How to Start an Argumentative Essay?

7/5/2022

If your goal is to write a good-quality argumentative essay, you should get a good understanding of the elements of such an essay. To best deliver your thoughts, develop a good structure step by step. It is essential to have a structure that helps you reinforce your argument.

steps to get your argumentative essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that discusses an opinion on an issue. In a good argumentative essay, a writer shares their point of view and attempts to convince the reader to agree. In order to support the viewpoint, arguments and evidence are provided. Generally, it has one main topic and subtopics that provide more detail in the main body of the text.

Argumentative essay writing is a common assignment for high school and college students. In high school or in composition class, you can be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing practice. The prompt may use terms like “argue” or “argument” to invite you to argue for one of two perspectives. It’ll almost always be in the form of a question. Topics for such essays are most commonly related to politics, progressive technology, environment, science, or even politics. However, these are not exhaustive, and anything can be a theme for an argumentative essay. Keep reading to learn all the details on how to write an argumentative essay.

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay

A good essay is well-structured, has a clear thesis statement, and provides a valuable argument to introduce the authors’ point of view.

Like with any other project, a proper structure will make your work easier. In the case of an argumentative essay, the structure needs to be clear and expose your point of view, reasoning, and evidence in the best light. Generally, you want an argumentative essay to have four parts:

Introducing Your Argument

It usually takes one paragraph of 100 or fewer words and introduces the topic to the reader. This part may provide some background information so that your evidence is easier to understand and there is no room for confusion left.

Thesis Statement

While it should be included in your first introduction paragraph, it is important to not forget to form a clear thesis. It should present a clear, one-sentence summary of your main point.

Defending Your Arguments

Typically, the body of your essay consists of at least three paragraphs with no maximum limit. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence at the beginning, where you state the subtopic. Make sure to include all the research in the main part: statistics, studies, examples, and citations. If possible, discuss opposing points of view and prove why you agree or disagree with them.

Conclusion

In the end, you may restate the thesis, reiterate the supporting points, make connections between opening and closing statements and provide a solution or an answer to the question you were writing your essay about

How to Come Up With a Thesis Statement

Any statement is initially a question. No need to worry if you already have a question in your assignment, but if not, do your best to think of an interesting one.

After setting your question, you need to do research and give your initial answer. It does not need to be complex, but it needs to give you a sense of direction in your writing process.

Next, support your answer by developing new points. Remember that your goal is to convince your reader to agree with you, so you need to give as many reasons to do so as you can.

And finally, review your statement and bring it to perfection. You should check if you made your point clear, explained your position, and had valuable key points to convince your reader. In its most ideal form, the thesis statement not only gives an argument but also summarizes your point. Proceed with the article to discover the essential information on how to write an argumentative essay.

What Are Argument Claims?

In an argumentative essay, the claim is a debatable central argument that you make. The argument presented in your essay can either make your text read-worthy or completely nonsensical. The key is to not make it long or too tangled. To make your work easier, here are five types of argument claims you can use to make your essay stand out:

  • Fact: is a claim with information that can be either true or false. For example, “The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world” or “People in Norway claim to be at least 15% happier than US citizens”.
  • Policy: the claim creates an argument in opposition or support of a certain law or policy or provides an alternative to it. For example, “Student loans must be canceled” or “The United States should reconsider their gun policy.”
  • Definition: the dictionary definition of what you’re arguing, plus your own personal interpretation of it. For example, “Cancel culture refers to the mass withdrawal of support from public figures or celebrities who have done things that aren’t socially accepted today. I think it is good in moderation because it makes celebrities take more accountability for their actions.”
  • Cause and effect: what causes the problem in your essay and what effects it has. For example, “The existence of capital punishment decreases violent crimes.”
  • Value: a claim makes a judgment on something worth, morality, or merit value. For example, “The death penalty is unethical” or “Minimalism is a sign of wealth.”

There are also claims and counterclaims. A claim’s purpose is to present the author’s argument. The thesis is the overall claim of an essay, and it can be found in the essay’s beginning. An author may divide their main claim, or thesis, into smaller claims known as sub-claims.

A counterclaim is an argument that contradicts the author’s assertion. A good counterclaim is one that disagrees with and refutes the author’s claim. If the author claims that organ selling should be authorized, an effective rebuttal might be that organ selling should not be legalized because it could raise the cost of organ transplants, making them solely available to the wealthy.

How to Write Argumentative Essay and What Are Main Types of Arguments

In an argumentative essay, you can apply various forms of arguments. Consider your claim and which point of view you wish to address to determine which form of argument will best express your point.

Classical

Present the main argument, express your viewpoint, and try your best to persuade the reader that your point of view is correct. This technique, also known as Aristotelian, is the most popular for developing an argument since it is the simplest to follow. It works well when your audience doesn’t have a lot of background knowledge or a strong opinion on the subject because it lays out the facts clearly and concisely.

Rogerian

Present the issue, acknowledge the opposing viewpoint, present your argument, and explain why yours is the most advantageous to the reader. Because it respects both viewpoints and presents the center ground, this form of argument is excellent for polarizing topics.

Toulmin

Present your claim, then provide evidence to support it. Finally, demonstrate that the evidence is connected to the claim. This style of argument is similarly useful for divisive topics, but instead of presenting both sides, it just offers one, relying on data provided in such a way that the assertion is difficult to argue with.

Knowing how to effectively frame your point of view is the key to a strong argumentative essay, whether you’re writing an essay as an artistic exercise or trying to grab the attention of a top newspaper.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step With Examples

After conducting certain research on your essay topic, you should claim a position: either agree or disagree with your claim or review it from both angles. The goal of an essay is to provide clear evidence, evaluation, and analysis to your reader. A good essay is a text that covers more than just your opinion and respects the opinions of those who disagree.

To achieve the best performance, remember three simple factors: discussion, session, and analysis.

Discuss

For example, when you discuss the effects gentrification has on a city:

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources

Assess

For example, when you access the effectiveness of measures Hollywood has taken to increase film crew diversity in the last five years:

  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective and why.

Analyze

For example, when you analyze the impact that internet celebrities have on modern youth:

  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of internet celebrities.
  • Do form an argument about specific factors, comparing and contrasting how influencers can have a good or bad behavior impact.

Now, you know how to write an argumentative essay. With all these factors in mind, you are sure to develop a cohesive and thought-provoking argumentative essay that will be highly regarded among your readers.

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