Argumentative Essay – Outline, Form, and Examples

What is an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay requires the writer to investigate a specific topic by collecting and evaluating evidence to establish a position on the subject matter.

When preparing to compose a good argumentative essay, utilize the following steps:

Step 1: Select a topic.

Step 2: Identify a position.

Step 3: Locate appropriate resources.

Step 4: Identify evidence supporting the position. ( NOTE: If there is little evidence in support of the claim, consider re-examining the main argument.)

Steps to write an argumentative essay

When gathering evidence, use credible sources . To determine the credibility of the source, consider authority, currency, accuracy, and objectivity:

Who is the author ? Are they an expert in the field? Has a reputable publisher published the work?

How current is the information in the source? Does the currency of the source matter? Does the age of the source impact the content? Is there newer information that disproves the source’s information?

Can other sources verify the accuracy of the information? Does the information contradict that found in other commonly accepted sources?

Is there any evidence of bias, or is the source objective ? Is the research sponsored by an organization that may skew the information?

The following are typically recognized as providing appropriate, credible research material:

Peer-reviewed journals/research papers

Government agencies

Professional organizations

Library databases

Reference books

Credible sources

Writers should avoid using the following sources:

Social media posts

Out-of-date materials

Step 5: Utilize the research to determine a thesis statement that identifies the topic, position, and support(s).

Step 6: Use the evidence to construct an outline, detailing the main supports and relevant evidence.

Steps to write an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay outline

After gathering all of the necessary research, the next step in composing an argumentative essay focuses on organizing the information through the use of an outline:

Introduction

Attention Grabber/Hook

Background Information: Include any background information pertinent to the topic that the reader needs to know to understand the argument.

Thesis: State the position in connection to the main topic and identify the supports that will help prove the argument.

Topic sentence

Identify evidence in support of the claim in the topic sentence

Explain how the evidence supports the argument

Evidence 3 (Continue as needed)

Support 2 (Continue as needed)

Restate thesis

Review main supports

Concluding statement

Invite the audience to take a specific action.

Identify the overall importance of the topic and position.

Argumentative essay outline

How to write an argumentative essay

Regardless of the writer’s topic or point of view, an argumentative essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and works cited.

Background information

Body Paragraphs

Analysis of evidence

Rephrased thesis

Review of main ideas

Call to action

Works Cited

Components of an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay introduction

The introduction sets the tone for the entire paper and introduces the argument. In general, the first paragraph(s) should attract the reader’s attention, provide relevant context, and conclude with a thesis statement.

To attract the reader's attention , start with an introductory device. There are several attention-grabbing techniques, the most common of which consist of the following:

The writer can emphasize the topic’s importance by explaining the current interest in the topic or indicating that the subject is influential.

Pertinent statistics give the paper an air of authority.

There are many reasons for a stimulating statement to surprise a reader. Sometimes it is joyful; sometimes it is shocking; sometimes it is surprising because of who said it.

An interesting incident or anecdote can act as a teaser to lure the reader into the remainder of the essay. Be sure that the device is appropriate for the subject and focus of what follows.

Provide the reader with relevant context and background information necessary to understand the topic.

Conclude with a thesis statement that identifies the overall purpose of the essay (topic and position). Writers can also include their support directly in the thesis, which outlines the structure of the essay for the reader.

Avoid the following when writing the introduction to argumentative writing:

Starting with dictionary definitions is too overdone and unappealing.

Do not make an announcement of the topic like “In this paper I will…” or “The purpose of this essay is to….”

Evidence supporting or developing the thesis should be in the body paragraphs, not the introduction.

Beginning the essay with general or absolute statements such as “throughout history...” or “as human beings we always...” or similar statements suggest the writer knows all of history or that all people behave or think in the same way.

Argumentative essay thesis

The thesis statement is the single, specific claim the writer sets out to prove and is typically positioned as the last sentence of the introduction . It is the controlling idea of the entire argument that identifies the topic, position, and reasoning.

When constructing a thesis for an argumentative paper, make sure it contains a side of the argument, not simply a topic. An argumentative thesis identifies the writer’s position on a given topic. If a position cannot be taken, then it is not argumentative thesis:

Topic: Capital punishment is practiced in many states.

Thesis: Capital punishment should be illegal.

While not always required, the thesis statement can include the supports the writer will use to prove the main claim. Therefore, a thesis statement can be structured as follows:

TOPIC + POSITION (+ SUPPORTS)

No Supports: College athletes (TOPIC) should be financially compensated (POSITION).

Supports: College athletes (TOPIC) should be financially compensated (POSITION) because they sacrifice their minds and bodies (SUPPORT 1), cannot hold

Argumentative essay body paragraphs

Body paragraphs can be of varying lengths, but they must present a coherent argument unified under a single topic. They are rarely ever longer than one page, double-spaced; usually they are much shorter.

Lengthy paragraphs indicate a lack of structure. Identify the main ideas of a lengthy paragraph to determine if they make more sense as separate topics in separate paragraphs.

Shorter paragraphs usually indicate a lack of substance; there is not enough evidence or analysis to prove the argument. Develop the ideas more or integrate the information into another paragraph.

The structure of an argumentative paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence, and a transition.

The topic sentence is the thesis of the paragraph that identifies the arguable point in support of the main argument. The reader should know exactly what the writer is trying to prove within the paragraph by reading the first sentence.

The supporting evidence and analysis provide information to support the claim. There should be a balance between the evidence (facts, quotations, summary of events/plot, etc.) and analysis (interpretation of evidence). If the paragraph is evidence-heavy, there is not much of an argument; if it is analysis-heavy, there is not enough evidence in support of the claim.

The transition can be at the beginning or the end of a paragraph. However, it is much easier to combine the transition with the concluding observation to help the paragraphs flow into one another. Transitions in academic writing should tell the reader where you were, where you are going, and relate to the thesis.

Some essays may benefit from the inclusion of rebuttals to potential counterarguments of the writer’s position.

Argumentative essay conclusion

The conclusion should make readers glad they read the paper. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest readers but also enrich their understanding in some way. There are three aspects to follow when constructing the conclusion: rephrase the thesis, synthesize information, and call the reader to action.

Rephrased the thesis in the first sentence of the conclusion. It must be in different words; do not simply write it verbatim.

Synthesize the argument by showing how the paper's main points support the argument.

Propose a course of action or a solution to an issue. This can redirect the reader's thought process to apply the ideas to their life or to see the broader implications of the topic.

Avoid the following when constructing the conclusion:

Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as "in conclusion," "in summary," or "in closing;" although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as trite in writing

Introducing a new idea or subtopic in the conclusion

Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of the paper

Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper

Argumentative essay examples

Examples of argumentative essays vary depending upon the type:

Academic essays differ based upon the topic and position. These essays follow a more traditional structure and are typically assigned in high school or college. Examples of academic argumentative essay topics include the following:

Advantages or disadvantages of social media

Animal testing

Art education

Benefit or detriment of homework

Capital punishment

Class warfare

Immigration

School uniforms

Universal healthcare

Violence in video games

Argumentative literary essays are typically more informal and do not follow the same structure as an academic essay. The following are popular examples of argumentative literary essays:

“Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf

“Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell

“Thoughts for the Times on War and Death” by Sigmund Freud

“Does the Truth Matter? Science, Pseudoscience, and Civilization” by Carl Sagan

“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • How to write the body of an essay | Drafting & redrafting

How to Write the Body of an Essay | Drafting & Redrafting

Published on November 5, 2014 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

The body is the longest part of an essay . This is where you lead the reader through your ideas, elaborating arguments and evidence for your thesis . The body is always divided into paragraphs .

You can work through the body in three main stages:

  • Create an  outline of what you want to say and in what order.
  • Write a first draft to get your main ideas down on paper.
  • Write a second draft to clarify your arguments and make sure everything fits together.

This article gives you some practical tips for how to approach each stage.

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Table of contents

Start with an outline, write the first draft, write the second draft, other interesting articles.

Before you start, make a rough outline that sketches out the main points you want to make and the order you’ll make them in. This can help you remember how each part of the essay should relate to the other parts.

However, remember that  the outline isn’t set in stone – don’t be afraid to change the organization if necessary. Work on an essay’s structure begins before you start writing, but it continues as you write, and goes on even after you’ve finished writing the first draft.

While you’re writing a certain section, if you come up with an idea for something elsewhere in the essay, take a few moments to add to your outline or make notes on your organizational plans.

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Your goals in the first draft are to turn your rough ideas into workable arguments, add detail to those arguments, and get a sense of what the final product will actually look like.

Write strong body paragraphs

Start wherever you want

Many writers do not begin writing at the introduction , or even the early body paragraphs. Start writing your essay where it seems most natural for you to do so.

Some writers might prefer to start with the easiest section to write, while others prefer to get the most difficult section out of the way first. Think about what material you need to clarify for yourself, and consider beginning there.

Tackle one idea at a time

Each paragraph should aim to focus on one central idea, giving evidence, explanation, and arguments that relate to that idea.

At the start of each paragraph, write a topic sentence that expresses the main point. Then elaborate and expand on the topic sentence in the rest of the paragraph.

When you’ve said everything you have to say about the idea, move onto a new paragraph.

Keep your argument flexible

You may realize as you write that some of your ideas don’t work as well as you thought they would. Don’t give up on them too easily, but be prepared to change or abandon sections if you realize they don’t make sense.

You’ll probably also come up with new ideas that you’d not yet thought of when writing the outline. Note these ideas down and incorporate them into the essay if there’s a logical place for them.

If you’re stuck on one section, move on to another part of the essay and come back to it later.

Don’t delete content

If you begin to dislike a certain section or even the whole essay, don’t scrap it in fit of rage!

If something really isn’t working, you can paste it into a separate document, but keep what you have, even if you don’t plan on using it. You may find that it contains or inspires new ideas that you can use later.

Note your sources

Students often make work for themselves by forgetting to keep track of sources when writing drafts.

You can save yourself a lot of time later and ensure you avoid plagiarism by noting down the name, year, and page number every time you quote or paraphrase from a source.

You can also use a citation generator to save a list of your sources and copy-and-paste citations when you need them.

Avoid perfectionism

When you’re writing a first draft, it’s important not to get slowed down by small details. Get your ideas down on paper now and perfect them later. If you’re unsatisfied with a word, sentence, or argument, flag it in the draft and revisit it later.

When you finish the first draft, you will know which sections and paragraphs work and which might need to be changed. It doesn’t make sense to spend time polishing something you might later cut out or revise.

Working on the second draft means assessing what you’ve got and rewriting it when necessary. You’ll likely end up cutting some parts of the essay and adding new ones.

Check your ideas against your thesis

Everything you write should be driven by your thesis . Looking at each piece of information or argumentation, ask yourself:

  • Does the reader need to know this in order to understand or accept my thesis?
  • Does this give evidence for my thesis?
  • Does this explain the reasoning behind my thesis?
  • Does this show something about the consequences or importance of my thesis?

If you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, reconsider whether it’s relevant enough to include.

If your essay has gone in a different direction than you originally planned, you might have to rework your thesis statement to more accurately reflect the argument you’ve made.

Watch out for weak points

Be critical of your arguments, and identify any potential weak points:

  • Unjustified assumptions: Can you be confident that your reader shares or will accept your assumptions, or do they need to be spelled out?
  • Lack of evidence:  Do you make claims without backing them up?
  • Logical inconsistencies:  Do any of your points contradict each other?
  • Uncertainty: Are there points where you’re unsure about your own claims or where you don’t sound confident in what you’re saying?

Fixing these issues might require some more research to clarify your position and give convincing evidence for it.

Check the organization

When you’re happy with all the main parts of your essay, take another look at the overall shape of it. You want to make sure that everything proceeds in a logical order without unnecessary repetition.

Try listing only the topic sentence of each paragraph and reading them in order. Are any of the topic sentences too similar? Each paragraph should discuss something different; if two paragraphs are about the same topic, they must approach it in different ways, and these differences should be made clear in the topic sentences.

Does the order of information make sense? Looking at only topic sentences lets you see at a glance the route your paper takes from start to finish, allowing you to spot organizational errors more easily.

Draw clear connections between your ideas

Finally, you should assess how your ideas fit together both within and between paragraphs. The connections might be clear to you, but you need to make sure they’ll also be clear to your reader.

Within each paragraph, does each sentence follow logically from the one before it? If not, you might need to add new sentences to make the connections clear. Try using transition words to clarify what you want to say.

Between one paragraph and the next, is it clear how your points relate to one another? If you are moving onto an entirely new topic, consider starting the paragraph with a transition sentence that moves from the previous topic and shows how it relates to the new one.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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How to write an argumentative essay

How to write an argumentative essay

The argumentative essay is a staple in university courses, and writing this style of essay is a key skill for students across multiple disciplines. Here’s what you need to know to write an effective and compelling argumentative essay.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay takes a stance on an issue and presents an argument to defend that stance with the intent of persuading the reader to agree. It generally requires extensive research into a topic so that you have a deep grasp of its subtleties and nuances, are able to take a position on the issue, and can make a detailed and logical case for one side or the other.

It’s not enough to merely have an opinion on an issue—you have to present points to justify your opinion, often using data and other supporting evidence.

When you are assigned an argumentative essay, you will typically be asked to take a position, usually in response to a question, and mount an argument for it. The question can be two-sided or open-ended, as in the examples provided below.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts:

Two-sided Question

Should completing a certain number of volunteer hours be a requirement to graduate from high school? Support your argument with evidence.

Open-ended Question

What is the most significant impact that social media has had on this generation of young people?

Once again, it’s important to remember that you’re not just conveying facts or information in an argumentative essay. In the course of researching your topic, you should develop a stance on the issue. Your essay will then express that stance and attempt to persuade the reader of its legitimacy and correctness through discussion, assessment, and evaluation.

The main types of argumentative essays

Although you are advancing a particular viewpoint, your argumentative essay must flow from a position of objectivity. Your argument should evolve thoughtfully and rationally from evidence and logic rather than emotion.

There are two main models that provide a good starting point for crafting your essay: the Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

The Toulmin Model

This model is commonly used in academic essays. It mounts an argument through the following four steps:

  • Make a claim.
  • Present the evidence, or grounds, for the claim.
  • Explain how the grounds support the claim.
  • Address potential objections to the claim, demonstrating that you’ve given thought to the opposing side and identified its limitations and deficiencies.

As an example of how to put the Toulmin model into practice, here’s how you might structure an argument about the impact of devoting public funding to building low-income housing.

  • Make your claim that low-income housing effectively solves several social issues that drain a city’s resources, providing a significant return on investment.
  • Cite data that shows how an increase in low-income housing is related to a reduction in crime rates, homelessness, etc.
  • Explain how this data proves the beneficial impact of funding low-income housing.
  • Preemptively counter objections to your claim and use data to demonstrate whether these objections are valid or not.

The Rogerian Model

This model is also frequently used within academia, and it also builds an argument using four steps, although in a slightly different fashion:

  • Acknowledge the merits of the opposing position and what might compel people to agree with it.
  • Draw attention to the problems with this position.
  • Lay out your own position and identify how it resolves those problems.
  • Proffer some middle ground between the two viewpoints and make the case that proponents of the opposing position might benefit from adopting at least some elements of your view.

The persuasiveness of this model owes to the fact that it offers a balanced view of the issue and attempts to find a compromise. For this reason, it works especially well for topics that are polarizing and where it’s important to demonstrate that you’re arguing in good faith.

To illustrate, here’s how you could argue that smartphones should be permitted in classrooms.

  • Concede that smartphones can be a distraction for students.
  • Argue that what teachers view as disruptions are actually opportunities for learning.
  • Offer the view that smartphones, and students’ interest in them, can be harnessed as teaching tools.
  • Suggest teaching activities that involve smartphones as a potential resource for teachers who are not convinced of their value.

It’s not essential to adhere strictly to one model or the other—you can borrow elements from both models to structure your essay. However, no matter which model of argumentation you choose, your essay will need to have an outline that effectively presents and develops your position.

How to outline and write an argumentative essay

A clear and straightforward structure works best for argumentative essays since you want to make it easy for your reader to understand your position and follow your arguments. The traditional essay outline comprises an introductory paragraph that announces your thesis statement, body paragraphs that unfold your argument point by point, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes your thesis and supporting points.

Introductory paragraph

This paragraph provides an overview of your topic and any background information that your readers will need in order to understand the context and your position. It generally concludes with an explicit statement of your position on the topic, which is known as your thesis statement.

Over the last decade, smartphones have transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, socially, culturally, and personally. They are now incorporated into almost every facet of daily life, and this includes making their way into classrooms. There are many educators who view smartphones with suspicion and see them as a threat to the sanctity of the classroom. Although there are reasons to regard smartphones with caution, there are ways to use them responsibly to teach and educate the next generation of young minds. Indeed, the value they hold as teaching tools is nearly unlimited: as a way to teach digital literacy, to reach students through a medium that is familiar and fun for them, and to provide a nimble and adaptable learning environment.

Body paragraphs

Most argumentative essays have at least three body paragraphs that lay out the supporting points in favor of your argument. Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence that presents a separate point that is then fleshed out and backed up by research, facts, figures, data, and other evidence. Remember that your aim in writing an argumentative essay is to convince or persuade your reader, and your body paragraphs are where you present your most compelling pieces of information in order to do just that.

The body of your essay is also where you should address any opposing arguments and make your case against them, either disproving them or stating the reasons why you disagree. Responding to potential rebuttals strengthens your argument and builds your credibility with your readers.

A frequent objection that teachers have to smartphones in the classroom is that students use them to socialize when they should be learning. This view overlooks the fact that students are using smartphones to connect with each other and this is a valuable skill that should be encouraged, not discouraged, in the classroom. A 2014 study demonstrated the benefits of providing students with individual smartphones. Sanctioned smartphone use in the classroom proved to be of particular importance in improving educational outcomes for low-income and at-risk students. What’s more, learning apps have been developed specifically to take advantage of the potential of smartphones to reach learners of various levels and backgrounds, and many offer the ability to customize the method and delivery of lessons to individual learner preferences. This shows that the untapped potential of smartphones is huge, and many teachers would do well to consider incorporating them into their classrooms.

Your concluding paragraph wraps up your essay by restating your thesis and recapping the arguments you presented in your body paragraphs. No new information should be introduced in your conclusion, however, you may consider shifting the lens of your argument to make a comment on how this issue affects the world at large or you personally, always keeping in mind that objectivity and relevance are your guiding principles.

Smartphones have a growing place in the world of education, and despite the presence of legitimate concerns about their use, their value as teaching tools has been clearly established. With more and more of our lives going digital and with the growing emphasis on offering distance learning as an option, educators with an eye to the future won't wait to embrace smartphones and find ways to use them to their fullest effect. As much time and space as we could devote to weighing the pros and cons of smartphones, the fact is that they are not going to disappear from our lives, and our best bet is to develop their, and our students', potential.

Frequently Asked Questions about argumentative essays

Your argumentative essay starts with an introductory paragraph. This paragraph provides an overview of your topic and any background information that your readers will need in order to understand the context and your position.

Like any traditional essay, the argumentative essay consists of three parts:

  • Introduction

There are do's and don'ts in argumentative writing. This article summarizes some of them well - you should, for example, avoid coming to an argument based on feelings, without any evidence. Everything you say needs to be backed up by evidence, unless you are the renowned expert in the field.

Yes, you can start your argumentative essay with a question or with a thesis statement. Or you can do both - ask a question and then immediately answer it with a statement.

There are contrasting views on that. In some situations it can make sense to end your argumentative essay with a question - for example, when you want to create room for further discussions or want the reader to leave thinking about the question.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay – Guide & Examples

Published by Carmen Troy at August 16th, 2021 , Revised On July 26, 2023

“An argument essay  presents an original argument for a given  thesis statement . In an argumentative essay, the author takes a clear stand on the topic and justifies their position with supporting evidence material.”

While there are many  types of essays , an argumentative essay is hands down the most popular type of essay at the college and university level.

When Should you Write an Argumentative Essay

You could be asked to produce an argumentative essay in a composition class or as a course assignment. In most cases, the essay brief will prompt you to argue for one of two positions.

An argumentative essay title includes keywords such as “argument”, “assert”, “claim”, and usually takes the form of a question.

The title of an argumentative essay can be either open or two-sided. Here are examples of argumentative titles so you know when to write an argumentative essay.

Open Argumentative Essay Title

What was the most outstanding achievement of Manchester United FC under Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE?

Two-sided Argumentative Essay Title

Has distance learning had a positive or negative impact on education?

Writing an Argumentative Essay for College or University Assignment

Most  essay assignments  at the college and university level involve some sort of argumentation. For example, literary analysis and rhetorical analysis also build up arguments about the text.

Even when the essay prompt does not tell you to write an argumentative essay, you should remember that the goal of academic writing in most cases is to express an argument and back it with evidence. This means that your default approach to essay writing should be to make evidence-based arguments unless you are told otherwise.

Examples of Argumentative Essay Titles

The following essay titles suggest that the essays in response should be argumentative in nature.

You will be able to develop an exact position as you dig deep to  collect data  and improve your knowledge. Once you have taken a defined stance, you will need to express the essay’s main argument and convince the reader to agree to your position by presenting analysis, evidence, and evaluation.

Discuss  the effects of climate change on the human population.

  • The above title does not merely ask you to state all the effects of climate change you can think of.
  • It would be best if you instead built a focused argument about the overall effects of climate change on the human population, stated the significance of your argument, and backed it up by providing evidence from authentic academic sources.

Evaluate  the efficacy of anti-racism measures put in place at workplaces in the UK.

  • Just providing a selection of statistics about anti-racism measures will not be sufficient.
  • Present your argument about what measures have proved to be the most effective or least effective.

Assess  the impact of the conquest of Constantinople in the 15 th  century on world history.

  • Don’t just assess a few random details of the battle of Constantinople.
  • Present your argument about the specific impact of the conquest of Constantinople on the power dynamics of the world.

How to Approach an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay should be based on rational thinking. The approach of the author should be objective in nature. Rather than basing your argument on emotions, you should rely on logic and evidence.

While there are many approaches to writing an argumentative essay, the two most common methods that would enable you to write a first-class piece are: The  Rogerian  method and the  Toulmin  method.

Toulmin Argument Building Model

The  Toulmin   method involves four key steps to build an argument. The same strategy can be applied throughout the essay where necessary.

  • Make a  claim
  • Present your evidence to support the claim
  • Provide the warrant which explains the evidence to support the claim
  • State the potential refutation to  the claim, which involves establishing the limits of the argument to demonstrate that you took into consideration the alternates.

The Toulmin model is a popular argument-building strategy in academic essays. While using specific terms (refutations, warrants, claim) is not necessary, you should show a clear link between your claim and the grounds of your claim in an argumentative essay.

For example , if you are making an argument about the efficacy of anti-racism measures put in place at workplaces in the UK, then you should follow these four steps:

  • Enlighten that anti-racism training programs are not bringing about the desired results, and it would be better to invest the resources in other approaches.
  • Back your claim with evidence from authentic academic sources. The evidence could take the form of numbers, statistics, and quotations.
  • Explain how the data shows the inefficacy of the current training and educational programs.
  • Expect objections to your argument based on counter data that might indicate why your argument is unsound, and so provide justifications accordingly.

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Rogerian Argument Building Model

The  Rogerian  model of building an argument also involves four steps:

  • Start by indicating what the counter-argument gets right and why people might agree to this argument.
  • State the problems with the counter-argument.
  • Present your argument and demonstrate how it solves the problem—showing why your position is stronger than the opposition will enable you to convince the reader.
  • Suggest a possible middle-ground – what components of your argument would advocates of the opposing claim can adopt?

The Rogerian model is an interesting way to reach a compromise between two sides of an argument. It is advised to approach an argumentative essay with this method when people strongly disagree on the issue under discussion.

Also read: How to write a summative essay

For example , if you had to make an argument about the positive effects of distance learning on the quality of education, then you might:

  • Recognize that distance learning has helped mature students upgrade their qualifications.
  • Claim that many critics view distance learning as more unreliable than it really is.
  • Argue that distance learning programs can enable many students worldwide to upgrade their skills without leaving the comfort of their homes.
  • Suggest critical engagement with distance education providers as a possible task for opponents who doubt its effectiveness.

When writing an argumentative essay, you can use elements of both models. It is not necessary to stick to one of these two methods, but it would be helpful to do so to  structure  your argument appropriately.

However, regardless of the argument-building model you choose, your essay structure will include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

How to Introduce an Argument in an Essay?

Like other essay types, an argumentative essay also begins with an introduction. This section includes a hook to grab the reader’s attention, background information to set up the main argument, a thesis statement, and a summary of the essay structure (for more extended essays).

Here is a how an  introduction paragraph  of an argumentative essay arguing for the positive effects of distance learning may look like:

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example

Example: For many people looking to change or advance their professional careers, choosing if distance learning is the right choice is a question of critical importance. Distance education programs rely on information technology and online teaching tools to provide education to students who are not present in the classroom setting due to their personal commitments and limitations. Over the last several years, distance learning has emerged as one of the most popular education trends. It has provided opportunities to many non-traditional students to receive a high-quality education.

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The Body of your Argumentative Essay

This is where you present the details to support your arguments. The  main body  of your argumentative essay should present analysis, evidence, and interpretation to persuade readers to agree with your viewpoint.

For a high school essay that typically follows the standard five-paragraph format, the body comprises three to four paragraphs. However, there will be many more paragraphs in a university-level longer essay, and so the body can be divided into dedicated sections with headings.

Each paragraph starts with a  topic  sentence that must support the central argument. Avoid presenting any irrelevant information here.

Here is an example of a paragraph taken from the main body of an argumentative essay on the positive effects of distance learning on education.

Argumentative Essay Main Body Paragraph Example

Example: Distance learning is one of the most economical and viable forms of education available to adult students who are juggling many responsibilities due to financial and time constraints in their life. The burden of responsibilities prevents adult students from studying in a foreign country or another city. Distance learning enables them to overcome these challenges and complete their education. Learning in a distant mode, they can also mitigate the economic, social, psychological, and cultural difficulties. Distance learning students often achieve better results when compared with on-campus students because the pursuit of knowledge is undertaken for its own sake rather than as an obligation.

How to Conclude your Argument?

Your argumentative essay should end with a conclusion that provides a summary of the points discussed in the main body.

Refrain from presenting any new information here. The conclusion of an argumentative essay is made up of a concise summary or synthesis of the arguments made in the main body, the significance and relevance of your argument, and the strengths and weaknesses of your argument.

Argumentative Essay Conclusion Example

Example: The distance learning programs offered by various universities worldwide have had a very positive effect on the world of education. Occasional pitfalls aside, this teaching method has enabled underprivileged students and those with personal limitations to receive a high-quality education. Its value is evident in numerous applications. Digital education offers accessibility and flexibility to students, so the popularity of distance education has been rising in recent years. Educators should take advantage of this. The limitations of distance education such as lack of motivation for students, absence of physical interaction, and employers’ reluctance to embrace distance learning has been documented extensively by opponents. Still, this new method of teaching is here to say.

Note: Along with expert guides, ResearchProspect also provides top-notch writing services , which means provides essay writing help , research paper writing help , and other professional services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an argumentative essay and an expository essay.

An argumentative essay is arguably the most popular type of essay in academic writing. It involves independent research and presenting an original argument about the topic in discussion in the form of a thesis statement . The claim made in the thesis statement must be supported by evidence and analysis.

An expository essay aims to explain an idea, topic, or process clearly and concisely. It does not express an original argument but is somewhat objective in nature. Expository essays are almost always less extensive as compared to argumentative essays.

Do I need to cite sources in an argumentative essay?

All essays written for college and university-level assignments should include in-text citations and a list of references . You should use citations in an appropriate referencing style whenever you quote or paraphrase any information from another academic source. The in-text citations must match the items in the list of references or bibliography at the end of your essay.

It would be best to use the referencing style or citation style according to your institution’s instructions. Harvard referencing is the most popular style of academic referencing in the UK.

When should I write an argumentative essay?

Most essays at university are argumentative. Unless told otherwise, you should aim to build an argument in an essay you have been assigned.

Argumentative essays include keywords like ‘discuss’, ‘claim’, ‘evaluate’, ‘argue’, so look out for these keywords and instructions in the essay title.

You May Also Like

While there are many types of essays, they can be broadly categorized into the following four main types – argumentative, expository, descriptive, and narrative.

No sure what are the types of persuasive essay? This article presents the similarities and differences between the most common types of persuasive essays.

If you are looking to apply for a graduate school then this article will provide you essential tips for a successful personal statement.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

4-minute read

  • 30th April 2022

An argumentative essay is a structured, compelling piece of writing where an author clearly defines their stance on a specific topic. This is a very popular style of writing assigned to students at schools, colleges, and universities. Learn the steps to researching, structuring, and writing an effective argumentative essay below.

Requirements of an Argumentative Essay

To effectively achieve its purpose, an argumentative essay must contain:

●  A concise thesis statement that introduces readers to the central argument of the essay

●  A clear, logical, argument that engages readers

●  Ample research and evidence that supports your argument

Approaches to Use in Your Argumentative Essay

1.   classical.

●  Clearly present the central argument.

●  Outline your opinion.

●  Provide enough evidence to support your theory.

2.   Toulmin

●  State your claim.

●  Supply the evidence for your stance.

●  Explain how these findings support the argument.

●  Include and discuss any limitations of your belief.

3.   Rogerian

●  Explain the opposing stance of your argument.

●  Discuss the problems with adopting this viewpoint.

●  Offer your position on the matter.

●  Provide reasons for why yours is the more beneficial stance.

●  Include a potential compromise for the topic at hand.

Tips for Writing a Well-Written Argumentative Essay

●  Introduce your topic in a bold, direct, and engaging manner to captivate your readers and encourage them to keep reading.

●  Provide sufficient evidence to justify your argument and convince readers to adopt this point of view.

●  Consider, include, and fairly present all sides of the topic.

●  Structure your argument in a clear, logical manner that helps your readers to understand your thought process.

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●  Discuss any counterarguments that might be posed.

●  Use persuasive writing that’s appropriate for your target audience and motivates them to agree with you.

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay

Follow these basic steps to write a powerful and meaningful argumentative essay :

Step 1: Choose a topic that you’re passionate about

If you’ve already been given a topic to write about, pick a stance that resonates deeply with you. This will shine through in your writing, make the research process easier, and positively influence the outcome of your argument.

Step 2: Conduct ample research to prove the validity of your argument

To write an emotive argumentative essay , finding enough research to support your theory is a must. You’ll need solid evidence to convince readers to agree with your take on the matter. You’ll also need to logically organize the research so that it naturally convinces readers of your viewpoint and leaves no room for questioning.

Step 3: Follow a simple, easy-to-follow structure and compile your essay

A good structure to ensure a well-written and effective argumentative essay includes:

Introduction

●  Introduce your topic.

●  Offer background information on the claim.

●  Discuss the evidence you’ll present to support your argument.

●  State your thesis statement, a one-to-two sentence summary of your claim.

●  This is the section where you’ll develop and expand on your argument.

●  It should be split into three or four coherent paragraphs, with each one presenting its own idea.

●  Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that indicates why readers should adopt your belief or stance.

●  Include your research, statistics, citations, and other supporting evidence.

●  Discuss opposing viewpoints and why they’re invalid.

●  This part typically consists of one paragraph.

●  Summarize your research and the findings that were presented.

●  Emphasize your initial thesis statement.

●  Persuade readers to agree with your stance.

We certainly hope that you feel inspired to use these tips when writing your next argumentative essay . And, if you’re currently elbow-deep in writing one, consider submitting a free sample to us once it’s completed. Our expert team of editors can help ensure that it’s concise, error-free, and effective!

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Step By Step Guide

10 May, 2020

9 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Being able to present your argument and carry your point in a debate or a discussion is a vital skill. No wonder educational establishments make writing compositions of such type a priority for all students. If you are not really good at delivering a persuasive message to the audience, this guide is for you. It will teach you how to write an argumentative essay successfully step by step. So, read on and pick up the essential knowledge.

argumentative essay

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a paper that gets the reader to recognize the author’s side of the argument as valid. The purpose of this specific essay is to pose a question and answer it with compelling evidence. At its core, this essay type works to champion a specific viewpoint. The key, however, is that the topic of the argumentative essay has multiple sides, which can be explained, weighed, and judged by relevant sources.

Check out our ultimate argumentative essay topics list!

This essay often explores common questions associated with any type of argument including:

Common questions associated with an argument

Argumentative VS Persuasive Essay

It’s important not to confuse argumentative essay with a persuasive essay – while they both seem to follow the same goal, their methods are slightly different. While the persuasive essay is here to convince the reader (to pick your side), the argumentative essay is here to present information that supports the claim.

In simple words, it explains why the author picked this side of the argument, and persuasive essay does its best to persuade the reader to agree with your point of view.

Now that we got this straight, let’s get right to our topic – how to write an argumentative essay. As you can easily recognize, it all starts with a proper argument. First, let’s define the types of argument available and strategies that you can follow.

Types of Argument

Types of Argument

When delving into the types of argument, the vocabulary suddenly becomes quite “lawyerish”; and that makes sense since lawyers stake their whole livelihood on their ability to win arguments. So step into your lawyer shoes, and learn about the five kinds of arguments that you could explore in an argumentative paper:

Claims of cause and effect

This paper focuses on answering what caused the issue(s), and what the resulting effects have been.

Claims of definition

This paper explores a controversial interpretation of a particular definition; the paper delves into what the world really means and how it could be interpreted in different ways.

Claims of Fact

This argumentative paper examines whether a particular fact is accurate; it often looks at several sources reporting a fact and examines their veracity.

Claims of Policy

This is a favorite argumentative essay in government and sociology classes; this paper explores a particular policy, who it affects, and what (if anything) should be done about it.

Claims of Value

This essay identifies a particular value or belief and then examines how and why it is important to a particular cohort or a larger, general population.

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert

Argument Strategies

Argument Strategies

When mulling over how to approach your argumentative assignment, you should be aware that three main argument strategies exist regarding how exactly to argue an issue: classical, Rogerian, Toulmin.

Classical Argument

This argument structure dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In this strategy, the arguer introduces the issue, provides context, clearly states their claim, provides key arguments backed by lots of evidence, and nullifies opposing arguments with valid data.

Rogerian Argument

Hate conflict? This may be the argumentative paper strategy for you. At its core, this strategy works to identify compromise aspects for both sides; this approach works to find commonality and an ultimate agreement between two sides rather than proclaiming a winner or loser. The focus in this argument is compromise and respect of all sides.

Toulmin Argument

Remember Spock? This is his type of strategy; the Toulmin approach focuses solely on logic to persuade the audience. It is heavy on data and often relies on qualities to narrow the focus of a claim and strengthen the writer’s stance. This approach also tends to rely on exceptions, which clearly set limits on the parameters of an argument, thus making a particular stance easier to agree with.

With that in mind, we can now organize our argument into the essay structure.

Have no time to write your essay? You can buy argumentative essay tasks at Handmade Writing. Our service is available 24/7.

Argumentative essay Example

Organizing the argumentative essay outline.

Organizing the Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay follows the typical essay format: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. However, the body paragraphs are structured a bit differently from other body paragraphs. Surely, not something you can see in a cause and effect essay outline .

While the introduction should still begin with an attention-grabbing sentence that catches the reader’s interest and compels him or her to continue reading and provides key background information, the following paragraphs focus on specific aspects of the argument.

Let’s begin with the introduction.

Related Post: How to write an Essay Introduction ?

Introduction Paragraph

As its name suggests, this paragraph provides all the background information necessary for a reader unfamiliar with the argumentative essay topic to understand what it’s about. A solid introduction should:

  • Begin with a descriptive title that communicates your position regarding the topic
  • Rhetorical question
  • Personal anecdote
  • Provide necessary background, including definitions of any relevant words
  • End with a thesis statement that communicates your position
Stuck with your essay task? No more struggle! HandMadeWriting is the top essay writing service. Our online essay writer service not only guides you on writing papers, it can write a high-quality essay for you.

Body Paragraphs

Support the thesis statement

Body paragraphs can range in size from six to fifteen or more sentences. The goal of these paragraphs is to support the thesis statement. Recommended areas of focus for the body paragraphs within an argumentative paper include:

  • Identifying and explaining the problem
  • Identifying the two (or more) sides to the problem
  • Exploring the side the writer believes is more appropriate than the others
  • Shooting down the other sides, with evidence
  • Recommending a course of action for the reader

One important way how this essay differs from other kinds is its specific nature. At the end of reading such an essay, the audience should clearly understand the issue or controversy and have enough information to make an informed decision regarding the issue. But what compels an audience make an informed decision? Several things!

  • Authoritative sources (experts in their field)
  • Real-world examples
  • Attributable anecdotes

Conclusion

In this paragraph, often the shortest of all the paragraphs, the writer reviews his or her most compelling reasons for taking a particular stance on an issue. The persuasion should be strong here, and the writer should use combative language including examples such as:

  • “then” statements
  • There can be no doubt
  • Without immediate action
  • Research strongly supports

It is also appropriate to refute potential opposition in the conclusion. By stating the objections readers could have, and show why they should be dismissed; the conclusion resonates more strongly with the reader.

Check our guide if you have any other questions on academic paper writing!

Argumentative Essay Sample

Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own argumentative essay. Link:  Argumentative essay on white rappers’ moral rights to perform .

Remember : the key to winning any argument should be reliable sources — the better, the more trustworthy your sources, the more likely the audience will consider a viewpoint different from their own.

And while you may feel a deep passion towards a particular topic, keep in mind that emotions can be messy; this essay should present all sides to the argument respectfully and with a clear intention to portray each of them fairly.

Let the data, statistics, and facts speak loudly and clearly for themselves. And don’t forget to use opinionated language — using such diction is a must in any strong argumentative writing!

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12 Essential Steps for Writing an Argumentative Essay (with 10 example essays)

Bonus Material: 10 complete example essays

Writing an essay can often feel like a Herculean task. How do you go from a prompt… to pages of beautifully-written and clearly-supported writing?

This 12-step method is for students who want to write a great essay that makes a clear argument.

In fact, using the strategies from this post, in just 88 minutes, one of our students revised her C+ draft to an A.

If you’re interested in learning how to write awesome argumentative essays and improve your writing grades, this post will teach you exactly how to do it.

First, grab our download so you can follow along with the complete examples.

Then keep reading to see all 12 essential steps to writing a great essay.

Download 10 example essays

Download 10 great example essays

Why you need to have a plan

One of the most common mistakes that students make when writing is to just dive in haphazardly without a plan.

Writing is a bit like cooking. If you’re making a meal, would you start throwing ingredients at random into a pot? Probably not!

Instead, you’d probably start by thinking about what you want to cook. Then you’d gather the ingredients, and go to the store if you don’t already have them in your kitchen. Then you’d follow a recipe, step by step, to make your meal.

Preparing to cook a dish in an organized way, just like we prepare to write an essay

Here’s our 12-step recipe for writing a great argumentative essay:

  • Pick a topic
  • Choose your research sources
  • Read your sources and take notes
  • Create a thesis statement
  • Choose three main arguments to support your thesis statement —now you have a skeleton outline
  • Populate your outline with the research that supports each argument
  • Do more research if necessary
  • Add your own analysis
  • Add transitions and concluding sentences to each paragraph
  • Write an introduction and conclusion for your essay
  • Add citations and bibliography

Grab our download to see the complete example at every stage, along with 9 great student essays. Then let’s go through the steps together and write an A+ essay!

1. Pick a topic

Sometimes you might be assigned a topic by your instructor, but often you’ll have to come up with your own idea! 

If you don’t pick the right topic, you can be setting yourself up for failure.

Be careful that your topic is something that’s actually arguable —it has more than one side. Check out our carefully-vetted list of 99 topic ideas .

Let’s pick the topic of laboratory animals . Our question is should animals be used for testing and research ?

Hamster, which could potentially be used for animal research

Download our set of 10 great example essays to jump to the finished version of this essay.

2. Choose your research sources

One of the big differences between the way an academic argumentative essay and the version of the assignment that you may have done in elementary school is that for an academic argumentative essay, we need to support our arguments with evidence .

Where do we get that evidence?

Let’s be honest, we all are likely to start with Google and Wikipedia.

Now, Wikipedia can be a useful starting place if you don’t know very much about a topic, but don’t use Wikipedia as your main source of evidence for your essay. 

Instead, look for reputable sources that you can show to your readers as proof of your arguments. It can be helpful to read some sources from either side of your issue.

Look for recently-published sources (within the last 20 years), unless there’s a specific reason to do otherwise.

Support all your points with evidence

Good places to look for sources are:

  • Books published by academic presses
  • Academic journals
  • Academic databases like JSTOR and EBSCO
  • Nationally-published newspapers and magazines like The New York Times or The Atlantic
  • Websites and publications of national institutions like the NIH
  • Websites and publications of universities

Some of these sources are typically behind a paywall. This can be frustrating when you’re a middle-school or high-school student.

However, there are often ways to get access to these sources. Librarians (at your school library or local public library) can be fantastic resources, and they can often help you find a copy of the article or book you want to read. In particular, librarians can help you use Interlibrary Loan to order books or journals to your local library!

More and more scientists and other researchers are trying to publish their articles for free online, in order to encourage the free exchange of knowledge. Check out respected open-access platforms like arxiv.org and PLOS ONE .

How do you find these sources?

If you have access to an academic database like JSTOR or EBSCO , that’s a great place to start.

Example of a search on JSTOR

Everyone can use Google Scholar to search for articles. This is a powerful tool and highly recommended!

Google scholar search

Of course, if there’s a term you come across that you don’t recognize, you can always just Google it!

How many sources do you need? That depends on the length of your essay and on the assignment. If your instructor doesn’t give you any other guidance, assume that you should have at least three good sources.

For our topic of animal research, here’s a few sources that we could assemble:

Geoff Watts. “Animal Testing: Is It Worth It?” BMJ: British Medical Journal , Jan. 27, 2007, Vol. 334, No. 7586 (Jan. 27, 2007), pp. 182-184.

Kim Bartel Sheehan and Joonghwa Lee. “What’s Cruel About Cruelty Free: An Exploration of Consumers, Moral Heuristics, and Public Policy.” Journal of Animal Ethics , Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 1-15.

Justin Goodman, Alka Chandna and Katherine Roe. “Trends in animal use at US research facilities.” Journal of Medical Ethics , July 2015, Vol. 41, No. 7 (July 2015), pp. 567-569.

Katy Taylor. “Recent Developments in Alternatives to Animal Testing.” In Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change . Brill 2019.

Thomas Hartung. “Research and Testing Without Animals: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Heading?” In Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change . Brill 2019.

Bonus: download 10 example essays now .

3. Read your sources and take notes

Once you have a nice pile of sources, it’s time to read them!

As we read, we want to take notes that will be useful to us later as we write our essay.

We want to be careful to keep the source’s ideas separate from our own ideas . Come up with a system to clearly mark the difference as you’re taking notes: use different colors, or use little arrows to represent the ideas that are yours and not the source’s ideas.

We can use this structure to keep notes in an organized way:

Bibliographic details– Specific evidence that the source uses
– Ideas and themes in the source that seem useful
Figure out the main arguments in the source
– Figure out the supporting arguments in the source
– How does this source relate to the other sources that you’re using? Does it agree/disagree? Does it use the same or different evidence and reasoning?
–  What kind of bias does the author have?
– Any other thoughts or observations

Download a template for these research notes here .

Petri dish in laboratory research

For our topic of animal research, our notes might look something like this:

Kim Bartel Sheehan and Joonghwa Lee. “What’s Cruel About Cruelty Free: An Exploration of Consumers, Moral Heuristics, and Public Policy.” Journal of Animal Ethics , Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 1-15.Because there are many definitions of the phrase “cruelty-free,” many companies “can (and do) use the term when the product or its ingredients were indeed tested on animals” (1).

The authors compare “cruelty-free” to the term “fair trade.” There is an independent inspection and certification group (Flo-Cert) that reviews products labeled as “fair trade,” but there’s no analogous process for “cruelty-free” (2).

Companies can also hire outside firms to test products and ingredients on animals (3).
→ So anyone can just put that label on a product? Apparently, apart from in the European Union. That seems really easy to abuse for marketing purposes.
Andrew Knight. “Critically Evaluating Animal Research.” In . Brill 2019.Knight cites “significant methodological flaws” in “most published animal experiments” (326). For example, “randomized allocation of animals to test groups was reported in only 12%” of a set of 271 studies—in the rest of the studies, researchers could select (whether consciously or not) weaker animals to serve as the control group, for example (326). Similarly, only 14% of papers in a different survey reported the use of blinding in making qualitative assessments of outcomes (327). 

The ARRIVE guidelines have been widely endorsed by leading research journals (including Nature, PLoS, and BioMed Central) and major UK funding agencies, and they’re part of the US National Research Council Institute for Laboratory Animal Research guidelines (330).

But…compliance with the guidelines “remains poor” (330).
→ Many people championing or opposing animal testing have their careers at stake. They’re either researchers who use animals as a fundamental part of their research, or they are working on alternatives to animal testing (like Harding). This seems like a potential problem with the debate.

→ So one way to improve the methodological quality of studies would be to encourage (or regulate) randomization and blinded assessment of outcomes.
(continued) Andrew Knight. “Critically Evaluating Animal Research.” In . Brill 2019.Knight advocates that compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines and other standards “must become mandatory,” and that “compliance with such standards should be a necessary condition for security research funding and ethical approval; licensing of researchers, facilities, and experimental protocols; and publication of subsequent results” (331).

Knight also argues that “prior to designing any new animal study, researchers should conduct a systematic review to collate, appraise, and synthesize all existing, good-quality evidence relating to their research questions,” and that this step should also be required by grant agencies, licensing bodies, and journals (332). He notes that systematic reviews are really helpful and should be funded more frequently (332).

The article then covers impacts on laboratory animals—invasive procedures, stress, pain, and death (333). These aren’t very widely or clearly reported (333).
→ This seems like a reasonable position. What would there be to lose from requiring compliance with these guidelines? I suppose it could make research more difficult or expensive to conduct—but probably it would weed out some bad research. 

→ Good to remember that research requires money and is shaped by market forces—it’s not some neutral thing happening in an ivory tower.

Grab our download to read the rest of the notes and see more examples of how to do thoughtful research!

Student taking notes on research project

4. Create a thesis

What major themes did you find in your reading? What did you find most interesting or convincing?

Now is the point when you need to pick a side on your topic, if you haven’t already done so. Now that you’ve read more about the issue, what do you think? Write down your position on the issue:

Animal testing is necessary but should be reduced.

Next, it’s time to add more detail to your thesis. What reasons do you have to support that position? Add those to your sentence.

Animal testing is necessary but should be reduced by eliminating testing for cosmetics, ensuring that any testing is scientifically sound, and replacing animal models with other methods as much as possible.

Add qualifiers to refine your position. Are there situations in which your position would not apply? Or are there other conditions that need to be met? 

Cancer research

For our topic of animal research, our final thesis statement (with lead-in) might look something like this:

The argument: Animal testing and research should not be abolished, as doing so would upend important medical research and substance testing. However, scientific advances mean that in many situations animal testing can be replaced by other methods that not only avoid the ethical problems of animal testing, but also are less costly and more accurate. Governments and other regulatory bodies should further regulate animal testing to outlaw testing for cosmetics and other recreational products, ensure that the tests conducted are both necessary and scientifically rigorous, and encourage the replacement of animal use with other methods whenever possible.

The highlighted bit at the end is the thesis statement, but the lead-in is useful to help us set up the argument—and having it there already will make writing our introduction easier!

The thesis statement is the single most important sentence of your essay. Without a strong thesis, there’s no chance of writing a great essay. Read more about it here .

See how nine real students wrote great thesis statements in 9 example essays now.

5. Create three supporting arguments

Think of three good arguments why your position is true. We’re going to make each one into a body paragraph of your essay.

For now, write them out as 1–2 sentences. These will be topic sentences for each body paragraph.

Laboratory setup

For our essay about animal testing, it might look like this:

Supporting argument #1: For ethical reasons, animal testing should not be allowed for cosmetics and recreational products.

Supporting argument #2: The tests that are conducted with animals should be both necessary (for the greater good) and scientifically rigorous—which isn’t always the case currently. This should be regulated by governments and institutions.

Supporting argument #3: Governments and institutions should do more to encourage the replacement of animal testing with other methods.

Optional: Find a counterargument and respond to it

Think of a potential counterargument to your position. Consider writing a fourth paragraph anticipating this counterargument, or find a way to include it in your other body paragraphs. 

Laboratory mouse

For our essay, that might be:

Possible counterargument: Animal testing is unethical and should not be used in any circumstances.

Response to the counterargument: Animal testing is deeply entrenched in many research projects and medical procedures. Abruptly ceasing animal testing would upend the scientific and medical communities. But there are many ways that animal testing could be reduced.

With these three arguments, a counterargument, and a thesis, we now have a skeleton outline! See each step of this essay in full in our handy download .

6. Start populating your outline with the evidence you found in your research

Look through your research. What did you find that would support each of your three arguments?

Copy and paste those quotes or paraphrases into the outline. Make sure that each one is annotated so that you know which source it came from!

Ideally you already started thinking about these sources when you were doing your research—that’s the ideas in the rightmost column of our research template. Use this stuff too! 

A good rule of thumb would be to use at least three pieces of evidence per body paragraph.

Think about in what order it would make most sense to present your points. Rearrange your quotes accordingly! As you reorder them, feel free to start adding short sentences indicating the flow of ideas .

Research at the National Cancer Institute

For our essay about animal testing, part of our populated outline might look something like:

Argument #1: For ethical reasons, animal testing should not be allowed for cosmetics and recreational products.

Lots of animals are used for testing and research.

In the US, about 22 million animals were used annually in the early 1990s, mostly rodents (BMJ 1993, 1020).

But there are ethical problems with using animals in laboratory settings. Opinions about the divide between humans and animals might be shifting.

McIsaac refers to “the essential moral dilemma: how to balance the welfare of humans with the welfare of other species” (Hubel, McIsaac 29).

The fundamental legal texts used to justify animal use in biomedical research were created after WWII, and drew a clear line between experiments on animals and on humans. The Nuremburg Code states that “the experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment” (Ferrari, 197). The 1964  Declaration of the World Medical Association on the Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (known as the Helsinki Declaration) states that “Medical research involving human subjects must conform to generally accepted scientific principles, be based on a thorough knowledge of the scientific literature, other relevant sources of information, and adequate laboratory and, as appropriate, animal experimentation. The welfare of animals used for research must be respected” (Ferrari, 197).

→ Context? The Nuremberg Code is a set of ethical research principles, developed in 1947 in the wake of Nazi atrocities during WWII, specifically the inhumane and often fatal experimentation on human subjects without consent.

“Since the 1970s, the animal-rights movement has challenged the use of animals in modern Western society by rejecting the idea of dominion of human beings over nature and animals and stressing the intrinsic value and rights of individual animals” (van Roten, 539, referencing works by Singer, Clark, Regan, and Jasper and Nelkin).

“The old (animal) model simply does not fully meet the needs of scientific and economic progress; it fails in cost, speed, level of detail of understanding, and human relevance. On top of this, animal experimentation lacks acceptance by an ethically evolving society” (Hartung, 682).

Knight’s article summarizes negative impacts on laboratory animals—invasive procedures, stress, pain, and death (Knight, 333). These aren’t very widely or clearly reported (Knight, 333). → Reading about these definitely produces an emotional reaction—they sound bad.

Given this context, it makes sense to ban animal testing in situations where it’s just for recreational products like cosmetics.

Fortunately, animal testing for cosmetics is less common than we might think.

A Gallup poll published in 1990 found that 14% of people thought that the most frequent reason for using animals to test cosmetics for safety—but figures from the UK Home Office in 1991 found that less than 1% of animals were used for tests for cosmetics and toiletries (BMJ 1993, 1019). → So in the early 1990s there was a big difference between what people thought was happening and what actually was happening!

But it still happens, and there are very few regulations of it (apart from in the EU).

Because there are many definitions of the phrase “cruelty-free,” many companies “can (and do) use the term when the product or its ingredients were indeed tested on animals” (Sheehan and Lee, 1).

The authors compare “cruelty-free” to the term “fair trade.” There is an independent inspection and certification group (Flo-Cert) that reviews products labeled as “fair trade,” but there’s no analogous process for “cruelty-free” (Sheehan and Lee, 2). → So anyone can just put that label on a product? Apparently, apart from in the European Union. That seems really easy to abuse for marketing purposes.

Companies can also hire outside firms to test products and ingredients on animals (Sheehan and Lee, 3).

Animal testing for recreational, non-medical purposes should be banned, like it is in the EU.

Download the full example outline here .

Research at the National Cancer Institute

7. Do more research if necessary

Occasionally you might realize that there’s a hole in your research, and you don’t have enough evidence to support one of your points.

In this situation, either change your argument to fit the evidence that you do have, or do a bit more research to fill the hole!

For example, looking at our outline for argument #1 for our essay on animal testing, it’s clear that this paragraph is missing a small but crucial bit of evidence—a reference to this specific ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Europe. Time for a bit more research!

A visit to the official website of the European Commission yields a copy of the law, which we can add to our populated outline:

“The cosmetics directive provides the regulatory framework for the phasing out of animal testing for cosmetics purposes. Specifically, it establishes (1) a testing ban – prohibition to test finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals, and (2) a marketing ban – prohibition to market finished cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU which were tested on animals. The same provisions are contained in the cosmetics regulation , which replaced the cosmetics directive as of 11 July 2013. The testing ban on finished cosmetic products applies since 11 September 2004. The testing ban on ingredients or combination of ingredients applies since 11 March 2009. The marketing ban applies since 11 March 2009 for all human health effects with the exception of repeated-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity, and toxicokinetics. For these specific health effects, the marketing ban applies since 11 March 2013, irrespective of the availability of alternative non-animal tests.” (website of the European Commission, “Ban on animal testing”)

Alright, now this supporting argument has the necessary ingredients!

You don’t need to use all of the evidence that you found in your research. In fact, you probably won’t use all of it!

This part of the writing process requires you to think critically about your arguments and what evidence is relevant to your points .

Cancer research

8. Add your own analysis and synthesis of these points

Once you’ve organized your evidence and decided what you want to use for your essay, now you get to start adding your own analysis!

You may have already started synthesizing and evaluating your sources when you were doing your research (the stuff on the right-hand side of our template). This gives you a great starting place!

For each piece of evidence, follow this formula:

  • Context and transitions: introduce your piece of evidence and any relevant background info and signal the logical flow of ideas
  • Reproduce the paraphrase or direct quote (with citation )
  • Explanation : explain what the quote/paraphrase means in your own words
  • Analysis : analyze how this piece of evidence proves your thesis
  • Relate it back to the thesis: don’t forget to relate this point back to your overarching thesis! 

If you follow this fool-proof formula as you write, you will create clear, well-evidenced arguments.

As you get more experienced, you might stray a bit from the formula—but a good essay will always intermix evidence with explanation and analysis, and will always contain signposts back to the thesis throughout.

For our essay about animal testing, our first body paragraph might look like:

Every year, millions of animals—mostly rodents—are used for testing and research (BMJ 1993, 1020) . This testing poses an ethical dilemma: “how to balance the welfare of humans with the welfare of other species” (Hubel, McIsaac 29) . Many of the fundamental legal tests that are used to justify animal use in biomedical research were created in wake of the horrors of World War II, when the Nazi regime engaged in terrible experimentation on their human prisoners. In response to these atrocities, philosophers and lawmakers drew a clear line between experimenting on humans without consent and experimenting on (non-human) animals. For example, the 1947 Nuremberg Code stated that “the experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment” (Ferrari, 197) . Created two years after the war, the code established a set of ethical research principles to demarcate ethical differences between animals and humans, clarifying differences between Nazi atrocities and more everyday research practices. However, in the following decades, the animal-rights movement has challenged the philosophical boundaries between humans and animals and questioned humanity’s right to exert dominion over animals (van Roten, 539, referencing works by Singer, Clark, Regan, and Jasper and Nelkin) . These concerns are not without justification, as animals used in laboratories are subject to invasive procedures, stress, pain, and death (Knight, 333) . Indeed, reading detailed descriptions of this research can be difficult to stomach . In light of this, while some animal testing that contributes to vital medical research and ultimately saves millions of lives may be ethically justified, animal testing that is purely for recreational purposes like cosmetics cannot be ethically justified . Fortunately, animal testing for cosmetics is less common than we might think . In 1990, a poll found that 14% of people in the UK thought that the most frequent reason for using animals to test cosmetics for safety—but actual figures were less than 1% (BMJ 1993, 1019) . Unfortunately, animal testing for cosmetics is not subject to very much regulation . In particular, companies can use the phrase “cruelty-free” to mean just about anything, and many companies “can (and do) use the term when the product or its ingredients were indeed tested on animals” (Sheehan and Lee, 1) . Unlike the term “fair trade,” which has an independent inspection and certification group (Flo-Cert) that reviews products using the label, there’s no analogous process for “cruelty-free” (Sheehan and Lee, 2) . Without regulation, the term is regularly abused by marketers . Companies can also hire outside firms to test products and ingredients on animals and thereby pass the blame (Sheehan and Lee, 3) . Consumers trying to avoid products tested on animals are frequently tricked . Greater regulation of terms would help, but the only way to end this kind of deceit will be to ban animal testing for recreational, non-medical purposes . The European Union is the only governmental body yet to accomplish this . In a series of regulations, the EU first banned testing finished cosmetic products (2004), then testing ingredients or marketing products which were tested on animals (2009); exceptions for specific health effects ended in 2013 (website of the European Commission, “Ban on animal testing”) . The result is that the EU bans testing cosmetic ingredients or finished cosmetic products on animals, as well as marketing any cosmetic ingredients and products which were tested on animals elsewhere (Regulation 1223/2009/EU, known as the “Cosmetics Regulation”) . The rest of the world should follow this example and ban animal testing on cosmetic ingredients and products, which do not contribute significantly to the greater good and therefore cannot outweigh the cost to animal lives .

Edit down the quotes/paraphrases as you go. In many cases, you might copy out a great long quote from a source…but only end up using a few words of it as a direct quote, or you might only paraphrase it!

There were several good quotes in our previous step that just didn’t end up fitting here. That’s fine!

Take a look at the words and phrases highlighted in red. Notice how sometimes a single word can help to provide necessary context and create a logical transition for a new idea. Don’t forget the transitions! These words and phrases are essential to good writing.

The end of the paragraph should very clearly tie back to the thesis statement.

As you write, consider your audience

If it’s not specified in your assignment prompt, it’s always appropriate to ask your instructor who the intended audience of your essay or paper might be. (Your instructor will usually be impressed by this question!) 

If you don’t get any specific guidance, imagine that your audience is the typical readership of a newspaper like the New York Times —people who are generally educated, but who don’t have any specialized  knowledge of the specific subject, especially if it’s more technical.

That means that you should explain any words or phrases that aren’t everyday terminology!

Equally important, you don’t want to leave logical leaps for your readers to make. Connect all of the dots for them!

See the other body paragraphs of this essay, along with 9 student essays, here .

9. Add paragraph transitions and concluding sentences to each body paragraph

By now you should have at least three strong body paragraphs, each one with 3–5 pieces of evidence plus your own analysis and synthesis of the evidence. 

Each paragraph has a main topic sentence, which we wrote back when we made the outline. This is a good time to check that the topic sentences still match what the rest of the paragraph says!

Think about how these arguments relate to each other. What is the most logical order for them? Re-order your paragraphs if necessary.

Then add a few sentences at the end of each paragraph and/or the beginning of the next paragraph to connect these ideas. This step is often the difference between an okay essay and a really great one!

You want your essay to have a great flow. We didn’t worry about this at the beginning of our writing, but now is the time to start improving the flow of ideas!

10. The final additions: write an introduction and a conclusion

Follow this formula to write a great introduction:

  • It begins with some kind of “hook”: this can be an anecdote, quote, statistic, provocative statement, question, etc. 

(Pro tip: don’t use phrases like “throughout history,” “since the dawn of humankind,” etc. It’s good to think broadly, but you don’t have to make generalizations for all of history.)

  • It gives some background information that is relevant to understand the ethical dilemma or debate
  • It has a lead-up to the thesis
  • At the end of the introduction, the thesis is clearly stated

This makes a smooth funnel that starts more broadly and smoothly zeroes in on the specific argument.

Essay intro funnel

Your conclusion is kind of like your introduction, but in reverse. It starts with your thesis and ends a little more broadly.

For the conclusion, try and summarize your entire argument without being redundant. Start by restating your thesis but with slightly different wording . Then summarize each of your main points.

If you can, it’s nice to point to the larger significance of the issue. What are the potential consequences of this issue? What are some future directions for it to go in? What remains to be explored?

See how nine students wrote introductions in different styles here .

11. Add citations and bibliography

Check what bibliographic style your instructor wants you to use. If this isn’t clearly stated, it’s a good question to ask them!

Typically the instructions will say something like “Chicago style,” “APA,” etc., or they’ll give you their own rules. 

These rules will dictate how exactly you’ll write your citations in the body of your essay (either in parentheses after the quote/paraphrase or else with a footnote or endnote) and how you’ll write your “works cited” with the full bibliographic information at the end.

Follow these rules! The most important thing is to be consistent and clear.

Pro tip: if you’re struggling with this step, your librarians can often help! They’re literally pros at this. 🙂

Now you have a complete draft!

Read it from beginning to end. Does it make sense? Are there any orphan quotes or paraphrases that aren’t clearly explained? Are there any abrupt changes of topic? Fix it!

Are there any problems with grammar or spelling ? Fix them!

Edit for clarity.

Sharpening a pencil, just like you should sharpen your argument.

Ideally, you’ll finish your draft at least a few days before it’s due to be submitted. Give it a break for a day or two, and then come back to it. Things to be revised are more likely to jump out after a little break!

Try reading your essay out loud. Are there any sentences that don’t sound quite right? Rewrite them!

Double-check your thesis statement. This is the make-or-break moment of your essay, and without a clear thesis it’s pretty impossible for an essay to be a great one. Is it:

  • Arguable: it’s not just the facts—someone could disagree with this position
  • Narrow & specific: don’t pick a position that’s so broad you could never back it up
  • Complex: show that you are thinking deeply—one way to do this is to consider objections/qualifiers in your thesis

Try giving your essay to a friend or family member to read. Sometimes (if you’re lucky) your instructors will offer to read a draft if you turn it in early. What feedback do they have? Edit accordingly!

See the result of this process with 10 example essays now .

You’re done!

You did it! Feel proud of yourself 🙂

We regularly help students work through all of these steps to write great academic essays in our Academic Writing Workshop or our one-on-one writing tutoring . We’re happy to chat more about what’s challenging for you and provide you customized guidance to help you write better papers and improve your grades on writing assignments!

Want to see what this looks like when it’s all pulled together? We compiled nine examples of great student essays, plus all of the steps used to create this model essay, in this handy resource. Download it here !

argumentative essay writing the body

Emily graduated  summa cum laude  from Princeton University and holds an MA from the University of Notre Dame. She was a National Merit Scholar and has won numerous academic prizes and fellowships. A veteran of the publishing industry, she has helped professors at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton revise their books and articles. Over the last decade, Emily has successfully mentored hundreds of students in all aspects of the college admissions process, including the SAT, ACT, and college application essay. 

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Anatomy of a Body Paragraph

TOPIC SENTENCE/ In his numerous writings, Marx critiques capitalism by identifying its flaws. ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE/ By critiquing the political economy and capitalism, Marx implores his reader to think critically about their position in society and restores awareness in the proletariat class. EVIDENCE/ To Marx, capitalism is a system characterized by the “exploitation of the many by the few,” in which workers accept the exploitation of their labor and receive only harm of “alienation,” rather than true benefits ( MER 487). He writes that “labour produces for the rich wonderful things – but for the worker it produces privation. It produces palaces—but for the worker, hovels. It produces beauty—but for the worker, deformity” (MER 73). Marx argues capitalism is a system in which the laborer is repeatedly harmed and estranged from himself, his labor, and other people, while the owner of his labor – the capitalist – receives the benefits ( MER 74). And while industry progresses, the worker “sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class” ( MER 483).  ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE/ But while Marx critiques the political economy, he does not explicitly say “capitalism is wrong.” Rather, his close examination of the system makes its flaws obvious. Only once the working class realizes the flaws of the system, Marx believes, will they - must they - rise up against their bourgeois masters and achieve the necessary and inevitable communist revolution.

Not every paragraph will be structured exactly like this one, of course. But as you draft your own paragraphs, look for all three of these elements: topic sentence, evidence, and analysis.

  • picture_as_pdf Anatomy Of a Body Paragraph
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How To Write An Argumentative Essay

Monali Ghosh

Table of Contents

Crafting a convincing argumentative essay can be challenging. You might feel lost about where to begin. But with a systematic approach and helpful tools that simplify sourcing and structuring, mastering good argumentative essay writing becomes achievable.

In this article, we'll explore what argumentative essays are, the critical steps to crafting a compelling argumentative essay, and best practices for essay organization.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay asserts a clear position on a controversial or debatable topic and backs it up with evidence and reasoning. They are written to hone critical thinking, structure clear arguments, influence academic and public discourse, underpin reform proposals, and change popular narratives.

What-is-argumentative-essay

The fundamentals of a good argumentative essay

Let's explore the essential components that make argumentative essays compelling.

1 . The foundation: crafting a compelling claim for your argumentative essay

The claim is the cornerstone of your argumentative essay. It represents your main argument or thesis statement , setting the stage for the discussion.

A robust claim is straightforward, debatable, and focused, challenging readers to consider your viewpoint. It's not merely an observation but a stance you're prepared to defend with logic and evidence.

The strength of your essay hinges on the clarity and assertiveness of your claim, guiding readers through your argumentative journey.

2. The structure: Organizing your argument strategically

An effective argumentative essay should follow a logical structure to present your case persuasively. There are three models for structuring your argument essay:

  • Classical: Introduce the topic, present the main argument, address counterarguments, and conclude . It is ideal for complex topics and prioritizes logical reasoning.
  • Rogerian: Introduce the issue neutrally, acknowledge opposing views, find common ground, and seek compromise. It works well for audiences who dislike confrontational approaches.
  • Toulmin: Introduce the issue, state the claim, provide evidence, explain the reasoning, address counterarguments, and reinforce the original claim. It confidently showcases an evidence-backed argument as superior.

Each model provides a framework for methodically supporting your position using evidence and logic. Your chosen structure depends on your argument's complexity, audience, and purpose.

3. The support: Leveraging evidence for your argumentative essay

The key is to select evidence that directly supports your claim, lending weight to your arguments and bolstering your position.

Effective use of evidence strengthens your argument and enhances your credibility, demonstrating thorough research and a deep understanding of the topic at hand.

4. The balance: Acknowledging counterarguments for the argumentative essay

A well-rounded argumentative essay acknowledges that there are two sides to every story. Introducing counterarguments and opposing viewpoints in an argument essay is a strategic move that showcases your awareness of alternative viewpoints.

This element of your argumentative essay demonstrates intellectual honesty and fairness, indicating that you have considered other perspectives before solidifying your position.

5. The counter: Mastering the art of rebuttal

A compelling rebuttal anticipates the counterclaims and methodically counters them, ensuring your position stands unchallenged. By engaging critically with counterarguments in this manner, your essay becomes more resilient and persuasive.

Ultimately, the strength of an argumentative essay is not in avoiding opposing views but in directly confronting them through reasoned debate and evidence-based.

How to write an argumentative essay

The workflow for crafting an effective argumentative essay involves several key steps:

Step 1 — Choosing a topic

Argumentative essay writing starts with selecting a topic with two or more main points so you can argue your position. Avoid topics that are too broad or have a clear right or wrong answer.

How-to-choose-a-topic-for-argumentative-essays

Use a semantic search engine to search for papers. Refine by subject area, publication date, citation count, institution, author, journal, and more to narrow down on promising topics. Explore citation interlinkages to ensure you pick a topic with sufficient academic discourse to allow crafting a compelling, evidence-based argument.

Discover-research-papers-using-SciSpace

Seek an AI research assistant's help to assess a topic's potential and explore various angles quickly. They can generate both generic and custom questions tailored to each research paper. Additionally, look for tools that offer browser extensions . These allow you to interact with papers from sources like ArXiv, PubMed, and Wiley and evaluate potential topics from a broader range of academic databases and repositories.

Review-the-papers-online-using-SciSpace-chrome-extension

Step 2 — Develop a thesis statement

Your thesis statement should clearly and concisely state your position on the topic identified. Ensure to develop a clear thesis statement which is a focused, assertive declaration that guides your discussion. Use strong, active language — avoid vague or passive statements.  Keep it narrowly focused enough to be adequately supported in your essay.

Develop-a-thesis-statement

The SciSpace literature review tool can help you extract thesis statements from existing papers on your chosen topic. Create a custom column called 'thesis statement' to compare multiple perspectives in one place, allowing you to uncover various viewpoints and position your concise thesis statement appropriately.

Use-SciSpace-AI-literature-review-tool-to-extract-thesis-statements

Ask AI assistants questions or summarize key sections to clarify the positions taken in existing papers. This helps sharpen your thesis statement stance and identify gaps. Locate related papers in similar stances.

Step 3 — Researching and gathering evidence

The evidence you collect lends credibility and weight to your claims, convincing readers of your viewpoint. Effective evidence includes facts, statistics, expert opinions, and real-world examples reinforcing your thesis statement.

Use the SciSpace literature review tool to locate and evaluate high-quality studies. It quickly extracts vital insights, methodologies, findings, and conclusions from papers and presents them in a table format. Build custom tables with your uploaded PDFs or bookmarked papers. These tables can be saved for future reference or exported as CSV for further analysis or sharing.

Automate-literature-review-using-SciSpace

AI-powered summarization tools can help you quickly grasp the core arguments and positions from lengthy papers. These can condense long sections or entire author viewpoints into concise summaries. Make PDF annotations to add custom notes and highlights to papers for easy reference. Data extraction tools can automatically pull key statistics from PDFs into spreadsheets for detailed quantitative analysis.

Use-SciSpace-Copilot-AI-Research-assistants-to-extract-core-arguments

Step 4 — Build an outline

The argumentative model you choose will impact your outline's specific structure and progression. If you select the Classical model, your outline will follow a linear structure. On the other hand, if you opt for the Toulmin model, your outline will focus on meticulously mapping out the logical progression of your entire argument. Lastly, if you select the Rogerian model, your outline should explore the opposing viewpoint and seek a middle ground.

While the specific outline structure may vary, always begin the process by stating your central thesis or claim. Identify and organize your argument claims and main supporting points logically, adding 2-3 pieces of evidence under each point. Consider potential counterarguments to your position. Include 1-2 counterarguments for each main point and plan rebuttals to dismantle the opposition's reasoning. This balanced approach strengthens your overall argument.

As you outline, consider saving your notes, highlights, AI-generated summaries, and extracts in a digital notebook. Aggregating all your sources and ideas in one centralized location allows you to quickly refer to them as you draft your outline and essay.

Save-notes-from-research-papers-for-argumentative-essays

To further enhance your workflow, you can use AI-powered writing or GPT tools to help generate an initial structure based on your crucial essay components, such as your thesis statement, main arguments, supporting evidence, counterarguments, and rebuttals.

Step 5 — Write your essay

Begin the introductory paragraph with a hook — a question, a startling statistic, or a bold statement to draw in your readers. Always logically structure your arguments with smooth transitions between ideas. Ensure the body paragraphs of argumentative essays focus on one central point backed by robust quantitative evidence from credible studies, properly cited.

Refer to the notes, highlights, and evidence you've gathered as you write. Organize these materials so that you can easily access and incorporate them into your draft while maintaining a logical flow. Literature review tables or spreadsheets can be beneficial for keeping track of crucial evidence from multiple sources.

argumentative essay writing the body

Quote others in a way that blends seamlessly with the narrative flow. For numerical data, contextualize figures with practical examples. Try to pre-empt counterarguments and systematically dismantle them. Maintain an evidence-based, objective tone that avoids absolutism and emotional appeals. If you encounter overly complex sections during the writing process, use a paraphraser tool to rephrase and clarify the language. Finally, neatly tie together the rationale behind your position and directions for further discourse or research.

Step 6 — Edit, revise, and add references

Set the draft aside so that you review it with fresh eyes. Check for clarity, conciseness, logical flow, and grammar. Ensure the body reflects your thesis well. Fill gaps in reasoning. Check that every claim links back to credible evidence. Replace weak arguments. Finally, format your citations and bibliography using your preferred style.

Chat-with-PDF-using-SciSpace-Copilot

To simplify editing, save the rough draft or entire essay as a PDF and upload it to an AI-based chat-with-PDF tool. Use it to identify gaps in reasoning, weaker arguments requiring ample evidence, structural issues hampering the clarity of ideas, and suggestions for strengthening your essay.

SciSpace-AI-Citation-Generator

Use a citation tool to generate citations for sources instantly quoted and quickly compile your bibliography or works cited in RIS/BibTex formats. Export the updated literature review tables as handy CSV files to share with co-authors or reviewers in collaborative projects or attach them as supplementary data for journal submissions. You can also refer to this article that provides you with argumentative essay writing tips .

Final thoughts

Remember, the strength of your argumentative essay lies in the clarity of your strong argument, the robustness of supporting evidence, and the consideration with which you treat opposing viewpoints. Refining these core skills will make you a sharper, more convincing writer and communicator.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Body Paragraphs

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Body paragraphs: Moving from general to specific information

Your paper should be organized in a manner that moves from general to specific information. Every time you begin a new subject, think of an inverted pyramid - The broadest range of information sits at the top, and as the paragraph or paper progresses, the author becomes more and more focused on the argument ending with specific, detailed evidence supporting a claim. Lastly, the author explains how and why the information she has just provided connects to and supports her thesis (a brief wrap-up or warrant).

This image shows an inverted pyramid that contains the following text. At the wide top of the pyramid, the text reads general information introduction, topic sentence. Moving down the pyramid to the narrow point, the text reads focusing direction of paper, telling. Getting more specific, showing. Supporting details, data. Conclusions and brief wrap up, warrant.

Moving from General to Specific Information

The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)

A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: T ransition, T opic sentence, specific E vidence and analysis, and a B rief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant ) –TTEB!

  • A T ransition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand-off from one idea to the next.
  • A T opic sentence that tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph.
  • Specific E vidence and analysis that supports one of your claims and that provides a deeper level of detail than your topic sentence.
  • A B rief wrap-up sentence that tells the reader how and why this information supports the paper’s thesis. The brief wrap-up is also known as the warrant. The warrant is important to your argument because it connects your reasoning and support to your thesis, and it shows that the information in the paragraph is related to your thesis and helps defend it.

Supporting evidence (induction and deduction)

Induction is the type of reasoning that moves from specific facts to a general conclusion. When you use induction in your paper, you will state your thesis (which is actually the conclusion you have come to after looking at all the facts) and then support your thesis with the facts. The following is an example of induction taken from Dorothy U. Seyler’s Understanding Argument :

There is the dead body of Smith. Smith was shot in his bedroom between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., according to the coroner. Smith was shot with a .32 caliber pistol. The pistol left in the bedroom contains Jones’s fingerprints. Jones was seen, by a neighbor, entering the Smith home at around 11:00 p.m. the night of Smith’s death. A coworker heard Smith and Jones arguing in Smith’s office the morning of the day Smith died.

Conclusion: Jones killed Smith.

Here, then, is the example in bullet form:

  • Conclusion: Jones killed Smith
  • Support: Smith was shot by Jones’ gun, Jones was seen entering the scene of the crime, Jones and Smith argued earlier in the day Smith died.
  • Assumption: The facts are representative, not isolated incidents, and thus reveal a trend, justifying the conclusion drawn.

When you use deduction in an argument, you begin with general premises and move to a specific conclusion. There is a precise pattern you must use when you reason deductively. This pattern is called syllogistic reasoning (the syllogism). Syllogistic reasoning (deduction) is organized in three steps:

  • Major premise
  • Minor premise

In order for the syllogism (deduction) to work, you must accept that the relationship of the two premises lead, logically, to the conclusion. Here are two examples of deduction or syllogistic reasoning:

  • Major premise: All men are mortal.
  • Minor premise: Socrates is a man.
  • Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.
  • Major premise: People who perform with courage and clear purpose in a crisis are great leaders.
  • Minor premise: Lincoln was a person who performed with courage and a clear purpose in a crisis.
  • Conclusion: Lincoln was a great leader.

So in order for deduction to work in the example involving Socrates, you must agree that (1) all men are mortal (they all die); and (2) Socrates is a man. If you disagree with either of these premises, the conclusion is invalid. The example using Socrates isn’t so difficult to validate. But when you move into more murky water (when you use terms such as courage , clear purpose , and great ), the connections get tenuous.

For example, some historians might argue that Lincoln didn’t really shine until a few years into the Civil War, after many Union losses to Southern leaders such as Robert E. Lee.

The following is a clear example of deduction gone awry:

  • Major premise: All dogs make good pets.
  • Minor premise: Doogle is a dog.
  • Conclusion: Doogle will make a good pet.

If you don’t agree that all dogs make good pets, then the conclusion that Doogle will make a good pet is invalid.

When a premise in a syllogism is missing, the syllogism becomes an enthymeme. Enthymemes can be very effective in argument, but they can also be unethical and lead to invalid conclusions. Authors often use enthymemes to persuade audiences. The following is an example of an enthymeme:

If you have a plasma TV, you are not poor.

The first part of the enthymeme (If you have a plasma TV) is the stated premise. The second part of the statement (you are not poor) is the conclusion. Therefore, the unstated premise is “Only rich people have plasma TVs.” The enthymeme above leads us to an invalid conclusion (people who own plasma TVs are not poor) because there are plenty of people who own plasma TVs who are poor. Let’s look at this enthymeme in a syllogistic structure:

  • Major premise: People who own plasma TVs are rich (unstated above).
  • Minor premise: You own a plasma TV.
  • Conclusion: You are not poor.

To help you understand how induction and deduction can work together to form a solid argument, you may want to look at the United States Declaration of Independence. The first section of the Declaration contains a series of syllogisms, while the middle section is an inductive list of examples. The final section brings the first and second sections together in a compelling conclusion.

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The importance of writing argumentative essays in education.

Write argumentative essay

If you want to create a convincing argumentative essay, follow these essential steps:

1. Choose a Controversial Topic: Select a topic that sparks debate and has two opposing sides.

2. Research Thoroughly: Gather credible sources to support your arguments and counterarguments.

3. Develop a Strong Thesis: Clearly state your position in a concise and debatable thesis statement.

4. Outline Your Argument: Organize your points logically and plan the structure of your essay.

5. Write with Conviction: Craft each paragraph with strong evidence and persuasive language.

6. Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge opposing views and refute them to strengthen your argument.

7. Conclude Effectively: Summarize your key points and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

Follow these steps to create a compelling argumentative essay that will engage your audience and showcase your writing skills.

Understanding the Topic

Before you start writing your argumentative essay, it is crucial to fully grasp the topic you are dealing with. Take the time to research and gather information about the issue from reliable sources. This will help you form a solid foundation for your arguments and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter.

When analyzing the topic, consider different perspectives and viewpoints that exist around it. Identify the key components of the issue and determine the main arguments that are being made. This will enable you to present a well-rounded view in your essay and address potential counterarguments effectively.

Additionally, it is essential to define the scope of the topic and establish the boundaries of your argument. Be specific and focused in your approach to avoid ambiguity and ensure clarity in your writing. By understanding the topic thoroughly, you will be better equipped to craft a compelling argumentative essay that engages readers and persuades them to consider your point of view.

Researching Key Points

Once you have chosen a topic for your argumentative essay, the next step is to research key points that will support your argument. This involves conducting thorough research to gather evidence and data that will strengthen your position.

Identify Reliable Sources: Start by identifying credible sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites. Make sure to use sources that are current and relevant to your topic.

Analyze and Evaluate Information: As you gather information, critically analyze and evaluate the sources to determine their credibility and reliability. Consider the author’s credentials, the publication date, and any potential biases.

Organize Your Research: Create an outline or a structured plan to organize your research findings. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you include all the necessary information in your essay.

Take Notes: While researching key points, take detailed notes to keep track of important information and ideas. Note down key statistics, quotes, and arguments that you can use to support your thesis.

Use Different Perspectives: Explore different perspectives on the topic to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Consider counterarguments and opposing viewpoints to address them effectively in your essay.

Stay Objective: It’s important to remain impartial and objective during the research process. Base your arguments on facts and evidence rather than personal opinions or emotions.

By thoroughly researching key points, you can develop a strong argumentative essay that persuasively presents your position on the topic.

Present the Key Arguments: In the body of your argumentative essay, elaborate on your main points. Each paragraph should focus on a single argument and provide supporting evidence or examples to back it up. Make sure to address opposing views and counterarguments to strengthen your stance.

Logical Organization: Structure your essay in a logical manner by following a clear progression of ideas. Start with an introduction that introduces the topic and presents your thesis statement. Then, develop your arguments in the body paragraphs, ensuring a smooth transition between each point. Conclude the essay with a strong summary that reinforces your main arguments.

Evidence and Examples: Support each argument with relevant evidence and examples to make your points convincing and persuasive. Use credible sources, statistics, quotations, and real-life examples to back up your claims. Make sure to explain how the evidence supports your argument to make your essay more compelling.

Engage the Reader: Keep your audience engaged by using varied sentence structures, transitions, and vivid language. Use persuasive techniques such as rhetorical questions, anecdotes, and emotional appeals to capture the reader’s attention and make your essay more impactful.

Creating a Thesis Statement

One of the most crucial elements of crafting a compelling argumentative essay is creating a strong thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the central argument that you will be defending or proving throughout your essay. It should be clear, concise, and specific, setting the tone for the rest of your paper.

When crafting your thesis statement, make sure to clearly state your position on the topic and provide a brief overview of the main points you will be discussing to support your argument. Avoid vague or general statements and strive to make your thesis statement debatable and thought-provoking.

Remember that your thesis statement should guide the reader through your essay, providing a roadmap for what to expect and highlighting the key points you will be addressing. It is the foundation upon which your argumentative essay will be built, so take the time to craft a compelling and effective thesis statement that will set the stage for a persuasive essay.

Structuring the Essay

Structuring the Essay

When structuring an argumentative essay, it is important to follow a clear and logical format. A well-structured essay will help you present your arguments effectively and persuade your audience. Here are some key steps to structuring your argumentative essay:

  • Introduction: Start with a strong introduction that provides background information on the topic and clearly states your thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Organize your arguments in separate paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point and include evidence to support your argument.
  • Counterarguments: Acknowledge opposing views in your essay and counter them with compelling evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your key points and restate your thesis in the conclusion. Leave your readers with a strong closing statement that highlights the importance of your argument.

By structuring your essay in this way, you can effectively communicate your ideas and persuade your audience to agree with your viewpoint. Remember to use clear and concise language throughout your essay to make your argument compelling and convincing.

Developing Arguments

With a clear understanding of your topic and a strong thesis statement in place, the next step is to develop compelling arguments to support your position. Here are some key strategies to help you build a convincing argumentative essay:

Start by conducting thorough research to gather evidence and supporting data for your argument. Look for credible sources, statistics, and examples that will strengthen your position.
Create a logical outline that organizes your key points and evidence effectively. This will help you stay organized and ensure a coherent flow in your essay.
Acknowledge and address counterarguments to show that you have considered different perspectives. Refuting opposing views will strengthen your argument and persuade your audience.
Use logical reasoning and sound evidence to support your claims. Avoid fallacies and emotional appeals, focusing instead on well-supported arguments.
Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs that present your arguments cohesively, and a strong conclusion that reinforces your main points.

By following these steps and crafting strong arguments, you can create a compelling argumentative essay that persuades your readers and effectively conveys your viewpoint.

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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.

body_argue

Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.

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3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

What's Next?

Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!

You'll probably also need to write research papers for school. We've got you covered with 113 potential topics for research papers.

Your college admissions essay may end up being one of the most important essays you write. Follow our step-by-step guide on writing a personal statement to have an essay that'll impress colleges.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Module 9: Academic Argument

The argumentative essay, learning objectives.

  • Examine types of argumentative essays

Argumentative Essays

You may have heard it said that all writing is an argument of some kind. Even if you’re writing an informative essay, you still have the job of trying to convince your audience that the information is important. However, there are times you’ll be asked to write an essay that is specifically an argumentative piece.

An argumentative essay is one that makes a clear assertion or argument about some topic or issue. When you’re writing an argumentative essay, it’s important to remember that an academic argument is quite different from a regular, emotional argument. Note that sometimes students forget the academic aspect of an argumentative essay and write essays that are much too emotional for an academic audience. It’s important for you to choose a topic you feel passionately about (if you’re allowed to pick your topic), but you have to be sure you aren’t too emotionally attached to a topic. In an academic argument, you’ll have a lot more constraints you have to consider, and you’ll focus much more on logic and reasoning than emotions.

A cartoon person with a heart in one hand and a brain in the other.

Figure 1 . When writing an argumentative essay, students must be able to separate emotion based arguments from logic based arguments in order to appeal to an academic audience.

Argumentative essays are quite common in academic writing and are often an important part of writing in all disciplines. You may be asked to take a stand on a social issue in your introduction to writing course, but you could also be asked to take a stand on an issue related to health care in your nursing courses or make a case for solving a local environmental problem in your biology class. And, since argument is such a common essay assignment, it’s important to be aware of some basic elements of a good argumentative essay.

When your professor asks you to write an argumentative essay, you’ll often be given something specific to write about. For example, you may be asked to take a stand on an issue you have been discussing in class. Perhaps, in your education class, you would be asked to write about standardized testing in public schools. Or, in your literature class, you might be asked to argue the effects of protest literature on public policy in the United States.

However, there are times when you’ll be given a choice of topics. You might even be asked to write an argumentative essay on any topic related to your field of study or a topic you feel that is important personally.

Whatever the case, having some knowledge of some basic argumentative techniques or strategies will be helpful as you write. Below are some common types of arguments.

Causal Arguments

  • You write about how something has caused something else. For example, you might explore the increase of industrial pollution and the resulting decline of large mammals in the world’s ocean.

Evaluation Arguments

  • You can write an argumentative evaluation of something as “good” or “bad,” but you also need to establish the criteria for “good” or “bad.” For example, you might evaluate a children’s book for your Introduction to Educational Theory class, but you would need to establish clear criteria for your evaluation for your audience.

Proposal Arguments

  • With this type of writing, you need to propose a solution to a problem. First, you must establish a clear problem and then propose a specific solution to that problem. For example, you might argue for a removal of parking fines on students who use the parking deck on campus.

Narrative Arguments

  • For this type of argument, you make your case by telling a story with a clear point related to your argument. For example, you might write a narrative about your negative experiences with standardized testing in order to make a case for reform.

Rebuttal Arguments

  • In a rebuttal argument, you build your case around refuting an idea or ideas that have come before. In other words, your starting point is to challenge the ideas of the past. For this type of writing assignment, you have to explain what you are refuting first, and then you can expand on your new ideas or perspectives.

Definition Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you use a definition as the starting point for making your case. For example, in a definition argument, you might argue that NCAA basketball players should be defined as professional players and, therefore, should be paid.

Essay Examples

  • You can read more about an argumentative essay on the consequences of fast fashion . Read it and look at the comments to recognize strategies and techniques the author uses to convey her ideas.
  • In this example, you’ll see a sample argumentative paper from a psychology class submitted in APA format. Key parts of the argumentative structure have been noted for you in the sample.

Link to Learning

For more examples of types of argumentative essays, visit the Argumentative Purposes section of the Excelsior OWL .

  • Argumentative Essay. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/argumentative-essay/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Image of a man with a heart and a brain. Authored by : Mohamed Hassan. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : https://pixabay.com/illustrations/decision-brain-heart-mind-4083469/ . License : Other . License Terms : https://pixabay.com/service/terms/#license

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Humanities LibreTexts

6.3: Persuasion

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  • Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams
  • University of Hawaii via University of Hawaiʻi OER

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Writers of persuasive essays take a stand on a controversial issue and give well-researched arguments to support this position. This section will help students define the persuasive essay as well as understand its purpose and structure.

What is an Argument?

In today’s society, arguments are all around us, in our every waking moment throughout the day, whether in online ads or in the messages one reads on one’s favorite box of cereal. The ability to think critically in terms of deciding what to believe is highly important due to the fact that individuals are bombarded by arguments, on the internet and elsewhere, on a daily basis. Deciding what arguments to accept or reject not only makes for a good essay, but has implications for success in life and for one’s future career.

Understanding the nature of argument is essential to writing a good persuasive essay. So, what is argument? It is not the act of proving who is right or wrong. Television and social media convey argument as a means of proving one’s point for the sake of arguing. This is not argument. Ancient rhetoricians such as Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates understood argument in terms of truth-seeking, and conceptualized it as a means of preventing war. In this vein, good writers engage in truth-seeking to find out what is valid so that they may communicate truths to others. Sometimes in this process of truth-seeking, the writers themselves may change their minds on a given topic. Leaders such as Queen Lili‘uokalani and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrate argument as a means of engaging in truth-seeking. See A Letter of Protest (Queen Lili‘uokalani of Hawai‘i, 1898) and Letter from a Birmingham Jail (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., AU, University of Alabama, April 16, 1963).

Structure of a Persuasive Essay

Before students begin creating persuasive essays, they should engage in preliminary research. Persuasive essays often include quotes or paraphrases from experts or statistics from academic studies. These essays must also demonstrate the writer’s ability to think critically and to avoid logical errors.

Note: Persuasive essays often require research, so students should see the Research and Plagiarism chapter of this text before drafting the essay.

After writers have conducted some preliminary research to enter the conversation, they will be ready to begin writing. Drafting should include at least four aspects:

  • Introduction and thesis
  • Strong arguments and evidence in support of thesis
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas
  • A compelling and satisfying conclusion

Creating an Introduction and Thesis

The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general issue. The role of this paragraph is to do the following:

  • Create interest.
  • Introduce a controversial topic.
  • Include a thesis statement that clearly presents the writer’s position on the chosen issue, and the major points to be discussed. Instructors will give students further guidelines on where the thesis should appear, but it is usually located at the very end of the introduction.

Strong Arguments and Evidence in Support of the Thesis

The body of the persuasive essay presents the reasons for the writer’s position on the issue. Writers should provide at least three solid reasons for their position.

When developing arguments and evidence, a writer would be wise to do the following:

  • Provide at least one paragraph for each reason that is presented (though some reasons may require more than one paragraph). Clearly state each reason in a topic sentence.
  • Provide sufficient evidence for each reason. Much of the evidence will come from research, though writers can effectively integrate their own knowledge as evidence.
  • Explain ideas thoroughly and carefully, connecting one’s sources together smoothly and logically.
  • Provide follow-up discussion or explanation for the researched information one has provided.
  • Remember that arguments are usually “won” or “lost” on the quantity and quality of the evidence.

Ways to Persuade

There are three primary ways to appeal to the emotion and response of readers: ethos, logos, and pathos.

Ethos is the appeal to what is right, fair and trustworthy. For example, if Aaron is arguing for more access to parks in Hawai‘i for individuals who are disabled, he could do so by pointing out that many citizens who happen to have some sort of disability pay taxes that support these parks and yet are denied access simply due to design. The unfairness of this situation would appeal to the readers’ sense of what is right or fair.

Logos appeals to the reader’s logic and reason. If Aaron is arguing for the need to make college tuition more affordable or even free, such as is the case in Norway, Sweden, and Germany, among other countries, and he uses statistics about the number of students who would not be able to obtain a college degree without some country-wide assistance, he is appealing to his reader’s logic.

An argument with pathos appeals to the reader’s emotions. In his essay in favor of students joining a sports team in high school, he could highlight his own experience of overcoming fears and physical challenges while running in high school. Such an approach would pull the heartstrings of his readers who are touched by his success due to the self-discipline, social connections, and physical strength he developed through running on a team.

Addressing Opposing Ideas and the Author’s Position

Any good argument anticipates the opposing arguments and attempts to answer or refute its main points. In refuting the opposing point, writers do the following:

  • Address at least one major opposing point. Writers briefly summarize viewpoints on the other side of the argument.
  • Provide reasons and evidence showing the weaknesses in this opposing idea. They may address more than one opposing viewpoint.

Conclusion: Call to Action

The conclusion should provide insight into the significance of the issue. Most important is the fact that such a conclusion would do well not to use the word “should” as in the following. “In order for the United States to increase college attendance, encourage young people to seek out higher education and advanced knowledge to be used within the professional world, and truly support the process of learning, making college tuition more affordable or even free is key.”

If writers have proven their stance within the body paragraphs using examples and quoted, paraphrased, or summarized information from professionals within the given community, a “should” isn’t needed because the reader has already been convinced.

  • What facts (logos) does the advertiser provide?
  • What emotions do you feel after viewing the advertisement?
  • What occurred in the advertisement to cause these emotions (pathos)?
  • What occurred in the advertisement that appealed to your sense of morals and ethics (ethos)?
  • Overall, was the advertisement effective to persuade you to purchase their product? Why or why not?

Further Resources

  • Read more about writing a thesis statement in the handout by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Thesis Statements , The Writing Center.
  • Watch the following video to learn more about persuasive appeals: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
  • Read more about counterarguments and the language used to signal the counterargument and refutation in this handout by Harvard College Writing Center: Counterargument , Writing Resources.
  • See sample persuasive essays in “Chapter 15: Introduction to Sample Essays,” Writing for Success.
  • Other sample persuasive essays are “Online Monitoring: A Threat to Employee Privacy in the Wired Workplace“; (Hacker), and “ Performance Enhancement through Biotechnology Has No Place in Sports “; (Hacker). These essays are excellent references because they contain notes in the margins that explain the components of the essays and MLA format.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). “ Transitional Devices ,” The Purdue OWL.

Works Cited

Hacker, Diana. Writer’s Reference . Bedford/St. Martins, 2007.

King, Jr., Martin Luther. “ Letter from a Birmingham Jail ,” AU, University of Alabama , April 16, 1963.

Lili`uokalani (Queen of Hawai`i). Letter to the U.S. House of Representatives (protesting U.S. assertion of ownership of Hawai`i), U.S. National Archives, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Record Group 233, Record HR 55A-H28.3, 19 December 1898.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

Allison Bressmer

Allison Bressmer

How to write a persuasive essay

Most composition classes you’ll take will teach the art of persuasive writing. That’s a good thing.

Knowing where you stand on issues and knowing how to argue for or against something is a skill that will serve you well both inside and outside of the classroom.

Persuasion is the art of using logic to prompt audiences to change their mind or take action , and is generally seen as accomplishing that goal by appealing to emotions and feelings.

A persuasive essay is one that attempts to get a reader to agree with your perspective.

What is a persuasive essay?

Ready for some tips on how to produce a well-written, well-rounded, well-structured persuasive essay? Just say yes. I don’t want to have to write another essay to convince you!

How Do I Write a Persuasive Essay?

What are some good topics for a persuasive essay, how do i identify an audience for my persuasive essay, how do you create an effective persuasive essay, how should i edit my persuasive essay.

Your persuasive essay needs to have the three components required of any essay: the introduction , body , and conclusion .

That is essay structure. However, there is flexibility in that structure.

There is no rule (unless the assignment has specific rules) for how many paragraphs any of those sections need.

Although the components should be proportional; the body paragraphs will comprise most of your persuasive essay.

What should every essay include?

How Do I Start a Persuasive Essay?

As with any essay introduction, this paragraph is where you grab your audience’s attention, provide context for the topic of discussion, and present your thesis statement.

TIP 1: Some writers find it easier to write their introductions last. As long as you have your working thesis, this is a perfectly acceptable approach. From that thesis, you can plan your body paragraphs and then go back and write your introduction.

TIP 2: Avoid “announcing” your thesis. Don’t include statements like this:

  • “In my essay I will show why extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”
  • “The purpose of my essay is to argue that extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”

Announcements take away from the originality, authority, and sophistication of your writing.

Instead, write a convincing thesis statement that answers the question "so what?" Why is the topic important, what do you think about it, and why do you think that? Be specific.

How Many Paragraphs Should a Persuasive Essay Have?

This body of your persuasive essay is the section in which you develop the arguments that support your thesis. Consider these questions as you plan this section of your essay:

  • What arguments support your thesis?
  • What is the best order for your arguments?
  • What evidence do you have?
  • Will you address the opposing argument to your own?
  • How can you conclude convincingly?

The body of a persuasive essay

TIP: Brainstorm and do your research before you decide which arguments you’ll focus on in your discussion. Make a list of possibilities and go with the ones that are strongest, that you can discuss with the most confidence, and that help you balance your rhetorical triangle .

What Should I Put in the Conclusion of a Persuasive Essay?

The conclusion is your “mic-drop” moment. Think about how you can leave your audience with a strong final comment.

And while a conclusion often re-emphasizes the main points of a discussion, it shouldn’t simply repeat them.

TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there’s no time to develop it now that you’ve reached the end of your discussion!

TIP 2 : As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don’t start your conclusion with “in conclusion” or “to conclude” or “to end my essay” type statements. Your audience should be able to see that you are bringing the discussion to a close without those overused, less sophisticated signals.

The conclusion of a persuasive essay

If your instructor has assigned you a topic, then you’ve already got your issue; you’ll just have to determine where you stand on the issue. Where you stand on your topic is your position on that topic.

Your position will ultimately become the thesis of your persuasive essay: the statement the rest of the essay argues for and supports, intending to convince your audience to consider your point of view.

If you have to choose your own topic, use these guidelines to help you make your selection:

  • Choose an issue you truly care about
  • Choose an issue that is actually debatable

Simple “tastes” (likes and dislikes) can’t really be argued. No matter how many ways someone tries to convince me that milk chocolate rules, I just won’t agree.

It’s dark chocolate or nothing as far as my tastes are concerned.

Similarly, you can’t convince a person to “like” one film more than another in an essay.

You could argue that one movie has superior qualities than another: cinematography, acting, directing, etc. but you can’t convince a person that the film really appeals to them.

Debatable and non-debatable concepts

Once you’ve selected your issue, determine your position just as you would for an assigned topic. That position will ultimately become your thesis.

Until you’ve finalized your work, consider your thesis a “working thesis.”

This means that your statement represents your position, but you might change its phrasing or structure for that final version.

When you’re writing an essay for a class, it can seem strange to identify an audience—isn’t the audience the instructor?

Your instructor will read and evaluate your essay, and may be part of your greater audience, but you shouldn’t just write for your teacher.

Think about who your intended audience is.

For an argument essay, think of your audience as the people who disagree with you—the people who need convincing.

That population could be quite broad, for example, if you’re arguing a political issue, or narrow, if you’re trying to convince your parents to extend your curfew.

Once you’ve got a sense of your audience, it’s time to consult with Aristotle. Aristotle’s teaching on persuasion has shaped communication since about 330 BC. Apparently, it works.

Ethos, pathos and logos

Aristotle taught that in order to convince an audience of something, the communicator needs to balance the three elements of the rhetorical triangle to achieve the best results.

Those three elements are ethos , logos , and pathos .

Ethos relates to credibility and trustworthiness. How can you, as the writer, demonstrate your credibility as a source of information to your audience?

How will you show them you are worthy of their trust?

How to make your essay credible

  • You show you’ve done your research: you understand the issue, both sides
  • You show respect for the opposing side: if you disrespect your audience, they won’t respect you or your ideas

Logos relates to logic. How will you convince your audience that your arguments and ideas are reasonable?

How to use logic in essays

You provide facts or other supporting evidence to support your claims.

That evidence may take the form of studies or expert input or reasonable examples or a combination of all of those things, depending on the specific requirements of your assignment.

Remember: if you use someone else’s ideas or words in your essay, you need to give them credit.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Checker checks your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers so you can be sure of its originality.

Find out more about ProWritingAid’s Plagiarism checks.

Pathos relates to emotion. Audiences are people and people are emotional beings. We respond to emotional prompts. How will you engage your audience with your arguments on an emotional level?

How to use emotion in essays

  • You make strategic word choices : words have denotations (dictionary meanings) and also connotations, or emotional values. Use words whose connotations will help prompt the feelings you want your audience to experience.
  • You use emotionally engaging examples to support your claims or make a point, prompting your audience to be moved by your discussion.

Be mindful as you lean into elements of the triangle. Too much pathos and your audience might end up feeling manipulated, roll their eyes and move on.

An “all logos” approach will leave your essay dry and without a sense of voice; it will probably bore your audience rather than make them care.

Once you’ve got your essay planned, start writing! Don’t worry about perfection, just get your ideas out of your head and off your list and into a rough essay format.

After you’ve written your draft, evaluate your work. What works and what doesn’t? For help with evaluating and revising your work, check out this ProWritingAid post on manuscript revision .

After you’ve evaluated your draft, revise it. Repeat that process as many times as you need to make your work the best it can be.

When you’re satisfied with the content and structure of the essay, take it through the editing process .

Grammatical or sentence-level errors can distract your audience or even detract from the ethos—the authority—of your work.

You don’t have to edit alone! ProWritingAid’s Realtime Report will find errors and make suggestions for improvements.

You can even use it on emails to your professors:

ProWritingAid's Realtime Report

Try ProWritingAid with a free account.

How Can I Improve My Persuasion Skills?

You can develop your powers of persuasion every day just by observing what’s around you.

  • How is that advertisement working to convince you to buy a product?
  • How is a political candidate arguing for you to vote for them?
  • How do you “argue” with friends about what to do over the weekend, or convince your boss to give you a raise?
  • How are your parents working to convince you to follow a certain academic or career path?

As you observe these arguments in action, evaluate them. Why are they effective or why do they fail?

How could an argument be strengthened with more (or less) emphasis on ethos, logos, and pathos?

Every argument is an opportunity to learn! Observe them, evaluate them, and use them to perfect your own powers of persuasion.

argumentative essay writing the body

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Allison Bressmer is a professor of freshman composition and critical reading at a community college and a freelance writer. If she isn’t writing or teaching, you’ll likely find her reading a book or listening to a podcast while happily sipping a semi-sweet iced tea or happy-houring with friends. She lives in New York with her family. Connect at linkedin.com/in/allisonbressmer.

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argumentative essay writing the body

A claim is a formal request for compensation, reimbursement, or acknowledgment of a right. It often involves submitting relevant documentation to support the demand. For instance, a Payment Claim is submitted to receive due payment for services rendered, while an Authorization Letter to Claim grants permission for another person to claim on behalf of the rightful owner. In specialized fields, a Construction Claim addresses disputes or additional costs in building projects, and an Insurance Claim seeks financial recovery for losses covered under an insurance policy.

What is Claim?

A claim is a formal request for compensation, reimbursement, or acknowledgment of a right, often supported by relevant documentation. It is commonly used in various contexts such as payments, insurance, and legal disputes.

Examples of Claim

Examples-of-Claim

  • Payment Claim – Requesting payment for completed work or services rendered.
  • Insurance Claim – Seeking compensation for damages covered by an insurance policy.
  • Warranty Claim – Requesting repair or replacement of a defective product under warranty.
  • Construction Claim – Demanding additional payment due to unforeseen costs or changes in a construction project.
  • Medical Claim – Seeking reimbursement for medical expenses from an insurance provider.
  • Travel Claim – Requesting compensation for travel-related issues like delays or cancellations.
  • Tax Claim – Filing for a refund of overpaid taxes.
  • Unemployment Claim – Applying for unemployment benefits after losing a job.
  • Legal Claim – Initiating a lawsuit to seek damages or enforce rights.
  • Return Claim – Requesting a refund or exchange for a purchased product.
  • Accident Claim – Seeking compensation for injuries or damages from an accident.
  • Compensation Claim – Requesting payment for work-related injuries or losses.
  • Insurance Claim for Natural Disaster – Asking for financial assistance after damages from a natural disaster.
  • Shipping Claim – Seeking reimbursement for lost or damaged goods during shipping.
  • Bank Claim – Disputing unauthorized transactions on a bank account.
  • Intellectual Property Claim – Asserting rights over copyrighted or patented material.
  • Rebate Claim – Requesting a partial refund for a purchased product as part of a promotion.
  • Inheritance Claim – Seeking a share of an estate as an heir.
  • Student Loan Claim – Requesting forgiveness or discharge of student loan debt.
  • Utility Claim – Disputing charges or requesting reimbursement for service outages from utility providers.

Types of Claims

  • Factual Claims: Statements that can be proven true or false based on evidence or facts. They rely on verifiable data and objective research.
  • Value Claims: Assertions that evaluate the worth, rightness, or morality of something. These claims often reflect personal or societal values and are subjective.
  • Policy Claims: Proposals for action or change, suggesting what should be done in a particular situation. They advocate for specific policies or courses of action.
  • Definition Claims: Arguments about the meaning or categorization of a term or concept. They seek to define or redefine the way something is understood.
  • Cause and Effect Claims: Statements that argue a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more things. They explain how one event leads to another.
  • Comparative Claims: Assertions that compare one thing to another, highlighting similarities or differences. These claims evaluate relative qualities or characteristics.
  • Predictive Claims: Forecasts about what will happen in the future based on current evidence or trends. They anticipate outcomes and future events.

Claim in a sentences

A claim in a sentence is a statement or assertion that expresses a belief, opinion, or point of view, often serving as the main argument or thesis in a piece of writing. For example, “Regular exercise improves mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.

What is Claim Reason Evidence in Writing?

Claim : A claim is the main argument or thesis statement of a piece of writing. It is the writer’s position on a particular topic or issue. The claim should be specific, debatable, and clearly stated.

Example: Claim: “School uniforms improve student behavior and academic performance.”

Reason : A reason explains why the claim is valid. It provides the rationale behind the claim and shows why the reader should accept it. Reasons should be logical and directly support the claim.

Example: Reason: “Uniforms create a sense of equality among students, reducing peer pressure and distractions.”

Evidence : Evidence consists of facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, or other data that support the reason. It provides concrete proof that the reason is valid and, consequently, that the claim is true.

Example: Evidence: “A study conducted by XYZ University found that schools with uniform policies saw a 20% decrease in disciplinary issues and a 15% increase in test scores.”

Claim of policy

A claim of policy is a statement that advocates for a specific course of action or change in policy. It suggests that certain actions should be taken to address a problem or improve a situation. This type of claim often includes a proposal for a solution and is typically supported by evidence showing why the proposed action is necessary and beneficial.

Examples of Claims of Policy:

  • Education: “Schools should implement a mandatory financial literacy curriculum to better prepare students for managing their personal finances.”
  • Environment: “The government should ban single-use plastics to reduce environmental pollution and protect marine life.”
  • Healthcare: “All countries should adopt universal healthcare systems to ensure that every citizen has access to essential medical services.”
  • Workplace: “Companies should offer flexible work-from-home options to improve employee productivity and job satisfaction.”
  • Public Safety: “Cities should invest in more extensive public transportation networks to reduce traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.”

Components of a Claim of Policy:

  • Problem Identification: Clearly define the issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Proposed Solution: Outline the specific action or change in policy being advocated.
  • Justification: Provide reasons and evidence to support why the proposed solution is necessary and beneficial.
  • Implementation: Suggest how the proposed policy can be effectively implemented.

Argumentative Essay of Claim

Writing an argumentative essay involves presenting a clear stance on a particular issue and providing evidence to support your position. This type of essay requires critical thinking, strong reasoning, and a structured approach to persuade the reader of your viewpoint. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you craft a compelling argumentative essay.

Understanding the Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that presents a claim and supports it with evidence and reasoning. The goal is to convince the reader to accept or at least seriously consider your perspective.

Structure of an Argumentative Essay

  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Counterarguments and Rebuttals

1. Introduction

The introduction sets the stage for your essay. It should:

  • Provide background information on the topic.
  • Present the issue at hand.
  • Capture the reader’s attention.

“In today’s digital age, the use of social media has become ubiquitous. While it offers numerous benefits, there is a growing concern about its impact on mental health. This essay will argue that excessive social media use leads to increased anxiety and depression among teenagers.”

2. Thesis Statement

The thesis statement clearly states your main argument. It should be concise and specific.

“Excessive use of social media contributes to heightened anxiety and depression among teenagers.”

3. Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should focus on one main idea that supports your thesis. Include evidence such as statistics, quotes, studies, and real-life examples.

Paragraph 1:

  • Topic Sentence: Excessive social media use disrupts sleep patterns.
  • Evidence: Studies show that teens who use social media excessively are more likely to experience poor sleep quality.
  • Explanation: Poor sleep quality is linked to increased anxiety and depression.

Paragraph 2:

  • Topic Sentence: Social media promotes unrealistic expectations.
  • Evidence: A survey revealed that 60% of teenagers feel pressured to look perfect on social media.
  • Explanation: This pressure can lead to low self-esteem and mental health issues.

Paragraph 3:

  • Topic Sentence: Online bullying is prevalent on social media platforms.
  • Evidence: Reports indicate that 30% of teenagers have experienced cyberbullying.
  • Explanation: Victims of cyberbullying are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

4. Counterarguments and Rebuttals

Addressing counterarguments strengthens your essay by showing you have considered multiple viewpoints.

Counterargument: Some argue that social media helps teenagers build social connections and support networks.

Rebuttal: While social media can facilitate connections, it often leads to superficial relationships. Moreover, the negative effects on mental health outweigh the potential benefits of these connections.

5. Conclusion

The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate the thesis in light of the evidence presented. It should also provide a final thought or call to action.

What is a claim in an argumentative essay?

A claim is the main argument or stance you take on a particular issue in your essay.

How should I state my claim?

State your claim clearly and concisely in the thesis statement of your introduction.

Can a claim be a question?

No, a claim should be a declarative statement, not a question.

How many claims should an essay have?

Generally, one main claim is supported by several smaller, supporting claims.

What makes a strong claim?

A strong claim is specific, debatable, and backed by evidence.

Can a claim be a fact?

No, a claim should be an argument that requires support and evidence, not a universally accepted fact.

Do I need to address counterclaims?

Yes, addressing counterclaims strengthens your argument by showing consideration of opposing views.

Can a claim change during the writing process?

Yes, refining your claim as you gather more evidence and insights is common.

What is the difference between a claim and a topic sentence?

A claim is the main argument of the essay, while a topic sentence introduces the main idea of a paragraph.

How do I make my claim debatable?

Ensure your claim presents a viewpoint that others might dispute or have differing opinions on.

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Why the Pandemic Probably Started in a Lab, in 5 Key Points

argumentative essay writing the body

By Alina Chan

Dr. Chan is a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard, and a co-author of “Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19.”

This article has been updated to reflect news developments.

On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to the halls of Congress and testified before the House subcommittee investigating the Covid-19 pandemic. He was questioned about several topics related to the government’s handling of Covid-19, including how the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he directed until retiring in 2022, supported risky virus work at a Chinese institute whose research may have caused the pandemic.

For more than four years, reflexive partisan politics have derailed the search for the truth about a catastrophe that has touched us all. It has been estimated that at least 25 million people around the world have died because of Covid-19, with over a million of those deaths in the United States.

Although how the pandemic started has been hotly debated, a growing volume of evidence — gleaned from public records released under the Freedom of Information Act, digital sleuthing through online databases, scientific papers analyzing the virus and its spread, and leaks from within the U.S. government — suggests that the pandemic most likely occurred because a virus escaped from a research lab in Wuhan, China. If so, it would be the most costly accident in the history of science.

Here’s what we now know:

1 The SARS-like virus that caused the pandemic emerged in Wuhan, the city where the world’s foremost research lab for SARS-like viruses is located.

  • At the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a team of scientists had been hunting for SARS-like viruses for over a decade, led by Shi Zhengli.
  • Their research showed that the viruses most similar to SARS‑CoV‑2, the virus that caused the pandemic, circulate in bats that live r oughly 1,000 miles away from Wuhan. Scientists from Dr. Shi’s team traveled repeatedly to Yunnan province to collect these viruses and had expanded their search to Southeast Asia. Bats in other parts of China have not been found to carry viruses that are as closely related to SARS-CoV-2.

argumentative essay writing the body

The closest known relatives to SARS-CoV-2 were found in southwestern China and in Laos.

Large cities

Mine in Yunnan province

Cave in Laos

South China Sea

argumentative essay writing the body

The closest known relatives to SARS-CoV-2

were found in southwestern China and in Laos.

philippines

argumentative essay writing the body

The closest known relatives to SARS-CoV-2 were found

in southwestern China and Laos.

Sources: Sarah Temmam et al., Nature; SimpleMaps

Note: Cities shown have a population of at least 200,000.

argumentative essay writing the body

There are hundreds of large cities in China and Southeast Asia.

argumentative essay writing the body

There are hundreds of large cities in China

and Southeast Asia.

argumentative essay writing the body

The pandemic started roughly 1,000 miles away, in Wuhan, home to the world’s foremost SARS-like virus research lab.

argumentative essay writing the body

The pandemic started roughly 1,000 miles away,

in Wuhan, home to the world’s foremost SARS-like virus research lab.

argumentative essay writing the body

The pandemic started roughly 1,000 miles away, in Wuhan,

home to the world’s foremost SARS-like virus research lab.

  • Even at hot spots where these viruses exist naturally near the cave bats of southwestern China and Southeast Asia, the scientists argued, as recently as 2019 , that bat coronavirus spillover into humans is rare .
  • When the Covid-19 outbreak was detected, Dr. Shi initially wondered if the novel coronavirus had come from her laboratory , saying she had never expected such an outbreak to occur in Wuhan.
  • The SARS‑CoV‑2 virus is exceptionally contagious and can jump from species to species like wildfire . Yet it left no known trace of infection at its source or anywhere along what would have been a thousand-mile journey before emerging in Wuhan.

2 The year before the outbreak, the Wuhan institute, working with U.S. partners, had proposed creating viruses with SARS‑CoV‑2’s defining feature.

  • Dr. Shi’s group was fascinated by how coronaviruses jump from species to species. To find viruses, they took samples from bats and other animals , as well as from sick people living near animals carrying these viruses or associated with the wildlife trade. Much of this work was conducted in partnership with the EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based scientific organization that, since 2002, has been awarded over $80 million in federal funding to research the risks of emerging infectious diseases.
  • The laboratory pursued risky research that resulted in viruses becoming more infectious : Coronaviruses were grown from samples from infected animals and genetically reconstructed and recombined to create new viruses unknown in nature. These new viruses were passed through cells from bats, pigs, primates and humans and were used to infect civets and humanized mice (mice modified with human genes). In essence, this process forced these viruses to adapt to new host species, and the viruses with mutations that allowed them to thrive emerged as victors.
  • By 2019, Dr. Shi’s group had published a database describing more than 22,000 collected wildlife samples. But external access was shut off in the fall of 2019, and the database was not shared with American collaborators even after the pandemic started , when such a rich virus collection would have been most useful in tracking the origin of SARS‑CoV‑2. It remains unclear whether the Wuhan institute possessed a precursor of the pandemic virus.
  • In 2021, The Intercept published a leaked 2018 grant proposal for a research project named Defuse , which had been written as a collaboration between EcoHealth, the Wuhan institute and Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina, who had been on the cutting edge of coronavirus research for years. The proposal described plans to create viruses strikingly similar to SARS‑CoV‑2.
  • Coronaviruses bear their name because their surface is studded with protein spikes, like a spiky crown, which they use to enter animal cells. T he Defuse project proposed to search for and create SARS-like viruses carrying spikes with a unique feature: a furin cleavage site — the same feature that enhances SARS‑CoV‑2’s infectiousness in humans, making it capable of causing a pandemic. Defuse was never funded by the United States . However, in his testimony on Monday, Dr. Fauci explained that the Wuhan institute would not need to rely on U.S. funding to pursue research independently.

argumentative essay writing the body

The Wuhan lab ran risky experiments to learn about how SARS-like viruses might infect humans.

1. Collect SARS-like viruses from bats and other wild animals, as well as from people exposed to them.

argumentative essay writing the body

2. Identify high-risk viruses by screening for spike proteins that facilitate infection of human cells.

argumentative essay writing the body

2. Identify high-risk viruses by screening for spike proteins that facilitate infection of

human cells.

argumentative essay writing the body

In Defuse, the scientists proposed to add a furin cleavage site to the spike protein.

3. Create new coronaviruses by inserting spike proteins or other features that could make the viruses more infectious in humans.

argumentative essay writing the body

4. Infect human cells, civets and humanized mice with the new coronaviruses, to determine how dangerous they might be.

argumentative essay writing the body

  • While it’s possible that the furin cleavage site could have evolved naturally (as seen in some distantly related coronaviruses), out of the hundreds of SARS-like viruses cataloged by scientists, SARS‑CoV‑2 is the only one known to possess a furin cleavage site in its spike. And the genetic data suggest that the virus had only recently gained the furin cleavage site before it started the pandemic.
  • Ultimately, a never-before-seen SARS-like virus with a newly introduced furin cleavage site, matching the description in the Wuhan institute’s Defuse proposal, caused an outbreak in Wuhan less than two years after the proposal was drafted.
  • When the Wuhan scientists published their seminal paper about Covid-19 as the pandemic roared to life in 2020, they did not mention the virus’s furin cleavage site — a feature they should have been on the lookout for, according to their own grant proposal, and a feature quickly recognized by other scientists.
  • Worse still, as the pandemic raged, their American collaborators failed to publicly reveal the existence of the Defuse proposal. The president of EcoHealth, Peter Daszak, recently admitted to Congress that he doesn’t know about virus samples collected by the Wuhan institute after 2015 and never asked the lab’s scientists if they had started the work described in Defuse. In May, citing failures in EcoHealth’s monitoring of risky experiments conducted at the Wuhan lab, the Biden administration suspended all federal funding for the organization and Dr. Daszak, and initiated proceedings to bar them from receiving future grants. In his testimony on Monday, Dr. Fauci said that he supported the decision to suspend and bar EcoHealth.
  • Separately, Dr. Baric described the competitive dynamic between his research group and the institute when he told Congress that the Wuhan scientists would probably not have shared their most interesting newly discovered viruses with him . Documents and email correspondence between the institute and Dr. Baric are still being withheld from the public while their release is fiercely contested in litigation.
  • In the end, American partners very likely knew of only a fraction of the research done in Wuhan. According to U.S. intelligence sources, some of the institute’s virus research was classified or conducted with or on behalf of the Chinese military . In the congressional hearing on Monday, Dr. Fauci repeatedly acknowledged the lack of visibility into experiments conducted at the Wuhan institute, saying, “None of us can know everything that’s going on in China, or in Wuhan, or what have you. And that’s the reason why — I say today, and I’ve said at the T.I.,” referring to his transcribed interview with the subcommittee, “I keep an open mind as to what the origin is.”

3 The Wuhan lab pursued this type of work under low biosafety conditions that could not have contained an airborne virus as infectious as SARS‑CoV‑2.

  • Labs working with live viruses generally operate at one of four biosafety levels (known in ascending order of stringency as BSL-1, 2, 3 and 4) that describe the work practices that are considered sufficiently safe depending on the characteristics of each pathogen. The Wuhan institute’s scientists worked with SARS-like viruses under inappropriately low biosafety conditions .

argumentative essay writing the body

In the United States, virologists generally use stricter Biosafety Level 3 protocols when working with SARS-like viruses.

Biosafety cabinets prevent

viral particles from escaping.

Viral particles

Personal respirators provide

a second layer of defense against breathing in the virus.

DIRECT CONTACT

Gloves prevent skin contact.

Disposable wraparound

gowns cover much of the rest of the body.

argumentative essay writing the body

Personal respirators provide a second layer of defense against breathing in the virus.

Disposable wraparound gowns

cover much of the rest of the body.

Note: ​​Biosafety levels are not internationally standardized, and some countries use more permissive protocols than others.

argumentative essay writing the body

The Wuhan lab had been regularly working with SARS-like viruses under Biosafety Level 2 conditions, which could not prevent a highly infectious virus like SARS-CoV-2 from escaping.

Some work is done in the open air, and masks are not required.

Less protective equipment provides more opportunities

for contamination.

argumentative essay writing the body

Some work is done in the open air,

and masks are not required.

Less protective equipment provides more opportunities for contamination.

  • In one experiment, Dr. Shi’s group genetically engineered an unexpectedly deadly SARS-like virus (not closely related to SARS‑CoV‑2) that exhibited a 10,000-fold increase in the quantity of virus in the lungs and brains of humanized mice . Wuhan institute scientists handled these live viruses at low biosafet y levels , including BSL-2.
  • Even the much more stringent containment at BSL-3 cannot fully prevent SARS‑CoV‑2 from escaping . Two years into the pandemic, the virus infected a scientist in a BSL-3 laboratory in Taiwan, which was, at the time, a zero-Covid country. The scientist had been vaccinated and was tested only after losing the sense of smell. By then, more than 100 close contacts had been exposed. Human error is a source of exposure even at the highest biosafety levels , and the risks are much greater for scientists working with infectious pathogens at low biosafety.
  • An early draft of the Defuse proposal stated that the Wuhan lab would do their virus work at BSL-2 to make it “highly cost-effective.” Dr. Baric added a note to the draft highlighting the importance of using BSL-3 to contain SARS-like viruses that could infect human cells, writing that “U.S. researchers will likely freak out.” Years later, after SARS‑CoV‑2 had killed millions, Dr. Baric wrote to Dr. Daszak : “I have no doubt that they followed state determined rules and did the work under BSL-2. Yes China has the right to set their own policy. You believe this was appropriate containment if you want but don’t expect me to believe it. Moreover, don’t insult my intelligence by trying to feed me this load of BS.”
  • SARS‑CoV‑2 is a stealthy virus that transmits effectively through the air, causes a range of symptoms similar to those of other common respiratory diseases and can be spread by infected people before symptoms even appear. If the virus had escaped from a BSL-2 laboratory in 2019, the leak most likely would have gone undetected until too late.
  • One alarming detail — leaked to The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by current and former U.S. government officials — is that scientists on Dr. Shi’s team fell ill with Covid-like symptoms in the fall of 2019 . One of the scientists had been named in the Defuse proposal as the person in charge of virus discovery work. The scientists denied having been sick .

4 The hypothesis that Covid-19 came from an animal at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan is not supported by strong evidence.

  • In December 2019, Chinese investigators assumed the outbreak had started at a centrally located market frequented by thousands of visitors daily. This bias in their search for early cases meant that cases unlinked to or located far away from the market would very likely have been missed. To make things worse, the Chinese authorities blocked the reporting of early cases not linked to the market and, claiming biosafety precautions, ordered the destruction of patient samples on January 3, 2020, making it nearly impossible to see the complete picture of the earliest Covid-19 cases. Information about dozens of early cases from November and December 2019 remains inaccessible.
  • A pair of papers published in Science in 2022 made the best case for SARS‑CoV‑2 having emerged naturally from human-animal contact at the Wuhan market by focusing on a map of the early cases and asserting that the virus had jumped from animals into humans twice at the market in 2019. More recently, the two papers have been countered by other virologists and scientists who convincingly demonstrate that the available market evidence does not distinguish between a human superspreader event and a natural spillover at the market.
  • Furthermore, the existing genetic and early case data show that all known Covid-19 cases probably stem from a single introduction of SARS‑CoV‑2 into people, and the outbreak at the Wuhan market probably happened after the virus had already been circulating in humans.

argumentative essay writing the body

An analysis of SARS-CoV-2’s evolutionary tree shows how the virus evolved as it started to spread through humans.

SARS-COV-2 Viruses closest

to bat coronaviruses

more mutations

argumentative essay writing the body

Source: Lv et al., Virus Evolution (2024) , as reproduced by Jesse Bloom

argumentative essay writing the body

The viruses that infected people linked to the market were most likely not the earliest form of the virus that started the pandemic.

argumentative essay writing the body

  • Not a single infected animal has ever been confirmed at the market or in its supply chain. Without good evidence that the pandemic started at the Huanan Seafood Market, the fact that the virus emerged in Wuhan points squarely at its unique SARS-like virus laboratory.

5 Key evidence that would be expected if the virus had emerged from the wildlife trade is still missing.

argumentative essay writing the body

In previous outbreaks of coronaviruses, scientists were able to demonstrate natural origin by collecting multiple pieces of evidence linking infected humans to infected animals.

Infected animals

Earliest known

cases exposed to

live animals

Antibody evidence

of animals and

animal traders having

been infected

Ancestral variants

of the virus found in

Documented trade

of host animals

between the area

where bats carry

closely related viruses

and the outbreak site

argumentative essay writing the body

Infected animals found

Earliest known cases exposed to live animals

Antibody evidence of animals and animal

traders having been infected

Ancestral variants of the virus found in animals

Documented trade of host animals

between the area where bats carry closely

related viruses and the outbreak site

argumentative essay writing the body

For SARS-CoV-2, these same key pieces of evidence are still missing , more than four years after the virus emerged.

argumentative essay writing the body

For SARS-CoV-2, these same key pieces of evidence are still missing ,

more than four years after the virus emerged.

  • Despite the intense search trained on the animal trade and people linked to the market, investigators have not reported finding any animals infected with SARS‑CoV‑2 that had not been infected by humans. Yet, infected animal sources and other connective pieces of evidence were found for the earlier SARS and MERS outbreaks as quickly as within a few days, despite the less advanced viral forensic technologies of two decades ago.
  • Even though Wuhan is the home base of virus hunters with world-leading expertise in tracking novel SARS-like viruses, investigators have either failed to collect or report key evidence that would be expected if Covid-19 emerged from the wildlife trade . For example, investigators have not determined that the earliest known cases had exposure to intermediate host animals before falling ill. No antibody evidence shows that animal traders in Wuhan are regularly exposed to SARS-like viruses, as would be expected in such situations.
  • With today’s technology, scientists can detect how respiratory viruses — including SARS, MERS and the flu — circulate in animals while making repeated attempts to jump across species . Thankfully, these variants usually fail to transmit well after crossing over to a new species and tend to die off after a small number of infections. In contrast, virologists and other scientists agree that SARS‑CoV‑2 required little to no adaptation to spread rapidly in humans and other animals . The virus appears to have succeeded in causing a pandemic upon its only detected jump into humans.

The pandemic could have been caused by any of hundreds of virus species, at any of tens of thousands of wildlife markets, in any of thousands of cities, and in any year. But it was a SARS-like coronavirus with a unique furin cleavage site that emerged in Wuhan, less than two years after scientists, sometimes working under inadequate biosafety conditions, proposed collecting and creating viruses of that same design.

While several natural spillover scenarios remain plausible, and we still don’t know enough about the full extent of virus research conducted at the Wuhan institute by Dr. Shi’s team and other researchers, a laboratory accident is the most parsimonious explanation of how the pandemic began.

Given what we now know, investigators should follow their strongest leads and subpoena all exchanges between the Wuhan scientists and their international partners, including unpublished research proposals, manuscripts, data and commercial orders. In particular, exchanges from 2018 and 2019 — the critical two years before the emergence of Covid-19 — are very likely to be illuminating (and require no cooperation from the Chinese government to acquire), yet they remain beyond the public’s view more than four years after the pandemic began.

Whether the pandemic started on a lab bench or in a market stall, it is undeniable that U.S. federal funding helped to build an unprecedented collection of SARS-like viruses at the Wuhan institute, as well as contributing to research that enhanced them . Advocates and funders of the institute’s research, including Dr. Fauci, should cooperate with the investigation to help identify and close the loopholes that allowed such dangerous work to occur. The world must not continue to bear the intolerable risks of research with the potential to cause pandemics .

A successful investigation of the pandemic’s root cause would have the power to break a decades-long scientific impasse on pathogen research safety, determining how governments will spend billions of dollars to prevent future pandemics. A credible investigation would also deter future acts of negligence and deceit by demonstrating that it is indeed possible to be held accountable for causing a viral pandemic. Last but not least, people of all nations need to see their leaders — and especially, their scientists — heading the charge to find out what caused this world-shaking event. Restoring public trust in science and government leadership requires it.

A thorough investigation by the U.S. government could unearth more evidence while spurring whistleblowers to find their courage and seek their moment of opportunity. It would also show the world that U.S. leaders and scientists are not afraid of what the truth behind the pandemic may be.

More on how the pandemic may have started

argumentative essay writing the body

Where Did the Coronavirus Come From? What We Already Know Is Troubling.

Even if the coronavirus did not emerge from a lab, the groundwork for a potential disaster had been laid for years, and learning its lessons is essential to preventing others.

By Zeynep Tufekci

argumentative essay writing the body

Why Does Bad Science on Covid’s Origin Get Hyped?

If the raccoon dog was a smoking gun, it fired blanks.

By David Wallace-Wells

argumentative essay writing the body

A Plea for Making Virus Research Safer

A way forward for lab safety.

By Jesse Bloom

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

Alina Chan ( @ayjchan ) is a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard, and a co-author of “ Viral : The Search for the Origin of Covid-19.” She was a member of the Pathogens Project , which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists organized to generate new thinking on responsible, high-risk pathogen research.

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What is Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group that could go to all-out war against Israel?

Kareem Chehayeb

Associated Press

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

File - Supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group listen to a speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaking via a video link, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have recently ratcheted up their threats of an all-out war. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel last week that if it launches an offensive in Lebanon, his group has new weapons and capabilities it can use against Israeli forces and cities, unlike during their previous wars. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

BEIRUT – After more than eight months of low-scale conflict, Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah are threatening all-out war.

The United States and the international community are lobbying for calm and hopeful for a diplomatic solution. They have not been successful so far and time for a political settlement could be expiring.

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Should war break out, Israel would face a much more formidable foe in Lebanon than it faced in Hamas in the Gaza Strip .

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel last week that his group has new weapons and capabilities, and it has published surveillance drone footage taken deep inside northern Israel that showed the port of Haifa and other sites far from the Lebanon-Israel border.

A look at how Hezbollah became what many call the strongest non-state force in the region.

What is Hezbollah?

Founded in 1982 during Lebanon’s civil war, Hezbollah’s initial objective was ending Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. It achieved that in 2000.

Shiite Muslim Hezbollah is part of a collection of Iranian-backed factions and governments known as the Axis of Resistance. It was the first group that Iran backed and used as a way to export its brand of political Islamism.

In its early days the group attacked U.S. targets, causing Washington to designate it a terrorist organization.

“Iran’s support has helped Hezbollah consolidate its position as Lebanon’s most powerful political actor as well as the most-equipped military actor supported by Iran in the whole of the Middle East,” said Lina Khatib, the director of the SOAS Middle East Institute in London.

Hezbollah fighters ambushed an Israeli patrol in 2006 and took two Israeli soldiers hostage. Hezbollah and Israel fought a monthlong war that ended in a draw but Israeli bombardment wreaked widespread destruction in southern Lebanon.

Israel’s objective was eliminating Hezbollah but the Lebanese group came out stronger and became a key military and political power on Israel's northern border.

Domestic opponents have criticized Hezbollah for maintaining its arsenal and for coming to dominate the government. Hezbollah's reputation also suffered when it briefly seized a section of Beirut in May 2008 after the Lebanese government took measures against its private telecommunications network.

Hezbollah's military capabilities have also surged, and it has played a key role in the Syrian civil war, keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power. And it has helped train Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq, as well as Yemen's Houthi rebels.

What are Hezbollah’s military capabilities?

Throughout its latest conflict with Israel, Hezbollah has gradually introduced new weapons to its arsenal, especially after Israel began its ground invasion of the southern city of Rafah in Gaza in early May.

While Hezbollah initially began launching Cornet anti-tank missiles and salvos of Katyusha rockets, it later started using rockets with heavy warheads, and eventually introduced explosive drones and surface-to-air missiles for the first time. Nasrallah said the drones are locally manufactured, with many at their disposal.

The group notably released the two videos of footage from drones over Haifa and other sites in northern Israel, showing critical civilian and military infrastructure in a move intended to showcase new access and capabilities and deter Israeli attack.

In a televised address last week , Nasrallah said that the group will continue resorting to this tactic.

“We now have new weapons. But I won’t say what they are,” he said. “When the decision is made, they will be seen on the front lines.”

How does Hezbollah compare to other Iranian-backed groups?

Hezbollah is the Arab world’s most significant paramilitary force with a robust internal structure as well as a sizeable arsenal. Israel sees it as its most direct threat, and estimates that it has an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles.

In recent years, Hezbollah sent forces to Syria to help fellow Iranian ally President Bashar Assad against armed opposition groups. It also supported the growth of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Khatib of the SOAS Middle East Institute in London likened Hezbollah to a “big brother” of fledgling Iranian-backed groups that “do not enjoy the same level of infrastructure or discipline.”

Hezbollah is bound to Iran by doctrine. However, its relationship with Hamas, an offshoot of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood movement, is based on pragmatism.

In recent years, some Hamas officials, including its former second-in-command, Saleh al-Arouri, have since moved to Lebanon, where they have Hezbollah’s protection and a presence across Lebanon’s multiple Palestinian refugee camps. Arouri was killed in an Israeli drone strike in a southern Beirut suburb in January.

Who Is Hassan Nasrallah?

Born in 1960 into a poor Shiite family in the Beirut suburb of Bourj Hammoud and later displaced to south Lebanon, Nasrallah studied theology and joined the Amal movement, a Shiite political and paramilitary organization, before becoming one of Hezbollah’s founders.

He became Hezbollah’s leader in 1992 after his predecessor was killed in an Israeli strike.

Idolized by many for presiding over Israel’s withdrawal from the south and leading the 2006 war, his image appears on billboards and on gadgets in souvenir shops in Lebanon, Syria and other countries across the Arab world. But he also faces opposition among Lebanese who accuse him of tying their country’s fate to Iran.

Nasrallah is also considered to be pragmatic, able to make political compromises.

He has lived in hiding for years, fearing Israeli assassination, and delivers his speeches from undisclosed locations.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  2. Argumentative Essay

    How to write an argumentative essay. Regardless of the writer's topic or point of view, an argumentative essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and works cited. ... Argumentative essay body paragraphs. Body paragraphs can be of varying lengths, but they must present a coherent argument unified under a ...

  3. How to Write the Body of an Essay

    The body is always divided into paragraphs. You can work through the body in three main stages: Create an outline of what you want to say and in what order. Write a first draft to get your main ideas down on paper. Write a second draft to clarify your arguments and make sure everything fits together.

  4. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay attempts to convince a reader to agree with a particular argument (the writer's thesis statement). The writer takes a firm stand one way or another on a topic and then uses hard evidence to support that stance. An argumentative essay seeks to prove to the reader that one argument —the writer's argument— is the ...

  5. 3 Key Tips for How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Focus Area #3: Writing the Conclusion. It's common to conclude an argumentative essay by reiterating the thesis statement in some way, either by reminding the reader what the overarching argument was in the first place or by reviewing the main points and evidence that you covered.

  6. How to write an argumentative essay

    The argumentative essay is a key writing skill for students. Learn how to master it in this blog post + example. ... Body paragraphs. Most argumentative essays have at least three body paragraphs that lay out the supporting points in favor of your argument. Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence that presents a separate point that is ...

  7. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    The Body of your Argumentative Essay. This is where you present the details to support your arguments. The main body of your argumentative essay should present analysis, evidence, and interpretation to persuade readers to agree with your viewpoint. For a high school essay that typically follows the standard five-paragraph format, the body comprises three to four paragraphs.

  8. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Tips for Writing a Well-Written Argumentative Essay. Introduce your topic in a bold, direct, and engaging manner to captivate your readers and encourage them to keep reading. Provide sufficient evidence to justify your argument and convince readers to adopt this point of view. Consider, include, and fairly present all sides of the topic.

  9. Argumentative Essay: Topics, Outline and Writing Tips

    The goal of these paragraphs is to support the thesis statement. Recommended areas of focus for the body paragraphs within an argumentative paper include: Identifying and explaining the problem. Identifying the two (or more) sides to the problem. Exploring the side the writer believes is more appropriate than the others.

  10. 12 Essential Steps for Writing an Argumentative Essay (with 10 example

    Here's our 12-step recipe for writing a great argumentative essay: Pick a topic. Choose your research sources. Read your sources and take notes. Create a thesis statement. Choose three main arguments to support your thesis statement —now you have a skeleton outline.

  11. Anatomy of a Body Paragraph

    Anatomy of a Body Paragraph. When you write strong, clear paragraphs, you are guiding your readers through your argument by showing them how your points fit together to support your thesis. The number of paragraphs in your essay should be determined by the number of steps you need to take to build your argument.

  12. Argumentative Essays

    The five-paragraph essay. A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may ...

  13. How To Write An Argumentative Essay

    How to write an argumentative essay. The workflow for crafting an effective argumentative essay involves several key steps: Step 1 — Choosing a topic. Argumentative essay writing starts with selecting a topic with two or more main points so you can argue your position. Avoid topics that are too broad or have a clear right or wrong answer.

  14. How to write an argumentative essay step by step

    Step 3: Draft a structure and write your essay. This step involves outlining the content of your essay in a structure that creates a seamless flow for your argument but also for your reader. Wize Writer is a good tool to use to create this outline and understand better what each section needs (try it for free here).

  15. Body Paragraphs

    A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: T ransition, T opic sentence, specific E vidence and analysis, and a B rief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant) -TTEB! A T ransition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand-off from one idea to the next.

  16. 9.3: The Argumentative Essay

    In an academic argument, you'll have a lot more constraints you have to consider, and you'll focus much more on logic and reasoning than emotions. Figure 1. When writing an argumentative essay, students must be able to separate emotion based arguments from logic based arguments in order to appeal to an academic audience.

  17. Steps to Writing a Compelling Argumentative Essay

    Research Thoroughly: Gather credible sources to support your arguments and counterarguments. 3. Develop a Strong Thesis: Clearly state your position in a concise and debatable thesis statement. 4. Outline Your Argument: Organize your points logically and plan the structure of your essay. 5.

  18. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    Argumentative Essay Example 2. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Each year, over half a billion people will become infected with malaria, with roughly 80% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  19. Argumentative essay

    A. As basketball star Charles Barkley stated in a famous advertising campaign for Nike, he was paid to dominate on the basketball court, not to raise your kids. Many celebrities do consider themselves responsible for setting a good example and create non-profit organizations through which they can benefit youths. B.

  20. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

    4. Write a rough draft. Now at last you are ready to start writing your paper. Start with a short introduction paragraph and then use your outline to draft the body and conclusion. Don't forget to begin each paragraph in the body with a topic sentence that conveys the main argument of that paragraph.

  21. The Argumentative Essay

    In an academic argument, you'll have a lot more constraints you have to consider, and you'll focus much more on logic and reasoning than emotions. Figure 1. When writing an argumentative essay, students must be able to separate emotion based arguments from logic based arguments in order to appeal to an academic audience.

  22. 9.4: Persuasion

    The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general issue. The role of this paragraph is to do the following: Create interest. Introduce a controversial topic. Include a thesis statement that clearly presents the writer's position on the chosen issue, and the major points to be discussed.

  23. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

    TIP 1: Some writers find it easier to write their introductions last. As long as you have your working thesis, this is a perfectly acceptable approach. From that thesis, you can plan your body paragraphs and then go back and write your introduction. TIP 2: Avoid "announcing" your thesis.

  24. Rethinking English essay scores: The argument for ...

    Rethinking English essay scores: The argument for argument over grammar. Date: June 18, 2024. Source: Kobe University. Summary: To get high scores at essay writing tests, learners of English as a ...

  25. Claim

    Argumentative Essay of Claim. Writing an argumentative essay involves presenting a clear stance on a particular issue and providing evidence to support your position. This type of essay requires critical thinking, strong reasoning, and a structured approach to persuade the reader of your viewpoint. ... Each body paragraph should focus on one ...

  26. Teaching & Learning

    As part of its broad-based teaching mission, the AHA develops and shares resources for educators and students. From regional teaching conferences and online programs to pathbreaking research projects, AHA initiatives foster a community grounded in our shared commitment to understanding the past. We support and convene people who share a love of ...

  27. QuillBot: Your complete writing solution

    Start writing clearly and confidently with QuillBot. By enhancing your communication and giving your writing greater impact, we can help you reach your personal and professional goals. Write effortlessly and efficiently with QuillBot's suite of AI tools. Paraphrase, check grammar, analyze tone, improve fluency, and more.

  28. Why the Pandemic Probably Started in a Lab, in 5 Key Points

    Dr. Baric added a note to the draft highlighting the importance of using BSL-3 to contain SARS-like viruses that could infect human cells, writing that "U.S. researchers will likely freak out."

  29. What is Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group that could go to all-out

    If you need help with the Public File, call (313) 222-0556. At WDIV, we are committed to informing and delighting our audience. In our commitment to covering our communities with innovation and ...