If you’re reading this, your next assignment involves writing an argumentative essay. But how do you approach this task? How do you ace it? And what even makes it different from other types of essays?
An argumentative essay, in particular, is meant to convince the reader to support a specific stance on a given topic. But unlike persuasive essays, argumentative ones require you to present concrete evidence and refute any counterevidence in the text.
Sounds complicated? Fear not: let’s break down six key steps in writing this type of essay. And if it remains a challenge to get your assignment done, don’t worry: you can always seek professional paper writing help by WritePaper in such a case. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help with an assignment!
1. Choose the Right Topic & Position
What makes a topic the right one here? The rule of thumb is that it has to be controversial enough. Otherwise, the essay just won’t be too compelling.
In other words, both sides of the debate have to be powerful. If that’s not the case, there’s simply no challenge in writing about the topic – and no real persuasion to be done, either.
On top of that, make sure you choose a topic that you’re passionate – or at least curious – about. The same goes for your position (the point of view you’ll be defending). You don’t need to truly believe in it, but if you do, it would be an advantage. Otherwise, you’re more likely to fail at being persuasive.
2. Do Your Research & Collect Evidence
Once you’ve settled on your topic and position, it’s time to go online and do your research. Your aim should be to find evidence that supports your stance – and any counterevidence that the opponents might use to disprove it.
Here are several tips on doing your due diligence here:
- The evidence has to come from credible sources. So, prioritize reputable experts and institutions. Look for reports, studies, scientific findings, research papers, etc.
- Explore both sides of the debate. Take note of evidence that both supports and contradicts your point of view.
- Prioritize facts and data in your research. Experts’ opinions, while sometimes helpful, don’t count as evidence on their own.
3. Choose Your Type of Argumentative Essays
There are three types of argumentative essays, each with its own merits and use cases. It’s up to you which one to pick:
- Classic (Aristotelian). Suitable for most assignments, it’s meant for straightforward arguments. You’re supposed to refute all the counterevidence and conclude that your position is the only right one.
- Toulmin. This approach is suitable for complex topics where there’s no precise data or evidence you can use. It’s also used to write rebuttals and counterargument essays.
- Rogerian. This one uses a middle-ground approach. By the end of the essay, you conclude that both points of view have the right to exist and propose a compromise.
4. Start with an Outline
Before you start writing the essay, take your time outlining it. You can do it while searching for evidence or after you’re done with it. Either way, creating an outline will help you organize your thoughts. It’ll also make the writing process a lot easier!
When you write an outline, you can stick to the classic structure of an argumentative essay:
- Introduction. It starts with a hook – a compelling sentence that should make your readers want to keep reading. Then, describe the topic’s background. Finish the paragraph with your thesis – the position you’ll be arguing for.
- Body. It typically consists of two or three paragraphs (depending on the overall length of the paper). Each of them starts with a topic sentence that describes one of your arguments. Then, you cite the evidence. After that, you should add counterevidence and refute it.
- Conclusion. Sum up why your position is the right one and reiterate your thesis. Then, describe why this conclusion is significant for others or the field itself. Finish with a strong closing statement.
5. Get to Writing
If you’ve done your due diligence when creating the outline, writing the essay itself will be a walk in the park. That’s because all you’ll have to do is fill in the gaps!
While you’re at it, keep in mind these five universal tips for writing an engaging and informative essay that ring true for beginners and pros alike:
- Use transitional phrases to keep the text flow easy to follow;
- Keep your sentences concise;
- Avoid general claims that don’t add any value to your position;
- Remain laser-focused on the topic to avoid rambling;
- Remember to add the References section and cite your sources there.
How to Write the Introduction
The introduction consists of three elements, all presented in the same paragraph at the beginning of the text:
- Hook. You can use a rhetorical question to catch your readers’ attention. Or, you can present a fact or statistic that’ll come across as unexpected or shocking.
- Background. Don’t give away anything related to your arguments and counterarguments yet. Instead, describe the history of the problem – and why the topic is important.
- Thesis. This is the stance you’re going to be defending in the essay. Make sure it’s neither too broad nor too narrow.
If you struggle with the introduction, leave it and work on the body. You can return to it once the rest of the essay is finished.
How to Write Body Paragraphs
Each paragraph should follow this structure:
- Topic sentence. This is your argument in support of the position you’ve chosen, described neatly in one short sentence.
- Evidence. This is the proof that you have to show for your topic sentence. Cite it and explain how it proves your point.
- Counterevidence. What would your opponent have to say to that argument? Describe the counterevidence they’d probably use and explain why it doesn’t hold up.
- Final sentence. Reiterate your topic sentence as a mini-conclusion to the paragraph.
How to Write the Conclusion
The conclusion typically consists of three parts:
- Summary. Reiterate why your thesis holds in the light of all the evidence you’ve presented in the body.
- Significance. Explain why this conclusion is important and how it can impact the future of the field.
- Closing statement. Here, you can ask your reader another rhetorical question to leave them pondering the topic.
6. Proofread & Revise the Draft
It’s never a good idea to send your essay right after you’ve finished writing it. There will be typos or flaws in the text’s logic that you haven’t noticed.
So, instead, put it away for a day or two. Then, with a fresh pair of eyes, proofread and edit it to perfection. Here are six tips for doing just that:
- Delete everything that’s not relevant, no matter how much you like this or that phrase or sentence;
- Remember to keep the text concise and easy to follow;
- Use grammar checkers like Grammarly to catch typos and mistakes;
- Make sure the logic of the text holds up and is convincing;
- Check the formatting and style requirements and make sure you follow them to a T;
- Verify that every point is backed by evidence and every counterargument is refuted.
Looks complicated? Well, it can be. That’s not to say you can’t ace the argumentative essay writing – you just need a lot of practice!
But if the deadline is right around the corner and you’re stressed out about it, there’s no shame in outsourcing an assignment to someone else. It’ll save you time and energy. Moreover, you’ll be able to focus on preparing for that exam or simply continue living your life, making a living, and enjoying your hobbies.