Guidelines To Writing An Argumentative Essay
Question/Answer format: To make your topic idea into a thesis you need to turn the topic idea into a question first. Examples:
- Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? (fact)
- What is "domestic violence?" (definition)
- What are the causes of divorce? (cause)
- How important is it for couples to avoid divorce? (value)
- What can you do to make your marriage divorce-proof? (proposal)
Answer: Your question often can be the title of your paper, or it can be the last line of the introduction. Your answer to this question is your thesis.
Example: The most important way to make your marriage divorce-proof is to make sure you have carefully prepared for that commitment.
Refute Objections: You might want to put an introductory phrase in the first part of your thesis to show that you are refuting other ideas about the answer.
Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.
Roadmap: An additional way to make a strong thesis is to do a "Roadmap" which tells in just a few words the three or more main points you will cover.
Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged, spending time with one another's family and friends, talking about hot-button issues like finances, and getting extensive premarital counseling.
As a student, you simply must develop the skills of structuring and writing an argumentative essay. First of all you need understand qualities of good writing.
This essay has applications in not only academic life, but should also serve to help you develop your argumentative skills and get positive results in every field in your future.
Defining the Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay is a paper that serves to present relevant evidence, support this evidence with an argument, and convince the reader of a particular idea or stance. This is the type of essay used to provide an overview of a given topic, as well as persuade the audience to agree to the point of view of its author.
The Format of an Argumentative Essay
As we said, the main purpose of an argumentative essay is to investigate and understand a topic or an issue. In order to create the right format for this type of paper, you must:
Understand the main purpose
- Perform thorough research that covers the entire topic
- Provide the audience with a summary of the discussed issue
- Clearly present your own point of view and show why this idea is better than others
Use the right methodology
- Take various points of view into consideration
- Try to lead the reader toward a logical conclusion, by which he chooses your point of view
- Get informed on all arguments and counterarguments for your point of view
Choosing the Best Argumentative Essay Topic
Now that we have established the idea and formatting of an argumentative essay, it is time to pick your paper’s topic.
How do you pick the best argumentative essay topic?
Consider the format
Remember – all argumentative essays should support and argue your point of view. Therefore, you are looking for an arguable topic. If you fail to consider this format, your paper cannot be an argumentative essay.
Choose something of your interest
This type of paper requires a lot of time spent on writing and researching, which is why you need to keep your motivation and focus at all times. To do this, you simply must pick a topic you find to be interesting.
Discuss and test the argument
Do you have an argument in mind for your topic? If you do, find someone who holds the oppositional view and discuss it. This is the process where you test whether the argument can stand or not. In addition to this, testing the argument can help you find the best way to present your idea.
Don’t forget about the audience
As a student, you must always keep the audience in mind. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will read the paper? Is it aimed toward your classmates or professor, or do you need to submit it to a larger audience?
- Where is your audience coming from? Which is the best style and language to use?
- What do you know about your audience’s background? Do you need to provide them with detailed background information prior to presenting the arguments?
How to Structure an Argumentative Essay
The structure of an argumentative essay is same as any other essay structure: introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
However, there are several things you must do to make sure that this essay is distinguished from the other types of essays, such as:
Make Your Title Catchy
You may have chosen the topic, but failing to present it in an appealing, catchy way is the biggest mistake you can make. Look at it this way – the title is your unique opportunity to hook the reader into reading your paper.
What does a good title look like?
Make sure your title introduces the topic of the paper shortly. You may use a catchy hook in the first part, and connect this with a sentence that sums up the argument separated by a colon. The goal is always the same – make the title catchy.
Choose Your Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement is the idea of your paper. It is usually included at the end of the introduction, but you may choose to add it in the middle, too.
In order to choose a good thesis statement, you need to find a clear way to present the general idea and the argument you use to convince the reader. Basically, the thesis must make a specific claim.
Write an Inviting Introduction
After the title, the introduction is your next best tool to entice the reader into reading the remaining of the paper. The introduction serves to introduce the reader to the essay topic, provide them with relevant background information, and help them get an idea of what to expect from the writing.
Craft the Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs are the lengthiest part of every essay structure. You should have minimum of 3 body paragraphs that support your argument and introduce the opposition.
In this part, you should use evidence that support your idea to convince the reader, but also acknowledge the evidence that opposes it. It is only in this way that you can make the reader believe your point of view is the best one.
Finish with the Conclusion
Your conclusion should reassert the argument, summarize the entire paper, and make sure that the audience is persuaded to support your point of view.
To write a good conclusion, restate the previously made thesis statement and review all the main points. To finish the paper, you can end with an advice for further research.
Apply the Final Touches
When you are the one crafting your essay, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the writing. This is why even the best writers out there ask others to proofread the text for the obvious errors and mistakes. You can easily miss these.
What can you do?
- Take some time before you look at the content again. When you do, make sure that you are looking at it with fresh eyes. Sometimes asking your friends or family for help is the best idea.
- Look into the grammar. You can always use tools that point out to grammar and punctuation mistakes in addition to checking the text yourself.
- Make sure your formatting is good. Use the format required by your instructor. If none is requested, make sure that you format the text in a way that the reader can easily find the information you have referenced.
Once you have done all this, you are ready to submit your brilliant argumentative essay. Use your argumentative skills to present your point of view, and with the help of this guide, become a person no one can say no to!