10 Tricks for Writing Strong Argumentative Essays

Of all the essays that are assigned, argumentative essays are assigned the most. Instructors like this type of essay because students have to use facts to prove an opinion. Instructors are able to see what their students are thinking and whether or not they can connect that thinking to factual information. Argumentative essays also show up on most standardized tests, so it is vital that students learn how to write them. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks that students can use to write powerful argumentative essays:

  1. Know the format. All argumentative essays follow the same format. You should have at least five paragraphs, beginning with an introduction, followed by body paragraphs, and ending with a conclusion. Each body paragraph needs a topic sentence that connects to the thesis in the introductory paragraph.
  2. Write an interesting hook. This is the best way to get your reader’s attention, but do not shout at them with words in all capital letters. Some of the best options are the quote, the statistic, and the anecdote.
  3. Craft an arguable thesis and put it in the right place. The right place is at the end of the introductory paragraph. There should be a link between the hook and thesis so the paragraph does not seem choppy.
  4. Use real quotes as your facts. Remember that you should always include the source of the fact.
  5. Support your facts with good explanations. These are your own words and those words should be interesting and informative.
  6. Remember the opposing argument. The opposing argument should be included somewhere in the argumentative essay. Never insult the opposing position.
  7. Avoid using words like very, many, and really. If you want to be respected as a writer, it is best to use powerful words. These words weaken an essay rather than strengthen it.
  8. Use sentence variety. Check the first word of each sentence to look for variety or lack of it. Make the necessary changes to keep your paper interesting to read.
  9. Be specific. Without specific facts, explanations, and transitions, your essay could be overly vague. Keep everything in your essay focused clearly on the topic and your argument.
  10. Close your paper with a thoughtful conclusion. Your conclusion needs to include a restatement of the thesis and a reminder of the best arguments. Then, you close the paper with final words that will convince the reader to agree with you.

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