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How To Write An Outline For An Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay is defined as a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate the given topic, collect information, generate and evaluate evidence, in a bid to establish a position on the subject in a concise fashion. It’s the type of work where you have to develop an argument based on evidence and elaborate the stand you take. You may love or loathe writing these essays, but you can’t avoid them. There’ll come the time when you are supposed to write a high-quality argumentative essay to show your understanding of some particular essay topic, but you shouldn’t feel nervous. Successful completion of the essay depends on your ability to create the essay outline correctly. Not sure how to do it? Don’t despair; this post will show you how easy it can be!

Structuring the argumentative essay outline

Although it might seem complicated to you now, once you learn how to structure the argumentative essay outline correctly, it’ll become easier. Your work is comprised of different parts with equally important value. These parts or sections have a role in presenting the topic, developing the argument, presenting evidence, and so on. That said, main parts of the argumentative essay are:

If you think this structure is vague, don’t worry. Every section is thoroughly explained below.

Section 1: Introduction

Just like in any other form of writing, the introduction is where you create the foundation or a basis to build the rest of your work upon. If the intro isn’t structured very well, then the rest of the essay will suffer too. An argumentative essay should start with an introduction comprised of the hook, background info, and thesis.

Hook

The hook is the first sentence (or two) of your work, and its primary purpose is to catch the reader’s attention, hence the name. When a professor, client, or some other person starts reading the essay, its beginning determines whether they’ll continue reading it or not. Let’s say you’re about to read something, would you continue reading that piece if the beginning were dull and boring? The answer would be no. Hooks aren’t limited to essays only; they are present in all types of writing, which is why you’re highly likely to click on links with the catchy sentence under the headline.

Here are a few tips you can use to form the hook:

  • Use a quote from famous people, scientists, writers, artists, etc.
  • Anecdote can also be a good way of grabbing someone’s attention
  • Pose a question
  • Set a scene that reader can relate to Include an interesting fact or definition
  • Reveal a common misconception

Background information

After creating the hook, you proceed to provide some useful background information about the subject. To make things easier for you, this part of the introduction should answer these questions:

  • What is the issue you’re going to discuss?
  • Who cares about the topic?
  • Where is the subject or issue prevalent?
  • Why is the subject or some issue you’re about to discuss importantly?

Example:

Thesis

The thesis statement is the last sentence (or two) that contains the focus of your essay and informs the reader what the essay is going to be about. Your thesis is more than a general statement about the idea or issue that you’re going to elaborate in the essay; it has to establish a clear position you are going to take throughout your argument on a given topic.

Example:

Since this is the last part of the introduction and your opportunity to introduce the reader to the subject and your position, you have to ensure it is structured correctly. Your thesis should be:

  • Unified
  • Concise
  • Specific
  • Clear, easily recognizable

The thesis should match the requirements and goals of the assignment, but you have to be careful and avoid making some common mistakes. For example:

  • Thesis is not a title
  • It is not a statement of the absolute fact
  • Thesis is not an announcement of the subject
  • It’s not the whole essay, but the main idea you’ll discuss

Section 2: Developing the argument

Now that your introduction is well-crafted you’re about to proceeding to the second part of the argumentative essay. In this section, you have to develop the argument using claims and evidence to support them.

Claim

When structuring the argumentative essay outline, you should pay special attention to claims. A claim is the central argument of an essay, and it poses as one of the most important parts of academic papers. In fact, the effectiveness, complexity, and the overall quality of the paper depend on the claims you make. The primary purpose of claim in essay writing is to define paper’s goals, direction, scope, and support the argument. Making claims is easy, but the question is: who’s going to believe in them? That’s why the second section of the argumentative essay is invalid without the evidence.

Evidence

Every claim you make throughout the essay has to be supported by evidence. You have to prove to the reader that claims you make are valid and accurate, the only way to do so is to incorporate reliable, trustworthy evidence based on facts, studies, statistics, and so on. It’s important to bear in mind that evidence is not anecdote or personal knowledge you just happen to possess on a given subject. The evidence is the result of a thorough research on the topic. Once you create the essay outline, you’ll get the idea of claims you’re going to make, then start researching to find enough evidence to support them. Research is one of the most crucial aspects of essay writing, besides giving you material to support your claims it also aims to help you debunk opponents’ arguments.

Section 3: Debunking opponents’ arguments

What most people forget about argumentative essay writing is that you can’t spend the entire time talking about your arguments and piling on evidence one after another. The argumentative essay isn’t about proving you’re right in many different ways. Where’s the argument in that? After making your claims, elaborating them with evidence, you are ready to move on to the third section of the outline where you’ll name the opposing arguments and debunk them.

Regardless of the topic, you have (or choose) and the stand you take, there’s always the opposite side. State the opponents’ views and use the evidence, reliable sources to debunk or refute them. Just like with the previous section, for every opposing argument, you also have to elaborate why it’s wrong and support it with evidence. This way, your reader is more convinced that claims you made are, indeed, correct. The importance of this section is in the fact it shows two sides of the coin while still giving you the opportunity to elaborate why you’re right. Plus, it is considered unethical to exclude arguments that aren’t supportive of the thesis or claims you made.

Instead of using “he said, she said” writing in this section when naming opposing views, you should do it in the formal fashion, with references, reliable sources, and other relevant info, before proceeding to refute them.

Section 4: Conclusion At this point, your essay is almost over.

The introduction is well-structured, you’ve elaborated your claims with evidence as well as opponents’ arguments (with proof of course), and you’re ready to conclude the essay. Unfortunately, the power of well-written conclusion is underestimated in essay writing, but the wrong conclusion can ruin your entire work. This is something you don’t want to happen, right? Your conclusion should be comprised of three different parts:

  • Restates the primary premise/argument
  • Presents one or two general sentences which accurately summarize your argument or stated premise
  • Provides a general warning of the consequences that could happen if the argument or premise isn’t followed or reporting potential benefits to the society or community if your argument or solution proposed is implemented

The conclusion should be about the same length of the introduction; it works best when it’s short, concise, and precise. Avoid wordiness or discussing the same issue again because the reader might assume your work is repetitive. Stick to the point, and you’ll have a strong conclusion that only adds to the overall quality of your essay.

An example of the argumentative essay:

Now that you know how to create the argumentative essay outline correctly, you’re ready to start working on your assignment. The diagram below explains all constituents of this type of work in a simple fashion.

Tips for writing argumentative essay

Here are some tips that will make the essay writing process easier:

  • Make sure you understand the title before creating the outline
  • Create a plan Research
  • Don’t make up information, statistics or other data just to prove the point Include every source you use in the reference section
  • Be concise
  • Avoid writing complex sentences
  • Read, edit, and submit

Bottom line

Argumentative essay isn’t as complicated to write as it sounds, all you have to do is to follow the simple outline provided above. The primary idea behind this kind of essay writing is presenting and developing an argument using solid evidence to back up your point of view. It’s a marvelous opportunity to show the vast knowledge about the subject and demonstrate writing skills. You don’t have to wait for the assignment, choose the topic you care about and start practicing.

Writing an argumentative essay is a common task that most high school, college, and higher education students face, whether they know it or not. It is commonly assigned on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, IELTS, and TOEFL. Regardless of your natural writing talents, following the step by step methodology provided by our writers team will help one produce high-quality content that is a joy to readers eyes!

The first question one may have when approaching this task is: "what is an argumentative essay?" If we take a look at the definition, Using tools such as facts, statistics, and references, the author must create a logically defendable explanation as to why their point of view is the "right one."

A common question students ask is: "what is the difference between argumentative and persuasive essay writing?" Well, while . Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the two types.


Table Of Contents




Argumentative Essay Topics

Just like with all other essay types, there are tons of topics to choose from when writing an argumentative essay. However, it is important to remember that they must be in a debate format. In other words, explain why option A is better than option B, or vice versa.

Here are some good argumentative essay topics to get you started:

  1. Apple vs. Microsoft: Which software brand is more useful for students?
  2. Do violent video games have a negative psychological impact on children?
  3. From a financial perspective, should one invest in cryptocurrencies?
  4. From an economic standpoint, are electric cars better overall?
  5. Has society become too reliant on technology?

Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics for High School

As students will begin writing this type of content in school, it is essential to give them easy essay topics so they can get a grasp of the task.

  1. What is the most important second language to know as a US student?
  2. Should the minimum driving age be lowered?
  3. Are standardized tests a fair reflection of students skills?
  4. Are athletes overpaid for their skills?
  5. Should high school students be free to choose their classes?

Topics for College

As we transition to the university level, the question asked alongside the complexity of content should increase. With that being said, here are some challenging topics for college students.

  1. Is there enough evidence to prove that news sources have a biased agenda?
  2. Would the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug be economically justifiable?
  3. Can we constitute Russia as a superpower alongside the USA and China?
  4. What was the most influential technological advancement in the history of humanity?
  5. Should we sacrifice some public services for lowered tax brackets?

Creating An Outline

Now that we understand what this type of writing is all about, we can start putting pieces of the argumentative paper outline together. Usually written in the five-paragraph structure, this essay will consist of an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Logically, each of those three sections will have a unique structure, so understanding them on an individual level will help ensure a smooth writing process.

We will be using "the internet" as the most significant technological advancement in society as an example

Introduction (3 Parts)

  1. How To Start An Argumentative Essay (Hook Statement): As with most other types of essays, one should attempt to captivate the reader's interest from the very beginning. To do this, create a sentence that stands out from the rest of the text. The goal is to get your audience reaching for that bag of popcorn right after reading the hook!

  2. Background Information: After gathering the audience's attention, the next step is to present any necessary context to narrow the focus. Also, it should ideally transition the train of thought towards the thesis statement.

  3. Thesis Statement:. It is essential to writing a thesis correctly, and this is accomplished through proper phrasing. your primary objective is to defend your idea, so the thesis must DIRECTLY state what your idea is and why it is correct.

Body Paragraphs (4 Steps)

  1. Topic Sentence: Start with a sentence that transitions the focus from the previous paragraph to the current one; it should also introduce the main sub-argument for that particular section.

  2. Claim: After presenting your topic sentence, it is time to link your main sub-argument with the thesis statement. The goal is to explain how this point validates and strengthens your central message.

  3. Evidence: After providing a valid claim, you must defend it with factual support. Examples of this can be statistics, references or logical ideas that support ones claim since they are getting information from external sources, adding to the essays overall validity.

  4. Concluding Statement: After presenting a defendable claim and supporting it with evidence, one must end the body paragraph with a concluding statement. In other words, why was this particular point so essential?

Note that this structure works for each body paragraph. The main difference comes with the actual claim, supporting evidence, etc.

Conclusion (3 Steps)

  1. Restate The Thesis: (thesis statement). Using assertive language, restate your thesis in an "I have 100% proven this point" type of way. When information is presented to an audience with confidence, they are subconsciously more inclined to believe that it is in fact, true.

  2. Brief Summarization of Sub Arguments: Most likely, the audience has already forgotten some of the information you presented. For this reason, go back through and review your main points, giving your argument closure.

  3. Overall Concluding Statement: To end an argumentative essay with a bang, . Usually, this sentence will express the universal importance of the information and should leave the reader with a call to action for further investigation.

The Writing Process

When it comes to sitting down and writing an argumentative essay, the author has four primary objectives:

  1. Brainstorm + Topic Selection: Obviously, before one can start putting pen to paper, they have to figure out what they will be writing about. Unless one has been given a predetermined topic, they will usually have freedom of choice. ; doing so will naturally give the author more enthusiasm and motivation to do a good job.

  2. Research, Research, Research: Even if you are savvy in the field of choice, there is a bundle of information out there that is unknown to you. of a topic and what avenue you will approach.

  3. Writing A Rough Draft: Now that you have a thesis and valid external information, you can start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard.) Follow the outline laid out above for guaranteed success and keep in mind the following things:

  1. Writing a Final Draft: After finishing your rough draft, take some time away from the essay. Let your brain recover and come back to it the next day (or a few hours later, depending on how bad of a procrastinator you are) with a fresh perspective. More likely than not, you will see flaws in grammar, vocabulary, and logic. Make those final amendments and read your essay out loud for a final polish. If it sounds good, then looks like you are finished!

Tips For Success

Reason Trumps Emotion: Since we are writing an argumentative essay, it is crucially important to remember that we must fixate our points towards rational reasoning. Save the emotions for someone who cares!

Include Counter Arguments: Many writers forget this step, and this definitely harms their rate of success. A supported argument without a considered counter argument has reached half of its potential. Make sure to explain why your case carries more weight than the other!

Get outside peer editing: Just because your points make sense to you, doesn't mean that the readers will automatically understand your reasoning. Get some peer editing from a friend who can validate the logic behind your argument!

Argumentative Essay Examples

Down below you can find some good argumentative essay examples. The first essay talks about the value that comes with the freedom of strikes for public workers. The second essay discusses the importance of economic equality in a nation, alongside possible repercussions and potential threats if not met. Both present fantastic arguments that students in need of help can learn from!


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