Guide on How to Write Argumentative Essay
When you spend a lot of time doing something, you want to enjoy it and of course, get the best out of it. And even if you do not look forward to it, there is bound to be a time during your studies when you will have to write an argumentative essay. For those who consider this type of school assignments torture, well, they are a necessary evil. Now, to connect with our initial thought, how can you enjoy writing an argumentative essay? How can you pen an excellent argumentative essay?
By the time you are done with this post, you will have understood what an argumentative essay is, what to do ahead of writing one, and how to structure your writing. And that’s not about it; we will show you an example of an excellent argumentative essay and some of the popular topics you can write about. All this in a bid to make the writing of your argumentative essay more enjoyable and natural. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Guide on how to write argumentative essay
- Argumentative essay definition
- Features of argumentative essays
- Preparation steps before writing an argumentative essay
- Structuring your argumentative essay
- Most popular argumentative essay topics
- Argumentative essay sample
Argumentative Essay Definition
An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents plausible arguments about both sides of an issue. You can choose to balance your case for both sides, or you can argue for a specific side more emphatically. This type of essay aims to convince and win over the reader. When writing argumentative compositions, there is a need to use relevant facts to support your stance and get the reader to accept your ideas by drawing connections and conclusions that back up your claim. It is also imperative to settle on an issue that has more than one clear side. Thus, if the topic only has a single side, it is wise not to use it for your argumentative essay.
Features of Argumentative Essays
Below are the typical elements of an argumentative essay:
- The Position
It refers to the side you argue for in your writing. To best show your stance in this essay, it is best to choose a topic that is debatable. What if the matter cannot be debated? Well, if allowed, you should tweak your topic to come up with an issue that can be argued. Alternatively, you can check out some of our topic suggestions below to get an idea of what to write about. Moreover, TV, debates, and online media can be excellent sources of topic ideas.
Staying on the stronger side of your argument all through your writing is best practice. Do not switch back and forth between arguments as this can make you come off as unsure and thus water down your overall claim.
- The Reasons
To convince your readers, you ought to provide reasons for your claims. Therefore, it is essential to show the grounds for your beliefs by ensuring that you explain why you are arguing pro or against a particular issue. Remember, the reasons ought to be your own, not facts or figures from another source- such information is what is referred to as evidence.
- The Evidence
Evidence refers to all information that supports the reasons you provide for your stance in an essay. Usually, these are facts, figures, or arguments that back up your claims in the composition. When writing the piece, it is essential to include the source of your information to be more effective in convincing your reader. Note, never make up your evidence and refrain from using info from questionable sources. To explain the questionable evidence, here is an example; imagine you are writing an argumentative essay to convince your parents to give you a later curfew. You will make a good case for your argument by drawing your supporting information from scientific articles. Providing evidence from work done by another kid may pretty much fail to cut the mustard. Why? There are high chances that the writer might be someone, who like you, wanted to come home way later. Thus, this source of evidence might not be entirely accurate and reliable.
- The Counterargument
These are reasons that show why the other side of the argument is not correct. See, you want to make sure the case you provide wins, so what better way than to refute the conflicting claims? Go out of your way to find accurate info that supports your stance. The point is to make a more credible counterargument. See, the more persuasive your claim is, the higher your chances of convincing the reader with your essay.
Preparation Steps Before Writing an Argumentative Essay
Below are 10 things you should do ahead of writing your argumentative essay:
- Learn about the Primary Features of Argumentative Essays
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the requirements of argumentative compositions. Generally, you will have to support your claim using reliable research and logic. However, make a point of including the following in your writing:
- A thesis statement in the first paragraph.
- Plausible claims in support of your overall claim.
- Transitions that connect sentences and paragraphs.
- Facts from secondary sources that support your arguments.
- A well-crafted conclusion.
- In-text citations (as per the specified citation style) throughout your writing.
- A citation page with all entries of cited sources.
It is essential to ensure that you adequately understand the guidelines of the essay before getting started. Thus, as soon as the assignment is handed to you, carefully read the instructions and identify everything that you do not understand. Then, you can ask your educator to explain these bits to you. Ensure that you know how to cite the sources of the essay as per the required formatting style.
- Brainstorm for Ideas
Take time to think about the topic of your piece to get insights into what you should explore in your writing. Implement invention activities such as clustering, questioning yourself, freewriting, and listing to develop ideas.
- Ponder on How You Will Infuse Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Learn about these concepts and demonstrate your knowledge of the same throughout your writing. Ethos is the credibility of a writer. To get readers to accept your work, write in a manner that makes you come out as trustworthy. This result can be achieved by being fair, approachable, and confident throughout the essay.
Logos refers to how a writer uses logic. Thus, to write an excellent argumentative essay, you have to organize your arguments in a way that is easy to follow, for instance, by cause and effect, chronologically, or by problem and solution.
Pathos is the use of emotional language to appeal to someone. Now, when writing an argumentative essay, it is essential to limit your usage of emotional appeals as this may cause the reader to lose interest in your argument. You can invoke pathos is your essay by using descriptive language and using figurative language.
- Write Your Provisional Thesis
Pen a tentative thesis statement that will guide you all through your writing. Given that this thesis is only provisional, you can always change it along the way to suit your writing. Note, the thesis should be a sentence long and put at the very end of the first paragraph (unless you educator instructs otherwise.)
- Ensure That the Thesis Is Debatable
Formulate an arguable thesis statement that can be supported with evidence sourced from relevant secondary sources. Never state matters of taste, for example, “The Avengers is an excellent film,” or obvious facts such as “Donald Trump is the 45th president of the USA” in the thesis statement.
- Ascertain That Your Thesis Is Detailed Enough
Other than being debatable, your thesis should give details as to why you hold a particular view. Do not merely say that something should be changed or is terrible. Instead, provide brief information on why you hold this position.
- Create an Outline
Developing an outline ahead of your writing will help you organize your essay effectively. The more detailed the outline is, the better.
- Find Secondary Sources of Information
Find credible secondary sources of information to ensure you use relevant material in your essay.
- Take Notes
Pen important information from your research material in your notebook. Take note of quotations, and write your citations correctly when writing your notes.
Structuring Your Argumentative Essay
Here is the ideal structure of an argumentative essay:
Start your essay with a hook statement to capture the interest of the reader from the beginning. You could use a quote, funny idea, or rhetorical question to achieve this. After writing the opening statement, provide background info regarding your argument. However, be craft and do not reveal the major arguments from the essay. At the end of the introduction, write your thesis statement.
Ensure that your body paragraphs start with a topic sentence. This sentence helps you to transition your focus from one section to another smoothly. After writing the topic sentence, next, you have to provide your claim. The aim is to show how this stance strengthens and validate your central message. Next, defend your claims with evidence (facts, figures, stats, ideas) sourced from credible sources. To conclude your body paragraphs, provide a summarizing sentence that highlights the overall importance of the claim to the thesis.
The first sentence in your ending should restate your thesis statement. After that, proceed to remind the reader what was in your body paragraphs by providing a brief recap of that information. Finally, to end your essay, write a memorable overall concluding sentence that shows the universal significance of the information in the composition.
Most Popular Argumentative Essay Topics
Selecting the right topic can make the difference between an impressive and bad argumentative essay. So, here are a few great topic ideas for both high school and college level.
For High School:
- Should sex education be introduced to school? Would it be beneficial or detrimental?
- Do parents possess the right to play an active role in the personal lives of their children?
- Should mobile phones be allowed in school?
- Is there life after death?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing an MBA program?
- Is college education too commercialized today?
- Should every student have the right to pick only those disciplines they want to pursue?
- Why aren’t there more women in STEM courses?
Argumentative Essay Sample
Here is an example of an argumentative essay.
Should Fast Food Stores Provide Warnings on Food?
One can get fast foods from any street in town or city nowadays. Each day, more and more fast food stores are opened across the planet. It is now easier to access food from these stores than before, thus leading to the popularity of such premises. Over lunch and dinner hours, you will find multitudes of people taking meals in fast-food stores or ordering take-outs from drive-throughs. Perhaps, what many people do not know or worse ignore, is that fast foods are not exactly healthy when consumed regularly. They contain chemicals that are harmful to human beings when they accumulate in the body to toxic levels. Hence, the question, should fast food stores be allowed to withhold information regarding the ingredients and chemicals in their food and the associated side effects as well?
The problem here is that fast food is not healthy. Food that is fit for human consumption should not have any harmful chemicals. It should be free of growth hormones, preservatives, and traces of pesticides. However, food that is found in such stores contains such components thus predisposing consumers to grave health-related consequences. With such high stakes, it is, therefore, common decency for fast food stores to put labels detailing the components of foods sold in their premises. Better yet, they should provide warnings on their food that exclusively point out the health-related consequences of consuming their food. Each of us has a right to know what we are taking in and what will happen to our bodies. The McDonald’s documentary and others have shown that fast foods indeed have adverse effects on human health in the long-term.
In conclusion, fast food stores across the globe should disclose information regarding their foods to customers and provide warnings such that the consumer is aware of the potential health issues they might face when they take some foods. A healthy planet is a happy one.
That’s about it from us. Implement what you have read here and write your argumentative essay like a pro!