How to Write an Argumentative Essay: A Guide to Make the Right Arguments

Publication date:

An argumentative essay is among the most popular writing assignments in college and university. It aims to improve student’s analytical thinking and critical reasoning skills. Compared to a personal essay, it can’t be based on your own feelings and experiences, as your actual task is to convince people that you are an expert on the subject. Ideally, an argumentative essay requires evidence from academic and scientific sources in order to sound convincing.

There is often confusion between argumentative and expository essays, although these are two types of writings that address different facts. The blurred line going between them causes a lot of misunderstandings. The main difference you should know is that an argumentative essay aims to convince the reader to accept the writer’s opinion while an expository essay aims to give some information and explanations to the reader. In other words, an argumentative essay usually takes a side, while an expository essay has a neutral concept.

You may be asked to write an argumentative essay describing the impact of social media on the youth in the 21st century. Apart from taking a side on the issue, you should also acknowledge the opposing side. If you regard writing argumentative essays as a complicated process, make sure to read this guide till the end. Let’s get started!

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

You will be happy to know that an argumentative essay outline does not differ from any other essay. Thus, there are some standard steps to writing an argumentative essay that need to be taken.

Introduction: In the welcoming paragraph, you are expected to set the tone of the entire paper. You should state the topic and mention some background information on it. In the very first sentence, you should write something to catch the reader’s attention, the so-called hook. You can use some statistical details, interesting facts, or personal experiences to help the reader understand the significance of the chosen problem. But instead of spilling the beans in the opening section, just give a general idea of what to expect from the rest of your work.

The body paragraphs: This section is nothing but flesh and blood of the entire essay. It covers different points of view by providing evidence for each one. In order to prove teach point of view, you can use the methods, such as statistical details, scientific research studies, quotes from reliable sources, and so on. You are not expected to convince your reader of something, but to introduce different sides of one issue. You should make sure that each paragraph addresses one single argument with sufficient evidence.

The body section usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs that need to be organized logically to make an essay look cohesive. When you write argumentative essays, make sure you don’t jump from one argument to another without any transition. With the use of transitional words, you can enable a smooth flow of sentences and paragraphs. Thus, your ideas will be interrelated in a chain reaction.

Conclusion: Now that you know how to start argumentative essay, you should learn how to finish it properly. In order to craft a strong final paragraph, you should restate the previously mentioned information without adding anything new. By briefly mentioning all the arguments from the body paragraphs, you can address them through the prism of the thesis statement. It doesn’t mean that you need to say the same information once again. But you need to say it in different words. Depending on your topic, you can give some recommendations for future research or possible solutions to the problem.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Choosing a Topic

If your professor or instructor does not assign you a specific topic, you’ll need to choose it yourself! Finding what to write about is not as easy as it seems. Ideally, you write about the issue you are familiar with. Do you know enough about the subject matter to expand on its ideas and collect the necessary evidence? Tackling a topic that you are not interested in won’t take you anywhere. You will hardly impress your instructor with an unenthusiastic piece of work. If you already have an inspiration for writing about something, feel free to wrap it up into a smart piece of work.

Remember that you should always focus on your target audience. By knowing your reader, you can adjust the plot to individual needs and preferences. Whether you write for college students or professors, you will have to apply a bit different approach in the language choice and writing format. Every sentence, word, and even letter can make a difference to the final result.

If you are still not sure, you should consider organizing your ideas into a list. By writing down any idea that comes to your mind, you will gain a better overview of the possible argument topics. After you choose the most appealing option, you need to examine it from different perspectives. For example, you can consider writing about “the effects of economic crisis on the fashion industry.”

Argumentative Essay Help: Types of Arguments

Now that you have a general idea of how to write argument essay, you should also know different ways to approach it. Here are some of the most popular ones:

The Classical approach involves a standard introduction with a thesis statement. Then, you mention the topic, provide some background details, state the arguments, and mention the opposing side. In the end, you present a summary of the main points and/or offer possible solutions to the problem.

The Rogerian approach is a perfect solution for the essay with a highly polemical topic. For example, the topic of nuclear weapon doesn’t have a clear positive or negative position in society. It surely involves a plenty of pros and cons. Thus, a particular argumentative essay structure needs to be followed. In the Rogerian approach, you shouldn’t count on one side. Instead, you try to be sympathetic to both sides of the argument, regardless of your personal opinion.

The Rogerian approach makes you cover all the available benefits without focusing on a specific aspect. This way, you can get to the center of the problem. You can, but you don’t have to care how to solve it. Ideally, you should try to find a reasonable compromise between the two sides to arrive at a solution.

The Toulmin approach is also suitable for an essay with a highly polemical topic. But compared to the Rogerian approach, it aims to find common ground within an argument and avoid superfluous points. For example, if the topic were “nuclear weapon must be produced?” the Toulmin approach will explore the most essential issues on both sides of the argument. It will make you sound more passionate in your essay, so you will boost your chances of catching readers’ attention. The use of vivid nouns and engaging verbs will strengthen the effect caused by your paper. You should have a strong judgment about how the particular subject matter is either better or worse than other subject matter of the same type.

Argumentative Essay Format: Final Word

College and university years can be quite busy, regardless of what year you’re on. Excessive academic pressure affects all spheres of your life. With so many things to juggle at the same time, you may find yourself desperate for help.

An argumentative essay is one of the most challenging tasks that can be assigned by the educator. It requires extensive thinking, analytical, and logical skills as there are many things to be considered. This type of written assignment requires more preparation and research than many other essay types. At the same time, the final result allows you to reveal your whole scope of research and writing competence.

If you are not ready to deal with an argumentative essay on your own, you can always buy a good piece of work online. Otherwise, you should invest all your knowledge and skill into the writing process. After all, you know how to begin an argumentative essay and you know how to finish it. Feel free to start!