How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Steps, Tips and Examples

If you know how to write an argumentative essay, then you’re one step closer to doing it successfully. As long as you understand what’s required, coping with an assignment becomes easier — the problem is, in this type of paper, there are a lot of nuances to unpack. So, what is an argumentative essay? It is an academic kind of writing with the purpose to prove that your point of view on some issue is correct. You need to rely on facts and use different persuasion models to convince your audience. College students get this task often because it helps them polish their critical thinking and argumentative abilities. We all have to argue at some point, and whether we win or not depends on how well we can appeal to others. Here are some tips you’ll appreciate!

Table of Contents

  1. Structure
  2. Outline
  3. Writing Tips

Building Argumentative Essay Structure

After definition, the next thing to learn is structure of an essay. Most academic works are similar in this regard, but there are still some relevant differences. Take a look at the list below: this is what your argumentative paper must include.

1) Introduction for an essay. This section should take just about 10% of all content, but its importance is tremendous. What your readers see first is going to determine the level of their interest. Very often, it concerns professors, too. Sure, they are obligated to finish an essay, but if it starts out boring, they might already feel annoyed and disinterested.

a) For preventing this, use a great hook. Since you’re writing an argumentative essay, it could be a shocking fact or a controversial phrase that will make people curious about reading further.

b) Then present some persuasive topic background. Explain when the issue emerged, what it is, and why it is important.

c) The third element of an introduction should be thesis — it comes as the last sentence, disclosing the meaning of your entire work. Write it as a claim: state your viewpoint and the way it is supported. This is an example: “While some people underestimate its gravity, insomnia is dangerous, as evident from such symptoms as headaches, lack of appetite, and speech distortion.”

2) Body. In an argument essay, body is a place where writers prove their thesis. Each paragraph must be about 2/3 of the page or less, framed by logical opening and closing sentences. They should be neutral, focusing on describing what’s about to be discussed and what you’ve just discussed. Pay attention to sentence length, too: it shouldn’t be shorter than 10 words or longer than 35. Anything else would be hard to read. Include facts, support them with sources you’ve found, offer explanations, and work hard for keeping readers hooked. For instance, if you are exploring the first symptom of insomnia, indicate what credible scholar has proven that it exists. If you are using quotes, elaborate on them — don’t make readers guess as to what it meant or why you included it.

3) Conclusion. This section has the same length as an introduction. Its only purpose lies in restating what you’ve already proven. Avoid talking about any new data here — time for that has passed. Don’t add more quotes or new explanations, just cover major points and put them together for forming a solid conclusive opinion in your audience’s minds.

3 Types of Argumentative Essay Outline For Exploring

Argumentative papers could follow several models. Professors usually tell their students which one they need, but if they don’t, you are free to choose by yourself. Let’s explore three common kinds you could focus on.

Classical Argument

This type has 6 aspects writers should follow in their writing.

1) Exordium. This is the introductory part. It requires presenting an issue and cloaking it in mystery. What’s special about it? Why should these particular readers care about what you’re going to share with them? Give brief answers to these questions.

2) Narratio. This component should be present in introduction just like the first one. It is about background: how did this situation occur? Why do people have different opinions on it? Explain the circumstances that will clarify it, but once again, be brief.

3) Partitio. Like we described before, the last component of introduction is a thesis. It is exactly what partition reflects, and it marks the end of your first section.

4) Confirmatio. Like in every argumentative essay format, evidence is everything, and that’s what writers should do next if they pick classical models. Explain your reasoning: why do you have this specific position? Why do you believe it above all other things?

5) Refutatio. Present views of your opposition. Be objective, don’t settle on the most irrelevant pieces. Afterward, refute them with your own evidence and explanations.

6) Peroratio. Conclude by appealing to your readers’ emotions or logic and restating your key arguments.


Lots of argumentative essays are based on this type. Like a classical model, it has six components.

1) Introduction of a problem. Present your topic as a problem that you’re trying to solve.

2) Summarize opposite views. Writers should share opinions of those they disagree with in a neutral way.

3) Show understanding. Now, students must demonstrate that they acknowledge opposition as valid. Objectivity is key.

4) State your position. Time for presenting your view! After readers saw how considerate and objective you are, they’ll be more willing to listen.

5) Context statement. Writers must provide specific examples with contexts in which their views are relevant.

6) Benefit statement. Appeal to those who oppose you by disclosing why your position is more beneficial.


This model is represented by another set with 6 components.

1) Data. Start argumentative essay introduction with facts. Provide statistics, cite research, and mention evidence.

2) Claim. Like it’s clear from name, it’s your thesis.

3) Warrants. Unite data and claim via logical statements and transitions.

4) Qualifiers. Allow some doubts by suggesting situations in which your claim might not be true.

5) Rebuttal. Time for countering the previous situations and prove why your claims prevail!

6) Backing. Provide more general and neutral backing for your topic.

Top 5 Tips For Writing Argumentative Essays

Most students want to write a fantastic essay, not just an ordinary one. We’ll explain how to do that step-by-step — consider the points below as helpful tips. They’ll guide you through the writing process.

1) Understand your topic. Ideally, students should select a topic they have passion for on a personal level. If it’s impossible and the professor insisted on which titles to pick, the least you could do is ensure you understand what you’ll be writing about. Read some articles, ask questions, look for help, but make sure you got each part of the task.

2) Measure objectivity. Maintaining objectivity when writing a paper is the second definition argument essay has. This mostly concerns cases when students picked their own topics: you should keep calm at all costs. If passion prevails and your arguments turn into rants, this could cost you points and ruin an overall score. Treat your topic respectfully, including views opposition holds.

3) Find solid sources. This step is vital in composing a great essay. Arguing about something is impossible without credible evidence, so be sure you have it. Look for articles with DOI, academic books, etc. Visit quality sites or use college library. If you’re wondering how to write a good argumentative essay, locating reliable sources is your answer.

4) Develop argument. Work on making an argument persuasive and engaging. It should flow smoothly, shining the light on every part you’re discussing. All of them must be surrounded by plenty of evidence, but don’t go overboard here, too. Claims and facts that aren’t general knowledge should be cited while explanations on their basis can function on their own. Watch out for transitions: they should make sense, pushing your viewpoint further every time you mention them. Try to avoid jumping between different ideas as this would make writing chaotic. It’s better to write an outline and stick to it.

5) Analyze your work. Once the paper is completed, start editing it. Some students disregard this step, but they have no idea how many mistakes could be missed. Proofreading and editing grammar is good, yet content quality is even more important. Is the structure of an argumentative essay correct? Did you mention all the points we outlined above? For checking whether your arguments are convincing, share an essay with a friend or family member. Let them read it before voicing their opinion.

Argue Relentlessly and Get Help If Stuck

As long as students are passionate about the subject they’ve chosen and prepared to show objectivity, they can count on writing a great essay. Follow the guidelines, be thorough, and you won’t face any serious problems. But if something goes wrong and you feel stuck, think about getting professional help from trusted writing services. Our writers have been assisting students from various colleges for years, so they’ll gladly help with your argumentative writing. Drop them a line, describe your task, and you won’t have to worry about gathering sources or presenting data convincingly.

Posted by Chris M., January 21, 2021

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