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Writing An Argumentative Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

Writing an argumentative essay is fairly similar to a normal research paper. Like a research paper, the student must use evidence and logical points to build an argument. Unlike a typical research document, the student's goal is to persuade the reader to change their viewpoint. The best argumentative papers use a logical argument to sway the reader's viewpoint. To get started, students should use some of the following tips.

Begin With an Outline

It is easy to get lost in building an argument and writing a paper. If the student has researched the topic thoroughly, they most likely have too many quotes and statistics to use. The best way to get all of this information in order is to use an outline. By creating an outline for the document, students can make sure that their argument logically builds up in a step-by-step fashion. In addition, having an outline will help prevent normal issues like writer's block.

Get the Reader's Attention in the Introduction

Reading an essay is fairly boring, so it is up to the writer to get the complete attention of their reader. This can be done by including an interesting statistic, fact or anecdote. Some writers will even start their paper with a question that draws the reader in. Once the student has started their introduction, they need to ease the reader into the thesis. The thesis statement will normally consist of one or two sentences that outline the entire point of the paper.

Supporting the Claim

Once the introduction is complete, the student must build the body of their document. This can be done by giving a key point to each paragraph in the essay. After writing out the paragraph's topic sentence, the student must use two or three pieces of evidence to support their contention. Whenever possible, the writer should use actual statistics and data to support their cause instead of just opinion-based conjectures.

Addressing the Opposing Side

To really sway the reader's mindset, the student will want to argue against the opposing side. They must include some of the key facts that support the opposing side and refute them. Otherwise, the reader will think of these opposing arguments on their own and end up not siding with the student.

Concluding the Argument

At the end of the paper, the student must write out the conclusion. Within this section of the paper, the student should summarize their argument and restate the thesis in a new way.

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