How to Write an Argumentative Essay
What is an Argumentative Essay?
An argumentative essay is a type of essay which involves a set of completely developed arguments to support a thesis statement that takes a solid stance on a specific issue. Usually, arguments are thoroughly researched and supported by evidence that gives emphasis to the central stance.
Argumentative VS Persuasive Essay
It’s important not to confuse argumentative essay with a persuasive essay – while they both seem to follow the same goal, their methods are slightly different. While the persuasive essay is here to convince the reader (to pick your side), the argumentative essay is here to present information that supports the claim.
In simple words, it explains why the author picked this side of the argument, and persuasive essay does its best to persuade the reader to agree with your point of view.
Now that we got this straight, let’s get right to our topic – how to write an argumentative essay. As you can easily recognize, it all starts with a proper argument. First, let’s define the types of argument available and strategies that you can follow.
This portion of your essay should contain a clear statement presenting to the reader what the main claim of the essay is. The importance of clear presentation of the thesis allows the reader to go through the ensuing arguments with the main claim clearly in mind.
Depending on the length and topic of the paper, the body paragraphs can take many different forms. A standard body is three paragraphs, each outlining and developing a different argument, however, different essays may use the body paragraphs differently. An evidence-based paper may use each body paragraph to present a new piece of evidence, while an argumentative essay that puts more stock in considering critical viewpoints may develop the same argument over the course of a few paragraphs.
This paragraph will restate the main claim and summarize how this central thesis was supported throughout the body. An excellent conclusion reiterates the main assumptions of the paper’s thesis without simply restating information.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay – Planning
Introducing the British Council’s How to Write an Argumentative Essay animated video series. This is the first of five simple and easy to follow videos that will show you how you can improve your writing.
We will look at:
• Planning and question analysis
• Writing a paragraph
• Introduction and conclusion
• Counter paragraph
Argumentative Essay – Thesis Statements and Paragraphs
How to Write an Argumentative Essay – Introduction and Conclusion
Sample Argumentative Essay
So, what is an argumentative essay? It’s a persuasive argument that leaves no room for interpretation. By the time someone’s finished reading one of these essays, they should feel as though there’s no question about the writer’s opinion. Here’s a sample essay that someone in middle or high school could write.
Without Alcohol, The World Would Be a Better Place
It was 8:54 p.m. on a warm Sunday evening in mid-July. Westlake Middle Schooler Abigail Parnas was walking home from her Nana’s house alongside her mother. Engrossed in her new iPad, they didn’t hear the speeding car. Both she and her mother were mowed down by a 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. They died instantly.
A 32-year-old woman who was upset over an argument she had with her husband proceeded to drink two bottles of wine and then get behind the wheel to buy a third. She took their lives in less time than it takes to say, “Cheers.” If alcohol was banned, there would be a reduction in violent crimes and a diminished number of vehicular manslaughter cases. More to the point, the ever-popular Abigail would still be alive.
Every day, nearly 30 people die, thanks to drunk-driving crashes (Wilson, 2019, p. 45). That equals one person every 48 minutes. In less time than it takes someone to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, someone will be killed due to drunk driving.
If a high school student begins drinking alcohol during these formative years, they become five times more likely to drop out of school (Perry, 2018, p. 13). Worse, since alcohol lowers one’s inhibitions, it is likely to lead to even greater disasters, including drug abuse and unsafe sexual encounters.
People all over the world drink to celebrate happy occasions. They also drink with friends after a difficult day. Social drinkers ingest wine or beer while preparing dinner, watching a movie, sitting out on the back patio, enjoying a picnic, dining downtown, and more. Why is alcohol so pervasive if it is a choice? Why do so many people choose to drink it? Are more people dependent than they realize?
Over 17 million Americans have alcohol use disorders (Legg, 2019, p. 78). Not every heavy drinker will become a full-fledged alcoholic, but alcoholism is a progressive disease. So, the more people rely on it “in good times and in bad,” the more likely they are to develop a dependency.
It’s easy to argue that the entire population does not have to be restricted from alcohol simply because certain people cannot control their intake. However, what if the gateway to bad decisions was removed? After all, alcohol is an addictive substance. Why should it be placed in anyone’s hands as a tempting invitation to death’s door? Even if someone is a moderate drinker, alcohol serves no health purposes. With every sip, partakers are ingesting ethanol, the same thing that is pumped into the gas tanks of cars.
That 32-year old woman went from a life of luxury to life in prison with only one hour of sunlight. She eats slosh for breakfast, unidentifiable meat for lunch, and soggy potatoes for dinner. No one comes to visit her. She hasn’t laid eyes on her husband or children in over a decade. Prison psychologists can’t break her of her self-imposed silence.
Her father died of cirrhosis of the liver. Her father’s father fell off the back of a pickup truck in a drunken stupor, cracked open his skull, and died before his legs hit the ground. Every day, she lies in bed wondering when she’ll die, too. In a world without alcohol, she still would have made plenty of bad decisions, but she never would have landed in a prison cell because she took the lives of sweet Abigail and her loving mother.