What Is an Argumentative Essay?

Argumentative (a.k.a. persuasive) essay refers to the one which has to support and prove author’s idea. The claim of such paper has to be strong enough even to the most stubborn audience. The only difference between persuasive and argumentative essays is that the first one offers a more general claim. For instance, the topic is pollution.

While persuasive essay might state something like: “American people living in the big cities need to adopt various environmental programs”, argumentative will most probably sound this way: “Citizens of New York should involve numerous environmental programs to protect their kids and nature from the threat of pollution”. Moreover, argument essay will go deeper into the details by describing specific programs and suggesting the possible resolutions to the discussed problem.

That’s why it is crucial to gather enough evidence based on reliable data and sources before writing down the results of your research. To catch the eye of your potential reader, find something really debatable and challenging to talk about (unless the topic is provided by the instructor).

There is one simple way to check whether your subject is worthy and debatable. This tool is known as a thesis (the declaration of your bias that you are going to prove). To develop an excellent thesis, the author has to remember several things:

  • The claim is not the same as the fact – you have to find some reasonable arguments to support it;
  • A thesis has to give a clear answer to the object of a conducted study;
  • Any thesis, usually, consists of one sentence regarding ONLY ONE topic;
  • The reader has to understand the further content from just this one sentence;
  • As a rule, it has to be included towards the end of the introduction paragraph.

Despite argumentative essay is all about author’s personal view of the subject, he still should refer to the opposing side. So, at least two arguments should be stated throughout the text. As people say “The best defense is a good offense.” Show your reader that you respect the opinions of others – it will only add up to you and your work.

When preparing an argumentative essay, it is critical to:

  • To express thoughts passionately (but NOT fanatically);
  • Be sober as a judge;
  • Include some citations to support the claim;
  • Gather and perform the reliable data, facts, and statistics as your evidence;
  • Address the contrary argument still refuting it.

It is highly recommended to avoid:

  • Inputting weak and slack qualifiers (i.e. “I think”, “To my mind”, “I guess”, “Maybe”, etc.)
  • Pretending you’re an expert in the discussed field.
  • Involving strictly moral or religious dogmas as another support.
  • Expecting your target audience will agree on all of your thoughts.
  • Trying to make others look fool (i.e. Mr. Green lacks authority – don’t pay attention to his words!)

Don’t overload the introduction with too much information. After all, you are provided with three more paragraphs to re-state your position.

Finally, it is obvious that the topic should be relevant. You have to reflect the idea that most probably will apply to everyone. An example of a powerful thesis can sound like “The upcoming 2012 year will pass without a life-altering catastrophe predicted by Maya.” This issue used to make people worry, so such argumentative essay would be a winning one back in 2011. All you have to do is to think what is essential for people of your time.