How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step-by-Step

In this guide, we show you exactly how to write an argumentative essay, step-by-step. Whether you’re in your last minute or you still have time, this post should get you from a completely blank page to a fully comprehensive argument.

To write a solid essay that falls into this category, you should understand the purpose of the paper, master the types of arguments, choose an interesting topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a solid outline, and write carefully.

Our intention is to help you develop solid arguments from scratch, even if you have never written this kind of paper before. By doing so, you’ll defend your position, win the attention of you audience, and bump up your grades.

Therefore, follow the steps below to write a good argumentative essay:

1. Understand the Purpose of an Argument

Let’s start with the basics first, which is to understand why you’re writing this project in the first place.

Ideally, the purpose of an argument is to demonstrate your ability and knowledge to explore an issue in an extensive and holistic way.

Your research materials should include different points of view, your paper should have the right structure, and your writing should demonstrate a strong interest in the selected topic. 

Because argumentative essays evoke debate on issues under investigation, your written work must not only express your views but also address counterclaims, which are views that contradict the position you hold. 

2. Choose an Interesting Topic

The second step is to choose a topic to investigate depending on your area of study, level of education, and personal interest.

You can focus on a general issue in psychology, sports, history, or music. Or you can draw attention to a controversial issue such as abortion, death penalty, racism, or World War. 

A good topic allows you to debate an issue because of the existence of contradicting opinions. Also, the topic you choose should be the most appealing one to you, as it’s easy to write about something you love, understand, or want to explore.

Ideas are all over the place, and this website even has a library you can explore to find an area to explore. Alternatively, you can brainstorm a few topics, share these ideas with your classmates, and ask them to single out which ones they wouldn’t be interested in debating.

3. Conduct In-depth Research

You have to conduct in-depth research to learn more about the topic you’ve selected. You can use local and online resources to find the right materials for the project.

  • Your sources should cover all the sides of the issue, as the work must present an all-around view of the facets of the topic.
  • The materials should include evidence you can use to support your position and counter the opposing viewpoints.
  • Use new and old sources for research. Old sources are the best for research, as they provide solid a solid foundation for the topic. New sources offer useful insights on the current trends of the issue you intend to investigate.
  • You can use quotes from scholarly sources, as these can contribute to the credibility of your work.

3. Develop an Outline

Now that you have enough research materials to use, it’s time to structure your argumentative essay accordingly. The purpose of the outline is to ensure you organize information in a way that demonstrates a higher level of personal engagement and a logical flow of ideas.

By using a structured outline, it becomes easy to know what arguments to present first and which ones to follow later. 

4. Write a Compelling Title

The title of your argument holds a significant weight, as it serves as the initial point of engagement. Write it in such a way that it captivates attention and evoke curiosity, so much so that it compels your audience to start reading the first paragraph.

Use a descriptive title, as it gives the reader a preview of the issue. By reading the title, a reader should easily identify the central argument before they even begin reading the first paragraph.

5. Construct a Powerful Introduction

Grabbing the reader’s attention with your title isn’t enough. Now that you’ve taken their eyeballs to the introduction paragraph, work on keeping them glued to your paper.

With the average human attention span now lower than 4.5 seconds, the opening sentence of your first paragraph holds the most significance in this written work. It must be compelling enough to entice them to read to the end.

So ensure your essay starts with a good hook.

The second most important part of the introduction section is an arguable thesis. The thesis serves as a succinct explanation of your stance. Usually one or two sentences long, the thesis often appears as the last part of the introduction.

Keep in mind that the thesis statement (or the statement of declaration) must be clear and concise. It articulates a definitive claim, which may pertain to defining terms, proposing policy solutions, or assessing values.

5. Develop Your Body Paragraphs

Now that you have your reader’s full attention, it’s time to present your arguments and support your claim in the body paragraphs of the essay.

Here’s what you need to do:  

  • Start every paragraph with a topic sentence.  Every sentence introduces a new argument that ties back to the thesis of your essay. 
  • Use arguments, evidence, statistics, and reasoning in your work to bolster your position on the chosen topic.
  • Conclude every paragraph with a closing link, which should have a smooth transition to the next consecutive paragraph.

Integrate counterclaims into your essay. Doing so demonstrates a thoughtful consideration of opposing viewpoints, thus enriching the depth and balance of your arguments.

6. Write a Strong Ending

You need a very strong conclusion to end your essay. Here’s where you tie everything together and show how they relate to your position on the topic.

Final Thoughts

An essay accounts argumentative if it evokes debate. Therefore, you must examine both sides of an issue to demonstrate a clear understanding of the subject and commitment to original research.

Your written work should convince a reader that your claim in an argument is more believable than differing views. And as you write, you’ll need to use reason and provide reasonable evidence to support a position you hold on an issue.  

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