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Comparing argumentative vs persuasive types of writing


When discussing the nuances of argumentative vs. persuasive essays you should note that argumentative essay writing (evidence-based argumentation) is based on evidence and therefore you ought to cite your sources for credibility. Furthermore, in a...Read More


~Posted on Jul 2018

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Comparing argumentative vs persuasive types of writing

When discussing the nuances of argumentative vs. p...

When discussing the nuances of argumentative vs. persuasive essays you should note that argumentative essay writing (evidence-based argumentation) is based on evidence and therefore you ought to cite your sources for credibility. Furthermore, in argumentative writing, one ought to acknowledge multiple perspectives. On the contrary, when it comes to persuasive essay writing one doesn't have to since it focuses on convincing an audience. In particular, an essential part of persuasive writing is keeping your intended audience in mind!

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.

 

Argumentative essay writing


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.

 

3.    Research

 

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.    Write that 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.

 

7.    Editing and proofreading

 

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

3.    Research

4.    Consider the audience

5.    Come up with a thesis statement

6.    Write the essay

7.    Edit and proofread

 

Comparatively:

A persuasive essay, otherwise known as an argumentative essay is used to persuade the reader about a certain idea that you believe in. It uses reason, logic, and evidence to demonstrate that certain ideas are more valid compared to others. This kind of academic essay requires a deep understanding of the topic and goes beyond describing and presenting facts.

 

 

 

Components of a persuasive essay

 

 

 

1.    A working topic

 

 

 

If your professor has assigned you a topic, ensure that you go take your time to go through it to understand what is required of you and to also come up with the best way to approach it. If that's not the case, it means you have the freedom to work on whatever issue you want to address. Choose a topic that you find to be interesting and that you are confident in discussing. Ensure that the topic you decide to work on meets the requirements or instructions provided. If you are however not sure about this, you can consult your professor and make a confirmation.

 

Carefully asses the topic you pick and decide which stance you want to go with. No position is wrong, so long as you have the right evidence, reasoning, and logic to support your argument. Many students find that after they carry out some research into the topic, their stance is swayed to the other side, this is perfectly normal. You should use the same evidence and argument to convince the reader to support your point of view.

 

 

 

2.    Master your audience

 

 

 

The audience is very important in a persuasive essay; in this case, it is your professor. Determine whether your audience is against, or for the issue. Understand both sides to present your point of view effectively. You should be able to appeal to the audience and get them to support your views.

 

 

 

3.    Research the topic (You can do this by brainstorming)

 

 

 

Having understood what is required of you from the topic or having chosen a topic to work on, the next step should be to do some thorough research into it. You can visit the library, use the internet or conduct interviews to collect all the research you need to write the essay.

 

A good essay is based on the research conducted. As stated earlier, you need to be able to show the reader that you have a deep understanding of the topic. This, therefore, means carrying out extensive research to gather all relevant information.

 

When researching, find out what is known currently about the topic and then work your way to the background to see how the issue has developed over time. To make your research easier and purposeful, you can set out questions and look for information that provides you with the answers you need. This helps you narrow down your focus and avoid unnecessary information. You will find that the questions change as you progress. Note down information that supports your position and acknowledges evidence that challenges your position as well. Make sure that you take notes that summarize the information you have collected and write references, if any, to make it easier when referring back to your sources.

 

If you feel like you have a clear argument from the research, you can move on to the next step.

 

 

 

4.    Formulate a thesis statement

 

 

 

A proper thesis statement asserts your position on the subject and the main issue you will be arguing.  It narrows down the argument to a clear and concise statement which guides your essay and gives the reader a hint as to where your argument is heading. It should address the essay question, if not you should go back and revise it. The thesis should be easily debatable, such that it can be directly opposed. Remember to keep it short and clear.

 

 

 

5.    Come up with a structure (a plan)

 

 

 

Now that you have your well-thought thesis statement and useful notes from your research, you will be able to come up with a structure for your essay. Think of it as the plan for your essay. Look for the points which will make up your main points and determine the ones that will build on the main points. Don’t be afraid to move the points around until you come up with a structure that has a flow to it and is logical.

 

 

 

6.    Write that essay

 

 

 

The introduction to your essay should be clear and strong and should show the reader that you have clearly understood the question and that you are taking a position which you will support using reasoned arguments and evidence. It should also include a hook to grab the reader’s attention. You should provide some background information on the topic to the reader to reinforce your position and argument. Your thesis statement should be written at the end of the introductory paragraph.

 

The body of the essay should include your main points and should consist of at least three paragraphs. Each point should be in its paragraph and should be supported by the other points you have on the outline. Remember to include hard evidence to back up your claims. You should strongly support your argument using facts, statistics or quotes. Be confident and strong. The reader needs to feel like he/she can trust you and believe that you are an expert on the topic. Your essay should flow and build as you progress.

 

 You should further try to challenge your reader to step out of their comfort zone and consider re-evaluating their thoughts.

 

Your essay will come out much stronger if you acknowledge your opponents strongest points and provide counterarguments to invalidate them.

 

The conclusion to the essay should summarize your position and your strongest points. This reminds the reader where you stand.  Re-state your thesis statement at the end and include a call for action. End with a statement that will leave a lasting impression on the mind of the reader.

 

 

 

7.    Editing (focus on grammar, sentence structure, spelling and repetition)

 

 

 

Once you are done with the writing phase, the last but not least step is editing. Go through the entire paper to make sure that everything is written correctly. Ensure that you have adhered to the instructions given. The tenses should be in the correct form, and if references are present, they should be cited correctly. Go through the paper as many times as necessary until you are satisfied with the outcome. You can get someone you trust to read the essay and make any corrections that you might have skipped unknowingly. You can then go ahead and hand in your paper confidently.

 

 

 

Just a recap:

 

 

 

1.    A working title that is clear and accurate

 

2.    Master your audience

 

3.    Research

 

4.    Write the thesis statement

 

5.    Come up with a structure

 

6.    Write the essay

 

7.    Edit and proofread (the revision process)





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Comparing argumentative vs persuasive types of writing

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Comparing argumentative vs persuasive types of writing