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Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Updated on November 29, 2016

As the name suggests, argumentative essays are essays on topics that deal with an argument. Topics revolving around homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, climate change, gambling, politics, drugs, and immigration are a few good examples.

There are at least two sides to every argument topic, and you have to provide valid information to support your side and oppose the other. When writing on such topics you will need to provide solid and sound information to support your point of view on the matter, and be prepared to counter attack any arguments that may come from the opposing side.

Your ultimate goal is to convince your audience that the information and facts you are providing to support your claim are true and hopefully to “bring” it to your side. Of course this is easier said than done…

Below are some basic but important tips that will help you to write a good and convincing argumentative essay:

Understanding the format

First you need to understand what is the purpose of an argumentative essay. This type of essay requires you to do a thorough investigation on an issue or topic. Be prepared for extensive research that will cover all aspects of your topic and get ready to gather information on all involved points of view.

You need to provide your audience with a well-rounded summary of the issue at hand, but at the same time show what your own point of view is and why this view is better using arguments based on logic and research.

Topic Selection

If your argumentative topic is free to choose make sure to choose something that is actually debatable, with contradicting views on the subject. For example, writing an argumentative essay on the fact that smoking is unhealthy is a bad idea since virtually all people agree to that, even smokers! On the other hand, a topic like child-adoption by same sex couples would make a great option for an argumentative essay!

When given the option to select a topic, it is always better to select a topic that is interesting to you. Remember, you'll be spending hours and hours researching and writing this paper. So it is important to choose a topic that won’t bore you to death.

Try to keep things civilized :P
Try to keep things civilized :P

Test your arguments

After making a draft of all your arguments go to a different view that is well founded) to discuss your arguments with. This will help you refine your thinking and develop new ideas to support your claims. However, if the logic behind your point of view is “weak” there is always the “danger” of losing the argument! That’s ok. Research to strengthen your argumentation! Or simply embrace the opposite view if you find that it comes from a stronger side!

Write with your audience in mind

When writing your essay it is important to do so with your audience in mind. Is the audience only your professor or the whole class? What’s the background of your audience? The style of your writing is as important as your arguments.

For example, if the audience is your class then you should write (or speak) with a casual style to keep them interested. If your essay is just your professor it’s best to keep things to a formal tone!

Thesis Structuring – The Introduction

There are two important components in every good essay.

1)The title: Your title needs to be creative and catchy. This way you will grab your audience’s attention right from the start and create a positive experience with them, which means a better chance to actually convince them about your point of view!

2)The Thesis statement: This is a concise idea that sums up your point of view on the topic. Typically, it appears at the end of the introductory paragraph. Make sure to keep it clean and strong.

In general, the introduction should give a brief explanation on the topic and include some background information to familiarize the audience with the topic.

Thesis Structuring – The main body

In the main body you should present information that supports both your argument and opposition. You shouldn’t directly disregard arguments from the opposition, but instead use stronger evidence from your side to claim “victory”.

Remember, when including counterarguments from the opposition explain why your viewpoint is stronger, based on logical and accurate arguments like papers from the published literature. Abstain using arguments based on “feelings”, outdated information and biased sources.

Thesis Structuring – The conclusion

In this part you want to showcase your main arguments and persuade your audience to support your point of view. Don’t introduce new information or arguments because you will confuse your audience, just wrap everything up in a clear and easy to understand way.

References

In this part you include all the citations you used for the claims presented in your essay. A good argumentative essay should include exclusively reputable, accurate, non-biased and up-to-date sources.

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