Many students find it very challenging to write an argumentative essay. That’s the case because they often can’t tell the difference between an argumentative and an expository essay. Sadly, but for most of them, even Googling “what is an argumentative essay” is not too much of help.
If you are one of those students, puzzled by that, you will find the following lines quite revealing. By the end of reading this, not only you will know the answer to the question, but you will be able to write an argumentative essay like an experience academic.
What is Argumentative Essay?
In an argumentative essay, the student is asked to claim a certain position on a given topic. Furthermore, the student needs to support that position with arguments and evidence. To that end, the student investigates the topic, collects evidence, and presents it in their argumentative essay.
Another thing about argumentative essays is that they are often confused with expository essays. They do share some common traits, but argumentative essays differ from expository essays in terms of how much research is involved and pre-writing. Unlike argumentative essays, expository essays include way less research and are usually shorter as well.
The Structure of an Argumentative Essay
A concise and well-defined thesis statement is the foundation of every good argumentative essay. The place of the thesis statement is in the first paragraph. Furthermore, the student needs to set the stage for what follows and explain why the reader should care about the given issue.
A logical progression of thoughts is the mortar that keeps the integrity of the essay. It is the thing that helps the reader follow the given narrative and the essay’s arguments. The transition needs to feel naturally between the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The point of transitions is to wrap up the point made from the previous paragraph and introduce a new one into the next section.
As a general rule, one paragraph needs to introduce one idea. This allows both direction and clarity in the essay. Additionally, every idea in the body must serve the thesis statement presented in the first paragraph. Every piece of evidence presented in the paragraphs need to be explained and why it supports the main thesis statement.
But at the same time, a well-written argumentative essay will look into other points of view on the given matter. If it is a longer essay, the student can dedicate one or more paragraphs just to explain and discuss other points of view which can be the opposite of the ones presented by them.
The idea is not to rule out every opposing view but to elaborate on how those opinions came to be, why they might be out of date, or based on completely wrong assumptions. That way the reader can make an informed decision.
The conclusion is one of the most challenging parts when writing an argumentative essay. The idea is not just to restate the thesis statement, but present it under a new light. By that, we mean under the light of the evidence presented in the body of the essay.
The conclusion is not about presenting something new, rather review the main points, repeat your thesis, and make even bolder claims about the validity of your thesis. Present your convictions with strong and powerful words that will leave a strong impression on the mind of the reader.
Last but not least, and this is universal for any genre, proofread your essay. No matter how much you think your writing skills are good, read your work aloud at least once to yourself.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you learn the answer to the question of what is an argumentative essay. Some people like to think about argumentative essays in terms of debates or a conversation. Same as any good conversation, you need an opener (introduction), middle (body of the essay), and an end to the conversation (conclusion). But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you see or understand this genre. What matters more is the strength of your thesis, the presented evidence, and how good of a wordsmith you are.