Argumentative essays

Contents

Writing an argumentative essay, you should take up a firm attitude on a specific issue to persuade your readers. In other words, it allows you to convince the audience of what you believe. You need arguments to support your opinion after they read it. Yet, it is not the same as a persuasive essay: you use logic and evidence and not your emotions in an argumentative essay.

What is an argument?

If you are going to write an argumentative essay, you should be aware of what an argument is. Basically, an argument consists of a series of facts that can develop and support your idea. In other words, it is the claim you make in your paper. Writing this type of essay, you should also use some examples to demonstrate your perspective better.

The structure

You should know three major argumentative essay models and will most likely use them for your studies: classical (also known as Aristotelian), Toulmin, and the Rogerian model. These structural models define the way you organize your essay. If you decide on a classical model, you will try to convince the readers using their side of an argument. You should present several sides of the argument. However, the evidence will support your side specifically.

For the Toulmin model, you discuss only one side of the argument so that it is impossible to argue with your position. The Rogerian structure is all about the common ground - two arguments deserve to exist. Every model has its pros and cons; thus, you can choose depending on the topic.

Tips on building an essay’s structures

Often, you find out some tips on writing this or that type of essay too late. For that reason, you can learn these right now.

Find a catchy topic. Make sure it is the topic that is interesting not only for you but is being discussed on the Internet, for instance. Create a list of the most controversial ideas that grasp society’s attention: it can be either a long-lasting debatable issue or something that has emerged lately.

You must think about the claim you are going to use for your work. All in all, there are five types of claims for an argumentative essay. These are as follows:

  • The fact: whether the claim is true or false?
  • Value: How important is the argument?
  • Definition: Why does the statement mean that much?
  • Policy: What should you do in terms of the claim?
  • Cause and effect: What is the reason that caused an issue, and what are the effects of this issue?

After you’ve decided on the type of claim for your argumentative essay, you can check the following tips on how to make your paper even better.

  • Based on the argumentative type, decide which model suits your essay the most.
  • Develop a thesis statement.
  • Research to collect trustworthy sources, facts, and evidence to support your essay’s claim.
  • Create a cohesive and well-structured outline.
  • If you have some hesitations regarding your writing skills or understanding of a specific model, you can find some examples of ready-made essays to tune in.
  • Stick to your thesis - central claim - throughout the paper.
  • The conclusion should correlate with your statement and correspond to the model you use.

Thesis statement: why it matters?

Generally, your thesis is a part of the introduction. It is the most important sentence, the central one, for the entire paper, as it is an embodiment of your claim. By reading the statement, a reader can see what you are going to talk about in your writing. The following recommendations will come in handy for you:

  • One of the best ways to create a statement for your paper is to write down your claim in the form of a question. Is it intriguing? Would you like to know the answer to that question and see what arguments the author offers? If so, bingo! You found your thesis statement and can turn it into a statement sentence.
  • You are to write down your claim and then contradict it. It may seem like a weird strategy; however, as soon as you write down the refutation, you must define all the facts that prove your initial argument’s superiority. Explaining why you cannot accept the contrasting idea will help you formulate a thesis that really works.
  • Define several key points you have on your mind and pick the most powerful out of these. Focus on the major point you have and think about underpinning it. You may mention some details in the statement that would make the readers want to read the essay and learn more about your thoughts on the issue. Think about your thesis statement as a roadmap for the entire paper.

A close look at writing an argumentative essay

An argumentative essay can be both exciting and challenging for a student. Having an assignment like that, you can learn to develop and prove your claim. Besides, it is an excellent exercise for your critical thinking and analytical skills. This part of the article is an insight into the steps that comprise your argumentative writing experience.

The outline is vital for a paper, and it is made of facts and examples. In most cases, the plan includes the introduction, main part (the body), counter argument, and conclusion.

A masterful introduction

Your introduction is not only the first paragraph with a thesis in the end. It would help if you spent some time creating such an introductory part that can impress a reader. If a reader supports your idea already, this part must interest him or her even more so that he or she keeps reading what facts you use. If your reader has another view, the introduction must be persuasive and even provoking to some level so that the reader cannot but continue reading the text.

At the same time, do not go beyond the limits and create a concise, logical, and rational argument. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Use a hook for your claim. The best way to grasp the audience’s attention is to use a hook right from the beginning. It can be either a question or a common belief, and the point is to hint at the topic you are going to discuss.
  2. Provide some background information, especially if it helps to understand the importance of your argument better. By doing so, you ensure a smooth transition to your statement.
  3. Present your thesis. Now that the readers are acquainted with your essay’s general idea, you should close the introductory paragraph with your eloquent thesis statement.

Body paragraphs for your argumentative essay

The sources you collect before writing the essay comprise the body part of the work. You will present all the facts and ideas in the main body’s paragraphs to support the idea you mention in the thesis. Each paragraph has the same structure, which is as follows:

  1. The topic sentence is the first sentence of every paragraph in the body. It suggests a single idea; thus, the number of paragraphs in the main part is equal to the number of your supporting claims.
  2. Develop the paragraph using relevant evidence. Note that you can use as many essential facts as you need. The only rule here is to back every single piece of evidence you suggest in your work. Also, it would be better if your body paragraphs are of average size so that the entire essay looks well-organized.
  3. Concluding sentence. The final sentence of a paragraph should summarize the idea of this particular paragraph. At the same time, it should correlate with the thesis statement and give an idea of the next paragraph if possible.

Using the counterarguments right

The paragraph with a counterargument comes after your supporting claims. The counter-opinion suggests a refutation that is opposite to your major argument. However, you must use this paragraph not to show another side of the issue but to prove your idea’s correctness. To create an excellent paragraph with a counterclaim, consider the following:

  • State the counter ideas you have; there can be one or several of them.
  • Find the most effective response to these counterclaims you can imagine.
  • Refute every counterargument you mention using proper evidence.
  • In the concluding sentence, you should reformulate the thesis of the essay.

Last but not least: the concluding part

The concluding part should not include any new facts or claims. This closing part of the essay should summarize the points you mentioned in the work and underpin your major point one more time. Your conclusion must be precise and effective so that the readers have no doubts about your argument’s accurateness. You may also want to include a call to action; however, it is not a must.

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