The argumentative essay is a type of writing that requires the writer to study a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
There may be some misunderstanding occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a test to challenge student writing skills in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves extensive research. Expository essays are less in research and are shorter. Expository essays are often used for examination, in-class writing exercises or test such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of academic journals. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through surveys, interviews, observations, or even experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn more about the topic and to understand different point of view so that the student can choose a position and support it with the evidence collected. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis statement.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
Defined the thesis statement
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the writer should explain why the topic is chosen or why readers should care about the raising issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is a must that this thesis statement be appropriately focused to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not do this portion of the essay properly, it will be quite difficult to deliver an effective or persuasive essay.
Clear and logical transitions
Transitions are the key links that holds the structure of the essay together. Without logical structured thought, the marker is unable to follow the paper's argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the key idea from the previous paragraph and introduce the next idea that is to follow in the next paragraph.
Strong evident support.
Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such writing style creates an ease of readability for the audience. It is important to note that every paragraph in the body of the essay must have a logical link to the thesis statement. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with strong research papers. It is also crucial to explain how and why the research supports the thesis.
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain different points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the paper, students should write at least one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting points on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are incorrect, writers should focus on how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well written or how they might be lagging behind time.
Strong Evident support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
A conclusion that readdresses the evidence provided.
This is the hardest point of the essay. This part of the essay will leave the most impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical presented. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion! Synthesize the information presented in the essay. Reinforce why the topic is important, review the key points, and re-look at your thesis.
Argumentative essay short cuts - Highly recommended Structure
The five-paragraph essay
A popular method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. However, by no means this is the only formula for writing an argumentative essays.
An introductory paragraph + Thesis Statement
Three body paragraphs that should include discussion of opposing views supported with strong evidences
Lastly a conclusion