Tips to Structure an Argumentative Essay (With a Bonus Essay Example)
Was Adolf Hitler a tyrannical madman or a genius unrecognised? Are global warming and climate change real? Do we need better gun control policies to curb school shootings? And on and on it goes.
Arguments always have two sides to show, two stories to tell. If you are not too much of a debate person, then argumentative essays may puzzle you. After all, stating arguments in favour or against an issue, backing them up with evidence might not be a cakewalk for all. But your “all for peace” attitude might not hold water with your professors.
So, what do you do when they ask you to write an argumentative essay? You groan inwardly and prepare for the worst, right?
We can show you some of the cleverest tricks to structure an argumentative essay that manages to impress your professors to no end. However incredulous it may sound, one look at the simple tips below, and you will know what we are talking about.
In fact, you can also check out a bonus sample argumentative essay along with this post to get a better idea on how to conquer one in style.
Let the preparations begin!
Trace an outline: what is the logical flow of your essay?
After you have gathered all the information for your argumentative essay, you need to keep a basic framework in mind. If your argumentative essay was a building, then think of the basic outline as a blueprint. You need to work more on the blueprint to develop it into a full-fledged essay plan (or the main outline).
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when preparing the rough outline for your argumentative essay.
- Pique the readers’ interest from the very beginning. Make them want to read more of your essay.
- Put forward the topic or main issue in lucid, simple words.
- Briefly touch upon the different sides of the issue, but do not ramble.
- Put forward your take on the issue, but in brief.
- Convince the readers of your side with evidence for each of your claims or reasons.
- State the opposing sides in the end, but refute them using analytical reasoning.
- Summarise the essay with a compelling call to action, commonly used for convincing the reader to look deeper into your side of the issue.
Now that is no rocket science! You need to identify the parts of the essay that you can allot to these plans when preparing the more detailed outline. Read on to find out how to fit the rough plan into a larger essay outline for your argumentative essay.
Filling in the outline: what goes where in your essay?
You can now tackle the outline as per the structure of your argumentative essay. Like any classic essay, this one also has three primary elements to it: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
Here are the cleverest tips to prepare the structure for an argumentative essay.
Catching the readers’ fancy, explaining the topic, briefly touching upon the various sides of the issue, and stating your side takes place within the introduction. It should be concise, lucid, and engaging enough for the readers to want to go on reading the rest of your essay.
Here are some tips to draft a superb introduction.
- Create an attractive title for your essay. It not only draws readers but can also help you explain the thesis statement pretty well.
- It is just the beginning of the essay, so there is no need to launch into elaborate explanations of your statements.
- Keep the readers in mind. Try to identify what might interest them the most about the issue.
- Start with an anecdote, shocking stats, an undeniable factor similar hooks to catch your readers’ attention immediately.
- Finally, explain your stand clearly in the introduction. Ideally, it should be the last sentence of the introduction of the essay.
- Body Paragraphs
Usually consisting of three or more paragraphs, the body of the essay must explain the arguments in detail, and provide backing evidence to support the same. In an argumentative essay, you can use three or more paragraphs to speak in for of your stance on the issue. Keep one paragraph aside for refuting the opposing viewpoints. Generally, the body of an argumentative essay is four paragraphs long.
Here are a few things to consider when writing the body paragraphs for your argumentative essay.
- Support each of the reasons with logic, examples, stats, credible authorities and the likes.
- End each body paragraph with a linking sentence that takes the reader to the next paragraph.
- Think of all the opposing views that the reader might have on the issue. Explain and refute them with further logic, examples and stats in the final body paragraph.
Good essays turn great with a remarkable conclusion. It is the last thing that your readers will read in the essay. It is more likely to stay imbibed in their minds long after they have read your essay. It brings the essay to a full circle, and is, in no way, less important than the conclusion.
Keep the following in mind when you set about to write the conclusion for your argumentative essay.
- Go over the key points discussed in the essay once more.
- Tie up the arguments with a summary of the essay.
- Point out the larger picture. Tie the issue universally so you can show the implications of taking your side clearly.
- Mention a stirring call to action befitting the topic of your argumentative essay (adoption of strays in case you wrote on the benefits of pet adoption as opposed to purchasing)
- Appeal to the readers’ morals, ideologies, emotions, reasoning and character through the conclusion
Argumentative essay sample
Global Warming Is a Real Crisis
NASA says the world has never been hotter. Temperatures continue to soar all around the globe, and ice caps are melting fast. The World Meteorological Organisation has stated that the global temperature has remained 1.2 C above the average temperature levels before the industrial era. And that has remained a constant for the last six years now. 2016 was the hottest year in recent history, with temperatures climbing to hotter than before all around the world. Although climate change and global warming have shown their ill effects on the earth’s health, there are many who continue to turn the other way. In fact, they go so far as to call it a hoax or part of an elaborate con. Although you would not expect esteemed politicians and heads of states to be divided over the issue of such alarming concern, the situation in global polity regarding climate change is anything but favourable. Still, depleting ice caps, shrinking Arctic cover and rise in temperature compels me to think that global warming is, indeed, a very real global crisis.
Sea levels are rising at alarming rates all around the world. The warming of seawater and the melting of ice on land contribute to the rise in sea levels. Studies show that seawater rose over 6.7 inches in the 20th century. However, scientists revealed that seawater rise has almost doubled in the last decade itself. Along with rising sea levels, we can also observe the rapid shrinking of ice caps. Ice in Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Circle have shrunk considerably, and satellite pictures are enough evidence for the same. NASA says 150 to 250 cubic kilometres of ice disappeared between 2002 and 2006, rendering the flora and fauna habitat-less. Rising sea levels and continued melting of ice caps indicate a huge deluge, drowning land over miles along the coastlines.
And if rising sea levels was not enough, scientists have now discovered that the thickness of the Arctic Sea ice has also decreased. National Snow and Ice Data Centre say the ice at the Arctic Sea region has gone down considerably. Coupled with that is the rapid melting of glaciers in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas and the Rockies. National Snow and Ice Data Centre have recorded depletion of ice in the mountains as well. It all points at global climate change due to global warming. The reports and studies all show that it is no localised phenomenon and definitely qualifies as an issue that the world needs to address at the earliest.
That brings us to the recent reports of catastrophes all across the world. The National Centres for Environmental Information recorded high-temperature incidents all across the world. The Tsunami affecting South-East Asian countries and the Pacific islands was also an example of the global catastrophes that are taking place due to global warming. Similarly, the world has also experienced strange and unprecedented cold waves across Europe and America this year, uncharacteristic of the climate records there. While so many incidents, studies and reports show that global warming is real. However, the voice of dissent still doubts the results.
Some scientists link global warming to the natural course of events that the Earth’s journey would have taken (as per geological predictions). As per history, the planet undergoes severe climate change at regular intervals. Some scientists are of the opinion that global climate change and the melting of ice caps are connected to that. But 97% of climate scientists cannot be wrong. Some far-right politicians and lobbyists still try and undermine the studies on environmental conservation, but their attempts are futile. Although the earth does have a shift in the climate every 1500 years, the effects of global warming are markedly different from that. It shows clear signs of being produced by humans and can be seen as a result of over-industrialisation.
This essay coursed through the most glaring instances of global warming’s effects on the health of the planet. Despite there being many who voice their protest against the issue or debase its credibility with counter-arguments, one simple thought might change the perspective. Take a moment to consider how we are gradually stripping off the planet of its natural resources, minerals, water, clean air, animals and so much more, all in the name of colonisation, relocation, industrialisation or development. We still drive around in cars that have high emission levels and use plastic for lifestyle products and lead an environmentally-hazardous lifestyle. Global warming is upon us, no matter how much we stay in denial. The onus falls upon us to be responsible global citizens, and do our bit to save the planet that is home to us all.
Summing it up,
Once you know what goes where writing an argumentative essay won’t seem all that difficult. Go through the sample to understand how to adhere to the structure of the essay while putting forward your arguments. Back it all up with suitable evidence and you will be good to go. Conquering an argumentative essay won’t be too tricky once you treat it with precision and order. Go about an orderly analysis of the data, and you will arrive at the proper conclusion. Go by the tricks suggested here to make writing an argumentative essay a cakewalk.
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John 26 Jun, 2018