How to Write an Argumentative Essay?

November 19, 2018
How to Write an Argumentative Essay

There are newspaper pieces, television shows and people who talk on various issues every day. They hold certain opinions on matters. While there are some points of view that you agree with, there are those that are not persuasive enough in your assessment. Writing an argumentative essay in an academic set-up requires you to put your best foot forward. As you take your position, you should back it up with well-researched evidence. However easy the task seems to be, you cannot take anything lightly. There are those cases where you are likely to face challenges on what is required from you. This text enlightens you on the various aspects of argumentative essays such as the definition, the outline, some tips and how to write a perfect paper.

Tables of content

What is an Argumentative Essay? Here Is the Definition

An argumentative essay is a formal academic paper that gives you an opportunity to convince the readers that your assertion or the opinion you hold on a particular matter is the best. As a result, you need to put your persuasion skills in practice. Holding an opinion on a certain subject is normal. However, convincing people to think the same way as you do is not easy. This is especially so if you hold an opinion that is not popular or a controversial one. Whichever case, you need to have facts as opposed to defending your viewpoint using rumors.

Tips on How to Start an Argumentative Essay

How you begin these tasks determine the quality of the final paper that you are going to have. It is crucial not to dive into writing without understanding what is expected from you. The preparatory stage is very important in these papers. It all begins with the topic that you decide to tackle. To make the essay more interesting, pick a topic that the readers can relate with. For instance, in a country where there is a high unemployment rate, it is important to talk about issues related to that problem. You can also talk about other social matters that affect society such as pollution. However, ensure that there is a very close relationship between your topic and the course that you are pursuing. On the other hand, if the topic is selected for you, take time to comprehend the type of argument that is expected from you. Take the keywords in your question and understand them well so that you know the relevant information to include in the essay.

The instructions that accompany the paper are also crucial. Assess and analyze all the guidelines to see their impact on the answer that you give. For instance, the length of the essay determines the points that you should include thus the extent of the research that you should conduct. Moreover, look at the specifications such as the formatting style that you are expected to use and the number of external sources that you are allowed to obtain information from. Without following these instructions, you risk obtaining low marks regardless of how strong your argument may be.


Read more: 50 Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas


Basic Rules on How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay

Decide on the position you are going to take on the matter in advance. You should not just pick a viewpoint arbitrarily. Consider the cons and pros of choosing a given perspective and pick the one that you are comfortable with. As a student who wants to be taken seriously, you need to use your facts properly. Popular opinion does not always mean that the masses are right. You can opt for the controversial perspective provided that you can substantiate your claim with factual evidence.

At this point, you now need to do your research. First, put your brain at work. Think hard on the matters surrounding the topic that you have chosen. Get sources of information that are relevant to your topic. Ass you look for the evidence that supports a particular argument, think about a stance that may oppose your point. Work on how to counter that opposition so that the readers can be properly convinced that you know what you are talking about. It is improper to sound amateurish on issues that require mastery of knowledge.

Argumentative Essay Structure

The number of points you have varies from one essay to the next. The next question then becomes, how do you organize these points? This is where it becomes crucial to structure your work properly. First, you should let the reader know your position. Explicitly explain why you opt for that position. Provide the evidence for your assertion. Finally, deal with the counterarguments on the issue. All the points should be organized that way.

Argumentative Essay Outline

In your essay, you are supposed to communicate with your readers. As such, the ideas are supposed to flow seamlessly. An essay without a proper outline looks haphazard, and the readers cannot follow the message that you are trying to pass across. Even after obtaining all the information you need, there is an acceptable way the content should follow each other. With organized work, you make it easy for the instructor to award you a good grade. Normally, you should begin with a strong introduction. The body paragraphs should contain the arguments with the supporting evidence. Finally, have a conclusion that befits your essay.

Argumentative Essay Introduction

The introduction should give the reader an idea of what the whole essay is about. It is at this point that the readers decide whether it is worth it to proceed to the rest of your paper or not. All this depends on how you persuade them. For this reason, you need to grab the attention of the reader. Do not say too much. Just inform the reader about your about the topic and the hint of your position on the issue. Briefly explain why you choose that exact position. Use the thesis statement to tell the reader your points of argument briefly.

Argumentative Essay Body

This is where you put your arguments. The points should be put together with the supporting evidence. Each paragraph should begin with a topical sentence so that the reader is aware from the start what you are going to talk about. You should relate all the points to your thesis statement to ensure that you do not divert from the topic of discussion. Also, you should cite the information that you obtained from external sources. Therefore, you need to have knowledge of the various formatting styles such as APA and MLA among the others.

Argumentative Essay Conclusion

Here, you give your final thoughts on the matter at hand. It is a summary of what is contained in the whole essay. You should be careful not to mention a new idea that has not been discussed in the body. At the same time, do not just repeat the things you have already talked about. Give the reader something to think about going forward.

Additional Argumentative Essay Tips

To communicate your message effectively to the reader, you should use simple language. It is improper to use complicated vocabularies since you are likely to use them out of context thus confusing the readers. So that the essay does not sound flat, use a variety of sentences. At the same time ensure that your grammar is impeccable.

Before you submit the paper, you should thoroughly proofread it. Edit any typographical mistakes that you may have made without knowing. Moreover, remove any ambiguous sentences and check that you have done the citations properly. The final essay should be perfect.

Argumentative Essay Example

Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is a contentious issue with long debate encompassing several past decades. Some leaders and individuals in the society express their opposition of the concept, arguing that allowing same-sex marriages posses a threat to the survival and perpetuation of the human race. According to them, the initial purpose of marriage was to bring together a man and a woman for the primary purpose of procreation as well as communal perpetuation. Love does determine the choice of a partner or mate, but it is not the only factor of consideration (Eskridge and Spedale 23). Moreover, the purpose of marriage was for the provision of a socially sanctioned place for sexual relations. However, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the 1970s changed the mindset of people in the society, and only a few perceive sex as confined to the marital bed. Marriage is no longer a matrimonial union based on the welfare and future of the society.

The concept of marriage is a private affair in the present American society. Marriage is seen by society as an institution with plastic contours, with the primary purpose of providing emotional support and satisfaction, and with revocable and negotiable terms. The traditional view of marriage restricted unions between a woman and a man. Nevertheless, the current society is slowly allowing the ideology of same-sex marriage to creep in. This is a result of the perception that love is the primary driving force in a marriage rather the need for procreation, making marriage open to all forms of partnerships (Rauch 135). The most significant points presented by opponents of the marriage concept are procreation, immorality, and bible teachings. The argument on procreation capitalizes on empirical and biological evidence that same-sex individuals cannot conceive a child together. Therefore, they have to adopt a child to make up a family. Consequently, a child brought up in such a family will have a different to a child raised in a straight family as far as marital morals as concerned. Concerning bible teachings, the opponents argue that bible is specifically a union between a man and a woman as written in the bible.

Proponents of gay marriage argue that prohibiting same-sex marriage is denying individuals the right to marriage and the right to choice as stipulated in the constitution. In line with the constitutional of equal rights allocation to every citizen (including gays), it thus becomes unconstitutional to prohibit gay marriage (Snyder 10). The illegalization of this issue is a form of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Moreover, the arguments presented by opponents of the concept are weak and contradicting. First, marriage is not necessarily for procreation. There are some straight marriages without children, primarily for companionship.

Secondly, morals are relative, and a morally right action in one society may be a morally wrong action in another societal setting. Lastly, the bible is not the holy book for everyone. Different people have different religious orientations, such as Islam and Buddhists. Additionally, the American constitution effectively separates the issue of religion from governance as different aspects of life (Snyder 10). Consequently, this should remain so even in the issue of gay marriage. Gay marriage should be legalized. Similar to the early judgment on color, sexual orientation should not determine marriage. Gay marriages do not pose any form of threat to the society or heterosexuals. Moreover, they do push their ways of gays onto others just as religion.

Works Cited

Snyder, Claire. Gay Marriage and Democracy: Equality for All. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006. Print.

Eskridge, William and Spedale, Darren. Gay marriage: For Better or For Worse?: What We’ve Learned from the Evidence. New York: Oxford UP. Print.

Rauch, Jonathan. Gay Marriage: Why It is Good for gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. New York: Henry Holt and Co. Print.

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