Writing an argumentative essay is a common task that most high school, college, and higher education students face, whether they know it or not. It is commonly assigned on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, IELTS, and TOEFL. Regardless of your natural writing talents, following the step by step methodology provided by our writers team will help one produce high-quality content that is a joy to readers eyes!
The first question one may have when approaching this task is: "what is an argumentative essay?" If we take a look at the definition, Using tools such as facts, statistics, and references, the author must create a logically defendable explanation as to why their point of view is the "right one."
A common question students ask is: "what is the difference between argumentative and persuasive essay writing?" Well, while . Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the two types.
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Argumentative Essay Topics
Just like with all other essay types, there are tons of topics to choose from when writing an argumentative essay. However, it is important to remember that they must be in a debate format. In other words, explain why option A is better than option B, or vice versa.
Here are some good argumentative essay topics to get you started:
- Apple vs. Microsoft: Which software brand is more useful for students?
- Do violent video games have a negative psychological impact on children?
- From a financial perspective, should one invest in cryptocurrencies?
- From an economic standpoint, are electric cars better overall?
- Has society become too reliant on technology?
Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics for High School
As students will begin writing this type of content in school, it is essential to give them easy essay topics so they can get a grasp of the task.
- What is the most important second language to know as a US student?
- Should the minimum driving age be lowered?
- Are standardized tests a fair reflection of students skills?
- Are athletes overpaid for their skills?
- Should high school students be free to choose their classes?
Topics for College
As we transition to the university level, the question asked alongside the complexity of content should increase. With that being said, here are some challenging topics for college students.
- Is there enough evidence to prove that news sources have a biased agenda?
- Would the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug be economically justifiable?
- Can we constitute Russia as a superpower alongside the USA and China?
- What was the most influential technological advancement in the history of humanity?
- Should we sacrifice some public services for lowered tax brackets?
Creating An Outline
Now that we understand what this type of writing is all about, we can start putting pieces of the argumentative paper outline together. Usually written in the five-paragraph structure, this essay will consist of an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Logically, each of those three sections will have a unique structure, so understanding them on an individual level will help ensure a smooth writing process.
We will be using "the internet" as the most significant technological advancement in society as an example
Introduction (3 Parts)
How To Start An Argumentative Essay (Hook Statement): As with most other types of essays, one should attempt to captivate the reader's interest from the very beginning. To do this, create a sentence that stands out from the rest of the text. The goal is to get your audience reaching for that bag of popcorn right after reading the hook!
Background Information: After gathering the audience's attention, the next step is to present any necessary context to narrow the focus. Also, it should ideally transition the train of thought towards the thesis statement.
Thesis Statement:. It is essential to writing a thesis correctly, and this is accomplished through proper phrasing. your primary objective is to defend your idea, so the thesis must DIRECTLY state what your idea is and why it is correct.
Body Paragraphs (4 Steps)
Topic Sentence: Start with a sentence that transitions the focus from the previous paragraph to the current one; it should also introduce the main sub-argument for that particular section.
Claim: After presenting your topic sentence, it is time to link your main sub-argument with the thesis statement. The goal is to explain how this point validates and strengthens your central message.
Evidence: After providing a valid claim, you must defend it with factual support. Examples of this can be statistics, references or logical ideas that support ones claim since they are getting information from external sources, adding to the essays overall validity.
Concluding Statement: After presenting a defendable claim and supporting it with evidence, one must end the body paragraph with a concluding statement. In other words, why was this particular point so essential?
Note that this structure works for each body paragraph. The main difference comes with the actual claim, supporting evidence, etc.
Conclusion (3 Steps)
Restate The Thesis: (thesis statement). Using assertive language, restate your thesis in an "I have 100% proven this point" type of way. When information is presented to an audience with confidence, they are subconsciously more inclined to believe that it is in fact, true.
Brief Summarization of Sub Arguments: Most likely, the audience has already forgotten some of the information you presented. For this reason, go back through and review your main points, giving your argument closure.
Overall Concluding Statement: To end an argumentative essay with a bang, . Usually, this sentence will express the universal importance of the information and should leave the reader with a call to action for further investigation.
The Writing Process
When it comes to sitting down and writing an argumentative essay, the author has four primary objectives:
Brainstorm + Topic Selection: Obviously, before one can start putting pen to paper, they have to figure out what they will be writing about. Unless one has been given a predetermined topic, they will usually have freedom of choice. ; doing so will naturally give the author more enthusiasm and motivation to do a good job.
Research, Research, Research: Even if you are savvy in the field of choice, there is a bundle of information out there that is unknown to you. of a topic and what avenue you will approach.
Writing A Rough Draft: Now that you have a thesis and valid external information, you can start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard.) Follow the outline laid out above for guaranteed success and keep in mind the following things:
- Writing a Final Draft: After finishing your rough draft, take some time away from the essay. Let your brain recover and come back to it the next day (or a few hours later, depending on how bad of a procrastinator you are) with a fresh perspective. More likely than not, you will see flaws in grammar, vocabulary, and logic. Make those final amendments and read your essay out loud for a final polish. If it sounds good, then looks like you are finished!
Tips For Success
Reason Trumps Emotion: Since we are writing an argumentative essay, it is crucially important to remember that we must fixate our points towards rational reasoning. Save the emotions for someone who cares!
Include Counter Arguments: Many writers forget this step, and this definitely harms their rate of success. A supported argument without a considered counter argument has reached half of its potential. Make sure to explain why your case carries more weight than the other!
Get outside peer editing: Just because your points make sense to you, doesn't mean that the readers will automatically understand your reasoning. Get some peer editing from a friend who can validate the logic behind your argument!
Argumentative Essay Examples
Down below you can find some good argumentative essay examples. The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of strikes for public workers. The second essay discusses the importance of economic equality in a nation, alongside possible repercussions and potential threats if not met. Both present fantastic arguments that students in need of help can learn from!
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Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper
This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 01:03:40
The following sections outline the generally accepted structure for an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and that your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
You may also use the following Purdue OWL resources to help you with your argument paper:
The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:
- What is this?
- Why am I reading it?
- What do you want me to do?
You should answer these questions by doing the following:
- Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
- State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
- State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).
For exploratory essays, your primary research question would replace your thesis statement so that the audience understands why you began your inquiry. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.
If your argument paper is long, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, and the opposition to your position. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing. Your forecast could read something like this:
First, I will define key terms for my argument, and then I will provide some background of the situation. Next, I will outline the important positions of the argument and explain why I support one of these positions. Lastly, I will consider opposing positions and discuss why these positions are outdated. I will conclude with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.
When writing a research paper, you may need to use a more formal, less personal tone. Your forecast might read like this:
This paper begins by providing key terms for the argument before providing background of the situation. Next, important positions are outlined and supported. To provide a more thorough explanation of these important positions, opposing positions are discussed. The paper concludes with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.
Ask your instructor about what tone you should use when providing a forecast for your paper.
These are very general examples, but by adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.
Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.
This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:
Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:
- A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
- A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
- A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
- A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
- Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 42). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.
Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:
- A good thesis is unified:
NOT: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them
BETTER: Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).
- A good thesis is specific:
NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs.
BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.
- Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis:
NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs.
BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.
_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above
_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment
_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable
_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal