As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days. But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated. We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game.
Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year. When he was asked to deliver sessions on the art of essay-writing, he decided to publish a comprehensive (and brilliant) blog on the topic, offering wisdom gleaned from turning out two or three essays a week for his own undergraduate degree.
“There is a knack to it,” he says. “It took me until my second or third year at Cambridge to work it out. No one tells you how to put together an argument and push yourself from a 60 to a 70, but once you to get grips with how you’re meant to construct them, it’s simple.”
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The goal of writing any essay is to show that you can think critically about the material at hand (whatever it may be). This means going beyond regurgitating what you’ve read; if you’re just repeating other people’s arguments, you’re never going to trouble the upper end of the marking scale.
“You need to be using your higher cognitive abilities,” says Bryan Greetham, author of the bestselling How to Write Better Essays. “You’re not just showing understanding and recall, but analysing and synthesising ideas from different sources, then critically evaluating them. That’s where the marks lie.”
But what does critical evaluation actually look like? According to Squirrell, it’s simple: you need to “poke holes” in the texts you’re exploring and work out the ways in which “the authors aren’t perfect”.
“That can be an intimidating idea,” he says. “You’re reading something that someone has probably spent their career studying, so how can you, as an undergraduate, critique it?
“The answer is that you’re not going to discover some gaping flaw in Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume 3, but you are going to be able to say: ‘There are issues with these certain accounts, here is how you might resolve those’. That’s the difference between a 60-something essay and a 70-something essay.”
Critique your own arguments
Once you’ve cast a critical eye over the texts, you should turn it back on your own arguments. This may feel like going against the grain of what you’ve learned about writing academic essays, but it’s the key to drawing out developed points.
“We’re taught at an early age to present both sides of the argument,” Squirrell continues. “Then you get to university and you’re told to present one side of the argument and sustain it throughout the piece. But that’s not quite it: you need to figure out what the strongest objections to your own argument would be. Write them and try to respond to them, so you become aware of flaws in your reasoning. Every argument has its limits and if you can try and explore those, the markers will often reward that.”
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Fine, use Wikipedia then
The use of Wikipedia for research is a controversial topic among academics, with many advising their students to stay away from the site altogether.
“I genuinely disagree,” says Squirrell. “Those on the other side say that you can’t know who has written it, what they had in mind, what their biases are. But if you’re just trying to get a handle on a subject, or you want to find a scattering of secondary sources, it can be quite useful. I would only recommend it as either a primer or a last resort, but it does have its place.”
Focus your reading
Reading lists can be a hindrance as well as a help. They should be your first port of call for guidance, but they aren’t to-do lists. A book may be listed, but that doesn’t mean you need to absorb the whole thing.
Squirrell advises reading the introduction and conclusion and a relevant chapter but no more. “Otherwise you won’t actually get anything out of it because you’re trying to plough your way through a 300-page monograph,” he says.
You also need to store the information you’re gathering in a helpful, systematic way. Bryan Greetham recommends a digital update of his old-school “project box” approach.
“I have a box to catch all of those small things – a figure, a quotation, something interesting someone says – I’ll write them down and put them in the box so I don’t lose them. Then when I come to write, I have all of my material.”
There are a plenty of online offerings to help with this, such as the project management app Scrivener and referencing tool Zotero, and, for the procrastinators, there are productivity programmes like Self Control, which allow users to block certain websites from their computers for a set period.
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Look beyond the reading list
“This is comparatively easy to do,” says Squirrell. “Look at the citations used in the text, put them in Google Scholar, read the abstracts and decide whether they’re worth reading. Then you can look on Google Scholar at other papers that have cited the work you’re writing about – some of those will be useful. But quality matters more than quantity.”
And finally, the introduction
The old trick of dealing with your introduction last is common knowledge, but it seems few have really mastered the art of writing an effective opener.
“Introductions are the easiest things in the world to get right and nobody does it properly,” Squirrel says. “It should be ‘Here is the argument I am going to make, I am going to substantiate this with three or four strands of argumentation, drawing upon these theorists, who say these things, and I will conclude with some thoughts on this area and how it might clarify our understanding of this phenomenon.’ You should be able to encapsulate it in 100 words or so. That’s literally it.”
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If you're a student of the English 101 class or any similar course, you have most probably faced tons of writing assignments. They drive most students mad. School students feel less pressure than college and university peers. Higher academic levels require higher knowledge and broader set of skills. That is why students from colleges receive more complicated assignments. The topics become more complex.
Usually, the teachers or professors assign the topics on their own. However, sometimes students have a right to pick their own questions for discussion.
An argumentative essay is that type of academic papers which requires three set if skills from each student:
- Research skills
- Reading and writing
When you experience difficulties with at least one of the listed skills, it is better to hire professional assistance from one of that numerous, trusted websites. In any case, try to compose an essay on your own without any help. You may use various examples available on the internet for free.
Remember: argumentative tasks are assigned to maintain debating abilities. This sort of task impacts how well a student will give speeches in public or simply defend his point of view in the future.
How to Choose Negotiable Argumentative Topics Wisely
Many students feel relaxed when their tutors come up with the topic ideas. Still, it is better to have a freedom of choice as far as you can pick the issue which interests you. It is possible to choose an interesting topic from any field of science. While working on the argumentative paper, a student must gather all relevant and time-tested sources to show his awareness of the particular problem. Students should use some of the following credible resources:
- Their class textbooks
- Various published editions
- Academic journals
- Laws and regulations
You may be an expert in the selected area, but always remember to add quotes from the external sources. This way, students prove that they can gather and choose sources with the most quality information on the given topic. Moreover, in-text citations will show your awareness of the different papers formats. Formatting is one of the steps on the way to your desired grade. Whenever you have any doubts concerning the topic to write your argumentative essay on, contact online specialists who are selling cheap custom argumentative essays on any topics in the world. They know how to make your essay stand out from the rest of the papers.
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Top Recommended Argumentative Essay Topics
Simple Argumentative Essay Topics
- The complexity of the US educational system
- The problem of obesity among American population
- Free access to the internet is one of the biggest threats to education
- Men should have a right to make decisions on their own whether to join the war or not
- College curriculum should be changed with respect to students’ preferences
- The advantages of higher education
- Which languages are the most widespread and demanded nowadays?
- Is Spanish really the simplest language to study?
- MBA: pros and cons of studying business
- Can we say about an educational system that it is too commercialized?
- Why are Michigan, SAT, and ACT results important?
Sports Related Subjects
- Are steroids helping or destroying our body?
- PE lessons in the educational system.
- NCAA: advantages and disadvantages
- What is the highest achievement in sport?
- Is Mike Tyson still a superstar?
Argumentative Paper Topics for Young Students
- Is there a strong correlation between regular training, meals, and overall health condition?
- Are diets as effective as they are told?
- The negative consequences of the anorexia fashion.
- Why should people dedicate more time to sleep?
- Is it still cool to play golf?
- Is swimming the only sport that keeps fit all human body muscles?
- Skiing and other risky sports.
- Children should not watch horror films.
College Argumentative Essay Topics
- It is illegal to produce and sell tobacco
- 25 years of prison instead of the death sentence
- Passive smokers suffer more than active
- Can alcohol completely destroy human brain?
- The government should forbid alcohol sales after 10 P.M.
- Are non-alcoholic energetic drinks dangerous?
- Does TV have a right to document every court proceeding?
- When can people start voting?
- The most appropriate age to start smoking or using alcohol.
- Is there justice for social minorities?
- Was the Industrial Revolution spread all over Europe?
Classical Argumentative Ideas
- The government must forbid the usage of species of animals in research
- Government must punish each citizen who does harm to the environment
- Are electric vehicles the best solution the problem of pollution?
- Globalization: for and against
- Why do people say that Wilson actually lost the war?
- The strong aspects of Roosevelt reign
- Was King-Kong right killing humans who came to investigate his land?
- Are the US really under the threat of disappearing from the map?
- The consequences of tornado
- Tsunami and its sacrifices
- How can people protect the nature of Amazonia?
- Are there any true Indians left on the territory of America?
Controversial Argumentative Topics
- How to overcome the risk of the Third World War?
- Is there a chance that financial crisis will stop?
- More schools should become public and free
- Top colleges and universities should raise their acceptance rates
- Everyone has a right to free education
- The right way to implement gun control and other preventing measures
- Same-sex marriages and their impact on the society
- High level of corruption is one of the causes of low wages
- Is there a way to be above the law?
- Communism is not that bad
- Is CIS the best replacement of the USSR?
Technological Argumentative Essay Topics
- Computer games like shooters caused mass murders at the US schools
- Are many modern people lonely due to the existing technology?
- Filthy language on the web
- The age of technologies turns us into zombies
- The usage of smartphones leads to less live communication
- Technology and its influence on educational system
- When will the rapid technological advancement stop?
Argumentative Essay Related to Social Media
- Is technology restricting human imagination?
- Threats of having accounts in social networks like Facebook
- The modern world depends on the Internet heavily
- Can virtual relationships exist?
- Is online censorship critical for the Internet users?
Fifth & Sixth Grade Argumentative Essay
- Healthcare: any treatment must be free
- People are all kind by their nature
- The working hours must be reduced to let people dedicate more time to their families
- The wages should go up in the United States
- Governments must invest more in the social movements
- Parents cannot interrupt too much in the lives of their kids
- Spy applications do really work
- Cloning is not legal
- Every woman has a right to decide on her own regarding abortion
- Is it OK for a woman to date a much younger man?
- Cross-cultural marriages positively impact the racial tolerance
- Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
- Are abortions legal?
- Is online dating safe enough?
Humorous & Joking Argument Topics
- Would Superman find his place in a real world?
- Why do Ninja Turtles love pizza?
- Who should portray April in TNMT movie?
- 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D: When Will It Ever Stop?
- Can the chip fully control our brains and actions?
- The jokes of Peter Griffin make Family Guy the best TV show ever
- Why are humans in Simpsons yellow?
- Marijuana does no real harm to human health
- How to make parents softer with their children?
Music + Art + Cinematography Argumentative Essay Topics
- Can you earn enough money on art?
- Music and films are better than painting
- Which type of art is the most popular in Europe?
- Can you earn sufficient amount of money being an artist?
- Are today's lyrics making any sense?
- Heavy metal makes more sense than hip-hop
- Modern movies are worse than they used to be in the middle of 20th century
- Kurt Cobain did not kill himself
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Helpful Tips & Common Features of the Good Topic Ideas
If you want every reader to enjoy your writing and make it to the end, here is what you should do:
- Select an idea that everybody is talking about today. Consider rumors, facts, interesting stories, etc.
- Pick a problem which makes the majority of people have doubts.
- Try to select the audience which denies your point of view.
- Choose the topic on which everybody has a unique thought.
- Come up with a topic which relates to your own
We Have Collected the Most Useful Hints and Prompts Based on the Successful Argumentative Essays:
- Avoid choosing obvious argumentative essay topics!
- Never pick an issue that does not have any arguments. Ignore topics that are too trivial.
- A persuasive paper has to concentrate on the problem discussed by centuries. It may even lead to the international conflicts, but people will go on discussing it.
- Issues connected with the politics (e.g. US government or elections) are always great.
- Feel free to pick the topic associated with the modern college standards that do annoy most of the students. It may stimulate your peers to argue with your tutors, but that is what argumentative essay is all about!
- Avoid topics that people usually agree on without any hesitations.
- Try not to choose any topics related to the sensitive aspects of our life such as religion, gender, nationality, etc.
- Follow MLA or APA format as there are many examples on the web.
- Always pay attention to what other people say about your chosen theme.
You may notice that the process is almost always the same. The main purpose is to select the most inspiring argumentative essay topics to have an impact you expect. The goal is to satisfy your target audience, no matter whether it's your teacher or classmates. Pretend that you compete to receive the highest award in some contest. Here, A grade is your most wanted prize. Each time you demand quick assistance with your task, contact online expert writing service which can prepare an argumentative essay on the topic you like. They will do it pretty fast.
What about the Structure?
Every academic paper has its own structure. The argumentative essay involves the following stages:
- Broad primary and secondary research
- Collecting sources
- Choosing the most trusted and latest sources
- Preparing a draft
- Writing your paper
- Proofreading & Editing
- Double-checking all mistakes
As for the organization of the final essay, it is recommended to use a 5-paragraph structure. Develop an outline and keep to it. Your unique ideas must flow in this way:
- Introduction. Include some interesting facts, add a quote, joke, or find another way to attract the reader from the very beginning. Then, create a powerful thesis statement.
- First body paragraph. Begin with your argument number one. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Second body paragraph. Write down your argument number two. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Third body paragraph. Write down your argument number three. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
- Conclusion. It is the last paragraph of your entire essay. Restate your thesis which is the last sentence of your introduction. Prepare a brief review of the main points. Add Call-to-Action in the last sentence.
- Bibliography. List all of the applied sources.
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When you have no wish to work on your argumentative paper or any other academic assignments, keep in mind that there are professional online writers capable of completing the task of any difficulty level. They are 24/7 available to help the students of the English-speaking world with their academic troubles. Raise your performance and productivity by ordering an exclusive argumentative paper from the top US and UK writers!
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