Argumentative Essay Outline Guidelines

Writing an essay can be quite challenging unless you know exactly where to start. It sure comes as no surprise to you that an essay should contain an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, all of which are to be organized into paragraphs. Even if you are familiar with the topic or have a rough idea of what you would like to write about, embarking on the writing process, can still be a challenge. One way of breaking down this barrier is drawing up an argumentative essay outline, which is especially helpful when it comes to structuring your essay and presenting your arguments. But before we proceed any further, it would be worthwhile to shed some light on the concept of the outline. The outline lists the content of your paper — it may be the whole essay or even part of it, such as an introduction, body, or conclusion. If the outline is for the entire essay and includes an elaborate description of each of the three sections, that implies that it will be far more complex. Do bear in mind that the outline always serves as a helping tool for organizing your ideas and structuring your content. You can think of it as a skeleton onto which your essay`s ‘body’ is installed. It may also be thought of as a foundation upon which you build your house (essay or some parts of it). Remember — the outline is not the content or even a summary of the content — it simply provides the reader with a rough idea of what the content of your essay will be like.

Outline for an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

As you may imagine, there are no specific rules regarding writing an argumentative essay outline is a purely creative process whereby the writer relies on their personal preferences about the structure and content. However, there are certain techniques one can use when writing different sections of an essay, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. In practice, this means you will have to draw up a few outlines and then select the one you feel will be more interesting to the reader. Another way of doing it is to have a person you deem a good judge or critic of your writing make the selection for you. To master how to write an outline for an argumentative essay, you should practice writing outlines and then applying them to your essays. After doing ten or more essays, you will undoubtedly be more comfortable with essay writing and gain mastery of the outline writing process. There can be no meaningful alternative to this, nor any ‘shortcuts,’ so to say. In other words, there is no such a thing as being a naturally talented writer — it involves a lot of continuous effort. The difference may only be in how fast individuals gain writing proficiency. So, if you want to become very good at writing argumentative essays(or any essay for that matter), you should start putting into practice insights gained from reading essay writing articles and instructional books. On average, people’s abilities vary by age and educational level, which is why we will be considering the below examples according to one’s level of education. It should, however, be noted that regardless of the difference in the level of education the fundamental structure and ideas remain the same. Much of the difference will appear only by way of diction (choice of words) and complexity of the issue.

Argumentative Essay Outline Middle School

In this section, we’ll be looking into what an argumentative essay outline for middle school. Unlike high school or college essays, middle school argumentative essay is the least advanced, as far as the length, grammar, and choice of words and complexity of the topics is concerned. Please, find below a sample of the argumentative essay outline for middle school:

Argumentative essay topic: Are Video Games Harmful to Kids and Teenagers? Should they be Controlled or Allowed Unrestricted Play?

  • Essay Introduction:
    • Mention an important reason why you think children play video games.
    • State the benefits or drawbacks associated with the above reason.
    • Clearly state your position on the issue (Thesis statement).
  • The body of the essay:
    • Paragraph 1: A few reasons why children play video games and why parents buy them.
    • (Using a personal story can help make a strong point here).
    • Paragraph 2: The Actual Impact of Playing Games on Children (Discussing ways in which children are positively and negatively affected by video games and providing examples to support your position).
  • Essay conclusion:
    • Transition: Mention the key argument or thesis in proper sequence.
    • Connection: Pick a sentence or two from the body of the essay to support the key idea and logically demonstrate their connection to show your viewpoint is valid.
    • Closing Words: You may ask a related question or mention a not so obvious fact in the final sentence.

Argumentative Essay Outline High School

In this section, we’ll be discussing l how to write an outline for high school argumentative essays using an example for demonstration purposes. An argumentative essay outline for high school should preserve the structure and flow of the essay even while being a notch more complex than a middle school one.

Argumentative essay topic: Is Smoking Harmful to Teenagers? Should they it be Legally Controlled or Banned for Teenagers?

  • Introduction:
    • Open with a statistic report about the prevalence of smoking and the harm caused by smoking compiled by a reputable organization (like the WHO).
    • Explain why the issue is serious and provide reasons why it should be debated and acted upon in society.
    • Express your position on the issue (that is your thesis statement).
  • Essay Body:
    • Paragraph 1: Why people take up smoking. Use real persons and statistic reports to lend more credibility to your reasons.
    • Paragraph 2: How smokers and their loved ones have been affected by smoking.
    • Paragraph 3: What solutions should be applied. Here the main argument should be whether smoking should be legally controlled or banned. Use of real-life examples demonstrating the application of the solution and its results can make the argument stronger.
  • Conclusion:
    • Transition: Reiterate the key idea or thesis and the importance of the issue.
    • Connection: Select one or two sentences from the body of the essay that can support the key idea and logically demonstrate their connection to validate the thesis.
    • Closing Words: Stimulate the reader by asking a related question or mentioning a not so obvious fact. That will help push your argument further, thus convincing them that it is valid.

Argumentative Essay Outline for College

It comes as no surprise that college essays, and, by extension the college argumentative essay outline, are far more complex and require one to use advanced vocabulary.

Argumentative essay topic: Should People Be Forced Into the Practice of Arranged Marriage?

  • Introduction:
    • The personal story of a real person highlighting how they were forced into arranged marriage and the impact it had on them.
    • Cite some statistics to support the significance of the issue of forced marriage.
    • The thesis statement of the writer should be clearly expressed here.
  • Essay Body:
    • Paragraph 1: Main causes of forced marriage, as well as cultural, social or economic influences contributing to the practice.
    • Paragraph 2: How the practice affects people their loved ones coerced into such marriages. (Use of anecdotal evidence and statistics can be very effective here)
    • Paragraph 3: Why the practice should be banned or permitted to continue in the modern world.
  • Essay Conclusion:
    • Transition: Mention the key idea or thesis in proper sequence.
    • Connection: Pick a sentence or two from the body of the essay that can support the key idea and logically demonstrate their connection to validate the thesis.
    • Closing Words: Expand the issue by asking a related question or mentioning a not so obvious fact.

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