If you need to write an argumentative essay, you need to know a few things before you start. The most important thing is to know what it is and what information it should include.
Knowing the difference between types of essays is also helpful. While most types of essays try to convince the reader to believe in a particular idea, this one presents arguments and provides evidence to prove its thesis is true.
That’s why writing a good argumentative essay requires using good arguments and structuring them correctly. This calls for extensive research so you can form your thesis and make your essay truly convincing.
What Is an Argumentative Essay?
The writer takes a stance on an issue and uses fact-based evidence to back it up. The whole point is to persuade the reader of a specific point of view by using the right arguments and presenting them in the right structure.
Unlike persuasive essays, this one is less emotional and more formal. It doesn’t appeal to the reader’s emotions but their reason. Hence the need for hard facts and logic.
Compared to expository essays, the augmentative one allows you to make value judgments and provide a personal position on a specific issue. Although both types of essays provide in-depth information on a particular topic, the argumentative essay allows the writer to take a stance on the subject, while the expository one allows the reader to make their own conclusion after reading the information.
Another important thing to remember is that this type of essay doesn’t have an obvious or simple thesis. That’s because the writer needs to discuss several points of view on the given topic, including contradicting ones. However, the key is to invalidate or disapprove of the opposing theories so that the reader thinks your thesis is the most logical and accurate.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Basic Structure
Using the right essay structure is very important when writing argumentative essays. The basic one is mostly used when writing short essays and consists of five paragraphs.
How to start an argumentative essay?
The second, third, and fourth paragraphs make up the essay’s body. Here you explain the reasons you support your thesis, providing pieces of evidence and using unquestionable logic. Each paragraph should focus either on one piece of supporting evidence or on an argument why an opposing theory is invalid.
The concluding paragraph summarizes all of the arguments discussed in the body paragraphs and restates your thesis.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Advanced Structures
If you need to write longer augmentative essays containing more complicated arguments, you can use one of the following advanced essay structures: Aristotelian, Toulmin, or Rogerian.
The Aristotelian structure is ideal when your readers don’t have much information about your topic, so they still haven’t formed a strong opinion about it. You start by introducing the problem, explaining your point of view, opposing points of view, presenting your fact-based evidence, and making a conclusion.
The Toulmin structure is perfect for a thesis that’s a counterargument regarding a problem with no clear truth, presenting arguments and facts in a way that justifies your thesis. You start by making a clear claim, presenting well-known information and facts, explaining the reasons for your claim, providing additional supporting evidence to back up your claim, including concessions, and addressing criticisms and opposing theories.
The Rogerian structure is great for polarized topics, validating both sides of an argument. It’s the most respectful approach as you don’t validate only your point of view but also that of the opponents. You start by introducing the issue, explaining and validating the opponent’s perspective, explaining your point of view, presenting the middle ground, and making a conclusion.
Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay
Writing this type of essay requires more extensive research to find sufficient evidence and strong arguments for your thesis. So if you wonder how to make an argumentative essay that stands out from the rest, make sure you follow these steps:
- Brainstorming—if the teacher doesn’t assign an argument for your essay, do some research to find a good thesis with enough evidence to back it up.
- Preparing—once again, do some research to find all the facts that you will include in your essay and write an outline.
- Drafting—write the first draft of your augmentative essay, including all the facts and direct quotes you have found.
- Revising—arrange the facts and arguments in the appropriate order, cut any irrelevant sections, and optimize your word choice to ensure your readers understand your point.
- Double-checking—read your essay carefully to ensure it’s error-free and easy to read. Revisit the research sources to ensure all the facts you state in the essay are accurate.