When your professor assigned it to you, you may have had the urge to debate on the intricacies of an argumentative essay. What is it? Why do you need to write it? And how are you going to accomplish it?
What is an argumentative essay?
First of all, you will need to know what an argumentative essay is. It is a genre of writing that requires you to do considerable research on a topic, collect evidence and data, evaluate your findings, and defend the resolution to your whole argumentative essay within the paper itself.
Sometimes people confuse an argumentative essay with an expository essay, possibly because the two involves research. The only difference is that argumentative essay prompts requires more time and effort to produce, since it is usually the last project assigned in a subject during a non-graduating class semester. The best part is that you can also use argumentative essays tips to write a scholarship essay, a convincing pitch at work, and many others.
What is in an argumentative essay?
It must have a strong introduction.
Any writing work requires an impeccable introduction in order to transition to the succeeding parts of the paper. Without it, there is no paper. And without a paper, you have no grade at all. To give you a better idea on how impactful an introduction is, this is considered as your winning statement. This is where you summarize the issue, the research performed, the facts collected, and the findings that you’ve made. Still, it has to be short enough to leave more room for discussion in the succeeding parts of your essay.
It contains a thesis statement located in the first paragraph of the essay, preferably the first sentence.
This is essentially the log line of your argumentative essay. The professor who assigned your argumentative essay prompt wants to know what the essay is about at first glance and not have to read through a lengthy introduction that does not contain anything useful. Your thesis statement is your logline and it will be the basis of your argument essay prompts’ introduction.
The transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion are clean and understandable.
You can’t just jump from one topic to another. You have to smoothly slide in your next discussion with a strong connection to the previous paragraph. This is done by using proper writing skills and grammar usage.
There is a clear emphasis on the data and facts you used.
You cannot just list down the sources and numbers you used to create your argumentative essay. You need to properly explain how you found it, where you found it, and how you used it. Even if it is more of a qualitative essay, you still have to emphasize the origin of your quotes and the development of your ideas.
A simple, yet impactful conclusion.
This is what you need to close it all down. You cannot leave your professor – or anyone else reading your argumentative essay – hanging. They need to know how it all ends and why they ended up there in the first place. More importantly, your conclusion has to prove that your argumentative essay is leaning heavily in your favor.
What is the most important part of an argumentative essay?
Your whole essay is important, but the keystone for your argumentative essay is your introduction. It is the first thing people will see and it is what they will continuously return to as they read through your whole essay.
Your introduction is where you will explain why you chose the topic and how you came up with the conclusion. It is essentially a condensed version of your essay, but with little mention of what really went on. That part is discussed in the body. As for your results, you may mention the final verdict, but the conclusion can elaborate on that more.
Without the introduction, you cannot hope to keep the reader hooked through the body, let alone until the conclusion of your essay. Aside from that you need to write down an introduction that prepares the reader for what they are about to expect. It has to be enticing enough in order for them to want to prove your wrong or find out whether you’ve outdone yourself and proved a thesis statement completely.
Argumentative Essay Tips on Introduction Writing
Writing a good introduction requires you to be prepared with facts and argumentative statements that have bearing. Once you are ready to start, here are some tips that will help you along the way.
Explain what your topic is.
In order for this to work, the reader must know what they are about to look at. A simple sentence or two will do. You can write a brief explanation as well, in case people are not familiar with the idea you proposed. This way, even if they are not interested, they might find out something new.
Defend your topic.
Make the reader see why it is important to read about your essay. You need to have creative and interesting ideas for an argumentative essay that resonates with people. Even if it is a shallow topic, the reader must be interested in it enough to know the answer to the question you posed.
Explain why some people may disagree with your topic.
Obviously, you cannot choose a topic that everyone adheres to, especially since there is no such thing as a one-sided discussion between two entities. You must elaborate on why your essay is a sore point for some people, so that the audience will understand why you feel the need to defend your idea.
Give the readers a play by play on what is about to happen – or what they are about read.
The introduction also poses how the whole paper will flow. This way the readers know what to expect at every turn and where they can go to when they are looking for a particular piece of information. We are not talking about a table of contents – just a simplified enumeration of what the paper is about and how it is structured.
Lastly, write a stimulating thesis sentence that will leave the readers wanting more.
Although the point of a thesis statement is to put all your thoughts in one line, it must also serve as the log line that will urge the reader to want to know more about what you have come up with. Do not choose a thesis statement that you cannot defend – especially one that is inarguable. This is an argumentative essay, is it not? If you are still having difficulty with composing a good introduction, why not check some argumentative essay introduction examples as well?
There are many famous argumentative essay tips, but simplicity is the true key. If you need help, you can always find someone who is writing essays for college cheap. If you do it yourself, you can still write your essay and get the upper hand in your subject!
argumentative essayessay writingwriting tips
Sure, you’re a lover not a fighter. I am too. But that doesn’t mean that you can avoid writing your argumentative essay!
Since you have to write an argumentative essay, you might as well learn how to write it well, right?
I’ve said it time and time again—there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page. Putting together an argumentative essay outline is the perfect way to turn your blank document into a ready-to-use template. All you have to do is fill in the blanks!
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you how to create an argumentative essay outline. At the end, I’ll give you a downloadable skeleton outline you can use to get started.
Structure of the Argumentative Essay OutlineIf you distill your argumentative essay outline down to its basics, you’ll find that it’s made of four main sections:
- Developing Your Argument
- Refuting Opponents’ Arguments
That’s not so bad! There’s really nothing to be afraid of.
Here’s how your argumentative essay outline would look if you turned it into a pretty picture:
Each of these four sections requires some important elements. Let’s break those down now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 1: Your Intro
Your introduction is where you lay the foundation for your impenetrable argument. It’s made up of a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.
1. Hook. Your first sentence is comprised of a “hook.” Don’t know what a hook is? A hook is a sentence that grabs your reader’s attention just like a good Jackie Chan movie grabs the attention of a martial arts fan.
Let’s say I’m writing an argumentative essay about why American people should start eating insects.
My hook could be, “For those interested in improving their diets and the environment, say ‘goodbye’ to eating chicken, fish, and beef and ‘hello’ to eating silk worms, crickets, and caterpillars.”
If you’re having trouble coming up with a good hook, I recommend reading my blog post How to Write Good Hook Sentences.
2. Background information. The next part of your intro is dedicated to offering some detailed background information on your topic.
Try answering the following questions:
What is the issue at hand? Who cares? Where is this issue prevalent? Why is it important?
For example, “Insects are abundant, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable. Currently, people in the United States shun the idea of eating insects as part of their diets, favoring instead less nutritious and environmentally destructive food options, such as beef and pork. The UN recently issued a statement calling for more world citizens to embrace the many benefits of eating insects.”
3. Thesis. Your thesis typically makes up the last sentence of your intro paragraph. This is where you clearly state your position on the topic and give a reason for your stance.
For example, “A diet of insects can help fix problems related to starvation, obesity, and climate change, and therefore, United States citizens should learn to rely on a variety of insects over chicken, beef, and fish as their main source of protein and nutrition.”
Notice the word “should” in my thesis statement? Using this word makes it clear I’m taking a stance on the argument.
You’ll also notice that my thesis statement sets up the three claims I’m going to expand on later: a diet of insects can help fix problems related to starvation, obesity, and climate change.
Here are even more example argumentative thesis statements.
Let’s talk about adding those claims to our argumentative essay outline now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 2: Developing Your Argument
Now that you have filled in the general points of your topic and outlined your stance in the introduction, it’s time to develop your argument.
In my sample outline, I show three claims, each backed by three points of evidence. Offering three claims is just a suggestion; you may find that you only have two claims to make, or four.
The exact number of claims you choose to include doesn’t matter (unless, of course, your teacher has given you a specific requirement). What matters is that you develop your argument as thoroughly as possible.
1. What is a claim? A claim is a statement you make to support your argument.
For example, “Bugs are highly nutritious and eating them can fix the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the United States.”
Great! So I’ve made my claim. But who’s going to believe me? This is where evidence comes into play.
2. What is evidence? For each claim you make, you need to provide supporting evidence. Evidence is factual information from reliable sources.
It is not personal knowledge or anecdotal.
For example, “Researchers at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States state that ‘Termites are rich in protein, fatty acids, and other micronutrients. Fried or dried termites contain 32–38 percent proteins.’“
My outline shows three pieces of evidence to support each claim, but you may find that each claim doesn’t necessarily have three pieces of evidence to back it. Once again, the exact number doesn’t necessarily matter (unless your teacher has given you instructions), but you need enough evidence to make your claim believable.
Once you have gathered your evidence to support your claims, it’s time to add the next important element of your argumentative essay outline: refuting your opponents’ arguments.
Let’s talk about that now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 3: Refuting Opponents’ Arguments
In this section, you state your opponents’ views and then offer a rebuttal.
For example, “Opponents of insect eating from the Beef Council of America say that it is too difficult and time consuming to catch crickets, so it is not easy to gather enough food for a meal, whereas a cow is large and contains a lot of meat for many meals.”
Oh diss! We know the Beef Council just wants us to keep eating McD’s hamburgers and skip the cricket soup. (By the way—I just made that up. The Beef Council did not say that. In your essay, make sure to use real facts.)
Now it’s time to set the opponents straight with a refutation that is full of hard evidence and that will bring them to their knees.
For example, “According to researchers Cerritos and Cano-Santana, the best time to harvest crickets is to catch them in the hour just before sunrise when they are least active. What’s more, it is easy to develop the infrastructure to farm crickets in a way that is more sustainable than cattle farming.”
Booyah! The Beef Council has been served (crickets).
Once you have refuted your opponents’ viewpoints, it’s time to sail to the finish line with your conclusion.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 4: Conclusion
In your conclusion, you are going to accomplish two important tasks.
1. Restate the importance of your issue. Similar to what you did in your introduction, you want to restate why this topic is critical.
For example, “Simply by incorporating insects into their diets, U.S. citizens can improve the sustainability and nutrition of the American diet.”
2. Paint a picture of the world if your argument is (or is not) implemented. In the final part of your conclusion, make your audience think about the ramifications of your argument. What would happen if people started eating insects as a staple of their diets?
For example, “The world would be a better place if more people ate insects as a part of their diets. Fewer people would go hungry, more people would get the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients they need to live healthy lifestyles, and our planet would be relieved of the burden of an unsustainable food system.
Closing with a clear picture of the world as you would like it to be can leave your reader convinced that your argument is valid.
Download the Argumentative Essay Outline TemplateOnce you break it down, writing an argumentative essay outline isn’t that daunting.
Download this skeleton Argumentative Essay Outline to get started.
Before you go off into the sunset and use my outline template, make sure that you are following the guidelines specific to your course. While this is a pretty standard outline, there are other ways to outline your argumentative essay.
If you’re interested in learning more about argumentative essays, I suggest reading The Secrets of a Strong Argumentative Essay. Want even more knowledge? Check out this argumentative essay infographic!
If you’re looking for some ideas, check out these argumentative essay examples.
When you have your argumentative essay and outline ready to go, you can always have one of our awesome editors give it a second look.
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