Suggestions for Creating the Best Argumentative Essay Outline

Any argumentative essay is defined as the academic writing that requires all students to investigate given topics, gather relevant information, evaluate and find the necessary evidence, and establish a strong position on their subjects in a concise manner. How to create a proper argumentative essay outline? It’s the type of writing work where every writer needs to develop a strong argument based on their evidence and elaborate the stand they take. Some students like this assignment, while others don’t, but they all can’t avoid it. Teachers often ask them to complete it to show their good understanding of specific topics. The successful completion of this task depends on the ability to create an effective outline.

The Basics of Structuring Your Outline for Argumentative Essays

Although it may seem complicated at the very beginning, once you learn how to structure this outline correctly, everything will become much easier. This writing work is comprised of different parts that have their equal importance. They all have their specific role in introducing a topic, developing an argument, presenting evidence, etc. Basically, the main parts of any argumentative essay include:

  • The introduction with a hook, a thesis, and some background information;
  • Developing your argument while making strong claims and presenting their evidence;
  • Debunking the arguments of your opponents by presenting opposing views and proving that they’re weak or wrong;
  • The conclusion.

Why Use a Good Essay Outline Example

A useful outline example for your argumentative essay comes in handy because it offers helpful suggestions, introduces interesting structure ideas, and serves as a roadmap if you don’t know where to start. Browse the Internet to find great examples and choose the most suitable one for your discipline and topic.

How to Outline the Argumentative Essay Introduction

Just like with any other type of academic writing, the introduction of your argumentative essay is a basis of a foundation to build other paragraphs. If you fail to structure it well, the rest of your paper will suffer too. It should start with the strong introduction comprised of background information for readers, a hook, and your thesis, so start your argumentative essay outline with this section.

The Importance of Writing a Hook

It’s the first sentence of argumentative essays, and its basic purpose is catching people’s attention. When others start reading your paper, its beginning determines whether they will want to keep reading it. No one wants wasting time on a writing piece that has a boring and dull beginning section. Hooks are not limited only to argumentative papers, because they’re used in other forms of academic writing. Use the following effective tips to form a great hook:

  • Use quotes from famous people, such as artists, scientists, writers, and others;
  • Pose an original question;
  • Anecdotes offer a good way to grab people’s attention too;
  • Reveal some common misconception;
  • Set the scene that readers can relate to;
  • Increase interesting definitions or facts.

Why Present Background Information

When your hook is ready, provide useful background information about the chosen subject. To make everything easier, ensure that this section of your introductory paragraph answers the following questions:

  • Who cares about your chosen topic?
  • What is the main issue that will be discussed?
  • Where is it prevalent?
  • Why is the subject discussed in your argumentative paper so important?

Guidelines for Writing a Strong Thesis

A thesis is the last sentence of the introduction that contains the main focus of your argumentative essay. It also informs readers what this paper will be about, so it’s more important than any general statement about the idea that will be elaborates in other paragraphs. Its basic purpose is establishing the clear position that you take throughout a strong argument on the chosen topic. A thesis is the last part of your introduction and it offers a great opportunity to introduce readers to a subject and your stance, so be sure to structure it correctly in your argumentative essay outline. It should have the following characteristics:

  • Concise;
  • Specific;
  • Unified;
  • Clear;
  • Easily recognizable.

Besides, a thesis must match the goals and requirements of your assignment, but be careful to avoid common mistakes, such as:

  • Don’t make it an essay title:
  • It’s not a statement of any absolute fact;
  • It’s not an announcement of your subject;
  • A thesis is not the whole essay, but it’s just the main idea discussed in it.

How to Develop Your Argument

When your essay introduction is well-outlined, structure the second part of your argumentative paper. It develops a strong argument using claims and strong evidence to back them up.

Making Interesting Claims

When structuring your outline, pay attention to claims because they are central arguments of the whole essay. So, its overall quality, complexity, and effectiveness depend on the claims that you make in this section. In argumentative essay writing, the main purpose of claims is defining its scope, goals, and direction while supporting your argument. Making strong claims is easy, but writers need to ensure that readers will believe them. Claims are invalid without enough evidence.

The Role Played by Your Evidence

Each claim make in argumentative essays must be supported with evidence. Writers should prove readers that their claims are accurate and valid, and the only effective way to achieve this goal is incorporating trusted and reliable evidence based on stats, studies, facts, etc. Your personal knowledge or anecdotes can’t be evidence because it must be the result of your thorough research on a given topic. Once your argumentative essay outline is ready, you get an idea of the claims that will be made, so start researching to gather enough evidence to back them up. Research is one of the most important aspects of academic writing, and it gives students enough materials to support their claims while debunking opposing views.

Debunking Opposing Views

What some students forget about argumentative essays is that they can’t spend all of their time on talking about their arguments. This form of academic writing is not about just proving that you’re right in all possible ways. After making strong claims and elaborating them with proofs, you’re ready to write the next section of your outline. It names opposing views while debunking them all.

Regardless of the chosen topic, pick the stand to take and consider opposite sides. State the arguments of your opponents while using evidence and reliable sources to refute and debunk them. For each opposing view, elaborate why it’s incorrect and support your statement with enough proofs. This step makes readers more convinced that your claims are correct, and it also shows all sides while offering an opportunity to prove your stance. Furthermore, it’s unethical to exclude the arguments that don’t support your thesis. Write this section in a formal manner and include reliable sources, references, and other background information.

Concluding Your Argumentative Essay

At this point, its outline is almost finished because its introduction is ready, your claims are supported with evidence, and opposing views are presented and refuted, so you’re ready to conclude this paper. Sometimes, students underestimate the power of a well-written concluding paragraph. If it’s wrong, this brief paragraph can ruin the entire assignment. It should consist of a few different parts:

  • Restating a primary argument;
  • Presenting your general sentences that summarize it;
  • Reporting potential benefits of your solution and providing a general warning that might happen if it’s not used.

A concluding essay paragraph should have the same length as its introduction. Outline and write it precisely, short, and concisely while avoiding wordiness or discussing the same matters again and again because readers may think that your writing piece is repetitive. Stick to the point to end up with a strong conclusion and add to the overall quality of your essay outline. Finally, use these tips to make the whole process easier:

  • Understand the title of your argumentative essay before creating its outline;
  • Create your research plan;
  • Stay concise;
  • Avoid complex or overloaded sentence structures;
  • Avoid making up any information only to prove your viewpoint;
  • Include each source that you use in a special reference section.