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How to Write a Narrative Argument

by Vivek Saxena, Demand Media

    A narrative argument is one that's made by telling a story or narrative. Unlike a conventional argument, which is limited by facts and figures, a narrative argument lets you use a narrative to justify your stance on an issue. The goal is to weave together the elements of a story -- characters, plots, settings, climaxes -- so they support your main argument, or thesis.

    Step 1

    Pick an argument to make. Look at controversial issues that interest you, and choose a side to defend. For instance, you could argue for or against abortion, for or against gay rights or for or against torture as a means of intelligence gathering.

    Step 2

    Select a story that is relevant to your argument. If you wanted to argue for abortion, for example, you could tell the story of how your friend was raped and had no other option but to either have the baby or have an abortion.

    Step 3

    Decide which perspective you'd like to use. If you were to talk about your friend, for instance, you could relay the story as a third-party narrator, or you could try retelling it from her perspective. If you are a man telling the story of a female friend, then you would obviously want to go with a narrator perspective.

    Step 4

    Write a thesis statement that makes clear to your audience what it is you're about to tell them, and why it's relevant. If you were speaking about a friend who got an abortion after getting raped, you could start by saying, "If it weren't for a woman's right to have an abortion, my friend would have had to give birth to the baby of the man who raped her."

    Step 5

    Relay the story using powerful, descriptive words that stimulate your audience's emotions and senses. Don't just tell them what happened; bring it to life. Instead of saying your friend was confused about what decision to make, for instance, you could say that your friend spent six agonizing weeks pacing her apartment, begging God to give her an answer.

    Step 6

    End the narrative with a powerful conclusion that summarizes the story you just told and restates the thesis. Let the readers know why the story is important and explain how it supports your viewpoint. As an example: "My friend spent six agonizing weeks weighing her decision. The last thing she wanted to do was get an abortion, but what choice did she have? If she would have been forced to have that baby, it would have forever been a reminder of what she endured the night she was raped. And it's for that reason that I support a woman's right to choose."

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    Tips

    • Your narrative argument should be told in chronological order.
    • Make certain you double check grammar and punctuation.

    About the Author

    Vivek Saxena has been a full-time freelance writer since 2004, contributing to several online publications. Prior to becoming a writer, Saxena studied computer technology at Purdue University.

    Photo Credits

    • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

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