Basics of Critical Paper Writing: Argumentative Essay

07 Apr 22

Essay writing won’t always be about students’ personal opinions and other things of this kind. It also won’t solely be about specific phenomena that one can describe after brief research. Sometimes essays require mastery of oratory and persuasion that might be a challenge for some students. No worries, to be honest! Like any other academic paper, an argumentative essay will be the easiest thing for you if you practice a bit. And learning how to do it will be even easier if you know basic things about critical writing. Thus, let’s shed light on what argumentative essay is and how to nail it.

Starting with a Definition

First and foremost, an argumentative essay is an academic paper. That basis instantly implies that this paper has a distinctive structure, style, and formatting. Further, an argumentative essay is a writing exercise that develops the oratory skills of students. In this assignment, a student must defend their thesis and provide factual materials that support the main idea. Here, your main goal is to “win” an argument and/or persuade your imaginary opponent that your thesis is valid.

What You Better Gather for Argumentative Essay Writing

In general, you need factual materials and stark evidence that will be demonstrative for your topic case. If we talk about potential materials, you can use:

For all of them except for the last one you will have to do citations. You can use several pieces of evidence, of course. The most significant thing is their representativeness. Don’t be shy to add an example you have come up with! A bit of creativity will only enrich your essay and demonstrate your understanding. Moreover, you shouldn’t make a compilation of sources as every essay requires a personal approach.

Outlining and Structuring Time

The components of composition don’t differ from the standard essay’s plan. So, what you need is:

An intro

This is your chance to present your topic and talk superficially about evidence that supports it. For example, you mention the issue and then write that many researchers pay attention to it too. This will suffice as you save details of your evidence for body text.

Thesis placement

The first sentence after your introduction is the thesis. Don’t make the explanation too long. Mention it and move on to evidence in the next paragraph.

Body-text paragraphs

You will have to write from 3 to 6 paragraphs that disclose and elucidate your point, proving its validity. Sometimes an argumentative essay can be longer, yet, the number of paragraphs is secondary to the content. So, if you have the competence to prove your point in 4 paragraphs, it’s better than 8 paragraphs of repetitive nonsense. This is the part where you use pre-gathered statistics, quotes, research results, and everything that helps your main idea.

A concise conclusion

This is a summary that restates your thesis that has factual backup now. Remember that you don’t have to repeat things that are in the body of your text. Mentioning them again will make your conclusion bulky and uninteresting. Also, don’t add new arguments and points! They need elucidation in the body. Presenting new arguments in the end only means that you haven’t elucidated the topic enough. It’s better to add a shade of emotion, so the readers have a brighter impression.

What You Need to Ace an Argumentative Essay

Use at least 3 sources

One source might be your main answer to the question you positioned. Yet, even the brightest arguments need quantitative support with high-quality ones. So, it’s better to at least mention other research results if you decide not to elucidate them in detail. 3 sources are your minimum, and 10 are your maximum. Of course, it depends on how many pages you need.

Don’t neglect fact-checking

Don’t use random sources. Conduct small research to prove that your factual evidence works well and has no blind spots.

Add contrasting opinions as well

Don’t discard what speaks against your thesis. Other opinions are valid as long as they have a backup. So, try presenting a contrasting opinion and analyze it too. Sometimes it turns out that versus thoughts prove your point too.

Explain the value of your discussed issue

Your issue must have relevance. If it doesn’t, there is zero worth of your arguments. Moreover, you want your reader to contribute to the topic after they read via re-thinking.

Use one or two related tones

Your style should be formal (as it’s academic writing) but your tone can be whatever fits the topic. You can choose a couple of related semitones, but don’t mix super positive ones with dark negative ones. Such drastic alterations confuse the reader.

No skipping proofreading

Literacy affects perception. You want to present a clear, well-structured, and professional argumentative essay. Errors only demonstrate a lack of work.

In Conclusion

Following those basic rules is what will win you a good mark if not perfect. Sure thing, the further you go in studying, the more complex it gets. Still, systematic practice will help you develop the required skills automatically!

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