Essay writing is an essential part of any student’s educational journey. It helps you hone your communication skills and is a required part of your school work and even standardized tests. Writing a good argumentative essay is a skill that is going to take you far, both academically and later in life. Think of it like building a muscle. The better you are at writing, the easier it is for you to research facts about an issue and make logical decisions based on your findings.
Sounds pretty straightforward, yet countless students struggle with this kind of task. In this article, we will look at how to make your writing stand out with a close look at some argumentative essay examples. By the end, you should be able to tackle any essay head-on.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay
To write an argumentative essay, you must be able to look at things critically from different points of view and choose a stance to support based on the available facts. This can be a lot of work both for middle schoolers and college students, so you will need time to brainstorm ideas to better present your point in a convincing way that will win over your readers. This is the first step towards knowing how to write an argumentative essay that equips you with the ability to present complex facts in an easy-to-understand way.
Remember that proving your point has nothing to do with being aggressive or proving that you know something better than your readers. Even if this is the case, there’s no need to rub it on anyone’s face. Instead, try to find facts and real-life examples that support your opinion. You will need to draft your essay several times, but that’s okay. Just ensure that you organize your points using a clean structure (more of that in a minute), clear language, and preferably without typos and grammatical errors.
Best Ways to Structure Your Argumentative Essay
Since argumentative essay is a big part of standardized testing and your college application process, you should start practicing your writing skills as soon as possible. There are two sides to this: you hone your composition skills, and this arms you with the vital basics to prepare effectively for the ACT reading test. Cool, right? Let’s look at the advanced and basic argumentative essay structure.
Decide Your Approach Based on the Three Models of an Argument
An argumentative essay can have different structures based on the three major models, namely the Classical/Aristotelian, Rogerian, and Toulmin models. This approach is also usually used for a more advanced essay structure. Here’s how it works:
- Classical/Aristotelian. In the first model, your goal is to convince the reader that you are right while using logical reasoning. Generally, you also should try to see why your opponent might think might have a different perspective, still giving evidence that supports your argument. You simply introduce the problem and state your stand, then break down your opponent’s points one by one with your own counter-argument against theirs, and then sum up your points.
- Rogerian. The Rogerian model weighs both sides of the argument equally and tries to find common ground. Here, you are acting like some sort of advocate while presenting your essay topics. You first introduce the issue or problem. Next, you explain your opponent’s stand while acknowledging where they are right and then present your own ideas. After this, you have to point out where both sides can cohabit or concur.
- Toulmin model. For this argumentative essay structure, you just focus on one side and only present the evidence that supports your stance. You show your position and the reasons that support your idea, highlighting the connection between the claims and evidence. You must provide additional or supplementary evidence that backs up your points while acknowledging the limits of your ideas and addressing any counter-arguments your opponents raised.
Structure Your Essay
Before you structure your essay, you need to consider the claim presented in the topic of the argumentative essay. Is it true or false? Next, decide your stance on the issue and pick your side. What is the evidence that backs your views? Now the hard part’s done. You can then break down your essay into the following sections:
- Introduction. This is the first paragraph where you get to introduce the topic, including your thesis statement, your stance, and the way you intend to prove your side is right. Since this is your opening act (aka a teaser), you should ensure it is engaging and catchy to hook the attention of the reader. Still, keep it sweet and short and save the details for the next section.
- Body. This is where you delve into the nitty gritty details of your points of argument. You want to break this part into several body paragraphs, with each one focused on a key issue or evidence to support and back your topic or claims. Remember to use connecting words or phrases to build cohesion with each paragraph. You also want to be concise and clear while explaining each fact or evidence and use phrases like “according to x…,” “this is evidence that…”, “therefore,” etc.
- Conclusion. This is the shortest part of your essay that sums up your main points briefly. You can also include a suggestion or recommendation to offer a deeper dive into the issues raised earlier. Remember to keep it brief and to the point as you summarize your thesis statement.
Argumentative Essay Examples Analyzed
Analyzing examples of argumentative essays can build your confidence for the ACT and SAT tests. In fact, learning how to navigate through the ACT science exams involves going through many papers to find patterns in data and do thorough research. Here are some samples of argumentative essays you can study to improve your own writing style.
The helpful side notes provide a great guide that can help us as we explore this example. You can see the topic “Hooked on Credit Cards” and the introductory paragraph right after that. From there, we can tell that the writer believes that credit card companies are trapping students into spending too much, which leads to bigger problems later.
There are six body paragraphs detailing the writer’s points and reasons. They are connected with words like “in addition,” “another tactic,” etc., giving a logical flow to the progression of ideas. They cite data from credible sources to back up their points. Finally, the conclusion summarises their views and provides a suggestion that college students should read the fine print before signing up.
While this is a much less advanced structure than the first, it follows pretty much the same organizational plan. You find the introduction first, which draws the reader into the thesis statement. Then, we have three body paragraphs in which the writer states three reasons why you, the reader, should not smoke.
Finally, the conclusion urges you to consider the dangers of smoking raised earlier and encourages you to quit smoking. If you are having trouble with essay writing, don’t be discouraged. Practice makes perfect. In case you want to progress faster, you will find that signing up for an online private tutoring program can be exactly what you need to scale up your writing skills and get yourself ready for any test.
Good Argumentative Essay Topics
Ready to start practicing writing? Here are some good argumentative essay topics that you can use.
- Death penalty should be completely abolished across all states in the US
- Violent video games are responsible for the rise in crime
- Mental health programs should be free
- The drinking age limit should be decreased to be the same as the voting age
- Schools should teach students how to use artificial intelligence
Students should be taught how to write an argumentative essay as early as possible and then introduced to even more advanced writing exercises during their school years. This is essential for their academic progress and future career prospects. By improving their writing skills, they learn to socialize, maintain their individuality, and communicate their views while respecting the different opinions of others.