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Argumentative Essay: Ultimate Writing Guide + Examples

How to write an argumentative essay
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An argumentative essay is a type of essay where you present a standpoint on a particular topic and support it with evidence. The primary aim is to convince your readers that your perspective is the most reasonable one. This is typically done by presenting facts, statistics, logical reasoning, and sometimes personal experiences. An argumentative essay often involves addressing counterarguments or opposing views to strengthen your own viewpoint.

Have you ever dreamt of crafting compelling points and convincing your audience in your argument essay? Then you need to brush up on your persuasive skills! With our in-depth guide, you will learn exactly how to write an argumentative essay and what critical components to include in your written assignment. On top of that, we will provide you with good argument essay examples to elevate your writing skills. So let’s dive deep into details!

What Is an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a style of academic writing which involves a writer researching a particular topic and forming a specific opinion. It then requires arguing for opinion by providing evidence. Unlike other fact-loaded types of writing, an argument paper tries to convince readers to accept only one side of any problem. Strong argumentative writing is characterized by a clear and concise opinion on any topic, supported by logical and well-structured arguments based on extensive research. It is crucial to choose one of argumentative essay topics you are really interested in.

Types of Argumentative Essay

Before you begin writing an argumentative essay, you need to decide on a particular type you will be writing. There are four different types of argumentative essays, they include:

  • Persuasive This type of writing focuses purely on convincing the reader that the author’s opinions are correct. It doesn’t have to look at the other side.
  • Research While research essays also take a side, they are much more balanced than persuasive essays. It presents academic sources which support both sides of your claim.
  • Analysis Analysis paper is where an author selects an already published argumentative essay, deconstructs it, and analyzes various points presented. An author typically will argue against different views expressed.
  • Personal This essay does not use external resources to make some point. Instead, it uses some feelings or personal experiences of the writer. For example, you could write an essay arguing why New York is the best city in the world and only refer to your life experiences in this city, ignoring data on crime, healthcare, education or affordability.

Approaches to Writing an Argument Essay

There are two main models that writers use to construct an argument essay, Toulmin and Rogerian. In Toulmin model, writers introduce their topic, form a thesis statement and then present arguments in favor of that thesis statement. While under Rogerian model, writers analyze a range of different points with differing conclusions. Next, they make a conclusion after determining which of them are the strongest.

The Toulmin approach is most widely used in academic writing. It follows these steps:  

  1. Start with your claim.
  2. Provide reasons for this claim.
  3. Produce evidence backing up your reasons.
  4. Explain your warrant, which is the underlying link between your claim and the reasons.
  5. Acknowledge opposing articles and limitations of your reasons.

While the Rogerian approach is not as frequently used in academic circles, it still is an effective way to produce an argument in an essay. The Rogerian model follows these steps:

  1. Present one side.
  2. Discuss pros and cons.
  3. Present an opposing side.
  4. Wrap up your essay by taking bits and pieces of both sides, compromising and forming your new conclusion to any problem.

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Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay structure generally stays the same and includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Let's consider an argumentative essay template in detail. 

Your introduction has to captivate the audience’s attention within the first few lines as well as convince them to continue reading. This paragraph, then, should finish with author’s views and arguments summed up in 1 or 2 sentences.

Following your introduction are 3 body paragraphs. A good body paragraph expands on the summary of all reader’s opinions by delving deeper into a chosen topic, crafting key points and supporting them with clear evidence. In any standard 5-paragraph essay, each body paragraph should be focused on a unique element.

Our final stage is writing a conclusion. A good conclusion restates your thesis statement and sums up all claims presented throughout body paragraphs. When writing their conclusion, students should consider any impact they are trying to have on a reader. Next, writers should create an interesting summary of their work that leaves a reader with a new perspective on that topic.  

How to Start an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay always begins with an introduction. An argumentative essay introduction has three goals: provide a little background information about the topic, explain to your reader why they should care about this subject, and finish with the writer’s opinion, also known as a thesis statement.

Let’s look at some examples of these three intro elements.  

Example of argumentative essay introduction

In the above example, at the beginning, our reader is given a brief background on this topic, namely the digital trends of learning and that libraries are potentially an outdated model. Then, our reader is presented with an interesting proposal that is sure to evoke a strong response. Some people are going to be thrilled about receiving a free tablet, while others will be horrified at the thought of closing public libraries. Finally, the writer presents their opinion on why public libraries should remain open.

How to Write a Good Body Paragraph for an Argumentative Essay

A good body paragraph introduces strong arguments that are logical and backed up by evidence. An argumentative essay body is a vital part of your essay as it plays major role in convincing the reader that your position is correct. It is like in a position paper, if you can’t make strong arguments, your point will be quickly dismissed.

Here is an example of a good body paragraph.  

Example of body paragraph in Argumentative Essay

In this body paragraph, the writer claims that libraries have numerous benefits that tablets can’t offer and then provides reasons by listing different advantages. Then, evidence of these benefits being positive is presented through results of their survey. Finally, this argument is summarized.

How to Conclude an Argumentative Essay

The last step is to write an argumentative essay conclusion. A conclusion should reiterate and expand on your thesis statement while summarizing all of your key arguments. A conclusion should tie everything together and leave a reader feeling like they understand your point and recognize your claims.

Here is an example of a strong conclusion. 

Example of a strong conclusion of an argumentative essay

In this conclusion, the topic of closing libraries and replacing them with tablets is concisely summarised. Then the two key arguments are restated, and finally, the thesis statement is reiterated.

Argumentative Essay Examples

In the above sections, you can see essay samples which depict strong introductions, bodies and conclusions. In this section, we are going to look at an in-depth argumentative essay example:

  • Title Is the NCAA Practicing Modern Day Slavery? – The best titles are catchy; they should invoke emotion or cause controversy.
  • Topic Sentence Topic sentence of a paragraph should be simple, concise but still give readers enough detail to understand the scope of your topic.
Example of topic sentence of Argumentative Essay
  • Convincing Statement Your main statement logical and compelling enough to get a reader to consider the presented perspective.
Example of convincing statement of an Argumentative Essay

These samples should help you elevate your writing to the next level and produce fantastic argumentative essays which can completely change any way your audience thinks about a particular topic.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this guide was of great help. Make sure you follow our writing tips and you will surely compose a great argument paper. Add this tutorial to your bookmarks so you don't loose it. If you need more guidelines on the writing process, make sure to check our comprehensive guide on how to write an essay.

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1. What is the difference between an expository essay and an argumentative essay?

While expository and argumentative essays both require you to argue for a particular thesis statement and have the same objective, an argumentative essay involves far more research and is often significantly longer. In an argumentative essay, the writer is expected to become an expert on a particular topic and use a range of academic literature and empirical evidence to support their points.

2. What are the parts of an argument?

An argument has five parts including:

  1. Claim - At the beginning of an argument essay, you state an opinion, eg. I think healthcare should be free.
  2. Reason - State why you believe your claim, e.g. because government has billions in tax revenue.
  3. Evidence - Support for your reasoning, e.g. providing figures from the tax department on revenue.
  4. Warrant - Links your claim and reason behind your claim. It can be explicit or implied, e.g. Healthcare is expensive, but the billions in tax revenue is enough to afford it.
  5. Acknowledgement or Response - Replying to criticisms - e.g. While some universal healthcare critics say the government needs this money for other projects, many other countries are able to fund their healthcare solely through tax revenue.

3. What is the difference between an informative essay and a persuasive essay?

The goals of an informative and persuasive essay are different. An informative essay is seeking to present information about a specific topic in an impartial way to improve understanding of your reader. While like any good argumentative paper, a persuasive essay is focused on convincing your reader to accept the writer’s opinion and features compelling claims.

4. What are good topics for an argumentative essay?

The best ideas for an argumentative essay are based on topics that have a great deal of public interest, are unresolved, controversial and have evidence both for and against. Topics related to race, religion or politics are always going to captivate readers and evoke strong emotional responses. For example, a paper arguing why African Americans should receive reparations has the potential to go viral or even create a stir.  

Article posted on:Apr 27, 2022
Article updated on:Feb 2, 2024


Leave your comment here:
6/22/2022 1:19 PM
Hi there! Thanks for sharing some insights! It was the first time I wrote a school dress code argumentative essay and this guide with awesome examples helped me a lot. 10 minutes of reading and everything becomes clear. Thanks!
6/23/2022 11:40 AM
Hi Ben,

We are very happy to hear that our article helped you with your essay! We always do our best to make the academic experience of our readers easier. Good luck in your further studies!
7/5/2022 4:35 PM
Hey! I am going to write my argumentative essay and I have a question. Do I have to use first person in an argumentative essay?
7/5/2022 5:08 PM
Hi Kylie,

It is okay to use first person in personal or narrative essays, but argumentative essays are not the kind of writing where it is appropriate to use the first person. Of course, It is better to discuss it with your professor, he will give you an answer whether you can use first person in your argumentative essay. But generally, argumentative essays present different arguments, not your own feelings, so there is no need to use first person in such essays.
7/5/2022 5:18 PM
Thanks for your answer! You were right, I talked to my professor and he told me that I don't need to use the first person in my argumentative essay. Thanks for your help!