How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Helpful Manual For Your Use

In order to write a good argumentative essay you need to: select a suitable topic or essay question, be prepared to do a lot of research and reading, have lots of supporting evidence to back up all the points you make, write smoothly without error so that it’s easy to read and doesn’t detract from your content and end with a sound conclusion that weighs up all the evidence you’ve presented throughout.

Research

Conduct a good amount of research for your essay. Without this your essay would be lacking in substance and would come across as unsubstantiated, unconvincing and weak. Depending on what your subject is, will determine the type of research that you conduct; whether this is a literature review using lots of academic books and electronic journals; or whether this is research that you conduct in the way of surveys, questionnaires, experiments etc.

Key argument

Have a clearly written statement that you intend to either prove or disprove with your essay. Discuss the importance, significance and relevance of this topic. You do need to pick a topic that you can do justice to, within the agreed word limit for your essay, so ensure it’s not too broad. The best topic will have a fairly narrow focus that you can explore in depth, rather than trying to cover everything too briefly.

Paragraphs

Make sure that all your work constantly refers back to the essay question throughout, this will keep your work on track, really relevant and you’ll avoid the pitfall of wandering off topic.

Discussion, Debate and Evidence

The nature of an ‘argument’ is that people hold differing viewpoints. In your argumentative essay you need to draw upon lots of written literature around the subject. Find the key theorists in your field who have discussed this topic, summarize what their main views are (remembering to use quotes and reference well) – and then compare and contrast these views with each other, and your own views. Be analytical and critical when looking at these views and not merely descriptive, consider why you disagree with views and offer solid support for this with other evidence. Support everything you say with evidence from good academic literature (ideally journals, rather than internet web pages). Any supporting evidence does need to be accurate and well-researched. When researching, it’s a good idea to find more than one source to support a point to verify the accuracy of it. Ensure that your argument is balanced. If you’re arguing for one side of something, make sure you’ve covered the other side of the argument too, and have deconstructed this.

Conclusion

Finally end with a conclusion that neatly summarises your key points, and ends very finally and strongly with your key argument. Do definitely ensure that your point of view is expressed clearly here, and that it’s not wishy-washy, vague, or a ‘sitting-on-the-fence’ response. Re-cap on the relevance of the topic, and if possible how your particular argument has given new insight into the area.

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