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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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Guide to Writing Strong Introductions for Argumentative Essays

Adela B.

Table of contents

Have you ever stared at a blank document, the cursor blinking back at you, as your mind races to conjure the perfect starting line for your argumentative essay? If so, you're in good company.

Opening an essay is often the most daunting part for many students. They oscillate between typing out a line and hastily hitting the backspace, feeling the pressure of that first sentence. After all, first impressions matter, right? So, your introduction should be nothing short of spectacular.

But here's the good news - crafting a powerful introduction for your argumentative essay is not as elusive as it seems. In fact, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you out, and trust us, they work!

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who has ever struggled with introducing their argumentative essay - so essentially, every student ever! We're going to break it down, step by step, showing you the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and even providing you with some solid examples.

Hire Us To Write Your Argumentative Essay

And if you're worried about whether you can do it on your own, don't fret! Our expert argumentative essay writers at Writers Per Hour are always ready to help you.

So, let's dive into the art of crafting a compelling introduction for an argumentative essay, shall we?

Understanding the Purpose of an Introduction

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of writing a killer introduction, it's important to understand why it matters so much.

Your introduction, essentially, sets the stage for your argumentative essay. It is your reader's first glimpse into the argument you're about to unfold. An effective introduction grabs your reader's attention, piques their interest, and provides a clear road map for what's to come in the essay.

In simpler words, the purpose of an introduction in an argumentative essay is threefold:

Engage the reader : A well-crafted introduction acts as a hook, capturing the reader's attention and encouraging them to read further.

Provide background information : It sets the context of the argument by offering necessary background details about the topic.

Present the thesis statement : Arguably the most critical part of your introduction - the thesis statement clearly outlines your position on the argument.

REMEMBER : a great introduction is your ticket to a good grade. It is the first impression you make on your reader. So, if it isn't engaging, concise, and clear, you might lose your reader before they even get to the main argument.

The Anatomy of a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

Now that you understand the purpose of an introduction, let's break down the structure.

An effective introduction to an argumentative essay will generally have three main sections: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.

The Hook : This is the first sentence of your introduction, and it needs to grab your reader’s attention. An effective hook could be a surprising fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing statement that challenges common perceptions. This needs to be relevant to your topic and should provoke curiosity, pushing the reader to continue.

Background Information : Following the hook, provide some context to your argument. Explain the relevance of your topic or problem, its history or evolution, or the common debates surrounding it. This provides a basic understanding for your reader and sets the stage for your argument.

Thesis Statement : This is where you state your position clearly and concisely. The thesis statement is arguably the most important part of your introduction—it is the crux of your argument and should be compelling and thought-provoking. It needs to clearly indicate what your argument is and give a hint of how you plan to approach it.

IMPORTANT : your introduction is not a place to present all your evidence or explain every aspect of your argument—that's what the body of your essay is for. Instead, your introduction should hint at these things, creating a roadmap for the reader.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay

Crafting a strong introduction for your argumentative essay is about adhering to some key dos and don’ts. Let's take a look at some of these:

1. Engage your reader : Your introduction's first job is to engage the reader. You can achieve this with a compelling hook that draws them into your essay. Remember, first impressions matter!

2. Provide relevant background information : Your reader may not be as knowledgeable about your topic as you are, so be sure to provide some context and background information to help them understand your argument.

3. State your thesis clearly : Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and debatable. The reader should have no doubts about your stance on the issue.

4. Preview your argument : Give your reader a sense of what's to come by previewing your main points or arguments. This prepares them for the rest of your essay.

1. Don't make your introduction too long : Remember, the introduction is just a sneak peek into your essay, not the main event. Keep it concise and to the point.

2. Don't use clichés : Starting your essay with clichéd phrases or overused quotes can make your introduction feel unoriginal. Instead, aim for a fresh and unique opening line that will pique your reader's interest.

3. Don't be vague : Be clear and precise in your introduction. Vague statements can confuse your reader and make your argument seem weak.

4. Don't forget your audience : Always keep your audience in mind while writing. Your language, tone, and the context you provide should be appropriate for your audience.

REMEMBER : your introduction sets the tone for the rest of your essay, so take your time with it.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing the Introduction

Crafting an engaging introduction for your argumentative essay is like setting the stage for a compelling drama. It should hook your audience, provide context, and present your stance on the issue. But how can you bring all these elements together effectively? Let's break it down step-by-step. Here's your comprehensive guide to writing a riveting introduction for your argumentative essay.

Step 1: Understanding Your Topic

Before you begin writing, ensure that you thoroughly understand the topic and the argument you wish to present. This means going beyond surface-level research and really digging deep into the subject matter.

Step 2: Define Your Stance

Clearly outline your stance on the argument. This will be the foundation of your thesis statement and guide the tone and direction of your essay.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Hook 

Begin your introduction with a hook - an interesting fact, a question, a quote, or a compelling statement that grabs the reader's attention.

Step 4: Provide Background Information

Next, provide some context to your reader about the topic at hand. Remember not to delve too deep into the specifics - just enough information to guide the reader to understand the relevance of your argument.

Step 5: State Your Thesis

Lastly, present your thesis statement - a concise summary of your main argument. This should be clear, precise, and strongly worded. The thesis statement will guide the entirety of your essay, so make sure it's impactful.

Step 6: Preview Your Main Points 

Briefly preview the main points that you will elaborate on in the body of your essay. This helps your reader to understand what to expect from the rest of your argumentative essay.

Step 7: Revise and Edit

Always revise and edit your introduction after writing. Look for any grammar mistakes, unclear sentences or ideas, and ensure that your introduction smoothly transitions into the body of your essay.

REMEMBER : the introduction is the first impression your reader gets of your argumentative essay. Make it impactful, clear, and concise, and you'll have set a strong foundation for the rest of your essay. If you're ever in doubt, reach out to our legal essay writing service , and we'll help guide you on your journey to mastering argumentative essays.

Case Study: Good vs. Bad Introduction

Bad Introduction : "The topic I am writing about is the use of social media. It is very popular. People are always on their phones checking their social media accounts. I am going to talk about if it is good or bad."

Analysis : This introduction falls flat for several reasons. It doesn't grab the reader's attention, and the thesis statement is unclear and broad. It doesn't offer any specific viewpoint or direction for the argument to follow.

Good Introduction : "Every minute, approximately 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 347,222 stories are posted on Instagram, and 2.4 million snaps are created on Snapchat. The rise of social media platforms is more than a trend - it's a global phenomenon. But as these virtual communities continue to grow, a vital question arises: Is the widespread use of social media enhancing human connection or creating deeper isolation? This essay will delve into the multifaceted impacts of social media, arguing that despite its potential for fostering a global network, it often serves as a platform that promotes isolation and disconnection."

Analysis : This introduction starts with an attention-grabbing statistic, clearly showing the extent of social media usage. The background information provided is concise and relevant, offering enough context without overshadowing the argument. The thesis statement is clear, arguable, and offers a specific direction for the essay to take.

By comparing these two examples, you can see how a well-crafted introduction sets the tone for the entire essay, providing a clear, compelling roadmap for the argument to follow.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Crafting an engaging introduction for an argumentative essay doesn't have to be an intimidating process. By understanding the crucial elements involved, practicing, and continuously refining your writing, you're well on your way to creating introductions that captivate your audience and set a strong precedent for your arguments.

  • Start with a powerful hook.
  • Provide necessary background information.
  • State your thesis clearly and concisely.
  • Set the stage for your main argument.
  • And most importantly, revise and refine your introduction.

And there's one more thing to bear in mind: you're not alone in this journey. Writing can be challenging, but help is always within reach.

Additional Resources

To further solidify your introduction writing skills and broaden your understanding of argumentative essays, here are some additional resources that are worth diving into:

Posts from Writers Per Hour Blog

  • How to Write Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
  • How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument
  • Argumentative Essay Topics Ideas
  • Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay

External Resources

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: Introduction to Argumentative Essays
  • University of North Carolina Writing Center: Introductions
  • Harvard College Writing Center: How to Write an Essay

Remember, becoming proficient in writing argumentative essays is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, practice, and patience. But don't forget - if you ever find yourself in need of help, our argumentative essay writing service is here for you. Our American essay writing service is adept at crafting essays and can support you in reaching your academic goals.

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8 Effective Strategies to Write Argumentative Essays

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Argumentative Essays

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

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 the intro of an argumentative essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Impact

how to write the intro of an argumentative essay

Unraveling the threads of persuasive prowess, it's intriguing to note that legal minds, in the heart of courtroom battles, rely heavily on the art of argumentation. Lawyers, often hailed as modern-day rhetoricians, strategically construct persuasive narratives to sway judges and juries. This underscores the real-world impact of effective argumentation, where the stakes are high, and every word carries weight. As we embark on our exploration of argumentative essays, much like lawyers building cases, we'll learn to structure our essays with precision, anticipate counterarguments, and present a compelling narrative.

Short Description

In this exploration, we'll define the argumentative essay, providing you with expert tips and step-by-step guidance to enhance your persuasive writing skills. You'll discover the power of well-structured essays, learn effective techniques to support your stance and explore real-world examples that bring theory to life. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just beginning your writing journey, join our argumentative essay writer on a journey into the heart of argumentative writing. Learn how definitions come to life, tips turn into skills, and enhance your writing adventure!

What Is an Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays thrive on issues that elicit diverse opinions. This is a genre of writing where the author presents a stance on a particular issue or topic and supports it with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The chosen topic should be one where reasonable people can disagree. The primary aim is not just to express a personal opinion but to persuade the audience to adopt the writer's point of view.

The language used in these essays is often persuasive and authoritative, similar to when learning how to write persuasive essay . Writers aim to convince readers of the validity of their perspectives. Let's consider an essay addressing the topic of online education. The writer might assert:

  • 'Online education is a more flexible and accessible mode of learning compared to traditional classrooms.'

This thesis sets the stage for the subsequent exploration of reasons, evidence, and examples supporting this viewpoint. Additionally, these essays rely on factual information, statistics, research findings, and concrete examples to support the author's claims.

And if the thought of crafting such an essay feels like a dragon to slay, worry not – there are expert writers out there ready to champion your cause. If the notion strikes you to cry out, ' Write essay for me !' let the scribes of wisdom weave your narrative with the finesse of literary wizards.

Argumentative Essay Examples

Below you can find some good argumentative essay examples from our argumentative essay writing service . The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of being able to strike for public workers.

Argumentative Essay Example ‍

The second essay from our dissertation writing services discusses the importance of economic equality in a nation, alongside possible repercussions and potential threats if not met.

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Argumentative Essay Outline

Knowing how to structure an argumentative essay demands more than just strong opinions; it requires a well-organized framework that guides both the writer and the reader through a logical progression of ideas. In this section, we'll delve into the intricacies of argumentative essay outlines, exploring three distinct approaches: the Aristotelian (Classic) method, the Toulmin model, and the Rogerian strategy. Each approach brings its unique framework, offering writers diverse tools to build convincing and well-structured arguments.

argumentative essay outline

Aristotelian (Classic)

The Aristotelian, or Classic, argumentative essay structure follows a traditional structure inspired by Aristotle's rhetorical theory. This method comprises three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction:

  • Hook: Engage the reader with a compelling opening.
  • Background: Provide context to the issue.
  • Thesis: Clearly state your position on the topic.
  • Logos (Logical Appeal): Present evidence, facts, and logical reasoning.
  • Ethos (Ethical Appeal): Establish credibility by incorporating authoritative sources.
  • Pathos (Emotional Appeal): Appeal to the reader's emotions for added persuasion.

Conclusion:

  • Summarize key points.
  • Reinforce the thesis.
  • Provide a thought-provoking closing statement.

Developed by philosopher Stephen Toulmin, this model emphasizes the components of an argument and their interrelation. Here's what this outline should look like according to our dissertation writing services :

  • State the main argument or thesis.
  • Offer evidence and support for the claim.
  • Explain the connection between the claim and evidence.
  • Provide additional support for the warrant.
  • Acknowledge the limitations or scope of the argument.
  • Address opposing viewpoints and counterarguments.

The Rogerian approach to an argumentative essay, inspired by psychologist Carl Rogers, focuses on finding common ground and promoting understanding.

  • Establish a neutral tone.
  • Acknowledge the complexity of the issue.
  • Present the issue from multiple perspectives.
  • State your position while acknowledging opposing arguments.
  • Discuss areas of agreement and shared concerns.
  • Present your viewpoint with empathy.
  • Emphasize shared goals and potential compromises.
  • Encourage further dialogue.

Argumentative Essay Structure

Understanding how to write an argumentative essay involves a well-thought-out structure that guides both the writer and the reader through a coherent and persuasive journey. Here's a breakdown of the essential components: introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

1. Introduction: The introduction serves as the gateway to your argumentative essay, capturing the reader's attention and providing context for the issue at hand.

  • Hook: Engage your audience with a captivating opening. Example: 'In an era dominated by technology, the impact on human relationships cannot be ignored.'
  • Background: Offer a brief overview of the topic to provide context. Example: 'As virtual communication tools continue to reshape how we connect, the dynamics of interpersonal relationships undergo a profound transformation.'
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state your position on the issue. Example: 'This essay contends that while technology enhances accessibility, it concurrently challenges the depth and authenticity of face-to-face interactions.'

2. Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is the anchor of your essay, succinctly encapsulating your main argument.

Example: 'Online education is a more flexible and accessible mode of learning compared to traditional classrooms.'

3. Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs constitute the core of your argumentative essay, presenting evidence, analysis, and supporting details.

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the main point of the paragraph. Example: 'One key advantage of online education is its flexibility, allowing learners to customize their study schedules.'
  • Evidence: Provide facts, statistics, or examples to support your point. Example: 'According to a study by XYZ, 78% of online learners reported higher satisfaction with the flexibility offered by virtual courses.'
  • Analysis: Explain the significance of the evidence and how it supports your thesis. Example: 'This flexibility not only accommodates diverse learning styles but also caters to individuals with busy schedules, making education more inclusive.'

4. Conclusion: The conclusion wraps up your essay, summarizing key points and reinforcing your thesis while leaving a lasting impression.

  • Summary: Recap the main arguments made in the essay. Example: 'In conclusion, the flexibility of online education addresses the diverse needs of learners in today's fast-paced world.'
  • Thesis Reinforcement: Restate your thesis in a compelling way. Example: 'Embracing the adaptability of online education is not just a technological shift but a fundamental transformation in how we approach learning.'
  • Closing Statement: End with a thought-provoking remark or a call to action. Example: 'As we navigate the future of education, embracing flexibility may pave the way for a more inclusive and accessible learning landscape.'

Building a Compelling Argumentative Essay Thesis

Constructing an impactful thesis statement is the cornerstone of a persuasive, argumentative essay. Here's a step-by-step guide to crafting a thesis that captivates readers and sets the tone for your entire essay.

Pose a Question and Provide a Response

Engage your readers from the start by posing a thought-provoking question related to your topic. Follow it up with a clear and assertive response that establishes your stance.

Example : Can increased reliance on technology truly enhance our interpersonal connections? In this essay, we contend that while technology facilitates communication, it simultaneously challenges the depth and authenticity of face-to-face interactions.

Present an Argument, Then Challenge It

A good argumentative essay should start with your primary argument in a direct and assertive manner. However, add depth to your thesis by acknowledging potential counterarguments. This demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the issue and strengthens your overall position.

Example : While advocates argue that social media fosters global connectivity, it is essential to recognize the potential drawbacks. This essay asserts that the pervasive use of social platforms may lead to superficial relationships and hinder genuine human connection.

Outline Key Points for Clarity and Impact

Provide a brief roadmap of the main points you will explore in your essay. This not only clarifies your intentions but also prepares your reader for the arguments to come.

Example : Exploring the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships, we will delve into the challenges posed by virtual communication, analyze the role of face-to-face interactions, and consider potential solutions for a harmonious coexistence between the virtual and real worlds.

By adding these steps from our experts in research paper help to your thesis-building process, you establish a base that not only clearly expresses your standpoint but also captivates readers with interesting questions, challenges, and key points that will unfold in your essay.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Quick Steps

Here's a deeper dive into each step that goes into your writing process. By incorporating them, you'll navigate the complexities of argumentative writing with finesse, producing a piece that not only communicates your viewpoint effectively but also engages and persuades your audience.

how to write argumentative essay

Generating Ideas

The ideation phase is crucial for developing a strong foundation for your argumentative essay. Consider conducting extensive research to understand various perspectives on the topic. Engage in freewriting or mind mapping to explore different angles. Generating a pool of ideas allows you to select the most compelling arguments when you move to the next steps.

Getting Ready

Preparation is key before diving into the writing process. Organize your thoughts and argumentative essay topics into a coherent structure. Craft a concise thesis statement that is not only clear but also sets the tone for the entire essay. This preparatory stage is an opportunity to refine your focus, ensuring that each subsequent paragraph serves the central argument.

Putting Pen to Paper

As you begin drafting, remember to maintain a logical flow in your essay. Craft an engaging introductory paragraph that introduces the topic and states your thesis. In the body paragraph section, delve into each argument with supporting evidence and examples. Address potential counterarguments to showcase a comprehensive understanding of the issue. This step is about giving substance to your ideas and constructing a persuasive narrative.

Perfecting Your Work

The review and refinement phase is where you elevate your argument essay from a draft to a polished piece of writing. Assess the coherence of your arguments, ensuring that each paragraph contributes meaningfully to your overall thesis. Consider the clarity of your language and the effectiveness of your evidence. This stage allows you to hone the persuasiveness of your essay.

Polishing the Final Product

Meticulous proofreading is the final touch that transforms your essay into a refined and impactful work. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Verify the consistency of your writing style and refine any areas that may be unclear. In the concluding paragraph, reiterate your thesis with a thought-provoking statement to leave a lasting impression. This attention to detail ensures that your argumentative essay is not only compelling but also a testament to your writing prowess.

Essential Argumentative Essay Tips

Mastering the art of argumentative academic essays involves honing key skills to make your case compelling and persuasive. Here are essential tips on writing an argumentative essay to enhance your writing prowess:

Strengthen Your Case with Solid Facts

The foundation of a convincing argument lies in factual evidence. Support your assertions with well-researched data, statistics, and examples. According to our essay writing help , a robust argumentative essay is built on a bedrock of reliable information, demonstrating your understanding of the topic and reinforcing the credibility of your stance.

Example : Citing data from reputable environmental agencies, it is evident that there has been a significant increase in carbon emissions over the past decade.

Take Charge with Language

While learning how to write an argumentative essay, remember that the language you use in your essay plays a pivotal role in influencing your reader. Adopt a tone that is assertive yet respectful. Clearly articulate your points and use persuasive language to guide your audience through your reasoning. Words have the power to evoke emotions and shape perceptions, so choose them wisely to strengthen your argument.

Example : Undoubtedly, the ramifications of climate change are far-reaching, demanding immediate action to mitigate the environmental crisis.

Employ Tools for Effective Writing

Equip yourself with writing tools that enhance the effectiveness of your argumentative essay. Similar to the approach when mastering how to write an explanatory essay , ensure that your essay has a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use transitional phrases to create a seamless flow between ideas. Additionally, employ rhetorical devices to add flair to your writing and make your arguments more memorable.

Example : Transitioning from the impact of deforestation to potential solutions, the essay navigates through a spectrum of strategies, each aiming to strike a balance between ecological preservation and human needs.

In this guide, we've covered the essentials of crafting compelling argumentative essays. From generating ideas to polishing the final product, we explored effective strategies, outlined key structures, and shared tips for constructing powerful theses. Armed with insights into language, facts, and writing tools, you're now equipped to create impactful essays that captivate and persuade. Your journey into the art of persuasive expression begins here, offering a roadmap for confident and compelling argumentative writing.

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How to Start an Argumentative Essay for Any Topic

In essay writing, the toughest part is always starting it. Most students agree: when you get the introduction paragraph right, you become much more confident about writing the rest of the paper. And, when it comes to more specific academic papers, such as argumentative essays, nearly anyone can get his mind messed up with what words they should really start with. After all, the first few sentences of the text form the first overall impression of your entire work. 

In the previous article, we’ve already discussed the first step of writing an argumentative work and introduced some of the best argumentative essay topics to choose from. Here, we will review the structure of this specific type of academic paper and learn how to start an argumentative essay . 

Argumentative Essay Structure: A Detailed Overview

Once you’ve decided to learn how to write an argumentative essay , it’s essential to start by reviewing the overall structure of this specific type of paper. 

Though there are multiple writing techniques for this essay, it’s usually recommended to focus on the most common – the classical approach, especially if you’re new to it. Classical structure works great for students who have only little practice in essay writing, as well as those who are completely new to this. 

An Introduction

One of the most important parts of any essay is aimed at presenting the core message of your paper, including the thesis statement. As a rule, it is presented in a single paragraph. The structure of any introduction starts with some general statements concerning your topic and, with every new sentence, narrows down to the key thesis of your paper. 

Let’s take the following example as our essay topic: “Should we ease sugar consumption?”

In the introductory paragraph, we can draw a few general, topic-related sentences explaining why this subject is important. 

For instance, something like: “More and more people today start tracking their sugar consumption in order to maintain their health and well-being. That’s no wonder since a large sugar consumption can cause multiple different diseases, including cancers, obesity, heart attacks, diabetes – and that’s not the complete list. Tracking the sugar intake doesn’t only mean counting how many teaspoons you put into your daily beverages – you should also mind the products that are high in sugar….” 

The Subject’s Background

In this part, you can introduce the early studies of your main topic, stressing why it is important. As an example, you can talk about children who have been diagnosed with obesity and suffer from eating disorders caused by sugar. You can even mention the famous documentary “That Sugar Film” by Damon Gamo. Provide your readers with some food for thought, explaining why this topic matters and the aspects that have been researched within this scope. 

Main Arguments

If you googled ​​what is a argumentative essay , you surely know that it implies the use of specific arguments concerning the essay topic. In this part, we’ll finally provide them! Usually, this means you’ll clear out the main points of your position. 

For our example, this can include the addiction-related statements; you can also mention the psychological impact sugar makes on your brain and mood. Or else, you can drive the examples from life, such as when your brother refused to eat breakfast without sweets or got a cavity because of regularly eating cupcakes.  

This section requires providing the opposite opinion you’ll need to refute as being invalid. For example: “Some people tend to refuse the bad impact of sugar on their health, claiming that it’s more about genetic predisposition, rather than sugar consumption. However, different researches have proven that regular sugar overdose can provide much more damage to various groups of organs than a genetic predisposition to cancer. 

In the final part, you’ll need to make a strong conclusion for an argumentative essay by summarizing all the key arguments and providing solutions or studies that should be conducted in the future. In our example of writing an argumentative essay , we will be pointing out all the “against” statements, along with the general explanation of how people can reduce sugar consumption. 

How to Make an Impressive Argumentative Essay Introduction

Now that you’ve learned the structure of this type of essay and can better understand the main focus points required in each part. Here, we’ll provide the best ideas for helping you to write an excellent argumentative essay introduction for your paper. 

So, how can you start the essay?

Argumentative essay introduction

Now you can see that writing an introductory part for such challenging papers as argumentative essays is more than possible, even for the students who write it at first!

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve learned the argumentative essay structure , it becomes super easy to get it written in the most reasonable time. Moreover, a catching introduction part can greatly draw readers’ attention, perfectly present the essay topic and narrow the intro words down to the more specific theses it’s focused on. 

Nevertheless, if you still feel unconfident writing an argumentative essay or need professional assistance in preparing your perfect paper – the best essay writer is 24/7 here to help you! Our academic service offers first-class assistance in writing various types of academic papers on basically any topic. 

So, if you already have the assignment to complete – contact us today and get your work done for the most reasonable cost!

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What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

Argumentative Essay

We define an argumentative essay as a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. The purpose is to convince the reader to accept a particular viewpoint or action. In an argumentative essay, the writer takes a stance on a controversial or debatable topic and supports their position with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The essay should also address counterarguments, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

Table of Contents

  • What is an argumentative essay?  
  • Argumentative essay structure 
  • Argumentative essay outline 
  • Types of argument claims 

How to write an argumentative essay?

  • Argumentative essay writing tips 
  • Good argumentative essay example 

How to write a good thesis

Frequently asked questions, what is an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a coherent and logical analysis of a specific topic. 1 The goal is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or opinion on a particular issue. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay: 

  • Thesis Statement : The central claim or argument that the essay aims to prove. 
  • Introduction : Provides background information and introduces the thesis statement. 
  • Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph addresses a specific aspect of the argument, presents evidence, and may include counterarguments. 
  • Evidence : Supports the main argument with relevant facts, examples, statistics, or expert opinions. 
  • Counterarguments : Anticipates and addresses opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall argument. 
  • Conclusion : Summarizes the main points, reinforces the thesis, and may suggest implications or actions. 

how to write the intro of an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay structure

Aristotelian, Rogerian, and Toulmin are three distinct approaches to argumentative essay structures, each with its principles and methods. 2 The choice depends on the purpose and nature of the topic. Here’s an overview of each type of argumentative essay format.

Argumentative essay outline

An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here’s an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3  

1.  Introduction : 

  • Hook : Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention. 

Example: “Did you know that plastic pollution is threatening marine life at an alarming rate?” 

  • Background information : Provide brief context about the issue. 

Example: “Plastic pollution has become a global environmental concern, with millions of tons of plastic waste entering our oceans yearly.” 

  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position. 

Example: “We must take immediate action to reduce plastic usage and implement more sustainable alternatives to protect our marine ecosystem.” 

2.  Body Paragraphs : 

  • Topic sentence : Introduce the main idea of each paragraph. 

Example: “The first step towards addressing the plastic pollution crisis is reducing single-use plastic consumption.” 

  • Evidence/Support : Provide evidence, facts, statistics, or examples that support your argument. 

Example: “Research shows that plastic straws alone contribute to millions of tons of plastic waste annually, and many marine animals suffer from ingestion or entanglement.” 

  • Counterargument/Refutation : Acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints. 

Example: “Some argue that banning plastic straws is inconvenient for consumers, but the long-term environmental benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.” 

  • Transition : Connect each paragraph to the next. 

Example: “Having addressed the issue of single-use plastics, the focus must now shift to promoting sustainable alternatives.” 

3.  Counterargument Paragraph : 

  • Acknowledgement of opposing views : Recognize alternative perspectives on the issue. 

Example: “While some may argue that individual actions cannot significantly impact global plastic pollution, the cumulative effect of collective efforts must be considered.” 

  • Counterargument and rebuttal : Present and refute the main counterargument. 

Example: “However, individual actions, when multiplied across millions of people, can substantially reduce plastic waste. Small changes in behavior, such as using reusable bags and containers, can have a significant positive impact.” 

4.  Conclusion : 

  • Restatement of thesis : Summarize your main argument. 

Example: “In conclusion, adopting sustainable practices and reducing single-use plastic is crucial for preserving our oceans and marine life.” 

  • Call to action : Encourage the reader to take specific steps or consider the argument’s implications. 

Example: “It is our responsibility to make environmentally conscious choices and advocate for policies that prioritize the health of our planet. By collectively embracing sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier future.” 

how to write the intro of an argumentative essay

Types of argument claims

A claim is a statement or proposition a writer puts forward with evidence to persuade the reader. 4 Here are some common types of argument claims, along with examples: 

  • Fact Claims : These claims assert that something is true or false and can often be verified through evidence.  Example: “Water boils at 100°C at sea level.”
  • Value Claims : Value claims express judgments about the worth or morality of something, often based on personal beliefs or societal values. Example: “Organic farming is more ethical than conventional farming.” 
  • Policy Claims : Policy claims propose a course of action or argue for a specific policy, law, or regulation change.  Example: “Schools should adopt a year-round education system to improve student learning outcomes.” 
  • Cause and Effect Claims : These claims argue that one event or condition leads to another, establishing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Example: “Excessive use of social media is a leading cause of increased feelings of loneliness among young adults.” 
  • Definition Claims : Definition claims assert the meaning or classification of a concept or term.  Example: “Artificial intelligence can be defined as machines exhibiting human-like cognitive functions.” 
  • Comparative Claims : Comparative claims assert that one thing is better or worse than another in certain respects.  Example: “Online education is more cost-effective than traditional classroom learning.” 
  • Evaluation Claims : Evaluation claims assess the quality, significance, or effectiveness of something based on specific criteria.  Example: “The new healthcare policy is more effective in providing affordable healthcare to all citizens.” 

Understanding these argument claims can help writers construct more persuasive and well-supported arguments tailored to the specific nature of the claim.  

If you’re wondering how to start an argumentative essay, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the argumentative essay format and writing process.

  • Choose a Topic: Select a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Ensure that the topic is debatable and has two or more sides.
  • Define Your Position: Clearly state your stance on the issue. Consider opposing viewpoints and be ready to counter them.
  • Conduct Research: Gather relevant information from credible sources, such as books, articles, and academic journals. Take notes on key points and supporting evidence.
  • Create a Thesis Statement: Develop a concise and clear thesis statement that outlines your main argument. Convey your position on the issue and provide a roadmap for the essay.
  • Outline Your Argumentative Essay: Organize your ideas logically by creating an outline. Include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis.
  • Write the Introduction: Start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention (a quote, a question, a surprising fact). Provide background information on the topic. Present your thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
  • Develop Body Paragraphs: Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis. Support your points with evidence and examples. Address counterarguments and refute them to strengthen your position. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and respond to opposing viewpoints. Anticipate objections and provide evidence to counter them.
  • Write the Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your argumentative essay. Reinforce the significance of your argument. End with a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking statement.
  • Revise, Edit, and Share: Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Share your essay with peers, friends, or instructors for constructive feedback.
  • Finalize Your Argumentative Essay: Make final edits based on feedback received. Ensure that your essay follows the required formatting and citation style.

Argumentative essay writing tips

Here are eight strategies to craft a compelling argumentative essay: 

  • Choose a Clear and Controversial Topic : Select a topic that sparks debate and has opposing viewpoints. A clear and controversial issue provides a solid foundation for a strong argument. 
  • Conduct Thorough Research : Gather relevant information from reputable sources to support your argument. Use a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert opinions, to strengthen your position. 
  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement : Clearly articulate your main argument in a concise thesis statement. Your thesis should convey your stance on the issue and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow your argument. 
  • Develop a Logical Structure : Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point of evidence that contributes to your overall argument. Ensure a logical flow from one point to the next. 
  • Provide Strong Evidence : Support your claims with solid evidence. Use facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions to support your arguments. Be sure to cite your sources appropriately to maintain credibility. 
  • Address Counterarguments : Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counterarguments. Addressing and refuting alternative perspectives strengthens your essay and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issue. Be mindful of maintaining a respectful tone even when discussing opposing views. 
  • Use Persuasive Language : Employ persuasive language to make your points effectively. Avoid emotional appeals without supporting evidence and strive for a respectful and professional tone. 
  • Craft a Compelling Conclusion : Summarize your main points, restate your thesis, and leave a lasting impression in your conclusion. Encourage readers to consider the implications of your argument and potentially take action. 

how to write the intro of an argumentative essay

Good argumentative essay example

Let’s consider a sample of argumentative essay on how social media enhances connectivity:

In the digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool that transcends geographical boundaries, connecting individuals from diverse backgrounds and providing a platform for an array of voices to be heard. While critics argue that social media fosters division and amplifies negativity, it is essential to recognize the positive aspects of this digital revolution and how it enhances connectivity by providing a platform for diverse voices to flourish. One of the primary benefits of social media is its ability to facilitate instant communication and connection across the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram break down geographical barriers, enabling people to establish and maintain relationships regardless of physical location and fostering a sense of global community. Furthermore, social media has transformed how people stay connected with friends and family. Whether separated by miles or time zones, social media ensures that relationships remain dynamic and relevant, contributing to a more interconnected world. Moreover, social media has played a pivotal role in giving voice to social justice movements and marginalized communities. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #ClimateStrike have gained momentum through social media, allowing individuals to share their stories and advocate for change on a global scale. This digital activism can shape public opinion and hold institutions accountable. Social media platforms provide a dynamic space for open dialogue and discourse. Users can engage in discussions, share information, and challenge each other’s perspectives, fostering a culture of critical thinking. This open exchange of ideas contributes to a more informed and enlightened society where individuals can broaden their horizons and develop a nuanced understanding of complex issues. While criticisms of social media abound, it is crucial to recognize its positive impact on connectivity and the amplification of diverse voices. Social media transcends physical and cultural barriers, connecting people across the globe and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard. By fostering open dialogue and facilitating the exchange of ideas, social media contributes to a more interconnected and empowered society. Embracing the positive aspects of social media allows us to harness its potential for positive change and collective growth.
  • Clearly Define Your Thesis Statement:   Your thesis statement is the core of your argumentative essay. Clearly articulate your main argument or position on the issue. Avoid vague or general statements.  
  • Provide Strong Supporting Evidence:   Back up your thesis with solid evidence from reliable sources and examples. This can include facts, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes, or real-life examples. Make sure your evidence is relevant to your argument, as it impacts the overall persuasiveness of your thesis.  
  • Anticipate Counterarguments and Address Them:   Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen credibility. This also shows that you engage critically with the topic rather than presenting a one-sided argument. 

The length of an argumentative essay can vary, but it typically falls within the range of 1,000 to 2,500 words. However, the specific requirements may depend on the guidelines provided.

You might write an argumentative essay when:  1. You want to convince others of the validity of your position.  2. There is a controversial or debatable issue that requires discussion.  3. You need to present evidence and logical reasoning to support your claims.  4. You want to explore and critically analyze different perspectives on a topic. 

Argumentative Essay:  Purpose : An argumentative essay aims to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a specific point of view or argument.  Structure : It follows a clear structure with an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs presenting arguments and evidence, counterarguments and refutations, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is formal and relies on logical reasoning, evidence, and critical analysis.    Narrative/Descriptive Essay:  Purpose : These aim to tell a story or describe an experience, while a descriptive essay focuses on creating a vivid picture of a person, place, or thing.  Structure : They may have a more flexible structure. They often include an engaging introduction, a well-developed body that builds the story or description, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is more personal and expressive to evoke emotions or provide sensory details. 

  • Gladd, J. (2020). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays.  Write What Matters . 
  • Nimehchisalem, V. (2018). Pyramid of argumentation: Towards an integrated model for teaching and assessing ESL writing.  Language & Communication ,  5 (2), 185-200. 
  • Press, B. (2022).  Argumentative Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide . Broadview Press. 
  • Rieke, R. D., Sillars, M. O., & Peterson, T. R. (2005).  Argumentation and critical decision making . Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. 

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

10 May, 2020

9 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Being able to present your argument and carry your point in a debate or a discussion is a vital skill. No wonder educational establishments make writing compositions of such type a priority for all students. If you are not really good at delivering a persuasive message to the audience, this guide is for you. It will teach you how to write an argumentative essay successfully step by step. So, read on and pick up the essential knowledge.

argumentative essay

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a paper that gets the reader to recognize the author’s side of the argument as valid. The purpose of this specific essay is to pose a question and answer it with compelling evidence. At its core, this essay type works to champion a specific viewpoint. The key, however, is that the topic of the argumentative essay has multiple sides, which can be explained, weighed, and judged by relevant sources.

Check out our ultimate argumentative essay topics list!

This essay often explores common questions associated with any type of argument including:

Common questions associated with an argument

Argumentative VS Persuasive Essay

It’s important not to confuse argumentative essay with a persuasive essay – while they both seem to follow the same goal, their methods are slightly different. While the persuasive essay is here to convince the reader (to pick your side), the argumentative essay is here to present information that supports the claim.

In simple words, it explains why the author picked this side of the argument, and persuasive essay does its best to persuade the reader to agree with your point of view.

Now that we got this straight, let’s get right to our topic – how to write an argumentative essay. As you can easily recognize, it all starts with a proper argument. First, let’s define the types of argument available and strategies that you can follow.

Types of Argument

Types of Argument

When delving into the types of argument, the vocabulary suddenly becomes quite “lawyerish”; and that makes sense since lawyers stake their whole livelihood on their ability to win arguments. So step into your lawyer shoes, and learn about the five kinds of arguments that you could explore in an argumentative paper:

Claims of cause and effect

This paper focuses on answering what caused the issue(s), and what the resulting effects have been.

Claims of definition

This paper explores a controversial interpretation of a particular definition; the paper delves into what the world really means and how it could be interpreted in different ways.

Claims of Fact

This argumentative paper examines whether a particular fact is accurate; it often looks at several sources reporting a fact and examines their veracity.

Claims of Policy

This is a favorite argumentative essay in government and sociology classes; this paper explores a particular policy, who it affects, and what (if anything) should be done about it.

Claims of Value

This essay identifies a particular value or belief and then examines how and why it is important to a particular cohort or a larger, general population.

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert

Argument Strategies

Argument Strategies

When mulling over how to approach your argumentative assignment, you should be aware that three main argument strategies exist regarding how exactly to argue an issue: classical, Rogerian, Toulmin.

Classical Argument

This argument structure dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this strategy, the arguer introduces the issue, provides context, clearly states their claim, provides key arguments backed by lots of evidence, and nullifies opposing arguments with valid data.

Rogerian Argument

Hate conflict? This may be the argumentative paper strategy for you. At its core, this strategy works to identify compromise aspects for both sides; this approach works to find commonality and an ultimate agreement between two sides rather than proclaiming a winner or loser. The focus in this argument is compromise and respect of all sides.

Toulmin Argument

Remember Spock? This is his type of strategy; the Toulmin approach focuses solely on logic to persuade the audience. It is heavy on data and often relies on qualities to narrow the focus of a claim and strengthen the writer’s stance. This approach also tends to rely on exceptions, which clearly set limits on the parameters of an argument, thus making a particular stance easier to agree with.

With that in mind, we can now organize our argument into the essay structure.

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Argumentative essay Example

Organizing the argumentative essay outline.

Organizing the Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay follows the typical essay format: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. However, the body paragraphs are structured a bit differently from other body paragraphs. Surely, not something you can see in a cause and effect essay outline .

While the introduction should still begin with an attention-grabbing sentence that catches the reader’s interest and compels him or her to continue reading and provides key background information, the following paragraphs focus on specific aspects of the argument.

Let’s begin with the introduction.

Related Post: How to write an Essay Introduction ?

Introduction Paragraph

As its name suggests, this paragraph provides all the background information necessary for a reader unfamiliar with the argumentative essay topic to understand what it’s about. A solid introduction should:

  • Begin with a descriptive title that communicates your position regarding the topic
  • Rhetorical question
  • Personal anecdote
  • Provide necessary background, including definitions of any relevant words
  • End with a thesis statement that communicates your position
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Body Paragraphs

Support the thesis statement

Body paragraphs can range in size from six to fifteen or more sentences. The goal of these paragraphs is to support the thesis statement. Recommended areas of focus for the body paragraphs within an argumentative paper include:

  • Identifying and explaining the problem
  • Identifying the two (or more) sides to the problem
  • Exploring the side the writer believes is more appropriate than the others
  • Shooting down the other sides, with evidence
  • Recommending a course of action for the reader

One important way how this essay differs from other kinds is its specific nature. At the end of reading such an essay, the audience should clearly understand the issue or controversy and have enough information to make an informed decision regarding the issue. But what compels an audience make an informed decision? Several things!

  • Authoritative sources (experts in their field)
  • Real-world examples
  • Attributable anecdotes

Conclusion

In this paragraph, often the shortest of all the paragraphs, the writer reviews his or her most compelling reasons for taking a particular stance on an issue. The persuasion should be strong here, and the writer should use combative language including examples such as:

  • “then” statements
  • There can be no doubt
  • Without immediate action
  • Research strongly supports

It is also appropriate to refute potential opposition in the conclusion. By stating the objections readers could have, and show why they should be dismissed; the conclusion resonates more strongly with the reader.

Check our guide if you have any other questions on academic paper writing!

Argumentative Essay Sample

Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own argumentative essay. Link:  Argumentative essay on white rappers’ moral rights to perform .

Remember : the key to winning any argument should be reliable sources — the better, the more trustworthy your sources, the more likely the audience will consider a viewpoint different from their own.

And while you may feel a deep passion towards a particular topic, keep in mind that emotions can be messy; this essay should present all sides to the argument respectfully and with a clear intention to portray each of them fairly.

Let the data, statistics, and facts speak loudly and clearly for themselves. And don’t forget to use opinionated language — using such diction is a must in any strong argumentative writing!

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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.

body_argue

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.

body_basketball-3

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.

body_birdfight

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.

What's Next?

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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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A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way.

Start With a Hook

Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic. To pique the reader's interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal story, a surprising statistic or an interesting question. For example, if you are arguing that smoking should be banned from all public places, you can start your introduction by referencing a statistic from a verified source: "Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year -- more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to the World Health Organization." This strategy grabs the reader's attention while introducing the topic of the essay.

Include Background

Providing readers with background on the topic allows them to better understand the issue being presented. This information provides context and history that can be crucial to explaining and arguing your point. For example, if you are arguing that there should never be a military draft in the United States, your introduction can include information about the history of the U.S. draft and the events that led to it being abolished.

State Your Thesis

The thesis is the essence of an argumentative essay. In a single, clear sentence, it sums up what point you are trying to make. The thesis statement should assert a position on a particular issue -- one that a reader can potentially argue against. Therefore, the thesis cannot be a fact. For example, if a professor assigns the general topic of war, you can formulate the following thesis statement: "The United Nations must be redesigned because it is currently incapable of preventing wars." The rest of your essay serves to explain and provide evidence in support of your thesis statement.

What to Leave Out

A good introduction should not be describing arguments or providing analysis that belong in the body paragraphs. Your introduction should introduce and set up your point, rather than lay out evidence to support it. Also, while your intro is a road map for the rest of the essay, you shouldn't explicitly announce what and how you will be arguing: "I am going to prove to you that ..." This type of set up does not add any pertinent information and only serves as filler.

  • Utah State University Writing Guide: Introduction and Conclusion
  • Purdue University: Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays.

While composing an argumentative essay, the students have to demonstrate their research and analytical skills. The secret of a successful paper lies behind strong arguments and counterarguments. So, the writer should focus on facts and data rather than personal values and beliefs.

Besides, a good argumentative essay should be structured appropriately:

  • The introduction and conclusion have to create a frame for the entire essay.
  • The body paragraphs are supposed to cover the essential points.
  • Supporting evidence should make a paper more professional and reputable.

Are you still wondering what an argumentative essay is and how to write it? Check out the sections below prepared by our experts . Here, you can find the most valuable info, helpful tips, and useful examples.

📜 Classic Strategy

📋 toulmin strategy, 🗣️ rogerian strategy, ✒️ fill in the blanks, 🔍 edit and proofread, 🔗 references, 📌 argumentative essay in a nutshell.

Are you trying to figure out what an argumentative essay is? It’s a type of academic paper that covers both sides of a given issue. An author can decide whether they aim to present both sides equally or support one side more dynamically.

One of the mistakes among students is the confusion of argumentative and persuasive essays . Do you want to figure out the differences? Take a look at the following table.

Before writing an argument essay, it would be helpful to choose an appropriate model to rely on. There are three strategies to consider: Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian.

Look at the following sections and choose the most suitable one for you.

Are you wondering how to write an argumentative essay? Consider using the classical approach. It is the most popular way of composing an argumentative paper.

Under the classical strategy, the author has to follow these rules:

  • research the issue;
  • present both sides;
  • express own opinion;
  • prove the reader the validity of the conclusion.

It is up to the audience to decide whether your position is right or wrong. Yet, you should try to convince the readers of the effectiveness of your opinion.

Usually, the classical argument paper is structured in the following way:

  • Introduction . Use the hook to catch the readers’ attention. State the problem and explain why your topic is relatable to the audience.
  • General background. Introduce the general info and several facts about your issue.
  • Thesis statement . State your position clearly and concisely.
  • The central argument. Provide valid evidence and appropriate examples to support your position. Refer only to reliable sources.
  • Rebuttal . Include a counter paragraph in your essay, presenting the opposing arguments. Provide specific examples to make the reader understand your position. Also, explain to the audience why the counterclaims are incorrect.
  • Conclusion . Synthesize your arguments and counterarguments. Give the readers a question for further investigation of your problem. To make your essay more impressive, compose a memorable concluding sentence.

Toulmin strategy is the most suitable for the discussion of controversial issues. This model aims to find common ground through clear logic and valid evidence. Besides, the Toulmin strategy eliminates unnecessary things and limits the points to agree upon.

An argumentative essay written by the Toulmin model includes the following elements:

  • Claim . A viewpoint that the author aims to prove.
  • Evidence . Supportive facts from reliable resources that highlight the significance of the claim.
  • Warrant . An element that connects the claim and that evidence.
  • Backing . Additional reasoning that underlines the warrant’s validity.
  • Rebuttal . Counterarguments that contradict the author’s position.
  • Qualifier . An additional element (usually, a word or a short phrase) that narrows the claim’s capacity. Several examples of qualifiers: “typically,” “usually,” “occasionally,” etc.
  • Exceptions . Specific limitations that indicate the cases where that claim may not be valid.

Like the Toulmin approach, Rogerian strategy attempts to find common ground between two sides of one issue. However, the technique is slightly different.

The Rogerian model is often used in highly controversial debates when the parties do not accept each other’s position. Thus, the given strategy focuses on finding the agreement by proving the validity of the opposing arguments.

Below, you can find the primary outline for the Rogerian argumentative essay:

  • Introduce the problem. Present the issue clearly and explain why it is worth the readers’ attention.
  • Summarize and analyze the counterarguments. Take into consideration all the possible counterpoints and look at them from different perspectives. Discuss the cases in which the opposing claims could be valid. Demonstrate your open-mindedness. This will make the opposite party more loyal to you.
  • Present your position. After discussing the counterpoints, state your opinion. Convince the audience about the validity of your points.
  • Prove the advantages of your position. Explain to the opposite party how the acceptance and adoption of your points will benefit them.

🧐 How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Before working on your essay, carefully read the assignment. Make sure you understand all the instructor’s requirements and the purpose of the paper.

  • Pay enough attention to the task. Did your professor assign you a topic? Or do you need to choose it yourself ? Make sure you have an idea that will turn into an outstanding essay.
  • Select the strategy you are going to apply. An argumentative essay format will depend on the model you choose to compose your paper. Analyze the issue you will arise and decide what strategy is the most suitable. Is it the Classical model, the Toulmin, or the Rogerian one?

After that, start composing your argumentative essay. Check out the following sections. We have a lot of insightful info to share with you!

📚 Research the Topic

The first step of writing an argumentative paper is an in-depth investigation of the topic. To validate your arguments, you have to refer to credible resources. The essay will look more professional if you use reliable sources in it.

How to research for an argumentative essay.

To research like a professional , do the following:

  • Use only credible sources. You can refer to the books, research articles, materials from academic databases, or Google Scholar. Webpages registered as governmental or educational institutions (.gov, .edu.) and widely-known news websites (New York Times, BBC, CNBC) are also considered appropriate. Avoid using blog posts, outdated materials, and any other data from unreliable sources. You may get into huge trouble, taking information from random websites, since it may be invalid.
  • Pay attention to the publishing date . You may be required to use the sources released no later than five years ago. Yet, it is not always the case, especially when you’re dealing with historical documents. Thus, double-check your instructions regarding recommended sources.
  • Keep your topic in mind. Concentrate on what you are writing about and select the sources for your exact issue. Avoid sources that provide too general information and look for more limited ones. If your idea is World War II’s economic consequences, the history book from ancient times to modern days will not be the best option.
  • Become an expert. Take enough time to investigate the issue you are writing about. Read numerous articles, compare and contrast the scientists’ opinions. Prove your reader that you are a reliable person who selected the best sources.

📝 Outline Your Essay

The majority of students tend to underestimate the power of outlining. Don’t do this! An argumentative essay outline is a helpful tool for planning, structuring, and composing.

Firstly , a well-developed outline helps the writer to put all their thoughts in an appropriate order. None of the essential points will be lost if the student plans the essay before writing.

Secondly , it lets the writer figure out what evidence suits what argument most. Before writing, draft your essay first. Put examples, facts, etc. in the right parts of the paper. Then, write the entire text.

Thirdly , an outline provides a perfect opportunity to change the essay’s parts without rewriting the paper. Are you unsure of specific details? Not a problem. Change them in the outline without ruining the text.

There are essential elements that your outline should contain. Check out the following section to see them.

Introduction

How to start an argumentative essay? First and foremost, include an argumentative essay introduction in your outline.

This part should grab the readers’ attention from the first words. Thus, put enough effort into composing a compelling hook . What can it be? An impressive statistic or an exciting fact? Be creative – decide yourself! But make sure that your intro is catchy enough.

After the hook, introduce your topic’s general background . Prove the readers the significance of your issue and gradually come to the thesis statement .

The concept of studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular in both developed and developing countries. Students around the globe strive to explore the world and broaden their minds, and studying in a foreign country is an excellent opportunity to do so. Such experience may be extremely beneficial because meeting new people and discovering foreign cultures help students to gain valuable knowledge and see the world from a new perspective. However, while presenting significant opportunities for personal growth, it may also bring about some challenges.

Thesis Statement

A thesis is an essential part of your argumentative essay. It should state your position regarding the issue clearly and concisely. Avoid general statements, vague words, and be as specific and possible. Your thesis statement should guide the readers throughout the main points of the paper.

The location of the thesis in the essay plays a crucial role. The most appropriate place for it is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

Although students face difficulties such as loneliness while studying abroad, it is a worthy experience to introduce them to new knowledge, people, and culture and promote their independence.

Body Paragraphs

The body of your paper is supposed to develop your position, provide valid evidence and examples. Each paragraph has to focus only on one idea. This will ensure the logical structure of your argumentative essay.

A body paragraph should start from the topic sentence and end with the concluding sentence . Such a frame around every section will make your readers stay concentrated on your ideas and get your opinion.

  • The topic sentence is the first sentence of the passage. It should reflect its point and correspond to the thesis statement.
  • The concluding sentence aims to wrap up the author’s thoughts. Thus, make sure that the last sentence of a paragraph is insightful enough.

Each body paragraph should include an argument (or a counterargument) with supporting evidence. Get your proof from credible sources and ensure that it directly corresponds to the point.

An example of a topic sentence :

The benefits of education abroad are almost innumerable, prominent examples being gaining new knowledge, making friends with people who have different mindsets, and discovering new cultures.

An example of a concluding sentence:

Participants of student exchange programs usually return more driven and eager to develop both themselves and their country.

A conclusion plays a critical role in understanding the entire paper. It summarizes the body and leaves the final impression. Besides, it may push the readers on further investigation of the issue.

  • To make your argumentative essay conclusion powerful, it is not enough just to summarize the arguments. It has to synthesize your ideas and show the connection between them. In other words, your points should be summarized and analyzed.
  • Moreover, a conclusion refers to the thesis statement . A mere restatement of the central idea is not the most successful way of finishing your paper. You should try to develop it to demonstrate the reason you’ve written the previous paragraphs.

One more tip:

  • Give the audience an incentive to explore the topic more in-depth. Insert the questions for further investigation at the end of your essay. It would play a significant role in making an impressive conclusion.

To sum up, studying abroad is beneficial as it helps a person evolve and perceive a world from new perspectives. It is an opportunity for a participant to explore the world, meet new people, gain valuable knowledge and experience, and broaden their horizons. Education abroad might pose problems like homesickness, loneliness, and trouble with getting accustomed to a new environment. However, all of them can be easily overcome if a student is flexible and eager to become autonomous and independent.

The list of references is a crucial part of any argumentative essay. It should contain all the sources the writer uses in the paper.

Before organizing your reference list , double-check your argumentative essay format. Is it written in MLA, APA, or maybe in Chicago style? How many references does the professor expect you to include? What kind of sources are you required to use?

After figuring out these issues, move to the format requirements of the writing style you use for your paper. The most popular ones are APA (7th edition), MLA, and ChicagoAD (author-date) styles. Below, you can find the examples of a reference for the same book in different formatting styles.

Did you develop a good outline? Congratulations! You are almost done with the essay. Now, you need to fill in the blanks and create a final version of your paper. Here is where you need to demonstrate a high level of your writing skills.

  • Make sure your paper has no logical fallacies. Information from an untrustworthy source, a hasty generalization, or a false conclusion may put your reliability as an author under threat. So double-check all the data you include in your essay. Moreover, make sure all your statements are well-developed and supported by valid evidence.
  • Check your argumentative essay structure . All the arguments should refer to the thesis statement and must be presented in the logical sequence. The supporting evidence and examples have to be inserted in the text logically, according to the arguments.
  • Pay enough attention to the citations. References and in-text citations are incredibly tricky. Always check every detail according to your essay format. If you are unsure of specific issues, refer to a citation guide and make your paper free of formatting mistakes.
  • Ensure the coherence of your argumentative essay. Often, the paper’s material seems raw only because it is presented without a logical connection. To ensure a smooth connection between the ideas, use transitions between the paragraphs and linking words inside them. Insert them in the text to connect the points. As a result, you will have a coherent essay with the logical flow of the arguments.

A list of linking words for an argumentative essay.

The final step of your writing process is editing and proofreading. Although it is not that energy and time consuming, it still plays a critical role in the work’s success.

While writing your argumentative paper, plan your time accordingly. This will provide you with an opportunity to polish your essay before submitting it. And take a look at our checklist and always use it to improve your papers:

  • NO first and second person. Use only the third person in your argumentative essay. It is a general requirement for any kind of academic paper.
  • NO slang. The word choice is an essential part of the essay writing process. Ensure you use only formal vocabulary and avoid using informal language (jargon, slang, etc.).
  • NO unchecked words. Sometimes, words can raise questions and lead to misunderstandings. If you are unsure whether the term is used appropriately, double-check its meaning or replace it with another.
  • NO plagiarism. While proofreading, make sure your citations are either properly paraphrased or taken in quotation marks. You can change the sentence structure to avoid plagiarism.
  • NO minor mistakes. Grammar, spelling, punctuation play a crucial role. Want to make your paper look professional? Make sure it is free of minor mistakes then.

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should student-athletes benefit from sports?  
  • Do celebrities really have influence on people behavior?  
  • Will decriminalization of drugs increase drug menace?  
  • Does social and environmental reporting promote organizations’ financial success? 
  • Should online learning be promoted?  
  • Can space exploration resolve human problems?  
  • Is success really the outcome of hard work?  
  • Is there discrimination against women in sports?   
  • Will banning tobacco sales promote public health?  
  • Is euthanasia a clemency?  
  • Should college education be free and accessible for every student?  
  • Should football be banned for being too dangerous?  
  • Is it time to change social norms ?  
  • Should public servants’ strikes be prohibited?  
  • Does media create a negative image of ageing and older people?  
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?  
  • Can children under 18 make an appropriate decision on getting tattoo ?  
  • Should net neutrality be protected?  
  • Can an improper use of social media provoke a family crisis?  
  • Is it right to use animals in biomedical research ?  
  • Does the climate change affect our indoor environment? 
  • Are children’s crimes a result of poor parenting?  
  • Should health care be universal?  
  • Does the increased use of technology hurt students’ efficiency? 
  • Is transformative education a key to the system modernization?  
  • Why should patients have access to truthful information?  
  • How does language barrier affect health care access?  
  • Would allowing adoption by same-sex couples benefit the country’s child welfare system? 
  • Is spanking children a proper way to improve their behavior?  
  • Does gun control law lowers crime rates?  
  • Will ban on spamming improve users’ internet experience?  
  • Should behavior be made illegal because it’s immoral?  
  • Is globalization really a progress?  
  • Does aid to developing countries bring more harm than good?  
  • Can parents improve children mental health by restricting internet use ?  
  • Is trusting our senses the best way to get the truth?  
  • Why parents should not have the right to choose their children based on genetics.  
  • Is college education really worth it? 
  • Will wearing a body camera by police officer enhance public trust?    
  • Immigration : a benefit or a threat?  
  • Is it a duty of adult children to take care of their elderly parents?  
  • Should abortions be legal?  
  • Are agents an integral part of professional sports?  
  • Will ban of cellphones while driving decrease the car accident rates? 
  • Should marijuana be legal for medical use?  
  • Is veganism diet universally beneficial?  
  • Should museums return artefacts?  
  • Is water birth beneficial for women’s health?  
  • Will paying people to stay healthy benefit the nation in the long-term perspective?  
  • Is obesity a disease or a choice?  

It is up to you to decide how many parts to include in your essay. However, the 5 paragraph structure is the most appropriate model for an argumentative paper. So, write an introduction, a conclusion, and three body paragraphs.

The pronoun “you” is acceptable for informal writing. Yet, in academic papers, avoid using the second person. The same situation is with the first person. Generally, academic papers require the use of the third person.

A hook aims to grab the readers’ attention. Thus, you could start your essay with an interesting fact about your issue. Another way to create a catchy hook is to prove the audience the relatability of your topic. Make the readers want to explore your essay by demonstrating the significance of your issue.

Yes, you can. A question might become a compelling hook. Just make sure that it is profound, thought-provocative, and concise. A too broad or complicated question will only confuse your readers.

A title is an essential part of the essay since it causes the first impression. While selecting a heading, take into consideration the following points:

1. The title must be catchy.

2. It has to be not too long (5-12 words).

3. The title has to reflect the topic of the paper.

4. It should not be too complicated: the simpler – the better.

Thank you for visiting our page! We hope the information was helpful and insightful. Do you have friends who seek help with writing an argumentative essay? Share our article with them. And don’t forget to leave your comments!

  • Sample Argument Essays: Mesa Community College
  • Argument: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Grace Fleming, ThoughtCo
  • Tips for Organizing an Argumentative Essay: Judith L., Beumer Writing Center, Valparaiso University
  • Argumentative Essay: Oya Ozagac, Bogazici University, Online Writing Lab
  • Argumentative Essays: Purdue Online Writing Lab, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step: Virginia Kearney, Owlcation
  • Counterargument: Gordon Harvey for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Basic Steps in the Research Process: North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota
  • How to Recognize Plagiarism, Overview: School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 15 Steps to Good Research: Georgetown University Library
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How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the ap language argument essay, tips for writing the ap language argument essay, ap english language argument essay examples, how will ap scores impact my college chances.

In 2023, over 550,148 students across the U.S. took the AP English Language and Composition Exam, and 65.2% scored higher than a 3. The AP English Language Exam tests your ability to analyze a piece of writing, synthesize information, write a rhetorical essay, and create a cohesive argument. In this post, we’ll be discussing the best way to approach the argumentative essay section of the test, and we’ll give you tips and tricks so you can write a great essay.

The AP English Language Exam as of 2023 is structured as follows:

Section 1: 45 multiple choice questions to be completed in an hour. This portion counts for 45% of your score. This section requires students to analyze a piece of literature. The questions ask about its content and/or what could be edited within the passage.

Section 2: Three free response questions to be completed in the remaining two hours and 15 minutes. This section counts for 55% of your score. These essay questions include the synthesis essay, the rhetorical essay, and the argumentative essay.

  • Synthesis essay: Read 6-7 sources and create an argument using at least three of the sources.
  • Rhetorical analysis essay: Describe how a piece of writing evokes meaning and symbolism.
  • Argumentative essay: Pick a side of a debate and create an argument based on evidence. In this essay, you should develop a logical argument in support of or against the given statement and provide ample evidence that supports your conclusion. Typically, a five paragraph format is great for this type of writing. This essay is scored holistically from 1 to 9 points.

Do you want more information on the structure of the full exam? Take a look at our in-depth overview of the AP Language and Composition Exam .

Although the AP Language Argument may seem daunting at first, once you understand how the essay should be structured, it will be a lot easier to create cohesive arguments.

Below are some tips to help you as you write the essay.

1. Organize your essay before writing

Instead of jumping right into your essay, plan out what you will say beforehand. It’s easiest to make a list of your arguments and write out what facts or evidence you will use to support each argument. In your outline, you can determine the best order for your arguments, especially if they build on each other or are chronological. Having a well-organized essay is crucial for success.

2. Pick one side of the argument, but acknowledge the other side

When you write the essay, it’s best if you pick one side of the debate and stick with it for the entire essay. All your evidence should be in support of that one side. However, in your introductory paragraph, as you introduce the debate, be sure to mention any merit the arguments of the other side has. This can make the essay a bit more nuanced and show that you did consider both sides before determining which one was better. Often, acknowledging another viewpoint then refuting it can make your essay stronger.

3. Provide evidence to support your claims

The AP readers will be looking for examples and evidence to support your argument. This doesn’t mean that you need to memorize a bunch of random facts before the exam. This just means that you should be able to provide concrete examples in support of your argument.

For example, if the essay topic is about whether the role of the media in society has been detrimental or not, and you argue that it has been, you may talk about the phenomenon of “fake news” during the 2016 presidential election.

AP readers are not looking for perfect examples, but they are looking to see if you can provide enough evidence to back your claim and make it easily understood.

4. Create a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement will set up your entire essay, so it’s important that it is focused and specific, and that it allows for the reader to understand your body paragraphs. Make sure your thesis statement is the very last sentence of your introductory paragraph. In this sentence, list out the key points you will be making in the essay in the same order that you will be writing them. Each new point you mention in your thesis should start a paragraph in your essay.

Below is a prompt and sample student essay from the May 2019 exam . We’ll look at what the student did well in their writing and where they could improve.

Prompt: “The term “overrated” is often used to diminish concepts, places, roles, etc. that the speaker believes do not deserve the prestige they commonly enjoy; for example, many writers have argued that success is overrated, a character in a novel by Anthony Burgess famously describes Rome as a “vastly overrated city,” and Queen Rania of Jordan herself has asserted that “[b]eing queen is overrated.”

Select a concept, place, role, etc. to which you believe that the term “overrated” should be applied. Then, write a well-developed essay in which you explain your judgment. Use appropriate evidence from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.

Sample Student Essay #1:

[1] Competition is “overrated.” The notion of motivation between peers has evolved into a source of unnecessary stress and even lack of morals. Whether it be in an academic environment or in the industry, this new idea of competition is harmful to those competing and those around them.

[2] Back in elementary school, competition was rather friendly. It could have been who could do the most pushups or who could get the most imaginary points in a classroom for a prize. If you couldn’t do the most pushups or win that smelly sticker, you would go home and improve yourself – there would be no strong feelings towards anyone, you would just focus on making yourself a better version of yourself. Then as high school rolled around, suddenly applying for college doesn’t seem so far away –GPA seems to be that one stat that defines you – extracurriculars seem to shape you – test scores seem to categorize you. Sleepless nights, studying for the next day’s exam, seem to become more and more frequent. Floating duck syndrome seems to surround you (FDS is where a competitive student pretends to not work hard but is furiously studying beneath the surface just like how a duck furiously kicks to stay afloat). All of your competitors appear to hope you fail – but in the end what do you and your competitor’s gain? Getting one extra point on the test? Does that self-satisfaction compensate for the tremendous amounts of acquired stress? This new type of “competition” is overrated – it serves nothing except a never-ending source of anxiety and seeks to weaken friendships and solidarity as a whole in the school setting.

[3] A similar idea of “competition” can be applied to business. On the most fundamental level, competition serves to be a beneficial regulator of prices and business models for both the business themselves and consumers. However, as businesses grew increasingly greedy and desperate, companies resorted to immoral tactics that only hurt their reputations and consumers as a whole. Whether it be McDonald’s coupons that force you to buy more food or tech companies like Apple intentionally slowing down your iPhone after 3 years to force you to upgrade to the newest device, consumers suffer and in turn speak down upon these companies. Similar to the evolved form of competition in school, this overrated form causes pain for all parties and has since diverged from the encouraging nature that the principle of competition was “founded” on.

The AP score for this essay was a 4/6, meaning that it captured the main purpose of the essay but there were still substantial parts missing. In this essay, the writer did a good job organizing the sections and making sure that their writing was in order according to the thesis statement. The essay first discusses how competition is harmful in elementary school and then discusses this topic in the context of business. This follows the chronological order of somebody’s life and flows nicely.

The arguments in this essay are problematic, as they do not provide enough examples of how exactly competition is overrated. The essay discusses the context in which competition is overrated but does not go far enough in explaining how this connects to the prompt.

In the first example, school stress is used to explain how competition manifests. This is a good starting point, but it does not talk about why competition is overrated; it simply mentions that competition can be unhealthy. The last sentence of that paragraph is the main point of the argument and should be expanded to discuss how the anxiety of school is overrated later on in life. 

In the second example, the writer discusses how competition can lead to harmful business practices, but again, this doesn’t reflect the reason this would be overrated. Is competition really overrated because Apple and McDonald’s force you to buy new products? This example could’ve been taken one step farther. Instead of explaining why business structures—such as monopolies—harm competition, the author should discuss how those particular structures are overrated.

Additionally, the examples the writer used lack detail. A stronger essay would’ve provided more in-depth examples. This essay seemed to mention examples only in passing without using them to defend the argument.

It should also be noted that the structure of the essay is incomplete. The introduction only has a thesis statement and no additional context. Also, there is no conclusion paragraph that sums up the essay. These missing components result in a 4/6.

Now let’s go through the prompt for a sample essay from the May 2022 exam . The prompt is as follows:

Colin Powell, a four-star general and former United States Secretary of State, wrote in his 1995 autobiography: “[W]e do not have the luxury of collecting information indefinitely. At some point, before we can have every possible fact in hand, we have to decide. The key is not to make quick decisions, but to make timely decisions.”

Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Powell’s claim about making decisions is valid. 

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position. 
  • Provide evidence to support your line of reasoning. 
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning. 
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Sample Student Essay #2:

Colin Powell, who was a four star general and a former United States Secretary of State. He wrote an autobiography and had made a claim about making decisions. In my personal opinion, Powell’s claim is true to full extent and shows an extremely valuable piece of advice that we do not consider when we make decisions.

Powell stated, “before we can have every possible fact in hand we have to decide…. but to make it a timely decision” (1995). With this statement Powell is telling the audience of his autobiography that it does not necessarily matter how many facts you have, and how many things you know. Being able to have access to everything possible takes a great amount of time and we don’t always have all of the time in the world. A decision has to be made with what you know, waiting for something else to come in while trying to make a decision whether that other fact is good or bad you already have a good amount of things that you know. Everyone’s time is valuable, including yours. At the end of the day the decision will have to be made and that is why it should be made in a “timely” manner.

This response was graded for a score of 2/6. Let’s break down the score to smaller points that signify where the student fell short.

The thesis in this essay is clearly outlined at the end of the first paragraph. The student states their agreement with Powell’s claim and frames the rest of their essay around this stance. The success in scoring here lies in the clear communication of the thesis and the direction the argument will take. It’s important to make the thesis statement concise, specific, and arguable, which the student has successfully done.

While the student did attempt to provide evidence to support their thesis, it’s clear that their explanation lacks specific detail and substance. They referenced Powell’s statement, but did not delve into how this statement has proven true in specific instances, and did not provide examples that could bring the argument to life.

Commentary is an essential part of this section’s score. It means explaining the significance of the evidence and connecting it back to the thesis. Unfortunately, the student’s commentary here is too vague and does not effectively elaborate on how the evidence supports their argument.

To improve, the student could use more concrete examples to demonstrate their point and discuss how each piece of evidence supports their thesis. For instance, they could discuss specific moments in Powell’s career where making a timely decision was more valuable than waiting for all possible facts. This would help illustrate the argument in a more engaging, understandable way.

A high score in the “sophistication” category of the grading rubric is given for demonstrating a complex understanding of the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context, etc.), making effective rhetorical choices, or establishing a line of reasoning. Here, the student’s response lacks complexity and sophistication. They’ve simply agreed with Powell’s claim and made a few general statements without providing a deeper analysis or effectively considering the rhetorical situation.

To increase sophistication, the student could explore possible counterarguments or complexities within Powell’s claim. They could discuss potential drawbacks of making decisions without all possible facts, or examine situations where timely decisions might not yield the best results. By acknowledging and refuting these potential counterarguments, they could add more depth to their analysis and showcase their understanding of the complexities involved in decision-making.

The student could also analyze why Powell, given his background and experiences, might have come to such a conclusion, thus providing more context and showing an understanding of the rhetorical situation.

Remember, sophistication in argumentation isn’t about using fancy words or complicated sentences. It’s about showing that you understand the complexity of the issue at hand and that you’re able to make thoughtful, nuanced arguments. Sophistication shows that you can think critically about the topic and make connections that aren’t immediately obvious.

Now that you’ve looked at an example essay and some tips for the argumentative essay, you know how to better prepare for the AP English Language and Composition Exam.

While your AP scores don’t usually impact your admissions chances , colleges do care a lot about your course rigor. So, taking as many APs as you can will certainly boost your chances! AP scores can be a way for high-performing students to set themselves apart, particularly when applying to prestigious universities. Through the process of self-reporting scores , you can show your hard work and intelligence to admissions counselors.

That said, the main benefit of scoring high on AP exams comes once you land at your dream school, as high scores can allow you to “test out” of entry-level requirements, often called GE requirements or distribution requirements. This will save you time and money.

To understand how your course rigor stacks up, check out CollegeVine’s free chancing engine . This resource takes your course rigor, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, to determine your chances of getting into over 1600 colleges across the country!

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Argumentative Essay Introduction Format: A Quick Guide

Table of Contents

Writing a great argumentative essay can be a daunting task. Crafting a brilliant introduction is one of the essential steps in the writing process. The introduction conveys the thesis early on and sets the tone for what is to follow. It’s the first thing people will read, so it’s best to make it captivating and memorable. The  argumentative essay intro format  in this guide will help you write a compelling and exciting opening statement for your essay. 

The introductory paragraph of your essay is your chance to set the stage for the argument. A good introduction helps the reader understand the essay’s focus. Your introduction should begin with a hook that grabs the reader’s attention. It should provide background information on the topic, and end with the thesis statement. This guide discusses the  argumentative essay intro format. 

What is An Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay persuades its readers through logical reasoning and rational examples to support an argument. 

In an argumentative essay, the author takes a stance on a topic, presents their viewpoint, and provides evidence to back it up. The author is “arguing” for this point of view and hopes to persuade others to agree. 

An argumentative essay begins with an introduction, like every other essay. A good introduction presents the topic, provides background information, and puts forth the central argument logically and persuasively.

Argumentative Essay Intro Format

The introduction of an argumentative essay is a short paragraph that establishes the author’s position. This opening paragraph introduces the ideas the author will challenge throughout the paper to give the reader a new perspective.

The introduction should provide the reader with an overview of the essay. It must answer three questions: Why should the reader take the time to read your argument? What exactly is your thesis? How will you eventually prove your thesis? 

Here are the steps to writing a compelling introduction for an argumentative essay.

1. Begin with A Hook

An introduction needs to do everything to pull readers into the story. Begin your introduction with a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. You can begin with an interesting fact, quote, or personal anecdote about your topic. You can also start with an exciting question that forces readers to stop and think about the topic you wish to discuss. 

The hook aims to intrigue the reader and persuade them to read on. 

2. Include background

After writing a captivating hook, introduce the subject to set the tone for the rest of the piece. Provide a background on the topic to allow for a better understanding of the topic being presented. This can include giving a general history or context crucial to your argument. It should tell the readers the objective of the topic and why they should care. 

The background you provide should allow for a smooth transition from the opening sentence to the thesis of your piece. 

3. Present your thesis

The thesis is a precise statement that summarizes the essence of the argumentative essay. It should sum up the argument you’re trying to make with your writing. Your thesis statement should state your position on the topic. The rest of your paper will substantiate these claims and explain their reasoning. 

A well-written thesis statement gives your essay structure and direction. 

young girl waring white sweater writing with pen on book

Final Thoughts

In an argumentative essay, the author attempts to convince the reader to support their argument. The author presents a viewpoint, provides evidence to back it up, and persuades the reader to support them. 

The introduction sets the tone of an argumentative essay . It should present the topic, provide background information, and state the central argument or point you want your readers to accept. 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Format: A Quick Guide

Abir Ghenaiet

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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  • A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay

Racheal R.N.

  • February 20, 2024
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A guide to writing an argument synthesis essay 1

What You'll Learn

Introduction

An argument synthesis essay is a critical piece of writing that requires students to analyze and synthesize information from various sources to develop a coherent argument. This type of essay demands a careful examination of multiple perspectives on a given topic and the integration of these viewpoints to construct a well-supported argument. To successfully navigate the intricacies of an argument synthesis essay, one must follow a systematic approach that encompasses thorough research, thoughtful analysis, and effective synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Thesis Formation

The first step in crafting an argument synthesis essay is formulating a clear and concise thesis statement. The thesis serves as the central claim of the essay and should articulate the main point or argument that the writer aims to convey. To create an effective thesis, it is essential to identify the key themes and patterns within the selected sources and determine the overarching message that will guide the essay’s development.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Research and Source Selection

Conducting comprehensive research is fundamental to the success of an argument synthesis essay. Students should explore a range of reputable sources, including academic articles, books, and credible online resources. The selected sources should offer diverse perspectives on the chosen topic, allowing for a nuanced and well-rounded understanding. Evaluating the reliability, relevance, and credibility of each source is crucial to ensure the strength of the synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Source Annotation and Analysis

After gathering the necessary sources, it is essential to annotate and analyze each one thoroughly. Annotation involves summarizing the main ideas, identifying key arguments, and noting relevant evidence within each source. Concurrently, critical analysis should assess the credibility of the author, evaluate the intended audience, and identify any potential biases. Understanding the context and purpose of each source lays the foundation for a comprehensive synthesis.

Organizing the Essay

A well-organized structure is pivotal to the success of an argument synthesis essay. The essay typically follows a three-part structure – introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic, present the thesis statement, and outline the scope of the synthesis. The body paragraphs should each focus on a specific aspect of the synthesis, presenting evidence from the sources and showcasing the writer’s analytical skills. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the key points, restate the thesis, and offer insights into the broader implications of the synthesized argument.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Synthesis of Information

The heart of an argument synthesis essay lies in the synthesis of information from the various sources. Rather than presenting a mere compilation of individual ideas, the writer must strive to create a coherent narrative that weaves together different perspectives to support the thesis. Effective synthesis involves identifying commonalities and contradictions among the sources, highlighting the relationships between ideas, and showcasing the evolution of the argument throughout the essay.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Incorporating Counterarguments

A compelling argument synthesis essay acknowledges and addresses counterarguments. By integrating opposing viewpoints, the writer demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the topic and reinforces the strength of their own argument. This not only adds depth to the synthesis but also showcases the writer’s ability to critically engage with diverse perspectives.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

In conclusion, writing an argument synthesis essay is a multifaceted process that demands careful research, critical analysis, and skillful synthesis of information. By following a systematic approach, from thesis formation to source selection, annotation, and organization, writers can create a compelling and well-supported argument synthesis essay. Emphasizing the importance of thorough research, critical thinking, and effective communication, this guide provides a framework for success in mastering the art of argument synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Latifi, S., Noroozi, O., & Talaee, E. (2023). Worked example or scripting? Fostering students’ online argumentative peer feedback, essay writing and learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 31(2), 655-669. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=q5q2mN8AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra

Noroozi, O., Hatami, J., Bayat, A., Van Ginkel, S., Biemans, H. J., & Mulder, M. (2020). Students’ online argumentative peer feedback, essay writing, and content learning: Does gender matter?.  Interactive Learning Environments ,  28 (6), 698-712. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10494820.2018.1543200

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Essay Writing Lessons Short Story Version

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  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction

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  2. How To Write An Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

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  3. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step By Step

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  4. How To Write An Introduction Argumentative Essay

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  5. Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay: 10 Do's and Don'ts

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  6. What Is an Argumentative Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

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  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    When do you write an argumentative essay? You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like "argue" or "argument." It will frequently take the form of a question.

  2. How to Write Introduction for Argumentative Essays [EXAMPLES]

    An effective introduction to an argumentative essay will generally have three main sections: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. The Hook: This is the first sentence of your introduction, and it needs to grab your reader's attention.

  3. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Effective Strategies to Write an Argumentative Essay "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.

  4. Argumentative Essays

    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.

  5. How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Impact

    1. Introduction: The introduction serves as the gateway to your argumentative essay, capturing the reader's attention and providing context for the issue at hand. Hook: Engage your audience with a captivating opening. Example: 'In an era dominated by technology, the impact on human relationships cannot be ignored.'.

  6. How to Write a Standout Argumentative Essay

    3 Drafting: Write a rough draft of your essay. It helps to include any data and direct quotes as early as possible, especially with argumentative essays that often cite outside sources. 4 Revising: Polish your rough draft, optimize word choice, and restructure your arguments if necessary. Make sure your language is clear and appropriate for the ...

  7. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    Written by MasterClass Last updated: Sep 9, 2021 • 5 min read When you're writing a persuasive essay, you need more than just an opinion to make your voice heard. Even the strongest stance won't be compelling if it's not structured properly and reinforced with solid reasoning and evidence.

  8. 3 Key Tips for How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    In argumentative essays, writers accomplish this by writing: A clear, persuasive thesis statement in the introduction paragraph Body paragraphs that use evidence and explanations to support the thesis statement A paragraph addressing opposing positions on the topic—when appropriate

  9. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction

    5 min read | 2292 Argumentative Essay Introduction Home / Blog / Argumentative Essay Introduction How to Start an Argumentative Essay for Any Topic In essay writing, the toughest part is always starting it. Most students agree: when you get the introduction paragraph right, you become much more confident about writing the rest of the paper.

  10. What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

    An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here's an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3. 1. Introduction: Hook: Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader's attention.

  11. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

    How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step Virginia Kearney Updated: Sep 14, 2023 10:54 PM EDT Learn how to write an argumentative essay with Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin argument strategies. Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash What Is an Argumentative Essay?

  12. Argumentative Essay: Topics, Outline and Writing Tips

    An argumentative essay is a paper that gets the reader to recognize the author's side of the argument as valid. The purpose of this specific essay is to pose a question and answer it with compelling evidence. At its core, this essay type works to champion a specific viewpoint. The key, however, is that the topic of the argumentative essay has ...

  13. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    Though every essay is founded on these two ideas, there are several different types of essays, differentiated by the style of the writing, how the writer presents the thesis, and the types of evidence used to support the thesis statement. Essays can be roughly divided into four different types: #1: Argumentative. #2: Persuasive. #3: Expository.

  14. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    INTRO: explain your thesis (be precise but do not present evidence yet) BODY -Paragraph #1 -Topic sentence argument (main argument of the paragraph) -Specific examples to support the topic sentence argument -Paragraph #2, and so on for other body paragraphs Same as Paragraph #1

  15. How to Form an Argumentative Essay Outline

    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.

  16. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    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.

  17. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing someone else's argument, you will need to

  18. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

    How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction. A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must...

  19. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

    Secondly, it lets the writer figure out what evidence suits what argument most. Before writing, draft your essay first. Put examples, facts, etc. in the right parts of the paper. Then, write the entire text. Thirdly, an outline provides a perfect opportunity to change the essay's parts without rewriting the paper.

  20. How to write an argumentative essay step by step

    Step 3: Draft a structure and write your essay. This step involves outlining the content of your essay in a structure that creates a seamless flow for your argument but also for your reader. Wize Writer is a good tool to use to create this outline and understand better what each section needs (try it for free here).

  21. How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay + Examples

    1. Organize your essay before writing Instead of jumping right into your essay, plan out what you will say beforehand. It's easiest to make a list of your arguments and write out what facts or evidence you will use to support each argument.

  22. Argumentative Essay Introduction Format: A Quick Guide

    The argumentative essay intro format in this guide will help you write a compelling and exciting opening statement for your essay. The introductory paragraph of your essay is your chance to set the stage for the argument. A good introduction helps the reader understand the essay's focus. Your introduction should begin with a hook that grabs ...

  23. A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay

    A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay Introduction. An argument synthesis essay is a critical piece of writing that requires students to analyze and synthesize information from various sources to develop a coherent argument. This type of essay demands a careful examination of multiple perspectives on a given topic and the integration of these viewpoints to construct a well-supported ...

  24. PDF Harvard WrITINg ProJeCT BrIeF gUIde SerIeS A Brief Guide to the

    should govern the whole essay (not disappear in places). 2. Motive: the reason, which you give at the start of your essay, why someone might want or need to read an essay on this topic, and to hear your particular thesis argued— why that thesis isn't just obvious to all, why other people might hold other theses on your

  25. Essay Writing Lessons Short Story Version (pptx)

    Introduction : Some Pointers All strong essays begin with an excellent introduction. As the start to your argument, it provides the reader with the first impression of the essay. After all, if you put a lot of care into the introduction, chances are the following paragraphs will be just as thoughtful. The introduction provides the road map to your essay, engaging the reader and showing the ...

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    31K likes, 42 comments - thelegalnortherner on April 3, 2023: "How to write essays like a first class student (from a first class law graduate) ‍♂️..." Jordon Goodman on Instagram: "How to write essays like a first class student (from a first class law graduate)🙋🏻‍♂️.