Learning how to write an absolute killer argumentative essay is an invaluable skill for students. The main aim of an argumentative essay is to try and convince the reader that your point of view on a subject is much more reasonable when compared to others. This must be shown using relevant evidence to back up your claims. The writer is expected to provide thorough information on the topic at hand covering all the specifics, and also attempt to persuade the reader of the said point of view.
Tips for Writing an Argumentative Essay Step By Step
1. Understand the Format
This includes understanding the purpose of this particular type of essay, which is to thoroughly investigate a topic by researching and collecting all the necessary and relevant information. The information should be presented to the audience in summarized form and should also show your point of view and the reason why your point of view is the best when compared to the rest.
To come up with a winning argumentative essay, you should be able to understand and immerse yourself in the subject matter fully. You should be able to guide the audience towards a logical conclusion. You should be familiar with all the opinions regarding the topic so that you can identify the points that oppose your views.
Keep in mind that the main reason you are writing an argumentative essay is to try to sway the reader to accept and embrace your point of view on the subject at hand.
2. Choose a Topic
As with all writing tasks, choosing a topic that you find interesting is always advised. This helps to ensure that you come up with the best work and that you don’t get bored or stuck after you begin. The topic you choose to work on should also be arguable, that is, it should be able to possess different viewpoints.
After you’ve settled on the topic you want to work on, try testing it out to check whether it is indeed arguable by looking for some points to oppose your own. You can get someone to help you on this by assigning the opposing view to the person helping you. This helps refresh your mind and gives you new ideas to add on to your essay.
Argumentative essays heavily rely on the presence of evidence to back any claims. It is therefore very crucial to do some research into the topic you choose to work on so that you can at least have some advantage where evidence is needed. While working on the research step, you should note down all points you think might help you build a strong case against the opposing view. If necessary, list down examples and any other information you find useful. Also, pick sources which are reliable and are up to date.
This cannot be emphasized enough, thorough research is important, and without it, you have no evidence to back anything up. Therefore you have nothing to support your argument.
4. Consider the audience
After selecting a working topic, the next thing you should keep in mind is the audience. Whether the essay you’re working on is a class assignment or your dissertation, you should keep the audience in mind. You can do this by taking into consideration where they come from to deliver a suitable outcome that is desirable. The audience’s backgrounds and experiences will influence how they react towards any views that are different from their own (the audience); it is, therefore, advisable to keep these factors in mind.
The language to be used should also depend on the group of people, for example, the way you speak to your boss or lecturer is different from the way you speak to a friend. Remember to keep this in mind regarding the audience and be mindful of the differences.
5. Come Up with a Thesis Statement
This should come after you have chosen a working topic for your essay. It is important for you to try and come up with a unique title that draws the audience in and captures audience attention.
Armed with your working title and research, the next step should be to come up with a thesis statement. The thesis statement tells the reader the reason for writing the paper. It should be included in the last sentence in the introductory paragraph and should clearly state your position on the topic. Keep it clear and concise. You should try to narrow down your thesis statement to a particular debatable topic with a clear focus.
6. Writing the Essay
Now that you have the topic, thesis statement and your research, you can begin writing the essay.
The introduction to the essay should explain the topic of the essay briefly and give some background information to help familiarize the audience with the topic. Remember to include your thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph.
In the body paragraphs that follow, you should present both sides of the issue, then state your opinion and explain your reasons for choosing that particular side. Where necessary include the evidence to back up your claims. If you decide to use quotes, ensure that you cite the source to avoid plagiarism. Your essay should feel as if it’s building. To achieve this, you should start with the weakest points and finish with the strongest. You should acknowledge any evidence that supports the opposition but use powerful evidence to show why you still strongly support your claim. Be sure to include ideas from the opposing side’s opinion which the audience might support and show them why they might not be reasonable or logical. Remember, the main aim of an argumentative essay is to sway the audience to view things from your viewpoint.
The conclusion should reassert and try to convince the audience to support your argument. You should review your main points and restate your thesis statement. Avoid introducing new information in the final paragraph as you might end up confusing the audience or undoing the progress you have made.
Once you’re done with the writing phase of the essay, the next important step should be editing it. The editing step is a very crucial step and should be done thoroughly. Make sure that everything is where it should be and that you have followed instructions (if there any). Ensure that citations have been correctly made and that tenses and punctuation are in their correct form. Get an independent party to go through your essay and give you feedback so that you can make corrections where necessary. If you’re satisfied with the final material, you can hand it in with confidence.
Just a recap:
1. Understand the format
2. Choose a topic
4. Consider the audience
5. Come up with a thesis statement
6. Write the essay