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How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step

What is an Argumentative Essay?

❶Leaving out information simply because it contradicts your thesis idea is unethical as it does not provide an accurate portrayal of the issue. Start with a story which

Finding Ideas to Write About

Start With a Hook
Include Background

An important aspect of writing an argumentative essay is understanding your audience. Are you writing the paper for a class, in which case your audience is your professor and your classmates? Or perhaps you are writing it for a presentation to a larger group of people. Regardless, you must think about where your audience is coming from in order to lead them to your desired outcome.

People's backgrounds and experiences often influence how they will react to views different from their own, so it is helpful for you to be knowledgeable about these factors.

You also use different language when addressing different groups of people. For example, you would speak to the pastor at your church differently than you might speak in a casual setting with your best friend. It is important to be mindful of these distinctions when considering your audience. Understand the rhetorical situation. It is essential that you understand all of the factors in the situation surrounding your issue. All rhetorical situations contain five basic elements: That is why rhetoric is important in an argumentative essay.

These types of essays aim to convince the reader that the author's view on the subject is the most correct one. Create a catchy title. Developing a creative, original title is a fantastic opportunity to hook your reader into wanting to read more of your paper before they even get to the introduction. A good title will act as a "preview" for what your paper will be about.

Many titles for academic papers come in two parts, separated by a colon. The first part is often a catchy hook that involves a pun on your topic or an impactful quote, and the second part is usually a sentence that sums up or provides details about your argument. Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will be a concise idea that sums up your view on the issue.

The thesis usually appears at the end of the introduction paragraph. Having this idea in mind early on in the reading process will help guide your reader through the rest of the paper. A good thesis statement is concise and clear. It tells the reader what the point of the paper is and why it's important. The thesis must make a claim of some sort. Here is an example of a strong thesis statement: Excessive meat consumption in America is the leading cause of pollution today, and, thus, is a significant influence on global warming.

This thesis makes a claim specifically a cause and effect claim about a debatable topic with a narrow enough focus to create an interesting, manageable argumentative essay.

Here is an example of a weak thesis statement: Pollution is a problem in the world today. This is not a debatable issue; few people would argue that pollution is not a problem.

The topic is also too broad. You can't write a paper on every single aspect of pollution. Avoid the standard three-part thesis often taught to beginning writers. This format is constricting and limits the shape your ideas can take to being contained in three basic body paragraphs. Without the three-part thesis statement, your ideas can expand more freely and incorporate ideas that might not fit exactly into the three parts. An example of a three-part thesis statement might look something like this: Global warming is caused by industrial pollution, automobile exhaust fumes, and waste dumping in the oceans.

In this case, you would expect to find three body paragraphs: Any other causes of pollution would not fit anywhere in this essay, which restricts the meaning and the message of the paper. Changing the thesis to avoid this form will make for a much more functional essay that is written at a more advanced level. A more effective thesis would be something like this: Due to increasing global temperatures and rising ocean levels, global warming has become an issue that needs to be acknowledged by a wider audience in order to begin reversing the effects.

This section should briefly explain the essay topic and include relevant background information to familiarize the reader with the topic. As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should appear at the end of the introduction.

Write the body of the paper. Carefully present information that supports both your argument and opposition. Acknowledge evidence that supports the opposition, but utilize powerful evidence to assert your claim.

There are many different ways to organize your argument, [7] but the most important thing is that you cover all aspects of the issue. Leaving out information simply because it contradicts your thesis idea is unethical as it does not provide an accurate portrayal of the issue.

Be sure to include counterarguments those ideas that are at odds with your own view , but explain to your reader why your own viewpoint is more logical and accurate, perhaps because the opposing view is based on outdated information, etc. Avoid implicating opposing views as wrong because it could alienate your readers.

The aim of this section is to reassert your argument and persuade the audience to support your claim. Try to connect the essay topic to the interests and values of the audience. Be sure to review your main points and restate your thesis. But make sure not to introduce any new information in the conclusion so that you can effectively wrap up what you've already said.

Often, it is helpful to end with a look forward to further research that could be done on the topic in light of what you have said in your paper. Go to the library and look up books on the subject.

Or look up information from reliable sources on the internet. It is important to find sources that cover all views of the issue since the point of this kind of essay is to provide a well-rounded overview of all aspects of the topic.

Collecting evidence and information that supports both your argument and the opposing view will strengthen your essay. Ask a reference librarian for assistance in finding reputable, useful sources for your argument. They will probably be happy to help you. Pick sources that are reputable and provide accurate, up-to-date information. The best research acknowledges the foundational work on a given subject, but also interrogates innovations in the field and divergences from the status quo.

You do this by looking at sources that are both old these provide the foundation of the topic and new these provide current trends in thought on an issue. Choose quotes that support your points. In order to make your work more credible, it is important to incorporate quotes from sources that are considered scholarly.

Scholarly sources should be written by experts in the field i. This means that sources are fact-checked by a panel of experts before they are approved for publication. It is important to remember that anyone can write things on the internet without any kind of publication standards for accuracy, so using blogs and many websites is not a good idea in an academic paper. When you use quotes in a paper, you must cite them properly.

If you don't cite your sources, this is a form of plagiarism because you are not giving credit to the people whose ideas you are using in your paper. Citing sources involves writing quotation marks " around the verbatim quotes and then including a parenthetical in-text citation at the end of the quote that refers to a source listed on the Bibliography or Works Cited page at the end of your paper.

There are several different formatting methods that are used in different fields. Take a step back. Often, it's possible to get so wrapped up in your own writing that it's easy to skip over obvious errors and mistakes. Take a break from writing for at least a few hours. Sometimes leaving your work for a couple of days can be incredibly beneficial as well. Looking at your work with fresh eyes will allow you to see the errors you previously overlooked because you were so involved in the writing that you could only see what you meant to say rather than what you actually said.

Look for grammar issues. Here are some of the most common grammar mistakes: For example, he know instead of he knows. Check for problems with formatting or quote incorporation. Formatting quotes properly allows your reader to easily find the information you are referencing.

It also adds to your credibility as an author. Someone might write an argumentative essay about why eBooks are better than paper books, or whether climate change is being caused by nature or man. An argumentative essay is just about arguing one side of an issue. You could also try Google for more examples. Not Helpful 6 Helpful Not Helpful 18 Helpful To make a great argument, it must be a debatable topic, so include counter statements.

Not Helpful 8 Helpful A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way. Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic.

To pique the reader's interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal story, a surprising statistic or an interesting question. For example, if you are arguing that smoking should be banned from all public places, you can start your introduction by referencing a statistic from a verified source: Providing readers with background on the topic allows them to better understand the issue being presented.

This information provides context and history that can be crucial to explaining and arguing your point. For example, if you are arguing that there should never be a military draft in the United States, your introduction can include information about the history of the U. The thesis is the essence of an argumentative essay. In a single, clear sentence, it sums up what point you are trying to make. The thesis statement should assert a position on a particular issue -- one that a reader can potentially argue against.

Therefore, the thesis cannot be a fact.


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To be effective, an argument essay must contain certain elements that will persuade the audience to see things from your perspective. Therefore, a compelling topic, a balanced assessment, strong evidence, and persuasive language are all imperative. To find good topic for an argument essay, consider.

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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.

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A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way. Sep 05,  · What is an Argumentative Essay? Argument essays seek to state a position on an issue and give several reasons, supported by Reviews:

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Writing an argumentative essay is a common task that most high school, college, and higher education students face, whether they know it or not.