Argumentative essays are a common component of high school and college curricular. It is therefore important for students to learn what these essays entails and the tips that they can adopt to write highly impactful argumentative essays. Basically, argumentative essays are a form of writing where one presents an argument and proceeds to provide support for the argument. It is designed to persuade the target audience to join the writer in holding a particular position.
There are various reasons why students are usually required to write argumentative essays. The main reason is that these essays enable students to develop and demonstrate certain competencies. Among the skills that students gain include research, critical thinking and problem-solving competencies. More importantly, argumentative essays serve as platforms from which students can debate, converse, and discuss. Therefore, students should approach argumentative essays outline with seriousness and enthusiasm.
Argumentative Essay Outline
The following are some of the essential components of the outline of an argumentative essay.
Argumentative Essay Introduction
The introduction determines whether a student manages to present an argument successfully. If they are truly committed to writing a compelling argumentative essay, there are some issues that students need to remember and include in the introduction. One, they should provide background information. The information helps to contextualize and ground their essay. Two, it is vital for students to include a thesis statement. The purpose of this statement is to announce the main point that is then defended and supported in the succeeding body paragraphs.
Body of the Essay: Reasons in Support of Central Argument
The arguments in support of the central argument serve as the core of any argumentative essay. One should begin by clearly outlining the arguments. They should then proceed to provide evidence that clarifies, illustrates, or buttresses the argument.
For example, in addition to illustrative examples, students can also provide research evidence, expert opinion, and theoretical models as evidence. In some instances, personal experiences and anecdotal information are accepted as evidence.
The reasons that students lay out as they substantiate their arguments make up the bulk of argumentative essays. Typically, these reasons are outlined in at least two paragraphs. For more complex and nuanced arguments, students should be prepared to package their arguments and supporting evidence in longer and more paragraphs.
The paragraphs should be organized in terms of ideas. Essentially, students should declare their main argument then proceed to present all relevant evidence within the same paragraph.
Students should recognize that how the body paragraphs in which they present their supporting arguments must be organized in a particular fashion. The paragraphs should begin with a topic sentences that captures the main argument. These sentences are then followed by evidence.
The student should then proceed to illustrate how the evidence supports the argument. It is also advisable that students should begin and conclude their sentences and paragraphs with transition phrases and words which help to ensure seamless flow and proper organization.
Students are expected to be balanced in how they present arguments. Balance is usually measured by how well a student considers different and conflicting perspectives. In well-written argumentative essays, students offer arguments that clashes with the view that they hold.
In addition to demonstrating that they understand the complexity of the issue at hand, counterarguments also show that a student is truly concerned about fairness, objectivity, and balance.
Merely stating a counterargument is not sufficient to deliver an effective and impactful argumentative essay. For each counterargument, the student should present compelling, credible, and solid substantiating evidence. In essence, students need to treat counterarguments with the same level of seriousness that they accord their own views and perspectives.
After outlining counterarguments, students writing argumentative essays need to identify the limitations in these arguments. They use the limitations to show that the counterarguments are inadequate or weak and should therefore be dismissed in favor of the student’s main argument.
For instance, in critiquing the counterargument, a student could contend that the counterargument is based on flimsy ground and is therefore outweighed by the central argument.
Argumentative Essay Conclusion
While it is found at the bottom of an argumentative essay, the conclusion is indispensably vital. It is the student’s last opportunity to leave an impression on readers. When writing the conclusion, students should remind readers what their essay’s main argument was and the evidence offered in support of the argument. The student should also offer the readers some sort of closure. This can be achieved by calling on the readers to take action or highlighting the policy and practical implications of the essay.
Argumentative Essays Best Practices
While a good outline enables students to successfully write excellent argumentative essays outline, there are a number of best practices that students should keep in mind. Some of these practices are provided in the list below:
- Students should have a clear thesis statement and ensure that all the evidence supports this statement.
- Students should stay clear of contractions and instead spell out all words and phrases.
- It is essential that students should only use the third person perspective. First and second-person points of view may only be used if permitted by the instructor.
- Students should carefully consider and fully comply with the writing standards and guidelines that apply to the specific writing assignment.
It is true that argumentative essays can be daunting and intimidating. However, students need not be anxious. When they follow the outline provided above, they should be in a comfortable position from which they can persuade their readers to support their argument and point of view. Students should also remember that practicing will help to enhance their argumentative essay writing skills and competencies.