Writing argumentative essays is a key skill for students, from high school to higher level education in the United Kingdom. Read on for an argumentative essay step by step guide.
What does the term “argumentative essay” actually mean?
The term refers to an essay which attempts to convince the reader that the writer’s point of view on any given subject is correct. It is persuasive writing in its original form, and if done well, can make for a really interesting essay.
It is important when you construct an argumentative essay that you have thoroughly researched your thesis. You must be able to use credible sources to back up your ideas and show how they led you to your opinion.
When researching your essay, make sure you are using credible sources, ideally relevant to the UK - reference books, government case studies and websites ending in .gov, .org. Don’t be tempted to use sites like Wikipedia or blogs from people who are not experts in their field.
Use more than one source, and try to find sources that don’t have a bias one way or the other to make your argument more credible.
Use this information to build your argumentative essay outline. The main purpose of the outline in an argumentative essay is to ensure you cover all the bases.
The argumentative essay structure is outlined in more detail below. It is important that none of these steps are missed out, as they all add to the strength of argument, and show you as an authority on your thesis.
The argumentative essay introduction is what tells the reader what your argument is and to make them want to read on.
Don’t hold back here, especially if your papers are on controversial topics. Tell the reader your thesis – what you are about to prove to be true in the body of your essay.
Remember, the point of the argumentative essay is to state your opinion as though it is a fact. Don’t use terms such as “I think”.
The main text
The main text should contain structured arguments from credible sources that illustrate your point.
Each argument should be stated and then further explored, always making sure it relates back to your main thesis, and of course, supports it. Show evidence that backs up your claims. Each point you make should open with a strong statement, which is then expanded on. Make sure each point is fully expanded, leaving the reader in no doubt that you know what you’re talking about.
Use words such as firstly, next and lastly to keep the flow coherent.
The counter argument
It is important to acknowledge that there is another side to the debate. Use examples of what someone who believed the opposite to you would use for their argument. And then prove, again using credible sources, that these aren’t actually the case.
The conclusion should sum up your key points, further reiterating how and why they prove your thesis. The reader should be left in doubt at this point that your essays are in fact correct.
Now simply convert your document to a pdf, and you’re good to go.
A good argumentative essay will leave your readers in no doubt as to the validity of your opening statement.