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How to Write a Compelling Argumentative Essay? (A-Z guide 2023)

During your academic journey, you will encounter various types of academic writing including case studies, dissertations, research papers, and others. However, essays are the most common type of assignment you will encounter as a student, spanning across your time in school, college, and university.

In writing essays, you will commonly face the following types:

  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Expository essays
  • Argumentative essays

Amongst these essays, argumentative essays tend to pose the greatest challenge to most students, considering the amount of effort required to compose a well-crafted piece of writing.

What Is An Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a form of writing that utilizes factual evidence and logical reasoning to persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint. Although there are various types of essays that aim to convince the reader to accept a specific perspective, argumentative essays rely extensively on concrete evidence, referencing other studies and sources to demonstrate the superiority of their argument.

Argumentative essays should not be aggressive or combative. The term “argumentative” refers to the style of presenting research to support the writer’s argument while refuting opposing viewpoints. The primary objective when writing an argumentative essay is to demonstrate that your thesis is the only logical conclusion.

A quality argumentative essay is only as good as its argument, and structuring a solid argument requires more than just being stubborn (even if it may help!). Here, we present the most effective methods for writing a gripping argumentative essay. However, you don’t have to take our word for it as our supporting evidence can speak for itself!

Although persuasive essays share similarities with argumentative essays in that they aim to persuade the reader, they tend to be more emotional and informal in style. Whereas argumentative essays emphasize on solid empirical data, while persuasive essays aim to sway the reader’s emotions. Particularly, argumentative essays place more emphasis on quantitative evidence, while persuasive essays rely on qualitative evidence.

Most students confuse argumentative essays with expository essays, since both heavily rely on factual evidence and extensive research. However, the main difference between the two is bias. Argumentative essays are predicated on the assumption that one point of view is correct, while expository essays typically present all perspectives of the argument and allow the reader to make their own informed decision.

Another differentiating feature of argumentative essays is that their thesis is not self-explanatory. It often requires an explanation of why the opposing viewpoints are wrong or weak. For instance, a thesis like “the sky is blue on a sunny day” would not make a good argumentative essay because it is too basic and redundant. The supporting evidence may be as simple as “look outside,” that would not suffice for a strong argument.

The main objective of an argumentative essay is to clear any uncertainty whether its thesis is accurate, typically achieved by disproving or invalidating opposing arguments. For this reason, argumentative essays do not solely focus on presenting the writer’s own perspective but also discuss contradicting sentiments. It is difficult to state one point of views as “true” if all other perspectives are disregarded.

Elements of an Argumentative Essay

Position: It is crucial to identify the stance you are taking in the argument. For instance, you may argue in favor of making tobacco products or cannabis illegal. It is important to explain the rationale behind your position, such as providing specific reasons to illustrate how tobacco products can harm people’s health.

Evidence: At this point, you need to support your reasons with factual evidence obtained from external sources. It is crucial to include proper citations and references to acknowledge the origin of your evidence. Evidence with no proof may not be considered accurate. For instance, you could reference health studies or scientific papers that discuss the impact of tobacco products on people’s health to support your argument.

Counterarguments: At this stage, it is essential to present the other side of the issue. You should state the opposing argument from your view. Once you have stated these counterarguments, you need to provide evidence explaining why they are wrong, weak, or ineffective. This can be achieved by presenting additional evidence to support your argument.

Types of Argumentative Essay Writing

  • Persuasive argumentative essay
  • Research argumentative essay
  • Personal argumentative essay

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays persuade the reader towards a particular perspective, it provides an argument and aim to prove that one side of the argument is superior to the other. It is essential to start these types of argumentative essays by precisely defining the viewpoint and then using evidence to validate that view throughout the essay.

Research

Research argumentative essays main reliance on external evidence to support a specific argument. Nevertheless, it is important to maintain a balanced approach in this type of writing. One way to accomplish this is by providing solid evidence for the main idea and also for the opposing arguments.

Personal Essays

A personal argumentative essay does not require extensive research to support its argument. Rather, it relies on the writer’s own opinions and beliefs to make a convincing case. The difficulty with this type of essay is persuading others to adopt the writer’s viewpoint. However, using research can enhance the argument’s effectiveness. It is also important to examine all facets of the topic to strengthen the argument and provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

Analysis Essays

Argumentative analysis essays are primarily concerned with examining other controversial essays. The objective of this type of essay is to analyze other works. The main analytical components include the ability to persuade, the quality of evidence, the clarity of writing, the presentation, and the style. Even though this is an analytical and controversial essay, it is crucial to provide a clear argument for the strength and persuasiveness of the essay being analyzed.

Argumentative essay writing tips

Our guide for essay writing apply equally to argumentative essays as to any other type of essay, so it is a good place to start if you require additional guidance. However, if you are specifically seeking advice on argumentative essays, consider the following tips:

Support your argument with empirical evidence

Majority confuse argumentative essays with persuasive essays, but in some aspects, they are fundamentally different. Persuasive essays aim to appeal to the reader’s emotions, whereas argumentative essays strive to appeal to the reader’s logic and reasoning.

Therefore, relying on concrete facts is the most effective approach. Conduct thorough research until you have sufficient evidence to support each of your main arguments. Additionally, you may cite other sources or studies to enhance your credibility. Try to minimize expressing personal opinions and emotions, and instead, rely on your evidence to speak for itself.

Be keen on your writing tone

In an argumentative essay, the writer’s tone and style play a crucial role, particularly when criticizing another person’s perspective. It is essential to be mindful of word choice and phrasing to maintain a respectful tone. An aggressive tone can reflect poorly on the writer, even when rebutting a despicable viewpoint.

Adjust the style and grammar errors

Even the slightest typos in writing can ruin an otherwise meticulously planned argument. The issue is that it becomes challenging to articulate the strongest possible argument when one is preoccupied with correcting spelling and grammatical errors. Therefore, it’s crucial to be diligent and prioritize proofreading to avoid undermining the argument’s persuasiveness.

The ability to produce a flawless argument and identify weaknesses in others’ arguments is critical to effective communication and persuasion. By staying focused on the main points and not getting bogged down in small errors, one can more effectively express their ideas and strengthen their position in any debate or discussion.

Follow the Structure

To excel in argumentative essay writing, the key is to create a well-organized essay structure that will help achieve a high score on the test. The recommended approach is to start with a well-crafted introduction that introduces and outlines the main topics, followed by detailed explanations in the body paragraphs.

In conclusion, crafting a well-structured argumentative essay is essential to achieving a high score on any exam. By starting with a compelling introduction that outlines the main issues and then expanding on them in the body paragraphs, you can effectively convey your ideas and arguments. Remember that a well-structured essay is more than just a collection of well-written sentences; it is an organized and coherent expression of your ideas. With these tips in mind, you can confidently approach any argumentative essay assignment and achieve success.

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