How to Write an Argumentative Essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Are you struggling with your argumentative essay assignments? If so, quit worrying as we will show how to craft effective argumentative essays. But before we do so, let’s define an argumentative essay. 

What is an Argumentative Essay?

A typical argumentative essay involves taking a position on an issue, presenting reasons and credible evidence to support your stance. Although it is like a persuasive essay, the impact of an argumentative essay depends on the strength of its logic, evidence, and counter-arguments. 

A well developed argumentative essay should accomplish the following objectives:

  •  Provide audiences with a compelling and engaging topic
  • Evaluate potential counter-arguments and;
  • Persuade audiences to embrace new perspectives on an issue

But accomplishing this objective requires a high level of expertise. Nonetheless, you have nothing to worry about. In this piece, we shall show you how to write an argumentative essay.   

Tips on Writing An Argumentative Essay

Use an Argumentative Essay Model

Before you begin writing your essay, select a model for outlining your essay objectively. However, avoid exaggeration or emotional appeals when presenting your argument. Instead, use your chosen model to outline your position, counter-arguments, and conclusion. 

  1. Aristotelian/Classical Model

It is one of the most popular models for outlining argumentative essays. This model highlights an issue and provides a solution. In this approach, one discusses both sides of an argument and presents evidence supporting a position. An objective of this approach is to persuade audiences of the correctness of the proposed solution. 

  1. Rogerian Model

Another potential model for developing your argumentative essay is the Rogerian Model. Outlining an argumentative essay using this model involves four steps: 

  • An evaluation of the validity of the opposing view
  • A discussion of the problems of the presented position
  •  A claim or solution that addresses identified problems
  • Suggests a  compromise that benefits the opposite view or perspective. 

Use this model to analyze both sides of an issue comprehensively and suggest a compromise. With the Rogerian model, you have a potent tool for resolving intensely polarizing issues. Besides that, it allows you to approach arguments with good faith. 

  1. Toulmin Model

Proposed by Stephen E. Toulmin, this model has four elements repeated throughout an essay as necessary.  These elements are:

  • A claim
  • Evidence in  support of the claim
  • Warrant demonstrating how the evidence supports a claim
  • Rebuttals, discussion of potential objections, argument limits, and alternative viewpoints.

Note that it is not necessary to include the four elements. Even so, always establish a clear connection between your argument and evidence if you decide to use the Toulmin model. Remember, you can use these models in different parts of an argumentative essay. All the same, consider using these models if structuring your argumentative essay is daunting.

Create Your Argumentative Essay’s Outline

Argumentative essays are the most common types of essays in high schools and colleges. As such, they require you to demonstrate strong critical thinking and analytical skills. But what is the format of an argumentative essay? Regardless of which model you select, always include an introduction, body paragraphs,  and a conclusion in your essay. 

Draft a Strong Introduction

Use the introduction to state the central claim of your argument. Craft a logical, stimulating, and persuasive introduction. Here are suggestions for writing a practical essay introduction:

  • Begin your intro with a hook: include an attention-grabbing hook to highlight your main claim.
  • Provide contextual information: summarize relevant background information to smoothly transition your audience into the thesis statement.
  • State your thesis: a thesis statement summarizes the central idea of an essay. It comprises a limited subject, a precise opinion, and a rationale for the argument. Use a thesis to present an engaging, arguable, informative, and valid foundation for your claim. But does one craft an effective thesis statement? Simply, turn the essay topic into a debatable question. 

Write Compelling Body Paragraphs

In an argumentative essay, body paragraphs allow the development of arguments in detail. They have topic sentences and evidence supporting or opposing a particular point of view in an argument.  Use the tips below to write strong body paragraphs:

  • Always begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. Your topic sentences should highlight a single idea and support your thesis or main claim.
  • Present evidence as necessary to convince your audience. Remember! An essay’s argument is valid only when backed with credible sources and relevant evidence.
  • Include a concluding remark and a transition statement for every  paragraph 

Provide Rebuttals/Counter Arguments

An effective argumentative essay typically has a counter-argument paragraph. It presents a potential objective that audiences may raise against your main argument. Use this paragraph to express the views of the opposing side using evidence and facts. 

Here are a few tips for developing the counter-argument paragraph:

  • Present all counter-arguments 
  • Provide your responses to the counter-arguments
  • Use evidence and facts to refute opposing claims
  • Reassert your main claim when concluding this paragraph

Concluding Your Argumentative Essay

Like all academic essays, your argumentative essay should have a conclusion. A conclusion is a summary and reflection of arguments presented in the essay’s body paragraphs. Use the conclusion section to close your essay and restate your final stance. 

Follow these steps to write an effective conclusion for your argumentative essay. 

  • Summarize your main argument and rewrite your thesis
  • Avoid introducing new ideas, evidence, facts, or opinions in the conclusion paragraph. Ideally, your conclusion should synthesize the information, facts, and evidence presented in the body paragraphs
  • Include a call to action (CTA) inciting your audience to consider the validity of your argument, solution, or point of view

Finally, proofread, edit and review your essay! During this phase, identify and fix any spelling and grammar mistakes in your draft. Also, keep your audience in mind when editing. Write formally and avoid colloquialism, slang, and jargon. Good luck, and have fun writing our argumentative essay.

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