An argument essay presents an original argument for a given thesis statement. In an argumentative essay, the author takes a clear stand on the topic and justify their position with supporting evidence material.
While there are many types of essays, an argumentative essay is hands down the most popular type of essay at the college and university level.
You could be asked to produce an argumentative essay in a composition class or as a course assignment. In most cases, the essay brief will prompt you to argue for one of two positions.
An argumentative essay title includes keywords such as "argument", "assert", "claim", and usually take the form of a question.
The title of an argumentative essay can be either open or two-sided. Here are examples of argumentative titles, so you know when to write an argumentative essay.
Open argumentative essay title
What was the most outstanding achievement of Manchester United FC under Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE?
Two-sided argumentative essay title
Has distance learning had a positive or negative impact on education?
Most essay assignments at the college and university level involve some sort of argumentation. For example, literary analysis and rhetorical analysis also build up arguments about the text.
Even when the essay prompt does not tell you to write an argumentative essay, you should remember that the goal of academic writing in most cases is to express an argument and back it with evidence. This means that your default approach to essay writing should be to make evidence-based arguments unless you are told otherwise.
The following essay titles suggest that the essays in response should be argumentative in nature.
You will be able to develop an exact position as you dig deep to collect data and improve your knowledge. Once you have taken a defined stance, you will need to express the essay's main argument and convince the reader to agree to your position by presenting analysis, evidence, and evaluation.
Discuss the effects of climate change on the human population.
Evaluate the efficacy of anti-racism measures put in place at workplaces in the UK.
Assess the impact of the conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century on world history.
An argumentative essay should be based on rational thinking. The approach of the author should be objective in nature. Rather than basing your argument on emotions, you should rely on logic and evidence.
While there are many approaches to writing an argumentative essay, the two most common methods that would enable you to write a first-class piece are: The Rogerian method and the Toulmin method.
The Toulmin method involves four key steps to build an argument. The same strategy can be applied throughout the essay where necessary.
The Toulmin model is a popular argument-building strategy in academic essays. While using the specific terms (refutations, warrants, claim) is not necessary, you should show a clear link between your claim and the grounds of your claim in an argumentative essay.
For example, if you are making an argument about the efficacy of anti-racism measures put in place at workplaces in the UK, then you should follow these four steps:
The Rogerian model of building an argument also involves four steps:
The Rogerian model is an interesting way to reach a compromise between two sides of an argument. It is advised to approach an argumentative essay with this method when people strongly disagree on the issue under discussion.
For example, if you had to make an argument about the positive effects of distance learning on the quality of education, then you might:
When writing an argumentative essay, you can use elements of both models. It is not necessary to stick to one of these two methods, but it would be helpful to do so to structure your argument appropriately.
However, regardless of the argument-building model you choose, your essay structure will include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Like other essay types, an argumentative essay also begins with an introduction. This section includes a hook to grab the reader's attention, background information to set up the main argument, a thesis statement, and a summary of the essay structure (for more extended essays).
Here is a how an introduction paragraph of an argumentative essay arguing for the positive effects of distance learning may look like:
This is where you present the details to support your arguments. The main body of your argumentative essay should present analysis, evidence, and interpretation to persuade readers to agree with your viewpoint.
For a high school essay that typically follows the standard five-paragraph format, the body comprises three to four paragraphs. However, there will be many more paragraphs in a university-level longer essay, and so the body can be divided into dedicated sections with headings.
Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence that must support the central argument. Avoid presenting any irrelevant information here.
Here is an example of a paragraph taken from the main body of an argumentative essay on the positive effects of distance learning on education.
Your argumentative essay should end with a conclusion that provides a summary of the points discussed in the main body.
Refrain from presenting any new information here. The conclusion of an argumentative essay is made up of a concise summary or synthesis of the arguments made in main body, the significance and relevance of your argument, and the strengths and weaknesses of your argument.