How to Write Your Argumentative Essay

How to Write Your Argumentative Essay

In some ways, writing an effective argumentative essay is a lot like cooking up a gourmet meal. You have a list of necessary ingredients and instructions to follow, but how you ultimately put them together is something of an art form. A novice and a gourmet chef may use identical ingredients and follow the same recipe, but it’s highly unlikely that they will produce the same quality of dish. Similar to cooking, writing and most other things require practice. If you want to move from novice to master argumentative writer, study the basic ingredients, and hone your skills until you can put them together in just the right way.

1 What Are the Key Elements of an Argumentative Essay?

Logic, reason and evidence are the key elements of an argumentative essay. These elements demonstrate the validity of one idea over another. An argumentative essay needs an introduction with a clear thesis statement, reasons and evidence to support the thesis, a refutation of the opposing argument and a conclusion.

2 How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

Before you dive right in, determine the topic you will be arguing for and carefully consider both sides of the issue. Then choose your position and know which side of the issue your argument will support. Next, research the topic and collect evidence to support your argument. Once you have enough information and feel confident in your argument, begin structuring your essay.

First, write an introductory paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention, introduces the topic and states the thesis statement.

Second, write at least two or more body paragraphs that provide reasons, examples and evidence that supports the argument. Each of the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence focusing on the reason that particular paragraph will support. They should also include at least three pieces of evidence, linking sentences that elaborate on each piece of evidence and a concluding sentence.

Third, at least one of your body paragraphs should include a refutation, which is an acknowledgement of the opposing argument, and evidence to demonstrate that the argument you are making is more legitimate than its counterpart.

Fourth, write a conclusion paragraph that restates the thesis in a new way and offers some type of resolution for the problem at the heart of the argument.

3 Argumentative Essay Example

If you are unsure of how to begin your own argumentative essay, take some time to read sample arguments online. A quick internet search will yield ample opportunities to study the difference between effective and ineffective arguments. Pay attention to the essay structure and how the argument flows from one idea to another.


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Kristina Barroso earned a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University and works full-time as a classroom teacher in a public school. She teaches middle school English to a wide range of students from struggling readers to advanced and gifted populations. In her spare time, she loves writing articles about education for, WorkingMother and other education sites.