How to Write an Argumentative Essay Effectively
Do you need to start writing argumentative papers? Well, you may have a clear idea of this assignment, but learning more tips will only improve your knowledge and help you submit a compelling essay. Some things should be avoided, while others are must-haves. There are basic rules and academic standards that must be fit by any student who wants to impress everyone with a perfect argumentative paper. How to write an argumentative essay? Read on to get the right answer that will help you succeed.
The Definition of Argumentative Essays
What is an argumentative paper? Basically, it’s a form of academic writing that requires students to do the following:
- Investigate specific topics or subjects;
- Find, evaluate, and choose strong evidence;
- Establish a particular position on a given topic concisely.
Some students still confuse argumentative essays and expository papers because these genres are similar. The main difference is that argumentative papers require more research and pre-writing, and they’re often assigned to students as bigger academic projects or for advanced courses. Expository essays are shorter and they involve less research. They’re usually used for different in-class writing tests and exercises.
In general, argumentative papers call for the extensive research of such sources as published materials and literature. They may require some empirical research where students gather relevant and reliable data through different observations, surveys, interviews, etc. This kind of research allows them to learn more about given topics and understand existing points of view to pick the right position and support it with the facts collected. Regardless of the type of amount of your research, ensure that your argumentative paper establishes a clear thesis and follows some sound reasoning.
The Right Argumentative Essay Structure
How to write an argumentative essay correctly? Get familiar with the right structure of argumentative papers because it must be held together by the following elements:
- A well-defined, concise, and clear thesis placed in the essay introduction. This is where you set the right context by reviewing the chosen topic generally. Next, explain its importance or give reasons why others should care about this subject. Preset your thesis statement that is narrowed to follow the directions set in assignment prompts. If you fail to master this significant essay portion, it will be hard to write an effective argumentative paper.
- Logical and clear transitions between the main body, conclusion, and introduction. Their basic function is to hold the foundation of the entire essay together. Without your logical progression of ideas, readers will be unable to follow the main argument and the structure of your paper will collapse. Transitions are used to wrap up central ideas from other sections and introduce the new ones discussed in the next paragraph.
- Body paragraphs with enough evidential support. Every essay paragraph must be limited to discussing only one general idea to allow for more direction and clarity throughout other essay sections. Besides, this conciseness also adds an ease of readability for the targeted audience. Every paragraph also needs to have its logical connection to a thesis stated in the introduction. Some essay sections support it with the evidence gathered during your research, and it’s important to explain why and how facts achieve this goal.
Argumentative papers also need to explain and consider different opinions on the chosen subject. Based on their length, dedicate one or several paragraphs to discussing conflicting points of view. Note how they don’t align with your thesis instead of explaining how they’re wrong.
- Evidential support in different forms, such as statistical, factual, anecdotal, and logical. Argumentative papers require accurate, well-researched, current, and detailed information to support a thesis and consider other opinions. Include some statistical or other proofs to back up your point of view and consider multiple opinions. That’s because a strong and successful argumentative essay should discuss the opinions that don’t align with your thesis. Furthermore, it’s unethical to exclude the evidence that may not support your thesis. Your basic goal is to explain how they are not updated or well informed.
- An essay conclusion that not only restates your thesis, but it also readdressed it in the light of your evidence. To understand how to write an argumentative essay successfully, follow this guideline. At this stage, some students start struggling, but this paragraph plays a huge role because it leaves the most immediate impression on readers, so it should be both logical and efficient. Avoid introducing any new facts because you only need to synthesize the data given in other paragraphs, restate why the chosen topic is significant, and review central ideas and your thesis. Sometimes, it’s also worth including a brief discussion of the further research that should be done.
Common Argumentative Writing Problems to Avoid
There are some widespread problems faced by many students when writing argumentative essays. They should be avoided because they may lower your grades considerably.
- Discussing too many arguments without analyzing their depth. Limit yourself only to the strongest objections and arguments.
- Starting this assignment with something other than your statement of a specific argument. First, you need to state it in a clear and logical sentence before discussing it. The same rule is applied to different responses and objections, because the first sentence always needs to state what they are.
- Failing to use specific arguments from articles or other sources in the text. Considering all relevant arguments from the text is a must. It’s not necessary to quote them directly, but their exact page references must be given.
- Failing to pick strong objections or develop them well enough to prove why other people should hold them. If you can’t make a case for specific objections to the extent that will let others understand why they should listen to them, they aren’t worth raising in your argumentative essay at all. Every objection that you offer should be well developed in a separate paragraph.
- Giving a response that only repeats your original argument. That’s because it must support it while considering and responding each objection raised in your paper.
- Failing to make it clear the meaning of an objection and a particular argument for your position. Any argumentative essay reads as if only contradicting itself because it gives one argument in a paragraph and then its opposing argument in the next one. Use smooth transitions to make it clear to the audience.
- Using something that can be called a criticism of a general position instead of a criticism of a specific argument that you give as objections to a central argument. At times, objections can be looked at either way, and this is when students must show in their working why they can be considered this way.
Dos and Don’ts of Argumentative Essay Writing
How to write an argumentative essay and succeed? There are certain dos and don’ts that should be considered to achieve this goal. Let’s start with dos:
- Follow the necessary academic guidelines. Some students write excellent argumentative papers, but they fail only because they neglect important directions and assignment prompts. Don’t repeat their mistake!
- Pay attention to the right referencing style. References are important for any academic essay because they help you prove its authenticity. Add them in your assignment while sticking to the required format.
- Organizing your essay well. Write your argumentative paper in a way that allows information to flow properly and without sounding too repetitive.
Basic Argumentative Essay Writing Don’ts
- Avoid using any unclear phrases that preface a thesis statement. If you include them in your essay introduction, readers may think that you’re not sure in a thesis, so they won’t be interested in keep reading.
- Signposting is a bad idea. This strategy is good for speech classes because you need to tell others everything you’ve said, but it’s not suitable to argumentative writing so that it should be avoided.
- Don’t make your essay conclusion abrupt. It’s a section read by most people and it must summarize the entire papers while convincing them to agree with your stance. Make it clear and compelling instead of making it sound abrupt.