How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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An argument plays a vital role in clarifying our thoughts on a particular subject respectfully and critically. Its purpose is to change people’s perspective on a specific behavior or action. Similarly, an argumentative essay helps us make people understand the other side of the argument to support a new idea or belief.

If you often struggle to write an argumentative essay or you are going to write it for the first time, read this step-by-step guide. However, before we explain tips to write an argumentative essay, let’s learn about its different types.

Types of Argumentative Essays

Although all argumentative essay types discuss each side of the arguments, they take different approaches to present the information.  

Persuasive

A persuasive essay not only presents arguments but also tries to induce the readers that one side of the argument is better than the other. These essays begin with the apparent viewpoint of the author, which is supported by strong evidence.

Research Paper

These types of argumentative essays depend heavily on external sources to support the main argument. When writing a research paper, you must take a balanced approach and cite sources to the main idea. The research you mention should be from reliable sources only.

Analysis Essays

These essays focus on other argumentative essays. The idea of this type of essay is to analyze another author’s argument.

Now you know about the different types of argumentative essays, let’s learn how should you write it.

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay

Step 1 – Find the Right Topic 

First of all, you need to look for the right essay topic that you think you can better argue on. If you have not assigned a topic, create a list of argumentative subjects. The topic you select must consist of at least two conflicting viewpoints. It’s advisable to go for the topic of your interest because if you’re passionate about your subject, you’re more likely to have success. 

Step 2 – Research 

To explain why your argument is valid, you will need to demonstrate some research work from credible sources and experts. It could be documentaries, books, or research blogs and articles.

Create a list of points for both sides of the argument and explain why your belief is logical and reasonable. Also, list points you see as evidence or against an issue. 

Also, try to look for viewpoints that may not have been discovered yet. If you’re writing an argumentative essay for an exam, the teacher will be impressed to see that you have made an effort to add something innovative.

Step 3 – Write an Outline 

Writing an outline not only helps you speed up the writing process, but also ensure that you have added all the necessary sections and points to your article. This step is crucial when you have to write an essay within a limited time frame.

Let’s find out what an outline for an argumentative essay should look like:

Introductory Paragraph

This paragraph should include information on the background of the topic you choose. It will help your reader learn about what you’re going to talk about.

To make your introduction impressive, you can address some of the following questions:

  • Why is this topic significant?
  • How does it affect the reader?
  • What can be done about it?

Add some statistics to make your introduction more impressive. For example, if the topic is, “why are people rapidly becoming obese in the US?” You can add a study about the number of people suffering from obesity in the United States and how quickly they become obese.   

Also, add a thesis statement in your introduction to take a side on the issue. For example, you can give a thesis state like the best way to control obesity in the US is to educate people on the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity.

Always make sure your introduction is capable of bringing your reader to the same page as you. In short, readers must have adequate knowledge of what your essay will be about.  

Paragraph 1

In the first paragraph, mention your main argument which supports your thesis. It should be a concise, preferably a one-sentence summary of your main viewpoint and claim. You can cite statistics to support your argument.

Paragraph 2

In this paragraph, you can present one more argument to support your thesis. For example, you can mention according to x study, healthy eating can control obesity to a certain extent.

Counter-Arguments

Give the counter-arguments for your thesis. Remember, if done well, it can make your argument stronger. Counter-arguments show that you are a reasonable person who does not consider only one side of the argument. 

In the counterargument of the above example, you may ask something like, can all Americans afford a healthy diet?

Don’t forget to refuse the counter-arguments as well. For example, you can mention that a healthy diet is affordable for most households. Give a source or explanation for your statement.

Conclusion

In this section, you need to summarize all the main points you mentioned in the body. Also, you can suggest for further research that can support your thesis.  

Step 4 – Edit

Editing is an essential part of any writing. Without it, you’re more likely to end up with a bunch of sentences making little to no sense. It is advisable to take a  break before you start with editing. It will help you avoid mistakes and improve lackluster sentences. When editing, you should pay attention to the following problems.

  • Did you choose the thesis that someone could argue for?
  • Are your arguments appropriate or effective?
  • Have you provided the best research and example to back your opinions?
  • Have you effectively presented and refuted the counterargument?
  • Does your conclusion provide a compelling idea for the future of your topic?

You can use our editing checklist to make sure you’ve checked for everything that you need to edit. You can also use an editing service like Scribendi or edit yourself using tools like ProWritingAid and Grammarly.

So there you have it. These are a few steps to write an impressive argumentative essay. 

How to Write Other Types of Essays


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