides Of An Issue
  • Common Ground

To construct a Rogerian argument essay, you would need:

  • To present your side of the issue
  • Acknowledge and present the opposing view
  • Find a point of agreement between them

Toulmin Argument

The Toulmin structure is less common than the other two but it has its own unique style. This model was developed by British philosopher Stephen Toulmin. It consists of six parts:

  • Rebuttal of opposing arguments
  • Conclusion.

To construct a Toulmin argument essay, you have to:

  • Present your claim on an issue
  • Provide evidence to back it up (grounds)
  • Support that evidence with additional information (backing)
  • Acknowledge any possible exceptions (qualifier)
  • Refute the counter-arguments (rebuttal)

It is important to choose the right structure that best fits the needs of your essay.

Watch this video that explains the three different types in detail:

How to Outline an Argumentative Essay

When writing an argumentative essay, it is important to create an outline. An outline will help you organize your arguments and keep track of the flow of your essay.

Here is a basic structure for outlining an argumentative essay:

I. Introduction A. Hook B. Background Information C. Thesis Statement II. Body A. First Argument B. Second Argument C. Third Argument III. Counterarguments IV. Rebuttal V. Conclusion A. Summary of Main Points  B. Final Remarks 

Following this structure will help you organize your essay and ensure that it is easy to read and understand. 

Read more about creating an argumentative essay outline and master the art of essay structure.

How To Write An Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays are the most common type of essays for High School and College students. They require strong critical thinking skills and an ability to analyze a topic at a deeper level.

Here is a step by step guide on how to start an argumentative essay:

1. Argumentative Essay Introduction

An argumentative essay introduction clearly states the writer’s claim that he will make in the essay. The introductory paragraph should be logical, and intellectual, and should be written persuasively.

Here are three steps you can follow to write a very persuasive argumentative essay introduction:

  • Start with a hook:  Begin your introduction paragraph with a strong hook that gives the reader a hint about your argument.
  • Give background information:  Provide brief background information necessary to understand the argument and smoothly transition into the thesis statement.
  • State the thesis:  Lay a solid foundation for your claim by stating your thesis statement.

2. Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a concise, clear, and one-sentence summary of the whole essay. It is the most important part of an argumentative essay because it established a foundation for your claim. It should be informative, engaging, arguable, and valid.

One of the ways of writing an argumentative thesis is to make a question out of your topic. Simply take your essay topic and turn it into a debatable question.

3. Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs involve topic sentences and evidence, either against or supporting a certain point of view.

Here are three simple steps of crafting the body paragraphs:

  • Topic sentence:  Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that defines only one specific idea and supports the main claim.
  • Provide evidence:  Provide as much supporting evidence as required to convince the reader. Remember! The argument has no value if it is not backed with proper and relevant evidence from credible sources.
  • Concluding remarks:  End the paragraph with a concluding remark and smoothly transitioned to the next body paragraph.

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4. Using Counter Arguments

This counter-argument paragraph contains the opposing point of view that a reader may pose against your main argument. This paragraph aims to prove that the opposing side is wrong by providing facts and evidence.

Below are the four steps to craft a counter-argument paragraph:

  • State the counter-arguments:  Present all the counter-arguments one by one.
  • State your response:  Provide your response towards the counter-arguments.
  • Refute the opposing claims:  Refute the opposite claims, one by one, with facts and evidence..
  • Conclusion:  Conclude the paragraph by reasserting your main claim of the essay.

6. Argumentative Essay Conclusion

The conclusion needs to be logical and precise that inspires the reader to agree with your claim. It should provide the final stance about the argument, which tells that your side of the argument is right.

Here are the three steps to write an effective argumentative essay conclusion:

  • Summarize the argument:  Sum up the entire essay and rewrite the thesis statement
  • Stick to the plan:  Don’t introduce any new argument here; just synthesize all the information presented in the body paragraph.
  • Call to action:  End your essay by providing a call to action.

Argumentative Essay Graphic Organizer

argumentative-essay-graphic-organizer

Argumentative Essay Examples

Sample essays play a vital role in understanding the structure of an essay. So check out these examples below.

Argumentative Essay Template

Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative Essay About Gun Control

Argumentative Essay Examples College

Argumentative Essay Example For High School PDF

Here are more argumentative essay examples to help you understand the structure of an argumentative essay.

Argumentative Essay Topics 

Choosing a topic for an argumentative essay is way more complicated than choosing a topic for any other essay. To get enough material to write about, your topic should be:

  • Coronavirus is more of a blessing for the earth than a curse.
  • Human beings are more dangerous for mother earth than any other creature
  • Most of the people can work from home
  • Social media have caused social problems
  • Single parents can't do the same upbringing of kids as both parents do.
  • The death penalty should be abolished
  • Animals shouldn't be kept in captivity
  • Climate change is caused by human activity 
  • Schools should provide mental health education 
  • Universal basic income should be implemented

If you want to get more topic ideas, have a look at our blog with 200+ argumentative essay topics !

Argumentative Essay Writing Tips

Writing an argumentative essay can be a challenging task, especially if you are unsure of how to get started. Here are some tips to help you write an effective and persuasive argumentative essay:

  • Choose a Debatable Topic:   Pick a topic that has two opposing sides and can be debated. It should also be relevant to the course or subject you are writing about.
  • Do Your Research:  Before you start writing, it is important to do some research on the topic so that you understand both sides of the argument. This will help you make an informed decision when writing your essay.
  • Write a Clear Thesis Statement:  Your thesis should state the main point of your essay clearly and concisely so that readers know what to expect.
  • Develop Your Arguments:  Once you have chosen your topic and done your research, you can start developing the arguments that you will use in your essay. Make sure that each argument is supported with evidence from reliable sources.
  • Keep it Organized:  An outline will help keep your essay organized and focused on the main points that you want to make.
  • Be Unbiased:  When writing an argumentative essay, it is important to remain impartial and present both sides of the argument in a fair and balanced way.
  • Use Proper Formatting:  Different styles have different formatting requirements, such as font size and type, margins, and line spacing. Make sure to follow the guidelines for your chosen style.
  • Proofread:  After you have finished writing your essay, it is important to take time to proofread and make any corrections or revisions that are necessary. 

By following these tips, you can write an effective argumentative essay that will help you get the results that you want.

To finish it off,

Argumentative essay writing requires strong research and analysis skills to develop a sound argument. With the right planning and structure, anyone can write an effective argumentative essay. 

Now that you have learned about the basics of writing an argumentative essay, it is time to start putting your ideas into practice. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and start writing! 

However, we understand that students face many difficulties while writing an essay. If you are one of them, don’t worry, we’ve got a solution for you!

You can hire an  argumentative essay writer  from  MyPerfectWords.com  to help you write your essay.

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MyPerfectWords.com  is committed to providing you the best writing service. Simply place your order at our  argumentative essay writing service , and we will be in touch immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify an argumentative essay.

In order to identify an argumentative essay, there are three steps: 

First figure out the purpose of a message. Who is trying to convince you? What do they want from you? 

Second, determine what their conclusion might be—what will it take for them to feel that their goal has been accomplished? Finally, think about reasons why someone would believe something and consider if any apply here. 

Does an argumentative essay have a title?

An argumentative essay should have a title. This should give the reader an idea of what you're writing about.

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

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 and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many 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 many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays.

While composing an argumentative essay, the students have to demonstrate their research and analytical skills. The secret of a successful paper lies behind strong arguments and counterarguments. So, the writer should focus on facts and data rather than personal values and beliefs.

Besides, a good argumentative essay should be structured appropriately:

  • The introduction and conclusion have to create a frame for the entire essay.
  • The body paragraphs are supposed to cover the essential points.
  • Supporting evidence should make a paper more professional and reputable.

Are you still wondering what an argumentative essay is and how to write it? Check out the sections below prepared by our experts . Here, you can find the most valuable info, helpful tips, and useful examples.

📜 Classic Strategy

📋 toulmin strategy, 🗣️ rogerian strategy, ✒️ fill in the blanks, 🔍 edit and proofread, 🔗 references, 📌 argumentative essay in a nutshell.

Are you trying to figure out what an argumentative essay is? It’s a type of academic paper that covers both sides of a given issue. An author can decide whether they aim to present both sides equally or support one side more dynamically.

One of the mistakes among students is the confusion of argumentative and persuasive essays . Do you want to figure out the differences? Take a look at the following table.

Before writing an argument essay, it would be helpful to choose an appropriate model to rely on. There are three strategies to consider: Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian.

Look at the following sections and choose the most suitable one for you.

Are you wondering how to write an argumentative essay? Consider using the classical approach. It is the most popular way of composing an argumentative paper.

Under the classical strategy, the author has to follow these rules:

  • research the issue;
  • present both sides;
  • express own opinion;
  • prove the reader the validity of the conclusion.

It is up to the audience to decide whether your position is right or wrong. Yet, you should try to convince the readers of the effectiveness of your opinion.

Usually, the classical argument paper is structured in the following way:

  • Introduction . Use the hook to catch the readers’ attention. State the problem and explain why your topic is relatable to the audience.
  • General background. Introduce the general info and several facts about your issue.
  • Thesis statement . State your position clearly and concisely.
  • The central argument. Provide valid evidence and appropriate examples to support your position. Refer only to reliable sources.
  • Rebuttal . Include a counter paragraph in your essay, presenting the opposing arguments. Provide specific examples to make the reader understand your position. Also, explain to the audience why the counterclaims are incorrect.
  • Conclusion . Synthesize your arguments and counterarguments. Give the readers a question for further investigation of your problem. To make your essay more impressive, compose a memorable concluding sentence.

Toulmin strategy is the most suitable for the discussion of controversial issues. This model aims to find common ground through clear logic and valid evidence. Besides, the Toulmin strategy eliminates unnecessary things and limits the points to agree upon.

An argumentative essay written by the Toulmin model includes the following elements:

  • Claim . A viewpoint that the author aims to prove.
  • Evidence . Supportive facts from reliable resources that highlight the significance of the claim.
  • Warrant . An element that connects the claim and that evidence.
  • Backing . Additional reasoning that underlines the warrant’s validity.
  • Rebuttal . Counterarguments that contradict the author’s position.
  • Qualifier . An additional element (usually, a word or a short phrase) that narrows the claim’s capacity. Several examples of qualifiers: “typically,” “usually,” “occasionally,” etc.
  • Exceptions . Specific limitations that indicate the cases where that claim may not be valid.

Like the Toulmin approach, Rogerian strategy attempts to find common ground between two sides of one issue. However, the technique is slightly different.

The Rogerian model is often used in highly controversial debates when the parties do not accept each other’s position. Thus, the given strategy focuses on finding the agreement by proving the validity of the opposing arguments.

Below, you can find the primary outline for the Rogerian argumentative essay:

  • Introduce the problem. Present the issue clearly and explain why it is worth the readers’ attention.
  • Summarize and analyze the counterarguments. Take into consideration all the possible counterpoints and look at them from different perspectives. Discuss the cases in which the opposing claims could be valid. Demonstrate your open-mindedness. This will make the opposite party more loyal to you.
  • Present your position. After discussing the counterpoints, state your opinion. Convince the audience about the validity of your points.
  • Prove the advantages of your position. Explain to the opposite party how the acceptance and adoption of your points will benefit them.

🧐 How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Before working on your essay, carefully read the assignment. Make sure you understand all the instructor’s requirements and the purpose of the paper.

  • Pay enough attention to the task. Did your professor assign you a topic? Or do you need to choose it yourself ? Make sure you have an idea that will turn into an outstanding essay.
  • Select the strategy you are going to apply. An argumentative essay format will depend on the model you choose to compose your paper. Analyze the issue you will arise and decide what strategy is the most suitable. Is it the Classical model, the Toulmin, or the Rogerian one?

After that, start composing your argumentative essay. Check out the following sections. We have a lot of insightful info to share with you!

📚 Research the Topic

The first step of writing an argumentative paper is an in-depth investigation of the topic. To validate your arguments, you have to refer to credible resources. The essay will look more professional if you use reliable sources in it.

How to research for an argumentative essay.

To research like a professional , do the following:

  • Use only credible sources. You can refer to the books, research articles, materials from academic databases, or Google Scholar. Webpages registered as governmental or educational institutions (.gov, .edu.) and widely-known news websites (New York Times, BBC, CNBC) are also considered appropriate. Avoid using blog posts, outdated materials, and any other data from unreliable sources. You may get into huge trouble, taking information from random websites, since it may be invalid.
  • Pay attention to the publishing date . You may be required to use the sources released no later than five years ago. Yet, it is not always the case, especially when you’re dealing with historical documents. Thus, double-check your instructions regarding recommended sources.
  • Keep your topic in mind. Concentrate on what you are writing about and select the sources for your exact issue. Avoid sources that provide too general information and look for more limited ones. If your idea is World War II’s economic consequences, the history book from ancient times to modern days will not be the best option.
  • Become an expert. Take enough time to investigate the issue you are writing about. Read numerous articles, compare and contrast the scientists’ opinions. Prove your reader that you are a reliable person who selected the best sources.

📝 Outline Your Essay

The majority of students tend to underestimate the power of outlining. Don’t do this! An argumentative essay outline is a helpful tool for planning, structuring, and composing.

Firstly , a well-developed outline helps the writer to put all their thoughts in an appropriate order. None of the essential points will be lost if the student plans the essay before writing.

Secondly , it lets the writer figure out what evidence suits what argument most. Before writing, draft your essay first. Put examples, facts, etc. in the right parts of the paper. Then, write the entire text.

Thirdly , an outline provides a perfect opportunity to change the essay’s parts without rewriting the paper. Are you unsure of specific details? Not a problem. Change them in the outline without ruining the text.

There are essential elements that your outline should contain. Check out the following section to see them.

Introduction

How to start an argumentative essay? First and foremost, include an argumentative essay introduction in your outline.

This part should grab the readers’ attention from the first words. Thus, put enough effort into composing a compelling hook . What can it be? An impressive statistic or an exciting fact? Be creative – decide yourself! But make sure that your intro is catchy enough.

After the hook, introduce your topic’s general background . Prove the readers the significance of your issue and gradually come to the thesis statement .

The concept of studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular in both developed and developing countries. Students around the globe strive to explore the world and broaden their minds, and studying in a foreign country is an excellent opportunity to do so. Such experience may be extremely beneficial because meeting new people and discovering foreign cultures help students to gain valuable knowledge and see the world from a new perspective. However, while presenting significant opportunities for personal growth, it may also bring about some challenges.

Thesis Statement

A thesis is an essential part of your argumentative essay. It should state your position regarding the issue clearly and concisely. Avoid general statements, vague words, and be as specific and possible. Your thesis statement should guide the readers throughout the main points of the paper.

The location of the thesis in the essay plays a crucial role. The most appropriate place for it is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

Although students face difficulties such as loneliness while studying abroad, it is a worthy experience to introduce them to new knowledge, people, and culture and promote their independence.

Body Paragraphs

The body of your paper is supposed to develop your position, provide valid evidence and examples. Each paragraph has to focus only on one idea. This will ensure the logical structure of your argumentative essay.

A body paragraph should start from the topic sentence and end with the concluding sentence . Such a frame around every section will make your readers stay concentrated on your ideas and get your opinion.

  • The topic sentence is the first sentence of the passage. It should reflect its point and correspond to the thesis statement.
  • The concluding sentence aims to wrap up the author’s thoughts. Thus, make sure that the last sentence of a paragraph is insightful enough.

Each body paragraph should include an argument (or a counterargument) with supporting evidence. Get your proof from credible sources and ensure that it directly corresponds to the point.

An example of a topic sentence :

The benefits of education abroad are almost innumerable, prominent examples being gaining new knowledge, making friends with people who have different mindsets, and discovering new cultures.

An example of a concluding sentence:

Participants of student exchange programs usually return more driven and eager to develop both themselves and their country.

A conclusion plays a critical role in understanding the entire paper. It summarizes the body and leaves the final impression. Besides, it may push the readers on further investigation of the issue.

  • To make your argumentative essay conclusion powerful, it is not enough just to summarize the arguments. It has to synthesize your ideas and show the connection between them. In other words, your points should be summarized and analyzed.
  • Moreover, a conclusion refers to the thesis statement . A mere restatement of the central idea is not the most successful way of finishing your paper. You should try to develop it to demonstrate the reason you’ve written the previous paragraphs.

One more tip:

  • Give the audience an incentive to explore the topic more in-depth. Insert the questions for further investigation at the end of your essay. It would play a significant role in making an impressive conclusion.

To sum up, studying abroad is beneficial as it helps a person evolve and perceive a world from new perspectives. It is an opportunity for a participant to explore the world, meet new people, gain valuable knowledge and experience, and broaden their horizons. Education abroad might pose problems like homesickness, loneliness, and trouble with getting accustomed to a new environment. However, all of them can be easily overcome if a student is flexible and eager to become autonomous and independent.

The list of references is a crucial part of any argumentative essay. It should contain all the sources the writer uses in the paper.

Before organizing your reference list , double-check your argumentative essay format. Is it written in MLA, APA, or maybe in Chicago style? How many references does the professor expect you to include? What kind of sources are you required to use?

After figuring out these issues, move to the format requirements of the writing style you use for your paper. The most popular ones are APA (7th edition), MLA, and ChicagoAD (author-date) styles. Below, you can find the examples of a reference for the same book in different formatting styles.

Did you develop a good outline? Congratulations! You are almost done with the essay. Now, you need to fill in the blanks and create a final version of your paper. Here is where you need to demonstrate a high level of your writing skills.

  • Make sure your paper has no logical fallacies. Information from an untrustworthy source, a hasty generalization, or a false conclusion may put your reliability as an author under threat. So double-check all the data you include in your essay. Moreover, make sure all your statements are well-developed and supported by valid evidence.
  • Check your argumentative essay structure . All the arguments should refer to the thesis statement and must be presented in the logical sequence. The supporting evidence and examples have to be inserted in the text logically, according to the arguments.
  • Pay enough attention to the citations. References and in-text citations are incredibly tricky. Always check every detail according to your essay format. If you are unsure of specific issues, refer to a citation guide and make your paper free of formatting mistakes.
  • Ensure the coherence of your argumentative essay. Often, the paper’s material seems raw only because it is presented without a logical connection. To ensure a smooth connection between the ideas, use transitions between the paragraphs and linking words inside them. Insert them in the text to connect the points. As a result, you will have a coherent essay with the logical flow of the arguments.

A list of linking words for an argumentative essay.

The final step of your writing process is editing and proofreading. Although it is not that energy and time consuming, it still plays a critical role in the work’s success.

While writing your argumentative paper, plan your time accordingly. This will provide you with an opportunity to polish your essay before submitting it. And take a look at our checklist and always use it to improve your papers:

  • NO first and second person. Use only the third person in your argumentative essay. It is a general requirement for any kind of academic paper.
  • NO slang. The word choice is an essential part of the essay writing process. Ensure you use only formal vocabulary and avoid using informal language (jargon, slang, etc.).
  • NO unchecked words. Sometimes, words can raise questions and lead to misunderstandings. If you are unsure whether the term is used appropriately, double-check its meaning or replace it with another.
  • NO plagiarism. While proofreading, make sure your citations are either properly paraphrased or taken in quotation marks. You can change the sentence structure to avoid plagiarism.
  • NO minor mistakes. Grammar, spelling, punctuation play a crucial role. Want to make your paper look professional? Make sure it is free of minor mistakes then.

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should student-athletes benefit from sports?  
  • Do celebrities really have influence on people behavior?  
  • Will decriminalization of drugs increase drug menace?  
  • Does social and environmental reporting promote organizations’ financial success? 
  • Should online learning be promoted?  
  • Can space exploration resolve human problems?  
  • Is success really the outcome of hard work?  
  • Is there discrimination against women in sports?   
  • Will banning tobacco sales promote public health?  
  • Is euthanasia a clemency?  
  • Should college education be free and accessible for every student?  
  • Should football be banned for being too dangerous?  
  • Is it time to change social norms ?  
  • Should public servants’ strikes be prohibited?  
  • Does media create a negative image of ageing and older people?  
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?  
  • Can children under 18 make an appropriate decision on getting tattoo ?  
  • Should net neutrality be protected?  
  • Can an improper use of social media provoke a family crisis?  
  • Is it right to use animals in biomedical research ?  
  • Does the climate change affect our indoor environment? 
  • Are children’s crimes a result of poor parenting?  
  • Should health care be universal?  
  • Does the increased use of technology hurt students’ efficiency? 
  • Is transformative education a key to the system modernization?  
  • Why should patients have access to truthful information?  
  • How does language barrier affect health care access?  
  • Would allowing adoption by same-sex couples benefit the country’s child welfare system? 
  • Is spanking children a proper way to improve their behavior?  
  • Does gun control law lowers crime rates?  
  • Will ban on spamming improve users’ internet experience?  
  • Should behavior be made illegal because it’s immoral?  
  • Is globalization really a progress?  
  • Does aid to developing countries bring more harm than good?  
  • Can parents improve children mental health by restricting internet use ?  
  • Is trusting our senses the best way to get the truth?  
  • Why parents should not have the right to choose their children based on genetics.  
  • Is college education really worth it? 
  • Will wearing a body camera by police officer enhance public trust?    
  • Immigration : a benefit or a threat?  
  • Is it a duty of adult children to take care of their elderly parents?  
  • Should abortions be legal?  
  • Are agents an integral part of professional sports?  
  • Will ban of cellphones while driving decrease the car accident rates? 
  • Should marijuana be legal for medical use?  
  • Is veganism diet universally beneficial?  
  • Should museums return artefacts?  
  • Is water birth beneficial for women’s health?  
  • Will paying people to stay healthy benefit the nation in the long-term perspective?  
  • Is obesity a disease or a choice?  

It is up to you to decide how many parts to include in your essay. However, the 5 paragraph structure is the most appropriate model for an argumentative paper. So, write an introduction, a conclusion, and three body paragraphs.

The pronoun “you” is acceptable for informal writing. Yet, in academic papers, avoid using the second person. The same situation is with the first person. Generally, academic papers require the use of the third person.

A hook aims to grab the readers’ attention. Thus, you could start your essay with an interesting fact about your issue. Another way to create a catchy hook is to prove the audience the relatability of your topic. Make the readers want to explore your essay by demonstrating the significance of your issue.

Yes, you can. A question might become a compelling hook. Just make sure that it is profound, thought-provocative, and concise. A too broad or complicated question will only confuse your readers.

A title is an essential part of the essay since it causes the first impression. While selecting a heading, take into consideration the following points:

1. The title must be catchy.

2. It has to be not too long (5-12 words).

3. The title has to reflect the topic of the paper.

4. It should not be too complicated: the simpler – the better.

Thank you for visiting our page! We hope the information was helpful and insightful. Do you have friends who seek help with writing an argumentative essay? Share our article with them. And don’t forget to leave your comments!

  • Sample Argument Essays: Mesa Community College
  • Argument: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Grace Fleming, ThoughtCo
  • Tips for Organizing an Argumentative Essay: Judith L., Beumer Writing Center, Valparaiso University
  • Argumentative Essay: Oya Ozagac, Bogazici University, Online Writing Lab
  • Argumentative Essays: Purdue Online Writing Lab, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step: Virginia Kearney, Owlcation
  • Counterargument: Gordon Harvey for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Basic Steps in the Research Process: North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota
  • How to Recognize Plagiarism, Overview: School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 15 Steps to Good Research: Georgetown University Library
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How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

  • Essay Writing Guides

How To Write An Argumentative Essay

With argumentative essays, the student must explore his stance on an issue and think about possible rebuttals to this claim. Otherwise, the argumentative essay is incomplete.

However, all forms of essay writing follow a specified format, and they all need an outline. So, let’s examine how to write an argumentative essay . This guide will also cover essay examples and useful writing tips to present a convincing argument.

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a form of writing that explores the writer’s viewpoint on any topic. The writer must outline their opinion in the opening paragraphs to give the reader a better understanding of their stance on the issue.

Despite similarities with other forms of writing like persuasive essays, argumentative essays go beyond convincing the reader that your point is superior. You also need to explore different existing viewpoints on the issue and refute them. Besides, you must support all your claims with irrefutable evidence based on fact.

For example, if the argumentative essay topic focuses on police brutality, your paper should support and refute these claims simultaneously.

In academia, argumentative essay writing is one of the most common assignments for students in the arts and humanities. Besides, the standard structure of argumentative essays is the bedrock of the famous 5-paragraph writing style.

5 Types of Argument Claims 

The argument claim describes the prevailing viewpoint in your argument — the theory you support. Before outlining your view, you need to select presentation criteria to dictate the paper’s tone and direction. Here are the five types of argument claims:

The fact claim focuses on answering a ‘yes or no’ question. This claim uses concrete evidence to determine the veracity of the paper’s central claim. Often, the fact claim is used when the argumentative essay topic is a question . 

When using the definition claim, you should only focus on the standard definition of the word or expression. All forms of personal and contextual interpretation should not appear in the paper. 

The value claim stresses the importance of the topic of discussion. What is the relevance to society? This type of claim is often used for existential problems affecting humans in general or a specific group.

  • Cause and effect 

As the name suggests, the cause and effect claim focuses on an issue and the reasons it occurred. In essence, the essay establishes a connection between an event and an outcome.

This claim assertion technique is used in politics. For argumentative essay writing, the policy claim should address the relevance of the discussion, the affected parties, and the best policy moving forward.

Argument Strategies 

Making a convincing argument relies on your ability to strategize. You need to acquaint yourself with the facts of the matter and choose a winning strategy to express your ideas. 

Think of lawyers in the courtroom; they spend hours preparing their arguments and studying the adversary. And in the end, they come up with a strategy to counter the opponent’s most vital points. Politicians also use this technique.

So, let’s go through the three main argument strategies to use in your argumentative essay.

The Classical Approach (Aristotelian)

The classical approach is named after the great philosopher Aristotle. This argumentative strategy involves a straight-line expression of your argument. 

First, you start with your main claim and convince the reader that your stance is the only valid one. Then, you have to offer context and provide evidence-backed data to counter any rebuttals from your opponent. This strategy is the most straightforward since it follows a linear chain of action.

Also, the classical approach appeals to the credibility (ethos) of the claim and the logic (logos) of thinking. At the same time, you can appeal to the reader’s emotions (pathos) with vivid imagery. And most importantly, you can make a time-sensitive appeal (kairos) by calling the reader to immediate action.

 The Rogerian Strategy

This argumentative strategy was developed by Carl Rogers and became popular through the works of Young and Pike. This strategy’s central ideology focuses on compromise — the ability to reach a middle ground and avoid further conflict with your adversary. 

In life, the Rogerian strategy is often applied when negotiating with family and friends. For example, if you want to visit Paris and your partner wants to see Venice, the Rogerian method will help you plan a trip that covers both destinations.

Therefore, this Rogerian strategy is not the best approach in an academic setting. Even if you are ready to reach a compromise, your opponent may not have the same motivations. Besides, you have to yield some ground to come to a sensible resolution, which contrasts the entire essence of argumentation.

 The Toulmin Style

This argumentative approach was developed by Stephen Toulmin. The central theme involves coming up with a claim and backing it up. So, we can divide this strategy into three components: claim, grounds, and backing. 

The claim is your main opinion, usually an event that occurred somewhere. The grounds of the argument refer to a collection of facts and evidence supporting the original claim. Finally, the backing refers to additional data that corroborates the main claim without conceding to the opposition.

Choose one of these three approaches to present an opinion relevant to the argumentative essay topic. And if you are unsure about the best approach, use the classic method.

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How to Choose a Topic for an Argumentative Essay

Most teachers hand out argumentative essay topics to students. Sometimes, they provide an array of topics from which students can choose. However, some teachers allow students to flex their creative muscles and choose topics on their own. If you are left with the herculean task of selecting a fascinating essay topic, here are some tricks to help you come out unscathed.

Choose a topic that interests you

Regardless of the essay writing genre, always choose a topic that interests you. If you are into sports, look for sports-related argumentative essay topics . Selecting a topic that you don’t care about will always reflect in the paper’s quality. The entire argument will lack inspiration and passion. 

Besides, writing on a topic that you find interesting helps you to explore the topic even more. It also reduces the amount of work needed to complete the argumentative essay assignment . So, always outline your interests when choosing a topic, and tailor your research to them.

Research hot-button issues

Another easy way to come up with a relevant topic is by addressing hot-button issues. For example, topics related to animal rights and climate change are the subject of debates in politics and even at dinner parties. As a result, you can find enough material to structure your argumentative essay.

Besides, controversy sells. Readers want a topic that will strike all the emotional chords for them. So, choosing a controversial topic piques the reader’s interest and earns you maximum points in your essay. Most importantly, focus on hot-button issues related to your field of study.

Search for trending topics 

Trending topics are always a reliable go-to when you are struggling with creative ideas for your argumentative paper. By focusing on trending topics, you will come up with relevant issues for arguments. At the same time, you will fulfill the emotional aspect of argumentation since most trending issues are controversial.

Besides, writing about popular issues gives you access to enough materials. You can also select your topic from any form of media. 

Here are some reliable sources for argumentative essay topics:

  • Internet forums (Medium, Quora, Twitter, etc.)

A common theme for argumentative essays is the current COVID pandemic and its effects on social interactions.

Find topics with arguable sides

When choosing essay topics, students often forget that they need to argue both sides. Therefore, the topic you choose must be arguable . In simpler terms, people should be able to look at it and agree or disagree instantly. Hence, the need to choose controversial topics for your argumentative essay.

For example: 

“The earth is flat.”

No one (in their right mind) will argue with this assertion. And even if they do, no evidence can support this stance.

“Climate change will lead to armageddon.”

Now, this topic is debatable since scientists are conflicted about the long-term impacts of climate change.

Avoid broad topics

You might think that choosing broad topics provides you with more content for your argumentative essay. But the reverse is the case: broad topics extend the area you need to cover in your paper. And since you have a word count restriction, you can’t express your ideas to the best of your ability.

Therefore, choose a topic that provides you with enough material. Some topics make you think, “How am I supposed to find evidence to support that?”  

Stay away from these ‘unresearchable’ argumentative topics.

Argumentative Essay Outline

With a clear understanding of the topic, you can now focus your efforts on brainstorming. Conduct extensive research on the issue to gather enough information for all sides of the argument. After collecting the data and supporting evidence, you need to create a plan for your paper. This plan is called an argumentative essay outlin e .

The outline provides structure to your paper. It also saves you time when working on time-sensitive assignments. And most importantly, an essay outline provides you with an arrangement framework for your points.

For argumentative essays, the outline contains at least five paragraphs — the basis of the standard essay structure.

Let’s take a look at the standard argumentative essay structure .

The introductory paragraph

Every essay starts with the introduction, making it the most crucial part of the argumentative essay format . This section previews the paper by providing background information on the topic. Besides, the argumentative essay introduction eliminates all elements of neutrality, stating the writer’s intentions to support a specific side of the argument. 

As a result, you need a well-crafted thesis statement that captures the central theme covered in the paper. The thesis statement is often concise, with a maximum of two sentences. You can also place it at the end of the introduction.

The body section

This is the paper’s main section because it contains the source of information and the main arguments. Also, the body paragraphs examine two sides of the writer’s viewpoint. In essence, you have at least three sections or paragraphs dedicated to each point.

Here are the main paragraphs that make up the body.

This paragraph expresses the author’s main argument in detail. Depending on the paper’s size, this section can contain two or more paragraphs linked by transitional phrases.

  • The rebuttal

This section presents opposing viewpoints to the main claim. In essence, the rebuttal counters the thesis presented in the introduction.

  • The counterclaim

This section reaffirms the thesis and counters the rebuttal.

All three sections must appear in the body of a full-fledged argumentative essay. Also, you must start every paragraph with a topic sentence. Don’t forget to use linking verbs to establish a relationship between paragraphs. And most importantly, provide supporting evidence and citations for your points.

The conclusion 

In this section, the student should restate the central ideas presented in the paper. A standard argumentative essay conclusion always starts by rehashing the thesis statement. However, you cannot introduce new ideas in the conclusion.

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Argumentative Essay Examples

You can choose a myriad of topics for your essay based on the specific subject. But if you’ve hit a brick wall in your selection, here are some excellent examples to choose from based on earlier recommendations:

Controversial argumentative essay examples

  • Gender-based discrimination is prevalent in Silicon Valley.
  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine harmful to society?
  • CTE is a significant problem in all contact sports
  • Is police brutality warranted or an appropriate response to high crime rates?
  • Should all states legalize late-term abortion?

Trending argumentative essay topics

  • Is homeschooling better than traditional schools?
  • Will artificial intelligence replace humans in the workplace?
  • Should exotic pets be domesticated?
  • Are zoos a violation of animal rights?
  • War as a tool for world peace.

Fact-based argumentative essay topics

  • Racial discrimination is responsible for police brutality.
  • The racial quota is a slap in the face of meritocracy.
  • Fast food is responsible for obesity.
  • The criminalization of Cannabis is responsible for all drug wars.
  • High taxation is harmful to the local economy.

Useful Tips for Argumentative Essay Writing 

Every outstanding argumentative essay relies on persuasion. You need to convince the reader that your opinion is the ultimate truth. However, false evidence and poor grammar affect the credibility of your claims. So, let’s consider some essential tips when writing a convincing argumentative paper.

  • Choose an arguable topic 

If the teacher allows you to select your preferred topic, make sure you choose an issue with arguable sides. After all, an argumentative essay’s entire essence is to explore all the sides of the problem and confirm your viewpoint. So, look for topics that interest you and are relevant to your field of study.

  • Focus on controversial issues

Nobody wants to spend time reading a bland, uninspired essay. So, while searching for topics, focus on hot-button issues. But don’t choose controversial topics for kicks. Ensure that the topic is related to your field. Moreover, pay more attention to issues that ignite your passion. This emotional connection improves your argument and makes the paper more engaging.

  • Take a stance you can support

When choosing an emotionally-charged topic, avoid those that are limited in scope. You don’t have to select the ‘progressive’ side of every argument. Identify your interests and beliefs and focus your opinions on them. By doing so, you will give yourself more wiggle room to express your ideas better.

  • Consider your audience

Writing an argumentative essay for your peers is different because you can use an informal and conversational style. But since your audience is the teacher, you can only use formal language. Therefore, adapt your writing style to your audience to earn higher marks. And as a rule, stay away from informal expressions in academic writing at all costs.

  • Gather convincing evidence

Personal experience and opinions have no place in argumentative writing, no matter how painful and convincing. Only evidence from authoritative sources is acceptable when supporting your claim. Therefore, your research should focus on academic material and resources from acclaimed authors. You can also rely on the works of recognized experts in the field to back your claims. Stay away from Wikipedia, Quora, and other open-source platforms.

  • Outline your essay

As you gather your points, arrange them into a framework for your essay. This technique helps you to develop a relevant outline for your paper without much stress. Besides, the outline forms the basis of your argumentative essay and saves you tons of hours spent on arranging your ideas. Eventually, this outline will help you come up with a preliminary draft.

  • Write a captivating title and intro

Why is a title essential when writing an argumentative essay? First of all, using a question title allows the reader to take a stance right away. And if the topic is emotionally-charged, you have your reader by the hook. And as far as hooks are concerned, use them in your essay. Add essay hooks in the introduction alongside a well-written thesis statement.

  • Mind the formatting

Every academic writing assignment follows a specified format. The only exception is narrative essays that feature personal accounts. When writing your argumentative essay, use the formatting style specified by the teacher. Remember that APA writing style needs an abstract, while the MLA doesn’t need one. If you don’t know the differences between writing formats, consult the official style guides for more clarity.

  • Conclude by restating the thesis

The conclusion paragraph should always restate the thesis. For a more comprehensive conclusion, summarize every paragraph in the essay. Always be careful not to introduce any new ideas in the conclusion paragraph. And most importantly, keep it short and straight to the point.

  • End with a call to action

The last point in the conclusion should always call the reader to act on something. Since the point of an argument is to convince others that your opinion is the most logical, you should sign off by calling them over to your side. At the same time, you can highlight a moral lesson from the text.

  • Edit the final draft

Editing is the final frontier in any writing task. This stage of writing allows you to analyze your ideas and grammar. At the same time, you can adjust the writing structure or use a more impactful tone. When you are satisfied with the final draft, you can now submit your paper.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    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. Argumentative essays are by far the most common type of essay to write at university. Table of contents

  2. How to Write a Claim for An Argumentative Essay Step-By-Step

    A claim of definition argues about definitions of things or phenomena. Ideally, you may argue that something means another thing altogether, even if some people don't consider your definition sounding. Rather than offering a discount explanation of your claim, you shouldn't hesitate to give your personal explanation.

  3. Argumentative Essays

    Check my paper Using paper checkers responsibly 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.

  4. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    A great argumentative essay always combines the same basic elements: approaching an argument from a rational perspective, researching sources, supporting your claims using facts rather than opinion, and articulating your reasoning into the most cogent and reasoned points.

  5. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide - 2023 - MasterClass When you're writing a persuasive essay, you need more than just an opinion to make your voice heard. Even the strongest stance won't be compelling if it's not structured properly and reinforced with solid reasoning and evidence.

  6. Argument

    In order to succeed at this second step, though, you must have a particular point to argue. Arguments in academic writing are usually complex and take time to develop. Your argument will need to be more than a simple or obvious statement such as "Frank Lloyd Wright was a great architect.". Such a statement might capture your initial ...

  7. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Outline and Examples

    1. Problem Statement - Academic papers often begin with an unanswered question, a contradiction, or an explanation of a crucial concept. This is standard practice in academic writing to grab the reader's attention, highlight the importance of the study, and identify the literature to which the study will add. 2.

  8. Introducing Your Claim

    Claim - Interactive Tutorial Click on the image to deepen your understanding of a claim. How to Introduce Your Claim Watch the following video to help guide you through the claim writing process. Thesis as a Claim Use this link to understand how your claim serves as your thesis. Teacher Guide and Smartboard Lesson Argumentative Introductions

  9. How to Write a Standout Argumentative Essay

    Updated on June 2, 2022 Students An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that uses factual evidence and logical support to convince the reader of a certain way of thinking.

  10. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    General Education Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you'll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view.

  11. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

    First reason. A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview. 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio) 2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on.

  12. How to Write Introduction for Argumentative Essays [EXAMPLES]

    An effective introduction to an argumentative essay will generally have three main sections: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. The Hook: This is the first sentence of your introduction, and it needs to grab your reader's attention.

  13. 3 Key Tips for How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Focus Area #3: Writing the Conclusion. It's common to conclude an argumentative essay by reiterating the thesis statement in some way, either by reminding the reader what the overarching argument was in the first place or by reviewing the main points and evidence that you covered.

  14. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    > Argumentative Essay Guide Written by Nova A. The Ultimate Guide to Argumentative Essay Writing 11 min read Published on: Feb 3, 2018 Last updated on: Feb 23, 2023 Are you struggling to write an argumentative essay? Do you want to learn the essential tips and techniques to craft a convincing argument?

  15. Parts of an Argumentative Essay: Claim, Counterclaim & Examples

    The 4 parts of an argumentative essay are the claim, counterclaim, reasoning, and evidence. The claim is the author's argument that they are attempting to prove in the essay.

  16. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    INTRO: explain your thesis (be precise but do not present evidence yet) BODY -Paragraph #1 -Topic sentence argument (main argument of the paragraph) -Specific examples to support the topic sentence argument -Paragraph #2, and so on for other body paragraphs Same as Paragraph #1

  17. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

    Virginia Kearney Sep 14, 2023 10:54 PM EDT Learn how to write an argumentative essay with Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin argument strategies. Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash What Is an Argumentative Essay? Argument essays seek to state a position on an issue and give several reasons, supported by evidence, for agreeing with that position.

  18. How To Write an Argumentative Essay (With Writing Tips)

    Updated November 22, 2022 In the fields of technology, science, business and law, you may need to persuade others to agree with you and accept your perspectives. Argumentative essays are effective in convincing colleagues and other professionals to support a specific position of an argument.

  19. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  20. 5 Tips and Tricks for Teaching the Argumentative Essay

    Many of these skills might be new to your students, so it is important to go slow, keep it simple, and make it very clear. Today we are going to be looking at 5 tips and tricks to help you teach the argumentative essay to your students in a fun, clear, and simple way! 1. Mentor Texts are Golden 2. Structure is Everything 3. Research is Key 4.

  21. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

    FAQ 🔗 References 📌 Argumentative Essay in a Nutshell Are you trying to figure out what an argumentative essay is? It's a type of academic paper that covers both sides of a given issue. An author can decide whether they aim to present both sides equally or support one side more dynamically.

  22. Argumentative essay

    surna2011. dose a argumentative essay planning match like a informative essay planning? Learn for free about math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more. Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

  23. How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

    Fact The fact claim focuses on answering a 'yes or no' question. This claim uses concrete evidence to determine the veracity of the paper's central claim. Often, the fact claim is used when the argumentative essay topic is a question. Definition