How to Write an Argumentative Essay: An Easy Step by Step Guide
English may be one of the required courses you will encounter as a student, depending on your education degree and geographical region. This subject contains numerous subtopics, including essay writing. Your assigned essays might be descriptive, expository, narrative, persuasive, or even analytical, with each one providing a different experience.
Writing an argumentative essay is a tricky process that requires thorough planning and analysis. You will have to convince the reader and prove that your points of view are correct. Your thoughts should be logical to create convincing arguments. This is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. For this reason, you need to know how to write excellent argumentative essays.
What is an Argumentative Essay?
An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing in which you argue for your point of view. You do this by analyzing the information presented to you, developing a logical argument, and giving your viewpoint. This essay requires extensive research. Sources could include publications, experiments, observations, and surveys.
Different types of argumentative essays exist. They are classified into four types: research papers, persuasive essays, personal essays, and analysis essays. Each of them has its style and guidelines.
Your approach should be persuasive if you want to write quality content on argumentative essay topics. Your reader’s opinion may differ from yours. Hence, you need to introduce the individual to your viewpoint — put things into a relatable perspective.
Fundamental Argumentative Essay Structure
What makes it difficult for students to write an argumentative essay is that it entails more than one point of view. While you have your points to present, your opponent’s views also come into play. You must know how and when to introduce them. How can you achieve that?
Understand the structure of an argumentative essay. On an elementary level, the five-paragraph format is ideal for short essays. The introductory section of your essay launches the argument. This is where you include your thesis, which is the main point of your essay.
Your thesis asserts the most popular opinion being right. In this introductory paragraph, you might include an element of intrigue. The next three paragraphs represent the body of your argument and facts. You can also counter opposing arguments and viewpoints in these sections.
Each of these paragraphs should serve as a platform for you to express your opinions or refute contrary ones. Your conclusion should be in the last paragraph. You will also emphasize the argument once again, combined with evidence, to make a persuasive summary.
This fundamental framework is useful when writing timed essays. But on a complex level, you would have to consider other elements, especially if the length limit surpasses five paragraphs.
Complex Argumentative Essay Structure
To write the best argumentative essay on an advanced level, you will need either the Rogerian or Toulmin approach.
- Rogerian Approach
Using this methodology, you would have to examine two opposing perspectives on an argument. This entails assessing their respective strengths and weaknesses. After that, you can reach a resolute decision.
- Toulmin Approach
This methodology encapsulates a step-by-step procedure that begins with an introduction before proceeding to the thesis. Using this recognized approach, you have to present facts to strengthen your argument. You can present and refute counterarguments as well.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay: In-depth Steps
There are writing elements that help you know how to write an argumentative essay easily. They create a framework similar to a mathematical equation. This means that one side balances the other and each side adds up to provide a sense of completion. Here are the steps to writing an argumentative essay.
1. Identify the Thesis Statement
When covering argumentative essay topics for high school or any other educational level, you should first understand the thesis statement. This can either be a fact or an opinion. Below is an example of a thesis statement for an argumentative essay.
“The government exists to protect its citizens and does so.” Depending on the data, your experiences, and popular opinion surrounding the subject, you could consider it a fact. If otherwise, then you have to refute the motion.
2. Back Your Stance with Reasoning
Having decided on a viewpoint, organize your ideas constructively on the reasons for your stance. Why do you support or oppose the motion? Your opinions or facts should be consistent, logical, and convincing. You need to present counterarguments as well when discussing solid points.
Solid reasoning should be present in your arguments. Whatever side you pick, there should be grounds for your viewpoints. Let’s consider the aforementioned argumentative essay example; you may describe why the government is not safeguarding its citizens if you are against it.
3. Present Facts
Another thing you need is facts. Is there any specific piece of evidence to support your motion? Do you have external resources (both offline and online) to back up your stance? This type of material will aid persuasion.
4. Address Counterarguments
Your presentation should also include counterarguments, demonstrating that you have considered all aspects of the motion. Once you have mentioned these arguments in your presentation, repeat them whenever you express relevant strong opinions or points. By doing so, you build a solid context.
5. Find Your Anchor
Structure your presentation in such a way that you can always find your anchor when addressing counterarguments. Likewise, you should return to your anchor for each potential issue addressed before confidently proceeding to the next one or risk your argument falling into the black hole of concurrence with the dissenting side.
6. Remember that Practice Makes Perfect
One of the most important things to remember is to practice – not just rehearse but also engage the most critical elements of your arguments. This should be done in the posture and pace of a “genuine” hearing scenario. You might not have physical access to accomplish this. You may, however, practice mentally.
If you miss the opportunity to rehearse your essay, you risk making basic mistakes, like using the wrong phrase for your evidence or making the wrong point. You do not need to memorize everything. Practice delivering a reasonable summary in your voice.
General Guideline on Argumentative Essay
To write a convincing essay in this area, you need to follow these guidelines:
- Brainstorm on the Best Argumentative Essay
Your essay might not come with an argument. This means that you have to provide one that will form the foundation of your thesis. Creating a powerful motion would necessitate mental exertion on interesting topic areas that give you leverage.
- Prepare Your Context
The ideas and facts required to strengthen your position on the motion should be available. As a general rule, concentrate on topics in which you are well-versed. Spend some time researching them.
Create an outline that will guide the direction of your essay after you have them memorized. This outline should address elements like when and how. Understand that there will be some overlap among the key points, so you should organize and reorganize the outline as you receive new facts or information
- Draft Your Essay
Now you have an outline that serves as the framework of your essay. The next step is to fill it with the organized content mentally stored. This is a rough draft that you will improve. Wherever possible, provide statistics and quotes, particularly those referenced to external resources.
This draft only serves as inspiration. You will adapt the content when you write the complete essay later, but writing this first draft will help you understand your thesis that you intend to defend or oppose.
- Revise Your Content
During the revision phase for an argumentative essay, a writer should optimize the grammatical structure, including tone and word choice. The context should portray clarity, readability, and concision. Make certain that the essay contains all the points and other relevant information.
You can ease tight structures by writing shorter sentences or removing unnecessary words. Use colloquial vocabulary to accentuate points. Make your arguments clear and compelling. Beginning with good grammar, comprehensible paragraphs, and clear sections of the essay are seen as signs of a superior argument.
- Proofread Your Essay
At this point, your essay is almost complete. All you need is to review it again to ensure that no mistake eludes your attention. If you are writing a physical test, you would have to rely on your grammar knowledge and experience to improve the document.
Ensure that your sentences are accurate and well-structured. Perform spellchecks where necessary — do not rush it. Only when you have fixed every error will you be ready to submit it.
Steps to Writing a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is usually the opening paragraph of your essay. Although being just a sentence long, it is the most crucial aspect of your document as everything else depends on it. It also informs the reader of what to expect. The following steps will help you develop an interesting thesis statement:
1. Create a Motion and Oppose It
How does this work? The motion should be contrasting to your views or opinions, which you will oppose. Here are some argumentative essay examples on this area:
- Winning the lottery ticket automatically sets you on the path to financial freedom
- Social media is a destructive tool
- Children should learn about sex education from a tender age
These topics have supporters and critics, which result in counterarguments. They also include facts and other relevant information you can utilize to support your argument and position. You should be convincing since there are counterarguments. Such persuasive skills, when combined with evidence, will lend credibility to your essay.
2. Convert Your Motion into a Question and Provide Answers
In contrast to the previous category, your thesis statement in this section should be transformed into a question. Here are some examples:
- Is expulsion the best punitive measure for students caught in the act of bullying?
- Will digital currency alleviate the world’s economic problems?
You can then provide answers to the question in a constructive format, supported with facts. Why is this approach important? It captures the readers’ interest and compels them to read further to learn the answers.
Create a powerful hook while outlining your thesis statement. We all know how difficult it is to write a good introductory paragraph. Readers may not want to read past the first few words if there is no intriguing idea or information that continues the reading process. Your thesis could serve as the hook.
3. List the Most Important Things Briefly
This approach is the most straightforward of them all. You can express your viewpoint on a specific topic as your thesis statement.
- Cross-cultural relationships promote racial tolerance
- Life as a Single Mom can be challenging
- Being heavily reliant on technology is robbing people of some valuable skills
This method is quite successful since it establishes a clear expectation for the reader from the start. It also facilitates the argumentative writing process by allowing you to organize your thoughts and develop outlines quickly. The thesis statement signifies your agreement with the motion.
Your thesis statement also helps you deliver the “clarity” required to create a captivating written essay. If you are unsure about your thesis statement, ask for help from your advisor, friend, or professional. Treat the thesis statement as your essay summary. It needs the most important information in one place.
Writing an argumentative essay in an effective and precise way will require a lot of time and effort. However, if you follow the tips listed above, you will be able to create a compelling and elegant thesis statement. Your thesis statement could be a highly debated topic.
Think carefully before deciding what thesis statement to choose. It is tempting to conclude that a thesis statement should be brief and simple. But if you do, you will be limiting your potential for a good essay. With this information, it is time to get started.
In case if you don’t have time to write a perfect argumentative essay by yourself, you can hire an essay writer to create a perfect essay sample for you. It is especially helpful if you need a good example to learn from.