Learning how to write a great argumentative essay is an important part of education. Argumentative essays teach us how to organize our thoughts while making unique claims. Argumentative essays teach students how to use factual evidence to support their ideas. When it comes to college admission essays and scholarship applications, the argumentative essay is the most common form of essay assigned to students. Being a great argumentative essay writer will help you stand out amongst the crowd of average writers. Here is a quick guide to the parts of an argumentative essay and how to execute each component expertly.
The introduction of your argumentative essay should introduce your audience to the topic that you will be writing about. The introduction should act as a funnel that introduces the general topic to your reader and guide them closer and closer to your thesis. Each sentence of your introduction should provide more context for your reader to fully understand your thesis and the argument that you are trying to make.
The Thesis Statement
The Thesis Statement is most often found at the end of the introduction. Your thesis statement is the main idea of your essay. It is the topic that you are going to argue about. If you were given a specific prompt for the essay, your thesis should answer the question. The thesis statement should be written in a way that makes it clear what you will be arguing and establishes how you will be presenting your argument.
The Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs of your essay are where all of the heavy liftings is done. This is where you will do all the work to prove that your thesis is correct and well-supported by factual evidence. In addition to presenting all of the information that supports your claim, you will also need to use the basic tenants of rhetoric to persuade your audience that your side of the argument is the right one. Each of your body paragraphs will be set up with a claim, evidence that supports that claim, and reasoning as to how your claim, now proven by evidence, fits your thesis.
Each of your body paragraphs will be centered around one of your claims. A claim is a point that you will make to prove that your thesis is correct. Each claim should provide a different piece of support for your thesis. If your thesis is the answer to the question or prompt, the claims are the “whys” that back up your thesis. Although claims are used to support your thesis, you will also need evidence and reasoning to help support each of your claims.
Evidence is used in each of the body paragraphs to help support your claims. Evidence is factual information that helps prove that the claims you are making are true. Evidence can include statistics and facts. It can also include direct quotes from other people. Evidence can include survey results or information found in studies. Evidence is any piece of information that brings credibility to your claim.
Great evidence provides depth to your claim and makes them irrefutable. Finding the evidence that proves your claims can be the most difficult part of the essay but having solid evidence to back up your claims will be well worth it. Evidence is where you prove to your audience that the claims you are making cannot be denied. Great evidence can sway even the most stubborn reader to your side if used correctly.
The reasoning is the component of an argumentative essay where you connect the dots between your claim and your evidence. It is not enough to give a reason why your thesis is true and then follow it up with a fact, quote, or finding. You need to explain to your audience how that evidence helps to prove your claim to be true.
The reasoning you use to connect your evidence to your claims is where you can flex your knowledge of rhetoric. Your reasoning should establish how you are going to convince your audience that the side you are arguing is true. Your reasoning should include appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos to prove why the evidence you have provided to support your claims is valuable and compelling to a reader. The reasoning in your essay is where you prove your command of language and your ability to write persuasively. A good argumentative essay is built with great reasoning.
A counterclaim is an important part of any argumentative essay. The counterclaim highlights one of the opposing side’s arguments. By shedding light on what the opposition might say, it minimizes the effect it may have on the reader. Stating a counterclaim also allows you to make a rebuttal.
The rebuttal takes the counterclaim and explains why it is wrong. Including a rebuttal directly in your essay can help strengthen your argument and take the wind out of your opposition’s sails. By proving that the other side is incorrect, you can erase any doubt in your audience’s mind that your argument is the right one. By providing a solid rebuttal you can strengthen the claims you include.
The Conclusion is your last opportunity to drive your point home. The conclusion should include a restatement of your thesis without any new information. You want your audience to walk away from your essay knowing that you supported all of your points and left no new loose ends.
Depending on the nature of the prompt, the conclusion can also contain a call to action. A call to action takes your argument even further and pushes the reader to take action. A call to action can solidify your argument by showing just how much you believe in what you’re saying. Your commitment to the prompt and the passion you show for your argument can help compel your audience to make a change in their own lives.