What Is The Structure Of An Argumentative Essay

Everyone has arguments – we just disagree with each other on everything from music, to best brands of clothing and shoes, to LGBT rights, to politics, and more. Often, when we disagree, we try to convince the other person that we are right and that they should accept our point of view. But here’s the thing. When we argue informally with others, we tend to argue from emotion, and we rarely prepare an argument based upon facts and reason.

This is not the case when a student has to write an argumentative essay. For such an essay, emotions must be set aside, and the argument must be based on factual information and logic. This usually involves research and then structuring that research into an argument that presents the points in an organized fashion.

And yes, you need a structured format. You cannot just ramble. When you approach an argumentive essay, here are the steps that will present your argument well.

Pre-Writing Activities

You will need to do three things before you ever compose a word.

  1. Choose a Topic About Which You Have Strong Feelings: The topic must be controversial, or you will not have much of an argument to present. Topics that relate to political issues, civil, human or animal rights, or the environment are always good one.
  2. Conduct thorough research on the topic: You will need to collect data for your point of view, but you will also have to research the other side. You will need to be able to refute the opposing viewpoint, so you must know what those arguments are. If you are in favor of the recent Paris Accord, then you will need to identify three strong arguments and then go and find the evidence to support those arguments. What do scientists say about climate change? What do they say we need to do to stave off reaching a crisis point? How many nations agree with these scientists? Will this agreement promote greater cooperation among nations?
    Now, research the arguments of those who oppose this agreement. What are their reasons? How are they supporting those reasons?
  3. Organize Your Research: Identify the three most powerful arguments you have for your viewpoint. These are the three you will use. List each one along with the evidence to support each on beneath. Then identify the opposing arguments and find the information/data that will refute them.

The Outline – Do Not Skip This Step

To write an essay that will be scholarly, you will absolutely need an outline. That outline will serve as the map for your writing and will keep you from getting off track and rambling.

Let’s suppose you have decided that public college education should be free. You have finished all of your research, and you are ready to structure the essay itself. Here is a formal outline for this argumentative essay, although you may want a less formal structure. The important thing is that your thoughts are organized and flow logically.

  • Introduction
    • Open with some startling fact – the average student loan debt for college graduates in this country is now about $43,000. That’s a lot of money to pay off.
    • Come up with a thesis statement: Public college educations should be free for students who qualify. This will offer equal opportunity for all student, no matter what their financial status, will educate more talented kids, and will help to prevent a future economic crisis.
  • Body Paragraphs
    • Point One: If we don’t open college educations up to more kids, the gap between the haves and have-nots will continue to widen
    • Point Two: We need to educate more of our kids if we intend to compete globally in the future.
    • Point Three: Lots of financial experts predict that the massive student loan debt will actually create an economic crisis in the country.

Be certain that each of these points are backed up with factual information – there is plenty out there to use. Make sure that your sources are reliable and expert.

  • Present and refute Opposing Arguments
    • This is another example of the government intervening into our lives too much. It makes us all more dependent on the government. You need to decide how to refute this. Perhaps you could speak to the fact that the more college-educated people we have, the fewer we have that will be dependent upon the government in the future.
    • College students will not be serious about their educations if they are free. They will party too much and do poorly. Your counter may be that students can still be suspended or kicked out if they don’t make the grades
    • The cost is too high for taxpayers. The offset for this argument may be something to the effect that the cost of uneducated people and student loan debt will be far greater. There are a number of pieces of research that actually crunch the numbers on this.
  • Conclusion: there are many things you can do here. You can point to student loan debt as a major financial crisis; you can point to the benefits of an educated populace; you can give a call to action, urging readers to contact their members of Congress.

The Rough Draft/The Revision

If you have conducted the research and have the evidence, and if you follow the outline as it has been constructed, your rough draft should be very easy to write. Once it is written, you know the drill. You must edit and proofread. If you are not the best in grammar and punctuation, get some help doing that. If nothing else, read the essay out loud to yourself – you’ll catch many errors that way.

Be certain that your sources are formatted correctly.

The Final Draft is now typed and you are good to go.

To craft an argumentative piece of writing is really to write an expository essay. You have information to present in an organized fashion, you have a thesis statement that you are going to prove, and your explanation of your position will be logical and coherent.

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Even if you don't like to argue with the points of other people, you still must be ready to write an argumentative essay at any time!

You don't want to write a bad essay in English and obtain a low grade, do you? Staring at a blank page for hours is not a way out. You need to make an attempt to collect all your thoughts in one place and focus on what is really important and related to your topic. An argumentative essay outline is an action plan which helps to put ideas together and start writing.

If you lack information on how to develop a well-structured argumentative essay in English or choose best examples of debatable topics, my article is just what you need!

Argumentative Essay Structure

The structure of your paper's outline is the same as the structure of your entire essay. The difference is that you include the entire information in the body text while you only name the arguments in your outline. An English essay outline is worth your time as it figures as your plan during the whole writing process.

There are four basic sections of any argumentative essay you should follow:

  1. Introduction paragraph
  2. Body with 2-3 strong arguments
  3. Refusing opposing arguments in one paragraph
  4. Conclusion

Of course, you must focus on supporting your thesis statement rather than the opponents. The opposing point of view is included just to show the writer is objective with his judgments, and he respects all existing arguments.

Outline Section 1: Introduction

Every essay starts with an introduction, and an argumentative essay is not an exception.

  1. Hook

First of all, think about a powerful, eye-catching hook to grab your reader's attention. Sure, it is important to know who your target audience is first. Different people require different approaches.

Let's look at my own example. I used to write an argumentative essay on why there should be a second official language in the United States in addition to English. I have chosen Spanish as my point of view. Based on the primary research, my hook could be,

"As far as most of the immigrants in the United States speak Spanish due to the neighborhood with Latin America, Spanish should be made the second official language in the United States."

  1. Background information

Don't try to write too much in this part. Simply name a topic and give a hint on what you'll be talking about in your argumentative text. Briefly explain why the topic is important and who cares about it.

An example might be,

"The research shows that immigrants from Latin America feel uncomfortable with studying in English schools as they require more time to learn this language. Thus, it is important to work on the question of the second national language."

  1. Working on the thesis statement

This part contains the main argument. Don't pose any questions here - just state your main point of view clearly and without any hesitations.

You may look at the additional information on how to write an eye-catching essay introduction with a hook.

Outline Section 2: Working on Your Arguments

As you remember, every claim is supported by the corresponding evidence you found during the research. If you have more information to share, you may include up to five body paragraphs.

  1. Claim

It is a statement to support your argumentative essay's thesis. An example of an opening sentence in body paragraph is:

"Making Spanish the second official language in the IS would positively impact the economic relationships between Mexico and the United States."

Without a good evidence, no one is going to believe my words.

  1. Evidence is based on credible facts and statistics the writer finds during the research process.

It has nothing to do with your personal knowledge or information based on your experience. Choose sources carefully. The example is:

"12% increase in trade between the US and Mexico was a notice in 2014 when Arizona's local government send people who spoke Spanish to take part in the deal."

Also, the reader will think your judgments are subjective until you add an opposing argument.

Outline Section 3: Looking for Opponent's Claims

You need to understand that different people have different points of view regarding the same topic, so be patient. Check the arguments of the US citizens who do not support the idea of the second national language. They may be helpful while working on the third section of your argumentative essay.

You may pose a question why they don't like the idea of any other language except for English. Make it clear that they fear are connected with the unwillingness to study one more language or cooperate with Mexican population. Remember that your personal ideas should be supported by the facts you find during your research. For every argument against, you should present enough evidence to prove you're right.

It all may sound difficult, but please keep in mind you have a right to buy papers online!

Outline Section 4: Conclusion

  1. Rewrite thesis statement

While arguing with various opinions, you have lost the focus. Remind the readers of your topic by restating your thesis. Make it clear why your argument is a winning one. The best way to do so is to present how the things would turn without your idea being implemented ASAP.

  1. Write down about the importance of researched topic again. To make your statement persuasive enough, use loud arguments like,

"Without meeting the needs of the Latin American population, the local government risks facing another Col War like it was with USSR."

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