Guide On Writing an Argumentative Essay

posted by Andy Preisler 15 Sep 2016
Table of contents:

Everything You Have to Know About Writing an Argumentative Essay

This is how to start an argumentative essay: first is to introduce your argument – the background information and the thesis statement. Second is to develop creative ideas for your argumentive essay, which should be supported by factual claims and pieces of evidence. Third is to present the opposition’s side and rebut it accordingly. Last is to conclude by stating the importance of the issue.

  1. Introduction. One of the tips for writing an argumentive essay is to start your essay with a really compelling lead – something that is going to make your audience read on. And then proceed by writing about the background information on why you selected the topic among other choices and what makes it relevant. Lastly, present your thesis statement. This is where you establish your position on the topic and give a brief reason as to why that is your stance, which you will elaborate and substantiate in the subsequent paragraphs.

  2. Developing your arguments. Each argument or claim, of course, has to be backed by factual claims and pieces of evidence. You can include at least two to three arguments to support your thesis statement. For your factual claims and pieces of evidence, make sure to cite appropriately as this adds credibility to your essay. You do not want your readers to think that you are simply just making everything up.

  3. Rebuttals. You have to be fair and present the opposition’s side as well. Discuss their arguments and rebut it accordingly. Your rebuttals should also be substantiated by factual claims and pieces of evidence. You can repeat your arguments if they are somehow related, or the rebuttals can serve as additional arguments, as the case may be.

  4. Conclusion. You conclude by repeating your thesis statement to make your essay come full circle. This is also the right venue to state why this topic or argument is relevant and what the consequences would be if not addressed. Make it appeal to the senses of your readers by adding something humane. Do not forget that the point of the whole argumentative essay is to convince the audience to take on your side and make them act on something.

What are the types of argumentative essays?

There are four types of argumentative essays: an analytical essay, a personal essay, a persuasive essay, and a research paper.

  • An analytical essay analyzes, examines, and interprets an event, book, poem, or any work of art. To write an analytical essay, you start by introducing what text you will be discussing and defining the issue of the text or the thesis statement. The next part is to analyze the text, which will probably be the longest part of your essay. Do not forget to include your personal response to the analyses. These are a deeper understanding of the text. You do not have to agree to the analyses and object as needed. You end by making a conclusion between your arguments and analyses.

Analytical essays should be well organized and written in the present tense and not in the first person. Avoid the use of slang, colloquial language, and contractions. Lastly, analyzing the text does not mean retelling the story.

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  • A personal essay is a paper on your opinion or opinions of the subject matter. It presents one’s views so it does not require any research work although having an in-depth knowledge of the subject can help you formulate compelling arguments. The goal is not to convince your readers to side with you as this is something personal and is basically just presenting your thoughts on the matter, but if it does convince readers to share a similar point of view with you, that would mean that the personal essay is a good one.

Like any other discussion, you can include opposing ideas and rebut it accordingly. General rules of writing an essay still apply including substantiating every argument with facts and pieces of evidence, as well as citing original sources appropriately. At the end of the day, there is no pressure in writing a personal essay because all it needs is honesty and knowledge on the subject matter.

  • A persuasive essay, unlike a personal essay, tries to convince the readers to take sides. You will present the pros and cons of the subject matter, and substantiate it accordingly with factual claims and pieces of evidence. The catch is that, at the end of the day, these arguments must both corroborate to persuade the readers that there is indeed a right and a wrong side, and your goal is to make them believe that you are right.

To make your persuasive essay sound credible and, well, persuasive, you have to have a really thorough knowledge of the subject matter. This allows you to argue your points in a clear, concise, and compelling way.

  • A research paper relies on all the data and information gathered by the author, which are, of course, all properly cited. While internet sources appear to be already acceptable nowadays, published textbooks and journals can really be a source of valuable information with regard to the subject matter. Because this paper is going to be composed mainly of researched data, it is best to learn how to cite properly. The purpose of the citation is to refer your readers to the original publication should they be interested in making further readings.

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What are sample argumentative essay topics for college students?

There is a wide array of choices when it comes to picking a good topic for your argumentative essay. You can choose from a list of legal arguments, moral arguments, social arguments, advertising and media arguments, and even family-related arguments. Start with questions that appeal to the majority. Examples would be:

  1. Should prostitution be legal?

  2. Is animal testing necessary?

  3. Do prisoners deserve the right to vote?

  4. Can journalists be biased?

  5. Is it acceptable to breastfeed in public?

Using these tips will allow you to write a suitable argumentative essay that will not only impress, but also leave your professor speechless at your rebuttals.

Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

I would love to hear from you, to give you advice, and to lend a listening ear. You can contact me at [email protected] anytime! And follow my posts – you won’t be disappointed!

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