Once you transfer to high school, you may face the challenge in the shape of argumentative essay writing. It is about taking a certain position on the offered topic and explain your reasoning. Unless you do not have to convince the audience of your truth as in a persuasive essay.
We have prepared 10 most effective tips on the way to success with your argumentative writing. They helped even the professional writers!
Focus on the Argument instead of the Topic
The most common mistake is to start choosing a topic instead of formulating an argument for your argumentative paper. Concrete, controversial point is half the battle. It is the heart of entire writing.
Search in your library or on the web (even in social networks) to come up with the best idea that would initiate the audience to debate. The topic/argument should be:
- Familiar to you
- Related to your class
A topic may sound short and general like “School Bullying” or “Reasons for Wearing School Uniform.” Ab argument, instead, should sound more specific (e.g., “At least 18% of the US students report that they have witnessed school bullying and did nothing to prevent it, so I believe it is the main reason for the problem to exist. Parents, government, teachers, and students altogether should be responsible for the acts of violence in public schools and take measures to prevent them.”)
Yes, a thesis can be 2 sentences long, but it is better to keep it as short as possible!
Start with an Inspiring Hook and Solid Thesis
It does not mean that these are the first two things to put on your paper. You can develop a thesis once you are done with the rest of the piece. It is even easier when you have an overall picture in front of your eyes. Besides, creating a solid thesis may require more time than writing body paragraphs.
As for the hook, you can also leave it to the end. However, this type of sentence should open your essay. One of the main purposes of any academic or business writing is to grab the reader’s attention, and the best method is a hook sentence. Here are some types of this sentence to choose from:
- Rhetorical question (the one which requires no answer).
- Literary quote (a citation from a famous piece of literature).
- Quotation of a famous person (choosing an inspirational figure or field expert).
- Fact or statistics.
- Metaphor, simile, allegory, and other literary tools.
- Joke or anecdote (depending on the tone of your paper).
The rest of the introduction should be dedicated to the background information like what the problem is about and why it is important to study it, and a thesis statement. A thesis is the central argument of the entire essay, so it should be concise, to-the-point, and clear. The author should address and explain his or her specific position towards the topic. For instance, if the topic is about the legalization of marijuana, your thesis may sound like, “I do support the legalization of marijuana as it was proved by the National Czech Medical University that it does not harm to the physical health, improves mental condition, and is already legalized in some of the developed European regions like the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.”
Outline the Paper before Writing It
If you have the essay’s structure in front of your eyes, it will be simpler and faster to work on your project. A traditional structure looks this way: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Even though references are not included in the main structure, they should follow just after the conclusion. Dedicate a separate page to a reference list. Upon a teacher’s request, you may need to come up with a title page and an abstract. An abstract should be no longer than 1/3 of a page (approximately 250 words).
Choose the Proper Formatting
It is very important to decide on the preferred citation format. Plenty of them exist. How should you know which one to select? If you know the abbreviations, it is easier than ABC. The format you choose depends on the subjects and institution that offered a particular writing style. Here are some of the examples of citation formats:
- MLA – The Modern Language Association
- APA – The American Psychological Association
- AMA – The American Medical Association
- IEEE – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
As you may guess MLA is used in humanities and liberal arts while APA is for psychology students. AMA is for those who study medicine, and IEEE suits IT and computer science, students. Styles like McGill and Bluebook were created especially for students who study Law. Also, there are certain formats like Harvard and Chicago developed by the corresponding universities for their students.
Consult Credible, Up-to-Date Sources
Keep in mind that you cannot trust just every source you find on the web or in your college library. Most teachers recommend using only sources that are no older than five years unless you are covering a problem that has not significantly changed for a while. What are some of the sources you can trust as a student?
- Books & e-Books
- Academic journals
- Scientific magazines
- Scholarly articles
Avoid open-source websites as any user can edit them. We are talking about sources like Wikipedia, Ask, or Quora. The example of a good source could PurdueOwl or Forbes.
Reason Trumps Emotion
Writing an argumentative paper should, first of all, rely on the logos. Of course, ethos and pathos are also important, but the logos implies rational reasoning and logic. Save the emotions for another case as they only prevent you from sounding persuasive and objective.
To prove that you are objective with your judgments, it is critical to include the arguments of the opposing side. After all, not everyone has the same point of view as you do, and it would be smart to emotion other sides in your writing. It will help to create a contrast and prove why your opinion is right.
Ask Your Peer for an Outside Editing/Proofreading
There is nothing better than having people around reading your work. Be ready to face critics. At least, they will help you to find the right way. Make sure to select people who can validate the logic behind your argument!
Get Free Examples of Essays
It is always a good idea to get inspired by reviewing the works of other people. Perhaps, you may ask your teachers to share some of their best examples saved from previous years. Say that this step will help you to get inspired and motivated.
Use Academic Writing Services
Even though some people might call it cheating, paying for custom essays and research papers is a different thing. A business like that is 100% legal. Still, it is better to think twice before taking this step. Check online reviews, choose websites that are in Google top 10, review feedback, etc. Otherwise, you risk facing a scam with plenty of malware and ads for your device that you do not need. The leading writing services are absolutely safe, and they can do part of the job for you.
Bonus Hint: Download Writing Tools or Use Online Software
It is an extra tip to consider. Have you ever heard of software like Grammarly, Copyscape, Hemingway, etc.? Unlike an academic writing service, it is riskier to rely on such tools. They are not 100% accurate, but they can greatly improve your work. They are good for grammar, and spell checking, scanning texts for plagiarism, removing useless words, replacing difficult terms, avoiding tautology, and more. If you want the best results, pay for the premium subscription if the apps are initially free. Also, you may use free online citation generators to avoid problems with referencing. Once again, a real writer will do the job more accurate, so it is up to you to decide.
As you can see, there are many approaches to argumentative essay writing. It is a valuable knowledge that you will use later in your life and career. Thus, try to keep these basic hints in mind.