Argumentative Essay Structure

It’s almost impossible to imagine studying in high school or university without essay writing. Teachers often give students a task to prepare a text that will represent their thoughts in a critical, logical, and coherent manner. 

The ability to think critically and prove your point of view is useful to finish any essay, especially an argumentative one. Structure for argumentative essay is built in such a way that the author provides arguments in favor of their position or theory. Here, students formulate their viewpoint supporting it with evidence-based reasoning.

What Is Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is the most popular paper type at college. By working on such an assignment, you develop two skills at once: in-depth research and persuasive writing.

Before you turn to our argumentative essay guide, there’s one necessary thing to understand. Such essays are usually written on a controversial topic. The key here is to prove that your thesis is correct. 

A thesis is a specific belief (it’s best to express it in one sentence) that shows your position on an issue. It plays a vital role in the structure of argumentative essay as it should be mentioned in the introduction, after you set a background of a problem. The assignment is fully dedicated to convincing the readers of your thesis using analysis and evidence. 

Writing a paper, the author conducts an internal dialogue. Here, it’s essential to evaluate statements, evidence, make assumptions, and re-evaluate contradictions. Well-reasoned essays address a variety of topics, from social and political to rather personal ones. Here are some examples: 

  • «Borders between countries shouldn’t exist»;
  • «Negotiations with terrorists are unacceptable»;
  • «Unemployment stimulates economic development»;
  • «Technological progress leads to the death of civilization»;
  • «Education for boys and girls should be separate».

How To Structure An Argumentative Essay?

In fact, the argument essay structure is not determined by strict rules. The main thing is to adhere to the logic of reasoning so that the text is consistent.

The structure of argumentative essays comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion.

As was mentioned earlier, the introduction provides a thesis statement. Here, you also mention the theme’s importance and relevance and describe the background to the problem. 

Note that the reader’s first opinion about the text is based on the introduction, that is why it must be intriguing. A great formula to engage the reader is to start with a rhetorical question, impressive statistics, or a quote. This part of the argumentative writing structure sets the emotional tone, so it shouldn’t be too long – one or two paragraphs will be enough.

There are two ways to come up with an introduction. The first one is freewriting, just note whatever comes to your mind regarding the topic of the work within, say, 10-15 minutes. This can be associations, memories, links, or personal attitudes to the issue. Perhaps one of the ideas will inspire you. 

Another way is to follow the strategy of many students: first, they write the main part of the work, or the entire essay, and finish the introduction at the end.

The body is, no doubt, the most important part of argument essay structure as it shows your arguments and evidence. It’s key to win the audience over to your side and show why your position is preferable over others. Here, your point of view is revealed in 2-3 paragraphs. 

To prove your position with arguments, turn to well-known facts, historical events, scientific research, or opinions of reputable scientists. An example should follow each argument.

In the main part, it is also necessary to consider counterarguments or opposite judgments. Show why they are weak and refute them.  By testing opposing viewpoints, you will strengthen the structure for argumentative essay as well as make it more dynamic and the very essay – more persuasive.

Finally, you should draw conclusions according to your thesis. They should be logically connected to the thesis; the questions, if any, should be answered. Remember, Conclusion should only contain what the reader might have learned from your work, not new information. 

Argumentative Essay Structure Example

Basically, there are five steps to write a brilliant argumentative paper: 

  1. Make a claim.
  2. Support your claim with evidence.
  3. State the counterclaim.
  4. Provide a rebuttal.
  5. Conclude the argument.

Here is a classical structure of an argument essay example: 

  • Introduction:
  • Catch the reader’s attention with a hook (a bold statement, a fact or stereotype, personal experience), then set the general scene and introduce the topic. Make your thesis clear and put it at the end of your first paragraph.

  • Body: 
  • Argument 1, i.e. the point supporting your claim + examples (quotes, references, experience).

    Argument 2, i.e. the point supporting your claim + examples (quotes, references, experience).

    Argument 3, i.e. the point supporting your claim + examples (quotes, references, experience).

    Counterargument (i.e. the other side of the argument). Here, you agree that people may have an opposing position, and, if you have evidence, prove that it is wrong.

  • Conclusion: 
  • Restate your main point (using different words) and list what you have found.

    Provide the readers with something to think about: a call to action, solution, or prediction. 

    A conclusion should be of the same length as an introduction.

To make the argumentative structure as consistent as possible, use writing transitions:

  • To start a sentence: It’s clear that, It’s a well-known fact, To begin with, There is no doubt, For instance;
  • To add an idea: Furthermore, In addition, Moreover, Also, Likewise;
  • To show cause: As a result, Due to, Hence, That is why, For all of those reasons;
  • For a counterargument: However, On the other hand, Others may say that, Even though, A common argument against this position is that, You could argue that, but here’s the weakness;
  • To conclude: Therefore, To sum up, In conclusion, I’d like to say, Having weighed all the evidence, I can conclude that.

After finishing the draft, take a break. This will give you a fresh perspective on your essay. It is also helpful to ask someone you know to read the essay. Ask them:

  • whether the arguments are persuasive enough;
  • whether a logical sequence has been preserved.

Later, when editing, avoid such mistakes as tangled explanations, non-related information, weak transitions, spelling or grammar mistakes, and inappropriate tone of voice.



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