Argumentative Essay - Writing Guide, Outline and Topics

argumentative essay

Writing an argumentative essay is a great way to get your thoughts out there. It's also a good way to learn how to form and present an opinion while being able to defend it against other people's opinions.

They can be persuasive, informative, or analytical in nature. The tone of your essay will depend on the tone you want it to convey (persuasive, informative). Writing an argumentative essay is not easy; it takes time and persistence. You need to know what you're talking about and understand how this type of writing works before starting out on your paper.

In this blog post, we will explore the different structures of arguments you might encounter in college classes, and provide a writing guide for drafting an argumentative essay. We'll also discuss some common topics that are often assigned in high school or college courses so you have something to write about when you need it most. So, let’s get this started!

Argumentative Essay Definition

The argumentative essay is an important type of writing that provides the reader with two sides to consider in relation to your topic. The essay can be used to present both sides of an argument equally, or one side might take preference over the other. This would happen if you were very knowledgeable about your topic and had formed opinions before writing this paper.

The argumentative essay is a type of writing that persuasive writers use to convince the reader and win them over their side.

A logical and evidence-based argument is similar to a persuasive essay, but the only difference is that it's based on logic instead of emotion. A persuasive essay is based on the writer’s emotions, but logical argumentation can help you win any debate!

When writing an argumentative essay, you must first engage the reader with strong critical thinking skills. The ability to analyze deeper is also important and will help your paper stand out from other essays on similar topics that might be easier or more straightforward for them.

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Argumentative Essay Structure

The three major models for an argumentative essay are as follows:

  1. 1. Classical Model
  2. The classical model of argumentation is an outline that writers follow to persuade their readers. The arguments are made on both sides, then followed by the evidence for each claim being presented as strong supporting material or even compelling proof.

  3. 2. Toulmin Model
  4. Founded by philosopher Stephen E. Toulmin, the Toulmin model presents arguments that are difficult to argue against because they only present one side of an issue. It is a much-debated system that proposes to eliminate emotion from discussions by only presenting one side of an argument.

  5. 3. Rogerian Model
  6. The idea behind the Rogerian model is that both sides of an argument must be taken into account when trying to find the middle ground. The name comes from Carl Rogers, who founded this approach in his work with patients during therapy sessions.

    Different types of arguments can be presented in an argumentative essay through any of these models.

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How to Start an Argumentative Essay?

The first step to writing an argumentative essay is knowing your goal for the paper.

  1. 1. Understand the Instructions
  2. The first step of writing an essay is to remember that there are specific instructions for each assignment. This will help you make sure your process goes smoothly without any issues. The instructions will help you write an organized paper and save your time.

  3. 2. Come up with an Interesting Topic
  4. It's important to choose a topic that is interesting and unique. Try browsing the internet, reading articles or books for inspiration!

  5. 3. Conduct an Analysis
  6. To make a strong and interesting argument, you must conduct an analysis of your topic. This will help you figure out what your opinion on the subject should be and why it's superior to other viewpoints.

  7. 4. Use Authentic Sources
  8. You can't defend your point of view without having strong facts and logical data. Authentic sources are the best way to back up anything you’re arguing for or against in an argumentative essay, so use them!

  9. 5. Create an Argumentative Essay Outline
  10. The outline is one of the most important parts of any type of essay. It not only helps you stay on track but also keeps readers engaged with what they're reading.

    The argumentative essay outline has three main parts and all of the information is put into these sections.

    • Introduction
    • Body Paragraph 1
    • Body Paragraph 2
    • Body Paragraph 3
    • Conclusion
  11. 6. Make a Schedule
  12. The process of argumentative essay writing is time-consuming, and it requires extensive research and analysis. You will not be able to complete your essay on time if you don't manage your time well. You should create a schedule and stick with it, no matter what!

    The pre-writing steps are a great way to stay organized and on track with your essay. They will help you follow the instructions and guidelines before moving on to writing each part.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay?

The process of writing an argumentative essay is logical and you have to convince your reader that your viewpoint on the subject matter should be considered valid.

Writing an argumentative essay is not about being aggressive or offensive. Use positive words to defend your point of view, and don't use any negative phrases that would upset anyone else reading it!

A standard structure for writing an argumentative essay is mentioned below:

argumentative essay structure

Argumentative Essay Introduction

In your introduction, state the opponents’ view to keep things balanced and include some brief background information. Then state what you plan on arguing against them and ensure it is supported by evidence from an authoritative source.

In addition to this, the introductory paragraph of an argumentative essay should have the following key elements.

  • Hook Sentence
  • The hook sentence is a catchy phrase designed to seek attention from the reader. It should not be eye-catching, but also explain your position on the topic and introduce it in an interesting way for readers.

  • Background Information
  • The background information you provide should be equally as important to any other part of your introduction. It's what supports the purpose and reason for arguments, so it stands up against why exactly did I choose this particular topic?

  • Connect
  • A connecting sentence is used to show a clear connection between the historical background and thesis statement.

  • Thesis Statement
  • A thesis statement is a way to start and end any type of high school essay. The best ones help you make your thoughts clear, which in turn makes it easier for readers to understand what you’re trying to say.

    It's a summary of what makes up your entire essay. It defines the core, and without it, you won't have any substance or meaning in your work.

Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs

The body of an essay is where you should put all the facts and evidence that support your argument. These will help defend against any opposing arguments, but be sure to leave room for another viewpoint as well!

The three body paragraphs in an essay should start with a topic sentence to explain the key points. In these paragraphs, you include all the information that supports your key point.

Counter Argument

Counter Arguments are used to express the opposite view on an argument. When discussing an argument, it is important to address any counterarguments that may arise. A counterargument opposes your original viewpoint and expresses the opposite view on what you just discussed in great detail.

In this way, there’s no room left for confusion or misconception among readers.

The strength of an argument lies in its demonstration that you have researched and examined both sides. A counter-argument strengthens your position because it shows the reader you care enough to see other perspectives.

Conclusion

It is important to summarize your argument in the conclusion. Provide the summary of your thesis statement that should remind the reader about what they are reading.

At this point, it is important to summarize other major points that you have covered. Your summary should not exceed four sentences in total and must be concise enough for the reader's attention span with information specifically relevant to their needs.

Proofreading

Proofreading your essay is an important process that will ensure you get high grades. You just need to read through it and look out for any mistakes in grammar or spelling, then correct them before submitting!

Many students skip this step and it is where they make the biggest mistake. Small grammatical mistakes can turn an essay into something illogical, making it impossible for readers to understand.

Make sure you don't skip this step and repeat it as many times as necessary until your writing is error-free.

Argumentative Essay Graphic Organizer

The following graphic will help you organize, plan and write your argumentative essay with all its parts in order. Have a look at it:

Argumentative Essay Graphic Organizer

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Argumentative Essay Examples

A good way to understand the structure of an essay is by looking at sample essays. Here are some perfect argumentative essays examples to look at:

Argumentative Essay Template (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Template

Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Sample

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Argumentative Essay Topics

We have summed up a list of impressive argumentative essay topics.

  • Is a College degree worth its price?
  • Does therapy help in the long run?
  • Hunger is a tragedy.
  • The evolution of cell phone
  • Animal testing for beauty products should be banned
  • The mafia controls the music industry.
  • The effects of the Great Depression on American people
  • A college education is a base for future career success.
  • Women still suffer from the glass ceiling effect.
  • Should there be a ban on energy drinks?
  • Why are dogs so loyal?
  • Is swimming an overall exercise?
  • Technological advancement has made people's life easier.
  • Issues surrounding organ donation.
  • The regulation of alcohol drinking.

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Argumentative Essay Writing Tips

To merit an A+ grade for your essay, you should know five main claims that make up an argument.

  1. Fact: Whether the argument is true or false?
  2. Definition: What does the argument actually mean?
  3. Value: How important is the argument?
  4. Cause and effect: What causes the problem, and what are its implications?
  5. Policy: What should the reader do about it?

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