WRITING AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY
You are debating with your friend over the medicinal use of marijuana.
You believe that it should not be used anywhere even medicines worldwide as it may lead to many problems.
Your friend believes that there are situations where marijuana can serve as the best medicine.
Now to prove your point both of you are ready to write argumentative papers on the topic.
But before writing anything you need to know a few things.
Argumentative Essay vs Persuasive Essay
Generally people cannot differentiate between these two types and take them as the same, but there is a clear difference between these two.
Both of these essays serve the purpose of proving your point of view but both are distinctively different in their method of proving from each other.
Persuasive essays use emotional aspect and moral reasoning to influence the readers’ point of view while the arguments put forward in an argumentative essay are based on factual information and logical reasoning.
In the discussion of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the writer should be able to differentiate between these two types.
For an argumentative essay it is important to disregard the emotional aspects like religious point of view and ethics.
You can discuss and focus on these in a persuasive essay but for argumentative essays focus on the one dimensional logical reasoning.
Sample Topics for Argumentative Essays
- Is animal testing necessary for our life on this earth?
- Should death penalty be made a law for serious crimes?
- Should immigrants be given more rights?
- Is college so much important to make a good society?
- What should be done for the elimination of bias from the journalists’ work?
Format of an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay is just like most of the traditional written assignments.
It starts with an introduction just like any essay then body paragraphs, the number of which depends upon the topic and the length of the assignment, and a conclusion at the end.
This is the basic structure with every part playing its specific role.
The introduction of an argumentative essay is similar to that of the persuasive essay.
The hook statement hooks the reader to read the entire essay till the last sentence.
It arrests the interest of the reader in an interesting way.
This may be in the form of any interesting statement, a shocking and revealing fact or a rhetorical question.
Thus it serves the purpose of grabbing the readers’ attention and interest.
- Example: Can we say that ONE individual has more rights over the other?
This will definitely stir the reader’s mind and make him think about what you said.
It will also hook your reader along to the end thinking where and how you will lead from this point.
Introduction: After you have initially grabbed the attention of your reader, now try to use facts or any points that might be important to talk about your thesis.
The introduction is important to give the reader some detail about the argument put forward.
The background information that you give to the reader must be relevant to the topic.
And how will you exactly create the thesis statement? You need to just follow a few basic and simple guidelines:
- Always phrase your thesis as a factual statement rather than an uncertain idea or a question.
- Your thesis should be a definitive statement. It should be properly analyzed and researched by the writer and then used to prove something using supporting material.
- This should be an original and unique thought and not an obvious and simple statement. It should not have been much researched. If it is an obvious fact then your essay will not be an impressive one and you will not be able to hook your reader as your whole essay will be written around it. So, it needs to be a fresh and unique thesis. In short it should not be an issue, question or statement that can be explained or answered in one sentence.
Body of an Argumentative Essay
The number of paragraphs depends upon the length of your essay.
This number varies with the kind of topic you are writing on.
If your thesis statement talks about something that can be explained and thus proved in a few points then the length of your essay will be short.
On the other hand if your thesis statement is a unique one that requires more analysis and research and you need much information to put into your essay then the length of your essay will increase with this, thus increasing its length.
Now let us see the different segments of every paragraph.98uyfdrc
Topic Sentence: Topic sentence introduces the reader to what your main topic of discussion will be.
It should not explain anything but should serve the purpose of stirring the mind of the reader and pulling him towards reading your essay further.
Therefore it should be just one coherent sentence that is complete in itself and makes your idea clear and comprehensible.
Example: The death penalty is an efficient and economical way of getting rid of those humans who are a serious threat to the society.
In argumentative essays you have to be straight forward and cold blooded.
Sounds harsh right? You need to get used to it.
For argumentative essays you have to disregard emotions and come up with harsh but real facts!
- Analyzing the Argument: Here you need to answer the reader why do you say what you have said in your argument for this you need to briefly explain your main argument. Now you need to prove the authenticity of your point to the reader. The length of this part will depend upon the amount of information you want to use to support it.
- Example: The incarceration per inmate in the US is $31,286 per annum. Knowing the fact that this individual caused much financial damage without contributing towards the betterment of society, he is definitely a serious threat to the society and therefore should be given the death penalty!
Statements so harsh and morally offensive are all that make up all argumentative essays.
For these essays you will have to take one side or the other and support your arguments and prove them with facts.
Supporting Evidence: An analysis would be incomplete without the supporting evidence required to prove its authenticity.
This sentence will support your main argument with some real Evidence for your thesis statement.
Providing evidence will strengthen your argument.
- Example: Generally a government spends a big amount of money on an incarcerated prisoner per year! What purpose is left behind of this when the individual is living a futile life without giving any benefit to the society but just damaging it!
The above statement gives a logical reason and supports the idea stated in the thesis statement proving its authenticity.
- Using counterargument to counterargument: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Similarly every argument will have a counter argument, and one should be able to identify and recognise it without which your argument will lose its weight. Therefore in an argumentative essay you need to identify and present the counter argument as well as validate your argument showing that your stance holds more weight!
- Example: It is arguable that humans should be given second chances as the probability of the success of this second chance is much less than the economic burden on the nation. Thus it would be quite risky to take such a chance and would prolong the economic suffering of the nation!
Here you would have seen that a common counter-argument that any layman can definitely consider has been presented and then using logical reasoning this argument has been denied proving that my stance holds more weight!
- Concluding statement:
When you think you have provided enough explanation and evidence and hence proved your point and defeated the opposite side, you need to wrap up your discussion with a satisfying statement.
You do not need to write a sentence with something new in it but just reconfirm the proven points.
Your tone in the sentence should be an assertive one.
Example: In other words, it seems an overall ridiculous decision at the cost of a nation’s economy to keep a fellow human alive who is a continuous threat to the society!
It should be as short and to the point as possible!
These were the parts of each paragraph of an essay. Now come to the last paragraph that is conclusion.
This comprises the last part of the essay, which restates the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph and concludes the overall essay.
Now let’s break down the concluding paragraph into its constituent parts!
- Restatement of Thesis: The title is self-explanatory as you will only need to rephrase your thesis statement. It shouldn’t include any new information.
- Example: Thanks to the ruling government, it can now limit its economic losses which have been caused by individuals to the nation in terms of wealth as well as health!
- Restatement of Key Points: Remember the key ideas included in your body paragraphs with which you proved your thesis? Now it is time to pick them up again and rephrase them for further assertion.
- Overall Concluding Statement: Here you need to make a statement that not only sums up your essay by restating the thesis statement but also validates it by peeping into the future with repercussions if the thought is not given due consideration. This would give a strong appeal to your essay.
Example: Keeping in view the financial situation of our nation we should struggle hard to keep it above water.
I would say that we are going to impact the nation’s capital health and prolong the disease of inhumane activities if we got rid of the death penalty.
General Tips on Argumentative Essays
- Reason not Emotion: for an argumentative essay, we must remember that we are supposed to direct our points towards rational reasoning. Who cares for the emotions here!
- Remember Counterarguments: Most of the writers forget to include counterarguments. This will surely harm their rate of success. A well supported argument without a considered counterargument is half as strong as it should be. Therefore always remember to explain why your stance carries more weight!
- Get peer help: Your ideas or points will always make sense to you after all they are your ideas. But have you ever wondered whether they also make sense to your reader. Peer editing is a very useful technique to validate the logic behind your arguments and tell you how much your readers are going to understand your ideas!
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