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Human beings are opinionated creatures. Ask a Harry Potter fan and a Percy Jackson fan which of the two series is the more fitting children's literature, and they'll probably be able to argue about it for hours. But the winner is the one who is able to present logical arguments and articulate them properly. That's the essence of any argumentative essay. So, let’s learn more about this type of paper.
An argumentative essay hinges on presenting an argument in a manner that leaves no room for doubt in the reader’s mind. Once you choose a topic and decide on a stance, you have to investigate it thoroughly to present your arguments. They have to be brimming with logic. Emotion has no place in an argumentative paper. Instead, detailed research takes priority.
You can collect data through various means. The most common method is to conduct a detailed literature review to figure out what others have written on the topic beforehand. Other valid methods that you can opt for include the following –
When you dig deeper, you come across different perspectives. Incorporating them in your paper and refuting counterpoints proves that you've thought things through. Writing such a paper might seem like a challenge, but it's easier than it looks. Read the next segments, and you should gain more confidence.
Argumentative essays come in many shapes and forms. If you’re just starting out, then it’s best to have a clear idea about the four main types of argumentative papers –
Let's dive into more detail about each type of essay so you can distinguish them from each other. The differences are very subtle. So, make sure you pay close attention.
A research paper also falls under the category of an argumentative paper. You have to rely on external sources to support your main argument. Furthermore, you must maintain a balance. The number of sources you use to support your viewpoint should almost be equal to the number of sources you provide for opposing viewpoints that you refute.
A personal argumentative essay focuses on the writer’s personal opinion. In addition to research, you can use subjective reasoning to convince the reader to agree with your viewpoint. Develop the argument well and rely on logic to achieve your goal.
The analysis argumentative essay analyzes other writers' works. When writing such a paper, you should focus on the writer's persuasive skills, the clarity of their arguments, the quality of the evidence they have used, and their overall presentation.
Persuasive argumentative essays are meant to persuade the reader. First, you establish your stance on the topic. Then, you present different perspectives and persuade the reader why your view is the better choice.
The process of writing an argumentative essay is similar to that of writing any academic paper. However, you need to focus more on research for the former. Every student has their own way of writing such an essay. But here’s the recommended method by top academic experts:
The brainstorming stage is where you weigh the pros and cons of every shortlisted argumentative topic. Here are some things you can do at this stage:
If you struggle to choose a topic, you can bounce ideas off your friends or professors.
Research is vital to any argumentative essay. So, make sure you set aside plenty of time for it. You need to check whether you have ample evidence to support your arguments. Your paper won’t be complete until you add counterarguments and refute them. So, you need to research information about that as well. Create an outline while you're at it.
Once you’ve gathered all the materials you need to give shape to your paper, start drafting it. The initial ones don’t have to be perfect. You can polish it more as you keep writing. Include data and direct quotes from reliable sources during the drafting stage. It’ll help you keep track of them later on.
After you’ve reached your final draft, read through the entire paper again. You might need to restructure some sentences, improve your word choices, and make sure you’ve provided sufficient points to prove your side of the argument.
Proofreading is the final step of the writing process. As you make changes to each draft, you never know when a mistake might have slipped in without you noticing. So, go over the entire essay multiple times. Read it aloud if you must. But make sure you deal with all the issues before submission.
Coming up with an essay outline during the drafting stage can save you a lot of precious minutes in the future. When you plan everything out, you don’t have to worry about straying off-topic. So, let's take a closer look at the four simple steps involved in this process.
The introductory paragraph should leave a good impression on the reader. So, make sure you provide enough background information to familiarize the reader with the topic. Include a hook to draw their attention. Figure out what you should include in this section and state your thesis.
The thesis is the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. Summarize the main argument that you want to prove here.
The body of your argumentative essay can include three or more paragraphs. But each paragraph should tackle a different idea. Try to include as many examples, data, and statistics as you can to emphasize your point. Don't forget to add a topic sentence to each paragraph to explain why the reader should agree with you.
Repeat your thesis statement to remind the readers of the main objective of the paper. Summarize the main ideas that you’ve already covered in the essay. Under no circumstance should you add new points here. This section is meant to wrap things up neatly.
Your argumentative essay topic should be interesting and relevant. You need to present something unique to the readers – a topic that hasn’t been covered a million times already. Go through the list of topics below. Perhaps you might find something that catches your fancy.
The hook for your argumentative paper will determine whether the readers will feel compelled enough to give your essay a read. Some good methods you can follow are –
These can strengthen your argument and make the reader interested in your paper.
The introduction of your argumentative paper should contain the following –
Make sure the introductory paragraph is concise. It’s all about creating a good first impression.
One of the first steps of writing an argumentative essay is to choose the right topic. You should pick one that you're particularly interested in. Next, start working on the outline. Structure your arguments, figure out which points you'd like to make, and make a note of all the counterarguments. Once you're done, you can begin writing your paper.
An argumentative essay follows the same format as any essay. In other words, you have to make three sections –
The introductory and concluding paragraphs are only one paragraph long. But your body can contain three paragraphs, so you can maintain the standard five-paragraph rule.
An argumentative essay is a piece of academic writing where you present your argument about a particular topic. You research it thoroughly and collect data that can prove your point. For example, if you think bread is a healthier meal option than rice, you need to state that bread contains a smaller number of calories and carbohydrates. For more examples, you can check out sample papers on EssayHack.
The three main parts of an argumentative essay are –
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