You'll be spending a lot of time researching and writing this paper. So it is important for you to choose a topic that you find interesting from the start. Avoid choosing a topic that has been overdone, or, on the other hand, one that is too obscure since supporting evidence may be more difficult to find.
Find a peer preferably one that holds an oppositional view to discuss your argument with. This process will help you refine your thinking and develop new ideas to support your judgment. Try a debate-style conversation in which you each bring up aspects of the controversy and attempt to explain your view on the topic. Keep your audience in mind. An important aspect of writing an argumentative essay is understanding your audience.
Are you writing the paper for a class, in which case your audience is your professor and your classmates? Or perhaps you are writing it for a presentation to a larger group of people. Regardless, you must think about where your audience is coming from in order to lead them to your desired outcome. People's backgrounds and experiences often influence how they will react to views different from their own, so it is helpful for you to be knowledgeable about these factors. You also use different language when addressing different groups of people.
For example, you would speak to the pastor at your church differently than you might speak in a casual setting with your best friend. It is important to be mindful of these distinctions when considering your audience.
Understand the rhetorical situation. It is essential that you understand all of the factors in the situation surrounding your issue. All rhetorical situations contain five basic elements: That is why rhetoric is important in an argumentative essay. These types of essays aim to convince the reader that the author's view on the subject is the most correct one. Create a catchy title. Developing a creative, original title is a fantastic opportunity to hook your reader into wanting to read more of your paper before they even get to the introduction.
A good title will act as a "preview" for what your paper will be about. Many titles for academic papers come in two parts, separated by a colon. The first part is often a catchy hook that involves a pun on your topic or an impactful quote, and the second part is usually a sentence that sums up or provides details about your argument.
Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will be a concise idea that sums up your view on the issue. The thesis usually appears at the end of the introduction paragraph. Having this idea in mind early on in the reading process will help guide your reader through the rest of the paper.
A good thesis statement is concise and clear. It tells the reader what the point of the paper is and why it's important. The thesis must make a claim of some sort. Here is an example of a strong thesis statement: Excessive meat consumption in America is the leading cause of pollution today, and, thus, is a significant influence on global warming. This thesis makes a claim specifically a cause and effect claim about a debatable topic with a narrow enough focus to create an interesting, manageable argumentative essay.
Here is an example of a weak thesis statement: Pollution is a problem in the world today. This is not a debatable issue; few people would argue that pollution is not a problem. The topic is also too broad. You can't write a paper on every single aspect of pollution. Avoid the standard three-part thesis often taught to beginning writers. This format is constricting and limits the shape your ideas can take to being contained in three basic body paragraphs. Without the three-part thesis statement, your ideas can expand more freely and incorporate ideas that might not fit exactly into the three parts.
An example of a three-part thesis statement might look something like this: Global warming is caused by industrial pollution, automobile exhaust fumes, and waste dumping in the oceans. In this case, you would expect to find three body paragraphs: Any other causes of pollution would not fit anywhere in this essay, which restricts the meaning and the message of the paper. Changing the thesis to avoid this form will make for a much more functional essay that is written at a more advanced level.
A more effective thesis would be something like this: Due to increasing global temperatures and rising ocean levels, global warming has become an issue that needs to be acknowledged by a wider audience in order to begin reversing the effects. This section should briefly explain the essay topic and include relevant background information to familiarize the reader with the topic.
As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should appear at the end of the introduction. Write the body of the paper. Carefully present information that supports both your argument and opposition.
Acknowledge evidence that supports the opposition, but utilize powerful evidence to assert your claim. There are many different ways to organize your argument,  but the most important thing is that you cover all aspects of the issue. Leaving out information simply because it contradicts your thesis idea is unethical as it does not provide an accurate portrayal of the issue.
Be sure to include counterarguments those ideas that are at odds with your own view , but explain to your reader why your own viewpoint is more logical and accurate, perhaps because the opposing view is based on outdated information, etc.
Avoid implicating opposing views as wrong because it could alienate your readers. The aim of this section is to reassert your argument and persuade the audience to support your claim.
Try to connect the essay topic to the interests and values of the audience. Be sure to review your main points and restate your thesis. But make sure not to introduce any new information in the conclusion so that you can effectively wrap up what you've already said.
Often, it is helpful to end with a look forward to further research that could be done on the topic in light of what you have said in your paper. Go to the library and look up books on the subject. Or look up information from reliable sources on the internet. It is important to find sources that cover all views of the issue since the point of this kind of essay is to provide a well-rounded overview of all aspects of the topic.
Collecting evidence and information that supports both your argument and the opposing view will strengthen your essay. Ask a reference librarian for assistance in finding reputable, useful sources for your argument. They will probably be happy to help you.
Pick sources that are reputable and provide accurate, up-to-date information. The best research acknowledges the foundational work on a given subject, but also interrogates innovations in the field and divergences from the status quo. You do this by looking at sources that are both old these provide the foundation of the topic and new these provide current trends in thought on an issue.
Choose quotes that support your points. In order to make your work more credible, it is important to incorporate quotes from sources that are considered scholarly. Scholarly sources should be written by experts in the field i.
This means that sources are fact-checked by a panel of experts before they are approved for publication. It is important to remember that anyone can write things on the internet without any kind of publication standards for accuracy, so using blogs and many websites is not a good idea in an academic paper. When you use quotes in a paper, you must cite them properly. If you don't cite your sources, this is a form of plagiarism because you are not giving credit to the people whose ideas you are using in your paper.
Citing sources involves writing quotation marks " around the verbatim quotes and then including a parenthetical in-text citation at the end of the quote that refers to a source listed on the Bibliography or Works Cited page at the end of your paper.
There are several different formatting methods that are used in different fields. Take a step back. Often, it's possible to get so wrapped up in your own writing that it's easy to skip over obvious errors and mistakes. Take a break from writing for at least a few hours. Sometimes leaving your work for a couple of days can be incredibly beneficial as well. Looking at your work with fresh eyes will allow you to see the errors you previously overlooked because you were so involved in the writing that you could only see what you meant to say rather than what you actually said.
Look for grammar issues. Here are some of the most common grammar mistakes: For example, he know instead of he knows. Check for problems with formatting or quote incorporation. Formatting quotes properly allows your reader to easily find the information you are referencing.
It also adds to your credibility as an author. I would devote at least one more class period to having students consider their topic for the essay, drafting a thesis statement, and planning the main points of their essay in a graphic organizer. I would also begin writing my own essay on a different topic.
This has been my number one strategy for teaching students how to become better writers. Using a document camera or overhead projector, I start from scratch, thinking out loud and scribbling down my thoughts as they come. When students see how messy the process can be, it becomes less intimidating for them.
They begin to understand how to take the thoughts that are stirring around in your head and turn them into something that makes sense in writing.
I would rather spend more time getting it right at the pre-writing stage than have a student go off willy-nilly, draft a full essay, then realize they need to start over. Meanwhile, students who have their plans in order will be allowed to move on to the next step. During this time, I would move around the room, helping students solve problems and offering feedback on whatever part of the piece they are working on.
I would encourage students to share their work with peers and give feedback at all stages of the writing process. If I wanted to make the unit even more student-centered, I would provide the mini-lessons in written or video format and let students work through them at their own pace, without me teaching them.
To learn more about this approach, read my post on self-paced learning. As students begin to complete their essays, the mini-lessons would focus more on matters of style and usage. Only then do we start fixing the smaller mistakes. Finally, the finished essays are handed in for a grade. Use the comments section below to share your techniques or ask questions about the most effective ways to teach argumentative writing.
English language arts , Grades , Grades , teaching strategies. This is useful information. It is a classic model that immediately gives a solid structure for students. Thanks for the recommendation, Bill. I will have to look into that! Great examples of resources that students would find interesting. I enjoyed reading your article. Students need to be writing all the time about a broad range of topics, but I love the focus here on argumentative writing because if you choose the model writing texts correctly, you can really get the kids engaged in the process and in how they can use this writing in real-world situations!
I think an occasional tight focus on one genre can help them grow leaps and bounds in the skills specific to that type of writing.
Later, in less structured situations, they can then call on those skills when that kind of thinking is required. This is really helpful! Hi, Thank you very much for sharing your ideas. I have applied it many times and my students not only love it but also display a very clear pattern as the results in the activity are quite similar every time.
I hope you like it. I looked at the unit, and it looks and sounds great. The description says there are 4 topics. Can you tell me the topics before I purchase? Social Networking in School should social media sites be blocked in school?
I teach 6th grade English in a single gendered all-girls class. We just finished an argument piece but I will definitely cycle back your ideas when we revisit argumentation. Thanks for the fabulous resources! I read this and found it helpful but have questions. First I noticed that amount of time dedicated to the task in terms of days.
My questions are how long is a class period? I have my students for about 45 minutes. I also saw you mentioned in the part about self-paced learning that mini-lessons could be written or video format. I love these ideas. Any thoughts on how to do this with almost no technology in the room and low readers to non-readers? Thank you for any consideration to my questions.
Hey Jones, To me, a class period is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour; definitely varies from school to school. As for the question about doing self-paced with very little tech? I think binders with written mini-lessons could work well, as well as a single computer station or tablet hooked up to a class set of videos. You might also give students access to the videos through computers in other locations at school like the library and give them passes to watch.
The thing about self-paced learning, as you may have seen in the self-paced post , is that if students need extra teacher support as you might find with low readers or non-readers , they would spend more one-on-one time with the teacher, while the higher-level students would be permitted to move more quickly on their own.
My primary goal for next semester is to increase academic discussion and make connections from discussion to writing, so I love how you launch this unit with lessons like Philosophical Chairs.
I am curious, however, what is the benefit of the informal argument before the not-so-informal argument? Or, am I overthinking the management? Thanks so much for input. My 6th graders are progressing through their argumentative essay.
Your suggestions will be used. Students need to feel comfortable knowing that writing is a craft and needs to evolve over time. I think more will get done in class and it is especially important for the struggling writers to have peers and the teacher around while they write. Something that I had students do that they liked was to have them sit in like-topic groups to create a shared document where they curated information that MIGHT be helpful along the way.
By the end of the essay, all will use a fantastic add-on called GradeProof which helps to eliminate most of the basic and silly errors that 6th graders make. I LOVE the idea of a shared, curated collection of resources!
That is absolutely fantastic!
An argument essay, as with all essays, should contain three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The length of paragraphs in these parts will vary depending on the length of your essay assignment.
Once you break it down, writing an argumentative essay outline isn’t that daunting. Download this skeleton Argumentative Essay Outline to get started. Before you go off into the sunset and use my outline template, make sure that you are following the guidelines specific to your course.
Sep 05, · Argument essays are fairly straightforward in their organization. In your paper, you will need to do the following. Interest the reader in the situation and make Reviews: Argument Essay #4. Click Here to View Essay "A Deadly Tradition" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #5. Click Here to View Essay "Society Begins at Home" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #6.
You may also write something about your school, college or university policies that annoy you or make students argue with their teachers and principals. Skip topics that people tend to agree on. At the same time, it is better to pass by argumentative essay topics connected with religion, gender, race, and other sensitive episodes of human life. Argumentative writing is the process of writing an essay wherein you pick a stand about a certain issue, and discuss such stand as opposed to another stand on the same issue. Also known as persuasive writing, argumentative writing is a writing style which intends to persuade the readers to believe or consider a certain stand about a .