Brace yourself: your argumentative essay is coming
Have you ever seen two linguists arguing over a comma or the entire conference panel ready to explode because of some minor disagreement over the referencing style? Such academic disputes tend to grow into an epic war when the participants have not grasped the basics of argumentative writing. Don’t be like them and argue reasonably!
Take a stand
An argumentative essay aims to persuade a reader to support a certain position or activity. In such an essay, you take a stand. Your position is defined in the thesis statement of the introduction. All further steps are directed to support your position with arguments.
Selecting an arguable position. The easiest way is to get an already formulated arguable position for your essay. However, most often you need to develop a specific argument from a general topic yourself. Imagine that the general topic is global warming. The latter fact has already got more than enough interpretation in various types of literature and media. In this respect, “global warming” itself cannot constitute a proper arguable position because it is a common fact. Instead, you can refer the problem in such a way: Reducing the use of the deodorant sprays will contribute positively to the struggle against global warming.
Arrange the arguments
It is solely up to you what organizational pattern to choose for your essay. Generally, the text can be divided into three main parts, introduction, body, and conclusion. What we need is a general strategy of writing an argumentative essay.
When you pass to formulating the thesis statement, you should indicate a subject of your argument and your position: The use of deodorant sprays should be reduced. Where the use of deodorant sprays is a subject, and should be reduced is a stand.
The very next step is establishing credibility to the argument you’ve just presented. To do this, you need:
- demonstrate a knowledge of the topic you are discussing;
- consider the audience you are communicating with;
- present fairly the opposing points of view (counterarguments).
NB! You should present at least two opposing points of view. You can give more counterarguments if you wish. However, it is very important to answer each one of them not to deter reader’s credit. Also, do not use emotionally colored vocabulary (‘corny environmentalists’, ‘parasites’, etc.) not to offend the feelings of the potential reader.
Your argument should have enough support in the text: personal experience; rhetorical colors; examples; precedents; experts’ comments etc. The structural pattern of your PROs and CONs within the body of the essay is left for your expert consideration.
With all this in mind, you can start defending your points in an intelligent and polite way. So, dear opponents, those who are about to win the argument salute you!