How to Write An Argumentative Essay — Professional Guide

Today, we’ll be talking how to write an argumentative essay: what it means, why it is often confused with other essay types, and what it takes to come up with one. There comes a time in the life of every student when they have to do essay assignments. Many, however, may lack time or knowledge to be able to come up with a decent essay. It often happens that students underestimate the time it takes to finish their essay and end up missing their deadlines. They may have some rough idea and plan, but when they start working on it, it suddenly dawns on them how time and effort consuming the task is. They may not even get down to the actual writing when they realize how dangerously close the deadline is.

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What is An Argumentative Essay?

To correctly answer this question, it is necessary to provide the definition of the argumentative essay. That is especially important because argumentative essays are easily confused with persuasive ones. If you don’t know the difference between the two (in fact, many students don’t, including those taking an English language course), don’t flog yourself or lose sleep over it because after reading this article you will learn all there is to know about the argumentative essay definition. So, here it is: the argumentative essay is a type of essay in which the writer takes a stance or position on an issue, providing extensive arguments in support of the position. The process of creating the argumentative essay involves conducting in-depth research which will let the writer find facts that buttress their arguments and weaken those of their opponents. The primary purpose of an argumentative essay is to defend a debatable position on a particular issue with the ultimate goal of convincing the reader of the validity of the opinion or claim defended. To see why argumentative and persuasive essays often get confused, let’s define the persuasive essay: the persuasive essay aims to share a viewpoint backed up with strong arguments and evidence to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s stance or argument. The confusion, as you can imagine, stems from the fact that both require the writer to do a lot of convincing and persuading. So, let’s look at some important differences between the two:

Point of Difference

Persuasive Essay

Argumentative Essay

First task

Choose a topic and your stance.

After choosing topic, study the topic in depth before choosing your stance to defend.

Goal or aim

Convince the reader to accept your stance.

Convince the reader to accept the validity of your stance.

Tone of writing

May be more assertive, coercive or forceful to achieve the main goal.

Use a less assertive style, striving only to create acceptance of the validity of the stance taken.

Writing techniques

  1. Emotionally charged.
  2. May claim without providing supporting evidence.
  3. One-sided due to only defending g the writer`s argument.
  4. Only provides ideas that support the stance.
  1. Supported with facts.
  2. Typically supports a claim with evidence.
  3. More balanced due to admitting opposing views, even though it is known what view the writer has.
  4. Can involve comparison of ideas to take a stance.

Argumentative Essay Step by Step Instructions

Writing an argumentative essay requires the author to follow the following steps:

  • Choosing a topic for your argumentative essay.
  • Researching the topic.
  • Writing the outline.
  • Writing the introduction.
  • Writing the body.
  • Writing the conclusion.

Please, note that you can learn more about each of the above steps in other articles on this website.

How to Start an Argumentative Essay

In this section of our article, we will be discussing how to start an argumentative essay. The argumentative essay should begin with the introduction whose goal is to explain what the essay is going to explore, introduce the main problems raised in the essay and provide (optionally) some opposing views. The introduction should also grab the reader’s attention and one way of ensuring that is to cite some important statistics, evidence or anecdotes. The most important element any introduction should have is the thesis statement which expresses the writer’s position on the issues or topic. The thesis statement is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph, which is why there shouldn’t be any ambiguity or confusion about it.

How to End an Argumentative Essay

Let’s now focus on how to end an argumentative essay in such a way as to leave a lasting impression on the reader and fulfill the goal of your argumentative essay.

Generally speaking, the conclusion can and should help the reader understand the connection between the issues you discussed and some related issues in their lives. In other words, you can use your conclusions to expand the frame of reference by citing some relevant ideas or points they may never have considered previously. You should briefly reiterate some key arguments and use them to support your thesis statement, establishing why you are convinced your position is a valid one. One interesting way of ending the conclusion is to pose a thought-provoking question that compels the reader to see things your way. The overall goal of argumentative essays is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s viewpoint, so if you succeeded in that, your essay might be considered a success. Similarly, the conclusion should heighten the reader's awareness of the issue discussed, making them change their initial viewpoint and spurring them into reading more essays written by yourself.