Argument -- thoughts about writing oneWhat are your thoughts are writing an argument for a paper?

8 Answers | Add Yours

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I typically suggest that students write an argument paper by focusing mainly on one side of the argument. Often, presenting both sides (especially in a five paragraph essay) detracts from a singular-focus, and causes the paper and the argument to be ultimately weak as a result.

Another rule of thumb in an argumentative paper, is to prove things in threes. This means present three main examples of proof, or categorize proof points into three big categories.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I typically suggest that students write an argument paper by focusing mainly on one side of the argument. Often, presenting both sides (especially in a five paragraph essay) detracts from a singular-focus, and causes the paper and the argument to be ultimately weak as a result.

Another rule of thumb in an argumentative paper, is to prove things in threes. This means present three main examples of proof, or categorize proof points into three big categories.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Your argument has to be clear.  A lot of times people have a difficult time choosing a side and sticking to it.  The most important thing you can do in your thesis is make a clear argument and support that argument in the paper.  You can include counterarguments, but you should be sure to refute them.

Sources:
e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The outline in the above post offers a nicely specific structure to follow in writing an argumentative essay. Once you've chosen a topic and picked a side to argue, you can fill in an outline. 

Some popular topics for this type of essay: 

  • Freedom of Speech - Should speech be more free or more limited than it currently is under the law? 
  • The Death Penalty - Should the death penalty be legal for certain crimes or should it be illegal? 
  • Homework - Some parts of the world are moving to ban homework entirely. Is this a good idea? Why or why not?
tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

An argumentative 5-paragraph essay would follow this pattern:

1st paragraph - Background information and thesis statement

2nd paragraph - Presentation of details that support your thesis statement

3rd paragraph - Present the strongest arguments from the opposition's standpoint in a respectful manner.

4th paragraph - Respond to the points brought up in the third paragraph with factual details that support your argument.

 

5th paragraph - Conclusion - After all of the facts have been given for both sides, present the final statement on the issue at hand that also ties into the thesis statement from above.

mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I agree with the previous posts that when you write an argumentative paper, both sides should be presented with the information you need to show that your position is superior to the other.  The biggest problem is to decide which topic to use for your paper, and then to narrow the topic so that your information can be targeted for that topic.  For example, if you choose the topic of chemicals in the food chain or abortion, the first decision is what is your view.  Narrow the idea to perhaps genetically engineered food and the results of your research.  For abortion, you could argue that the original decision was a mistake, or that most of the American public favor abortion as a decision between a woman and her doctor, not a topic for legislation.  Remember that research clearly presented in support of both sides of the argument is the key to doing this kind of paper well. 

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I certainly agree that more specific information would help us to help you and that you gain more credibility if you present an opposing point of view.  Generally, an argument essay needs support for your argument.  This can be statistics, logic, some opinions from experts, or even an emotional appeal.  But you cannot make an argument without this kind of support. 

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Can you be a bit more specific?  This is a very broad question and we will probably be able to give you more useful answers if you are more specific.

My general thought about writing an argument for a paper is that you should always be even-handed.  What that means is that you should address the other side of the argument.  You should bring up the other side and attempt to make their argument as well as you can.  Then you present your side and, in the process of doing that, explain why your side is more persuasive than the other.

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question