Argumentative Essay Guide - Steps, Types, Topics, and Samples

argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is a common high school and college essay.

Argumentative essays are papers that assert a thesis and support it with evidence. They are used to convince readers of the validity or truthfulness of an idea.

It is written to convince the readers with strong arguments and evidence. Usually, it also includes counterarguments to strengthen the given argument.

These essays help the students develop critical thinking and analysis skills. These skills help them both professionally and personally.

Do you need help writing an A-worthy argumentative essay? Read the blog and learn with thorough examples and topics how you can write a great essay.

What is an Argumentative Essay?

Argumentative essays are common high school and college assignments. This essay requires you to research and defend your position on an issue. Careful research of the literature or previously published material can help you establish your stance well.

The nature of this essay calls for concise arguments that rely heavily on evidence collected by empirical means like interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments.

Thesis and reasoning are the cornerstones of argumentative essays. So, throughout the essay, you will state an argument and provide reasoning to prove that argument.

Qualities of a Good Argumentative Essay

A well-articulated argumentative essay has the following characteristics:

  • A Concise Yet Comprehensive Thesis Statement: A thesis statement is a brief description of your stance on the topic. The thesis statement should convey your opinion to the reader accurately.

    You should start the introduction with an interesting hook and describe the significance of your topic. Place your thesis statement at the end of the introduction paragraph.

  • Transition Words Joining the Essay Paragraphs: Transition words are the glue for your essay. Transitions are important because, without them, the reader might not understand where one idea ends and another begins.

    Without accurate transition words, readers will be left wondering what you're trying to say. It will seem like there's no order or plan. But when transitions are used rightly, they can tie all your arguments together.

  • Body Paragraphs Based on Reasoning: The body paragraphs of an argumentative essay should be based on reasons that justify your stance. These reasons should be backed up by facts and figures, mentioned in each paragraph.

    Each body paragraph should include one reason only, which should be mentioned in its topic sentence. If you keep mixing the reasons in the paragraphs, it will disturb the coherence of your essay.

    Also, keep in mind that your body paragraphs should describe multiple points of view. Since the body of an argumentative is made up of a thesis and antithesis, you will mention the opposing argument also.

  • Different Kinds of Relevant Evidence: In order to create a convincing argumentative essay, one must research thoroughly and with accuracy. Explain your arguments and point of view thoroughly with the help of supporting evidence. Ideally, this evidence should include facts, statistics, and other supporting material.
  • A Conclusion Proving the Thesis: In the conclusion, you should summarize what was said before and emphasize why it is important. The conclusion is your last chance to impact the reader, so you must give them a strong final impression.

    When crafting this section of the essay, the first thing to do is restate why your topic matters and review what you've already discussed. Relate the reasons with your thesis to justify your argument. Finally, always end your conclusion on a positive note.

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Types of an Argumentative Essay

Here are two major types of argumentative essays.

Five Paragraph Argumentative Essays

A five-paragraph essay approach is very straightforward and consists of the following parts.

  • One Introductory paragraph.
  • Three-body paragraphs with supporting evidence in each one.
  • One conclusion paragraph telling how the information relates to your central idea or theme.

Long Argumentative Essays

A long argumentative essay includes more than five paragraphs. When writing about complex issues, it is important to provide a detailed explanation. If the essay requires evidence from research sources or empirical data, five paragraphs will not suffice.

There are too many details that need to be mentioned. Authors may have to discuss different contexts and arguments before concluding their thoughts on the main topic. So, a long argumentative essay gives you the space to write all the detailed arguments.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step?

Here is a step-by-step guide for college students to learn to write this type of essay.

  • 1. Find a Suitable Topic

    Choose a topic that allows you to form an opinion. Another key to choose a topic is to select the topic that interests you or is related to your field.

  • 2. Research on the Topic

    Now you need to research what you have to write in the essay. Read other papers related to your topic. Collect evidence, facts, examples, etc. Form the points for your essay accordingly.

  • 3. Make an Outline

    Make an outline to organize all the information that you have researched. See which points you want to write and which should be omitted. A sample outline for an argumentative essay is given ahead.

  • 4. Write the Essay

    Once you are done outlining, you have to follow it to write your essay. Write the introduction, body, and conclusion. Make sure you include appropriate evidence to support your arguments.

  • 5. Get the Essay Proofread

    After writing the essay, get it proofread by an expert. They will point out the mistakes in the essays. Or, they will suggest improvements that will make your argument better.

  • 6. Create the Final Draft

    Accommodate the suggestions of the expert. Correct the errors that they pointed out and make the necessary revisions. After this, your final draft will be ready.

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Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay could be tricky, but not so much if you write it through a structure. You can learn about the structure of an argumentative essay by reading the description below.

Argumentative Essay Introduction

“How to start an argumentative essay?”

Start your introductory paragraph with a compelling attention grabber.

For example, a good hook for an argumentative essay can be a startling fact or a famous quotation supporting your topic.

Discuss the topic briefly. Add important background details and significance of your topic.

Add the thesis statement at the end of the introduction.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement?

The thesis statement is extremely important because it can make or break your essay. A powerful thesis statement will inform the readers what your essay is about.

Follow these three steps to write a strong thesis statement for an argumentative essay.

  • 1. Start with a Question: It is obvious that an argumentative essay asks a question. Start your thesis statement by asking the same question. For instance, “Have humans really accelerated climate change?”
  • 2. Answer According to your Stance: In the next sentence, you will answer the question according to your stance.

    If you think that humans have done it, then you can write, “The answer is yes. Humans are the major drivers of global warming leading to climate change”.

    However, if you think humans haven’t done it, then you will answer it accordingly.

  • 3. Give the Justification of your Stance: Write the major reason for your stance. The reader will know that your essay is going to revolve around this major cause.

    Supposing the same example discussed above, the cause can be “ Humans are the major perpetrators of pollution, which is the leading cause of global warming and climate change.

Argumentative Essay Body

The body of an argumentative essay has three or more paragraphs. These paragraphs can be distributed into three categories.

  • 1. Thesis Paragraph: The thesis paragraph describes your argument. You present a reason or an argument to justify the stance that you wrote in the thesis statement. You also mention adequate evidence to support your argument.
  • 2. Antithesis Paragraph: The antithesis paragraph is used to write the opposing points of view. For instance, if your essay is about the causes of global warming. Your stance is that human activities cause it. The antithesis paragraph will state that it is caused due to natural causes and give evidence accordingly.
  • 3. Synthesis Paragraph: The synthesis paragraph points out the limitations of the opposing argument mentioned in the antithesis paragraph. Basically, you will counter-argue the opposing argument. You will prove how your argument is better and prove it through facts.

The order of these paragraphs remains the same in all argumentative essays. You have to mention the thesis first, then the antithesis, and the synthesis at the end.

This will make your writing process simpler and your essay more coherent.

Argumentative Essay Conclusion

“How to write a conclusion for an argumentative essay?”

The conclusion of the argumentative essay should be impactful. Start this paragraph by reiterating your main stance through a rephrased thesis statement.

Mention all the arguments that justify your stance. These arguments should be only those that have been previously mentioned in the essay.

Do not include any new information, evidence, or argument here.

Finally, end the conclusion paragraph by writing about the topic’s significance. Your conclusion paragraph should leave the reader thinking about the topic.

A sample outline of an argumentative essay structure is as follows:

  • 1. Introduction
    • Hook
    • Topic Brief
    • Thesis Statement
  • 2. Body
    • Thesis Paragraph
    • Antithesis Paragraph
    • Synthesis Paragraph
  • 3. Conclusion
    • Rephrased thesis statement
    • Arguments
    • Ending line

The number of paragraphs in the body can change according to the requirements of your essay.

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Types of Argumentative Claims

There are five major types of argumentative claims that are further described below:

  • 1. Factual Argument: In this type of argument, you state whether the statement is valid or invalid, factually
  • 2. Defining Argument: For this argument, you define your argument by the book and write your interpretation along with it.
  • 3. Value Argument: When you describe the argument’s significance and make a claim simultaneously, you will discuss the value of your argument.
  • 4. Cause and Effect Argument: What are the causes of the problem mentioned in your topic? Discuss them along with their effects.
  • 5. Policy Argument: Why should the reader care? Justify your stance and compel the reader to take a recommended action.

3 Ways to Present your Claim in an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay format will be according to any of the below-mentioned three styles.

  • 1. Classical Style: State your main claim and its subsequent arguments. Then, justify your claim by providing supporting evidence. It is the most widely used style of argumentation.

    This strategy is also called Aristotelian. It is effective when people are not much aware of your topic. The facts are clear and concise in this type of argument, so people can easily understand them.

  • 2. Rogerian Style: Describe the problem first, then acknowledge both sides of the argument. Next, say your point of view and explain why it is better than the other. This is the Rogerian style, which is mostly employed for polarized topics.
  • 3. Toulmin Style: Write your argument first and then tell the readers why you think it is true. Then, write how your reasons are linked to your argument.

    This style is used when a topic can be approached through multiple views. So, you will state your view and support the claim with strong evidence.

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Best Argumentative Essay Topics for College

Following is a list of good argumentative essay topics for middle school and college that you may choose from to write your essay.

  • What should be the residency rights of illegal immigrants?
  • Is fake news really a problem?
  • Capitalism or Communism- Which is the better economic system?
  • Research Papers or Persuasive Essay- What is more difficult to write?
  • Gap year for Job or Continuous Education?
  • Should Marijuana be legalized?
  • Should Indoor Games be Treated as a Sport?
  • Are School Managements Involved in Bullying?
  • Is Gender Biasness Still Existing?
  • Is the US Government Unfair to the Native Americans?

These topics will give you argumentative essay ideas that will get you started. Remember to choose a topic that you find interesting or is directly linked with your field of study.

You should also consider your strengths and weaknesses and your instructor’s requirements in topic selection.

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Good Argumentative Essay Examples

If you are looking for an argumentative essay example, then look no further. Check out these samples below.

Argumentative Essay Sample

Abortion Argumentative Essay

Argumentative Essay for or Against Healthcare for Everyone

Argumentative Essay Introduction Examples

Conclusion for Argumentative Essay

Argumentative Essay Outline Template

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Tips to Write an Impressive Argumentative Essay

Learning how to write an argumentative essay will be useful to you, but reading these tips will further help you create an impressive piece of writing.

  • Always draft an outline before writing the actual essay. It will make your essay well-structured and coherent.
  • The thesis statement of your essay should reflect your stance.
  • Every paragraph of the essay should have a topic sentence highlighting the argument that you will explain in the paragraph.
  • Each topic sentence should relate to the thesis statement. That means your arguments should justify your claim.
  • Make smooth transitions between paragraphs. You can use transition words to do this.
  • Get your essay proofread by an expert and make the necessary revisions.

These tips will help you to write an essay that will surely impress your readers or instructor.

This blog has a list of steps, types, topics, and samples to help you with your next argumentative essay. We hope that it will be easier for you to get started.

Did we miss any steps? If so, please let us know.

Are you still unsure about which topic to write your essay on or how to write it? Then, feel free to ask for help from our skilled writers at .

You will not find a better option than our paper writing service. So, order now to get a high-scoring essay tailored according to your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I write an argumentative essay?

You can write an argumentative essay in three steps.

  1. Write the introduction paragraph.
  2. Write the body paragraphs having your arguments and their proofs.
  3. Write the conclusion paragraph.

What are the 4 parts of an argumentative essay?

The four parts or features of an argumentative essay are:

  1. Argument
  2. Counter-argument
  3. Reasons
  4. Evidence

What is the main goal of an argumentative essay?

The main goal of an argumentative essay is to prove your stance on the topic. You write your opinion and then justify it through reasoning and evidence.

How long is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay should at least be five-paragraph long, having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs can increase according to the requirement of the topic.

What should you avoid when writing an argumentative essay?

Following are some don’ts of an argumentative essay:

  • Don’t forget to provide evidence for your argument.
  • Don’t write multiple points of view in a single argument.

Write a topic-specific argument with proper evidence.

What is the best place to find evidence for an argumentative essay?

You can find the best evidence from an original source. That means the reports, papers, articles that have originally reported a fact or information that you can use as evidence.

  • Facts
  • Testimony
  • Quotations
  • Published opinions of writers and experts

What is the evidence in an argumentative text?

The evidence is the information that proves your argument. It is of the following types:

  • Facts
  • Testimony
  • Quotations
  • Published opinions of writers and experts

What is a counter argument in an argumentative essay?

The counterargument in an argumentative essay is the opposing stance. For instance, you could have the opinion that human activities cause global warming, then the counterargument will be that natural phenomena cause it.

Do you have to have a counterargument in an argumentative essay?

Yes, you should write the counterargument. It will help to validate your opinion. Write the counterargument and then mention its limitations to tell how your argument is better.


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