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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.
After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.
What Is an Argumentative Essay?
An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.
A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.
The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.
- The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
- The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.
3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis
Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.
Argumentative Essay Example 1
Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.
However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.
Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.
While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.
The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.
What this essay does well:
- Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
- This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
- For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
- This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
- Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
- Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.
Argumentative Essay Example 2
There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.
One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.
Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.
Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.
One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets. Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.
Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.
This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.
- The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
- There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
- The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
- The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.
Argumentative Essay Example 3
There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.
Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.
Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.
Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.
People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.
They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.
Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.
People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.
While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.
This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.
- Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
- Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
- Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.
3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay
Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.
#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear
The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.
Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.
#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak
When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.
#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side
Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.
Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample
Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.
Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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- How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples
How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples
Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.
Table of contents
Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.
At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.
Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.
Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.
Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.
As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.
Order of information
When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.
Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.
Consider these questions to order your material:
- Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
- Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
- Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?
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Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.
In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.
The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.
- Thesis statement
- First piece of evidence
- Second piece of evidence
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.
Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.
Argumentative essay outline
This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.
Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.
- Importance of the internet
- Concerns about internet use
- Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
- Data exploring this effect
- Analysis indicating it is overstated
- Students’ reading levels over time
- Why this data is questionable
- Video media
- Interactive media
- Speed and simplicity of online research
- Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
- Evidence indicating its ubiquity
- Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
- Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
- Argument that it introduces students to citation
- Summary of key points
- Value of digital education for students
- Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet
Expository essay outline
This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.
The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
- Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
- Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
- Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
- Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
- Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
- Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
- Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
- Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
- Link to the Reformation.
- Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
- Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
- Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
- Summarize the history described.
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.
Literary analysis essay outline
The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .
The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.
- Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
- Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
- Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
- Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
- Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
- Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
- Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
- Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
- Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
- Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
- Answer the research question
- Indicate areas for further study
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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.
Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.
If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.
When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
What is an argumentative essay?
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Please note : Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important ( exigence ) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis ( warrant ).
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph essay
A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.
Longer argumentative essays
Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince readers of a particular position on a topic. Because of its reliance on structure and planning, the first step in writing one is often drafting a solid argumentative essay outline.
Of course, drafting an argumentative essay outline can be just as daunting as actually writing one. Choosing topics is one thing, but organizing your thesis , research, reasoning, and conclusion is a whole other endeavor—and that’s all before beginning the first draft!
So in this quick guide, we explain how to make an effective argumentative essay outline, covering all three major formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin. We’ll also include argumentative essay outline examples and templates to help you understand what works.
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How is an argumentative essay structured?
An argumentative essay uses facts, data, and logical reasoning to substantiate a specific stance on any given topic. They are typically structured to “build an argument,” with a clear thesis statement , unambiguous conclusion, and as much evidential support as needed.
While all seven types of essays follow the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, argumentative essays tend to be more complex to fit all the necessary components of a convincing argument. For example, you may want to dissect opposing points of view to strengthen your own argument, but where would you put that section? Before your argument? After? Intermingled throughout the essay with each new piece of evidence?
There’s no one right way to structure an argumentative essay; it depends on your topic, opposing viewpoints, and the readers, among other things. In fact, to accommodate different types of argumentative essay styles, three methods have emerged as the go-to formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin, explained below.
No matter the format or topic, a strong argumentative essay outline makes it easier to organize your thoughts and present your case in the best possible way. So before you get down to the actual essay writing , take a little time to prepare what you want to say in an outline.
How to create an argumentative essay outline
Knowing how to write an outline is just half the battle. Because an argumentative essay outline requires extra structure and organization, it often requires more extensive planning than the standard essay outline . After all, the goal is to present the best argument for your topic, so you need to make sure each section is in the optimal place.
As mentioned, there are three main options for how to structure an argumentative essay. Before we dive into the details, let’s look at an overview of each so you can decide which one best fits your essay.
When to use it: straightforward and direct arguments
The most forthright approach, the Classical or Aristotelian format is closest to traditional essay structures. It follows a simple layout: explain your argument, explain your opposition’s argument, and then present your evidence, all the while relying on credibility ( ethos ), emotion ( pathos ), and reasoning ( logos ) to influence the reader.
When to use it: both sides make valid arguments; your readers are sympathetic to the opposing position
The Rogerian format gives ample respect to opposing stances, making it a great “middle-ground” approach for representing both sides. This method is ideal if your thesis is a compromise between conflicting positions or an attempt to unify them.
Likewise, this format is best if you’re writing for readers who are already biased toward an opposing position, such as if you’re arguing against societal norms.
When to use it: complicated arguments with multiple facets; rebuttals and counterarguments
The Toulmin method is a deep analysis of a single argument. Given its methodical and detailed nature, it works best for breaking down a complicated thesis into digestible portions.
The Toulmin method is rather nitpicky in a very systematic way. That makes it an ideal format if your essay is a rebuttal or counterargument to another essay—you’re able to dissect and disprove your opposition point by point while offering a more reasonable alternative.
Classical argumentative essay outline template
Aristotle had a gift for explaining things clearly and logically, and the Aristotelian argumentative essay structure leans into that. Also known as Classical or Classic, the Aristotelian format is the most straightforward: the writer presents their argument first and then refutes the opposing argument.
Let’s look at the details in this argumentative essay outline example for the Classical or Aristotelian format.
A. Open with a hook, something to keep the reader interested enough to read until the conclusion (known as exordium ) B. Give any background information or context necessary to understand the topic (known as narratio ) C. Provide a thesis statement explaining your stance and why you feel that way (known as proposito and partitio )
II. First reason
A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio )
2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on
B. Summarize your first reason again and tie it together with evidential support
III. Second reason, etc.
A. Continue to list your reasons in the same format as the first. List your reasons from least to most controversial
IV. First opposing point of view
A. Explain the reasoning of the opposing side. Point out their defenses and evidence—what would they say if they were writing the essay? 1. Point out weaknesses and inconsistencies in their argument
2. Refute their points with evidential support (known as refutatio )
3. Reinforce your position as the more reasonable position
V. Second opposing point of view, etc.
A. Continue to present and refute opposing points of view in the same format as the first
A. Reiterate your position and thesis statement, drawing on your strongest evidential support and rebuttals of opposing points (known as peroratio ) B. Wrap everything up with a thought-provoking ending or call to action (a suggestion you want the reader to take)
Rogerian argumentative essay outline template
Of all formats, Rogerian gives the most attention to opposing arguments. Its goal is to create a middle ground between two arguments, pointing out the validity of each and finding a way to unify them as one. If positions on a particular topic are too polarized or unable to coexist, this format won’t work.
Let’s take a closer look at the Rogerian argumentative essay outline example below and notice the concessions for opposing points of view.
A. State the problem that needs to be solved and any context necessary for understanding it B. Explain the ideal solutions from your position as well as the ideal solutions from opposing positions (and point out any overlap) C. Make your thesis statement
II. Summarize the opposing position
A. Summarize the opposition’s point of view respectfully; consider their defense and reasoning 1. Present evidential support for the opposing position
2. Comment on or refute their support
B. Follow the same format for additional opposing points of view
III. Validate the opposing position
A. Show that you understand and/or sympathize with the opposing position 1. Explain the context and reasoning behind your opposition’s perspective
2. Elaborate on the evidence and data from opposing positions
B. Affirm the areas in which you agree with the opposition
IV. Present your position
A. Summarize your first reason for holding your position 1. Present your first piece of evidential support
2. Present your second piece of evidential support, and so on
B. Summarize your second reason for holding your position, and so on
V. Bring both sides together (compromise)
A. Consider which aspects from each argument are most reasonable B. Propose a compromise that combines the best elements from each position
A. Reaffirm your respect for the opposing point of view B. Reiterate the areas in which the opposition can benefit from your argument and vice versa C. Summarize the earlier compromise and, if possible, end on a positive note
Toulmin argumentative essay outline template
Stephen Toulmin’s original purpose was to analyze the nature of arguments, but the application of his teachings has evolved into an argumentative essay format, especially for challenging existing arguments. It focuses on the six elements that make up a good argument: claim (thesis), grounds (data and reasons), warrants, backings, qualifiers, and rebuttals.
The argumentative essay outline example below shows the recommended order in which to put these elements:
A. Open with a hook, if you can, to garner interest B. Explain the topic and its necessary context C. Make your thesis statement
II. Present the grounds (hard evidence) to validate your thesis
A. Present your first evidential support of data or logical reasons B. Present your second evidential support of data or logical reasons, and so on
III. Explain your first warrant (justification for your thesis)
A. Explain how the warrant relates back to your thesis B. Provide backing to support your warrant (could be more evidence or data or just logical reasoning) C. List any qualifiers that undermine or limit your warrant—the idea is to acknowledge any weaknesses in your own argument
IV. Explain your second warrant, and so on
A. Continue to explain your individual warrants as above
V. Discuss opposition
A. Explain the first opposing point of view 1. Discuss the opposition fairly and transparently
2. Explain your rebuttal to defend your thesis
B. Explain the second opposing point of view, and so on
A. Connect all your warrants and data together B. Reiterate the opposing position and your rebuttals C. Draw a conclusion to make your final claim and reaffirm your thesis
Argumentative essay FAQs
What is an argumentative essay?
An argumentative essay is a short, nonfiction piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince the reader of a certain point of view.
Argumentative essays typically include an explanation of the writer’s position (thesis), evidence supporting that thesis, opposing points of view, and rebuttals against that opposition. The order in which these sections are presented, however, depends on the format.
What are some common ways to organize an argumentative essay outline?
The most straightforward approach to an argumentative essay outline is to first present your position, including the evidence and reasoning to back it up, and then address the opposing points of view. However, the more complex the topic, the more layers must be added to the outline.
8 Effective Strategies to Write Argumentative Essays
In a bustling university town, there lived a student named Alex. Popular for creativity and wit, one challenge seemed insurmountable for Alex– the dreaded argumentative essay!
One gloomy afternoon, as the rain tapped against the window pane, Alex sat at his cluttered desk, staring at a blank document on the computer screen. The assignment loomed large: a 350-600-word argumentative essay on a topic of their choice . With a sigh, he decided to seek help of mentor, Professor Mitchell, who was known for his passion for writing.
Entering Professor Mitchell’s office was like stepping into a treasure of knowledge. Bookshelves lined every wall, faint aroma of old manuscripts in the air and sticky notes over the wall. Alex took a deep breath and knocked on his door.
“Ah, Alex,” Professor Mitchell greeted with a warm smile. “What brings you here today?”
Alex confessed his struggles with the argumentative essay. After hearing his concerns, Professor Mitchell said, “Ah, the argumentative essay! Don’t worry, Let’s take a look at it together.” As he guided Alex to the corner shelf, Alex asked,
Table of Contents
“What is an Argumentative Essay?”
The professor replied, “An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that presents a clear argument or a firm position on a contentious issue. Unlike other forms of essays, such as descriptive or narrative essays, these essays require you to take a stance, present evidence, and convince your audience of the validity of your viewpoint with supporting evidence. A well-crafted argumentative essay relies on concrete facts and supporting evidence rather than merely expressing the author’s personal opinions . Furthermore, these essays demand comprehensive research on the chosen topic and typically follows a structured format consisting of three primary sections: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.”
He continued, “Argumentative essays are written in a wide range of subject areas, reflecting their applicability across disciplines. They are written in different subject areas like literature and philosophy, history, science and technology, political science, psychology, economics and so on.
“When is an Argumentative Essay Written?”
The professor answered, “Argumentative essays are often assigned in academic settings, but they can also be written for various other purposes, such as editorials, opinion pieces, or blog posts. Some situations to write argumentative essays include:
1. Academic assignments
In school or college, teachers may assign argumentative essays as part of coursework. It help students to develop critical thinking and persuasive writing skills .
2. Debates and discussions
Argumentative essays can serve as the basis for debates or discussions in academic or competitive settings. Moreover, they provide a structured way to present and defend your viewpoint.
3. Opinion pieces
Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often feature opinion pieces that present an argument on a current issue or topic to influence public opinion.
4. Policy proposals
In government and policy-related fields, argumentative essays are used to propose and defend specific policy changes or solutions to societal problems.
5. Persuasive speeches
Before delivering a persuasive speech, it’s common to prepare an argumentative essay as a foundation for your presentation.
Regardless of the context, an argumentative essay should present a clear thesis statement , provide evidence and reasoning to support your position, address counterarguments, and conclude with a compelling summary of your main points. The goal is to persuade readers or listeners to accept your viewpoint or at least consider it seriously.”
Handing over a book, the professor continued, “Take a look on the elements or structure of an argumentative essay.”
Elements of an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay comprises five essential components:
Claim in argumentative writing is the central argument or viewpoint that the writer aims to establish and defend throughout the essay. A claim must assert your position on an issue and must be arguable. It can guide the entire argument.
Evidence must consist of factual information, data, examples, or expert opinions that support the claim. Also, it lends credibility by strengthening the writer’s position.
Presenting a counterclaim demonstrates fairness and awareness of alternative perspectives.
After presenting the counterclaim, the writer refutes it by offering counterarguments or providing evidence that weakens the opposing viewpoint. It shows that the writer has considered multiple perspectives and is prepared to defend their position.
The format of an argumentative essay typically follows the structure to ensure clarity and effectiveness in presenting an argument.
How to Write An Argumentative Essay
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an argumentative essay:
- Begin with a compelling sentence or question to grab the reader’s attention.
- Provide context for the issue, including relevant facts, statistics, or historical background.
- Provide a concise thesis statement to present your position on the topic.
2. Body Paragraphs (usually three or more)
- Start each paragraph with a clear and focused topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
- Furthermore, provide evidence and explain the facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, and quotations from credible sources that supports your thesis.
- Use transition sentences to smoothly move from one point to the next.
3. Counterargument and Rebuttal
- Acknowledge opposing viewpoints or potential objections to your argument.
- Also, address these counterarguments with evidence and explain why they do not weaken your position.
- Restate your thesis statement and summarize the key points you’ve made in the body of the essay.
- Leave the reader with a final thought, call to action, or broader implication related to the topic.
5. Citations and References
- Properly cite all the sources you use in your essay using a consistent citation style.
- Also, include a bibliography or works cited at the end of your essay.
6. Formatting and Style
- Follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.
- Use a professional and academic tone in your writing and edit your essay to avoid content, spelling and grammar mistakes .
Remember that the specific requirements for formatting an argumentative essay may vary depending on your instructor’s guidelines or the citation style you’re using (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Always check the assignment instructions or style guide for any additional requirements or variations in formatting.
Prof. Mitchell continued, “An argumentative essay can adopt various approaches when dealing with opposing perspectives. It may offer a balanced presentation of both sides, providing equal weight to each, or it may advocate more strongly for one side while still acknowledging the existence of opposing views.” As Alex listened carefully to the Professor’s thoughts, his eyes fell on a page with examples of argumentative essay.
Example of an Argumentative Essay
Alex picked the book and read the example. It helped him to understand the concept. Furthermore, he could now connect better to the elements and steps of the essay which Prof. Mitchell had mentioned earlier. Aren’t you keen to know how an argumentative essay should be like? Here is an example of a well-crafted argumentative essay , which was read by Alex. After Alex finished reading the example, the professor turned the page and continued, “Check this page to know the importance of writing an argumentative essay in developing skills of an individual.”
Importance of an Argumentative Essay
After understanding the benefits, Alex was convinced by the ability of the argumentative essays in advocating one’s beliefs and favor the author’s position. Alex asked,
“How are argumentative essays different from the other types?”
Prof. Mitchell answered, “Argumentative essays differ from other types of essays primarily in their purpose, structure, and approach in presenting information. Unlike expository essays, argumentative essays persuade the reader to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action on a controversial issue. Furthermore, they differ from descriptive essays by not focusing vividly on describing a topic. Also, they are less engaging through storytelling as compared to the narrative essays.
Alex said, “Given the direct and persuasive nature of argumentative essays, can you suggest some strategies to write an effective argumentative essay?
Turning the pages of the book, Prof. Mitchell replied, “Sure! You can check this infographic to get some tips for writing an argumentative essay.”
Effective Strategies to Write an Argumentative Essay
As days turned into weeks, Alex diligently worked on his essay. He researched, gathered evidence, and refined his thesis. It was a long and challenging journey, filled with countless drafts and revisions.
Finally, the day arrived when Alex submitted their essay. As he clicked the “Submit” button, a sense of accomplishment washed over him. He realized that the argumentative essay, while challenging, had improved his critical thinking and transformed him into a more confident writer. Furthermore, Alex received feedback from his professor, a mix of praise and constructive criticism. It was a humbling experience, a reminder that every journey has its obstacles and opportunities for growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
An argumentative essay can be written as follows- 1. Choose a Topic 2. Research and Collect Evidences 3. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement 4. Outline Your Essay- Introduction, Body Paragraphs and Conclusion 5. Revise and Edit 6. Format and Cite Sources 7. Final Review
One must choose a clear, concise and specific statement as a claim. It must be debatable and establish your position. Avoid using ambiguous or unclear while making a claim. To strengthen your claim, address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. Additionally, use persuasive language and rhetoric to make your claim more compelling
Starting an argument essay effectively is crucial to engage your readers and establish the context for your argument. Here’s how you can start an argument essay are: 1. Begin With an Engaging Hook 2. Provide Background Information 3. Present Your Thesis Statement 4. Briefly Outline Your Main 5. Establish Your Credibility
The key features of an argumentative essay are: 1. Clear and Specific Thesis Statement 2. Credible Evidence 3. Counterarguments 4. Structured Body Paragraph 5. Logical Flow 6. Use of Persuasive Techniques 7. Formal Language
An argumentative essay typically consists of the following main parts or sections: 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Counterargument and Rebuttal 4. Conclusion 5. References (if applicable)
The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a particular viewpoint or position on a controversial or debatable topic. In other words, the primary goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the audience that the author's argument or thesis statement is valid, logical, and well-supported by evidence and reasoning.
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Writing an Argumentative Research Paper
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Examples of argumentative essays
Skyline College libguides: MLA Sample Argumentative Papers
Ebooks in Galileo
Structure & Outline
Usually written in the five-paragraph structure, the argumentative essay format consists of an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
A works cited page or reference page (depending on format) will be included at the end of the essay along with in-text citations within the essay.
When writing an argumentative research essay, create an outline to structure the research you find as well as help with the writing process. The outline of an argumentative essay should include an introduction with thesis statement, 3 main body paragraphs with supporting evidence and opposing viewpoints with evidence to disprove, along with an conclusion.
The example below is just a basic outline and structure
I. Introduction: tells what you are going to write about. Basic information about the issue along with your thesis statement.
A. Basic information
B. Thesis Statement
II. Body 1 : Reason 1 write about the first reason that proves your claim on the issue and give supporting evidence
A. supporting evidence
B. Supporting evidence
II. Body 2 .: Reason 2 write about the third reason that proves your claim on the issue and give supporting evidence
A. supporting evidence
III. Body 3 : Reason 3 write about the fourth reason that proves your claim on the issue and give supporting evidence
IV. Counter arguments and responses. Write about opposing viewpoints and use evidence to refute their argument and persuade audience in your direction or viewpoint
A. Arguments from other side of the issue
B. Refute the arguments
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Sample Argument Essay in MLA Format
Note that the first page of the argument should have a heading on the left hand side (not in the header) with the student’s name, the instructor’s name, the course, and the date. The title should be centered on the page with no special formatting. On subsequent pages, the author’s last name and the page number should be in the header justified to the right. (ie Doe, 2). In-text citations should reference the author’s last name (or the first word of the Works Cited listing) and a page number, if applicable. If there is no page number, only include the author’s last name. Note that the entire paper should be double spaced.
An Innovative Approach to Eliminating Food Insecurity
Did you know that three in four college students will go hungry at some point of their college career? Even though there are campus food banks popping up around the country, the problem still exists. Campus gardens might be away to enhance what food banks are already doing. Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution for fighting hunger on college campuses through creating community gardens that can assist the efforts of food banks.
Wasatch Gardens was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1989. Their mission is “To empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy, organic, local food” (Wasatch). In order to accomplish their mission, Wasatch Gardens helps people start and maintain community gardens. Whether these gardens are for a neighborhood, a local homeless shelter, or even a school, they are teaching others that “the quality of a community is directly related to the quality of its food” (Wasatch). With their five programs, Community Garden, Youth Garden, School Garden, Community Education, and Green Team Farm, they “offer garden space, educational programs, and community events to empower people to grow, harvest, preserve, and prepare fresh, healthy food” (Wasatch). This organization does its best to help people create a sustainable way to grow food that empowers members of the community.
Food insecurity is a growing problem in the US, and the issue is even more challenging for students who have additional costs related to funding their education. In the state of Arizona, food insecurity affects as much as 20% of the population: “One in five Arizonans lacked the
money to buy food at least once in 2012, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations across the U.S.” (Szabo). These numbers are even higher for students, who are often working part-time to enable them to handle the rigors of academic life. In Yavapai County alone, the number of people struggling with food insecurity, which means they are not able to purchase adequate food for themselves or their families, is estimated to be around 17%. Add to that the increased cost of education, tuition, books, and fees, and the need to spend more time working on classwork, and students are even more likely to fall into this category. Food insecurity among students leads to a decreased ability to learn effectively, but, even more significant, it decreases a student’s ability to successfully complete his/her education.
Especially in the community college setting, many students have families to care for and are trying to balance school, work, and family on a very limited budget. When the choice is between food and books, students often must choose food, which leaves them without the necessary tools they need to succeed in their courses. Surviving on affordable options like Ramen and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese can leave students without energy to give all their attention to their studies.
Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution to the problem of food insecurity by helping communities start community gardens. In one instance, they started a community garden down the street from a homeless shelter. Women from the shelter can work at the garden for a salary, and food from the garden is sold at a discount to a local Head Start program: “Each woman also gets a 6-foot stretch to plant whatever she likes. Lynette, whose Pomeranian-Chihuahua service dog, Ed, watches her patiently, chose melons, green beans, beets and snap peas so sweet they’d pass for candy in a blindfold test” (Piper). Not only does planting a garden empower these women to make positive choices, but it provides a living. “Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.” (Piper). What is really innovative about this program is that it is helping the women at the homeless shelter, as well as giving back to the community in other ways. The Wasatch Gardens also serve “roughly 1800 to 2000 kids per year” in their youth education program, as well as “80 refugee families per year” in the garden (Modern). The gardens, then, are helping a vast number of people in many different circumstances. “Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints,” notes the SLC Green Blog (Interested). Community gardens, then, not only help the community members who need it, they also make communities better.
Community gardens are working to combat hunger in other areas of the country, as well. Right here in Arizona, community gardens are providing another way to combat food insecurity. “Non-profit organizations nationwide have started teaching lower-income communities to create their own vegetable gardens. The non-profit group, which is funded by donations and grants, formed partnerships with nearby churches for the gardens” (Szabo). As in Salt Lake City, these community gardens are giving people a sense of pride, as well as providing for their basic needs. “Experts say urban gardening is a cheaper and more nutritious option than purchasing food.” (Szabo). In addition to providing more nutritious food at a lower price, working in the gardens also serves as therapy: ‘There‘s mountains of research that talks about the benefits of getting your hands dirty, as far as therapy goes,” he said’” (Piper).And it’s making a difference! “The garden produces enough food that Alvarez doesn’t need the food banks. In fact, he gives extra produce to church members or friends.” (Szabo). Ron Finley, known as the Guerilla Gardener of LA, notes something similar: “There’s another time when I put a garden in this homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. These are the guys, they helped me unload the truck. It was cool, and they just shared the stories about how this affected them and how they used to plant with their mother and their grandmother, and it was just cool to see how this changed them, if it was only for that one moment.” Participation in the garden projects provide a hand up, instead of a handout for people who need it most.
A similar solution is working on college campuses. College campus community gardens offer a way to expand on the offerings of campus food banks. One thriving example is the Montclair State University Community Garden. After doing a survey that found that “over 4 out of every 10 students who responded to the survey may be Food Insecure during the academic semester, and may not have access to enough food, or have only low quality foods, on a regular basis” (Montclair). In response, the campus decided to start a community garden.
Founded in 2018, the garden has “reclaimed and revitalized underutilized space on the campus, and has established 20 raised garden beds, totaling 1,000 square feet of growing space” (Montclair). Students must apply for space in the garden, which provides food for the school’s food pantry, as well as for community food banks. Not only do they provide fresh, healthier food, but since the food is grown right on campus, it is easily accessible and costs less money than stocking the shelves in a food pantry. In addition, working in the campus garden can provide money making opportunities for students, as well as additional operating funds for the food bank when extra produce is sold to the campus dining facility. The vision of the garden is to “strengthen the connections between members of the Montclair State University community and bring our community closer together, while sustainably providing fresh foods and educational resources to our community members in need” (Montclair). Like the Wasatch Gardens, the community garden at Montclair does more than just fee students. It also supports the community as a whole, improving relations with the community while it assists students in need. Following the model created by Wasatch Gardens can expand upon the offerings of a campus food bank and really help students.
While starting a community garden on campus might have some initial costs, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Colleges already pay for landscaping—why not plant edible landscaping and enlist students in the project? Not only would this help to round out a campus food bank, but it could even reduce costs for the college as students take on some of the work of landscapers. In addition, many colleges already have agricultural programs. Campus community gardens could be an innovative way to allow those students to get real experience running a community garden as they plan planting space, production, and coordinate getting produce to the campus food bank and to other community organizations, as well. Colleges can and should set an example for their communities by implementing this innovative and sustainable solution to food insecurity.
Those who are interested in this idea can show their support by educating themselves about the benefits of community gardens, as well as food insecurity. Donating to organizations like Wasatch Gardens allows them to continue to grow and provide a model for the rest of the country for a way to give people dignity and self-respect as they learn how to feed themselves, even as their efforts help others.
Wasatch Gardens provides college campuses with a model for an innovative solution that can help to alleviate food insecurity on their campuses. Even for colleges that already have a campus food bank, adding a campus garden might be a way to enhance what food banks are already doing. Not only would campus gardens provide nutritious food for students, but it could provide job experience for agriculture students and provide a living wage, as well. College campuses would do well to consider the benefits of incorporating a community garden on their campuses.
Works Cited Page
Note that the Works Cited page should be on a NEW page. (Use the Insert Page function in Word!). Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page in regular font. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order. Sources should use a hanging indent. The student’s last name and page number are in the header and should be justified to the right margin. The entire Works Cited page should be double spaced, with no extra spaces.
Finley, Ron. “A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA.” TEDTalk, February 2013.https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerrilla_gardener_in_south_central_la
“Interested in Joining a New Community Garden?” SlcGreen Blog, 23 May 2019, slcgreenblog.com/2019/05/23/support-community-gardens/.
Modern Gardener. “Wasatch Community Gardens| Modern Gardener.” YouTube, July 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SDVgYAg0tg.
“The Montclair State University Campus Community Garden.” – PSEG Institute For Sustainability Studies – Montclair State University, www.montclair.edu/pseg-sustainability-institute/campus-community-garden/.
Piper, Matthew. “Two Blocks from the Rio Grande Homeless Shelter, These Women Found Peace and Purpose on a … Farm?” The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Aug. 2017, www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/08/08/two-blocks-from-the-rio-grande-homeless-shelter-these-women-found-peace-and-purpose-on-a-farm/
Szabo, Kendra. “Community Gardens Helping Fight Hunger.” Arizona Republic, Sep 17, 2013. ProQuest, https://proxy.yc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1434422648?accountid=8141.
“Wasatch Community Gardens: Salt Lake City, Utah – Community Gardens.” Wasatch Community Gardens | Salt Lake City, Utah, wasatchgardens.org/community-gardens.
Sample Argument Paper in APA Format
This is an example of a student essay in APA format. For annotated examples, please visit the APA Style Blog or download a PDF file with a sample paper here .
Note that the content of the title page should be centered both vertically and horizontally on the page. The title should be in bold. The Title Page should include the title of the paper, the student’s name, the institution, the course, the instructor, and the date. Page numbers are in the Header of the page and justified to the right margin.
February 26, 2020
Main Body of the Paper
Note that the title is centered on the first page of the body of the paper and in bold font. Page numbers go in the header and should be justified to the right margin. In text citations should include the author’s last name and the date of publication.
Did you know that three in four college students will go hungry at some point of their college career? Even though there are campus food banks popping up around the country, the problem still exists. Campus gardens might be a way to enhance what food banks are already doing. Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution for fighting hunger on college campuses through creating community gardens that can assist the efforts of food banks.
Food insecurity is a growing problem in the US, and the issue is even more challenging for students who have additional costs related to funding their education. In the state of Arizona, food insecurity affects as much as 20% of the population: “One in five Arizonans lacked the money to buy food at least once in 2012, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations across the U.S.” (Szabo, 2013). These numbers are even higher for students, who are often working part-time to enable them to handle the rigors of academic life. In Yavapai County alone, the number of people struggling with food insecurity, which means they are not able to purchase adequate food for themselves or their families, is estimated to be around 17%. Add to that the increased cost of education, tuition, books, and fees, and the need to spend more time working on classwork, and students are even more likely to fall into this category. Food insecurity among students leads to a decreased ability to learn effectively, but, even more significant, it decreases a student’s ability to successfully complete his/her education.
Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution to the problem of food insecurity by helping communities start community gardens. In one instance, they started a community garden down the street from a homeless shelter. Women from the shelter can work at the garden for a salary, and food from the garden is sold at a discount to a local Head Start program: “Each woman also gets a 6-foot stretch to plant whatever she likes. Lynette, whose Pomeranian-Chihuahua service dog, Ed, watches her patiently, chose melons, green beans, beets and snap peas so sweet they’d pass for candy in a blindfold test” (Piper, 2017). Not only does planting a garden empower these women to make positive choices, but it provides a living. “Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.” (Piper, 2017). What is really innovative about this program is that it is helping the women at the homeless shelter, as well as giving back to the community in other ways. The Wasatch Gardens also serve “roughly 1800 to 2000 kids per year” in their youth education program, as well as “80 refugee families per year” in the garden (Modern, 2019). The gardens, then, are helping a vast number of people in many different circumstances. “Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints,” notes the SLC Green Blog (Interested, 2019). Community gardens, then, not only help the community members who need it, they also make communities better.
Community gardens are working to combat hunger in other areas of the country, as well. Right here in Arizona, community gardens are providing another way to combat food insecurity. “Non-profit organizations nationwide have started teaching lower-income communities to create their own vegetable gardens. The non-profit group, which is funded by donations and grants, formed partnerships with nearby churches for the gardens” (Szabo, 2013). As in Salt Lake City, these community gardens are giving people a sense of pride, as well as providing for their basic needs. “Experts say urban gardening is a cheaper and more nutritious option than purchasing food.” (Szabo, 2013). In addition to providing more nutritious food at a lower price, working in the gardens also serves as therapy: ‘There‘s mountains of research that talks about the benefits of getting your hands dirty, as far as therapy goes,” he said’” (Piper, 2017).And it’s making a difference! “The garden produces enough food that Alvarez doesn’t need the food banks. In fact, he gives extra produce to church members or friends.” (Szabo, 2013). Ron Finley (2013), known as the Guerilla Gardener in LA, notes a similar experience: “There’s another time when I put a garden in this homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. These are the guys, they helped me unload the truck. It was cool, and they just shared the stories about how this affected them and how they used to plant with their mother and their grandmother, and it was just cool to see how this changed them, if it was only for that one moment.” Participation in the garden projects provide a hand up, instead of a handout for people who need it most.
Note that the References page should be on a NEW page. (Use the Insert Page function in Word!). References should be centered at the top of the page in bold font. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order. Sources should use a hanging indent. Page numbers are in the header and should be justified to the right margin.
Finley, R. (February 2013). A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerrilla_gardener_ in_south_central_la
Interested in Joining a New Community Garden? (May 23, 2019). [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from slcgreenblog.com/2019/05/23/support-community-gardens/.
Modern Gardener. (July 3, 2019). Wasatch Community Gardens| Modern Gardener. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SDVgYAg0tg.
The Montclair State University Campus Community Garden. (ND). Retrieved from www.montclair.edu/pseg-sustainability-institute/campus-community-garden/.
Piper, M. (August 7, 2017). Two Blocks from the Rio Grande Homeless Shelter, These Women Found Peace and Purpose on a … Farm? The Salt Lake Tribune . Retrieved from www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/08/08/two-blocks-from-the-rio-grande-homeless-shelter-these-women-found-peace-and-purpose-on-a-farm/.
Szabo, K. (September 17, 2013). Community Gardens Helping Fight Hunger. Arizona Republic. Retrieved from https://proxy.yc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1434422648?accountid=8141.
Wasatch Community Gardens: Salt Lake City, Utah – Community Gardens. (ND). Retrieved from wasatchgardens.org/community-gardens.
- Content created by Dr. Karen Palmer and licensed CC BY NC SA .
The RoughWriter's Guide Copyright © 2020 by Dr. Karen Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Argumentative Essay Examples & Analysis
July 20, 2023
Writing successful argumentative or persuasive essays is a sort of academic rite of passage: every student, at some point in their academic career, will have to do it. And not without reason—writing a good argumentative essay requires the ability to organize one’s thoughts, reason logically, and present evidence in support of claims. They even require empathy, as authors are forced to inhabit and then respond to viewpoints that run counter to their own. Here, we’ll look at some argumentative essay examples and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
What is an argumentative essay?
Before we turn to those argumentative essay examples, let’s get precise about what an argumentative essay is. An argumentative essay is an essay that advances a central point, thesis, or claim using evidence and facts. In other words, argumentative essays are essays that argue on behalf of a particular viewpoint. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the reader that the essay’s core idea is correct.
Good argumentative essays rely on facts and evidence. Personal anecdotes, appeals to emotion , and opinions that aren’t grounded in evidence just won’t fly. Let’s say I wanted to write an essay arguing that cats are the best pets. It wouldn’t be enough to say that I love having a cat as a pet. That’s just my opinion. Nor would it be enough to cite my downstairs neighbor Claudia, who also has a cat and who also prefers cats to dogs. That’s just an anecdote.
For the essay to have a chance at succeeding, I’d have to use evidence to support my argument. Maybe there are studies that compare the cost of cat ownership to dog ownership and conclude that cat ownership is less expensive. Perhaps there’s medical data that shows that more people are allergic to dogs than they are to cats. And maybe there are surveys that show that cat owners are more satisfied with their pets than are dog owners. I have no idea if any of that is true. The point is that successful argumentative essays use evidence from credible sources to back up their points.
Argumentative essay structure
Important to note before we examine a few argumentative essay examples: most argumentative essays will follow a standard 5-paragraph format. This format entails an introductory paragraph that lays out the essay’s central claim. Next, there are three body paragraphs that each advance sub-claims and evidence to support the central claim. Lastly, there is a conclusion that summarizes the points made. That’s not to say that every good argumentative essay will adhere strictly to the 5-paragraph format. And there is plenty of room for flexibility and creativity within the 5-paragraph format. For example, a good argumentative essay that follows the 5-paragraph template will also generally include counterarguments and rebuttals.
Now let’s move on to those argumentative essay examples, and examine in particular a couple of introductions. The first takes on a common argumentative essay topic —capital punishment.
The death penalty has long been a divisive issue in the United States. 24 states allow the death penalty, while the other 26 have either banned the death penalty outright or issued moratoriums halting the practice. Proponents of the death penalty argue that it’s an effective deterrent against crime. Time and time again, however, this argument has been shown to be false. Capital punishment does not deter crime. But not only that—the death penalty is irreversible, which allows our imperfect justice system no room for error. Finally, the application of the death penalty is racially biased—the population of death row is over 41% Black , despite Black Americans making up just 13% of the U.S. population. For all these reasons, the death penalty should be outlawed across the board in the United States.
Why this introduction works: First, it’s clear. It lays out the essay’s thesis: that the death penalty should be outlawed in the United States. It also names the sub-arguments the author is going to use to support the thesis: (1), capital punishment does not deter crime, (2), it’s irreversible, and (3), it’s a racially biased practice. In laying out these three points, the author is also laying out the structure of the essay to follow. Each of the body paragraphs will take on one of the three sub-arguments presented in the introduction.
Argumentative Essay Examples (Continued)
Something else I like about this introduction is that it acknowledges and then refutes a common counterargument—the idea that the death penalty is a crime deterrent. Notice also the flow of the first two sentences. The first flags the essay’s topic. But it also makes a claim—that the issue of capital punishment is politically divisive. The following sentence backs this claim up. Essentially half of the country allows the practice; the other half has banned it. This is a feature not just of solid introductions but of good argumentative essays in general—all the essay’s claims will be backed up with evidence.
How it could be improved: Okay, I know I just got through singing the praises of the first pair of sentences, but if I were really nitpicking, I might take issue with them. Why? The first sentence is a bit of a placeholder. It’s a platitude, a way for the author to get a foothold in the piece. The essay isn’t about how divisive the death penalty is; it’s about why it ought to be abolished. When it comes to writing an argumentative essay, I always like to err on the side of blunt. There’s nothing wrong with starting an argumentative essay with the main idea: Capital punishment is an immoral and ineffective form of punishment, and the practice should be abolished .
Let’s move on to another argumentative essay example. Here’s an introduction that deals with the effects of technology on the brain:
Much of the critical discussion around technology today revolves around social media. Critics argue that social media has cut us off from our fellow citizens, trapping us in “information silos” and contributing to political polarization. Social media also promotes unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards, which can lead to anxiety and depression. What’s more, the social media apps themselves are designed to addict their users. These are all legitimate critiques of social media, and they ought to be taken seriously. But the problem of technology today goes deeper than social media. The internet itself is the problem. Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning. The internet is, quite literally, rewiring our brains.
Why this introduction works: This introduction hooks the reader by tying a topical debate about social media to the essay’s main subject—the problem of the internet itself. The introduction makes it clear what the essay is going to be about; the sentence, “But the problem of technology…” signals to the reader that the main idea is coming. I like the clarity with which the main idea is stated, and, as in the previous introduction, the main idea sets up the essay to follow.
How it could be improved: I like how direct this introduction is, but it might be improved by being a little more specific. Without getting too technical, the introduction might tell the reader what it means to “promote distracted thinking and superficial learning.” It might also hint as to why these are good arguments. For example, are there neurological or psychological studies that back this claim up? A simple fix might be: Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, countless studies have shown that the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning . The body paragraphs would then elaborate on those points. And the last sentence, while catchy, is a bit vague.
Body Paragraph Example
Let’s stick with our essay on capital punishment and continue on to the first body paragraph.
Proponents of the death penalty have long claimed that the practice is an effective deterrent to crime. It might not be pretty, they say, but its deterrent effects prevent further crime. Therefore, its continued use is justified. The problem is that this is just not borne out in the data. There is simply no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment, like long prison sentences. States, where the death penalty is still carried out, do not have lower crime rates than states where the practice has been abolished. States that have abandoned the death penalty likewise show no increase in crime or murder rates.
Body Paragraph (Continued)
For example, the state of Louisiana, where the death penalty is legal, has a murder rate of 21.3 per 100,000 residents. In Iowa, where the death penalty was abolished in 1965, the murder rate is 3.2 per 100,000. In Kentucky the death penalty is legal and the murder rate is 9.6; in Michigan where it’s illegal, the murder rate is 8.7. The death penalty simply has no bearing on murder rates. If it did, we’d see markedly lower murder rates in states that maintain the practice. But that’s not the case. Capital punishment does not deter crime. Therefore, it should be abolished.
Why this paragraph works: This body paragraph is successful because it coheres with the main idea set out in the introduction. It supports the essay’s first sub-argument—that capital punishment does not deter crime—and in so doing, it supports the essay’s main idea—that capital punishment should be abolished. How does it do that? By appealing to the data. A nice feature of this paragraph is that it simultaneously debunks a common counterargument and advances the essay’s thesis. It also supplies a few direct examples (murder rates in states like Kentucky, Michigan, etc.) without getting too technical. Importantly, the last few sentences tie the data back to the main idea of the essay. It’s not enough to pepper your essay with statistics. A good argumentative essay will unpack the statistics, tell the reader why the statistics matter, and how they support or confirm the essay’s main idea.
How it could be improved: The author is missing one logical connection at the end of the paragraph. The author shows that capital punishment doesn’t deter crime, but then just jumps to their conclusion. They needed to establish a logical bridge to get from the sub-argument to the conclusion. That bridge might be: if the deterrent effect is being used as a justification to maintain the practice, but the deterrent effect doesn’t really exist, then , in the absence of some other justification, the death penalty should be abolished. The author almost got there, but just needed to make that one final logical connection.
Once we’ve supported each of our sub-arguments with a corresponding body paragraph, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.
It might be nice to think that executing murderers prevents future murders from happening, that our justice system is infallible and no one is ever wrongly put to death, and that the application of the death penalty is free of bias. But as we have seen, each of those thoughts are just comforting fictions. The death penalty does not prevent future crime—if it did, we’d see higher crime rates in states that’ve done away with capital punishment. The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. And the death penalty disproportionately affects people of color. The death penalty is an unjustifiable practice—both practically and morally. Therefore, the United States should do away with the practice and join the more than 85 world nations that have already done so.
Why this conclusion works: It concisely summarizes the points made throughout the essay. But notice that it’s not identical to the introduction. The conclusion makes it clear that our understanding of the issue has changed with the essay. It not only revisits the sub-arguments, it expounds upon them. And to put a bow on everything, it restates the thesis—this time, though, with a little more emotional oomph.
How it could be improved: I’d love to see a little more specificity with regard to the sub-arguments. Instead of just rehashing the second sub-argument—that wrongful executions are unavoidable—the author could’ve included a quick statistic to give the argument more weight. For example: The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. Since 1973, at least 190 people have been put to death who were later found to be innocent.
An argumentative essay is a powerful way to convey one’s ideas. As an academic exercise, mastering the art of the argumentative essay requires students to hone their skills of critical thinking, rhetoric, and logical reasoning. The best argumentative essays communicate their ideas clearly and back up their claims with evidence.
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Argumentative Essay For College
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- Think and choose a topic: Think and choose a topic: Before you start off with writing what you are going to argue about, think and choose a topic you want to discuss. Remember, you are going to be defending your ideas, your opinions and persuading the reader to agree with you. Think and choose a topic that is fit for your level. Avoid choosing a topic that is too difficult or may cause a lot of discourse.
- Search for information: After you have thought about and chose the topic, do some extensive research . Your information should be precise and clear. Do not make assumptions about your topic. This type of essay really requires the person or the student to do some research before you are able to write the essay down.
- Choose a side: As this is an argumentative essay, you should choose a side . Defend your position and persuade your readers or your audience why the side you chose should be supported completely. To do this, write down what you have searched for before you started to write.
- Watch your tone, grammar, spelling: Watch the tone you are using for your essay. Even if this is an argumentative essay, you should not sound like you do not respect the other person’s point of view. Avoid causing discourse, as this defeats the purpose of the essay . The purpose is to persuade and not to argue to the point of saying awful things to someone else’s view of the argument. Also, watch your grammar and spelling. Check everything is in order.
- Revision: Spare a little time to revise your work before submitting it. Check if you have stated everything that is needed for your essay. The grammar, the punctuations are in order, your spelling, and your argument .
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How to Write Effective College Argumentative Essays
Table of Contents
An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that argues a point or takes a stance on a topic. This essay is usually assigned as coursework, often as an essay-writing exercise. If you’re unsure how to get started, this quick guide includes a college argumentative essay outline sample that you can use as a reference.
We’ll also be discussing what an argumentative essay is, its main elements, and how you can write an effective argumentative essay. You’ll be able to write a winning essay by the end of this article.
Let’s get started!
What Is an Argumentative Essay?
Argumentative essays are a type of academic writing where the author presents both sides of an argument or issue. These are designed to inform rather than convince readers. This makes it different from a persuasive essay.
Your argumentative essay can be evaluated based on your:
- Writing skills
- Analytical skills
- Research skills
This type of essay is excellent training for students to learn to debate. It can significantly influence the public speaking skills of someone later on in their lives.
It’s important to ensure the information you provide in your essay is pure facts, not personal opinions or preferences. You may support one side in favor of other arguments or present them similarly and let the reader decide.
Main Elements of an Argumentative Essay
There are three main elements that every argumentative essay needs to contain: Position , Evidence , and Counterarguments . Let’s look at each of these elements in greater detail.
Which side of the argument are you taking? It’s essential to explain your position and why you took it.
You may argue that tobacco products or cannabis should not be allowed. And you can demonstrate that this is because of the health risks associated with the use of tobacco products.
Evidence is essential as it supports your position. It can be taken from different sources that support your position.
You’ll also need to cite your sources to prove your evidence and make it appear more credible.
In an argumentative essay, you’ll also need to present the other side of the issue. Provide the counterarguments from your perspective. After stating these counterarguments, explain why they are false, weak, or ineffective by providing examples.
How to Write a College Argumentative Essay
Look for a good essay topic..
There are a ton of topics that you can choose from for your argumentative essay. You don’t want to choose just any topic, though. Here are some things you should consider first:
- Relevance to your college subject
- Significance of the issue
- Inherent values
- Potential for research in the future
After you’ve settled on a topic, doing some thorough research is essential. This will give you the background knowledge you need to write a quality essay.
Don’t settle for snippets of information. Instead, dig into the origins of the topic and review the literature written by experts. This may take some time, but it will strengthen your essay and argument.
In your research, you will have to:
- Choose the side you will represent.
- Pick an argument that can appeal to your audience.
- Research who else supports this argument.
- Research the objections your reader might raise.
- Organize your evidence.
Start writing your outline.
Begin putting the pieces together in your essay using an outline.
The argumentative essay outline usually includes an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section will have a unique structure, so knowing each section on an individual level will make the writing process much more manageable.
Make any necessary final edits.
When editing, please make sure you follow the following steps:
- Let the first draft lay for a few days before picking it again. This will freshen up your perspective, so you can see any errors you may have previously left out.
- The draft should be checked for grammar and punctuation.
- Use the evidence you used in your arguments.
College Argumentative Essay Outline Sample
- Overview of the background to your topic
- Thesis statement
2. Body paragraph one:
Statement of your first argument in support of your thesis
- Supporting facts 1-3
- Summary of how these facts support argument 1.
3. Body paragraph two:
Statement of your second argument in support of your thesis
- Summary of how these facts support argument 2.
4. Body paragraph three:
Statement of the third argument in support of your thesis
- Summary of how these facts support argument 3.
5. Body paragraph four: Opposition to the first argument to your thesis and your response to it.
Body paragraph four : Opposition to the second argument to your thesis and your response to it.
- Reiterate arguments discussed in the thesis statement
- Explain why your points are significant (prospects for future research, current relevance, potential applications, etc.)
An outline gives you an idea of how to write your essay and all the details you’ll need to write it . It will also determine whether or not you need to improve any of your writing to increase cohesion. Try following this college argumentative essay outline sample to help start your essay.
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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How to pick a good argumentative essay topic, elements of a strong argumentative essay, argumentative essay idea example topics.
Are you having writer’s block? Coming up with an essay topic can be the hardest part of the process. You have very likely encountered argumentative essay writing in high school and have been asked to write your own. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, we’ve created a list of 52 essay ideas to help jumpstart your brainstorming process! In addition, this post will cover strategies for picking a topic and how to make your argument a strong one. Ultimately, the goal is to convince your reader.
An argumentative essay tasks the writer with presenting an assertion and bolstering that assertion with proper research. You’ll present the claim’s authenticity. This means that whatever argument you’re making must be empirically true! Writing an argumentative essay without any evidence will leave you stranded without any facts to back up your claim. When choosing your essay topic, begin by thinking about themes that have been researched before. Readers will be more engaged with an argument that is supported by data.
This isn’t to say that your argumentative essay topic has to be as well-known, like “Gravity: Does it Exist?” but it shouldn’t be so obscure that there isn’t ample evidence. Finding a topic with multiple sources confirming its validity will help you support your thesis throughout your essay. If upon review of these articles you begin to doubt their worth due to small sample sizes, biased funding sources, or scientific disintegrity, don’t be afraid to move on to a different topic. Your ultimate goal should be proving to your audience that your argument is true because the data supports it.
The hardest essays to write are the ones that you don’t care about. If you don’t care about your topic, why should someone else? Topics that are more personal to the reader are immediately more thoughtful and meaningful because the author’s passion shines through. If you are free to choose an argumentative essay topic, find a topic where the papers you read and cite are fun to read. It’s much easier to write when the passion is already inside of you!
However, you won’t always have the choice to pick your topic. You may receive an assignment to write an argumentative essay that you feel is boring. There is still value in writing an argumentative essay on a topic that may not be of interest to you. It will push you to study a new topic, and broaden your ability to write on a variety of topics. Getting good at proving a point thoroughly and effectively will help you to both understand different fields more completely and increase your comfort with scientific writing.
Convincing Thesis Statement
It’s important to remember the general essay structure: an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A strong thesis statement will set your essay up for success. What is it? A succinct, concise, and pithy sentence found in your first paragraph that summarizes your main point. Pour over this statement to ensure that you can set up your reader to understand your essay. You should also restate your thesis throughout your essay to keep your reader focused on your point.
A typical argumentative essay prompt may look like this: “What has been the most important invention of the 21st century? Support your claim with evidence.” This question is open-ended and gives you flexibility. But that also means it requires research to prove your point convincingly. The strongest essays weave scientific quotes and results into your writing. You can use recent articles, primary sources, or news sources. Maybe you even cite your own research. Remember, this process takes time, so be sure you set aside enough time to dive deep into your topic.
If the reader can’t follow your argument, all your research could be for nothing! Structure is key to persuading your audience. Below are two common argumentative essay structures that you can use to organize your essays.
The Toulmin argument and the Rogerian argument each contain the four sections mentioned above but executes them in different ways. Be sure to familiarize yourself with both essay structures so that your essay is the most effective it can be.
The Toulmin argument has a straightforward presentation. You begin with your assertion, your thesis statement. You then list the evidence that supports your point and why these are valid sources. The bulk of your essay should be explaining how your sources support your claim. You then end your essay by acknowledging and discussing the problems or flaws that readers may find in your presentation. Then, you should list the solutions to these and alternative perspectives and prove your argument is stronger.
The Rogerian argument has a more complex structure. You begin with a discussion of what opposing sides do right and the validity of their arguments. This is effective because it allows you to piece apart your opponent’s argument. The next section contains your position on the questions. In this section, it is important to list problems with your opponent’s argument that your argument fixes. This way, your position feels much stronger. Your essay ends with suggesting a possible compromise between the two sides. A combination of the two sides could be the most effective solution.
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- Is the death penalty effective?
- Is our election process fair?
- Is the electoral college outdated?
- Should we have lower taxes?
- How many Supreme Court Justices should there be?
- Should there be different term limits for elected officials?
- Should the drinking age be lowered?
- Does religion cause war?
- Should the country legalize marijuana?
- Should the country have tighter gun control laws?
- Should men get paternity leave?
- Should maternity leave be longer?
- Should smoking be banned?
- Should the government have a say in our diet?
- Should birth control be free?
- Should we increase access to condoms for teens?
- Should abortion be legal?
- Do school uniforms help educational attainment?
- Are kids better or worse students than they were ten years ago?
- Should students be allowed to cheat?
- Is school too long?
- Does school start too early?
- Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?
- Is summer break still relevant?
- Is college too expensive?
Art / Culture
- How can you reform copyright law?
- What was the best decade for music?
- Do video games cause students to be more violent?
- Should content online be more harshly regulated?
- Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
- Should schools ban books?
- How important is art education?
- Should music be taught in school?
- Are music-sharing services helpful to artists?
- What is the best way to teach science in a religious school?
- Should fracking be legal?
- Should parents be allowed to modify their unborn children?
- Should vaccinations be required for attending school?
- Are GMOs helpful or harmful?
- Are we too dependent on our phones?
- Should everyone have internet access?
- Should internet access be free?
- Should the police force be required to wear body cams?
- Should social media companies be allowed to collect data from their users?
- How has the internet impacted human society?
- Should self-driving cars be allowed on the streets?
- Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
- Are professional athletes paid too much?
- Should the U.S. have more professional sports teams?
- Should sports be separated by gender?
- Should college athletes be paid?
- What are the best ways to increase safety in sports?
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Once you’ve chosen an argumentative essay idea and a structure to support it, make sure that you visit the free CollegeVine Peer Essay Review Tool to make your essay A+ worthy. CollegeVine has helped thousands of students improve their writing and impress admissions officers and teachers. With our tool, you can submit a draft and get feedback from a peer—for free!
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Argumentative Essay Examples
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Artificial intelligence, or A.I., refers to computer technology being capable of independent thought. This is a controversial topic because the idea of computers thinking for themselves has many significant implications, such as computers, rather than humans, making key decisions that affect human life. There is also the potential for artificial...
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The aesthetics of chola makeup can be explained in terms of the sociological concept of disidentification. Chola makeup cannot merely be looked at as a banal fashion statement, but instead as something that carries within it a deep network of social meanings. To understand Chola makeup in terms of disidentification...
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What Is An Argumentative Essay? The Complete Guide
Most students today do not know what is an argumentative essay. In simple terms, an argumentative essay is an essay where you take a stance on the subject being discussed. For an argumentative essay to be deemed as good, you need to persuade the reader to understand and support your viewpoint about a subject by stating your reasons and providing enough evidence to back your theory up.
Argumentative essays are commonly used in high schools and colleges. Mostly, topics for this type of essay are related to health care, politics, technology, and science.
Argumentative Essay Format Structure
An argumentative essay format structure is quite easy. The goal of your essay needs to outline your perspective, reasoning’s, and proof. While learning how to write an argumentative essay, you will also understand that the overall integrity and structure of your essay can be held together by the following:
1. Introduction: The introductory paragraph of your argument essay needs to state the overall objective of your essay, provide the needed background information that will help the readers understand your argument, outline the pieces of evidence that you are about to present, and state your thesis.
2. Thesis statement: This is a part of your first paragraph and is a one-sentence and concise summary of your main claim.
3. Body paragraphs: An argumentative research paper consists of three or more paragraphs that will explain why you are covering and supporting the subject matter. Each paragraph will cover a different piece or idea of the evidence and contain a single topic sentence, which will explain why your audience will agree with your arguments.
These are the paragraphs where you will back all your claims with text citations, studies, statistics, research, and examples. You also need to address the opposing views and explain to them why you disagree with or disprove them. You need to present all your facts correctly and consider a topic from every available angle; this will help you add more credibility to your work and gain the trust of the reader.
4. Final thoughts/Conclusion: This is the paragraph where you will summarize and restate your thesis and all the arguments that you made in the above argumentative paragraphs. You should appeal to the emotions of the reader here, instead of presenting more new facts and/or arguments. You may also use a personal anecdote to explain why and how this particular topic affects you personally.
Some Tips On Writing An Argumentative Essay
If you want to know how to start an argumentative, here are some tips that can help do so:
- As mentioned above, your introductory paragraph of your argumentative writing essay should revolve around your thesis statement. You should provide background information for your reader to understand your argument more easily and keep presenting pieces of evidence to back your argument as you move along.
- Always start with something enticing; you can begin by presenting an interesting quote, statistic, personal anecdote, fact, or a thought-provoking question. This will draw your audience in and get them interested in what you are about to present.
- Ensure that you provide some context and background. For instance, you need to show your reader what the situation is and what are the different events that lead you to write down this essay. You also need to make points as to why people should be interested in your argument. Keep everything as concise as possible – nothing less, nothing more!
Types Of Argumentative Essays
There are three different types of argumentative essays. You can either choose any one format or mix them all to create your own argumentative essay:
- Classical argument strategy
Here, your argumentative essay outline should contain the main argument and opinion; you need to work your hardest to convince the audience why your stance is the right one. The classical argument strategy, or also known as Aristotelian, is considered one of the most popular strategies for making an argument because it is the simplest line of thinking to follow. Additionally, your reader will also don’t have to process a lot of information, since the facts are outlined in a concise manner.
- Rogerian argument strategy
In this type of argument strategy, you need to present your claim and back it up and justify the backup to the claim of your essay. The Rogerian argument strategy is considered more effective for essays containing polarizing topics; both sides of the topics are acknowledged and the middle ground is presented in the argumentative essay.
- Toulmin model of argument
Lastly, you have to present your claim and the linked backup in the Toulmin model of argument. Similar to the Rogerian argumentative essay outline, this type of argument works for polarizing topics as well. However, the difference here is that you present only one of the two topics. You also need to hinge particularly on the facts and present them in such a way that the claim cannot be argued against easily.
Take A Look At Other Samples
Argumentative essays are a bit more complicated than other types of essays. Hence, it is no surprise if you face some of you do not know how to write an argumentative essay. Even if you do, do not hesitate to reach out to MyCustomEssay for quality essay samples or writing assistance. The writers here are available throughout the clock to help you with your needs.
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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Educational System — College
Essays on College
College essay topics and outline examples, essay title 1: the value of higher education: exploring the benefits of college for personal and professional growth.
Thesis Statement: This argumentative essay asserts that college education offers valuable benefits for personal growth, career opportunities, and societal contributions, making it a worthy investment.
- Access to Knowledge: The Role of Higher Education in Expanding Horizons
- Career Advancement: The Link Between College Degrees and Employment Opportunities
- Personal Development: Critical Thinking, Communication, and Problem-Solving Skills
- Societal Impact: Contributions of College Graduates to Innovation and Progress
- Addressing Concerns: The Rising Cost of College and Student Debt
- Alternatives to College: Trade Schools, Apprenticeships, and Online Education
- Conclusion: Affirming the Value of College Education in a Changing World
Essay Title 2: The College Debt Dilemma: Analyzing the Student Loan Crisis and Exploring Solutions
Thesis Statement: This argumentative essay focuses on the student loan crisis, its implications for graduates, and proposes solutions such as loan forgiveness, affordable education, and financial literacy.
- The Student Loan Landscape: Rising Debt and Its Impact on Graduates
- Loan Forgiveness Programs: Evaluating the Pros and Cons
- Affordable Education Initiatives: Making College More Accessible
- Financial Literacy Education: Empowering Students to Make Informed Decisions
- The Role of Government: Policy Reforms and Federal Support
- Personal Responsibility: Budgeting, Scholarships, and Part-Time Work
- Conclusion: Charting a Path Toward a Sustainable College Education System
Essay Title 3: College vs. Alternative Paths: Debating the Merits of Pursuing Higher Education
Thesis Statement: This argumentative essay examines the advantages and disadvantages of attending college compared to alternative paths such as entrepreneurship, vocational training, and early career entry.
- The College Experience: Academics, Campus Life, and Networking Opportunities
- Alternative Paths: Entrepreneurship and Starting a Business
- Trade Schools and Vocational Training: Skill Development and Job Readiness
- Early Career Entry: Apprenticeships, Internships, and Gaining Practical Experience
- Financial Considerations: Comparing the Costs of College and Alternatives
- Individual Goals and Aspirations: Tailoring Education Choices to Personal Objectives
- Conclusion: The Importance of Informed Decision-Making in Pursuing Higher Education
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Argumentative Essay Writing
Argumentative Essay Examples
Best Argumentative Essay Examples for Your Help
Published on: Mar 10, 2023
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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Argumentative essays are one of the most common types of essay writing. Students are assigned to write such essays very frequently.
Despite being assigned so frequently, students still find it hard to write a good argumentative essay .
There are certain things that one needs to follow to write a good argumentative essay. The first thing is to choose an effective and interesting topic. Use all possible sources to dig out the best topic.
Afterward, the student should choose the model that they would follow to write this type of essay. Follow the steps of the chosen model and start writing the essay.
The models for writing an argumentative essay are the classical model, the Rogerian model, and the Toulmin model.
To make sure that you write a good argumentative essay, read the different types of examples mentioned in this blog.
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Good Argumentative Essay Examples
Argumentative essays are an inevitable part of academic life. To write a good argumentative essay, you need to see a few good examples of this type of essay.
To analyze whether the example is good to take help from or not. You need to look for a few things in it.
Make sure it follows one specific model and has an introductory paragraph, organized body paragraphs, and a formal conclusion.
How to Start an Argumentative Essay Example
Learning how to start an argumentative essay example is a tricky thing for beginners. It is quite simple but can be challenging for newbies. To start an argumentative essay example, you need to write a brief and attractive introduction. It is written to convince the reader and make them understand your point of view .
Add body paragraphs after the introduction to support your thesis statement. Also, use body paragraphs to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your side of the argument.
Write a formal conclusion for your essay and summarize all the key elements of your essay. Look at the example mentioned below to understand the concept more clearly.
Check out this video for more information!
Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Example
Argumentative essays are assigned to university students more often than the students of schools and colleges.
It involves arguments over vast and sometimes bold topics as well.
For university students, usually, argumentative essay topics are not provided. They are required to search for the topic themselves and write accordingly.
The following examples will give an idea of how university students write argumentative essays.
Argumentative Essay Example for University (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for College
For the college level, it is recommended to use simple language and avoid the use of complex words in essays.
Make sure that using simple language and valid evidence, you support your claim well and make it as convincing as possible
If you are a college student and want to write an argumentative essay, read the examples provided below. Focus on the formatting and the vocabulary used.
Argumentative Essay Example for College (PDF)
College Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for Middle School
Being a middle school student, you must be wondering how we write an argumentative essay. And how can you support your argument?
Go through the following examples and hopefully, you will be able to write an effective argumentative essay very easily.
Argumentative Essay Example for Middle School(PDF)
Middle School Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for High School
High school students are not very aware of all the skills that are needed to write research papers and essays.
Especially, when it comes to argumentative essays, it becomes quite a challenge for high schools to defend their argument
In this scenario, the best option is to look into some good examples. Here we have summed up two best examples of argumentative essays for high school students specifically.
Argumentative Essay Example for High School (PDF)
High School Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for O Level
The course outline for O levels is quite tough. O levels students need to have a good command of the English language and amazing writing skills.
If you are an O-level student, the following examples will guide you on how to write an argumentative essay.
Argumentative Essay Example for O Level (PDF)
Argumentative Essay for O Level Students (PDF)
5-Paragraph Argumentative Essay Examples
A 5-paragraph essay is basically a formatting style for essay writing. It has the following five parts:
In the introduction, the writer introduces the topic and provides a glance at the collected data to support the main argument.
- Body paragraph 1
The first body paragraph discusses the first and most important point related to the argument. It starts with a topic sentence and has all the factual data to make the argument convincing.
- Body paragraph 2
The second body paragraph mentions the second most important element of the argument. A topic sentence is used to start these paragraphs. It gives the idea of the point that will discuss in the following paragraph.
- Body paragraph 3
The third paragraph discusses all the miscellaneous points. Also, it uses a transitional sentence at the end to show a relation to the conclusion.
The conclusion of a five-paragraph essay reiterates all the major elements of an argumentative essay. It also restates the thesis statement using a more convincing choice of words.
Look at the example below to see how a well-written five-paragraph essay looks like
5 Paragraph Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for 6th Grade
Students in 6th grade are at a point where they are learning new things every day.
Writing an argumentative essay is an interesting activity for them as they like to convince people of their point of view.
Argumentative essays written at such levels are very simple but well convincing.
The following example will give you more detail on how a 6th-grade student should write an argumentative essay.
6th Grade Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Examples for 7th Grade
There is not much difference between a 6th-grade and a 7th-grade student. Both of them are enhancing their writing and academic skills.
Here is another example to help you with writing an effective argumentative essay.
7th Grade Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)
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Short Argumentative Essay Examples
For an argumentative essay, there is no specific limit for the word count. It only has to convince the readers and pass on the knowledge of the writer to the intended audience.
It can be short or detailed. It would be considered valid as far as it has an argument involved in it.
Following is an example of a short argumentative essay example
Short Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)
Immigration Argumentative Essay Examples
Immigration is a hot topic for a very long time now. People have different opinions regarding this issue.
Where there is more than one opinion, an argumentative essay can be written on that topic. The following are examples of argumentative essays on immigration.
Read them and try to understand how an effective argumentative essay is written on such a topic.
Argumentative Essay Example on Immigration (PDF)
Argumentative Essay Sample on Immigration (PDF)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 7 types of arguments.
The seven types of arguments are as follows:
What is the structure of an argument?
The structure of an argument consists of a main point (thesis statement) that is supported by evidence.
This evidence can include facts, statistics, examples, and other forms of data that help to prove or disprove the thesis statement.
After providing the evidence, arguments also often include a conclusion that summarizes the main points made throughout the argument.
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