All of you must have read fairytales. Come to think of it, do you feel the tales had layers of misogyny?
That itself is a very good choice for writing an argumentative essay. But how do you justify your stance in an argumentative essay?
Well, this blog will give you the solution.
Let’s start with understanding the basic idea of argumentative essays.
Argumentative Essays – A Brief Idea
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that persuades the reader of a particular point of view using factual data and logical arguments. Argumentative essays focus heavily on hard evidence, citing various research and sources to demonstrate why their position is the best.
Contrary to what the term implies, argumentative essays need not be aggressive or hostile. Instead, it takes its name from the method of reasoning in which the author provides adequate evidence to simultaneously support and refute opposing viewpoints. Remember that the purpose of an argumentative essay is to demonstrate that your thesis is the only logical conclusion.
An argumentative essay may sound a lot like a persuasive essay. But when it comes to distinguishing an essay as argumentative, it’s all about the technique of persuasion. Such essays prove their thesis by using factual evidence and logical reasoning. The same can be said of persuasive essays, but they tend to be less formal and more emotional. While persuasive essays heavily appeal to the reader’s emotions, argumentative essays emphasise specific empirical findings. In other words, persuasive essays rely on qualitative support, while argumentative essays lean towards quantitative support.
Here is an example of an argumentative essay to make it more clear for you. Know that the entire essay is not present here, but a glimpse of it is shown to give you an idea.
|Topic – Should Public Libraries Shutdown in The Digital Era?|
Some people have proposed closing public libraries and replacing them with iPads with e-reader subscriptions as online learning becomes more widespread and more resources are transformed into digital form. The idea’s proponents claim that it will result in financial savings for nearby cities and villages because maintaining libraries is expensive.
They think more people will read since they won’t have to go to the library to borrow a book. Instead, they can just click on the book they want to read and read it from wherever they are. Replacing libraries with tablets would be a mistake.
Digital resources, including books, are less effective for learning compared to print resources. Research shows that individuals who read on tablets read 20-30% slower, retain 20-20% less information, and comprehend 10-15% less compared to those who read the same material in print. Furthermore, prolonged use of computers can lead to health issues such as blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain…
If you look at the example above, you can see no harsh tone present. Rather the arguments and the counterarguments are supported with facts. You have to keep this mind that no arguments without proper evidence will be good enough.
Because in argumentative essays, there are facts stated, initially, students confuse it with expository essays as well. But there is a huge difference between expository and argumentative essays. Yes, both types require facts, but the former requires all facts about a subject, whereas the latter is a bit biased and focuses on a central aspect of the subject.
Is it clear? If not, it will be clear with this example –
For example, if you are given the topic ‘Social Media’, then the expository essay will explain every detail about social media. Check the text below.
|Social media can be simply described as a mode of communication. Online communication is made simpler by social media, which includes a variety of applications and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. These platforms allow users to share content, connect with others, and form communities. Social media is used by more than 4.7 billion individuals worldwide, which is almost 60% of the population. Messaging platforms and applications are currently the most visited websites globally, with 94.8% of users in early 2023 using them for chats and messaging. Social media platforms followed closely behind, with 94.6% of users visiting them. The third most accessed websites were search engines, with 81.8% of users using them…|
If you see the above example, the portion of the essay only provides details about social media. But argumentative essays won’t be the same. It will provide biased arguments proving an aspect of social media to be better.
For example, “Is Facebook a more popular social media platform than Instagram?” can be a good topic for argumentative essays.
Argumentative essays have a unique characteristic in that their thesis is not very obvious. Typically, there is enough opposition to require an argument against it. For example, the thesis “The roads are patchy on a rainy day” is not suitable for an argumentative essay. It is not only redundant but also excessively straightforward. Think of what you will give as evidence in such straight theses.
The goal of an argumentative essay is to conclusively demonstrate the validity of its thesis, often by refuting or dismissing competing theories. As a result, argumentative essays explore a range of opposing views in addition to the writer’s own topic. It’s difficult to declare one viewpoint as “true” while simultaneously discounting the others.
Advanced Argumentative Essay Structures
Your argumentative essay’s structure is very important because the success of your argument hinges on how well you convey it. The structure of argumentative essays is slightly more complex than those of other essay genres because you must additionally address opposing viewpoints, which only serves to exacerbate the situation. This in itself raises further questions, such as when to provide important evidence and whose argument to address first.
Let’s begin with the most fundamental argumentative essay format, the straightforward five-paragraph framework that works best for short essays.
- Your introduction is the first paragraph of your essay. It clearly states your argument, frames the remainder of the paper, and perhaps even injects a little mystery.
- Your body is comprised of your second, third, and fourth paragraphs, where you will present your arguments, support them with proof, and disprove any counterarguments. Each paragraph should emphasise presenting one piece of supporting evidence or refuting one opposing viewpoint.
- The fifth and last paragraph is your conclusion when you briefly restate your thesis in light of all the evidence you’ve shown thus far.
The fifth and last paragraph is your conclusion when you briefly restate your thesis in light of all the evidence you’ve shown thus far.
This simple framework can be useful when taking a test that requires essays within stringent time limits.
Here is an example of a short, simple essay following this structure
|Nowadays, teenagers prefer playing video games rather than going out and making friends. Some are addicted to video games where they can shoot guns and kill other players. These games are referred to as violent video games. This type of video game usually contains scenes with themes, language, violence, sex, horror, or drugs, which may not be suitable for children. In 2015, online gamers spent an average of five hours a day (Frank, 2016). Video game sales increase every year because most people, especially teenagers, use technology as a pastime. But as video game sales climb, violent crime continues to fall (Kain, 2012). However, other people question playing this kind of video game because other people claim that these may cause people to be introverted and even commit crimes in real life…|
The essay will give you a crystal-clear idea of the structure discussed.
But when you have to present complicated arguments, you have to pay special attention. There are structures to do the same. they are –
Let’s discuss these in detail.
The basic five-paragraph structure is similar to the Aristotelian or classic argument, which is commonly used to create a persuasive argument. This structure incorporates reasoning (logos), logic (ethos), and emotion (pathos) to support its claims and can be adjusted to fit different arguments. It is organised clearly and logically.
The flow of information in this type of structure will be –
- Problem introduction
- Presentation of your perspective
- Presentation of the counter perspective
- Presentation of the needful evidence
If you observe the examples mentioned earlier, you can get an understanding of what an Aristotelian argument is like.
The Toulmin technique works best for unravelling complex problems since it is grounded in logic and in-depth analysis. But it also works well for disproving an opposing point of view piece by piece.
It has six primary sections in form, but you can arrange them in any way that works best for your essay. Remember that your claim might be used to refute another claim; thus, instead of providing your own thesis, your entire essay may serve to refute another claim.
The 6 sections include (Note that the sections are used considering the example mentioned above)
The main point of your argument is the claim. You are asking your audience to believe the statement of opinion that you are making to be true. A key element of the Toulmin paradigm is the claim.
|Replacing libraries with tablets would be a mistake. Digital resources, including books, are less effective for learning compared to print resources.|
Your assertion is backed by reasons, which are evidence, information, or justifications that support your claim. Including expert opinions related to your case may also be helpful as part of your reasons.
|Research shows that individuals who read on tablets read 20-30% slower, retain 20-20% less information, and comprehend 10-15% less compared to those who read the same material in print. |
What connects the claim to the grounds is the warrant. This helps your viewers comprehend how the grounds relate to substantiating the claim. It may be expressed expressly or impliedly.
|More significant health conditions like fibromyalgia, shoulder and back discomfort, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain are also observed in individuals who use tablets and mobile devices extensively.|
Any additional support for your warrant is referred to as backing. In many instances, the warrant is implicit, and the supporting supports the implied warrant by providing a specific illustration that supports the implied warrant. It is a Toulmin model component that is optional.
|It has been demonstrated that gazing at a computer for an extended period of time is considerably more likely than reading print to result in a number of health issues, such as blurred vision, lightheadedness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain.|
A qualifier demonstrates that not all instances will support your assertion. Qualifiers give claims more weight because they show your audience that you always don’t expect your perspective to hold true for everyone.
|Some people have proposed closing public libraries and replacing them with iPads with e-reader subscriptions as online learning becomes more widespread and more resources are transformed into digital form. The idea’s proponents claim that it will result in financial savings for nearby cities and villages because maintaining libraries is expensive. They think more people will read since they won’t have to go to the library to borrow a book; instead, they can just click on the book they want to read and read it from wherever they are.|
When you respond, you acknowledge the opposing viewpoints. By incorporating a rebuttal or qualifier, you can demonstrate that you’ve given your assertion significant thought, thwarting any potential objections and strengthening your claim’s credibility. Reluctant audience members may be convinced to agree with your position with a rebuttal.
|Despite the numerous problems with digital screens, replacing libraries with tablets may seem straightforward, but it would encourage people to spend even more time staring at screens. Additionally, many of the advantages of libraries on which people have come to rely would no longer be accessible. Libraries could never be replaced by simple objects in many communities since they are such a vital element of the social fabric.|
Simply put, the Rogerian method is a middle-ground strategy in which you accept the legitimacy of both your thesis and the opposition’s stance. It’s the least confrontational and most respectful approach, which aids in persuading readers who are already sceptical of your main point. It is structured in five steps as follows:
- Introduce the problem
- First, explain the opponent’s perspective
- Then explain your perspective
- Accumulate both perspectives and present a middle ground where both of them coexist.
- Conclude with a balanced argument.
For example, let’s consider the example above while following the Rogerian model. You can present both the arguments for and against the statement “Should Libraries shut down in the digital era?”.
After you have put forward arguments and counterarguments, give a balanced, unbiased conclusion where you let the readers decide which option they want. The conclusion will be more open-ended.
How to Write a Good Thesis for an Argumentative Essay?
The foundation of each effective essay is the thesis or argument. Even the most flawless essay format won’t help you if your topic is weak or riddled with errors.
The main idea of your thesis should be what you want your readers to remember. What do you want them to believe after reading, or what do you want them to take away from it? Understanding this influences every other element of writing your essay, including the optimal structure and format and what evidence to gather.
- Pick a topic you are passionate about, to begin with (if one has not been assigned). A focused argument is advantageous; a broad or comprehensive argument requires more analysis and can lengthen an essay.
For example, if we consider the 1st example provided about shutting libraries in the digital age, which do you think will be a better thesis?
| Should libraries shut down in the modern digital age? Are E-books and Kindle replacing walk-in libraries?|
Without any second consideration, know that the second option is better. It is because it gives more specific information about the paper and is very focused.
- A consideration of your audience is also helpful during the thesis. Although you don’t always have to give the readers what they want to hear, you should consider their prejudices when writing your essay and adjust your language and how much credit you give the other side.
This necessarily means no difficult language and a clear message.
|Are E-books and Kindle replacing walk-in libraries? With the enhancement of technological resources and easy availability of these, will libraries become extinct from our social structure?|
The first one is way clearer and exactly states the message quite directly. The second one, though, means that the same will take quite some time to get registered in readers’ minds. Also, the reader might need to read it more than once. And you don’t want to do the same to your thesis statement.
- Choose a thesis that has enough support, above all. You don’t want to waste time looking for information that doesn’t exist because argumentative essays thrive on real evidence from reliable sources. Perhaps you shouldn’t argue that position in the first place if you can’t come up with enough evidence to support your thesis.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay?
If you generally have practice in writing essays, then writing argumentative essays won’t be as difficult. It is because argumentative essays adhere to the same suggested writing process as other types of writing, with a stronger focus on planning and research. An overview of how to modify the procedure for argumentative essays is provided below:
- Choose the topic –
Until and unless you have a topic to write, you cannot start the process. But as you choose the topic, make sure that you have enough scope to work on it. Also, make sure that the topic is interesting enough for you. The details of choosing a perfect topic are provided in the later section of this blog.
This stage involves gathering all of the supporting information and creating an outline for your essay. Set aside enough time for research because argumentative essays need evidence to back their points. A good opportunity to answer questions like when and how to discuss competing opinions is when you outline your essay.
Consider the example of libraries shutting down due to digitalisation
In that case, the perfect outline should be –
| Introduction(Stating the issue of growing fondness of e-books and web-based reading materials and simultaneously libraries living the threat of closing down). Body Para 1 (Here, you are supposed to give enough data for or against the statement. You cannot just claim something. You have to mandatorily give justifications to prove the same.) Para 2 (Connect the claims you made through the facts mentioned in the essay). Para 3 (Provide some counterarguments. This also with proper proof) Conclusion (Be respectful towards the opposite opinion, but here, make sure that the readers remember the actual essence of the essay. This way, they will know both the sides and you can convince them as well. |
This is the perfect outline, and having this in hand can save your back to quite a huge extent. You’ll know exactly how to do it, what data you need etc.
First, draft your essay in rough form. Particularly with argumentative essays that frequently cite outside sources, providing any facts and direct quotes as early as possible is preferable. Remember that the first draft is not the final one; there is always scope for refinement and changes. The first draft is important to give you an idea. After you have the first draft, work on it more and prepare the final draft.
When there are too many sources and lengthy information, managing it can be difficult. This can make the process confusing and exhausting, thus raising the scope of errors. And pointing out these errors is not as easy as it seems. You cannot do it while writing. Therefore, you have to spend some extra time to proofread. You can also do it in rounds. Set a target for each round and do the revision.
Hopefully, the argumentative essay examples have simplified your essay type. Next, there are some examples of argumentative essay topics. While choosing one, you can refer to these.
20 Examples of Argumentative Essay Topics
- What should be done, in your opinion, to lessen income inequality?
- Is reducing the US deficit the most important issue facing us right now?
- Do you think the Federal Reserve should cease printing money since it causes an unsustainable bubble?
- Should the start time of schools be pushed back?
- Is it cruel to keep wild animals confined in zoos?
- Should texting while driving be subject to tougher regulations?
- Facebook and Twitter, and other social media platforms bad for society?
- To give young people a voice in democracy, should the voting age be lowered?
- Is it better to have a longer or shorter school year?
- Do you believe that the need to create family-friendly programming forces TV censors to remove explicit content?
- Social media both unites and divides us. Do you think the good outweighs the negative or the other way around?
- Is a gap year a year-long vacation or a time for exploration and reflection?
- Is it a good idea for many states to decriminalise the possession of some substances, such as marijuana?
- Although equality is a legal requirement, do you think it is being implemented?
- Do you believe that individuals have the right to own firearms?
- Do you believe a patient should be entitled to request medical assistance in dying when suffering from a terminal illness?
- Is it OK for kids to engage in violent video game play?
- Is it necessary to forbid cell phones in classrooms?
- Should recycling become a requirement for all homes?
- Is capitalism the ideal form of government?
We hope this helped you understand how to write a compelling argumentative essay that puts your point across.
For more customised help, contact our experts!
Most Popular Questions Searched By Students
How to start an argumentative essay?
Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement to pique the reader’s interest. You could use a quote, a real-life story, a surprising statistic, or a thought-provoking question to capture the reader’s attention.
How to write an argumentative essay?
Step 1: Choose a topic, and then create a thesis statement. A thesis statement sums up your essay’s major idea or argument in one or two sentences.
Step 2: Gather information about your topics and organise it.
Step 3: Create your essay’s structure and content.
How to write a hook for an argumentative essay?
Making fascinating rhetorical questions and employing the pronoun “you” are two excellent ways to create argumentative hooks, albeit they are not the only ones. These readers will sit up and take notice when reading your hook because they naturally want to respond to inquiries and because they are being addressed directly.
How to write a topic sentence for an argumentative essay?
The topic sentence should include:
- Important words from the thesis statement
- A review to the thesis’s argument
- A summary of the paragraph’s main notion
How long should be an argumentative essay?
Conventionally argumentative essays should be 5 paragraphs long. But it may differ as per the requirement requested by the evaluator.
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