6 Secrets to Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay
What can be more difficult to write than an essay? An argumentative essay. A common essay follows a 5-part structure. An argumentative essay has one section more – a counterargument. Unlike the common essay, an argumentative essay demands strong reasoning. Writing an argumentative essay for the first time? Check the tips from our experts below to get more points for the assignment.
What is an Argumentative Essay?
This type of academic assignment requires the writer to describe their ideas and later prove them. Hence, an argumentative essay has strict academic writing demands. Sure, you can ask yourself ‘Who can reliably write a paper for me?’ and browse the Internet for professional writing help. However, before you do it, learn the specifics of an argumentative essay first.
What are the Pitfalls of an Argumentative Essay?
- Such an academic assignment requires a rigid structure;
- It requires a strong thesis statement;
- The proof must be logical and extracted from the academic sources;
- Presenting a Counterargument section is compulsory.
#1: Follow the Structure
Take the basic essay structure and add one more section to compose an argumentative essay. Depending on the number of counterarguments, the number of paragraphs might vary.
- Introduction. In the first paragraph, familiarize the reader with the topic in a few sentences. Provide the necessary background information and end the introduction with the thesis statement;
- Body. Traditionally, there are three body paragraphs. But the more complex the argument is, the more paragraphs you’ll need. Start your paragraph with a topic sentence and continue with an in-citation extracted from the sources. Explain the idea and add the concluding sentence ;
- Counterargument. Present opposing arguments to your thesis statement. Use academic sources to explain why the ideas aren’t valid;
- Conclusion. Restate the thesis statement. Summarize the findings and make suggestions for future research.
#2: Keep Your Thesis Expectations Grounded
Writing an effective thesis statement makes half of the assignment’s success. First of all, consider a thesis statement that is realistic and has a vast background of research and studies. Because if you can’t provide enough reasons for the ideas, who will trust your writing?
Secondly, keep your thesis narrow and specific. Covering the whole topic will have a descriptive character. Instead of writing about the 1960s’ feminism as a big movement, focus on the key leading figures.
Thirdly, don’t include more than 3-4 statements to be proved. The more ideas you want to prove, the more cumbersome your writing will be. Always follow the professor’s instructions. Imagine you want to discuss 5 reasons but have only 1000 words. Trying to cover 5 reasons will take more than 1000 words. In the end, your essay won’t persuade the reader and you’ll get less points.
#3: Proof and Reasons
Provide compelling proof to the reasons in the body paragraphs.
- Logical reasoning. Don’t use ideas that can’t be proved with the sources from the academic databases. Instead, use statistics, diagrams, and infographics to present valid data;
- Show respect. Appeal to the reader’s logic rather than emotions. Instead of calling the opponent’s ideas ‘stupid’ and ‘irrational,’ keep calm. Because your opponent might think the same about your ideas;
- Check the paragraph’s structure. The train of thought might carry you away. Yet we advise you to keep your body paragraphs rigid. A topic sentence, in-citation, description, and a concluding sentence. Remember these elements for better efficiency.
#4: Keep Your Academic Background Relevant
Demonstrating credibility is a must in academic writing. To do that, learn the basics of working with academic sources. Check the following tips before you browse the online database or go to the college library.
- Use relevant sources from the academic databases like Google Scholar and Jstor;
- Format your in-text citations according to the requirements of the academic style. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with MLA and APA, check online resources. For instance, Bibliography.com or Purdue Owl;
- Use recent sources. We advise you to incorporate sources that aren’t older than 5 years. However, disregard the rule if the topic requires historical context. For instance, if you need to explore feminism in the 1960s and nowadays.
# 5: Counterarguments are at the Core
Now, this is the toughest part of writing an argumentative essay. Why so? Because this is where you talk to the opponent directly. This is where you should bombard the reader with the strongest reasons. Use the best credible proof here that you can find.
A Counterargument section goes after all the arguments that support the thesis statement have been presented. Here, you must introduce opposing opinions and their arguments. Later, you must use the sources and tell the reader why the ideas aren’t logical.
Again, show respect and don’t use the ‘they’re wrong’ rhetoric. Therefore, don’t demean your opponent’s ideas. The calmer you speak, the louder your ideas get.
Some instructions might allow you to present a few counterarguments. If this is the case, work on each argument in different paragraphs. If the professor allows you to separate the essay part into sections, do it. Name each section while making sure your writing is cohesive.
To stay effective as a writer, think of the play-and-work schedule. Recharge your batteries and stay in touch with your friends. How to ensure you don’t get exhausted?
- Morning hours. A human has the highest level of mental energy in the morning. We don’t suggest you wake up at 5 am. Instead, focus the first part of your day on academic work. Regardless of when you wake up;
- Make tiny breaks. Your brain will turn into mush if you stay in front of your computer screen for hours. Go for a walk or ride a bicycle. Or call your friend. Just change the activities to keep your thinking agile;
- Turn on peaceful music. Nothing relaxes better than calm music in the background. Find your favorite compilation and turn it on.
Writing an argumentative essay demands strong writing skills. Learn the structure, find credible academic sources, and explore the findings.
Keep in mind that the reader might oppose your ideas. Most of the time, they will. Hence, your goal is to persuade your imaginary opponent that your ideas are reasonable.
We hope the article was helpful to you. Good luck!