Essay argumentation strategies

This shows another level of fear: Fear of making a mistake that will make your argument or persuasion meaningless. Since you are writing, and the words are on paper for all to see or on a web site!

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GRE Prep: Analytical Writing - Analyze an Issue vs Analyze an Argument

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Home An educational public service helping learners succeed since over They could do it because they believed they could. Vergil, 70 - 19 BCE Roman poet. Writing assignment series Persuasive or argumentative essays In persuasive or argumentative writing, we try to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking. Determine facts any sources that will help you determine their reliability as well as for further reference what prejudices lie in the argument or values that color the facts or the issue what you think of the author's argument List out facts ; consider their importance: prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.

Entice the reader to continue with the rest of the paper! Take a day or two off! Re-read your paper with a fresh mind and a sharp pencil Ask yourself: Does this make sense? Am I convinced? Will this convince a reader? Will they understand my values, and agree with my facts? Here are some strategies for choosing a topic that serves as a solid foundation for a strong argument. Some topics—like whether cats or dogs are cooler—can generate heated arguments, but at the end of the day, any argument you make on that topic is just going to be a matter of opinion.

You have to pick a topic that allows you to take a position that can be supported by actual, researched evidence. Quick note: you could write an argumentative paper over the general idea that dogs are better than cats—or visa versa! For example, a strong argumentative topic could be proving that dogs make better assistance animals than cats do. While some people might dislike the taste of water, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that proves—beyond the shadow of a doubt—that drinking water is a key part of good health.

Topics that have local, national, or global relevance often also resonate with us on a personal level. Consider choosing a topic that holds a connection between something you know or care about and something that is relevant to the rest of society. For example, if you are a huge football fan, a great argumentative topic for you might be arguing whether football leagues need to do more to prevent concussions.

And not only is this a great argumentative topic: you also get to write about one of your passions! Think of your thesis as the trunk of a tree. Its job is to support your arguments—which are like the branches. What do you do now? You establish your position on the topic by writing a killer thesis statement! In more concrete terms, a thesis statement conveys your point of view on your topic, usually in one sentence toward the end of your introduction paragraph. Your thesis statement tells your reader what your argument is, then the rest of your essay shows and explains why your argument is logical.

Why does an argumentative essay need a thesis, though? Well, the thesis statement—the sentence with your main claim—is actually the entire point of an argumentative essay. Got it?

Writing assignment series

To keep the sky blue, governments must pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions. The second example states a position on a topic. The best way to keep the sky blue. And what position is being conveyed? That the best way to keep the sky blue is by passing clean air legislation and regulating emissions. Governments should not pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions! That infringes on my right to pollute the earth!

Argumentative Essays

The argument in this one? Teachers should incorporate more relevant pop culture texts into their curriculum. This thesis statement also gives a specific reason for making the argument above: To give students an understanding of the role of the American Dream in contemporary life. An actual image of you killing your argumentative essay prompts after reading this article!

These are the parts that will flesh out your argument and support the claim you made in your thesis statement. Like other types of essays, argumentative essays typically have three main sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Within those sections, there are some key elements that a reader—and especially an exam scorer or professor—is always going to expect you to include.

To make the most of the body section, you have to know how to support your claim your thesis statement , what evidence and explanations are and when you should use them, and how and when to address opposing viewpoints. This probably feels like a big deal! The body and conclusion make up most of the essay, right? There are three main areas where you want to focus your energy as you develop a strategy for how to write an argumentative essay: supporting your claim—your thesis statement—in your essay, addressing other viewpoints on your topic, and writing a solid conclusion.

How to Teach Argumentative Essay Writing

Supporting your claim in your thesis statement is where that research comes in handy. Remember your reader? Evidence can be material from any authoritative and credible outside source that supports your position on your topic. In some cases, evidence can come in the form of photos, video footage, or audio recordings. In other cases, you might be pulling reasons, facts, or statistics from news media articles, public policy, or scholarly books or journals.

There are some clues you can look for that indicate whether or not a source is credible , such as whether:. On some exams, like the AP exams , you may be given pretty strict parameters for what evidence to use and how to use it. You might be given six short readings that all address the same topic, have 15 minutes to read them, then be required to pull material from a minimum of three of the short readings to support your claim in an argumentative essay. When the sources are handed to you like that, be sure to take notes that will help you pick out evidence as you read.

Highlight, underline, put checkmarks in the margins of your exam. Those highlights and check marks might just turn into your quotes, paraphrases, or summaries of evidence in your completed exam essay. Now you know that taking a strategic mindset toward evidence and explanations is critical to grasping how to write an argumentative essay.


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You never want to just stick some quotes from an article into your paragraph and call it a day. Instead, you want to comment on the evidence in a way that helps your reader see how it supports the position you stated in your thesis. Understanding how to incorporate evidence and explanations to your advantage is really important. Instead, their evaluation is going to focus on the way you incorporated evidence and explained it in your essay.

Opposing viewpoints function kind of like an elephant in the room. In fact, your audience might even buy into an opposing viewpoint and be waiting for you to show them why your viewpoint is better. But why? Without being too obvious, it might be worth pointing this out when you address the opposition. Great conclusions get your readers to check the "I Agree" box on your entire essay. So much has happened since you stated your thesis in the introduction! And why waste a whole paragraph—the very last thing your audience is going to read—on just repeating yourself?

Steps for Writing an Argumentation Essay

One thing you want to avoid in your conclusion, though: presenting new supporting points or new evidence. That can just be confusing for your reader. For some aspiring argumentative essay writers, showing is better than telling. Thesis Statement: In order to most effectively protect user data and combat the spread of disinformation, the U. Here we go:.

6 Strategies for Writing Arguments

Example Body Paragraph: Data mining has affected a lot of people in recent years. Facebook has 2. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself supports adopting a global framework for privacy and data protection, which would protect more users than before.


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Ask yourself: does this make a claim that some people might agree with, but others might disagree with? The answer is yes.