You will need to be aware of these concepts as you write your paper and demonstrate your knowledge of them through your writing. To convince your readers that your argument is valid, you need to convince them that you are trustworthy. You can accomplish this goal by presenting yourself as confident, fair, and approachable. You can achieve these objectives by avoiding wishy-washy statements, presenting information in an unbiased manner, and identifying common ground between yourself and your readers including the ones that may disagree with you.
Pathos refers to your use of emotional appeals. Emotional appeals have a place in argumentative writing, but overuse of them may lead a reader to reject your argument. Make sure that your use of emotional appeals is minimal and appropriate. You can also invoke pathos by providing relevant examples that evoke an emotional response in your readers and using figurative language such as metaphors to help your readers understand and sympathize with your point of view. Logos refers to your use of logic, reasoning, and sequencing.
This means setting up your argument in a way that uses logic to achieve your desired endpoint or reaction, often through inductive and deductive reasoning. Develop your tentative thesis. Once you have developed your ideas for your argumentative essay, you should be ready to write a tentative thesis statement. In other words, the tentative thesis statement is not set in stone. Effective thesis statements let readers know what the main focus of a paper is going to be.
For an argumentative essay, the thesis should state an arguable claim. A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. Make sure your thesis is arguable. Your thesis should express a clear position on your topic that can be supported using evidence from your sources.
Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact.
Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. There are many possibilities for a counter argument, which makes this topic arguable.
Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In addition to having a thesis that is arguable, you should also include some details about why you hold the position. In other words, you should avoid simply saying that something is bad and should be changed and provide a bit of detail about why it is bad and should be changed.
Who would benefit if it was changed? Providing this detail gives readers a good sense of what the rest of the paper will discuss.
Your thesis should tell your reader why your argument matters, and for whom. Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your argumentative essay will help you to organize your information more effectively. You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want. Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper.
For example, part 1 might be your introduction, which could then be broken into three sub-parts: Generate key terms and phrases to help you with your research. As you develop key terms, keep your topic and your position in mind. For example, some relevant key terms and phrases for a paper on lowering the drinking age to 18 might be: Find appropriate secondary sources for your argumentative essay.
In order to find support for your argument, you will need to gather a variety of sources. See your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor if you have questions about what types of sources are appropriate for your assignment. Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using.
These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility. Use trustworthy sources only in your argumentative essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author. There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy.
The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor. If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.
If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument? If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Noting the publication date is especially important for scientific subjects, since new technologies and techniques have made some earlier findings irrelevant. If the information that this author presents contradicts one of your trustworthy sources, then it might not be a good source to use in your paper.
Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them. Make sure that you read your sources very carefully and that you stay focused on your topic as you read. Read the sources multiple times if necessary and make sure that you fully understand what each source is about. You should be able to summarize the source in your own words and generate a response to the source.
To be certain that you understand your sources and that you are capable of responding to each of them, try writing a paragraph summary and response after you finish each one. Some people find keeping notecards on their sources to be a helpful way of organizing their ideas about each one. Give yourself plenty of time to read your sources and understand what they are saying. Take notes while you read your sources. Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them.
As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook. Even accidental plagiarism may result in a failing grade on a paper. Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction.
Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your argumentative essay and act as a preview to your essay. Provide background information to help guide your readers. Providing adequate background information or context will help to guide your readers through your essay. Think about what your readers will need to know in order to understand the rest of your essay and provide this information in your first paragraph. This information will vary depending on your argument topic.
Tell your readers about this problem in more detail so that they will begin to see why something needs to change. Keep in mind that your background information in the first paragraph should lead up to your thesis statement. Explain everything the reader needs to know to understand what your topic is about, then narrow it down until you reach the topic itself.
Provide your thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph. After you have given your readers some information on the topic and captured their interest, you should provide your thesis. Providing your thesis at the end of your first paragraph will help to guide your readers through the rest of your essay.
Make sure that you state your thesis is a very direct manner, so there is no mistaking that this is your position. Use your body paragraphs to discuss specific parts of your argument. Rather than trying to talk about multiple aspects of your argument in a single paragraph, make sure that each body paragraph focuses on a single aspect of your text. Your discussion of each of these aspects should contribute to proving your thesis. For example, you could provide statistics on teen drinking in other countries where the drinking age is lower, or you could summarize an interview with an authority of the subject, or cite an article that explains the psychological basis of this phenomenon.
Whatever source s you choose, make sure that they are relevant that they offer convincing support for your claim. Develop a conclusion for your essay. Concluding an essay is the hardest part of writing for many people, but it may make more sense if you understand the purpose of the conclusion. Your conclusion should emphasize what you have attempted to convince your readers about your topic and either frame or reframe the stakes of your argument.
Before you write your conclusion, spend some time reflecting on what you have written so far and try to determine the best way to end your essay. There are several good options for ending an argumentative essay that might help you decide how to format your conclusion.
For example, you might: Rephrase it so that it sounds different but has the same meaning. Summarize some of the most important evidence you have offered in your essay and say remind readers of how that evidence has contributed to supporting your thesis.
Synthesize what you have discussed. Put everything together for your readers and explain what other lessons might be gained from your argument. How might this discussion change the way others view your subject? Explain why your topic matters.
Help your readers to see why this topic deserve their attention. How does this topic affect your readers? Before offering solutions, show them how bad things are. Give them a reason to care about your argument. President Assad has not only stolen power, he's gassed and bombed his own citizens. He has defied the Geneva Conventions, long held as a standard of decency and basic human rights, and his people have no choice by to flee. Be authoritative and firm. You need to sound an expert, and like you should be trustworthy.
Cut out small words or wishy-washy phrase to adopt a tone of authority. It is not worth the risks environmentally or economically. This, I imagine, will be a good thing. Persuasion is about upending commonly held thoughts and forcing the reader to reevaluate. While you never want to be crass or confrontational, you need to poke into the reader's potential concerns. Is it fair that we actively promote drinking as a legitimate alternative through Campus Socials and a lack of consequences?
We all want less crime, stronger families, and fewer dangerous confrontations over drugs. We need to ask ourselves, however, if we're willing to challenge the status quo to get those results.
This policy makes us look stupid. It is not based in fact, and the people that believe it are delusional at best, and villains at worst.
Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you. While the majority of your essay should be kept to your own argument, you'll bullet-proof your case if you can see and disprove the arguments against you. Save this for the second to last paragraph, in general. If they're going to hurt themselves, that is their right. The only obvious solution is to ban guns. There is no other argument that matters. Read the prompt carefully.
In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay. If you can, make the time to craft an argument you'll enjoy writing.
Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit. Whenever possible, start early. Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: This is when you look at the facts, definition meaning of the issue or the nature of it , quality the level of seriousness of the issue , and policy plan of action for the issue.
To look at the facts, try asking: What are the known facts? How did this issue begin? What can people do to change the situation? To look at the definition, ask: What is the nature of this issue or problem? What type of problem is this? What category or class would this problem fit into best? To examine the quality, ask: Who is affected by this problem? How serious is it? What might happen if it is not resolved? To examine the policy, ask: Should someone take action?
Who should do something and what should they do? Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing. You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. Pick a topic that appeals to you. Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion.
Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly. Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it.
A subject that you're interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material. Consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay.
On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute.
Make sure you can remain balanced. A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one. Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic. For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge.
Choosing a smaller bit of that topic -- for example, that drone strikes are wrong -- will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence. Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language.
It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. For example, a thesis statement could look like this: It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. You do need to convey exactly what you will argue. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay. This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling.
Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it. Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate. Generating ideas is the most important step here. Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research.
Persuasive essays generally have a very clear format, which helps you present your argument in a clear and compelling way. Here are the elements of persuasive essays: You should also provide your thesis statement, which is a clear statement of what you will argue or attempt to convince the reader of.
In other essays, you can have as many paragraphs as you need to make your argument. Regardless of their number, each body paragraph needs to focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support it.
Your conclusion is where you tie it all together. It can include an appeal to emotions, reiterate the most compelling evidence, or expand the relevance of your initial idea to a broader context. Connect your focused topic to the broader world. Come up with your hook. Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote, a definition or a humorous sketch.
As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you've done your job. It also encourages the reader to continue reading to learn why they should imagine this world. Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader's attention.
A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue reading. Then, proceed to move from general ideas to specific ideas until you have built up to your thesis statement. Don't slack on your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is a short summary of what you're arguing for.
It's usually one sentence, and it's near the end of your introductory paragraph. Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments, or a single powerful argument, for the best effect. Structure your body paragraphs. At a minimum, write three paragraphs for the body of the essay. Each paragraph should cover a single main point that relates back to a part of your argument. These body paragraphs are where you justify your opinions and lay out your evidence.
Remember that if you don't provide evidence, your argument might not be as persuasive. Make your evidence clear and precise. For example, don't just say: They are widely recognized as being incredibly smart.
Multiple studies found that dolphins worked in tandem with humans to catch prey. Very few, if any, species have developed mutually symbiotic relationships with humans. Agreed-upon facts from reliable sources give people something to hold onto. If possible, use facts from different angles to support one argument. This makes a case against the death penalty working as a deterrent.
If the death penalty were indeed a deterrent, why wouldn't we see an increase in murders in states without the death penalty? You want to make sure that your argument feels like it's building, one point upon another, rather than feeling scattered. Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph.
In order to establish flow in your essay, you want there to be a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Here is one example: Add a rebuttal or counterargument. You might not be required to do this, but it makes your essay stronger. Imagine you have an opponent who's arguing the exact opposite of what you're arguing.
Think of one or two of their strongest arguments and come up with a counterargument to rebut it. However, consider the fact that middle schoolers are growing at an incredible rate. Their bodies need energy, and their minds may become fatigued if they go for long periods without eating. Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay. As a general rule, it's a good idea to restate each of your main points and end the whole paper with a probing thought. If it's something your reader won't easily forget, your essay will have a more lasting impression.
Why does this argument or opinion mean something to me? What further questions has my argument raised? What action could readers take after reading my essay? Give yourself a day or two without looking at the essay.
If you've planned ahead, this won't be hard. Then, come back to the essay after a day or two and look it over. The rest will give you a fresh set of eyes and help you spot errors. Any tricky language or ideas that needed time might be revisited then. Read through your draft. A common error with many student writers is not spending enough time revisiting a first draft. Read through your essay from start to finish.
Is this position supported throughout with evidence and examples?
Here’s how your argumentative essay outline would look if you turned it into a pretty picture: Each of these four sections requires some important elements. Let’s break those down now. Argumentative Essay Outline Section 1: Your Intro. Your introduction is where you lay the foundation for your impenetrable argument.
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.
An argument essay, as with all essays, should contain three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The length of paragraphs in these parts will vary depending on the length of your essay assignment. Sep 05, · How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step. Updated on July 3, Virginia Kearney. For instructions and examples on easy ways to write a good thesis statement for an argument essay see: English is my second language and struggling with essay writing and an argument essay, I find your advise but time is Reviews:
A conclusion is, no doubt, the most important part of the argumentative essay as you can either support the good impression or destroy it entirely. If you want to avoid typical mistakes, find valuable recommendations in this article. Sample Argument Essay #5. Click Here to View Essay "Society Begins at Home" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #6. Click Here to View Essay "School Choice: An Unwise Option" (AGAINST) (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #7.