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How To Write An Argumentative Paper

Updated on April 20, 2015

How To Write An Argumentative Paper

Many students, from grade school to college, will have to know how to write an argumentative paper in their school careers. An argumentative paper is, in its simplest form, one side of a logical argument. The basis for the argument or issue should be interesting and well researched. If it isn't, you may have some difficulty motivating yourself to complete the assignment. Argumentative papers are easy to write once you know how to do it.

Research Your Argument

The first thing you need to do when writing an argumentative paper is pick a topic. Next, you will have to look at the issue from both standpoints and decide which side you are going to take. Most of the time you will find it is easier to take the side you most associate yourself with. The next step after picking a side is to research the issue some more specifically focusing on that side.. You need to find some logical points that you can use to your advantage in presenting your side. When you are doing your research, it is also good to think about the other side's point of view. If you can find any points that they may bring up to counter your arguments, you should refute them in your paper.

Write The Thesis For Your Argumentative Paper

Once you have done your research, narrow down your points that you are planning on using for your argument. There should be several that you could logically present to back up your reason for picking this side. You will begin writing your thesis statement once you have your list of points to back up your argument. The thesis statement should be very specific and to the point.

Writing The Title For An Argumentative Paper

Write the title of the argumentative paper. A title just has to clearly explain what your paper is about. Some people wait to write the title until the paper is written, but I feel having a title from the begin kinda helps you form a singular theme throughout the paper. This is opposed to a bunch of jumbled thoughts thrown down on paper (or the internet) like this!

Coming Up With an Introductory Paragraph

Write the introductory paragraph. An introductory paragraph is written to introduce the reader to what argument you are going to be talking about. This could include a brief history of the issue, how people feel about it, and how it effects them.

Writing The Thesis Paragraph

The next paragraph of the argumentative paper will focus on your side of the issue and how you plan on disputing your side. This paragraph should start broad in topic and slowly narrow down to your thesis.

Arguments And Counterarguments

The next paragraphs are going to be the bulk of your paper and the reason people should want to read it. You should make a paragraph for each point you have to argue your side of the issue. You should also have paragraphs dedicated to refuting any possible points the opposition may bring up against you. The traditional order to put these paragraphs in is: cover your points first, then refute the opposing sides' points.

The Conclusion Of An Argumentative Paper

A conclusion should basically run through your points again and how they help back up your side of the argument.. The final sentence of the conclusion should be open ended or thought invoking. You want the reader to be thinking about the issue, how it affects them, and if you did what you sought out to do, consider your side of the argument.

Editing Your Paper

The first time you a write a paper should be just a "rough" draft. If you have the time, you should step away from the paper, take some time to do something else, and then come back to it and read it. Also, make sure to have someone else read it to give you fresh perspective and to help you identify points that are unclear, unnecessary, or confusing. You should never turn in ANY paper with simple spelling and grammar mistakes that could have been corrected with spell check.


If this paper is for some kind of grade or assignment for work, I would recommend asking your teacher or boss how they would like you to write it. Writing is and will always be subjective. Don't ever be afraid to ask!

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