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Argumentative Essay from Scratch: a Complete Guide
Argumentative essay writing is a standard task you may receive when studying at any department. It is usually assigned to test the students’ ability to identify a debatable topic, consider heterogeneous evidence on the subject, and defend their positions.
Dealing with this assignment type is not always easy as you need to take extra time to master critical analysis and argumentation skills. So, if you want to get free from the writing burden, our writers are at your service. But if you wish to compose everything on your own, here is a definitive guide on the ins and outs of argumentative writing.
Argumentative Essay Definition
By definition, an argumentative essay is an essay type dedicated to a debatable topic and presenting both sides of the problematic issue. Experts believe that a top-rated argumentative paper should:
- Consider both sides of the issue.
- Include valuable arguments for both sides.
- Have a strong writer’s position with an ability to anticipate and refute any counter-arguments.
- Use all key terms precisely.
- Be clear and concise.
From a small essay to a large dissertation paper, any assignment has to be argumentative to a certain extent as you argue a specific point. It’s hard to compose a valuable academic piece on any topic if you have no idea about it. Thus, the power of argumentation is always useful in academic writing, with authors able to structure paragraphs and cite proper evidence to make their points throughout the text.
Descriptive vs. Argumentative Essay
The critical difference between these two essay types is that the former only aims to describe some concept, person, phenomenon, or process. There is no specific point to argue – only an exhaustive, evidence-based account of some topic. However, the latter is dedicated to a debatable topic – the one that has two (or more sides) and can be approached from different angles.
To clarify things, let’s consider two examples:
DESCRIPTIVE TOPIC #1: The current state of death penalty legislation across the globe.
ARGUMENTATIVE TOPIC #1: The death penalty has to be abolished in the USA.
DESCRIPTIVE TOPIC #1: The impact of forced seating on school bullying practices.
ARGUMENTATIVE TOPIC #1: Forced student seating should be dropped in U.S. schools as it contributes to bullying.
Things to Focus on
The question worrying students the most when such a task surface is, “how to write a good argumentative essay?” Luckily, we have prepared all sorts of explanations and guidance to let you excel in your writing skill and structure strong argumentation.
First, think of the audience that you are planning to persuade with your argumentation. Knowing your audience is essential as people differ, and achieving the maximum persuasive effect is possible if you know on what premises your audience agrees with you. By establishing that common ground, you can gain the initial support for your opinion, progressing in the persuasion better. Thus, to clarify who your audience is and to develop a strategy to appeal to it effectively, answer the following questions:
- What initial attitude to the subject do my readers have?
- What is their age?
- What is their occupation?
- What is their socio-economic status?
- How educated are they?
- What intellectual and cultural interests do they have?
- What are their moral, political, social, and religious views?
- What self-interested motived might they hold?
Even if you don’t know who your audience is and what characteristics they possess, you can answer the questions approximately. These responses will serve as the basis for developing a targeted appeal to your readership.
Another pivotal aspect of writing an argumentative essay is coming up to a convincing conclusion. Your claim should be well-substantiated and logically flowing by the time you reach a conclusion, and once you formulate your stand at the end, the readers should be ready to agree.
Here, the primary tips from our experts are:
- Double-check that your argumentative essay conclusion is consistent with the introductory claims and the arguments presented in the body.
- Focus on a specific conclusion not to confuse the readers.
- Bring forward your grounded opinion based on the cited evidence, not your subjective feel.
- Don’t argue a narrower position than necessary, leaving room for yourself.
- Clarify to the readers whether your conclusion is a demonstration, critique, or defense of a specific position.
- Don’t confuse a descriptive and evaluative conclusion as they pursue different techniques.
- Always check whether your position is an arguable statement (there is no need in writing argumentative essays about self-obvious subjects).
- Ensure that your conclusion is final and definite, allowing no room for misinterpretation.
- Don’t approach the subjects for which you lack knowledge and qualification.
If you subject your conclusion to such a quality check, your argumentation is sure to become more robust and impactful.
You might be happy to find out that an argumentative essay’s structure does not differ much from other assignments of this kind. It also has to contain an introduction, a body of the text with all the arguments you want to present, and a conclusion. But some peculiarities distinguish this type of work from others. As its name suggests, an argumentative essay should argue a particular position, and your primary goal is to persuade the audience to take your side.
How to do that effectively? We’ll cover the essentials of argumentative essay format to help you out with the structure.
INTRODUCTION – A discussion of the topic’s general context. Presentation of both sides of the issue. A thesis statement arguing your position on the issue and clarifying a rationale for it.
Paragraph 1 – Present arguments supporting your claim as a topic sentence. Provide evidence from external sources to justify it. Recap the paragraph by linking your evidence to your position.
Paragraph 2 – Present another argument supporting your claim. Follow the same steps as for paragraph 1.
Paragraph 3 – follow the same format.
Paragraph x – follow the same format.
CONCLUSION – Summarize all arguments provided in favor of your standpoint and a quick rebuttal of the opposing claims. Draw connections with the broader context of the issue.
The first impression on the audience determines the strength of your arguments. It is formed when they read your introduction.
So, how to start an argumentative essay so that your readers are hooked and engaged? Here are some tips:
- Explain the importance of your issue to the readers.
- Provide background information on your topic, assuming that your audience knows nothing about it.
- Recognize all significant perspectives on the issue.
As for the rest of the essay, follow the tips above to make the arguments stronger.
Questions to Refer to When Writing an Essay
Given that the basis of an argumentative essay is to present ideas logically and convincingly, we insist that the three main questions you should ask when finishing and checking your essay are:
- What are my claims?
- What are the grounds for my claims?
- Did I provide enough reasons and evidence to support my claims?
Here is a quick example of the argumentative essay format of reasoning. Let’s suppose you are considering the subject of abortion. Your point is that abortion should be legalized in all parts of the world because women have the right to choose whether to give birth to children or not. So, your CLAIM is: abortion should be legalized worldwide. The GROUNDS for your claim may look as follows:
- Women should have the right to make informed reproductive decisions.
Focusing on this ground, you can formulate the reasons for such a position as follows:
- Women should be able to terminate an occasional or undesirable pregnancy (resulting from ineffective birth control measures or a rape).
- Women should be given a choice to terminate a pregnancy if prenatal screening identifies severe disability of the fetus.
To make these reasons more compelling and achieve a maximum persuasive effect, you can use supporting evidence of many kinds. It may be real-life examples, statistics, authoritative opinions, analogies, and hypothetical scenarios.
So, here you go with the basics of writing an argumentative essay. A couple of pro tips to make the process simpler and more manageable:
- Choose catchy and straightforward titles to engage the audience and make your position clear from the start.
- Start the essay with an opening hook to grab the readers’ attention.
- Double-check that every paragraph has a clear topic sentence argument (TSA) to give your essay structure.
- Though you take a position, don’t forget to be objective in argument evaluation.
Suppose you’re stuck with writing argumentative essays and feel that your power of persuasion is not enough to compose a robust, convincing argument. In that case, it’s time to turn to us for assistance.
Our qualified writers are available at any time of the day and night, at the weekends and on holidays, ready to complete any assignment in record timeframes. Thus, you guarantee yourself much more free time, peace of mind about academic performance, and excellent essay grades by getting assistance here.