Most people do not require special skills to prove their point of view when providing arguments on various day-to-day issues. All of us sometimes argue why the movie we have watched is so impressive or why we should get a promotion. This means that we argue not only in the academic field, but also in our everyday lives. That is why writing an argumentative essay does not require any additional skills and most students can deal with the assignment with much success. However, it is also important to structure an argumentative essay in a correct way. For this reason, before writing an essay, you need to find out what elements should be included in your argumentative essay. You also need to support your viewpoint by providing an explanation of your ideas and specific examples. Let us discuss the fundamental elements of argumentative essays.
- Organization and focus. When writing an argumentative essay, you need to prove the main viewpoint by providing enough evidence and well-grounded arguments. The major idea of any argumentative essay should be included in a thesis statement that should be supported and proved by the remainder of the essay. The thesis statement should include a focus on which the main parts of the essay and conclusion will be grounded. For instance, you can argue that students studying in high school should be obliged to wear special uniforms. Your argumentation included in the body paragraphs should contain the information about certain financial gains for the families of students, the orientation of students on school work and greater professionalism that is associated with wearing a uniform at school. These elements should be included in your argumentative essay. They should also be reflected in your thesis statement that is an important element of this type of academic writing.
- Description and analysis. Among the most widely spread mistakes made by students while writing an argumentative essay is insufficient development of ideas. It is claimed that in writing assignments, you have to do much more than simply summarize the ideas of other authors and gather certain facts that have been analyzed in classroom. Instead, it is required to develop a viewpoint and interpret the available material. When providing an analysis of the information, you need to investigate the causes and effects of certain phenomena, the most vulnerable categories of people and the lasting impact of certain conditions on the society. This will ensure that your argumentation is developed to full extent. That is why description and analysis are two more elements of an argumentative essay that should be included in your paper if you want it to be consistent and relevant.
- Evidence. While the above elements of an argumentative essay serve more as a tool for providing theoretical background when making an argument in your paper, you also need to provide specific examples to prove your point of view. Evidence can be provided in different ways. For instance, you might have tried to make your parents lend you a car, so you probably know a trustworthy and reliable way of persuading other people to do your bid. In the conversation with your parents, you probably provided enough evidence using specific examples that it is absolutely safe for you to drive their car. In such a way, the examples must have served as a persuasive tool supporting your viewpoint. The same should be done when writing an argumentative essay. You should support your ideas with certain examples and make the readers accept your point of view by providing well-grounded evidence in favor of your position.
- Answering a counterargument. If you add a counterargument in your essay, it will make it clear for the readers that you fully understand the material you are discussing in your paper. You should ask yourself what a person who is against your point of view would say to your argumentation. For instance, if the main argument provided in your paper is that going on a bus is the safest means of transportation unlike riding a bicycle or driving a car, than the counterargument would be that riding a bike is safer for the natural environment. You will then answer that claim by providing arguments against this viewpoint to strengthen your own position. Again, if you write about the best means of transport, you might mention the electric cars that are also perfectly safe for the environment without causing as much harm to the surroundings as ordinary cars, but being more comfortable than bicycles. Counterarguments in your essay will disarm other people who might have a different position. If you acknowledge the opposite viewpoint and then refute this idea, you will make your own argumentation stronger and more mature.
- Generally speaking, any argumentative essay consists of such basic elements as introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and conclusion. The elements mentioned previously are more specific and give a clear idea of how an argumentative essay should be structured. Just like any other essay, your paper should contain an introductory paragraph where you will give a preview of the information contained in your essay. The thesis statement should reflect the major idea of your argumentative essay, while the body paragraphs should contain all of your arguments in support of your ideas as well as counterarguments that will give readers a chance to understand the topic from different perspectives. As for the conclusion, it should contain a summary of your ideas in support of a specific viewpoint mentioned in your thesis statement. Such a structure will ensure that your essay is written in a consistent and relevant manner to meet the requirements of your instructor. If you follow all the above recommendations, you will be able to compose a well-structured and perfectly organized argumentative essay without any additional efforts. Don’t forget that your essay should also be formatted in a correct way following the guidelines provided by your professor.
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All arguments do not have to be persuasive. In general, there are four purposes of argument (to assert, to inquire, to dominate, and to negotiate), and not all of them involve persuading someone to do, think, or act in a certain way. That being said, the main elements of an argument depend upon the type of argument structure being used. Below are some of the elements involved in argumentation. The terminology varies based on which type...
All arguments do not have to be persuasive. In general, there are four purposes of argument (to assert, to inquire, to dominate, and to negotiate), and not all of them involve persuading someone to do, think, or act in a certain way. That being said, the main elements of an argument depend upon the type of argument structure being used. Below are some of the elements involved in argumentation. The terminology varies based on which type of argument structure someone uses.
1. Claim or Thesis--a specific statement which discusses the argument's main point. Ex: School districts should consider 4-day school weeks in order to . . .
2. Data or Evidence--normally found in the body paragraphs, data often includes the rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) and consists of anecdotal support, statistics, historical evidence, etc., to prove that the claim/thesis is valid. Example to support the above claim: Researchers have found that by lengthening the school day and shortening the school week. . .
3. Warrant or Major Premise--A warrant is a general truth that is generally accepted and that is broadly linked to the thesis statement. Many writers/speakers include warrants in their introductions to pull in their opponents and to demonstrate that they are reasonable. Ex: The United States' current economic state has forced many government agencies, including local school districts to consider drastic budget cuts. (Notice how the warrant is something that most people would agree with, is tied to the claim without being controversial, and makes someone opposed to the claim more likely to consider the writer's argument.)
4. Concession--Most reasonable arguments include a concession which is a writer's admitting that there is some truth to his opponent's argument. Concessions normally begin with phrases such as "Admittedly, problems exist" or "Granted, exceptions occur." Similar to a warrant, a concession establishes more credibility for the writer/speaker because it prevents dogmatism.
You can find information such as the above in most argument textbooks. These terms come from The Informed Argument by Robert P. Yagelski and Robert K. Miller (6th edition).