How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Your Ultimate Guide

As a college or high school student, the definition of an argumentative essay is not a novelty for you. This piece of writing is a common task given to estimate the writer’s ability to defend his opinion constructively. However, composing an argumentative essay is not only about proving your point. It also requires showing the counterarguments for readers to see both sides of the issue. Thus, to perform this type of academic work you need to have a deep understanding of the structure of an argumentative essay, approaches to its writing process, and effective tools that help to professionally stand your ground. This guide will serve as a roadmap for composing an A+ grade argumentative essay.  

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

As the name implies, an argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that represents a certain issue or idea and proves its efficiency. A professionally written argumentative essay will convince the readers about its main statement. However, persuasion is based only on solid facts and evidence. 

This piece of academic writing is often assigned to students of a high school or university. Usually, the task will require you to support one point of view out of two given. However, it may also be formed in a way that you will be asked a certain question. In any case, the main purpose is still to persuade the reader with strong evidence.

How to Start an Argumentative Essay: Approaches to Writing

A good argumentative essay is one that has a logical structure. So before you start the writing process, you should consider an approach to use in your work. 

You might find numerous types of arguments in different sources. We have prepared the three most popular approaches that will help you to build a coherent argumentative essay. Choose the one for you from the options below. 

Classical Approach

Also known as an Aristotelian, the classical approach is very simple to use in an argumentative essay. When using this technique, a writer is required to present an argument, express a personal point of view, and persuade the reader of his opinion. You can use the classical approach if your target audience doesn’t have a lot of understanding of this topic. For building a stronger argumentative essay, learn the following approaches.

Toulmin Approach

The Toulmin technique of writing an essay requires following the next structure: first you have to make a claim; then you should identify the grounds that will support your claim; after that, you need to link your claim with the grounds, show that your point is connected with evidence; at the end, your task is to refute other possible solutions as your one is the most suitable one. 

Rogerian Approach

For presenting both sides of the issue, the Rogerian approach will be the most effective one. By following this model, first, you have to present the main problem, then write about the opposite side, after that you should show your point and prove that it is the right one. The main task is to convince the readers that your stance is beneficial for them. 

Argumentative Essay Body Paragraph: Presenting an Argument

The body is the main part of any type of essay. In an argumentative one, it is a place where you should develop your argument. Traditionally, the body part consists of three paragraphs. Every paragraph represents a different idea. 

Every argument should be concisely described in a topic sentence. Then, with the help of evidence, analysis, statistics, and fact, you can back your main idea of the paragraph. If your essay is longer than a traditional five-paragraph one, you can add subheadings to the body paragraphs and also divide them into sections. 

Write an Argumentative Essay Following These Tips

The writing process starts with choosing a topic and finishes with editing the final draft of your essay. The tips below will help you organize your writing efficiently. So make sure you incorporate them into your creative routine. 

  • Pick up an appealing topic. Sometimes considering the right topic for an argumentative essay might be more challenging than the writing process. The theme should be relevant, arguable, and interesting for you. 
  • Create a strong thesis statement. This is the focus of your essay located in the introductory paragraph. Make sure your thesis statement is clear and concise. Also, you should link your conclusion to it.
  • Research your audience. You are writing an essay for readers, not for yourself. Understanding who will read your work will help you to address arguments in a better way so the audience will listen to your point. 
  • Don’t spare time on searching solid evidence. Even if your argument is 100% suitable for the issue you are writing about, readers will want to see the real facts. Therefore, you have to focus on finding the appropriate statistics, cases, and examples to support your point. 
  • Come up with the structure. A traditional argumentative essay consists of five paragraphs. The first one is an introduction, the next three are body paragraphs, and the last one is a conclusion. However, the requirements might differ so you had better consult your teacher on which structure to build in your work.
  • Create your draft. When writing an argumentative essay, you don’t have to start strictly from the introduction. You can begin with the part you feel confident about. In any case, you are free to amend your draft as much as you want. 
  • Proofread the text. A good essay is a flawless essay. Any misspellings or grammar mistakes will greatly decrease your chances to get a high grade. So you should read your final draft carefully several times. 

What Is the Last Step in Creating an Argumentative Essay?

When you are ready with your draft, the last step is definitely editing. This part is as important as the writing process. So here are the things you have to pay attention to when editing your argumentative essay

The Coherent Structure

As you have a finished text, you should check its structure very carefully. Even though it consists of different parts, an essay should always be logical and smooth. If you have several important points, don’t put them together in one paragraph. One paragraph should contain only one thought. As things get complicated, there is no need to over-explain everything. Readers will catch them in context. Also, when going from one part to another it is essential to make a smooth transition using special transition words. 

The Grammar Rules

There is no need to repeat that your text should be perfect in terms of grammar. However, it is crucial to point out that the argumentative essay should be written preferably in an active voice. It will sound simpler and clearer.

The Readability

Even if you provide solid evidence and create a strong thesis statement, it will not be enough for readers to like your argumentative essay. In fact, it should always be easy to read. So make your sentences and paragraphs short. If there are definitions or unknown words, write a concise explanation for them. 

FAQ

How many paragraphs are in an argumentative essay? 

The traditional argumentative essay has five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, the structure may vary depending on the topics and requirements of your school. In case you prepare more arguments, you can definitely add more paragraphs. However, you should always check the length with your professor. 

How to write a body paragraph for an argumentative essay?

The core of every argumentative essay is the body paragraphs. This is the place where writers provide their arguments and counterarguments. Write your body paragraphs in the following way:

  • Prepare three arguments. They should be different and broad. 
  • Use one point for one paragraph. Every paragraph is a separate point of view. 
  • Write a topic sentence for each paragraph. The topic sentence concludes the main stance.
  • Insert evidence. Body paragraphs are the perfect place where you should provide readers with statistics, facts, and other evidence to support your argument.

How to structure an argumentative essay?

The structure of your argumentative essay will depend on the writing approach you choose. See how you should compose your academic work according to different models.

  • When following the Classical one, you will have to write an argument, show your opinion, and convince the reader to take your point as the right one.
  • In the Toulmin approach, your structure will begin with the claim, then you should go to the grounds or evidence that will support your claim, and then you have to show that the grounds are actually connected with your claim.
  • The Rogerian technique requires showing the issue, then the opposite side to it, and after that showing your solution and persuading readers that yours is the best one. 
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