The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Contributors: Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-03-10 11:46:44
What is an argumentative essay?
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph essay
A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.
Longer argumentative essays
Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.
English language classes usually require a lot of writing. When you're a middle school student, you don't feel the pressure. But high school and college students are assigned complex topics. They are rarely free to choose their own idea, so it makes the situation even more complicated. An argumentative essay should be based on three major set of skills of any good student:
- Research skills
- Writing skills
- Analytical skills
If one of these is your weak point, you would probably need online academic writing assistance. Anyway, you should try writing a persuasive paper on one of the chosen topics on your own. This is a good practice for your communication and research skills. Argumentative essays are assigned to train your debating abilities. This assignment has a great influence on how a student will perform or give a public speech later.
HOW TO SELECT DEBATABLE ARGUMENTATIVE TOPICS TO DISCUSS
You might think that it's better when your teacher assigns a particular argumentative topic to you. Having a right to develop your own idea is always better. When working on the persuasive essay, a student has to collect all valuable and time-tested sources to prove his knowledge of the certain issue. You may be encouraged to use such primary sources as:
- Academic journals
- Scientific magazines
- Official reports
Even if you are an expert in a certain field, don't hesitate to use and cite external sources. It will point to your ability to collect and select only the most relevant sources. Besides, direct and indirect quotes are needed to support your knowledge of academic writing style. If you are not sure in your writing skills, turn to professional writing agency to buy a winning argumentative essay on a variety of topics for cheap.
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BEST ARGUMENTATIVE PAPER TOPICS
Easy argumentative essay topics
- Education should be free for everyone
- Why are the US citizens rapidly becoming more obese?
- Internet access must be limited to students
- Young people must have a right to choose when it comes to military
- Each student must have a right to pick only those disciplines he is interested in
- What are the advantages US educational system offers to international students?
- Which secondary languages are worth studying today?
- Is education too commercialised nowadays?
- Is current academic grading helpful in performance?
- Are tests like SAT and ACT effective?
- Advantages and disadvantages of MBA program.
Sports argumentative essay topics
- What can be done to assist teenagers in maintaining a healthy weight?
- Physical education in the school system.
- Does participation in NCAA negatively influence the academic performance?
- What is the top unbreakable record in sport?
- Is Michael Jordan still a basketball star?
Argumentative essay topics for middle school
- What is the real relationship between food, fitness, and weight?
- What are the negative effects of diets?
- Society should fight with anorexia
- To regulate health issues, people should think about their sleep more
- Is golf still demanded?
- Steroid takers must be banned from team sports activities.
- Is swimming really the best type of sport?
- Hockey and other dangerous sports.
Argumentative essay topics for college
- Production and sales of tobacco must be made illegal
- Death sentence should be activated in every country of the world
- Smoking in public places has to be banned
- Alcohol usage should be controlled
- They should not sell alcohol beverages after 11 P.M.
- Energetic drinks should be banned and made illegal
- Should court proceedings be documented for television?
- The most suitable age to have a right to vote.
- When can citizens start drinking and smoking (specific age)?
- On the whole, is there justice for all?
- Was the Industrial Revolution a Europe-wide phenomenon in the nineteenth century?
Classical argument topics
- It should be forbidden to use species of animals for research purposes and cruel experiments
- Should rainforests destructions be punished?
- To what extent are electric vehicles a solution to global pollution?
- Pros and cons of globalisation.
- Was Roosevelt right about building a Panama Canal?
- Are you on the side of King-Kong or militaries who interrupted his world to study it using violent measures?
- The risks the United States may face in terms of rapidly changing climate conditions.
- Earthquakes and their consequences.
- Tsunami: the death wave.
- Beautiful forests of Amazonia.
- Which species should be included in the Red Book (Liber Novus)?
- How can students add up to the social movement for nature's safety?
Controversial argumentative essay topics
- Third World War should be Prevented by Russian and US Governments
- Existing public school policies must be changed
- Is gun control an effective way to control the crime?
- Government should forbid same-sex marriages
- Society is turning over-regulated
- The countries with the highest levels of corruption.
- Are some political authorities engaged in illegal activities in the US?
- Should people with physical disabilities be accepted by the government?
- To be a politician: art or a born talent.
- Can anyone be above the law?
- Pros and cons of Monarchy.
- Is CIS a better alternative for the USSR?
Argumentative essay on technology
- Violent video games should be prohibited
- Does technology make people feel alone?
- YouTube Owners Should Check and Fix Comments That Involve Filthy Language
- Are people becoming technological zombies?
- Will humanity reach the time when there will be no more technological advancement?
- Influences of mobile phones: pros and cons
- Technology and education
Argumentative essay on social media
- Is technology limiting creativity?
- The role of communications in social networks for modern education.
- Are contemporary people too much reliant on technology?
- Are online friends more effective than imaginary?
- Is censorship of Internet necessary?
6th-grade argumentative essay topics
- First aid and medical help, in general, should become free
- People are good at heart (download and use an example now)
- People must spend less time on official work without any effect on their salaries
- Social movements must be financed by governments
- Parents have no right to control the lives of their children above 16
- Cloning must be banned
- Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
- Are abortions legal?
- Cross-cultural marriages add up to racial tolerance
- Is it OK to date a younger male?
- What us incest?
- What should be the role of partners in relationship and family?
- Is online dating safe and productive?
- Will people start marrying their computers soon?
Funny argument topics
- Would Batman be in law in a real world?
- 2D vs. 3D vs. 4D: What's Next?
- Can the chip control the human mind like they do in superhero movies?
- Does Griffins Family correspond to the typical American family?
- Graffiti is an illegal art. How should it be punished?
- Marijuana should be legal.
- Should parents be soft on their children?
Art, Music & Movie Ideas for Papers
- Does art pay?
- Can music and cinematography be called an art too?
- Is gothic art the most preferred and magnificent in history of mankind?
- Can you succeed in life working in the field of art?
- Are today's music tracks educational or meaningful at all?
- Is modern lyrics too explicit for a young audience?
- There is no plot in the majority of up-to-date movies.
- How long should a motion picture last?
DOWNLOAD MORE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY SAMPLES
VALUABLE TIPS & SIGNS OF THE GREAT TOPIC IDEAS
If you wish everyone to read your piece with the bated breath, try to:
- Pick a topic that everyone is currently discussing. Pay attention to the rumours.
- Select a question an answer to which is still unknown to many people.
- Choose an audience that does not agree with your point.
- Decide on the problem on which everyone has a specific point of view.
- Choose an issue based on your own interests, but don't go too far!
Here we have shared some of the most effective tips:
- No obvious argumentative paper topics!
- Do not stop on those topics that do not arise any arguments. Topics that state scientific facts proved by centuries do not work.
- A debatable essay must focus on the critical issue which leads to the global conflicts.
- Almost every second problem related to politics is a good choice. 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. Otherwise, your subjective opinion may be graded subjectively.
- It is better to write your essay following APA style. You may read how to format academic papers in APA here.
Remember: the world is not black-and-white. There are always two sides of the coin. So, even if you're pretty sure in your claim, and the majority of people tend to support it, consider the arguments of the opposing side. Only then your argumentative paper will be graded respectively high.
As you can see, the procedure is everywhere the same. But the idea is to choose the most exciting argumentative paper topics in order to impress both your audience and your teacher. It's like a competition, where the highest grade is your prize. Whenever you need immediate help with your assignment, turn to the professional writing service which can compose an argumentative essay on any topics in several hours.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT STRUCTURE
Just like any other academic paper, argumentative essay requires such steps as:
- In-depth research
- Gathering of information
- Picking the most credible and up-to-date sources
- Writing a draft
- Writing compare and contrast essay itself
- Revising (at least twice)
Speaking about the organisation and structure of the argumentative essay, we offer a five-paragraph paper outline. Let your original ideas flow in this manner:
A conclusion is, no doubt, the most important part of the argumentative essay as you can either support the good impression or destroy it entirely. If you want to avoid typical mistakes, find valuable recommendations in this article.
It all seems easy: just select, draft, write and revise. You may keep your argumentative essays for your future job portfolio in case they are highly graded. We recommend fixing them a bit once your teacher returns the checked version to you. The next time, the process would seem much easier to you.
If you have no desire to waste time on selecting the best topic and writing the whole argumentative essay from scratch, don't forget that you have a loyal team of professionals by your side. We are always ready to help for affordable prices - just contact us in the case of any questions or need for additional information. Expand your horizons by ordering an outstanding argumentative paper from expert US writers!
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