What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a strong stance on a specific topic, supported by evidence and facts. The main goal is to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s viewpoint as the most valid one.

In addition to presenting a strong stance, an argumentative essay requires the writer to investigate a topic, collect and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Unlike persuasive writing, an argumentative essay should not rely solely on the emotional aspect when trying to convince the audience.

The argumentative essay differs from other types of essays in the amount of pre-writing and research involved. The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

A good argumentative essay should have a clear and concise thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph, logical transitions after every element of the essay, enough supporting evidence in every body paragraph, and a meaningful conclusion that goes beyond mere restatement.

How Long Should an Argumentative Essay Be?

The length of an argumentative essay can vary, but it typically ranges from three to five pages. This length provides ample space for the writer to present a detailed argument, support it with evidence, and address counterarguments. However, the exact length can depend on several factors, including the assignment guidelines, the complexity of the topic, and the level of study. It’s important to note that the strength of the argument and the clarity of the writing are more important than the length of the essay. Ultimately, an argumentative essay should be long enough to thoroughly explore the topic and convincingly argue the thesis, but concise enough to maintain the reader’s interest and comprehension.

Argumentative Essay for Different Educational Levels

An argumentative essay is a common assignment at different educational levels, from high school to university. Here’s how it varies:

  • High School: At this level, students are often introduced to the basics of argumentative essays. The topics are usually straightforward and may not require extensive research. The focus is on learning how to structure an argument, provide evidence, and refute counterarguments.
  • College/University: Argumentative essays become more complex in higher education. Students are expected to write on more challenging topics that require detailed research. The arguments should be well-developed and supported by credible sources. The essay may also require analysis of texts or data.
  • Postgraduate: At this level, argumentative essays, often in the form of a thesis or dissertation, involve in-depth research on a specific topic. The argument should contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the field. Rigorous analysis and synthesis of information are required.

Regardless of the educational level, the key components of an argumentative essay remain the same: a clear thesis statement, well-structured arguments with supporting evidence, consideration of counterarguments, and a strong conclusion.

What is the Difference Between an Argumentative Essay And a Descriptive Essay?

Argumentative Essay

  • Purpose: The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or argument. It involves extensive research to collect and evaluate evidence, formulate an argument, and defend it against counterarguments.
  • Structure: It typically includes an introduction with a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs that present arguments and evidence, a counterargument section, and a conclusion that restates the thesis and summarizes the main points.
  • Style: The writing style is formal and academic. The language used is persuasive and assertive.

Descriptive Essay

  • Purpose: The primary aim of a descriptive essay is to create a vivid picture of a person, place, object, or event in the reader’s mind. It focuses on describing the subject in detail to engage the reader’s senses and emotions.
  • Structure: It usually starts with an introduction that sets the scene, followed by body paragraphs that describe the subject in detail, and ends with a conclusion that summarizes the main points and leaves a lasting impression.
  • Style: The writing style is more creative and artistic. The language used is rich in sensory and figurative language to create vivid imagery.

In summary, while an argumentative essay aims to persuade through logic and evidence, a descriptive essay seeks to engage the reader’s senses and emotions through detailed and creative descriptions.

When is an Argumentative Essay Written?

Argumentative essays are commonly assigned in high school and college courses. They are written when a student needs to present their perspective on a particular issue, often in subjects like social sciences, philosophy, or literature.

In high school or college, teachers may assign argumentative essays as part of coursework. The prompts often ask students to argue for one of two positions and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.”

At the university level, the vast majority of essays or papers students write involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts. In this context, students won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing.

The argumentative essay is also commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first-year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research.

Elements of an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay typically includes the following elements:

  1. Introduction: This section introduces the topic and explains its relevance. It also presents the thesis statement, which outlines the argument the essay will make.
  2. Body Paragraphs: These paragraphs present the arguments in support of the thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on one main point and provide evidence to back it up.
  3. Counterargument: This section presents a potential opposing viewpoint and refutes it, further strengthening the writer’s position.
  4. Conclusion: This section summarizes the arguments made in the essay and restates the thesis statement in light of the evidence presented.
  5. In addition to these elements, an argumentative essay also includes:

  6. Exigence: Exigence is a rising circumstance that pushes for the need for a real argument.
  7. Support: Your premise should include reasons to support your claim.
  8. Reasoning: You have to use reasons to give answers to hypothetical challenges, which should act as a way to convince your audience that your claims are valid.

Argumentative Essay Writing Tips

Here are some tips for writing an effective argumentative essay:

  1. Choose a Strong Topic: The topic should be debatable and relevant to your audience.
  2. Research Thoroughly: Gather strong evidence from reliable sources to support your argument.
  3. Structure Your Essay Properly: Follow the standard essay structure (introduction, body, counterargument, conclusion) to present your argument effectively.
  4. Use Persuasive Language: Use logical reasoning and persuasive language to convince your reader of your viewpoint.
  5. Proofread and Edit: Always proofread your essay to correct any grammatical errors and ensure your argument flows logically.
  6. Here are some additional tips for writing an effective argumentative essay:

  7. Avoid Emotional Language: Emotional language can sound irrational. Know the difference between a logical conclusion and an emotional point of view.
  8. Introduce the Problem Clearly: Present the issue clearly and explain why it is worth the readers’ attention.
  9. Analyze Counterarguments: Summarize and analyze the counterarguments. Consider all possible counterpoints and look at them from different perspectives.
  10. Be Proactive About Language: Tone and style are more important than you may think, especially if you’re criticizing another person’s perspective.
  11. Cite Your Sources: Don’t fabricate evidence and don’t use untrustworthy sources for evidence.

Types of Argument Claims

In addition to the three primary types of claims you mentioned, it’s important to note that each type of claim can be further explored:

Claims of Fact:
  • These claims are quantifiable and often focus on cause-to-effect relationships.
  • They may be assertions about the past, present, or future.
  • The goal in arguing for a claim of fact is to gain audience acceptance that something that is currently not accepted as fact or that something that is currently considered a fact should no longer be considered as such.
  • Examples of past claims of fact include “General Custer was responsible for the massacre at the Battle of the Little Big Horn” or “Democrat policies caused the rise of terrorism”.
Claims of Value:
  • These claims assert qualitative judgments along a good-to-bad continuum relating to persons, events, and things in one’s environment.
  • If you construct a position claiming that something is good or bad or one thing is better than another, you’ve made a claim of value.
  • The center of argument in a value claim is over the criteria used in making the judgment.
Claims of Policy:
  • A claim of policy asserts that something should or should not be done by someone about something.
  • It proposes that some specific course of action should, but not necessarily will, be taken.

Understanding these nuances can help you craft more effective arguments and counterarguments. For more detailed information, you can refer to these sources.

Good Argumentative Essay Example

Title: The Necessity of Physical Education in Schools

Introduction

Physical education has long been a component of the school curriculum. However, its importance is often underestimated, leading to debates about whether it should be mandatory. This essay argues that physical education should indeed be a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

Body Paragraph 1: Health Benefits

Firstly, physical education plays a crucial role in promoting students’ health. Regular physical activity helps prevent obesity, heart disease, and other health issues. In an era where childhood obesity is on the rise, physical education classes provide an opportunity for children to stay active and learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Body Paragraph 2: Academic Performance

Secondly, numerous studies have shown a positive correlation between physical activity and academic performance. Physical education can help improve concentration, memory, and classroom behavior, thereby enhancing students’ academic performance.

Body Paragraph 3: Skills Development

Thirdly, physical education teaches essential life skills. Team sports and games foster teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills. These skills are not only beneficial in sports but also in academic and professional settings.

Counterargument: Time Constraints

Critics argue that making physical education mandatory would take away valuable time from academic subjects. However, as mentioned earlier, physical activity can enhance academic performance. Moreover, schools can integrate physical education into the curriculum without compromising academic learning time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the benefits of mandatory physical education in schools far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It promotes health, enhances academic performance, and teaches essential life skills. Therefore, physical education should be an integral part of the school curriculum.

Online writing services can be a valuable resource when writing an argumentative essay. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Professionalism and Quality: Online writing services often employ experienced and skilled writers who can provide high-quality content. These professionals understand the nuances of argumentative writing and can craft compelling and persuasive arguments.
  2. Time-Saving: Writing an argumentative essay can be time-consuming, especially for students juggling multiple responsibilities. Online writing services can help save time by providing well-structured and researched essays.
  3. Reduced Stress: Writing an essay, particularly an argumentative one, can be stressful. By using an online writing service, students can reduce this stress and focus on other important tasks.
  4. Punctuality: Online writing services are known for their punctuality. They can help ensure that your essay is completed within the stipulated deadline.
  5. Affordability: Many online writing services offer professionally written content at affordable prices.
  6. Learning Opportunity: By reviewing the work provided by online writing services, students can learn how to structure an argumentative essay, use evidence effectively, and develop persuasive arguments.

Remember, while online writing services can be a great help, it’s also important to use them responsibly. Always use them as a guide or for assistance, not as a substitute for your own work.