How to write a good argumentative essay

An argumentative essay presents a lengthy defense of a particular thesis statement. The essay writer takes a firm stand on their argumentative essay topic and creates a solid argument.

The most popular sort of essay writing at university is an argumentative essay.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay aims to create a viewpoint or position on a topic by presenting reasons and evidence to back it up. A well-written argumentative paper will include the following features:

  • Engage the reader by introducing an engaging topic;
  • Explain and consider all sides of an issue;
  • Address any potential counterarguments to the writer’s viewpoint
  • Persuade the reader to adopt or contemplate a new view.

You cannot develop good topics, we have a collection of the best argumentative essay topics to choose for your essay.

When is it appropriate to write an argumentative essay?

In high school or composition class, you can be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing practice. The prompt may use terms like “argue” or “argument” to argue for one of two perspectives. It frequently takes the form of a question.

Prompt for a two-sided argumentative essay

Is there a net positive or negative impact on education due to the internet’s rise? Provide evidence to back up your claim.

The prompt could also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you may make.

Prompt for an open argumentative essay, for example.

What is the most pressing issue confronting today’s youth?

College-level argumentative writing

The great majority of essays or papers you write at university will include some argumentation. Rhetorical and literary analysis essays, for example, both involve making arguments about texts.

In this situation, you won’t be asked to write an argumentative essay, but making an evidence-based argument is an important goal of most academic writing. Unless directed otherwise, this should be your default strategy.

Argumentative essay prompts examples

The prompts below imply that an argumentative essay is an acceptable response at the university level.

Your research should bring you to a definite point of view on the subject. The essay then presents your evidence, evaluation, and analysis to persuade the reader of your point of view.

Form an argument on particular works, comparing and contrasting how they use doppelgänger characters to express their thematic issues.

Argumentative essay approaches

The approach to an argumentative essay should be objective. Base your arguments on logic and evidence rather than exaggeration or emotional appeals.

There are many different techniques to writing argumentative essays, but the Toulmin model and the Rogerian model are two standard models that can help you start structuring your arguments.

Toulmin Arguments

The Toulmin model comprises four steps that can be repeated many times for the argument:

  • Make a statement.
  • Give reasons (proof) for your claim.
  • Describe the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Consider possible contradictions to the assertion, exposing the argument’s limitations and demonstrating that you have explored different viewpoints.

In academic essays, the Toulmin model is a typical strategy. You don’t have to use these phrases (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but in an argumentative essay, making a clear relationship between your statements and the evidence supporting them is critical.

Assume you’re debating the effectiveness of anti-discrimination policies in the workplace. You could:

  • argue that unconscious bias training is ineffective and that resources would be better spent on alternative strategies.
  • Cite evidence to back up your claim.
  • Describe how the data suggests the method is inefficient.
  • Anticipate arguments to your claim based on other data, and explain whether or not they are valid, and if not, why.

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Arguments in the Rogerian model

The Rogerian model also has four steps that you can use throughout your paper:

  • Examine whether the opposing side is correct and why individuals might accept this viewpoint.
  • Point out the flaws in this position.
  • Present your viewpoint, demonstrating how it handles these issues.
  • Propose a viable compromise—what aspects of your position would the opposing position’s supporters benefit from adopting?

This approach creates a clear image of both sides of an argument before reaching an agreement. It’s important when individuals disagree about the topic at hand, as it allows you to engage opposing arguments with good faith.

You don’t have to choose one of these models. You can incorporate pieces of both in different areas of your essay. If you’re having trouble structuring your arguments, it’s worth thinking about them.

Structure of an argumentative essay

Your essay should always be structured with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, regardless of whatever technique you select.

Introduction

An argumentative essay, like other academic writings, begins with an introduction. The introduction captures the reader’s attention, give background information, illustrate your thesis statement, and outline the structure of the body.

The body

The body is where you elaborate on your points. To convince your audience that your thesis statement is correct, you’ll use evidence, analysis, and reasoning.

The body of a short argumentative essay takes up three of the five paragraphs in the standard five-paragraph format. There will be more paragraphs in longer essays separated into sections with headings.

Each paragraph has a specific topic introduced by a topic sentence. Every topic should contribute to your broader argument. Don’t include any information that isn’t relevant.

Argumentative Essay Conclusion

The conclusion of an argumentative essay summarizes and reflects on the points presented in the body.

There are no new arguments or evidence, but you can explore the strengths and limitations of your argument and recommend future research topics in longer essays. Emphasize the relevance and importance of your opinions in all of your conclusions.

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