How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step

One of the most common types of assignments is the argument essay and most college-level students will be required to complete these during their time in higher education. Although the argument essay comes in different forms, the general structure remains constant. The writer’s task is to investigate or research a given issue, to take a stance on this issue, and to find an adequate amount of supporting evidence and incorporate this logically into their paper.

Most people have some experience of arguing a case or position, but argumentative essays are a bit different than arguing verbally on an that crops up sporadically. Indeed, arguments of the verbal type sometimes get heated and begin to lack reason. On the other hand, an argument has the opposite aim in that it is meant to be well reasoned, detailed, and specific with plenty of evidence to support it. Moreover, verbal arguments are frequently founded on who has the right idea in respect of a given issue. By contrast, an essay that is well researched and logically written usually focuses on which side of the given issue is right. Essentially, essays of this type need to be founded on logic from start to finish.


Essential Ingredients of Good Argumentative Essays

A good thesis statement is a crucial element for any effective essay, and it is especially essential in an argumentative essay. Develop a thesis that is strong, clear and debatable. It is important your readers fully understand the argument and the reason(s) why it is significant. There should be no room for confusion. Please find more information on thesis statements on website.

Provide whatever background information is necessary to explain your topic. Although argument essays differ from research essays, some information on the background is frequently necessary early on in your essay to help readers understand the upcoming argument. If, for instance, a writer wants to argue that some amendment needs to be made to the nation’s constitution, it is likely they will need to describe what these changes are, why they are needed, and whether any other amendment like this was previously proposed or not.

Pay attention to transitions and your essay’s organization. While transitional words are necessary in most types of essay, they are especially necessary in an argumentative essay. The reason for this is that these essays rely on the writer providing several reasons and plenty of evidence to back up the central thesis. Additionally, it is usually necessary to discuss and reject any opposing or counterarguments.

There are a number of ways to organize an argumentative essay. However, irrespective of the method of organization, every essay should provide a number of well-supported reasons to show the validity of the argument. They should additionally provide and explain any counterarguments put forward by the opposite side and, of course, refute these. Every writer should find it beneficial to create an outline in which to organize and arrange any information they will be presenting, and the longer the argument essay is the more beneficial this will be. Please refer to website for more information on creating an essay outline.

The topic will need to be adequately and thoroughly researched. The majority of argument essays require research materials to be incorporated into the text. If research is required in your essay, do whatever investigation is necessary before committing completely to a particular topic. This step is essential since you will need to ensure you have a sufficient amount of reliable sources to use in your written work. It is not a good idea to select a topic only to find that there are not enough good-quality sources to support it when you start writing.

Include ethos, pathos, and logos in your essay. Ethos is important because it lends credibility to a written piece. One of the most effective ways to bring ethos into your writing is to address any counter or opposing arguments and by using reliable source materials. It can also involve taking a sensible stance on the subject (i.e. rather than one that is extreme).

The use of pathos is all about involving your readers emotionally in your argument so that they are more open to persuasion. The introductory paragraph is one of the best parts of an essay to make use of pathos. 

The term “logos” means using logic in an argument or debate. Indeed, logos should be one of the foremost tools you use throughout your essay since it is one of the best ways to persuade others to adopt or agree with a specific stand on a given issue. However, logical fallacy should be avoided.

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Argument Essay Sample

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Good Things to Write an Argument Essay on

Selecting a topic is an extremely important first step in writing an argumentative essay. You should try to choose something that is current, can be argued in a logical manner, and has some societal relevance. Moral issues are often best avoided because they do not always stand up to logical reasoning and discussion. Furthermore, a topic should be manageable, easy to research, and open to debate.

  • Current topics are those that society are still undecided about but have not been overly debated. A lot of writers choose topics that have been long debated e.g. abortion, the legalization of drugs, the death penalty, and so on.
  • Debatable topics are those that are subject to a number of different opinions. Put another way, these topics are often controversial. If, for example, you were to say child abuse is unacceptable in a given society, this would not be debatable because everyone would agree that this is the case. By contrast, a discussion about how this abuse should be punished would be debatable since many people have strong views on this and it would make for a well-supported and interesting essay.
  • Researchable topics are those where a good variety of current and reliable sources are available. This is the ideal scenario since writers need to be able to find multiple documents by well-qualified subject matter experts to support their argument(s).
  • Manageable topics are those that are capable of being researched and written about within the requirements of an assignment. Trying to write about wide-ranging or global issues are often difficult to manage since the writer is usually restricted to just a few pages. To prevent this problem, it is a good idea to begin with a general topic and then whittle this down to a more suitable or manageable level. If, for example, you wanted to write about the 2010 Health Care Reform Act, it would be sensible to narrow this down so that you could argue against or in favor of a part of this law since the entire Act exceeds 2,000 pages.

With the help of this guide, you should be better able to choose an appropriate topic for your argument essay.  

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