How to Write an Argumentative Essay in 5 Steps

An argumentative essay is meant to establish a stance on an issue. It should contain supporting evidence and reasons for your position. The writer should introduce a compelling topic, explain the sides of the issue, address arguments, and persuade the reader to adopt a perspective.

The most basic components of an argumentative essay include a clear thesis statement, logical reasoning, and relevant evidence. The following steps will help you work through the process of writing an argumentative essay.

Step 1: Choose Your Topic

You will need a topic before you can begin writing. The guidelines will vary depending on the assignment. If you are given complete freedom, you should look for a topic that’s interesting and that you feel passionate about. When you truly care about the topic, you’ll be more likely to craft strong arguments.

Make sure you can find solid evidence to back your stance before you begin. Many people have opinions on subjects with little to no evidence to support those ideas.

Step 2:  Crafting a Thesis

Once you have your topic, you can craft a thesis. This should consist of a one to two sentence summary of your main message or claim. It should support your stance and tell the reader what your essay is about. Your thesis needs to be enticing because it will help the reader decide if they want to read your entire essay.

Step 3: Research and Findings

Now it’s time to do some in-depth research. Compile your evidence so you’re ready to make a compelling argument. Once you have everything in hand, you need to organize your findings.

Avoid getting tunnel vision during this phase. You should read a broad spectrum of resources to ensure that you have all the information on the topic. It is also best to be open-minded about differing perspectives. You may need to incorporate them to create a balanced essay. This is also a good time to look for new angles that you may not have considered yet.

Step 4: Penning Your Rough Draft

Create an outline of your content. This will help you structure the argumentative essay while presenting information in a logical order. The first paragraph should contain your thesis and background content. The background can discuss why the issue is important, who it affects, the root cause, possible solutions, and what should be done.

The body comes next and should outline your claims with evidence and explanations. The third part will connect everything back to your thesis statement. You can also add paragraphs that challenge your arguments and reinforce your claims. Finally, you will need to write a conclusion.

Step 5: Proofread Your Essay

Your first draft is called “rough” for a reason. It will likely need polishing. Proofread your work and check for errors. Make sure the language you use speaks to your audience and makes your point.

It may take several passes for polishing, but eventually, you will end up with a well-organized argumentative essay that’s ready for readers.