1. What is an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that takes a stance on an issue. The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to agree with the writer’s point of view. This is done by presenting a strong argument, which is supported by evidence.
- The aim of writing argumentative essays is to convince or persuade the reader.
- One attempts to change the reader’s mind and convince the reader to agree with the point of view or claim of the writer.
- So, an argumentative essay needs to be highly persuasive and logical.
2. Key Terms
A. Argumentation: the act or process of forming reasons, drawing conclusions, and applying them to a case in discussion
B. Refutation: the process of discrediting the arguments that oppose your thesis statement
C. Proponent: someone who argues in favor of something; advocate
D. Opponent: a person who disagrees with something and speaks against it
E. Counter Argument (CON): point or statement in opposition to the argument being made in a written document or speech
F. Pro Argument (PRO): point or statement that supports one’s ideas and/or thesis
3. What Are the goals of argumentation?
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF ARGUMENTATION?
- present an opinion on a controversial topic to the reader;
- explain, clarify and illustrate that opinion;
- persuade the reader that the opinion supported in the essay is valid by:
a. moving the reader to action,
b. convincing the reader that the opinion is correct, or
c. persuading the reader that the opinion is at least worth considering;
- support the opinion by means of giving evidence: facts, examples, physical description, support of authority, and statistics;
- present counterarguments to the thesis and refute them respectfully and critically.
4. Argumentative Essay Outline
Sample of an Introduction
5. The Writing Process: How to write an argumentative essay
Argumentative essays follow the same recommended writing process as other kinds of writing, albeit with more emphasis on researching and preparing. Here’s a brief overview of how to adapt the process for argumentative essays:
1 Brainstorming: If your argument is not provided in the assignment, take some time to think up a good thesis based on our guidelines above.
2 Preparing: This phase is for collecting all the evidence going into your essay, as well as writing an outline. Because proof is key to argumentative essays, set aside ample time for research until you have all the support you need. It’s also a good time to outline your essay, answering questions like when and how to discuss opposing viewpoints.
3 Drafting: Write a rough draft of your essay. It helps to include any data and direct quotes as early as possible, especially with argumentative essays that often cite outside sources.
4 Revising: Polish your rough draft, optimize word choice, and restructure your arguments if necessary. Make sure your language is clear and appropriate for the reader, and double-check that you effectively made all your points and rebuttals.
5 Proofreading: Go through your draft and focus exclusively on fixing mistakes. If you’re not confident in your grammar skills or diction, use Grammarly.
Although optional, it always helps to have a fresh set of eyes on your essays before finalizing it. See if your argument is strong enough to convince your friends!
6. 5 Types of Argument Claims
Once you decide what you’re arguing and know your thesis statement, consider how you’ll present your argument. There are five types of argument claims that can drive your essay:
A. Fact: whether the statement is true or false.
B. Definition: the dictionary definition of what you’re arguing, plus your own personal interpretation of it.
C. Value: the importance of what you’re arguing.
D. Cause and effect: what causes the problem in your essay and what effects it has.
E. Policy: why the reader should care and what they should do about it after reading.
6. Important Reminder
A good argumentative essay should have:
- A clear and concise thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph
- A logical transition after every element of the essay
- Enough supporting evidence in every body paragraph
- A meaningful conclusion going beyond mere restatement
When writing an argumentative essay, arguments that have been suggested by opponents and proponents should be made clear. Otherwise, the reader may be confused.
the writers of argumentative essays need to generate many supporting and opposing ideas to construct their argument and this much of information might cause some organizational problems.
7. Final Tips for Writing an Argumentative Essay
- Find a debatable topic.
- Word your thesis carefully to provoke thought or action.
- Do research.
- Make a pro-con chart.
- Outline your arguments so that they are focused and organized.
- Anticipate objections and differing viewpoints and show why your argument is stronger even if the others have some merit.
- Support all your claims with convincing evidence and reasoned analysis.
- Avoid logical fallacies; they weaken any argument.
- Write in the first person — you’re arguing your stance, so using “I” is fine.
- Decide early on how many paragraphs you need in your body section.
- Write down all the references to the sources you’ve used during your research.
- Always revise your work before handing it to your instructor.