Argumentative Essay Writing Tips

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Argumentative essay writing guide

Every student meets various tasks on their learning path during life in college. One of the most common ones is writing an essay. Not only is this the most efficient way to check student’s writing skills, but a good way to develop other, not less important qualities. Among all the types of essays, perhaps the most challenging one to write is an argumentative one. Here, you have to provide the most detailed analyzes, make deep research, conduct some interviews, experimentations and gather all the results into one piece of writing. Here you find some helpful recommendations to make your essay look decent and solid.

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What Is an Argumentative Essay?

A paper written with the aim of convincing someone of something is called an argumentative essay. Such type of paper usually discusses the pros and cons of the examined matter relying on concrete facts. Students often confuse this kind of essay with a persuasive one. While the former is based on solid evidence, the latter highlights the moral and emotional side of the issue to influence readers’ viewpoint.

Comparison persuasive and argumentative essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

Doing different writing projects is one of the main tasks students need to fulfill while studying. That is why it is essential to be aware of the chief points of the writing process. We have compiled a list of the main points which you should bear in mind when preparing your papers.

  • Conduct Research

The most important thing is to gather enough information about the analyzed issue. Until you do not have all the necessary data about argumentative essay topics you are exploring, do not start the writing process. When doing research, you are free to use books, articles, browse web pages or refer to any other sources. There are a great number of online resources presenting handy prompts on how to write an argumentative essay step by step. However, you have to choose the most reliable ones. In case you are confused about your subject or argumentative essay format, ask your professor to explain everything clearly. As soon as you collect material for your project and make a plan, you may begin every writing.

  • Writing Stage

The first thing you need to do is compose an engaging introductory paragraph. Introduce your subject to readers and precisely state what aspects you are going to discuss. Keep in mind that is necessary to produce and follow a rough argumentative essay outline when writing your paper not to miss any of the points you intend to analyze. Once the opening paragraph is ready, start preparing the body. It should provide readers with relevant facts about the subject, wonderful examples, and illustrative material. The first body paragraph should present the most powerful argument. If you have any problems with preparing your piece of writing, follow the directions described in this article and you will understand how to write an argumentative essay well.

  • Formal Style of Writing

An argumentative essay has to be written in a formal language as well as the majority of academic papers.

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We offer you to take a look at the set of instructions provided below to see how to write an argumentative essay step by step in the formal style.

Words not to use in an essay

Avoid using personal pronouns, as it can cause wordiness. You should remove such phrases as “To my mind…,” “I consider it…” if they are present in your sentences. Readers do know who the author of the work is. There is no need to remind them of it twice by using the mentioned structures.

Consider the formal tone examples given below:

  • I find this hero brave.
  • This hero is brave.

The second sentence is more formal and shows that the writer firmly states a fact.

Instead of personal pronouns, you may use the following formal tone examples: “reader,” “addresses,” “one,” “recipients,” “readers,” etc. Still, make sure you do not overuse the mentioned words.


  • I can feel the hero’s embarrassment.
  • One can feel the hero’s embarrassment.

Do not say “you” meaning readers

Your paper will sound informal if you address readers by using the personal pronouns “you, your.” These pronouns can be replaced with such words as “viewers,” “readers,” ‘the one,’ etc.

Do not use contractions

The words that use an apostrophe instead of a particular letter are called contractions. For instance, “don’t,” “they’re,” and others. Instead, use the following forms “do not,” “they are,” etc. Thus, your essay will sound formal.

Read the formal tone examples presented below:

  • The hero doesn’t know he can’t rely on the people surrounding him.
  • The hero does not know he cannot rely on the people surrounding him.

Slang and colloquial words not to use in an essay

Colloquial words refer to informal language and are inappropriate in academic writing. Here some examples of colloquialisms: “yea,” “buddy,” “OK,” etc. The words that are regarded as very informal are considered slang. For instance, “like crazy,” “mad,” and others.


  • The buddy dropped his friend in it.
  • The man caused problems for his friends.

You should be very attentive when replacing informal words with formal ones in order not to give your ideas the wrong sense. For example, if you write, “A lady robbed a bookstore” readers will not understand why a woman who robbed a bookstore is called a “lady.”

Refrain from using uncommon pronunciation

The words and word combinations that are pronounced and written against the established rules are not accepted in academic writing. You should avoid using such words as “himself,” “a lot,” “ain’t,” etc. The mentioned words are indicated in dictionaries as “ungrammatical,” as they are not formed according to the rules of English grammar.

Do not use abbreviations

No matter the argumentative essay topics you are covering, avoid using abbreviated forms of words. For instance, write “television,” “refrigerator” instead of “TV” and “fridge.”

Do not overload your paper with simple and short sentences

One more thing that can make your text informal is the excessive use of simple and short sentences. Certainly, such sentences are an absolutely common phenomenon in formal papers. Still, if you overburden the text with such phrases, it will lack a formal tone and readers may think that your vocabulary is poor.

How to build an Argument

You can divide the process of writing of argumentative essay into 3 main stages:


Start your writing process with an outline. Think hard about what you will include in the essay and what main points should be studied. Even though nobody requires you to show the finished outline, it will save you so much time that you will never regret getting a habit of writing one. Clarify the aim and proceed with writing.


If you see a clear picture of how your essay will look like, it is time to dress it up and get some arguments to work. Think about the thesis statement and be sure you compose it with maximum attention as it is actually the most important sentence of your essay. In the main body provide the arguments and the supporting statements with some vivid examples. Add the results of your research, interview, and everything that you have prepared to your essay.


By finishing your essay you are not done yet. It is advised to study some argumentative essay examples for high school to see how your own essay can benefit more. Also, prepare yourself to defend the essay if during the presentation you are asked some unexpected questions.

Concluding Remarks

Distinguish between the formal, presumptuous words (the ones primarily used to astonish readers) and jargon (the words used by people relating to a specific area, e.g. programming). Your work though written in formal style should not sound artificial. Mind that various cases require using various writing styles. A highly educated writer should know what language means to use to make one’s work academically sound regardless of argumentative essay topics. By using different literary devices (where applicable), and expressions, you will show readers your ability to properly analyze different subjects.

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Methods How to Write Argumentative Essay

Classical Method

Use this method if you are 100% sure you will manage to persuade readers to take your viewpoint on the matter. Readers may not be conversant with the explored issue. Thus, you have to convince them that your opinion about the subject is worth being shared. Below, there is a classical argumentative essay outline:

  • Introductory section: presents the topic, catches readers’ attention.
  • Narrative: provides basic data about the subject, highlights the key issue.
  • Division: presents a thesis and illustrates main arguments.
  • Argument: provides evidence supporting a thesis statement (this is the biggest part of your essay, i.e. its body).
  • Rebuttal: proves that the contradicting viewpoint on the topic is invalid.
  • Conclusion: sums up the key points, restates a thesis, and offers a solution to the central problem.

Rogerian Method

This technique is mostly used when the writer tries to arrive at a compromise because the debates about the subject are really fierce. You have to show readers that you are ready to change your opinion about the issue.

Key Features:

  • Objectivity. Show that you understand there can be an opinion about the subject opposing yours. Readers will see that you are fair in your judgment.

E.g., there should not be cruel laboratory experiments on animals.

  • Mutual agreement. Find the common point about the discussed phenomenon.

E.g., being adults, we have to fulfill some duties.

  • Readiness to alter one’s personal opinion. Express willingness to change your viewpoint.

E.g., it is the right decision to find other ways of testing medicine than conducting experiments on animals.

  • Concession. Try to work out a solution to the problem.

Example: It is essential to find other methods for testing medicine. Until that time, we are likely to continue doing experiments on animals.

Toulmin Strategy

The strategy is aimed at referring to reliable data and concrete facts to resolve the dispute. By using this method, your work will have the following argumentative essay format:

  • Material: Provide arguments. E.g., thrillers have a negative influence on child psychology.
  • Assertion: Produce a statement which you are going to prove. E.g., the authorities should control television broadcasts.
  • Guarantee: Interpret the data supporting your statement. E.g., administrative laws also govern other areas.
  • Supporting evidence: Put forward more powerful arguments. Example: There are many other laws concerning TV broadcasting.
  • Modifier: A word or expression such as “usually,” that restricts the statement. E.g., in the majority of cases, the authorities are required to monitor TV programs.
  • Exceptions: Identify the issues which do not refer to the discussed situation, e.g., laws may not be obligatory if parents control the programs their children watch.

The discussed type of academic work can be of the following kinds:

  • Argumentative: imparts facts to prove one’s opinion about the subject. Pay attention to these instructions on how to write an argumentative essay and you will succeed in creating such a paper.
  • Personal: explains how the writer’s life has changed after facing some situations.
  • Biographical/autobiographical: presents information about the writer or any other person.
  • Informative: broadens readers’ knowledge about the matter.
  • Expository: makes an assessment of the subject and provides a conclusion based on the obtained results.
  • Narrative: tells a story about one’s experience.
  • Discursive: examines the subject by illustrating two contradicting viewpoints.
  • Analytical: performs a critical analysis of the issue.
  • Critical: examines strong and weak points of the subject.
  • Persuasive: convinces readers to accept the writer’s opinion.
  • Response/reaction: gives a response to a movie, book, article, etc.

Argumentative Paper Structure


Interest readers in your topic by making an intriguing start. Then, provide basic data about the addressed subject. Indicate your topic and state how you are going to cover it. Explain to readers why you find your topic essential. The next step is to create a thesis statement. This is the claim that should highlight the chief idea of your work.


This section may include up to five paragraphs. Here, you need to provide facts, arguments, and statistical data to support your thesis statement. Note that your personal experience is not considered appropriate for backing up your claims. In order to make your work valid, present the viewpoint opposing to yours.

Concluding Paragraph

Rehash your thesis to remind readers of the main point of your paper. Clearly state why your solution to the issue is the most effective. In order to persuade readers of the appropriateness of your concepts, demonstrate how the situation may change without implementing your ideas.

Choosing Argumentative Essay Topics

If you desire to create an appealing paper grabbing readers’ attention, follow the tips described below to pick a great topic:

  • Avoid insignificant topics.
  • Choose the issue which people consider acute today. The selected subject should be disputable.
  • You may concentrate on the question that has been discussed for decades.
  • It is always thrilling to examine political issues.
  • You can investigate the subjects relating to studies that irritate the majority of students.
  • Do not choose the questions that people have no doubts about.
  • Avoid discussing religious subjects or those relating to race and gender.
  • Stick to the MLA or APA argumentative essay format (you will find a lot of examples on the Internet).
  • Take into account people’s viewpoint on the picked topic.

Topic Ideas:

  1. Is there any connection between human activity and global warming?
  2. Does violence on TV impact children?
  3. Do actors, SEO workers and athletes receive too high salaries?
  4. Can use cell phones and other gadgets damage one’s health?
  5. Is it moral to impose the death penalty?
  6. Is the election procedure transparent?
  7. Is it effective to make students wear a school uniform?
  8. Is the tax system workable?
  9. Is it ethical to conduct experiments on animals?
  10. Can cheating be controlled?


  • Possible political improvement that would benefit your local education.
  • Arguments against discrimination inside the educational system.
  • The efficiency of the current educational system.
  • Resources for maintaining proper studying capabilities.


  • Now and Then. Comparing the life before and after the advent of modern technology.
  • Social media and its influence on children.
  • Application development and its impact on industrial systems.
  • Media expansion – reaction of the society.


  • Comedy in nowadays films.
  • Analyzing current movie plots.
  • Pop culture of modern cinema.


  • Sports involvement to reduce juvenile delinquency.
  • Modern technologies in sport. How they changed the industry.
  • Using GMO-free products and their impact on athlete’s health.
  • Alternative mainstream games of the current world state.

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