Discussion in 'General Writing' started by anna231, Jun 7, 2013.
What are some basic rules and tips for writing a great argumentative essay?
Do your research and have good evidential support.
By the way, is this for a school assignment?
I would say that you need to acknowledge the strongest arguments on the other side, and then either show why they are incorrect OR why they are nevertheless outweighed by the arguments on your side.
Make your arguments by reliance on facts and logic, rather than emotion.
ever hear of 'google'?
I did debate in high school and university and it would appear that Liz did too. Never ignore or discount the opponent's strongest argument. Acknowledge and refute.
Yup. Pasion is one thing, but emotions belong to an epistemology that doesn't answer to reason. They have no place in an argumentative essay.
It's best to address three to five points, each in its own paragraph. The classic essay is an introduction, followed by three arguments, followed by a conclusion. The introduction outlines the problem, what you intend to show (the thesis) and the three points you will address. Each of the three points is argued in one of the next three paragraphs, and the conclusion summarizes the points made and the conclusion drawn.
An expansion is to subdivide each of the three points into three sub-points (etc). Threes are considered particularly persuasive. Fewer seem incomplete, and with more, the impact of each is lessened.
Ideally, you want to address the stongest opposing point last, and make that your strongest argument. However, if you know your response to the strongest counter-argument is weak, then place your strongest argument last and put the strongest opposing argument in the middle. A strong finish is important, and if you can knock down the strongest counter-argument at the same time, you're in like Flynn.
What everyone else has said. Also, steer clear of first person and state facts, rather than "I think"s and "I believe"s. Acknowledging the other side's arguments is incredibly important because it shows you are knowledgeable on the subject and have considered the opposition's side. You build trust that way and dismantle rebuttals before they even come up. When I wrote an argumentative essay on physician assisted suicide, I acknowledged worthy points on the other side. I think there might have even been some I mentioned that I had no argument against and acknowledged they were valid concerns. However, my own arguments heavily outweighed and outnumbered those since I was, y'know, arguing my own side.
Lastly, use reliable, scholarly sources to back you up. The more reliable your sources of information, the stronger your own argument.
Separate names with a comma.