An argumentative essay is a genre or a kind of written text that is used to teach students the ability to argue.
The word argument in the context of a reasoned essay means exploring the topic after determining its key problems by developing ideas that are supported by evidence from relevant sources.
Before writing a well-reasoned essay, one should look through a good example of argumentative essay and critically and selectively read. Critical reading means understanding, questioning, and evaluating the material read. Scientific references to other authors will only strengthen the arguments advanced by the student. The data, information, and quotes collected in the reading process become significant only when they are logically and consistently integrated into the argument.
The process of developing a clear and convincing argument helps the author in his formation as a thinker and critic. This is due to the fact that written arguments contribute to the development of mental abilities: the organization of thoughts, the structuring of the material, the evaluation of facts, the observance of logical sequence, and clear self-expression.
Explore Your Topic
Once you have a general idea of what to write about, you should study the topic. This is a necessary and important step in writing an argumentative essay. You should be well versed in the topic and know about the existence of various opinions it in order to draw up a clear and consistent argument. You can search literature in the library, surf the internet, read articles in newspapers, and look through other sources to get information. If possible, look for a specialist in this matter and talk to him or her, ask questions that interest you.
- During the collection of information, you must gather as much evidence as possible of your point of view. Statistics, graphs, data, empirical research – all this will help you how to make up your argument, and assist giving constructive criticism of the opposite point of view.
Developing Your Basic Statement
This is a position that contains the answer to the question. This is your main argument. Each proof and every paragraph will revolve around this idea, confirming it. This statement should be clear and understandable for the audience.
- You do not need to completely agree with this statement. Your task is to respond reasonably to the topic.
- Once you have decided the side you are going to support, you need to follow it, and defend it logically throughout your work. If you change your mind, you will have to rewrite the previous paragraphs.
Marking the Center of Attention
All your work should clearly indicate what you want to convey. You can even narrow the circle in the subject to emphasize your position. For example, if you talk about gender equality in the care of a child, you do not need to scatter arguments about the rights of men and women in general.
Evaluating Your Audience
Do you write at the academic level? If yes, your arguments must be clearly subordinate to logic. Do you write for ordinary people? Then, emphasize the emotional component. Do you write for your peers? In this case, you can use the syllable and manner of speech inherent in your social circle and age level.
Writing a Clear and Concise Preamble
If you look at an interesting example of argumentative essay, you will see that in a preamble, authors give the reader a general explanation of the topic. Tell what it is and what the problem is. After that, you must indicate your decision, which is in your main statement. You can also add a short description of the arguments that you will use to prove your point of view.
- Depending on how long your work is, preamble can be either a single paragraph or a whole page or more.
Break the arguments into paragraphs or separate sections. This will be a major part of your work. You should clearly distinguish the line between the arguments so that it is clear when you go from one to the other. The first sentence of each paragraph should hint at what will be discussed, and the last sentence should contain a small conclusion and move on to the next argument. You can use several kinds of arguments:
- An inductive argument, where with a series of individual examples you lead to a general conclusion.
- A deductive argument, where a series of different ideas leads to a single conclusion.
- You can argue that if the system does not work under ideal conditions, it will not work under the worst conditions.
- You can also focus on the future. Point out the possible consequences of any action and prove that continuing in the same spirit will be unreasonable and irresponsible.
- You can also give variants for and against, leading to the conclusion you need.
Check the transition between the sections. Use smooth and logical transitions from one argument to another. Thus, the audience will be able to follow the course of your thought and reach the same conclusion.
Use comprehensive evidence. It’s not enough just to focus on logic or emotion. You need to provide a lot of evidence. Each argument must be accompanied by concrete examples and confirmation. You can use statistics, data, expert opinions, scientific articles, and other evidence.
- Refer to your sources. This way, your arguments will look stronger and inspire more confidence. You can make footnotes at the end of the page or write notes, and it is also desirable to quote citations from respected experts in this topic (with names). Always first give an idea, and then give a quote confirming this idea. Not the other way around.
- Be ready to refute the opposite point of view. You should be well acquainted with the arguments and evidence of people who support a different point. It is very important to show in your essay not only the vision of the problem on your part, but also devote a few paragraphs to the opposite view, showing its inconsistency or proving that your point of view is stronger and more prosperous. In a good example of argumentative essay, opposite opinion is considered at the end of the essay, before the conclusion.
- Write a convincing conclusion. Your conclusion should briefly remind of each argument and collect them together. You should also explain why this topic is so important and why you chose it. Always write the conclusion in the last place. You do not always know exactly what you will say in conclusion and thus it is better to write it the latest.
Checking for Logical Errors
After you have finished, reread the arguments and check whether they are logical for their side for or against. You may want to add more arguments. Also, check the following:
- The cause and effect errors
- If all arguments and evidence are taken into account in the conclusion
- Missing spaces and incomprehensible transitions from one argument to another. Everything must be clear and logically aligned; one idea should flow from the other.
- See if there are any weak arguments. In this case, it will be difficult for you to make a good conclusion on the basis of weak evidence.
- Make sure that there are only two ways to solve your problem. If there are several of them, you will need to specify others or explain why you selected these specific two.
Editing Your Work
It is very important to carefully check and design the essay. If your work is full of grammatical or spelling mistakes, no one will seriously take your arguments, no matter how good and correct they are. Ask a friend to check your work or use the program on the computer.
- Concentrate on one problem only
- Use introductory words to emphasize transitions. Do not use too many repetitions of words, unless they are necessary to strengthen the argument or fact.
Inclusion of Research and Reference Results in the Essay
If you want to create a professional example of argumentative essay, do your own research. Look for books and articles on the topic in the library. Try to find reliable sources on the internet. You should find sources that reflect all the existing points of view on this subject – this will allow you to cover all aspects of the issue. Gather all the information, both confirming your point of view, and contradicting it.
Use reliable sources and provide accurate and up-to-date information. Good research works, relying on achievements in the relevant field, raise new questions and suggest ways to solve them, thus violating the existing status quo. You should use both – the old, underlying in this or that area of knowledge, and new, representing the latest achievements of sources.
Refer to the serious works written by experts in this field (for example, if your argument essay is devoted to the danger of global warming, cite the work of a well-known environmental specialist) and published in refereed scientific publications. The works published in such publications are subject to preliminary verification (review).
Remember that anyone can write anything on the internet without adhering to any requirements regarding the accuracy of the information presented, therefore, in a scientific work, it is not recommended to refer to blogs and unspecialized websites.