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How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Updated: Jan 30, 2017
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What Is an Argumentative Essay?

 

College or university students, at some point in their academic career, will be tasked with writing an argumentative essay. And, for some, it’s a challenging assignment to do correctly.

 

As is the case with most academic essays, an argumentative essay centers on a narrowed, asserted thesis statement that argues for one side of a debatable issue. It’s very similar to the persuasive and five-paragraph essays because it involves the student-writer ultimately making a point, an argument – hence the name of the essay type – they will be defending throughout their essay.

 



If you are looking for argumentative essay examples here is a great one below.

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY EXAMPLE

 



 

The argumentative essay requires the student-writer to investigate a topic, then collect, generate and evaluate evidence in order to establish, and then defend, their position in a logical, concise manner. These types of assignments frequently require the incorporation of research or previously published material that expands one’s understanding of the issue, the work being examined, etc. The research ultimately exposes the student to various positions regarding the issue, so they, in turn, can determine their own argument and how they will defend it through their essay.

 



ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY OUTLINE

 



Steps on How to Write an Argumentative Essay


1. Find an Issue or Work of Literature That is Personally Interesting

 

It’s hard for a writer to expound on a subject they find boring and lifeless. So the student-writer must do a little thinking and searching before they start the writing process – or else they will struggle the entire time. If they are to write an Argumentative Essay on a piece of literature – even if they find it uninteresting – they are an infinite number of ways to make it interesting. It just takes some time and creativity. If they’re to write on an issue, it should be one that they hold important and understand – like racism, poverty, healthcare or politics, for example.


2. Do the Research, Take Notes

 

Even if the student-writer has a good understanding of the issue they have chosen to expound on in their Argumentative Essay, it always helps to conduct primary research before jumping right into the writing. Besides, many Argumentative Essay assignments will require the student-writer to incorporate legitimate research into their essay. Research always broadens the student’s understanding of the issue or the work of literature they are reading, and it can give them several ideas to address as they assert, then defend, their argument.


3. Create an Outline

 

Using their newly acquired information on a topic, the student-writer should generally write out an outline of their essay so they can follow the logical flow of their argument and how they plan to defend it. By doing this, they can plan out their essay – which will help them avoid unneeded work in the actual writing process.


4. Write the First Draft

 

The Argumentative Essay will include five or more paragraphs, all of which will be making the case for their argument, in turn defending it. The introduction paragraph establishes the context of the issue (or piece of literature) being examined and explains why it is important to the reader, as well as asserts the essay’s Thesis Statement so that is clear and concise. It's following three paragraphs, the body of the essay, defend the Thesis Statement by incorporating sources that prove its assertion. Finally, the conclusion paragraph solidifies the argument, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.


5. Don’t Forget to Edit, Proofread and Submit for a Grade

 

Lastly, before handing in their essay for a grade evaluation, the student-writer should not only reread their essay numerous times to confirm it makes a valid argument; they should also go back over their Argumentative Essay to make sure it is free of grammatical errors, misspellings, and flaws.

 



ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY FORMAT

 


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