We all have our opinions. Some have a knack for speaking their mind in the most effective way, so people around them know about those opinions. Yet those with a gift for persuasion know how to make a case for their beliefs and change other people’s minds. That’s a great gift to have, isn’t it? Luckily, it’s not something you have to be born with. There’s a formula to it – and it’s called “argumentative essay.”
Once you’ve learned how to write argumentative essays, you have the power to sway anyone your way. So yes, they don’t give you all those assignments for nothing. They give you skills, my friend. This argumentative essay guide gives you tips to create an eloquent and persuasive paper that changes minds. Let’s roll!
What Is an Argumentative Essay?
Let’s start with an argumentative essay definition. It is a short paper that belongs to the persuasive style of writing (others are: narrative, expository, and descriptive). Its purpose is to state your point about the subject and prove it with objective evidence: facts, statistics, research data, and logic. An argumentative essay requires you to research the topic, collect and evaluate evidence, take a stance expressed in a clear thesis, and defend it concisely, following sound reasoning.
Steps to Writing an Argumentative Essay
First, let’s give you a quick outline of your argumentative writing workflow, step by step.
1. Choose the topic
Of course, if you have been given a clear prompt in your ‘write my assignment’ sheet, you can skip this step. However, you should read the prompt carefully and understand the problem it presents. If you haven’t been given any topic, or it is fairly vague and open to interpretations, choose something you are familiar with. Otherwise, the next stage is going to take much more time.
Now you need information. Some things you can recall, but it’s always good to have the newest updates and correct quotes. That’s why head to the library, your favorite scholarly resource, or other trusted info portals and dig in – even if you think that you know a lot about your subject.
3. Organize the information
There are many ways to organize information: a spider chart, mind map, bullet points, or sticky notes with key ideas. You choose what works best for you.
4. Conduct the analysis
Evaluate the information you have. Focus on the most relevant data. Organize figures, statistics, factoids into thematic clusters – these will be the building blocks for your argument.
5. Build your argument
This is when you outline your argumentative essay. You decide on its composition: what comes first and what follows to create the most compelling argument.
6. Flesh out each paragraph
If you don’t know how to start an argumentative essay, that’s because you shouldn’t start from the beginning. Leave the hook and the entire introduction for later. Focus on the main statement that is the crux of your essay, then – the body paragraphs. End everything with a conclusion and only then get back to flashing out the intro.
7. Edit and proofread
Remember, argumentive writing is based on reasoning and logic, so your writing style must follow suit. It should be well-structured, expressed in objective and neutral language, and contain no colloquialisms. You should also use third-person language.
How to Write an Argumentative Paper Depending on Rhetorical Situation
Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty. How do you build a strong argument? Of course, it depends on your topic, your audience, and your purpose. There are different styles of argument: Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin – each one perfect for specific situations of argumentative essay writing.
- Classical builds its persuasive power on Ethos, Pathos, and Logos (or appeals to morals, feelings, and reason), relies on the writer’s authority, and is very direct.
- Rogerian is built on common ground and discusses both opposing views as valid. It concentrates on finding a compromise and can be used if your audience has more authority than you. It is diplomatic and can be used to discuss polarizing issues.
- Toulmin is built entirely on logic and facts. It concentrates on finding the most rational solution. It is often used in academia to find consensus among peers.
For your college assignment, you can choose any type of argument. It all depends on how you want to present the topic and your position on it.
Tips for Writing an Argumentative Essay
Here are some additional argumentative essay tips for raising your paper from average to excellent.
- Always treat the word limit reverently. Trim down the fat when you edit if you have exceeded the recommended word count. Your instructor reads and marks dozens of essays, and you don’t want to give them additional work souring their mood. For eloquence and elegance – less is more.
- Even though both argumentative essay format and academic style in general demand objectivity, you don’t have to sound like a robot. Try to write the way you would speak. Feel free to add an odd simile or metaphor here and there.
- Don’t try to emulate the austere “academese” language of monographs you use as your sources. An essay is a different genre. It allows the author’s personality to shine through.
- Space out the writing and editing. The best distance is a day or two. However, if you are in a hurry and the paper is due tomorrow, even a couple of hours can do a world of good. This way, you can look at your essay with fresh eyes and see those minor typos and embarrassing grammar mistakes that always fall through the cracks somehow.
Not rocket science, is it? You can do it! Practice makes perfect. Try various techniques and find writing tools that work for you. Then writing all those essays will stop being a chore and begin to bring you joy!
What types of argumentative essays are there in college?
There are persuasive essays, which are more emotional and allow more creativity; research papers – argumentative essays that rely heavily on external sources for evidence; analysis essays – papers that dissect and analyze someone else’s argument; and personal essays that can build their argument based on personal opinions and experiences.
How do I choose the suitable argumentative essay format?
It depends on multiple factors: your topic, your audience, the length, etc. If you want concrete recommendations, you can contact Write My Essays and request a personalized sample. For example, “Write my paper about feminist ideas in Jane Austen’s novels that strongly defends the author as a progressive thinker.”
How to structure an argumentative essay to be persuasive?
To be persuasive, you must include at least some arguments “against” in your essay. This shows you are objective and wins the sympathy (or at least attention) of the audience you strive to sway. You validate their position but then gently refute it with several arguments in favor of your position.
How do I write my research paper as an argument?
Every research paper sets out to find the answer to a research question, but this doesn’t mean research starts from a neutral ground. You usually have to assume some sort of answer as a working hypothesis. That is your position. Now you go and find evidence to defend it.