What makes a good argumentative essay?

Process of writing an argumentative essay

Wonder what makes a good argumentative essay? Well, let’s define the main argumentative essay meaning first. An argumentative paper is such a piece of academic writing that concentrates on a problem. If you wonder how to write a good argumentative essay, you should try to persuade your readers to comprehend and back up their position concerning a certain topic by giving pieces of evidence and stating their precise reasoning to support it. 

Argumentative paper writing is a typical assignment for college & high school students. Usually, argumentative essay examples of topics might be related to health care, politics, technology, and science niches. 

What is the core of an argumentative essay layout?

A strong argumentative essay layout must consist of a defined & clear thesis statement, organic transitions between the paragraphs, and the statistical, logical, or factual pieces of evidence. Due to the fact that the argumentative essays usually features a 5-paragraph structure, its layout has to be like that:

  • The first paragraph: (the intro & thesis statement);
  • The second to the 4th paragraph: the main body, each part of it must detail your claims.
  • The third paragraph: the conclusion. 

Sometimes, an argumentative analysis essay might be a little bit longer than 5 paragraphs, depending on the complexity of the essay. So follow the teacher´s assignment instructions when you are outlining your essay. 

How to write a hook for an argumentative essay

Now, let’s figure out how to write a hook for argumentative essay. Use the following step-by-step guide in order to write a solid & impressive hook for argumentative essay:

  1. Understand your target audience. Try to define the interests & concerns of your main readers. Get to know about what kind of the language they tend to comprehend the most. Try to speak directly to them with your catchy hook. 
  2. Define the target of your essay. Figure out the central point or argument that you wish to make. Make sure your hook ties into it and preview or drop a hint of what will come next.
  3. Select the proper type of the hook. There are many different types of hooks, such as statistics, quotations, questions, descriptions, declarations, and anecdotes. Depending on your audience and topic, choose the type you need, minding that one type may be more efficient than the others. 
  4. Write your argumentative essay hook. Keep the hook the most relevant, engaging, and concise. Make sure it is guiding naturally into the intro and providing your readers with enough reasoning to keep on reading. 
  5. Refine & revise. Read your first draft of the hook out loud. Receive some feedback and change the paper if needed. It must be a seamless part of the intro and grabbing the reader’s attention. 

Writing a hook is a vital portion of creating a compelling argumentative essay. Make sure you approach it with creativity and lots of fresh ideas. Your hook must be memorable enough and kept in the reader’s mind as long as possible throughout reading the whole essay. 

How to write a strong outline for an argumentative essay?

The main target of the argumentative paper is to clearly outline the pieces of evidence, opinion, and reasoning. A strong outline for an argumentative essay should include:

  • The intro paragraph. The initial paragraph of your paper must outline your topic, give background data important to comprehending your claim, outline the pieces of evidence you are going to present, and state your thesis.
  • The thesis statement. This is the essential part of your initial paragraph. It is a 1-sentence and concise summary of your main argument and point.
  • Main body. Typically, there must be 3 or more paragraphs explaining the reasons why you backup your thesis. Every body paragraph must cover different evidence and ideas. It must contain a topic sentence that concisely and clearly explains the reason why the reader has to agree with your opinion. The main body is a place where you support your arguments with text citations, studies, statistics, research, and examples. Address opposing perspectives and explain or disprove them. Considering a topic and presenting facts from every angle adds more credibility and will assist in gaining the reader´s trust.
  • Conclusion. This is a single paragraph that must restate your thesis and summarize all the claims made in your main body. Instead of introducing more claims or new facts, a proper conclusion must appeal to the emotions of the reader. Sometimes, writers utilize a personal anecdote that explains the way the topic personally appeals to them. 

Your outline must logically represent your ideas. So make sure all the thoughts and ideas are mentioned smoothly and understandably. Do not skip outlining your paper because it is like the backbone of your paper. 

What is a word choice in an argumentative essay?

The word choice in an argumentative essay should be formal and precise. You should use specific words and phrases to write your academic paper. So you would better make sure you use academic vocabulary instead of informal linking words. 

What are the words for an argumentative essay?

Among the argumentative essay words must be those that link ideas and signpost the reader. Some of the words for argumentative essay must emphasize and introduce alternative points of view. Check out a word choice that might be used to link ideas depending on the direction of your claim:

Linking words & phrases types: Examples:
Adding more to the point Again, furthermore, moreover, besides, either. 
Writing in lists Firstly, in addition, to begin with, in fact, in reality.
Putting the same idea differently In other words, in that case, with this in mind, because of this, to put it simply.
Introducing an alternative point By contrast, on the one hand, in comparison, on the contrary, in fact, through.
Introducing examples That is to say, for example, for instance, particularly, notably.
Returning to highlight the earlier viewpoint However, although, after all, despite, even if. 

The words and phrases that are mentioned above will highlight your main points and draw attention to crucial information. However, too much use of them is not recommended. 

What are the sentence starters for argumentative essay?

Here is a list of main sentence starters for argumentative essay:

Function: Examples:
To introduce The definition of … will be given; The central theme …is described;  In this essay…is explained.
To conclude In summary; To review; In conclusion.
To compare & contrast Similarly;  In the same way;  Likewise.
To give examples Specifically;  Such as;  As an example.
To add ideas Besides;  As well as;  Next.
To show relationships or outcomes Therefore;  Hence;  As a result.
To present rare or uncommon ideas: Seldom;  Few;  Not many.
To present widespread ideas Almost all;  Commonly;  Most. 
To present inconclusive ideas Perhaps;  Probably;  There is limited evidence for.
To present prior or background ideas Historically;  Traditionally;  Originally. 
To present other´s ideas Based on the ideas of;  According to;  As identified by. 
To keep the ¨I¨ out of academic writing It can be argued;  It can be seen that;  It may be that. 

If you want to know how do you write an argumentative essay, you have to keep in mind that it will be much easier if you add transitional words and phrases to it. With them, your academic writing will look like a work of art. 

Can you start an argumentative essay with a question?

If you wonder ¨Can you start an argumentative essay with a question?¨, the answer is ¨Yes¨. You may start your argumentative essay with a thought-provoking question that relates to the theme. It might either seek an answer or be a rhetorical one. With it, the readers will be directly engaged and prompted to think about the possible form of opinion or answer to the question. 

What are transition words for argumentative essay?

Argumentative essay transition words are often utilized in paper writing to build, show, and create a relationship between sentences, words, phrases, ideas, and paragraphs. The transition words for argumentative essay are essential for moving from one idea to another. The lack of them might make the audience lose direction easily and distract them. With transitions for argumentative essay, the audience is prepared for what is coming next. However, using these words too much might be harmful, while the lack of transition words for an argumentative essay might make the paper ambiguous and clumpy. 

The target of such words is to tie the entire essay together, help demonstrate the writer´s contrasts, thoughts, conclusions, disagreements, and agreements, help readers comprehend pieces of writing easily, convey the ideas and thoughts with clarity and rationality, understandably present difficult ideas, ensure the flow of writing is smooth, and help add rigor to the paper. 

Here are some transition words and phrases that you may choose to include in your paper: ¨While¨, ¨Until¨, ¨Meanwhile¨.

Try to use transition words and phrases wisely, not overloading the text with them. Just mind the balance and your paper will stand out. 

What are argumentative essay tips

If you use the following argumentative essay tips, the process of writing might become much easier for you:

  1. Brainstorm. If your claim is not given as a task, you might brainstorm to come up with the ideal topic for your essay. Make sure the topic is relevant and coherent to your course, important, and prospective for further investigation. 
  2. Outline & research. Depending on the complexity of your project, decide whether your paper will consist of 5 paragraphs or more. Research, pick a claim, find someone like minded, explore the potential counterarguments, and organize your pieces of evidence.
  3. Draft. Start writing and compose a rough draft with all your opinions and ideas. Do not focus on writing it perfectly immediately at this step. 
  4. Revise. Polish and transform the paper into the ideal version. Make sure your language is clear, strengthen any weak claim, and optimize your word choice. 
  5. Proofread. Always proofread your paper before you submit it. Take a break and approach to proofread your paper with a fresh look. 

Knowing these tips and using them will help you create a true masterpiece out of your academic writing. In the next section, let’s explore the main argumentative essay steps. As you may know, the main steps of an argumentative essay include writing the intro, main body paragraphs, and conclusion. 

What are the ways to start an argumentative essay

Wonder how to start an argumentative essay? Let´s review typical ways to start an argumentative essay:

  • Drawing the reader’s attention and retaining it until the last sentence. Note that the intro paragraph must be entertaining but still follow the academic rules. For instance, you may start by mentioning interesting statistics that are not well-known in the field.
  • Outline the topic and pieces of evidence you will present, give background data, and add your thesis statement.
  • Summarizing the core of your paper and the reader’s expectations. You might turn the topic into a question and then answer it. Or you may state a claim and then refute it. Possibly, you might briefly outline your points.

Starting the argumentative paper, remember to make the first sentences as catchy as possible. A good start is the idea that is interesting to be followed until the final part. 

How to write argumentative essay body paragraphs?

First of all, let’s clarify how many paragraphs in an argumentative essay are. There must be 5 or even more paragraphs in the main body. Each argumentative essay body paragraph must represent a point or argument. It must begin with the topic sentence. In the main body part, you should explain the way the pieces of evidence back up the thesis statement. There, you should present various perspectives on the given topic and the reason why they do not back up the thesis. All the main body paragraphs must be connected logically to the thesis statement. When writing main body paragraphs, try to limit them to a single point. Also, make sure the sentences are connected using transitional words and phrases. 

If you experience troubles writing an argumentative essay you can get a consultation on the website or hire an argumentative essay writer.

How to end an argumentative essay?

Wonder how to close an argumentative essay? In the conclusion part of your paper, you should restate your thesis statement. Do it according to the light of pieces of evidence that you have given in the main body. In the final part of your paper, you should showcase the reason why the topic is essential and the aspects that the future investigation must concentrate on. Keep in mind that there must not be any surprises for the reader in this section. Now, you know how to end an argumentative essay

Trying to get an A+ for argumentative essay

What are the main characteristics of an argumentative essay

Writing about the characteristics of an argumentative essay, you need to be aware of the fact that it contains the following components:

  • Structure. There is a development of the content, delving into the main ideas. At the end of it, there is a synthesis that closes the text with the main idea. All the parts of the paper are directly connected and contain the thesis that is contextualized in the subject of the writing. 
  • Thesis. There is the main premise that is substantiated by the author via the presentation of claims and information that backs up the validity of the mentioned data. There is a clear objective that targets defending a thesis or showing disagreement with a certain approach. The writer has to justify the reasoning with info. The text is all around the issue that is interesting to the public.  
  • Resources. There are famous quotes of the experts whose voice is authoritative on selected subjects. Referencing famous authors, the writer reinforces the thesis. 
  • Rich vocabulary. The text consists of a varied choice of antonyms and synonyms in order to avoid repetition of the same terms. 
  • Appeal to the reader. There is a theme that the author wants to convey to the reader. The text creates opinion, sparking the reader’s interest and involving them in reading. Sometimes, it features a rhetorical question. 

These characteristics make the argumentative paper a solo type of essay that is like no other. However, you might confuse it with other types of essays that are similar to it, but not the same. For instance, it is similar to expository and persuasive essays. In the next sections, let´s review their main peculiarities. 

Argumentative vs persuasive essay

What about argumentative vs persuasive essay? Let’s define the main difference between persuasive and argumentative essay

Argumentative essay Persuasive essay
Target To acknowledge the reader that your position deserves consideration and is valid as a separate opinion. To encourage the reader to agree with your opinion on a certain topic.
General technique It suggests sufficient pieces of evidence, credible facts, and relevant reasons to back up that the author has a worthy and valid position.  Emotion and facts are blended attempting to convince the reader that the writer is ¨right¨. 
Viewpoint It acknowledges that opposing opinions exist to give a reader a chance to counter them, showing why you feel your position is worthy.  Persuasion is based on a personal conviction that a certain way of thinking is the only reasonable way to think. 
Starting point Investigate a specific topic and then choose one side.  Define the topic and your side. 
Attitude To inform a reader that you have an opinion that is worth listening to. However, the audience might either agree or not.  The writer wants to get another vote to convince the reader to go after them. It is more emotional, passionate, and personal. 
Audience It is not essential because the writer is satisfied with simply putting it out there.  The audience is required because the author wants to persuade it to choose their side. 

As you see, the difference between argumentative and persuasive essays is slight but obvious. You would better consider them before crafting the essay.  

Expository vs argumentative essay

What about the difference between expository vs argumentative essay? An expository essay explores different angles of a certain topic to give data in an objective manner. Many students confuse argumentative and expository essays. In a nutshell, the main difference between these types of papers is that the expository is an objective while the argumentative essay is a subjective one. 

Argumentative essay Expository essay
Selects a position either for or against something.  Explores multiple perspectives regarding a topic in a neutral way. 
Might be composed in the first person. Usually, it is written in the third person. 
In the thesis statement, there is a writer’s claim presented.  In the thesis statement, there is a writer´s topic presented. 
It is subjective. It is objective. 

Now, you know how to write argumentative essay. Let’s move to ideas for an argumentative essay

Which topic to choose when writing an argumentative essay? 

There is a wide variety of interesting and inspiring topics for argumentative papers. For instance, you might opt for one of the following list:

  • Facebook must be prohibited.
  • Education must be free of charge.
  • Smoking in public places must be prohibited.
  • Should plastic be prohibited?
  • Must students get limited access to the Internet?

Hope that you find these topics engaging and fun enough to discuss in your argumentative paper. Note that the success of your paper depends on the topic you choose too. So make sure it personally appeals to you. 

To sum up, writing an argumentative paper is not a piece of cake and you have to be aware of the main features and aspects of composing it. With this guide, crafting a solid argumentative paper will never be a dream for you. Use these recommendations and tips to create a true masterpiece. Also, mind the word choice when you will be crafting the argumentative essay. Make sure you use academic vocabulary and approach the process of writing with inspiration and creativity. Wish you to enjoy composing your argumentative paper and your professors to be in the good mood when they will be reading it. 

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Evelyn Henderson is a highly accomplished freelance translator, research writer, and essay writer. She has established herself as the best in the business; she has a reputation for delivering high-quality projects and ensures that she meets and exceeds the client’s expectations.

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