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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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Miscellaneous

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You'll no doubt have to write a number of argumentative essays in both high school and college, but what, exactly, is an argumentative essay and how do you write the best one possible? Let's take a look.

A great argumentative essay always combines the same basic elements: approaching an argument from a rational perspective, researching sources, supporting your claims using facts rather than opinion, and articulating your reasoning into the most cogent and reasoned points. Argumentative essays are great building blocks for all sorts of research and rhetoric, so your teachers will expect you to master the technique before long.

But if this sounds daunting, never fear! We'll show how an argumentative essay differs from other kinds of papers, how to research and write them, how to pick an argumentative essay topic, and where to find example essays. So let's get started.

What Is an Argumentative Essay? How Is it Different from Other Kinds of Essays?

There are two basic requirements for any and all essays: to state a claim (a thesis statement) and to support that claim with evidence.

Though every essay is founded on these two ideas, there are several different types of essays, differentiated by the style of the writing, how the writer presents the thesis, and the types of evidence used to support the thesis statement.

Essays can be roughly divided into four different types:

#1: Argumentative #2: Persuasive #3: Expository #4: Analytical

So let's look at each type and what the differences are between them before we focus the rest of our time to argumentative essays.

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays are what this article is all about, so let's talk about them first.

An argumentative essay attempts to convince a reader to agree with a particular argument (the writer's thesis statement). The writer takes a firm stand one way or another on a topic and then uses hard evidence to support that stance.

An argumentative essay seeks to prove to the reader that one argument —the writer's argument— is the factually and logically correct one. This means that an argumentative essay must use only evidence-based support to back up a claim , rather than emotional or philosophical reasoning (which is often allowed in other types of essays). Thus, an argumentative essay has a burden of substantiated proof and sources , whereas some other types of essays (namely persuasive essays) do not.

You can write an argumentative essay on any topic, so long as there's room for argument. Generally, you can use the same topics for both a persuasive essay or an argumentative one, so long as you support the argumentative essay with hard evidence.

Example topics of an argumentative essay:

  • "Should farmers be allowed to shoot wolves if those wolves injure or kill farm animals?"
  • "Should the drinking age be lowered in the United States?"
  • "Are alternatives to democracy effective and/or feasible to implement?"

The next three types of essays are not argumentative essays, but you may have written them in school. We're going to cover them so you know what not to do for your argumentative essay.

Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays are similar to argumentative essays, so it can be easy to get them confused. But knowing what makes an argumentative essay different than a persuasive essay can often mean the difference between an excellent grade and an average one.

Persuasive essays seek to persuade a reader to agree with the point of view of the writer, whether that point of view is based on factual evidence or not. The writer has much more flexibility in the evidence they can use, with the ability to use moral, cultural, or opinion-based reasoning as well as factual reasoning to persuade the reader to agree the writer's side of a given issue.

Instead of being forced to use "pure" reason as one would in an argumentative essay, the writer of a persuasive essay can manipulate or appeal to the reader's emotions. So long as the writer attempts to steer the readers into agreeing with the thesis statement, the writer doesn't necessarily need hard evidence in favor of the argument.

Often, you can use the same topics for both a persuasive essay or an argumentative one—the difference is all in the approach and the evidence you present.

Example topics of a persuasive essay:

  • "Should children be responsible for their parents' debts?"
  • "Should cheating on a test be automatic grounds for expulsion?"
  • "How much should sports leagues be held accountable for player injuries and the long-term consequences of those injuries?"

Expository Essay

An expository essay is typically a short essay in which the writer explains an idea, issue, or theme , or discusses the history of a person, place, or idea.

This is typically a fact-forward essay with little argument or opinion one way or the other.

Example topics of an expository essay:

  • "The History of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell"
  • "The Reasons I Always Wanted to be a Doctor"
  • "The Meaning Behind the Colloquialism ‘People in Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones'"

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay seeks to delve into the deeper meaning of a text or work of art, or unpack a complicated idea . These kinds of essays closely interpret a source and look into its meaning by analyzing it at both a macro and micro level.

This type of analysis can be augmented by historical context or other expert or widely-regarded opinions on the subject, but is mainly supported directly through the original source (the piece or art or text being analyzed) .

Example topics of an analytical essay:

  • "Victory Gin in Place of Water: The Symbolism Behind Gin as the Only Potable Substance in George Orwell's 1984"
  • "Amarna Period Art: The Meaning Behind the Shift from Rigid to Fluid Poses"
  • "Adultery During WWII, as Told Through a Series of Letters to and from Soldiers"

body_juggle

There are many different types of essay and, over time, you'll be able to master them all.

A Typical Argumentative Essay Assignment

The average argumentative essay is between three to five pages, and will require at least three or four separate sources with which to back your claims . As for the essay topic , you'll most often be asked to write an argumentative essay in an English class on a "general" topic of your choice, ranging the gamut from science, to history, to literature.

But while the topics of an argumentative essay can span several different fields, the structure of an argumentative essay is always the same: you must support a claim—a claim that can reasonably have multiple sides—using multiple sources and using a standard essay format (which we'll talk about later on).

This is why many argumentative essay topics begin with the word "should," as in:

  • "Should all students be required to learn chemistry in high school?"
  • "Should children be required to learn a second language?"
  • "Should schools or governments be allowed to ban books?"

These topics all have at least two sides of the argument: Yes or no. And you must support the side you choose with evidence as to why your side is the correct one.

But there are also plenty of other ways to frame an argumentative essay as well:

  • "Does using social media do more to benefit or harm people?"
  • "Does the legal status of artwork or its creators—graffiti and vandalism, pirated media, a creator who's in jail—have an impact on the art itself?"
  • "Is or should anyone ever be ‘above the law?'"

Though these are worded differently than the first three, you're still essentially forced to pick between two sides of an issue: yes or no, for or against, benefit or detriment. Though your argument might not fall entirely into one side of the divide or another—for instance, you could claim that social media has positively impacted some aspects of modern life while being a detriment to others—your essay should still support one side of the argument above all. Your final stance would be that overall , social media is beneficial or overall , social media is harmful.

If your argument is one that is mostly text-based or backed by a single source (e.g., "How does Salinger show that Holden Caulfield is an unreliable narrator?" or "Does Gatsby personify the American Dream?"), then it's an analytical essay, rather than an argumentative essay. An argumentative essay will always be focused on more general topics so that you can use multiple sources to back up your claims.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics

So you know the basic idea behind an argumentative essay, but what topic should you write about?

Again, almost always, you'll be asked to write an argumentative essay on a free topic of your choice, or you'll be asked to select between a few given topics . If you're given complete free reign of topics, then it'll be up to you to find an essay topic that no only appeals to you, but that you can turn into an A+ argumentative essay.

What makes a "good" argumentative essay topic depends on both the subject matter and your personal interest —it can be hard to give your best effort on something that bores you to tears! But it can also be near impossible to write an argumentative essay on a topic that has no room for debate.

As we said earlier, a good argumentative essay topic will be one that has the potential to reasonably go in at least two directions—for or against, yes or no, and why . For example, it's pretty hard to write an argumentative essay on whether or not people should be allowed to murder one another—not a whole lot of debate there for most people!—but writing an essay for or against the death penalty has a lot more wiggle room for evidence and argument.

A good topic is also one that can be substantiated through hard evidence and relevant sources . So be sure to pick a topic that other people have studied (or at least studied elements of) so that you can use their data in your argument. For example, if you're arguing that it should be mandatory for all middle school children to play a sport, you might have to apply smaller scientific data points to the larger picture you're trying to justify. There are probably several studies you could cite on the benefits of physical activity and the positive effect structure and teamwork has on young minds, but there's probably no study you could use where a group of scientists put all middle-schoolers in one jurisdiction into a mandatory sports program (since that's probably never happened). So long as your evidence is relevant to your point and you can extrapolate from it to form a larger whole, you can use it as a part of your resource material.

And if you need ideas on where to get started, or just want to see sample argumentative essay topics, then check out these links for hundreds of potential argumentative essay topics.

101 Persuasive (or Argumentative) Essay and Speech Topics

301 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Top 50 Ideas for Argumentative/Persuasive Essay Writing

[Note: some of these say "persuasive essay topics," but just remember that the same topic can often be used for both a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay; the difference is in your writing style and the evidence you use to support your claims.]

body_fight

KO! Find that one argumentative essay topic you can absolutely conquer.

Argumentative Essay Format

Argumentative Essays are composed of four main elements:

  • A position (your argument)
  • Your reasons
  • Supporting evidence for those reasons (from reliable sources)
  • Counterargument(s) (possible opposing arguments and reasons why those arguments are incorrect)

If you're familiar with essay writing in general, then you're also probably familiar with the five paragraph essay structure . This structure is a simple tool to show how one outlines an essay and breaks it down into its component parts, although it can be expanded into as many paragraphs as you want beyond the core five.

The standard argumentative essay is often 3-5 pages, which will usually mean a lot more than five paragraphs, but your overall structure will look the same as a much shorter essay.

An argumentative essay at its simplest structure will look like:

Paragraph 1: Intro

  • Set up the story/problem/issue
  • Thesis/claim

Paragraph 2: Support

  • Reason #1 claim is correct
  • Supporting evidence with sources

Paragraph 3: Support

  • Reason #2 claim is correct

Paragraph 4: Counterargument

  • Explanation of argument for the other side
  • Refutation of opposing argument with supporting evidence

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

  • Re-state claim
  • Sum up reasons and support of claim from the essay to prove claim is correct

Now let's unpack each of these paragraph types to see how they work (with examples!), what goes into them, and why.

Paragraph 1—Set Up and Claim

Your first task is to introduce the reader to the topic at hand so they'll be prepared for your claim. Give a little background information, set the scene, and give the reader some stakes so that they care about the issue you're going to discuss.

Next, you absolutely must have a position on an argument and make that position clear to the readers. It's not an argumentative essay unless you're arguing for a specific claim, and this claim will be your thesis statement.

Your thesis CANNOT be a mere statement of fact (e.g., "Washington DC is the capital of the United States"). Your thesis must instead be an opinion which can be backed up with evidence and has the potential to be argued against (e.g., "New York should be the capital of the United States").

Paragraphs 2 and 3—Your Evidence

These are your body paragraphs in which you give the reasons why your argument is the best one and back up this reasoning with concrete evidence .

The argument supporting the thesis of an argumentative essay should be one that can be supported by facts and evidence, rather than personal opinion or cultural or religious mores.

For example, if you're arguing that New York should be the new capital of the US, you would have to back up that fact by discussing the factual contrasts between New York and DC in terms of location, population, revenue, and laws. You would then have to talk about the precedents for what makes for a good capital city and why New York fits the bill more than DC does.

Your argument can't simply be that a lot of people think New York is the best city ever and that you agree.

In addition to using concrete evidence, you always want to keep the tone of your essay passionate, but impersonal . Even though you're writing your argument from a single opinion, don't use first person language—"I think," "I feel," "I believe,"—to present your claims. Doing so is repetitive, since by writing the essay you're already telling the audience what you feel, and using first person language weakens your writing voice.

For example,

"I think that Washington DC is no longer suited to be the capital city of the United States."

"Washington DC is no longer suited to be the capital city of the United States."

The second statement sounds far stronger and more analytical.

Paragraph 4—Argument for the Other Side and Refutation

Even without a counter argument, you can make a pretty persuasive claim, but a counterargument will round out your essay into one that is much more persuasive and substantial.

By anticipating an argument against your claim and taking the initiative to counter it, you're allowing yourself to get ahead of the game. This way, you show that you've given great thought to all sides of the issue before choosing your position, and you demonstrate in multiple ways how yours is the more reasoned and supported side.

Paragraph 5—Conclusion

This paragraph is where you re-state your argument and summarize why it's the best claim.

Briefly touch on your supporting evidence and voila! A finished argumentative essay.

body_plesiosaur

Your essay should have just as awesome a skeleton as this plesiosaur does. (In other words: a ridiculously awesome skeleton)

Argumentative Essay Example: 5-Paragraph Style

It always helps to have an example to learn from. I've written a full 5-paragraph argumentative essay here. Look at how I state my thesis in paragraph 1, give supporting evidence in paragraphs 2 and 3, address a counterargument in paragraph 4, and conclude in paragraph 5.

Topic: Is it possible to maintain conflicting loyalties?

Paragraph 1

It is almost impossible to go through life without encountering a situation where your loyalties to different people or causes come into conflict with each other. Maybe you have a loving relationship with your sister, but she disagrees with your decision to join the army, or you find yourself torn between your cultural beliefs and your scientific ones. These conflicting loyalties can often be maintained for a time, but as examples from both history and psychological theory illustrate, sooner or later, people have to make a choice between competing loyalties, as no one can maintain a conflicting loyalty or belief system forever.

The first two sentences set the scene and give some hypothetical examples and stakes for the reader to care about.

The third sentence finishes off the intro with the thesis statement, making very clear how the author stands on the issue ("people have to make a choice between competing loyalties, as no one can maintain a conflicting loyalty or belief system forever." )

Paragraphs 2 and 3

Psychological theory states that human beings are not equipped to maintain conflicting loyalties indefinitely and that attempting to do so leads to a state called "cognitive dissonance." Cognitive dissonance theory is the psychological idea that people undergo tremendous mental stress or anxiety when holding contradictory beliefs, values, or loyalties (Festinger, 1957). Even if human beings initially hold a conflicting loyalty, they will do their best to find a mental equilibrium by making a choice between those loyalties—stay stalwart to a belief system or change their beliefs. One of the earliest formal examples of cognitive dissonance theory comes from Leon Festinger's When Prophesy Fails . Members of an apocalyptic cult are told that the end of the world will occur on a specific date and that they alone will be spared the Earth's destruction. When that day comes and goes with no apocalypse, the cult members face a cognitive dissonance between what they see and what they've been led to believe (Festinger, 1956). Some choose to believe that the cult's beliefs are still correct, but that the Earth was simply spared from destruction by mercy, while others choose to believe that they were lied to and that the cult was fraudulent all along. Both beliefs cannot be correct at the same time, and so the cult members are forced to make their choice.

But even when conflicting loyalties can lead to potentially physical, rather than just mental, consequences, people will always make a choice to fall on one side or other of a dividing line. Take, for instance, Nicolaus Copernicus, a man born and raised in Catholic Poland (and educated in Catholic Italy). Though the Catholic church dictated specific scientific teachings, Copernicus' loyalty to his own observations and scientific evidence won out over his loyalty to his country's government and belief system. When he published his heliocentric model of the solar system--in opposition to the geocentric model that had been widely accepted for hundreds of years (Hannam, 2011)-- Copernicus was making a choice between his loyalties. In an attempt t o maintain his fealty both to the established system and to what he believed, h e sat on his findings for a number of years (Fantoli, 1994). But, ultimately, Copernicus made the choice to side with his beliefs and observations above all and published his work for the world to see (even though, in doing so, he risked both his reputation and personal freedoms).

These two paragraphs provide the reasons why the author supports the main argument and uses substantiated sources to back those reasons.

The paragraph on cognitive dissonance theory gives both broad supporting evidence and more narrow, detailed supporting evidence to show why the thesis statement is correct not just anecdotally but also scientifically and psychologically. First, we see why people in general have a difficult time accepting conflicting loyalties and desires and then how this applies to individuals through the example of the cult members from the Dr. Festinger's research.

The next paragraph continues to use more detailed examples from history to provide further evidence of why the thesis that people cannot indefinitely maintain conflicting loyalties is true.

Paragraph 4

Some will claim that it is possible to maintain conflicting beliefs or loyalties permanently, but this is often more a matter of people deluding themselves and still making a choice for one side or the other, rather than truly maintaining loyalty to both sides equally. For example, Lancelot du Lac typifies a person who claims to maintain a balanced loyalty between to two parties, but his attempt to do so fails (as all attempts to permanently maintain conflicting loyalties must). Lancelot tells himself and others that he is equally devoted to both King Arthur and his court and to being Queen Guinevere's knight (Malory, 2008). But he can neither be in two places at once to protect both the king and queen, nor can he help but let his romantic feelings for the queen to interfere with his duties to the king and the kingdom. Ultimately, he and Queen Guinevere give into their feelings for one another and Lancelot—though he denies it—chooses his loyalty to her over his loyalty to Arthur. This decision plunges the kingdom into a civil war, ages Lancelot prematurely, and ultimately leads to Camelot's ruin (Raabe, 1987). Though Lancelot claimed to have been loyal to both the king and the queen, this loyalty was ultimately in conflict, and he could not maintain it.

Here we have the acknowledgement of a potential counter-argument and the evidence as to why it isn't true.

The argument is that some people (or literary characters) have asserted that they give equal weight to their conflicting loyalties. The refutation is that, though some may claim to be able to maintain conflicting loyalties, they're either lying to others or deceiving themselves. The paragraph shows why this is true by providing an example of this in action.

Paragraph 5

Whether it be through literature or history, time and time again, people demonstrate the challenges of trying to manage conflicting loyalties and the inevitable consequences of doing so. Though belief systems are malleable and will often change over time, it is not possible to maintain two mutually exclusive loyalties or beliefs at once. In the end, people always make a choice, and loyalty for one party or one side of an issue will always trump loyalty to the other.

The concluding paragraph summarizes the essay, touches on the evidence presented, and re-states the thesis statement.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 8 Steps

Writing the best argumentative essay is all about the preparation, so let's talk steps:

#1: Preliminary Research

If you have the option to pick your own argumentative essay topic (which you most likely will), then choose one or two topics you find the most intriguing or that you have a vested interest in and do some preliminary research on both sides of the debate.

Do an open internet search just to see what the general chatter is on the topic and what the research trends are.

Did your preliminary reading influence you to pick a side or change your side? Without diving into all the scholarly articles at length, do you believe there's enough evidence to support your claim? Have there been scientific studies? Experiments? Does a noted scholar in the field agree with you? If not, you may need to pick another topic or side of the argument to support.

#2: Pick Your Side and Form Your Thesis

Now's the time to pick the side of the argument you feel you can support the best and summarize your main point into your thesis statement.

Your thesis will be the basis of your entire essay, so make sure you know which side you're on, that you've stated it clearly, and that you stick by your argument throughout the entire essay .

#3: Heavy-Duty Research Time

You've taken a gander at what the internet at large has to say on your argument, but now's the time to actually read those sources and take notes.

Check scholarly journals online at Google Scholar , the Directory of Open Access Journals , or JStor . You can also search individual university or school libraries and websites to see what kinds of academic articles you can access for free. Keep track of your important quotes and page numbers and put them somewhere that's easy to find later.

And don't forget to check your school or local libraries as well!

#4: Outline

Follow the five-paragraph outline structure from the previous section.

Fill in your topic, your reasons, and your supporting evidence into each of the categories.

Before you begin to flesh out the essay, take a look at what you've got. Is your thesis statement in the first paragraph? Is it clear? Is your argument logical? Does your supporting evidence support your reasoning?

By outlining your essay, you streamline your process and take care of any logic gaps before you dive headfirst into the writing. This will save you a lot of grief later on if you need to change your sources or your structure, so don't get too trigger-happy and skip this step.

Now that you've laid out exactly what you'll need for your essay and where, it's time to fill in all the gaps by writing it out.

Take it one step at a time and expand your ideas into complete sentences and substantiated claims. It may feel daunting to turn an outline into a complete draft, but just remember that you've already laid out all the groundwork; now you're just filling in the gaps.

If you have the time before deadline, give yourself a day or two (or even just an hour!) away from your essay . Looking it over with fresh eyes will allow you to see errors, both minor and major, that you likely would have missed had you tried to edit when it was still raw.

Take a first pass over the entire essay and try your best to ignore any minor spelling or grammar mistakes—you're just looking at the big picture right now. Does it make sense as a whole? Did the essay succeed in making an argument and backing that argument up logically? (Do you feel persuaded?)

If not, go back and make notes so that you can fix it for your final draft.

Once you've made your revisions to the overall structure, mark all your small errors and grammar problems so you can fix them in the next draft.

#7: Final Draft

Use the notes you made on the rough draft and go in and hack and smooth away until you're satisfied with the final result.

A checklist for your final draft:

  • Formatting is correct according to your teacher's standards
  • No errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Essay is the right length and size for the assignment
  • The argument is present, consistent, and concise
  • Each reason is supported by relevant evidence
  • The essay makes sense overall

#8: Celebrate!

Once you've brought that final draft to a perfect polish and turned in your assignment, you're done! Go you!

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Good Examples of Argumentative Essays Online

Theory is all well and good, but examples are key. Just to get you started on what a fully-fleshed out argumentative essay looks like, let's see some examples in action.

Check out these two argumentative essay examples on the use of landmines and freons (and note the excellent use of concrete sources to back up their arguments!).

The Use of Landmines

A Shattered Sky

The Take-Aways: Keys to Writing an Argumentative Essay

At first, writing an argumentative essay may seem like a monstrous hurdle to overcome, but with the proper preparation and understanding, you'll be able to knock yours out of the park.

Remember the differences between a persuasive essay and an argumentative one, make sure your thesis is clear, and double-check that your supporting evidence is both relevant to your point and well-sourced . Pick your topic, do your research, make your outline, and fill in the gaps. Before you know it, you'll have yourself an A+ argumentative essay there, my friend.

What's Next?

Now you know the ins and outs of an argumentative essay, but how comfortable are you writing in other styles? Learn more about the four writing styles and when it makes sense to use each .

Understand how to make an argument, but still having trouble organizing your thoughts? Check out our guide to three popular essay formats and choose which one is right for you.

Ready to make your case, but not sure what to write about? We've created a list of 50 potential argumentative essay topics to spark your imagination.

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Argumentative Essay Guide

Nova A.

The Ultimate Guide to Argumentative Essay Writing

18 min read

Published on: Feb 3, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 22, 2023

argumentative essay guide

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250+ Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas To Help You Out

Argumentative Essay Outline: How to Structure Your Argumentative Essay

Argumentative Essay Examples: Samples & Tips

Learn the 3 Different Types of Argument and Multiple Argument Claims

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Are you struggling to write an argumentative essay? Do you want to learn the essential tips and techniques to craft a convincing argument? 

Argumentative essay writing needs more than just a personal opinion. It requires you to present evidence and facts to support a claim. But where do you begin?

Look no further! This blog post will provide an in-depth guide on how to write an effective argumentative essay. 

Read on to learn how to craft a perfect argumentative essay in this simple step-by-step guide.

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Argumentative Essay Definition

An argumentative essay is a type of essay where the writer takes a strong stance on an issue and presents arguments for it. 

These essays are built around a central argument. These arguments must be supported by logical evidence and facts. The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade readers to accept the writer's point of view on a particular topic.

It is similar to a persuasive essay. The only difference is, it is based on logic and evidence. Whereas, a persuasive essay may use emotional appeals.

Five Types of Argument Claims

There are five types of arguable claims that you can support in your essay. These include factual claims, definition claims, value claims, cause-and-effect claims, and policy claims.

Let's discuss each type in detail:

Factual Claims

These claims focus on facts and events that have occurred in the past. They can be supported with evidence such as statistics, examples, or expert opinions.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay to support the claim that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. You would present evidence such as scientific research findings and expert opinions to back up your argument.

Definition Claims

These claims focus on the definition of something or a concept. You can use logic, historical facts, and evidence to support a definition claim.

For example, you could write an argumentative essay to define what “success” means for a person or organization. You would need to back up your definition by providing evidence from experts or historical data.

Value Claims

These claims focus on the value of something and can be supported with facts and expert opinions.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay to argue that technology has a positive effect on our lives. You would present evidence such as surveys and studies that show how technology has made life easier and more efficient.

Cause and Effect Claims

These claims focus on how one event or action leads to another. They can be supported with evidence such as experimental data.

For example, you could write an argumentative essay to argue that poverty causes crime. You would need to present evidence from experts and other sources to back up your claim.

Policy Claims

These claims focus on specific initiatives or policies that people want to implement. They can be supported with evidence from experts and other sources.

For instance, you could write an argumentative essay with the data to support the implementation of a new government policy for healthcare reform. You would need to provide evidence such as reports and studies on the issue to back up your claim.

So, there are five types of arguable claims that you can make in your essay. Each type requires its own unique approach. 

Three Argument Structures and How To Use Them

There are three main types of argument structures that may be used in an essay. Let's see how each of them works:

Classical (Aristotelian) Argument

The classical argument structure is the oldest and most common type of argument. This model has its roots in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. 

It consists of five parts: 

  • Introduction
  • Your Arguments
  • Counter Arguments

To construct a classical argument essay, you would need to:

  • Present your position on an issue
  • Provide evidence to support it
  • Acknowledge opposing views
  • Refute those views with evidence
  • Conclude by summarizing the main points.

Rogerian Argument

The Rogerian model is used in essays where the main purpose is to find a common ground between opposing sides. It was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers.

It consists of four parts: 

  • Both Sides Of An Issue
  • Common Ground

To construct a Rogerian argument essay, you would need:

  • To present your side of the issue
  • Acknowledge and present the opposing view
  • Find a point of agreement between them

Toulmin Argument

The Toulmin structure is less common than the other two but it has its own unique style. This model was developed by British philosopher Stephen Toulmin. It consists of six parts:

  • Rebuttal of opposing arguments
  • Conclusion.

To construct a Toulmin model argument, you have to:

  • Present your claim on an issue
  • Provide evidence to back it up (grounds)
  • Support that evidence with additional information (backing)
  • Acknowledge any possible exceptions (qualifier)
  • Refute the counter-arguments (rebuttal)

It is important to choose the right structure that best fits the needs of your essay.

Watch this video that explains the three different types in detail:

How to Outline an Argumentative Essay?

When writing an argumentative essay, it is important to create an outline. An outline will help you organize your arguments and keep track of the flow of your essay.

Here is a basic structure for outlining an argumentative essay:

Following this structure will help you organize your essay and ensure that it is easy to read and understand. 

Read more about creating an argumentative essay outline and master the art of essay structure.

How To Write An Argumentative Essay?

Here are the basic components of an argumentative essay that you need to write: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction

  • Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement 
  • Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs 
  • Using Counter Arguments 

Argumentative Essay Conclusion

Let's explore how to write each argumentative essay component in detail:

An argumentative essay introduction clearly states the writer’s claim that he will make in the essay. The introductory paragraph should be logical and intellectual and should be written persuasively.

Here are three steps you can follow to write a very persuasive argumentative essay introduction:

  • Start with a hook:  Begin your introduction paragraph with a strong hook that gives the reader a hint about your argument.
  • Give background information:  Provide brief background information necessary to understand the argument and smoothly transition into the thesis statement .
  • State the thesis:  Lay a solid foundation for your claim by stating your thesis statement.

Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a concise, clear, and one-sentence summary of the whole essay. It is the most important part of an argumentative essay because it establishes a foundation for your claim. It should be informative, engaging, arguable, and valid.

One of the ways of writing an argumentative thesis is to make a question out of your topic. Simply take your essay topic and turn it into a debatable question.

Here is the thesis statement example for an argumentative essay:

Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs involve topic sentences and evidence, either against or supporting a certain point of view.

Here are three simple steps for crafting the body paragraphs:

  • Topic sentence:  Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that defines only one specific idea and supports the main claim.
  • Provide evidence:  Provide as much supporting evidence as required to convince the reader. Remember! The argument has no value if it is not backed with proper and relevant evidence from credible sources.
  • Concluding remarks: End the paragraph with a concluding remark and smoothly transition to the next body paragraph.

Using Counter Arguments

This counter-argument paragraph contains the opposing point of view that a reader may pose against your main argument. This paragraph aims to prove that the opposing side is wrong by providing facts and evidence.

Below are the four steps to craft a counter-argument paragraph:

  • State the counter-arguments:  Present all the counter-arguments one by one.
  • State your response:  Provide your response towards the counter-arguments.
  • Refute the opposing claims:  Refute the opposite claims, one by one, with facts and evidence..
  • Conclusion:  Conclude the paragraph by reasserting your main claim of the essay.

The conclusion needs to be logical and precise that inspire the reader to agree with your claim. It should provide the final stance about the argument, which tells that your side of the argument is right.

Here are the three steps to writing an effective argumentative essay conclusion:

  • Summarize the argument:  Sum up the entire essay and rewrite the thesis statement
  • Stick to the plan:  Don’t introduce any new argument here; just synthesize all the information presented in the body paragraph.
  • Call to action:  End your essay by providing a call to action.

Argumentative Essay Graphic Organizer

argumentative-essay-graphic-organizer

Argumentative Essay Format 

Writing a compelling argumentative essay involves more than just great content; proper formatting is equally crucial. 

Here is the argumentative essay paragraph format example. Follow these guidelines to ensure your essay is well-structured and visually appealing:

  • Paper Size and Margins
  • Use standard letter-size paper (8.5 x 11 inches) or A4 paper.
  • Set margins to 1 inch (2.54 cm) on all sides of the page.
  • Font and Spacing
  • Choose a legible font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • Use a 12-point font size for the main text.
  • Maintain double spacing throughout the entire essay, including the title, headings, and references.
  • Include a title page with your essay title, name, instructor's name, course name/code, and submission date (in the upper left or center).
  • Use proper formatting for the title, such as bold or italics.
  • Header and Page Numbers
  • Insert a header at the top right corner of each page, including your last name and page number.
  • Page numbers should be in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3...) and start on the title page if required by your instructor.
  • Create a centered and bolded title for your essay.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each major word in the title.
  • Avoid underlining or using quotation marks for the title.
  • Begin your essay with a clear and engaging introduction.
  • Introduce the topic, provide background information, and state your thesis statement.
  • Headings and Subheadings
  • Use a consistent system for headings (e.g., bold, italics, or underlining).
  • Organize your essay with clear headings and subheadings to guide readers through your argument.
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis.
  • Provide evidence, examples, and analysis to support your argument.
  • Use transition words to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs.
  • Counterarguments
  • Address counterarguments within your essay.
  • Refute opposing viewpoints logically and with evidence.
  • Summarize your main points.
  • Reiterate your thesis statement.
  • End with a thought-provoking closing statement or call to action.
  • Citations and References
  • Use proper citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) as required by your instructor.
  • Include a separate page for references or works cited, listing all sources used in your essay.

By adhering to these formatting guidelines, your argumentative essay will not only convey your ideas effectively but also make a professional and organized impression on your readers.

Argumentative Essay Examples

Sample essays play a vital role in understanding the structure of an essay. So check out these examples below.

Argumentative Essay Template

Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative Essay About Gun Control

Argumentative Essay Examples College

Argumentative Essay Example For High School PDF

Argumentative Essay on Pollution Due to Urbanization

Argumentative Essay on Social Media

How To Start An Argumentative Essay Examples

Abortion Argumentative Essay Examples

Here are more argumentative essay examples to help you understand the structure of an argumentative essay.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics 

Choosing a topic for an argumentative essay is way more complicated than choosing a topic for any other essay. To get enough material to write about, your topic should be:

To get enough material to write about, here are some easy argumentative essay topics for students:

  • Coronavirus is more of a blessing for the earth than a curse.
  • Human beings are more dangerous for mother earth than any other creature
  • Most of the young people can work from home
  • Social media have caused social problems
  • Single parents can't do the same upbringing of kids as both parents do.
  • The death penalty should be abolished
  • Animals shouldn't be kept in captivity
  • Climate change is caused by human activity 
  • Schools should provide mental health education 
  • Universal basic income should be implemented

If you want to get more unique argumentative essay topic ideas, have a look at our blog with 200+ argumentative essay topics !

Transition Words For Argumentative Essays

Transition words are crucial in argumentative essays to guide readers through your arguments and enhance the coherence and flow of your writing.  Here are some essential transition words and phrases to strengthen your argumentative essays:

  • Additionally
  • On the contrary
  • For instance
  • Consequently
  • Nonetheless
  • In conclusion

Argumentative Essay Writing Tips

Writing an argumentative essay can be a challenging task, especially if you are unsure of how to get started. Here are some tips to help you write a good and persuasive argumentative essay:

  • Choose a Debatable Topic:   Pick a topic that has two opposing sides and can be debated. It should also be relevant to the course or subject you are writing about.
  • Do Your Research:  Before you start writing, it is important to do some extensive research on the topic so that you understand both sides of the argument. This will help you make an informed decision when writing your essay.
  • Write a Clear Thesis Statement:  Your thesis should state the main point of your essay clearly and concisely so that readers know what to expect.
  • Develop Your Arguments:  Once you have chosen your topic and done your research, you can start developing the arguments that you will use in your essay. Make sure that each argument is supported with evidence from reliable sources.
  • Keep it Organized:  An outline will help keep your essay organized and focused on the main points that you want to make.
  • Be Unbiased:  When writing an argumentative essay, it is important to remain impartial and present both sides of the argument in a fair and balanced way.
  • Use Proper Formatting:  Different styles have different formatting requirements, such as font size and type, margins, and line spacing. Make sure to follow the guidelines for your chosen style.
  • Proofread:  After you have finished writing your essay, it is important to take time to proofread and make any corrections or revisions that are necessary. 

By following these tips, you can write an effective argumentative essay that will help you get the results that you want.

To finish it off,

Argumentative essay writing requires strong research and analysis skills to develop a sound argument. With the right planning and structure, anyone can write an effective argumentative essay. 

Now that you have learned about the basics of writing an argumentative essay, it is time to start putting your ideas into practice. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and start writing! 

However, we understand that students face many difficulties while writing an essay. If you are one of them, don’t worry, we’ve got a solution for you!

Our argumentative essay writing service is here to help you out. We've got qualified and professional writers who provide excellent writing assistance at affordable prices. We write all the papers from scratch to meet your custom requirements and ensure zero plagiarism.

So place your order at the best essay writing service today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify an argumentative essay.

In order to identify an argumentative essay, there are three steps: 

  • First figure out the purpose of a message. Who is trying to convince you? What do they want from you? 
  • Second, determine what their conclusion might be—what will it take for them to feel that their goal has been accomplished?
  • Finally, think about reasons why someone would believe something and consider if any apply here. 

Does an argumentative essay have a title?

An argumentative essay should have a title. This should give the reader an idea of what you're writing about.

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

10 May, 2020

9 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Being able to present your argument and carry your point in a debate or a discussion is a vital skill. No wonder educational establishments make writing compositions of such type a priority for all students. If you are not really good at delivering a persuasive message to the audience, this guide is for you. It will teach you how to write an argumentative essay successfully step by step. So, read on and pick up the essential knowledge.

argumentative essay

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a paper that gets the reader to recognize the author’s side of the argument as valid. The purpose of this specific essay is to pose a question and answer it with compelling evidence. At its core, this essay type works to champion a specific viewpoint. The key, however, is that the topic of the argumentative essay has multiple sides, which can be explained, weighed, and judged by relevant sources.

Check out our ultimate argumentative essay topics list!

This essay often explores common questions associated with any type of argument including:

Common questions associated with an argument

Argumentative VS Persuasive Essay

It’s important not to confuse argumentative essay with a persuasive essay – while they both seem to follow the same goal, their methods are slightly different. While the persuasive essay is here to convince the reader (to pick your side), the argumentative essay is here to present information that supports the claim.

In simple words, it explains why the author picked this side of the argument, and persuasive essay does its best to persuade the reader to agree with your point of view.

Now that we got this straight, let’s get right to our topic – how to write an argumentative essay. As you can easily recognize, it all starts with a proper argument. First, let’s define the types of argument available and strategies that you can follow.

Types of Argument

Types of Argument

When delving into the types of argument, the vocabulary suddenly becomes quite “lawyerish”; and that makes sense since lawyers stake their whole livelihood on their ability to win arguments. So step into your lawyer shoes, and learn about the five kinds of arguments that you could explore in an argumentative paper:

Claims of cause and effect

This paper focuses on answering what caused the issue(s), and what the resulting effects have been.

Claims of definition

This paper explores a controversial interpretation of a particular definition; the paper delves into what the world really means and how it could be interpreted in different ways.

Claims of Fact

This argumentative paper examines whether a particular fact is accurate; it often looks at several sources reporting a fact and examines their veracity.

Claims of Policy

This is a favorite argumentative essay in government and sociology classes; this paper explores a particular policy, who it affects, and what (if anything) should be done about it.

Claims of Value

This essay identifies a particular value or belief and then examines how and why it is important to a particular cohort or a larger, general population.

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert

Argument Strategies

Argument Strategies

When mulling over how to approach your argumentative assignment, you should be aware that three main argument strategies exist regarding how exactly to argue an issue: classical, Rogerian, Toulmin.

Classical Argument

This argument structure dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this strategy, the arguer introduces the issue, provides context, clearly states their claim, provides key arguments backed by lots of evidence, and nullifies opposing arguments with valid data.

Rogerian Argument

Hate conflict? This may be the argumentative paper strategy for you. At its core, this strategy works to identify compromise aspects for both sides; this approach works to find commonality and an ultimate agreement between two sides rather than proclaiming a winner or loser. The focus in this argument is compromise and respect of all sides.

Toulmin Argument

Remember Spock? This is his type of strategy; the Toulmin approach focuses solely on logic to persuade the audience. It is heavy on data and often relies on qualities to narrow the focus of a claim and strengthen the writer’s stance. This approach also tends to rely on exceptions, which clearly set limits on the parameters of an argument, thus making a particular stance easier to agree with.

With that in mind, we can now organize our argument into the essay structure.

Have no time to write your essay? You can buy argumentative essay tasks at Handmade Writing. Our service is available 24/7.

Argumentative essay Example

Organizing the argumentative essay outline.

Organizing the Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay follows the typical essay format: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. However, the body paragraphs are structured a bit differently from other body paragraphs. Surely, not something you can see in a cause and effect essay outline .

While the introduction should still begin with an attention-grabbing sentence that catches the reader’s interest and compels him or her to continue reading and provides key background information, the following paragraphs focus on specific aspects of the argument.

Let’s begin with the introduction.

Related Post: How to write an Essay Introduction ?

Introduction Paragraph

As its name suggests, this paragraph provides all the background information necessary for a reader unfamiliar with the argumentative essay topic to understand what it’s about. A solid introduction should:

  • Begin with a descriptive title that communicates your position regarding the topic
  • Rhetorical question
  • Personal anecdote
  • Provide necessary background, including definitions of any relevant words
  • End with a thesis statement that communicates your position
Stuck with your essay task? No more struggle! HandMadeWriting is the top essay writing service. Our online essay writer service not only guides you on writing papers, it can write a high-quality essay for you.

Body Paragraphs

Support the thesis statement

Body paragraphs can range in size from six to fifteen or more sentences. The goal of these paragraphs is to support the thesis statement. Recommended areas of focus for the body paragraphs within an argumentative paper include:

  • Identifying and explaining the problem
  • Identifying the two (or more) sides to the problem
  • Exploring the side the writer believes is more appropriate than the others
  • Shooting down the other sides, with evidence
  • Recommending a course of action for the reader

One important way how this essay differs from other kinds is its specific nature. At the end of reading such an essay, the audience should clearly understand the issue or controversy and have enough information to make an informed decision regarding the issue. But what compels an audience make an informed decision? Several things!

  • Authoritative sources (experts in their field)
  • Real-world examples
  • Attributable anecdotes

Conclusion

In this paragraph, often the shortest of all the paragraphs, the writer reviews his or her most compelling reasons for taking a particular stance on an issue. The persuasion should be strong here, and the writer should use combative language including examples such as:

  • “then” statements
  • There can be no doubt
  • Without immediate action
  • Research strongly supports

It is also appropriate to refute potential opposition in the conclusion. By stating the objections readers could have, and show why they should be dismissed; the conclusion resonates more strongly with the reader.

Check our guide if you have any other questions on academic paper writing!

Argumentative Essay Sample

Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own argumentative essay. Link:  Argumentative essay on white rappers’ moral rights to perform .

Remember : the key to winning any argument should be reliable sources — the better, the more trustworthy your sources, the more likely the audience will consider a viewpoint different from their own.

And while you may feel a deep passion towards a particular topic, keep in mind that emotions can be messy; this essay should present all sides to the argument respectfully and with a clear intention to portray each of them fairly.

Let the data, statistics, and facts speak loudly and clearly for themselves. And don’t forget to use opinionated language — using such diction is a must in any strong argumentative writing!

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HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

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How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Write‌ ‌an‌ ‌Argumentative‌ ‌Essay: Step by Step 🤓| Studyfy

How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Write‌ ‌an‌ ‌Argumentative‌ ‌Essay

how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

An argumentative essay is on the more serious side of things when it comes to academic papers It involves a lot of effort and time on behalf of a student. It is frequently used as an ultimate test to see if learners have fully grasped a given topic. The scale of this assignment can get pretty overwhelming. But if you know how to handle yourself and do serious academic research - well, then there's nothing to fear.

What Is an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that requires a student to take a stance on an oftentimes controversial topic. You'll collect and compile evidence in support of a chosen stance, and attempt to prove the viewpoint using the gathered material. 

This task is frequently used as a final test due to the amount of in-depth research and knowledge of the topic that is required. 

Argumentative essays topics come in all shapes and sizes. But they don't define this format of writing. Truly defining features of an argumentative essay are its type and elements.

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Argumentative Essay Types

Argumentative writing comes in several different forms. The most common of them are the following:

Persuasive essay

Persuasive essays are frequently used as thought experiments. In this format, the author is trying to make a case for one side of the argument that should be undeniably better than the other. Oftentimes the stance picked opposes the one the author agrees with, which makes learners look at the topic from a totally different angle;

Analysis essay

Analysis essays focus on looking into other argumentative type essays instead of good old argumentative essays topics. These usually take a form of a dialogue or debate, in which one author refutes or affirms the claims of another one;

Personal essay

This type does not usually require much research. The presented arguments are based on the author's subjective reasoning and personal opinion. But you are still expected to make a compelling case even though the objective and logical approach are off-limits.

Argumentative Essay Elements

An argumentative essay has a range of essential elements that make this task stand out from other forms of academic writing. These basic features should be distinctly identifiable in your paper:

Ordinarily, it is not simply a flow of the author's thoughts. In most cases, it should be based on extensive research or previous work.

The structure is what makes it easy to read and understand the author's arguments. A typical argumentative essay consists of an introduction paragraph complete with a thesis statement, 3-4 body paragraphs, and a conclusion section.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this kind of essay is the style of writing. It is usually presented in the form of a scientifically founded debate or argument (hence the name) in which the author attempts to prove a specific claim.

Argumentative Essay Format

Following rather strict structure guidelines is an important part of any research writing assignment. It is meant to serve a practical purpose of helping the reader follow along with the author's argument. It is also one of the major factors that influence your grade.

What are the 5 parts of an argumentative essay? Here is a rough outline. The most common form is a 5-paragraph model -there should be an introduction paragraph completed with a thesis statement, three body paragraphs showcasing evidence in support of your claim (there can be more or fewer of them depending on your assignment guidelines), and a conclusion paragraph with a quick summary of your work.

Here's a more detailed breakdown for you:

  • Introduction

1 paragraph

  • Body: Argument + supporting evidence
  • Body: Opposing argument + refuting evidence

3-5 paragraphs

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How to Start an Argumentative Essay: Introduction

Even though an argumentative essay introduction is probably the easiest part of the work that is ahead of you, many students still have questions about how to start an argumentative essay. 

Introduction and thesis are usually merged into one paragraph. But even though they serve largely the same purpose, there are also some distinct differences. An introduction is a general overview of the problem you are addressing in your essay. It should also offer a context overview to the readers.

Here you can allow yourself some liberties. Your main goal throughout the introduction paragraph is to prepare your audience for the onslaught to come. 

Briefly go through what your paper is going to be about, and why it is important. You don't have to go into very much detail, save that for the body paragraphs. 

An introduction is a sort of buildup that culminates in your thesis statement. Once you hit the latter, you should start getting serious. Now you know how to start an argumentative essay. 

This is probably the most important component of the introduction. A thesis in an argumentative essay doesn't really have many differences when compared to other types of writing. 

When working on this part, your job is to build a foundation on which you'll be building the rest of your argumentative writing. While the introduction in general leads your audience to the main problem covered in an essay, the thesis should nail that issue.

It is important to get this part right. The thesis statement is the cornerstone that largely defines the rest of your essay. Try to make it as clear and concise as possible. It may be tempting to make this part purposefully vague to have more room for maneuver later on. But that's going to cause more harm than good down the line.

Pay attention to the specifications of your assignment. Your thesis statement should be narrowed down to fit it. Nothing extra. A good way to check if your thesis hits the mark is to test it against the rest of your essay. The point brought up throughout a good argumentative essay should all serve as a logical extension of the thesis statement and complete it.

Body Paragraphs

The majority of your essay will be comprised of body paragraphs. As opposed to the introduction, where you raise the questions, here you have the opportunity to provide the answers. 

Argumentative essays should be based on extensive research and\or previous work. So before you get to shaping the body paragraphs, make sure you do the legwork to the fullest extent.

Maintaining a clear structure should be your first priority. The exact number of paragraphs may vary. But each one should address one specific argument. This serves several purposes, such as:

  • It helps your audience navigate the text;
  • It allows for readers to follow your reasoning;
  • It helps in organizing your thoughts clearly.

The main purpose of the body part of the text is to present the evidence that guides your audience along with you from your thesis statement all the way to the conclusion. 

It's the perfect time to make use of all that research you might have done previously. Don't go overboard by writing down your entire thought process. Instead, take a shortcut. If an argument doesn't drive the point forward, then it probably can be omitted.

It is also a good idea to use at least one paragraph to look at the topic from another angle. Analyzing and pointing out the flaws in arguments that oppose your conclusion is a valid approach. It can support and complete your previous observations and claims as well as further reinforce your argument. 

If you are sticking to this approach, it's best to put it after paragraphs in which you make a positive claim.

Every paragraph should be interconnected with the preceding and following ones. Even though they are showcasing different pieces of evidence, they are still all parts of consistent reasoning. Smooth and logical transitions are what keeps a good argumentative essay together. 

The gaps in your flow may not be so apparent when you are in the process of writing. But beware that they will jump out at you during proofreading.

By this point, you are done arguing. It is time to summarize all your findings. Do not present any new information in the conclusion section. Instead, use this space to reiterate the main points. Come back to your introduction once again. Here's what you should do:

  • Remind your reader what your thesis is;
  • Focus on why it is important;
  • Rehash it in light of all the information you have presented throughout your essay.

Another thing you can briefly address in conclusion is the white spots in your research. In some cases, you won't have the time or resources to get conclusive answers for all the questions your problem poses. 

It's okay to admit that you don't have the full picture yet. Write about what scientific research should be done in the future in order to get a more educated answer.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step Tips

What are the steps in writing an argumentative essay? These are the main phases you should go through when writing it. Allocate a certain amount of time for each step so that you wouldn't get stuck with one of them. 

Follow our instructions on how to write an argumentative essay step by step, and you will end up with a great paper to turn in when the deadline comes.

Check the Assignment Details

This might seem like an obvious thing to do. But you'd be surprised to know how many students fall flat on their faces with their essays just because they didn't understand the specifications of the assignment. 

Read the initial instructions. Then, read them again. Read it a third time out loud. Make sure you understand everything. If you don't - ask for clarification. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Gather the Materials

This phase is dedicated entirely to gathering as much information on your argumentative essay topic as you can. Even if you consider yourself fairly knowledgeable in the given field, take your time with this one. 

Look for hard facts to confirm your thoughts, try approaching the issue from a different angle, challenge your understanding of the subject. You may very well change your opinion on the topic while doing your research.

Create a Structure

You already have a rough outline of what paragraphs of your essay should be there. Based on those, create a more specific structure of an argumentative essay. 

Think about what arguments you will use, where you will put them, how you will transition between them, and so on. This is the logistics step and getting it right will make creating your first draft much easier.

Make the First Draft

With a decent chunk of research and a good outline of how to write it all down, making the first draft should be a piece of cake. Most of this process is just assigning what you already know to paragraphs and making sure you maintain the structure of an argumentative essay.

Edit Without Mercy

Write without fear and edit without mercy. This is a golden rule every student should keep in mind. Your first draft is unlikely to make the cut. That's when proofreading comes in. 

Ideally, you should have a day or two in between the first draft and editing steps. This will help you spot the mistakes easier. But if you are pressed for time, you could recruit friends, family, or fellow students to assist you. It is always better to get a second opinion.

Submit the Final Version

Your final draft will never be perfect. You can make minor improvements here and there pretty much forever. But following the deadlines is imperative in higher ed. 

So you will have to settle with what you have eventually. Don't get too worked up over minor details. 

How Many Paragraphs Should an Argumentative Essay Have?

The exact number depends on your preference and assignment specifications. But the basic lineup usually includes five paragraphs.

These are the introduction, conclusion, and three body paragraphs showcasing your arguments. You can increase or decrease the number of body paragraphs as long as you stay within the guidelines.

Can You Use Personal Experience?

Yes, you can use personal experience in an essay. However, in order for it to be compelling, it should fulfill the same criteria as the rest of your arguments. 

If you use a personal experience to set up a claim, you should look at it in a general sense and as a part of a greater picture rather than equating your personal feelings as infallible truth.

How Do You Introduce an Argument?

Introducing an argument should follow a clear and logical structure. Look at your thesis and create a transition to each of your arguments. It's sort of like opening the door to a pathway you are about to explore. 

Go step by step, presenting your evidence, thought process, and logic. Don't jump to conclusions. Things that might seem obvious to you may not appear so to your audience. 

Can You Use First-Person in an Argumentative Essay

You should definitely avoid using first-person sentences like 'I believe' or 'I feel' in an argumentative essay. Sentences like these can give off the impression that your arguments lack a proper evidential basis and are supported only on your personal opinion. Using matter of fact statements instead of first-person will make for a much stronger writing voice.

Example of an Argumentative Essay

Using essay examples as a rough template is one of the easiest and quickest ways to complete your assignment. Use this essay to get the hang of the structure and style of writing what's required when working on an argumentative-type paper.

Here’s a sneak-peek for you:

how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

Argumentative essay format may seem a bit too intimidating. It's especially true for those who encounter this type of writing for the very first time. 

After all, it really does require extensive research and a deep understanding of the topic of your writing. But even though this type of essay is a bit more serious than you might be used to, you shouldn't worry about getting caught off-guard.

An argumentative essay is usually given as some sort of final assignment after you've amassed some knowledge on a given topic. Using that intellectual baggage, you should have no problem at all navigating the pitfalls ofyour essays. 

So instead of stressing about your understanding of the subject, you should probably focus more on the technical aspects of the assignment like its structure or language. The most difficult part about writing is to write the first word. So don't hesitate and go straight to working on your assignment after reading this guide. 

The earlier you start, the better. With this guide on how to write an argumentative essay, it will be a cakewalk. And if you still encounter any issues, our custom essay order, rewrite essay, write a paper for me , write an essay for me , and admission essay writing service can provide you with expert assistance. Don't hesitate to contact us right away to proofread your essay or get more help!

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Argumentative Essay Guide

Argumentative Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Learn How to Write an Argumentative Essay

By: Jared P.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Oct 15, 2019

Argumentative essay

If you’re faced with writing an argumentative essay, you might be wondering…

How to write an argumentative essay?

How to start an argumentative essay?

What am I going to write about?

What are the best argumentative essay topics?

Do I need to write an argumentative essay outline first?

Is there a specific argumentative essay format?

Those are great questions. This blog will answer all your questions and help you compose your argumentative essay easily and in less time.

Let’s get started.

Argumentative essay

On this Page

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a genre of essay in which a writer is supposed to present a well-structured argument. It is a type of essay that establishes a stance on a topic or particular issue and supports it with evidence and facts. It is a well-balanced piece of writing that demonstrates both strengths and weaknesses of a specific subject.

The argumentative essay is one of the most common types of essays that students will encounter in their academic life. Although there are different variations of an argumentative essay, they all share the same foundation.

The writer is required to investigate an issue, pick a side and find strong evidence to prove his claim logically. He has to convince the reader to accept his perspective on the chosen topic.

The argument one presents in an essay must be specific, reasonable, has details and sound evidence.

The goal of an argumentative essay is to provide the reader with counterpoint perspectives on topics and issues. The problems may not be fully resolved in the existing literature or society at large.

Argumentative Essay Format and Structure

There are three different types of arguments that you can use for the argumentative essay format. Use them separately or combine them together to form your argument.

 1. Classical or Aristotelian Model

This is the most frequently used argument strategy. Here, you will highlight the problem, provide its solution. And then try to persuade the reader that you have proposed the correct solution.

2. Toulmin Model

Toulmin argument strategy uses logic and breaks down an argument into different parts. It presents both the writer's perspective and opposing views on the topic and explains why the writer’s stance is more beneficial.

3. Rogerian Model

This strategy is used for topics where it is difficult to find common ground. The entire idea is to find a point of agreement by showing the reader that you are considering the counter-argument.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay doesn’t need to be an enormous headache or a project so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start.

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay

Like any major project, the best way to tackle an argumentative essay is to break it down into “baby steps.” Take the following steps as your guideline. Accomplish them one at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have a workable first draft that informs, entertains, and challenges the reader:

1. Explore Different Argumentative Essay Topics

One of the essential components of an argumentative essay is having a persuasive topic.

While there is no scarcity of persuasive topics, you can find something in the newspaper or TV. Moreover, you might have overheard two people arguing in your class; there must be two strongly conflicting viewpoints.

When you’re thinking about which topic to go for, ask yourself these questions.

  • Why did a particular thing happen?
  • What was its cause?
  • Does it hold any significance?
  • What should our reaction be towards it?

Also, bear in mind that being interested in a topic and agreeing to it is one thing, but writing about it to persuade the reader is a different thing altogether.

You need to prove that your point is logical without becoming emotional and by using concrete evidence.

2. Choose the Types of Argument Claims

Once you have selected your topic, you must give considerable thought to developing your claim. There are different types of claims. If not all, then include some of them in your argumentative essay.

  • Authenticity

Whether your claim is a fact or not. Is it true? Will it occur or not?

What exactly is it? How can we define it? How to interpret it? How to classify it?

The importance of the issue. Is it worthy or not? How critical is it to address this issue?

  • Cause and Effect

How did it happen? What is the possible cause? What are its effects?

What should be done to tackle the issue? What laws should be enforced? What changes need to be made?

These components play an integral part in your essay. These claims make a presentable argumentative essay and help you discuss both supporting and opposing arguments.

3. Determine Your Stance

You have decided on the topic you are most passionate about; the next step is to assess both sides of the argument.

After evaluating both sides, determine the argument you can most relate to and look for strong evidence to support your claim.

The thing with argumentative essays is that to prove the validity of your point, you must educate the reader about both sides of the argument.

4. Collect Evidence and Supporting Examples

Since your reader isn’t in front of you, you can’t interpret the body language to see whether you have convinced the reader or not. Therefore, it is necessary to use strong proof, evidence from credible sources, and convincing data to support your stance.

When assessing a claim, consider the following points:

  • Is the statement factual?
  • What is its definition?
  • What are the causes of the issue?
  • Is the fact valuable?
  • What action should be taken, or what should be done about it?
  • What impact will it have on living things and our environment in general?
  • You might want to interview the experts of the field and use it to sketch an argument.

5. Create Argumentative Essay Outline

The argumentative essay is the most difficult type of essay that high school and college students have ever come across. Writing a well-structured and properly formatted essay needs effort and strong writing skills. The best option to make things easier is to draft an outline.

An essay outline is like a roadmap that guides you to reach your destination. The outline works the same for an essay. Therefore, it is a good idea to create an outline before starting an essay.

If you avoid writing an outline, you might have to suffer the following consequences.

  • Disjointed writing structure.
  • Pointless research.
  • Convoluted composition style.
  • Wandering point of view.
  • Disjointed and contradictory arguments.
  • Confused readers.
  • A lousy grade.

However, crafting an argumentative essay outline can offer you several benefits.

  • All research will be “on point” and support your argumentative topic theme.
  • Discussing both sides of the argument will become easy.
  • Both sides of the argument will be well-reasoned; weaknesses will be easily identified.
  • You’ll save a lot of time editing and revising the whole essay. You can do that with the outline.
  • Your conclusions will be supported by evidence.

A typical argumentative essay outline usually consists of 5 sections.

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Body Paragraphs I
  • Body Paragraphs II
  • Body Paragraphs III

The number of body paragraphs can be increased or decreased depending on the word limit and the essay topic.

6. Compose a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the main building block of an argumentative essay. Therefore, it is essential to draft a strong thesis statement that makes a substantial point about the topic. Your whole essay will revolve around the thesis statement, so make sure it is worthy of discussion.

7. Write a Compelling Introduction

The introduction paragraph outlines the topic, some relevant background information essential to understanding the topic, and the thesis statement. It gives a glimpse of all the claims you are going to make in your essay. It also outlines the facts and evidence that you will present to support your topic and thesis statement.

‘How do you start an argumentative essay introduction?'

Here are the four steps you can follow to write a compelling argumentative essay introduction:

  • Start with an attention-grabbing hook statement.
  • Outline the main subject of your essay.
  • Present some background information that is necessary to understand the topic.
  • Lay the foundation of your claim with a strong thesis statement.

8. Draft the Body Section

As discussed in the outline section, a typical essay usually has three body paragraphs. However, the number can vary according to the nature of the topic and the information that needs to be presented to support your claim.

Here are the three steps that you need to write a body section:

  • Start with a topic sentence that supports your thesis statement.
  • Present facts, evidence, examples, and relevant data from credible sources to back up your claim.
  • End the paragraph with concluding remarks and smoothly transition to the next paragraph.

9. Write a Convincing Conclusion

Although the conclusion paragraph is the last section of the essay, it holds the same significance as the introductory paragraph. It should be convincing and persuasive enough to prove your side of the argument right.

Here are the steps for writing the argumentative essay conclusion:

  • Summarize the whole essay in two to three sentences.
  • Rewrite the thesis statement to remind your reader what your essay was all about.
  • Provide a call to action.

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Argumentative Essay Samples

Here are a few argumentative essay examples on interesting topics for your guidance

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY SAMPLE (PDF)

ABORTION ESSAY SAMPLE (PDF)

SAMPLE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY (PDF)

Good Argumentative Essay Topics

‘What are good topics to write an argumentative essay on?’

Here are some amazing argumentative essay topic s that will help you get started.

  • Is an MS degree in business necessary for your business to be successful?
  • Mobile phones as educational tools: is it the right approach?
  • Should you be friends with your professor on social media?
  • Every student possesses writing skills. Do you agree?
  • Is it right to blame social media for the use of incorrect grammar?
  • Are social networks an effective platform for communication?
  • Do people really get a job through LinkedIn?
  • Is Facebook legally allowed to leak the private information of its users?
  • Is it possible to earn a good amount of money from YouTube?
  • Should Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter be banned permanently?

Hire a Professional Argumentative Essay Writer

If the work it takes even to get started writing your argument paper is more daunting than you feel you can’t handle at the moment. Or if you remain uncertain about how to even go about selecting a viable argumentative essay topic. It is time to find a professional argumentative essay writer to help you deliver a paper you can be proud of.

Finding the right expert help and learning from it is often the best alternative to starting from scratch. Remember, your grades count. If you’re in doubt about your ability to deliver a compelling argumentative or persuasive essay. Or, even to decide upon the right argumentative essay topic, then you need to work with the best ‘ do essay for me? ’ service and get the help you need.

The professional essay writers at 5StarEssays.com essay writing service are standing by, waiting to help with your academic writing. You can easily get their help by placing an order .

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main goal of an argumentative essay.

The main goal and aim of an argumentative essay are to develop your opinion and support it with relevant arguments and evidence.

What is the purpose of reasoning in an argumentative text?

The key purpose of reasoning is to clarify your main point and provide supporting evidence and arguments to back and support your claims

What are the five parts of an argument?

Here are the five parts of an argument.

  • Acknowledgment

What are the types of argumentative essays?

The main types of argumentative essays are persuasive, analysis, research, and personal essays.

Jared P.

College Admission Essay, Literature

Jared P. is a renowned author and writing service provider with over fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry. He has a Ph.D. degree in English Literature and has spent his entire career helping students achieve their academic goals by providing expert writing assistance.

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how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

How to Teach Argument Writing Step-By-Step

how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

No doubt, teaching argument writing to middle school students can be tricky. Even the word “argumentative” is off-putting, bringing to mind pointless bickering. But once I came up with argument writing lessons that were both fun and effective, I quickly saw the value in it. And so did my students.

You see, we teachers have an ace up our sleeve. It’s a known fact that from ages 11-14, kids love nothing more than to fire up a good ole battle royale with just about anybody within spitting distance.

Yup. So we’re going to use their powers of contradiction to OUR advantage by showing them how to use our argument writing lessons to power up their real-life persuasion skills. Your students will be knocking each other over in the hall to get to the room first!

I usually plan on taking about three weeks on the entire argument writing workshop. However, there are years when I’ve had to cut it down to two, and that works fine too.

Here are the step-by-step lessons I use to teach argument writing. It might be helpful to teachers who are new to teaching the argument, or to teachers who want to get back to the basics. If it seems formulaic, that’s because it is. In my experience, that’s the best way to get middle school students started.

Prior to Starting the Writer’s Workshop

A couple of weeks prior to starting your unit, assign some quick-write journal topics. I pick one current event topic a day, and I ask students to express their opinion about the topic.

Quick-writes get the kids thinking about what is going on in the world and makes choosing a topic easier later on.

Define Argumentative Writing

I’ll never forget the feeling of panic I had in 7th grade when my teacher told us to start writing an expository essay on snowstorms. How could I write an expository essay if I don’t even know what expository MEANS, I whined to my middle school self.

We can’t assume our students know or remember what argumentative writing is, even if we think they should know. So we have to tell them. Also, define claim and issue while you’re at it.

Establish Purpose

I always tell my students that learning to write an effective argument is key to learning critical thinking skills and is an important part of school AND real-life writing.

We start with a fictional scenario every kid in the history of kids can relate to.

ISSUE : a kid wants to stay up late to go to a party vs. AUDIENCE : the strict mom who likes to say no.

The “party” kid writes his mom a letter that starts with a thesis and a claim: I should be permitted to stay out late to attend the part for several reasons.

By going through this totally relatable scenario using a modified argumentative framework, I’m able to demonstrate the difference between persuasion and argument, the importance of data and factual evidence, and the value of a counterclaim and rebuttal.

Students love to debate whether or not strict mom should allow party kid to attend the party. More importantly, it’s a great way to introduce the art of the argument, because kids can see how they can use the skills to their personal advantage.

Persuasive Writing Differs From Argument Writing

At the middle school level, students need to understand persuasive and argument writing in a concrete way. Therefore, I keep it simple by explaining that both types of writing involve a claim. However, in persuasive writing, the supporting details are based on opinions, feelings, and emotions, while in argument writing the supporting details are based on researching factual evidence.

I give kids a few examples to see if they can tell the difference between argumentation and persuasion before we move on.

Argumentative Essay Terminology

In order to write a complete argumentative essay, students need to be familiar with some key terminology . Some teachers name the parts differently, so I try to give them more than one word if necessary:

  • thesis statement
  • bridge/warrant
  • counterclaim/counterargument*
  • turn-back/refutation

*If you follow Common Core Standards, the counterargument is not required for 6th-grade argument writing. All of the teachers in my school teach it anyway, and I’m thankful for that when the kids get to 7th grade.

Organizing the Argumentative Essay

I teach students how to write a step-by-step 5 paragraph argumentative essay consisting of the following:

  • Introduction : Includes a lead/hook, background information about the topic, and a thesis statement that includes the claim.
  • Body Paragraph #1 : Introduces the first reason that the claim is valid. Supports that reason with facts, examples, and/or data.
  • Body Paragraph #2 : The second reason the claim is valid. Supporting evidence as above.
  • Counterargument (Body Paragraph #3): Introduction of an opposing claim, then includes a turn-back to take the reader back to the original claim.
  • Conclusion : Restates the thesis statement, summarizes the main idea, and contains a strong concluding statement that might be a call to action.

Mentor Texts

If we want students to write a certain way, we should provide high-quality mentor texts that are exact models of what we expect them to write.

I know a lot of teachers will use picture books or editorials that present arguments for this, and I can get behind that. But only if specific exemplary essays are also used, and this is why.

If I want to learn Italian cooking, I’m not going to just watch the Romanos enjoy a holiday feast on Everybody Loves Raymond . I need to slow it down and follow every little step my girl Lidia Bastianich makes.

The same goes for teaching argument writing. If we want students to write 5 paragraph essays, that’s what we should show them.

In fact, don’t just display those mentor texts like a museum piece. Dissect the heck out of those essays. Pull them apart like a Thanksgiving turkey. Disassemble the essay sentence by sentence and have the kids label the parts and reassemble them. This is how they will learn how to structure their own writing.

Also, encourage your detectives to evaluate the evidence. Ask students to make note of how the authors use anecdotes, statistics, and facts. Have them evaluate the evidence and whether or not the writer fully analyzes it and connects it to the claim.

This is absolutely the best way for kids to understand the purpose of each part of the essay.

Research Time

Most of my students are not very experienced with performing research when we do this unit, so I ease them into it. (Our “big” research unit comes later in the year with our feature article unit .)

I start them off by showing this short video on how to find reliable sources. We use data collection sheets and our school library’s database for research. There are also some awesome, kid-friendly research sites listed on the Ask a Tech Teacher Blog .

Step-By-Step Drafting

The bedrock of drafting is to start with a solid graphic organizer. I have to differentiate for my writers, and I’ve found they have the most success when I offer three types of graphic organizers.

1- Least Support: This is your standard graphic organizer. It labels each paragraph and has a dedicated section for each part of the paragraph.

2- Moderate Support: This one has labels and sections, but also includes sentence stems for each sentence in the paragraph.

3- Most Support: This one has labels and sections and also includes fill-in-the-blank sentence frames . It’s perfect for my emerging writers, and as I’ve mentioned previously, students do NOT need the frames for long and soon become competent and independent writers.

Writing the Introduction

The introduction has three parts and purposes.

First, it has a hook or lead. While it should be about the topic, it shouldn’t state the writer’s position on the topic. I encourage students to start with a quote by a famous person, an unusual detail, a statistic, or a fact.

Kids will often try to start with a question, but I discourage that unless their question also includes one of the other strategies. Otherwise, I end up with 100 essays that start with, “Do you like sharks?” Lol

Next, it’s time to introduce the issue. This is the background information that readers need in order to understand the controversy.

Last, students should state the claim in the thesis statement. I call it a promise to the reader that the essay will deliver by proving that the claim is valid.

Writing the Supporting Body Paragraphs

Each supporting body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the idea and states the reason why the claim is valid. The following sentences in the paragraph should support that reason with facts, examples, data, or expert opinions. The bridge is the sentence that connects that piece of evidence to the argument’s claim. The concluding sentence should restate the reason.

Writing the Counterclaim Paragraph

The counterclaim paragraph is a very important aspect of argument writing. It’s where we introduce an opposing argument and then confidently take the reader back to the original argument. I tell students that it’s necessary to “get in the head” of the person who might not agree with their claim, by predicting their objections.

It can be tough for kids to “flip the switch” on their own argument, so I like to practice this a bit. I give them several pairs of transitions that go together to form a counterclaim and rebuttal. I also switch up what I call this part so that they use the terminology interchangeably.

  • It might seem that [ counterargument . ]However, [ turn-back .]
  • Opponents may argue that [ counterargument .] Nevertheless, [ turn back .]
  • A common argument against this position is [ counterargument .] Yet, [ turn-back .]

A great way for kids to practice this is to have them work with partners to write a few counterarguments together. I let them practice by giving them easy role-playing topics.

  • Your cousins want to jump into a poison ivy grove for a TikTok challenge. Choose your position on this and write a counterargument and turn-back.
  • Your friend wants to get a full-face tattoo of their boyfriend’s name. Choose your position on this and write a counterargument and turn-back.

This kind of practice makes the counterargument much more clear.

The concluding paragraph should remind the reader of what was argued in the essay and why it matters. It might also suggest solutions or further research that could be done on the topic. Or students can write a call to action that asks the reader to perform an action in regard to the information they’ve just learned.

My students write about local issues and then turn the essays into letters to our superintendent, school board, or state senators. It’s an amazing way to empower kids and to show them that their opinion matters. I’ve written about that here and I’ve included the sentence frames for the letters in my argumentative writing unit.

I hope this gives you a good overview of teaching argument writing. Please leave any questions below. Please also share your ideas, because we all need all the help we can give each other!

And one more thing. Don’t be surprised if parents start asking you to tone down the unit because it’s become harder to tell their kids why they can’t stay up late for parties. 🙂

Stay delicious!

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Argumentative Essay Writing

Cathy A.

Argumentative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide

11 min read

Published on: Mar 10, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

argumentative essay writing

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Writing an argumentative essay is in every student’s academic life. No matter which level you are on, writing essays will be part of your life.

So learning to write good essays is essential if you want to be successful. Students who want to ace their language class often forget that their grades massive chunk depends on essay writing.

Writing about these arguments can be tricky, but one should know the art of doing so. This blog focuses on what an argumentative essay is and how it is written.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

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What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing in which your argument is the most important thing.

An argumentative essay has various other approaches, but they all share the basic idea and purpose. In this essay, a writer is asked to investigate and analyze a topic or a subject. 

Moreover, the writer chooses which side of the issue he stands on and asks for reasons and evidence for his stance.

Unlike other essay types, this essay is based on the logic and facts that a writer uses to prove his claim.

Although an argumentative essay is based on an argument, this is nothing like a verbal argument between two informal people in a really heated situation. Therefore, the presentation of the argument in this essay is different.

The primary goal of this essay is based on a point-counterpoint idea. Thus, the writer presents his argument and the counter-argument and leaves it to the audience to decide which side to support.

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Types of Arguments

Generally speaking, there are three types of arguments. These arguments are used in the formation of your argumentative essay. 

All these types of arguments can be separately used or used in combination in your essay, depending on the topic and how you present it.

Rogerian Argument Strategy

A Rogerian model is a negotiating strategy in which you identify common ideas or goals. Also, opposing arguments and views are presented objectively to reach an agreement.

Topic: Should smoking be banned in public places?

In a Rogerian argument, you would aim to find common ground between those in favor of and those against the ban on smoking in public places. 

For example:

Aristotelian Argument Strategy

According to this strategy, a writer tries to persuade their audience to a specific point of view. This argument is made on ethos, pathos, and logos.

Topic: Should school uniforms be mandatory?

Using the Aristotelian argument strategy, you would appeal to the audience's emotions, credibility, and logical reasoning. 

For instance:

Toulmin Argument Strategy

This argument strategy breaks down an argument into several parts using logic and facts. This argument style has 6 elements; backing, warrant, claim, quantifier, grounds, and rebuttal.

Topic: Should the use of plastic bags be banned?

No matter which argument type you choose, make sure to persuade the audience with powerful reasoning.

Check our expert blog on types of arguments to learn more in detail!

How to Start an Argumentative Essay?

A writer can not just jump onto the writing process of an argumentative essay. Before beginning the actual writing process, there is a whole pre-writing procedure that should be considered.

The pre-writing procedure involves drafting a plan according to which the writer will craft his essay. The following are the steps that you should take to plan out your argumentative essay:

  • Discover your topic
  • Decide on the claim
  • Pick your stance
  • Conduct research
  • Develop an argumentative essay outline

These steps will make the writing procedure easier for you. Each step is discussed in detail in the following section.

1. Discover your Topic

To begin your essay, you must have a topic or a subject to write your paper on. A good argumentative essay is based on a strong persuasive topic presented to the reader by a writer.

Choose a topic of interest or an issue that prevails widely in your society to talk and persuade people about it.

There is a criterion while selecting a topic. If your topic answers the following question vividly, then it is “The Topic”.

  • Why did that particular event happen?
  • Significance
  • Writer's reaction
  • Select a topic that you can think can be proved with logic and facts.

Check out this video to learn more about selecting a topic!

2. Decide on the Claim

After you have your topic, develop your claim. Generally, there are five types of claims that are used in the argumentative essay.

If not all, try to use some of these claims to give your essay strength.

  • Value - Is your topic valuable? Is it meaningful and worthy enough to talk about?
  • Authenticity - Is your claim a fact or not?
  • Cause and Effect - How it happened and what was the cause of the occurrence of the issue? Its effects?
  • Definition - What the particular issue is? Its interpretation, definition, and classification?
  • Policy - What are the courses of action that should take? How to tackle the specific issue?

Try to use some of these claims to give your essay strength.

3. Pick your Stance

Every coin has two sides. When you select your topic of the issue, you know there is another side to it as well. 

To write an argumentative essay, a writer needs to weigh both sides of the argument. They need to analyze which side is stronger and can be justified by logic and facts .

Unlike a persuasive essay, an argumentative essay presents the argument of an opposing side, letting the audience decide which side to choose.

4. Conduct Research

When you choose a topic for your essay, ensure the information can be easily gathered. You want maximum logic and facts to prove your point.

Opinions will not make a difference in this essay type, so it is important to present authentic and reliable information for the readers.

You can only convince the reader with your point of view that is logically sound and by providing supporting material to your thesis statement. So, first, do research and write the essay.

5. Develop an Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay follows the basic 5 paragraph outline. An outline of an argumentative essay includes:

A complete argumentative essay outline guide will help you further. After arranging all the gathered information in these sections, grab a pen to start writing your essay.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay?

Once you have a proper plan for your essay, it is time to start drafting it. Keep in mind the outline developed and start writing your argumentative essay in the following order:

1. Argumentative Essay Introduction

As the name suggests, the introductory paragraph introduces the topic or the issue that a writer selected for his audience.

In these paragraphs, a hook is written to grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to read your essay. A hook is the opening line of an essay and plays a significant role in your essay.

Another ingredient that is used to make an introduction is the background information about your topic. 

Here, provide information about the previous works concerning your topic, their findings, etc. Mention the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen topic.

The last and most important part is the thesis statement of your essay.

It is the main argument on which your entire essay is based. All the information in the content aims to prove this statement by providing evidence and facts.

2. Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs

The body of an argumentative essay contains shreds of evidence and material that support the claim and the major thesis statement.

Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence. Then, all the information in that paragraph talks about a particular idea about the subject.

In the body paragraphs of an argumentative essay, the writer presents his arguments, supporting information that proves the argument is valid, and the counter-argument.

All of this information is provided by maintaining the transition. It helps protect the essay’s flow. Together, all the paragraphs aim and lead up to the conclusion.

3. Argumentative Essay Conclusion

In the conclusion of an argumentative essay, the writer describes the key ideas, restating the thesis statement. Also, in the concluding paragraphs, the writer put forward the courses of action and gives the final verdict.

 Argumentative Essay Examples

Below are some examples of argumentative essays presented for you by experts.

Argumentative Essay Outline

Argumentative Essay Example

Argumentative Essay Format

Follow these examples to get an idea of how a professional argumentative essay is written.

Argumentative Essay Topics

Topics for an argumentative essay can easily take from your day-to-day life. But for your ease, our experts have gathered some good essay topics so that you can write the best essays.

Following is a list of some good topics:

  • Are college degrees worth their price?
  • Does everyone need to go to college to be successful?
  • Why is Shakespeare the greatest poet of all time?
  • College students must be providing practical life knowledge as well.
  • Are SATs effective for everyone?
  • What is the importance of learning multiple languages?
  • Do violent video games affect child behavior?
  • How does social media lead to isolation?
  • How important is the censorship of online content?
  • Is fast food really the cause of obesity and other diseases in the United States?
  • Is it justified to test animals for beauty products in any way?
  • Is mercy killing justified?
  • Women can multitask better.
  • Electronic voting - What are its pros and cons?
  • Should there be an option for Youtubers to edit foul and derogatory comments?

Check our extensive blog on argumentative essay topics to get inspired. 

Writing an argumentative paper for high school can be overwhelming, but you can score best in it once you get to know the basics. 

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how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

  • Essay Writing Guides

How To Write An Argumentative Essay

With argumentative essays, the student must explore his stance on an issue and think about possible rebuttals to this claim. Otherwise, the argumentative essay is incomplete.

However, all forms of essay writing follow a specified format, and they all need an outline. So, let’s examine how to write an argumentative essay . This guide will also cover essay examples and useful writing tips to present a convincing argument.

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a form of writing that explores the writer’s viewpoint on any topic. The writer must outline their opinion in the opening paragraphs to give the reader a better understanding of their stance on the issue.

Despite similarities with other forms of writing like persuasive essays, argumentative essays go beyond convincing the reader that your point is superior. You also need to explore different existing viewpoints on the issue and refute them. Besides, you must support all your claims with irrefutable evidence based on fact.

For example, if the argumentative essay topic focuses on police brutality, your paper should support and refute these claims simultaneously.

In academia, argumentative essay writing is one of the most common assignments for students in the arts and humanities. Besides, the standard structure of argumentative essays is the bedrock of the famous 5-paragraph writing style.

5 Types of Argument Claims 

The argument claim describes the prevailing viewpoint in your argument — the theory you support. Before outlining your view, you need to select presentation criteria to dictate the paper’s tone and direction. Here are the five types of argument claims:

The fact claim focuses on answering a ‘yes or no’ question. This claim uses concrete evidence to determine the veracity of the paper’s central claim. Often, the fact claim is used when the argumentative essay topic is a question . 

When using the definition claim, you should only focus on the standard definition of the word or expression. All forms of personal and contextual interpretation should not appear in the paper. 

The value claim stresses the importance of the topic of discussion. What is the relevance to society? This type of claim is often used for existential problems affecting humans in general or a specific group.

  • Cause and effect 

As the name suggests, the cause and effect claim focuses on an issue and the reasons it occurred. In essence, the essay establishes a connection between an event and an outcome.

This claim assertion technique is used in politics. For argumentative essay writing, the policy claim should address the relevance of the discussion, the affected parties, and the best policy moving forward.

Argument Strategies 

Making a convincing argument relies on your ability to strategize. You need to acquaint yourself with the facts of the matter and choose a winning strategy to express your ideas. 

Think of lawyers in the courtroom; they spend hours preparing their arguments and studying the adversary. And in the end, they come up with a strategy to counter the opponent’s most vital points. Politicians also use this technique.

So, let’s go through the three main argument strategies to use in your argumentative essay.

The Classical Approach (Aristotelian)

The classical approach is named after the great philosopher Aristotle. This argumentative strategy involves a straight-line expression of your argument. 

First, you start with your main claim and convince the reader that your stance is the only valid one. Then, you have to offer context and provide evidence-backed data to counter any rebuttals from your opponent. This strategy is the most straightforward since it follows a linear chain of action.

Also, the classical approach appeals to the credibility (ethos) of the claim and the logic (logos) of thinking. At the same time, you can appeal to the reader’s emotions (pathos) with vivid imagery. And most importantly, you can make a time-sensitive appeal (kairos) by calling the reader to immediate action.

 The Rogerian Strategy

This argumentative strategy was developed by Carl Rogers and became popular through the works of Young and Pike. This strategy’s central ideology focuses on compromise — the ability to reach a middle ground and avoid further conflict with your adversary. 

In life, the Rogerian strategy is often applied when negotiating with family and friends. For example, if you want to visit Paris and your partner wants to see Venice, the Rogerian method will help you plan a trip that covers both destinations.

Therefore, this Rogerian strategy is not the best approach in an academic setting. Even if you are ready to reach a compromise, your opponent may not have the same motivations. Besides, you have to yield some ground to come to a sensible resolution, which contrasts the entire essence of argumentation.

 The Toulmin Style

This argumentative approach was developed by Stephen Toulmin. The central theme involves coming up with a claim and backing it up. So, we can divide this strategy into three components: claim, grounds, and backing. 

The claim is your main opinion, usually an event that occurred somewhere. The grounds of the argument refer to a collection of facts and evidence supporting the original claim. Finally, the backing refers to additional data that corroborates the main claim without conceding to the opposition.

Choose one of these three approaches to present an opinion relevant to the argumentative essay topic. And if you are unsure about the best approach, use the classic method.

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How to Choose a Topic for an Argumentative Essay

Most teachers hand out argumentative essay topics to students. Sometimes, they provide an array of topics from which students can choose. However, some teachers allow students to flex their creative muscles and choose topics on their own. If you are left with the herculean task of selecting a fascinating essay topic, here are some tricks to help you come out unscathed.

Choose a topic that interests you

Regardless of the essay writing genre, always choose a topic that interests you. If you are into sports, look for sports-related argumentative essay topics . Selecting a topic that you don’t care about will always reflect in the paper’s quality. The entire argument will lack inspiration and passion. 

Besides, writing on a topic that you find interesting helps you to explore the topic even more. It also reduces the amount of work needed to complete the argumentative essay assignment . So, always outline your interests when choosing a topic, and tailor your research to them.

Research hot-button issues

Another easy way to come up with a relevant topic is by addressing hot-button issues. For example, topics related to animal rights and climate change are the subject of debates in politics and even at dinner parties. As a result, you can find enough material to structure your argumentative essay.

Besides, controversy sells. Readers want a topic that will strike all the emotional chords for them. So, choosing a controversial topic piques the reader’s interest and earns you maximum points in your essay. Most importantly, focus on hot-button issues related to your field of study.

Search for trending topics 

Trending topics are always a reliable go-to when you are struggling with creative ideas for your argumentative paper. By focusing on trending topics, you will come up with relevant issues for arguments. At the same time, you will fulfill the emotional aspect of argumentation since most trending issues are controversial.

Besides, writing about popular issues gives you access to enough materials. You can also select your topic from any form of media. 

Here are some reliable sources for argumentative essay topics:

  • Internet forums (Medium, Quora, Twitter, etc.)

A common theme for argumentative essays is the current COVID pandemic and its effects on social interactions.

Find topics with arguable sides

When choosing essay topics, students often forget that they need to argue both sides. Therefore, the topic you choose must be arguable . In simpler terms, people should be able to look at it and agree or disagree instantly. Hence, the need to choose controversial topics for your argumentative essay.

For example: 

“The earth is flat.”

No one (in their right mind) will argue with this assertion. And even if they do, no evidence can support this stance.

“Climate change will lead to armageddon.”

Now, this topic is debatable since scientists are conflicted about the long-term impacts of climate change.

Avoid broad topics

You might think that choosing broad topics provides you with more content for your argumentative essay. But the reverse is the case: broad topics extend the area you need to cover in your paper. And since you have a word count restriction, you can’t express your ideas to the best of your ability.

Therefore, choose a topic that provides you with enough material. Some topics make you think, “How am I supposed to find evidence to support that?”  

Stay away from these ‘unresearchable’ argumentative topics.

Argumentative Essay Outline

With a clear understanding of the topic, you can now focus your efforts on brainstorming. Conduct extensive research on the issue to gather enough information for all sides of the argument. After collecting the data and supporting evidence, you need to create a plan for your paper. This plan is called an argumentative essay outlin e .

The outline provides structure to your paper. It also saves you time when working on time-sensitive assignments. And most importantly, an essay outline provides you with an arrangement framework for your points.

For argumentative essays, the outline contains at least five paragraphs — the basis of the standard essay structure.

Let’s take a look at the standard argumentative essay structure .

The introductory paragraph

Every essay starts with the introduction, making it the most crucial part of the argumentative essay format . This section previews the paper by providing background information on the topic. Besides, the argumentative essay introduction eliminates all elements of neutrality, stating the writer’s intentions to support a specific side of the argument. 

As a result, you need a well-crafted thesis statement that captures the central theme covered in the paper. The thesis statement is often concise, with a maximum of two sentences. You can also place it at the end of the introduction.

The body section

This is the paper’s main section because it contains the source of information and the main arguments. Also, the body paragraphs examine two sides of the writer’s viewpoint. In essence, you have at least three sections or paragraphs dedicated to each point.

Here are the main paragraphs that make up the body.

This paragraph expresses the author’s main argument in detail. Depending on the paper’s size, this section can contain two or more paragraphs linked by transitional phrases.

  • The rebuttal

This section presents opposing viewpoints to the main claim. In essence, the rebuttal counters the thesis presented in the introduction.

  • The counterclaim

This section reaffirms the thesis and counters the rebuttal.

All three sections must appear in the body of a full-fledged argumentative essay. Also, you must start every paragraph with a topic sentence. Don’t forget to use linking verbs to establish a relationship between paragraphs. And most importantly, provide supporting evidence and citations for your points.

The conclusion 

In this section, the student should restate the central ideas presented in the paper. A standard argumentative essay conclusion always starts by rehashing the thesis statement. However, you cannot introduce new ideas in the conclusion.

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Argumentative Essay Examples

You can choose a myriad of topics for your essay based on the specific subject. But if you’ve hit a brick wall in your selection, here are some excellent examples to choose from based on earlier recommendations:

Controversial argumentative essay examples

  • Gender-based discrimination is prevalent in Silicon Valley.
  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine harmful to society?
  • CTE is a significant problem in all contact sports
  • Is police brutality warranted or an appropriate response to high crime rates?
  • Should all states legalize late-term abortion?

Trending argumentative essay topics

  • Is homeschooling better than traditional schools?
  • Will artificial intelligence replace humans in the workplace?
  • Should exotic pets be domesticated?
  • Are zoos a violation of animal rights?
  • War as a tool for world peace.

Fact-based argumentative essay topics

  • Racial discrimination is responsible for police brutality.
  • The racial quota is a slap in the face of meritocracy.
  • Fast food is responsible for obesity.
  • The criminalization of Cannabis is responsible for all drug wars.
  • High taxation is harmful to the local economy.

Useful Tips for Argumentative Essay Writing 

Every outstanding argumentative essay relies on persuasion. You need to convince the reader that your opinion is the ultimate truth. However, false evidence and poor grammar affect the credibility of your claims. So, let’s consider some essential tips when writing a convincing argumentative paper.

  • Choose an arguable topic 

If the teacher allows you to select your preferred topic, make sure you choose an issue with arguable sides. After all, an argumentative essay’s entire essence is to explore all the sides of the problem and confirm your viewpoint. So, look for topics that interest you and are relevant to your field of study.

  • Focus on controversial issues

Nobody wants to spend time reading a bland, uninspired essay. So, while searching for topics, focus on hot-button issues. But don’t choose controversial topics for kicks. Ensure that the topic is related to your field. Moreover, pay more attention to issues that ignite your passion. This emotional connection improves your argument and makes the paper more engaging.

  • Take a stance you can support

When choosing an emotionally-charged topic, avoid those that are limited in scope. You don’t have to select the ‘progressive’ side of every argument. Identify your interests and beliefs and focus your opinions on them. By doing so, you will give yourself more wiggle room to express your ideas better.

  • Consider your audience

Writing an argumentative essay for your peers is different because you can use an informal and conversational style. But since your audience is the teacher, you can only use formal language. Therefore, adapt your writing style to your audience to earn higher marks. And as a rule, stay away from informal expressions in academic writing at all costs.

  • Gather convincing evidence

Personal experience and opinions have no place in argumentative writing, no matter how painful and convincing. Only evidence from authoritative sources is acceptable when supporting your claim. Therefore, your research should focus on academic material and resources from acclaimed authors. You can also rely on the works of recognized experts in the field to back your claims. Stay away from Wikipedia, Quora, and other open-source platforms.

  • Outline your essay

As you gather your points, arrange them into a framework for your essay. This technique helps you to develop a relevant outline for your paper without much stress. Besides, the outline forms the basis of your argumentative essay and saves you tons of hours spent on arranging your ideas. Eventually, this outline will help you come up with a preliminary draft.

  • Write a captivating title and intro

Why is a title essential when writing an argumentative essay? First of all, using a question title allows the reader to take a stance right away. And if the topic is emotionally-charged, you have your reader by the hook. And as far as hooks are concerned, use them in your essay. Add essay hooks in the introduction alongside a well-written thesis statement.

  • Mind the formatting

Every academic writing assignment follows a specified format. The only exception is narrative essays that feature personal accounts. When writing your argumentative essay, use the formatting style specified by the teacher. Remember that APA writing style needs an abstract, while the MLA doesn’t need one. If you don’t know the differences between writing formats, consult the official style guides for more clarity.

  • Conclude by restating the thesis

The conclusion paragraph should always restate the thesis. For a more comprehensive conclusion, summarize every paragraph in the essay. Always be careful not to introduce any new ideas in the conclusion paragraph. And most importantly, keep it short and straight to the point.

  • End with a call to action

The last point in the conclusion should always call the reader to act on something. Since the point of an argument is to convince others that your opinion is the most logical, you should sign off by calling them over to your side. At the same time, you can highlight a moral lesson from the text.

  • Edit the final draft

Editing is the final frontier in any writing task. This stage of writing allows you to analyze your ideas and grammar. At the same time, you can adjust the writing structure or use a more impactful tone. When you are satisfied with the final draft, you can now submit your paper.

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  1. Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write An Argumentative Essay

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  2. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step By Step

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  3. Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

  4. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

    how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

  5. 10+ Argumentative Essay Outline Templates

    how to write argumentative essay step by step pdf

  6. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

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  1. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    PART ONE: THE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY IN OUTLINE FORM For starters, here's a very brief outline. Read further to find fuller descriptions of each section. 0. TITLE INTRO: explain your thesis (be precise but do not present evidence yet)

  2. PDF Argumentative Essays

    Here are a few basic possibilities for organizing an argumentative essay: Pro point 1 + support Con point + rebuttal Pro point 2 + support Con point + rebuttal Pro point 3 + support Con point + rebuttal Opposing point 1 + rebuttal Opposing point 1 + rebuttal Opposing point 1 + rebuttal Con point 1 + rebuttal Con point 2 + rebuttal

  3. PDF Argumentative Essay Writing A Step-by-Step Guide

    Introduction The first paragraph is where you will hook the reader and state your claim. The hook is sometimes called a lead. The claim is the thesis statement. Body Paragraph #1 This paragraph introduces the first reason that your claim is valid. Support it with evidence, such as facts, examples, and data. Body Paragraph #2

  4. PDF WRITING ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS

    Writing Argumentative Essays 377 or using your thinking skills to take advantage of others. Arguing, as opposed to fi ghting, means that you respect your opponents, accurately and fairly represent ... and information is arranged in a step-by-step fashion, writing an argumen-tative essay is not a linear process. You can't write a paper the ...

  5. PDF Argumentative Essay Writing

    Argumentative Essay Writing In an argumentative essay, your job is make the reader agree with your opinion about a controversial topic. You have to (1) state your opinion, (2) give reasons to support your opinion, and (3) argue against the opposite opinion. Overall, you must convince the audience that your side of the argument is correct.

  6. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Introductory paragraph. The first paragraph of your essay should outline the topic, provide background information necessary to understand your argument, outline the evidence you will present and states your thesis. 2. The thesis statement. This is part of your first paragraph. It is a concise, one-sentence summary of your main point and claim.

  7. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Home Knowledge Base Essay How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement.

  8. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    inconsistency in your essay. • suggests an answer complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of discussion. If the question is too vague, it won't suggest a line of argument. The question should elicit reflection and argument rather than summary or description. • can be explored using the sources you have available for the assignment,

  9. PDF Writing Guide: How To Write An Argumentative Essay

    Writing Guide: How To Write An Argumentative Essay

  10. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    Though every essay is founded on these two ideas, there are several different types of essays, differentiated by the style of the writing, how the writer presents the thesis, and the types of evidence used to support the thesis statement. Essays can be roughly divided into four different types: #1: Argumentative. #2: Persuasive. #3: Expository.

  11. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    1. Argumentative Essay Definition 2. Five Types of Argument Claims 3. Three Argument Structures and How To Use Them 4. How to Outline an Argumentative Essay? 5. How To Write An Argumentative Essay? 6. Argumentative Essay Format

  12. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

    1. Fact: Is it true or not? 2. Definition: What does it really mean? 3. Value: How important is it? 4. Cause and Effect: What is the cause? What are the effects? 5. Policy: What should we do about it? How to Write a Thesis Statement What Is a Thesis Statement?

  13. Argumentative essay

    Thank you for providing the practice tests with samples of the essays. They really helped me with the structure of my essays and created an idea of what graders expect from me, but the source based essays were witten differently than the ETS samples, as personal opinions are mentioned in the essays. Aren't we supposed to write arguments from ...

  14. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

    The goal of these paragraphs is to support the thesis statement. Recommended areas of focus for the body paragraphs within an argumentative paper include: Identifying and explaining the problem. Identifying the two (or more) sides to the problem. Exploring the side the writer believes is more appropriate than the others.

  15. (PDF) HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    The Body: • Each paragraph in the body of the essay should start with a topic sentence. The topic sentence should announce the argument of the paragraph and make clear how the paragraph's evidence will support the essay's overall argument. The rest of the paragraph should then present and explain evidence that will support the topic sentence.

  16. How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Write‌ ‌an‌ ‌Argumentative‌ ‌Essay

    ‍ Argumentative Essay Types Argumentative writing comes in several different forms. The most common of them are the following: Persuasive essay Persuasive essays are frequently used as thought experiments. In this format, the author is trying to make a case for one side of the argument that should be undeniably better than the other.

  17. How to Form an Argumentative Essay Outline

    A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview. 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio) 2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on.

  18. How to write an argumentative essay step by step

    Step 3: Draft a structure and write your essay. This step involves outlining the content of your essay in a structure that creates a seamless flow for your argument but also for your reader. Wize Writer is a good tool to use to create this outline and understand better what each section needs (try it for free here).

  19. Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write An Argumentative Essay

    Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write An Argumentative Essay In an argumentative essay, students investigate a topic and support it with evidence. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write an argumentative essay.

  20. How to Teach Argument Writing Step-By-Step

    How to Teach Argument Writing Step-By-Step No doubt, teaching argument writing to middle school students can be tricky. Even the word "argumentative" is off-putting, bringing to mind pointless bickering. But once I came up with argument writing lessons that were both fun and effective, I quickly saw the value in it. And so did my students.

  21. How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Example

    A step-by-step guide for writing an argumentative essay with descriptions and examples. Everything you need to know about the structure and format of argumen...

  22. Step By Step Guide To Write An Argumentative Essay

    1. What is an Argumentative Essay? 2. Types of Arguments 3. How to Start an Argumentative Essay? 4. How to Write an Argumentative Essay? 5. Argumentative Essay Examples 6. Argumentative Essay Topics What is an Argumentative Essay? An argumentative essay is a piece of writing in which your argument is the most important thing.

  23. How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

    All three sections must appear in the body of a full-fledged argumentative essay. Also, you must start every paragraph with a topic sentence. Don't forget to use linking verbs to establish a relationship between paragraphs. And most importantly, provide supporting evidence and citations for your points.