An argumentative essay needs to convince the reader to believe in your standpoint on a particular issue. You need to use a professional tone to state your point of view on the issue. It is important to show both the sides of a topic and justify your position in the essay. Check out this detailed guideline with examples to write a praiseworthy argumentative essay in the semester.
1. Choose a Topic with More than One Clear Side
The very first step to writing stellar argumentative essays is to choose an impressive topic.
You must choose a topic that has more than one side to it.
Consider this topic:
‘Animals should be used to generate safer skin and hair products for humans.’
Clearly, this topic is based on moral issues, and it is very difficult to get more than one side on these topics. You can’t provide logical arguments to defend your ideas in this case. PETA firmly believes that animals have every right to be treated like humans. You may have a hard time gathering, generating and evaluating credible sources to support your argument.
In case you choose to proceed with the topic, keep the following points in mind to write a brilliant paper. You can create a Pro Vs. Con list to consider both sides of the issue. Check out this table:
|PRO: Animal testing should stop.||CON: Animal testing should not stop ever.|
|Animal Rights/ Equality||Lack of adequate alternative
to testing on a whole living body system
|Presence of alternative
|Poor test subjects because
animals are different from human beings
|Drugs that pass animal
testing may not be safe for humans
Table 1: Pro Vs. Con list
Now, look at this example:
‘Education should be free for everyone’
Isn’t this topic more relevant to our society? You can provide both analysis and fair criticism related to this topic. You can talk about economic growth, equality among students and independence to support the topic.
On the contrary, you can highlight that free education can increase the burden of taxpayers. This can lead to multiple social and economic problems. Whether you decide to go for or against the topic, just make sure it is debatable enough. If your teacher has assigned the argumentative essay topic, you might be asked to:
- Present your position on the issue stronger than the opposing position
- Present both sides of the issue objectively
Brainstorm both sides of the issue before writing the essay. Choose the topic only when you have enough solid evidence to support your arguments.
2. Craft a Compelling & Concise Introductory Paragraph
You must introduce the topic by providing valuable background information related to your topic. Briefly explain the topic to help the reader understand the context of your essay. The background information followed by the thesis statement prepares the reader for the arguments you have stated in the paper. Check out the information that you need to provide in the introduction.
- Personal background– You need to describe your reasons for debating on the issue. Explain why the issue is significant to you.
- Historical background– Provide some historical facts related to the issue in the introduction. It will help you strengthen your argument.
- Common ground– These are points related to the topic on which both sides can agree. It can help you convey your stand clearly to your readers.
- Thesis statement– This is the most important part of the whole process. You need to state your stand on the particular topic in the thesis statement. It acts as the foundation of your essay.
Check out this example:
Diversity: A Hindrance or Help to Team Performance?
We live in a highly complicated world. To thrive in a situation marked by cutthroat competition, how is a company supposed to generate creative ideas for ongoing success? A large number of managers believe that teams with cross-functional diversity can pave the way for corporate success (Sethi et al., 2002). Diversity in group membership may cause a diversity of ideas required for innovative problem-solving. However, managers must be aware that diversity can hinder the performance of a team in many ways. But, there are different strategies that managers and their team members can use to reduce the potential damages caused by diversity.
As you can see, the background details (coloured in yellow) motivate to discuss the issue as addressed by the essay.
The background information clearly states:
- The significance of the topic
- Facts relevant to your topic
Similarly, the thesis statement (coloured in purple) clearly states:
- The standpoint of the writer
- Explanations of the negative influence of diversity on team
- Analysis of the strategies that could reduce the negative influence
3. Present Your Arguments in the Body of Your Essay
There are several ways to organise the body of your argumentative essay. One of the most common formats is:
- Pro point 1 + support
- Pro point 2 + support
- Con point + support
Structure of an Argumentative Essay
Use relevant sources, facts and details effectively to convince your readers of your standpoint. Make sure the main part of your essay consists of the following:
- Smoothly integrated, relevant
and thorough evidence
- Elaborative use of techniques to support your arguments
- Effective and clear expression of ideas
- Academic and subject-specific vocabulary
- Varied sentence structure
Try to use at least 2 supporting evidence paragraphs and 1 counterargument paragraph in the body. Check out this table to identify the main features of supporting evidence paragraphs.
|Topic Sentence||It helps your reader understand your claim better. Explains the topic sentence to enhance the credibility of your essay.|
|Include Evidence||It lets your reader know about all the reasons, facts, examples, statistics or quotations required to prove your point.|
|Explain Evidence||Your readers can read or interpret the evidence provided by you. It can help them agree to your point of view.|
|Concluding sentence||Do not forget to include food-for-thought in the concluding section. It reasserts the validity of the claim made by your paper.|
Table 2: Features and Significance of Evidence Paragraphs
Check out the example on the same topic ‘Diversity:
Hindrance or Help to Team Performance?’
‘Besides cross-functional diversity, other types of diversity can have effects on team performance as well. Some of these types of diversity can have negative effects. For instance, any negative stereotyping by team members resulting from diversity in terms of age, gender or ethnicity will degrade team social cohesion (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990, as cited in Harrison et al., 2002). Other aspects of diversity such as attitudes towards the team’s tasks, time management styles and values can also affect team performance negatively (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990, as cited in Harrison et al., 2002).’
- Topic sentence (coloured in blue)– The paragraph starts with a topic sentence. It introduces the topic of the paragraph to the readers. In this case, the topic sentence (in bold) announces your point of view and supports the thesis statement as well.
- Evidence or reasoning (coloured in pink)- Note that the evidence is not merely described in terms of ‘thus’ and ‘hence.’ A proper reason is given along with the correct referencing.
Let’s have a look at the second supporting evidence paragraphs.
‘Diversity in knowledge, skills, and experience benefits a team’s performance. It can cause problems for the team members as well. Having too many diverse views and opinions can cause cognitive overload among the team members. This can impede the team’s decision making process. Too many ideas can particularly become a problem if the team has a limited time to complete their tasks. Cross-functional diversity, as mentioned above, can cause a problem if the team members are unable to understand or coordinate different worldviews.’
Just like the previous one, you can find detailed explanation of ideas in the next supporting evidence paragraph. Relevant examples help the reader believe your take on the issue.
Now, it is time to check out the counterargument paragraph in the body of your essay.
‘Are there any appropriate strategies to curb down the above-mentioned problems? First things first. A team needs an adequate amount
of time to complete its task. Frequent collaboration can be scheduled to build social cohesion and overcome the negative impacts of stereotypes. It is important to generate the best ideas to protect social relationships and
encourage the team on a regular basis to counteract potential negative impacts.’
In this section, the readers can explore the related ideas in more depth. It consists of relevant suggestions to highlight the issue. This section is more about advises rather than claims. If you have more evidence, go ahead and include two more paragraphs in the main part.
4. Write an Impactful Conclusion in the End
The main aim of a conclusion is to remind the readers of your argument and supporting evidence.
It should restate the overall claim of your essay. Do not simply restate your
introduction in this section. If your introduction and conclusion say almost
the same thing, you will definitely lose valuable marks.
The conclusion should prepare the readers for a more complex understanding of the subject of your essay. It should serve as the climax of your paper. Do not end it with an impression that you are unsure about your argument. Go through this example to understand this point better.
it appears that managers should seek minimum diversity in terms of time management and task values. This will help them create effective teams. The managers should further aim to foster as much collaboration as possible to develop social team cohesion. He/she can have interactive rules to encourage the team to be venturesome and foster psychological safety among the team. Without these measures, the managers will
likely find diversity more as a hindrance than a help.’
Every section of your argumentative essay is important to fetch high grades. Consult with online experts to know the basic marking schedule followed by the professors. Take your time to collect relevant evidence to support your arguments. Make an outline initially to prepare the structure of your argumentative essay. The outline can help you complete the paper on time. If you are unable to write the essay, get online help right away.
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