What is an argumentative essay?


Writing an argumentative essay involves:

  • Thoroughly researching a topic or issue.
  • Evaluating information as well as varying points of view discovered through the research process.
  • Developing a strong thesis statement (argument) that presents a position to be defended with evidence.
  • Designing a pattern for development of the argument to be persuasive and convincing.
  • Refuting the opposing view point by using evidence targeting weaknesses in that position.
  • Persuading the reader to agree with the argument by presenting evidence to support the position taken as well as evidence that refutes the opposing argument.

Often an argumentative essay is based on the five-paragraph essay model:

  • Introduction: The opening paragraph grabs the readers attention, presents the topic or issue, and ends with a strong thesis statement that will be supported in the body of the essay.
  • Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph discusses one point in the argument with evidence supporting the position taken.  In the five paragraph essay, three points are discussed with supporting evidence, one in each paragraph.
  • Conclusion: The concluding paragraph restates the thesis by providing a summary or synthesis of the points presented in the essay.  A well-written conclusion should convince the reader the position taken on the issue is sound.
  • Last Updated Jul 29, 2019
  • Views 1081
  • Answered By Suzanne Schriefer, Librarian

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