Even if you don't like to argue with the points of other people, you still must be ready to write an argumentative essay at any time!
You don't want to write a bad essay in English and obtain a low grade, do you? Staring at a blank page for hours is not a way out. You need to make an attempt to collect all your thoughts in one place and focus on what is really important and related to your topic. An argumentative essay outline is an action plan which helps to put ideas together and start writing.
If you lack information on how to develop a well-structured argumentative essay in English or choose best examples of debatable topics, my article is just what you need!
Argumentative Essay Structure
The structure of your paper's outline is the same as the structure of your entire essay. The difference is that you include the entire information in the body text while you only name the arguments in your outline. An English essay outline is worth your time as it figures as your plan during the whole writing process.
There are four basic sections of any argumentative essay you should follow:
- Introduction paragraph
- Body with 2-3 strong arguments
- Refusing opposing arguments in one paragraph
Of course, you must focus on supporting your thesis statement rather than the opponents. The opposing point of view is included just to show the writer is objective with his judgments, and he respects all existing arguments.
Outline Section 1: Introduction
Every essay starts with an introduction, and an argumentative essay is not an exception.
First of all, think about a powerful, eye-catching hook to grab your reader's attention. Sure, it is important to know who your target audience is first. Different people require different approaches.
Let's look at my own example. I used to write an argumentative essay on why there should be a second official language in the United States in addition to English. I have chosen Spanish as my point of view. Based on the primary research, my hook could be,
"As far as most of the immigrants in the United States speak Spanish due to the neighborhood with Latin America, Spanish should be made the second official language in the United States."
- Background information
Don't try to write too much in this part. Simply name a topic and give a hint on what you'll be talking about in your argumentative text. Briefly explain why the topic is important and who cares about it.
An example might be,
"The research shows that immigrants from Latin America feel uncomfortable with studying in English schools as they require more time to learn this language. Thus, it is important to work on the question of the second national language."
- Working on the thesis statement
This part contains the main argument. Don't pose any questions here - just state your main point of view clearly and without any hesitations.
You may look at the additional information on how to write an eye-catching essay introduction with a hook.
Outline Section 2: Working on Your Arguments
As you remember, every claim is supported by the corresponding evidence you found during the research. If you have more information to share, you may include up to five body paragraphs.
It is a statement to support your argumentative essay's thesis. An example of an opening sentence in body paragraph is:
"Making Spanish the second official language in the IS would positively impact the economic relationships between Mexico and the United States."
Without a good evidence, no one is going to believe my words.
- Evidence is based on credible facts and statistics the writer finds during the research process.
It has nothing to do with your personal knowledge or information based on your experience. Choose sources carefully. The example is:
"12% increase in trade between the US and Mexico was a notice in 2014 when Arizona's local government send people who spoke Spanish to take part in the deal."
Also, the reader will think your judgments are subjective until you add an opposing argument.
Outline Section 3: Looking for Opponent's Claims
You need to understand that different people have different points of view regarding the same topic, so be patient. Check the arguments of the US citizens who do not support the idea of the second national language. They may be helpful while working on the third section of your argumentative essay.
You may pose a question why they don't like the idea of any other language except for English. Make it clear that they fear are connected with the unwillingness to study one more language or cooperate with Mexican population. Remember that your personal ideas should be supported by the facts you find during your research. For every argument against, you should present enough evidence to prove you're right.
It all may sound difficult, but please keep in mind you have a right to buy papers online!
Outline Section 4: Conclusion
- Rewrite thesis statement
While arguing with various opinions, you have lost the focus. Remind the readers of your topic by restating your thesis. Make it clear why your argument is a winning one. The best way to do so is to present how the things would turn without your idea being implemented ASAP.
- Write down about the importance of researched topic again. To make your statement persuasive enough, use loud arguments like,
"Without meeting the needs of the Latin American population, the local government risks facing another Col War like it was with USSR."
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The Basics of Effective Essay Writingby Becton Loveless
As you progress through school, you'll be required to write essays. And the farther along in school you get, the more complex and demanding the essays will become. It's important that you learn early on how to write effective essays that communicate clearly and accomplish specific objectives.
An essay is a written composition where you express a specific idea and then support it with facts, statements, analysis and explanations. The basic format for an essay is known as the five paragraph essay – but an essay may have as many paragraphs as needed. A five paragraph essay contains five paragraphs. However, the essay itself consists of three sections: an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
Below we'll explore the basics of writing an essay.
Select a TopicWhen you first start writing essays in school, it's not uncommon to have a topic assigned to you. However, as you progress in grade level, you'll increasingly be given the opportunity to choose the topic of your essays. When selecting a topic for your essay, you'll want to make sure your topic supports the type of paper you're expected to write. If you're expected to produce a paper that is a general overview, then a general topic will suffice. However, if you're expected to write a specific analysis, then you're topic should be fairly specific.
For example, lets assume the objective of your essay is to write an overview. Then the topic "RUSSIA" would be suitable. However, if the objective or your essay is to write a specific analysis, then "RUSSIA" would be far too general a topic. You'll need to narrow down your topic to something like "Russian Politics: Past, Present and Future" or "Racial Diversity in the Former USSR".
If you're expected to choose your own topic, then the first step is to define the purpose of your essay. Is your purpose to persuade? To explain how to accomplish something? Or to education about a person, place, thing or idea? The topic you choose needs to support the purpose of your essay.
The purpose of your essay is defined by the type of paper you're writing. There are three basic types of essay papers:
- Analytical - An analytical essay paper breaks down an idea or issue into its its key components. It evaluates the issue or idea by presenting analysis of the breakdown and/or components to the the reader.
- Expository - Also known as explanatory essays, expositories provide explanations of something.
- Argumentative - These type of essays, also known as persuasive essays, make a specific claim about a topic and then provide evidence and arguments to support the claim. The claim set forth in argumentative (persuasive) essays may be an opinion, an evaluation, an interpretation, cause-effect statement or a policy proposal. The purpose of argumentative essays is to convince or persuade the reader that a claim is valid.
Once you have defined the purpose of your essay, it's time to brainstorm. Don't choose just one topic right of the bat. Take some time to consider, contrast and weight your options. Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay. Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics. Also, get rid of those topics that are too challenging or that you're just not that interested in. Pretty soon you will have whittled your list down to just a few topics and then you can make a final choice.
Organize Your Ideas Using a Diagram or OutlineSome students get scared to start writing. They want to make sure they have all their thoughts organized in their head before they put anything down on paper. Creating a diagram or outline allows you to put pen to paper and start organizing your ideas. Don't worry or agonize over organization at this point, just create a moderately organized format for your information.
Whether you use a diagram or outline doesn't really matter. Some people prefer and work better with the flowing structure of a diagram. Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline. Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you.
The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay.
- Get started by drawing a circle in the middle of a paper just big enough to write in.
- Inside your circle, write your essay topic.
- Now draw three or four lines out from your circle.
- At the end of each of lines, draw another circle just slightly smaller than the circle in the middle of the page.
- In each smaller circle, write a main idea about your topic, or point you want to make. If this is persuasive (argumentative) essay, then write down your arguments. If the object of the essay is to explain a process (expository), then write down a step in each circle. If your essay is intended to be informative or explain (analytical), write the major categories into which information can be divided.
- Now draw three more lines out from each circle containing a main idea.
- At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle.
- Finally, in each of these circles write down facts or information that help support the main idea.
The following are useful steps for developing an outline to organize ideas for your essay.
- Take a page of paper and write your topic at the top.
- Now, down the left side of the page, under the topic, write Roman numerals I, II, and III, sequentially.
- Next to each Roman numeral, write the main points, or ideas, about your essay topic. If this is persuasive essay, write your arguments. If this an essay to inform, write the major categories into which information will be divided. If the purpose of your essay is to explain a process, write down each step of the process.
- Next, under each Roman numeral, write A, B, and C down the left hand side of the page.
- Finally, next to each letter, under each Roman numeral, write the information and/or facts that support the main point or idea.
Develop a Thesis StatementOnce you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement. A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay. A good thesis statement should be clear, concise, specific, and takes a position.
The word "thesis" just sounds intimidating to most students, but a thesis is actually quite simple. A thesis statement (1) tells the reader what the essay is about and (2) what points you'll be making. If you've already selected an essay topic, and developed an outline or diagram, you now can decide what points you want to communicate through your essay.
A thesis statement has two key components. The first component is the topic, and the second is the point(s) of the essay. The following is an example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:
The life of a child raised in Pena Blanca is characterized by little playing, a lot of hard work and extreme poverty.
An example of an analytical thesis statement:
An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan.
An example of an argumentative (persuasive) thesis statement:
Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U.S. residents should be offered tax incentives for donating to companies that provide micro loans directly to the citizens of third world countries.
Once you're done developing a thesis statement that supports the type of essay your writing and the purpose of the essay, you're ready to get started on your introduction.
IntroductionThe introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address. It is also intended to capture the reader's attention and interest. The first sentence of the introduction paragraph should be as captivating and interesting as possible. The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement. Conclude the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement.
BodyThe body of your essay is where you explain, describe or argue the topic you've chosen. Each of the main ideas you included in your outline or diagram will become of the body paragraphs. If you wrote down four main ideas in your outline or diagram, then you'll have four body paragraphs.
Each paragraph will address one main idea that supports the thesis statement. The first paragraph of the body should put forth your strongest argument to support your thesis. Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea. Then follow up with additional sentences that contain supporting information, facts, evidence or examples – as shown in your diagram or outline. The concluding sentence should sum up what you've discussed in the paragraph.
The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement. Likewise, the third and fourth body paragraphs, like the first and second, will contain your third and fourth strongest arguments supporting your thesis statement. Again, the last sentence of both the third and fourth paragraphs should sum up what you've discussed in each paragraph and indicate to the reader that the paragraph contains the final supporting argument.
ConclusionThe final paragraph of the essay provides the conclusion. This paragraph should should restate your thesis statement using slightly different wording than employed in your introduction. The paragraph should summarize the arguments presented in the body of the essay. The last sentence in the conclusion paragraph should communicate that your essay has come to and end. Your concluding paragraph should communicate to the reader that you're confident that you've proven the idea as set forth in your thesis statement.
Having the ability to write effective essays will become increasingly important as you progress through high school and into college. If you'll internalize the format presented above, you'll develop the ability to write clear and compelling essays.