How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay
Publication Date: 23 May 2022
In high schools and colleges, students begin their acquaintance with essay writing by learning how to construct and present arguments. The current article is a great induction into the art of argumentative essay writing for beginners.
What is Argumentative Essay?
An argumentative essay is an essay, where the main point or thesis statement is supported by arguments. In a broad sense, all essays are argumentative, as writers are always expected to support their points with arguments and facts. Nevertheless, an argumentative type is unique in the sense that it deliberately pays utmost attention to the quality and quantity of arguments used.
Six Easy Elements of a Good Argumentative Essay
The structure of a good argumentative essay stipulates the introduction of a good thesis statement, which is then proved with arguments in the form of logical statements, quotations, or a listing of relevant facts. Every good argumentative essay consists of the following six elements:
- Title. A title for an argumentative essay must accurately reflect the essence of the entire text. Students should devote enough time to creating a good title for an argumentative essay, as a good and catchy title is half of the success.
- Introduction. It is the first part of an argumentative essay, where an author literally introduces the topic and presents a thesis statement. The latter is an assumption that will be confirmed or refuted. If you present the opinion of a certain scientist or group of people with whom you disagree, such a statement must be refuted. Likewise, as the author, you can show that your old opinion was wrong. If an essay is short (e.g. a single page text), the word “introduction” does not need to be written.
- The Main Body. It is easy to write the structure of an essay on your own if it is small. Usually, short argumentative essays contain only one body paragraph. At the same time, large texts are better divided into parts by subheadings highlighted in bold. The composition of the main body resembles the structure of a pyramid. First, a thesis is put forward, and then several arguments are given to support it.
Support your arguments with the following:
- Personal beliefs and experiences, stories from the lives of other people.
- Phenomena that everyone can observe.
- Facts conveyed without distortion or manipulation.
- Quotes from famous scientists, politicians, writers, and artists.
- Historical events that complement the analysis, causes, and consequences.
- Excerpts from laws or normative acts.
All the arguments gradually lead the reader to prove or disprove the hypothesis (thesis statement). Therefore, it is important to build the structure of a good argumentative essay in the correct logical order.
- Conclusion. The last step in creating an argumentative essay is writing a solid conclusion. It is permissible to draw a conclusion on a separate page if it is a large text. Otherwise, just start it with a new paragraph. Students wanting to understand what is argumentative essay, need to learn to write the conclusion well.
- List of sources. A good argumentative essay contains links to quotes from books and data from official resources. They must be listed as a complete list of references. All borrowed data or citations must be referenced. Usually, sources are presented as they appear or in alphabetical order.
- Appendixes. The structure of an argumentative essay does not typically stipulate the use of appendixes. However, there is no strict ban on the use of appendixes if needed. Materials that help to better understand the essence of the presented arguments are moved to appendixes.
Types of Arguments Used in Argumentative Essay
There are various classifications of arguments. The main classification is the one in which the arguments are classified into:
- Logical (affecting the mind)
- Psychological (affecting feelings)
Logical arguments are arguments addressed to the mind of the audience. Each logical argument must be carefully argued, while insufficiently strong, dubious arguments are excluded as destructive evidence.
Logical arguments include the following judgments:
- theoretical or empirical generalizations and conclusions;
- previously proven laws of sciences (chemistry, physics, biology, theorems of mathematics, etc.);
- obvious provisions that do not require proof: axioms and postulates;
- definitions of the basic concepts of a particular field of knowledge;
- statements of fact: factual material in which approximate information is unacceptable (statistical data on the population of the state, testimonies, signatures of a person on a document, scientific facts).
In the process of logical argumentation, it is necessary to separate the concepts of “fact” and “opinion”.
A fact is an undoubted, real phenomenon, something that actually happened. An opinion is something that expresses an assessment, one’s own or someone else’s view of an event or phenomenon. Facts exist on their own regardless of our desire, how we use them, and relate to them. Opinions are influenced by various subjective factors, and they can also be biased and erroneous. And that is why facts are more reliable arguments that should be trusted and believed.
One of the strongest arguments is the statistics. It’s hard to argue with numbers, but you can’t abuse them, as you can lose the attention of the audience.
Psychological arguments also play an important role in argumentative essays. If a speaker skillfully influences the feelings of readers, he makes the entire essay more colorful and better remembered.
With the help of psychological arguments, most feelings can be touched, which helps to achieve the desired result. This type of argument can be divided into the following subtypes:
When using psychological arguments, one should not forget that rhetorical ethics forbids the writer to appeal to the inner feelings of the audience, to evoke emotions that give rise to a conflict. It should be remembered that psychological arguments can also be used as attention grabbers.
The Final Note
In this article, we have looked into what is argumentative essay, including its building blocks and key principles, a title for an argumentative essay, and the types of arguments used.
The last step in creating a good argumentative essay is to try and look at your work from the outside. Having focused on the big things, you could have made smaller mistakes and errors. Take a break from your work for a few hours. Sometimes a break for a few days is also very helpful. Looking at the text with a fresh eye, you will be able to notice errors and inaccuracies that eluded you earlier.