What is an Argumentative Essay?
Argument essays seek to state a position on an issue and give several reasons, supported by evidence, for agreeing with that position.
Argument essay topics can be found everywhere. Check the headlines of a newspaper, or just listen in to a conversation at you local Starbucks. Chances are, you will hear someone trying to persuade another person to believe in their claim about:
What caused this?
How important is it?
What should we do about it?
Types of Argument Claims
- Fact: Is it true or not?
- Definition: What does it really mean?
- Value: How important is it?
- Cause and Effect: What is the cause? What are the effects?
- Policy: What should we do about it?
How to Write Your Thesis
Question/Answer format: To make your topic idea into a thesis youneed to turn the topic idea into a question first. Examples:
Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? (fact)
What is “domestic violence?” (definition)
What are the causes of divorce? (cause)
How important is it for couples to avoid divorce? (value)
What can you do to make your marriage divorce-proof?
Answer: Your question often can be the title of your paper, or it can be the last line of the introduction. Your answer to this question is your thesis.
Refute Objections: You might want to put an introductory phrase in the first part of your thesis to show that you are refuting other ideas about the answer.
Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof 9your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.
Roadmap: An additional way to make a strong thesis is to do a “Roadmap” which tells in just a few words the three or more main points you will cover.
Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged, spending time with
one another’s family and friends, talking about hot-button issues like finances, and getting extensive premarital counseling.
Introduction and Conclusion: Introduction Ideas Conclusion Ideas Use a true story What will happen if your solution is adopted or people accept your argument. Scenario: imaginary story which illustrates the problem. Revise the scenario showing what will happen if the audience adopts your ideas. Startling quotation, fact or statistic. Use a real-life example of how your idea works. Explain the problem. Tell the audience what they need to think, do, feel or believe.
Describe vividly Appeal to the audience emotions, character, or reason.
Frame story or flashback Finish the frame story.
Argumentative essays are fairly straightforward in their organization. In your paper, you will need to do the following
- Interest the audience the situation and make them think it is worth learning more about.
- Explain the controversy or problem clearly.
- Explain the sides of the debate.
- Tell them your side.
- Convince them that your side is the best one to take.
- Refute any objections they may be thinking about as they read.
- Urge the audience to adopt our point of view to do, think or believe something.
- Introduction: Explain the subject, the controversy, and end with your thesis. Here are some tips:
Use the title to present your point of view. Often the title can be a question.
Think about your audience—what aspects of this issue would most interest or convince them?
Make sure you have a clear thesis which answers the question. The thesis should tell your position and is usually the last sentence of your introduction.
III. Body : Explains the reasons your audience should agree with your thesis. Your body needs to also refute objections or other points of view.
- Reasons and support: Usually, you will have three or more reasons why the audience should accept your position. These will be your topic sentences. Support each of these reasons with argument, examples, statistics, authorities or anecdotes To make your reasons seem plausible, connect them back to your position by using “if…then” reasoning
- Anticipate opposing positions and objections
What objections will your readers have? Answer them with argument or evidence. What other positions do people take on this subject? What is your reason for rejecting these positions?
Conclusion: Make a final point which tells the reader what to think or do.
Why should the audience adopt your point of view?
You might use the anticipating objections in the conclusion.