Argumentative Essay Outline
An outline, to an essay, is what a plan is to a building.
If you were to build a house without a plan, you are likely going to run into numerous problems, and the final product will not be as good as expected.
If a good plan minimizes the risk of errors and getting stuck, why not create it?
Students start writing essays without an outline mostly because they do not appreciate the advantages of an outline.
And, even some of those who do know its benefits do not know how to come up with an outline.
With that in mind, we have come with the following guide on how to create an argumentative essay outline.
What Is An Argumentative Essay?
Argumentative essays require a student to use strong arguments to support their point of view, and even create arguments to refute opposing views.
It is important to note that you need to use credible evidence to back up your arguments.
Therefore, you have to dedicate ample time towards research and gathering data and information.
Combine hard evidence with persuasive language, and you will come up with an excellent argumentative essay.
Argumentative Essay Format
Your outline should follow the following format:
The introduction is one paragraph that should introduce the reader to your topic and your point of view.
Consider the following tips when writing the introduction:
- Begin your introduction with a hook. The first statement should grab the attention of the reader. For an argumentative essay, a hook can be a controversial statement, a less known fact, a piece of statistical data, or an intriguing question.
- Explain the importance of the topic. What is the importance of talking about that topic?
- Explain why you are talking about the subject and let the reader know your point of view.
- Present your thesis statement. Clearly, state the argument or claim you will support in the body of your essay.
Several paragraphs that provide arguments to support your main argument.
Each supporting argument should be on its paragraph.
You could start with the arguments supporting your claim, then finish with sections refuting the opposing views.
Or, you could start with a paragraph that refutes the main opposing view, then continue to support your claim in the paragraphs that follow.
The conclusion is a paragraph that sums up your main points and your argument.
In this section, remind your readers of the importance of the topic, restate your thesis, and relate it to your supporting arguments.
Readers mostly remember the ending of any piece.
Therefore, it is important that you create a strong conclusion that will stick in the readers’ minds for long.
You can create a memorable conclusion by ending it with a rhetorical question, a statement that inspires the reader to conduct further research or a call to action.
Argumentative Essay Outline Template
- Hook: Begin with an anecdote, a piece of statistic, an intriguing question, or a controversial statement.
- Explain why the topic is important and why people should care.
- State your thesis: What is your point of view? (Also, you could briefly state the arguments you will use to back up your claim).
- Argument #1: State your argument by crafting it to a topic statement. Use an in-citation from one of your sources to support it. Mention different points to support the argument.
- Argument #2: State your argument by crafting it to a topic statement. Use an in-citation from one of your sources to support it. Mention different points to support the argument.
- Argument #3: State your argument by crafting it to a topic statement. Use an in-citation from one of your sources to support it. Mention different points to support the argument.
NB: You could show how your arguments refute a related opposing view in each paragraph or in a separate section.
- Restate your thesis
- Sum up your arguments
- Conclude by asking a rhetorical question based on your argument or by asking your readers to do something about the topic of discussion.
Copy the template above and use it each time you are preparing to write an argumentative essay.
Argumentative Essay Outline Example
Now, let us put the information above into perspective.
The following is an outline prepared by one of our writers, who was preparing to write an argumentative essay titled: Isn’t illegalizing abortion violating women’s rights?
- Hook: Mention statistical data on the prevalence of abortion.
- Explain why there is divided opinion on the topic of abortion. Highlight the reasons why a woman might opt for abortion and why some people are against the practice.
- State your thesis: There are concrete reasons why abortion was legalized in the first place: amending the constitution to illegalize abortion is a disregard of women’s rights and will definitely cost some women important opportunities.
- Argument #1: Women have a right to their own bodies. Support this argument using different points drawn from your sources.
- Argument #2: Illegalizing it will increase abortion-related fatalities, as people will still seek abortion services. Support this argument using different points drawn from your sources.
- Argument #3: It is not fair for a mistake to shape the rest of a woman’s life. You could support such an argument by referring to cases of rape and unwanted pregnancies.
- Restate your thesis: Abortion should remain a choice if we are to term ourselves a progressive generation.
- Sum up your arguments
- Conclude by asking a rhetorical question based on your argument or by asking your readers to do something about the topic of discussion. For instance: Why are politician diverting their attention from the war on terror to start a war on ovaries?
We have not only shown you how to create an argumentative essay outline, but also provided you with an outline template, and demonstrated how to use the template.
So, basically, you have all you need to research and start writing your argumentative essay.
Remember to copy and save the outline template above, or bookmark this page for future reference.