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August 22, 2013

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a demonstration of one’s critical thinking about an important and often contentious problem. In the argumentative essay an issue is stated, critical reasons are offered as to why this issue is significant, and reasons are presented as to why it is important. In addition, an analysis of the issue follows in which certain passages are clarified.

An argumentative essay uses reasoning and evidence. It does not use emotion to take a definitive stand on a particular controversial or debatable issue. The essay mainly explores two sides of a topic and tries to prove why one side or position is better. In this process, underlying assumptions and fallacies may be uncovered. Since there are always at least two sides to any issue, an argument must be given as to why one position is better than another.

The essay should generally begin with a question, perplexity, doubt, concern, or curiosity regarding a particular subject. Because the essay should be fair to both sides, as well as clear on the position of the writer, there needs to be openness and a fair examination of the reasons for and against each position. Finally, since there should be some resolution, it will be necessary to draw conclusions, clearly state reasons, and present the basis of these reasons explicitly. Probe and explore presuppositions and assumptions on which these reasons are based. The writer’s views, as well as those of others, should be clearly expressed and explained.

A useful strategy in writing an argumentative essay, either in terms of developing or analyzing ideas, is to begin by identifying the various levels. It is vital to quickly consider the alternatives that might be given at each level. Don’t be afraid to question things that have been read; in fact, it is highly advisable to start with the assumption that nothing is so sacred nor so fragile that it is rendered immune from being questioned.

An argumentative essay is not a book review, a catalogue of the ideas of others, and neither is it a simple presentation of personal opinions; however, some debatable issues cover a very wide range of topics. Take for example the topic of legalizing drugs – it is too broad a subject to deal with effectively in a relatively short essay. Some suitable topics within this issue that could be explored include the effectiveness of the FDA, legalizing marijuana, or whether a painkiller made in Europe ought to be allowed to be brought into the US. Any of these could be the only focus of an argumentative paper.

A statement of unreflective personal opinion, whether the author’s or someone else’s, is not sufficient; reflective thoughts and the development of analysis and arguments are required. A good paper is not descriptive nor is it a simple report; it is critical and inquisitive. Improving the ability to write argumentative essays will pay off in college and later in life. After graduation, many occasions may require the use of writing to persuade others of a particular point of view. writing service offers students quality argumentative essay writing help on any topic!

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