Practical Advice on How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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An argumentative essay is a standard paper for college-level assignments and AP exams. As such, mastering the elements and structure of a persuasive essay is crucial to ensure excellent scores.

Here, we’ll cover the elements of an argumentative essay for college the structure and offer some argumentative essay ideas to inspire your topic selection.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a paper that shows your position on a topic while presenting relevant evidence to persuade readers towards your claim. The goal of an argumentative essay is thus to persuade your reader that your argument is logical and correct.

Ample research is thus needed to negate counterarguments that may challenge your standpoint.

Parts of an argumentative essay

An argumentative essay comprises the introduction, the claim, criticism, evidence, and a conclusion. These components allow you to analyze the paper in detail and prepare an argument that a reader can easily follow.

It is best that your thesis statement be arguable and focused on a specific idea. This inspires your research and helps you make a more solid argument without veering off the topic.

Why is an argumentative essay unique?

Unlike other types of essays, an argumentative essay is less limiting on the topic of discussion. Argumentative essays are also longer than most college-level assignments due to the time required to structure a solid argument,

It is thus essential to conduct extensive research on your selected topic to determine the criticism and evidence to support your claims.

How to write an argumentative essay

The main error for many students is rushing to complete the paper without following any process. This often results in a poorly structured argument, resulting in poor performance.

Some of the steps for writing an argumentative essay are:

1. Choosing an arguable topic

When selecting a topic, ensure that credible sources can support it. However, avoid issues that have already been covered, as they may limit your argument or cause a massive amount of plagiarism.

Also, avoid too attached topics as they may limit your ability to analyze them critically.

2. Prepare a thesis statement

The thesis statement is the engine of your paper as it dictates the directions your essay will take. This statement informs the reader of what your essay is about and summarizes your argument.

When writing a thesis statement for an argumentative essay:

  • Convert the topic into a question and provide an answer. For instance, when arguing on the role of career success in happiness, you may structure a question like: Is career success key for true happiness? Your answer can thus make a great thesis statement, e.g., career success is not vital for genuine happiness.
  • Present a counterargument and refute it. This approach is excellent as it dispels the counterargument early in the paper and informs your reader of your standpoint. For instance, your thesis statement may appear as: Although many people believe that wealth is crucial for happiness, research shows that many wealthy people are unhappy with their status. With this, you have defined the scope of your argument and allowed your reader to gauge your claim.

How to structure your argument

Some of the unique approaches to structure the body of your argument and achieve a quality flow of ideas include:

a. The classical approach

This approach is the most common and primary method to write an argumentative essay. When following this format:

  • Introduce the central claim of your argument
  • Present your perspective on the argument
  • Analyze the counterargument
  • Provide supporting evidence for your claim
  • Conclude your argument with the benefit of supporting your stand

b. The Toulmin approach

When using the Toulmin approach, start your paper by making a claim. In the subsequent sections, provide evidence that shows support for your argument. Finally, cover the criticisms of your essay and reasons why the counterarguments are not worth consideration.

c. The Rogerian approach

In the Rogerian approach, you should first discuss why the counterargument is often considered correct.

Next, tackle why the approach you have stated is problematic and present your argument, showing how it covers the inadequacies of the counterargument. Lastly, cover various criticisms that you may make against your claim.

These approaches are crucial when making an argumentative essay outline. When used, they allow you to gauge the flow of your paper and to organize points gained during research in a manner that is easy to follow.

Topics for argumentative essay

Some important topics for argumentative essays include:

  • Is social media detrimental to socialization
  • Money is not the genuine determination of happiness
  • Standardized tests are not effective in assessing one’s knowledge
  • Bitcoin is better than traditional paper money
  • Should education be free for every citizen?
  • Is a college education still relevant in the current job market?

Final Take

Writing an argumentative essay does not have to cause you sleepless nights. This guide should serve as a map to help you determine your topic and prepare a quality paper. Feel free to engage our experts for further assistance with your paper.