Writing Argumentative Essay Tips

Starting Off With An Argumentation

In the early days of television, there was a show called “Dragnet.” It was a cop show featuring two detectives in the 50’s out to solve crime and keep the community safe. Today, it would be a bit laughable, but one phrase always sticks in my mind about this show. Whenever Detective Jack Webb was interviewing witnesses and they began to insert their opinions and emotions, he would always say, “The facts, ma’am, just the facts.” And this really could be the mantra for an argumentative essay – you have to deal only with facts.

What an Argumentative Essay is and What It is Not

If you are struggling with trying to understand how to write an argumentative essay that will impress and get a good grade, you first have to understand what it is.

  1. It is a piece of writing where you get to give your opinion on an issue
  2. It is not a piece of writing where you get to go into an emotional tirade. We have plenty of that from crazy politicians.
  3. It is a piece of writing where you get to present facts that support your opinion
  4. It is not a piece of writing where you just spout your opinions and expect others to simply accept them
  5. It is a piece of writing where you do have to give the opposing side’s arguments too
  6. It is not a piece of writing where you can just dismiss the opposing side with personal insults and attacks – again, we get plenty of that from politicians.

By now, you should have figured out that an argumentative essay is easily defined. You take a stand on a controversial issue, you get the research done so that you have real facts in front of you, on both sides, and you write an essay that proves your opinion is the stronger one. If you don’t do this right, you are going to defeat your arguments, and other side “wins.” You don’t want to lose, do you?

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The Step-by-Step Process

Yes, you are waiting for your 10 killer tips, and they are coming. But first, let’s just take a quick look at the process for crafting an argumentative essay.

  • Pick a Topic: You will never be at a loss for argumentative essay writing ideas. They are all around you – just turn on TV and watch one show on MSNBC and one on FOX cable. These pundits scream and yell about issues all the time – politics, climate change, evolution, gay rights, abortion, religion, etc. Choose one that interests you or “hits close to home.”
  • Craft a Thesis Statement: You already have an opinion and that is your thesis statement – couldn’t be much simpler. But you may not know exactly why you have that opinion or how you can convince somebody else to agree with you. That’s for the next step.
  • Do the Research: You won’t have any problem finding information on your topic. The challenge will be to use reliable sources that actually give factual information you can use. It is fine to read an editorial in a newspaper that has been written by someone who believes as you do, but then you will need to find one written by someone who disagrees, so that you can know that facts that the other side is presenting too.
  • Make a List: Actually, make two lists, one for the evidence that supports your opinion and one for the evidence that supports the opposing opinion. Try to line them up.
  • Choose 3 Strong Arguments: Pick the 3 strongest arguments that support your opinion and make sure you have the facts to back them up. Then, look at your opponent’s list and find those arguments that relate to yours. Look at the evidence for those arguments and see how your evidence can outweigh it.
  • Structuring the Essay: It is usually acceptable to use a full paragraph on each of your 3 points, and then to provide one paragraph with the opposing side’s points. This gives your argument more weight, of course, but, in that paragraph, you can refer back to points you made in your argument to refute these.
  • Your Introduction: This should be easy. You introduce your topic and make your thesis statement. We’ll talk about it in the “tips” so you can make it brilliant.
  • Your Conclusion: Re-state your points and the belief that you have definitely “won” this argument.

Finally – the 10 Killer Tips

These should make writing you essay a bit easier and also a bit “crafty like a fox.”

  1. Only choose a topic you are passionate about – you’ll have more fun finding the facts and smashing the other side.
  2. No emotions on your part. Now, this does not mean that you can’t stir some emotions in your readers, but you have to do it subtly, by presenting facts that will make them respond emotionally. So, be sure you have some facts that will do that.
  3. Don’t slam the other side with dis-respectful terms such as “stupid,” “uninformed,” “evil,” or “crazy.” You may be able to show this with your evidence, but don’t call it out. Let the reader come to those conclusions.
  4. Try presenting the opposing side first. This will be really different and may impress you instructor – those “brownie points” never hurt.
  5. Don’t ever make up evidence – it’s too easy to check these days. If you can’t find strong enough evidence for one of your points, choose another point to use.
  6. Get a stunner of an opening. You are going for shock value here, or to get a strong emotional response. Here’s an example:

Suppose you are opposed to the continued cuts that are being made to the Food Stamp program – a program that is less than 1/10 of 1% of the total federal budget (that’s a pretty surprising statement in itself). You may want to start with a short anecdote about a family of 4, in which both parents are working minimum-wage jobs and yet don’t make enough to meet all of their expenses. They rely on food stamps to supplement their budget so they can feed their kids. Here’s another fact: 86% of the people on food stamps today are disabled veterans and civilians, unemployed veterans, enlisted servicemen with families to feed, and senior citizens. Another 12% are single working moms or working parents who don’t make enough. Any of these beginnings would be great to use.

  1. Cite your sources within your essay so the reader (your instructor) knows you used credible ones.
  2. Let the evidence tell your story, not your opinion statements.
  3. Find really respected people who agree with you and quote them. Did you know, for example, that the Department of Defense has produced a report that says income inequality and poverty present a national security threat?
  4. Get a friend to read the essay and tell you if s/he was persuaded by your argument.

Some Argumentative Essay Ideas

Some of the big issues are commonly taken by your classmates, and your instructor may get a bit bored reading the same thing over and. If you are really passionate about a less used topic, go for it. Here are a few that may be a bit more unique:

  1. Drug companies are suppressing important information about natural substances that may prevent and/or cure some diseases.
  2. The average campaign for Senator is $2-3 million; for President it is close to $500 million. We need to get money out of politics.
  3. We have, in the last 50 years, eliminated half the animal species on this planet. We have to put severe restrictions in place world-wide.
  4. General education requirements in college are “dinosaurs” and need to go.

You can probably think of others. The more unique, the better it will be received.

Your Takeaway

Don’t let an argumentative essay assignment intimidate you. Follow the steps outlined above, use the 10 tips to make it pop, and you’ll have a great experience and a great grade.

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Writing an argumentative essay is a common task that most high school, college, and higher education students face, whether they know it or not. It is commonly assigned on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, IELTS, and TOEFL. Regardless of your natural writing talents, following the step by step methodology provided by our writers team will help one produce high-quality content that is a joy to readers eyes!

The first question one may have when approaching this task is: "what is an argumentative essay?" If we take a look at the definition, Using tools such as facts, statistics, and references, the author must create a logically defendable explanation as to why their point of view is the "right one."

A common question students ask is: "what is the difference between argumentative and persuasive essay writing?" Well, while . Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the two types.


Table Of Contents




Argumentative Essay Topics

Just like with all other essay types, there are tons of topics to choose from when writing an argumentative essay. However, it is important to remember that they must be in a debate format. In other words, explain why option A is better than option B, or vice versa.

Here are some good argumentative essay topics to get you started:

  1. Apple vs. Microsoft: Which software brand is more useful for students?
  2. Do violent video games have a negative psychological impact on children?
  3. From a financial perspective, should one invest in cryptocurrencies?
  4. From an economic standpoint, are electric cars better overall?
  5. Has society become too reliant on technology?

Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

As students will begin writing this type of content in school, it is essential to give them easy essay topics so they can get a grasp of the task.

  1. What is the most important second language to know as a US student?
  2. Should the minimum driving age be lowered?
  3. Are standardized tests a fair reflection of students skills?
  4. Are athletes overpaid for their skills?
  5. Should high school students be free to choose their classes?

Topics for College

As we transition to the university level, the question asked alongside the complexity of content should increase. With that being said, here are some challenging topics for college students.

  1. Is there enough evidence to prove that news sources have a biased agenda?
  2. Would the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug be economically justifiable?
  3. Can we constitute Russia as a superpower alongside the USA and China?
  4. What was the most influential technological advancement in the history of humanity?
  5. Should we sacrifice some public services for lowered tax brackets?

Creating An Outline

Now that we understand what this type of writing is all about, we can start putting pieces of the argumentative paper outline together. Usually written in the five-paragraph structure, this essay will consist of an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Logically, each of those three sections will have a unique structure, so understanding them on an individual level will help ensure a smooth writing process.

We will be using "the internet" as the most significant technological advancement in society as an example

Introduction (3 Parts)

  1. How To Start An Argumentative Essay (Hook Statement): As with most other types of essays, one should attempt to captivate the reader's interest from the very beginning. To do this, create a sentence that stands out from the rest of the text. The goal is to get your audience reaching for that bag of popcorn right after reading the hook!

  2. Background Information: After gathering the audience's attention, the next step is to present any necessary context to narrow the focus. Also, it should ideally transition the train of thought towards the thesis statement.

  3. Thesis Statement:. It is essential to writing a thesis correctly, and this is accomplished through proper phrasing. your primary objective is to defend your idea, so the thesis must DIRECTLY state what your idea is and why it is correct.

Body Paragraphs (4 Steps)

  1. Topic Sentence: Start with a sentence that transitions the focus from the previous paragraph to the current one; it should also introduce the main sub-argument for that particular section.

  2. Claim: After presenting your topic sentence, it is time to link your main sub-argument with the thesis statement. The goal is to explain how this point validates and strengthens your central message.

  3. Evidence: After providing a valid claim, you must defend it with factual support. Examples of this can be statistics, references or logical ideas that support ones claim since they are getting information from external sources, adding to the essays overall validity.

  4. Concluding Statement: After presenting a defendable claim and supporting it with evidence, one must end the body paragraph with a concluding statement. In other words, why was this particular point so essential?

Note that this structure works for each body paragraph. The main difference comes with the actual claim, supporting evidence, etc.

Conclusion (3 Steps)

  1. Restate The Thesis: (thesis statement). Using assertive language, restate your thesis in an "I have 100% proven this point" type of way. When information is presented to an audience with confidence, they are subconsciously more inclined to believe that it is in fact, true.

  2. Brief Summarization of Sub Arguments: Most likely, the audience has already forgotten some of the information you presented. For this reason, go back through and review your main points, giving your argument closure.

  3. Overall Concluding Statement: To end an argumentative essay with a bang, . Usually, this sentence will express the universal importance of the information and should leave the reader with a call to action for further investigation.

The Writing Process

When it comes to sitting down and writing an argumentative essay, the author has four primary objectives:

  1. Brainstorm + Topic Selection: Obviously, before one can start putting pen to paper, they have to figure out what they will be writing about. Unless one has been given a predetermined topic, they will usually have freedom of choice. ; doing so will naturally give the author more enthusiasm and motivation to do a good job.

  2. Research, Research, Research: Even if you are savvy in the field of choice, there is a bundle of information out there that is unknown to you. of a topic and what avenue you will approach.

  3. Writing A Rough Draft: Now that you have a thesis and valid external information, you can start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard.) Follow the outline laid out above for guaranteed success and keep in mind the following things:

  1. Writing a Final Draft: After finishing your rough draft, take some time away from the essay. Let your brain recover and come back to it the next day (or a few hours later, depending on how bad of a procrastinator you are) with a fresh perspective. More likely than not, you will see flaws in grammar, vocabulary, and logic. Make those final amendments and read your essay out loud for a final polish. If it sounds good, then looks like you are finished!

Tips For Success

Reason Trumps Emotion: Since we are writing an argumentative essay, it is crucially important to remember that we must fixate our points towards rational reasoning. Save the emotions for someone who cares!

Include Counter Arguments: Many writers forget this step, and this definitely harms their rate of success. A supported argument without a considered counter argument has reached half of its potential. Make sure to explain why your case carries more weight than the other!

Get outside peer editing: Just because your points make sense to you, doesn't mean that the readers will automatically understand your reasoning. Get some peer editing from a friend who can validate the logic behind your argument!

Argumentative Essay Examples

Down below you can find some good argumentative essay examples. The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of strikes for public workers. The second essay discusses the importance of economic equality in a nation, alongside possible repercussions and potential threats if not met. Both present fantastic arguments that students in need of help can learn from!


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