Saturday, June 16, 2012

Top Ten Tips on How to Write an Argument Essay

Before getting into the top ten tips, it is important to understand the structure of an argument essay.
Here's the breakdown for the organization of an argument (For a video explaining the organization, click here.)

Introduction: Hook (Attention Grabber), Background Information, Main Idea (Thesis with points(optional))

Body: Main Points Paragraphs (topic sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence in each one).

Counterargument/Refutation: One paragraph stating the opposing viewpoint, then reproving your main point.

Conclusion: Summarizing your points and finally stating why your position is the most reasonable. Can end with a quote, anecdote, story, suggestion, or prediction.

Click here for a Free Argument Tutorial Download

Top Ten Hints for Arguments -

  1. Use strong modals for your arguments (should, must, have to, supposed to). 
  2. Use weak modals for your opponent's arguments (may, might, could, etc.).
  3. Don't make a point without evidence. Just because you think something is true doesn't make it so. 
  4. Don't tear down another's argument without using logic and stating why they are logically incorrect.
  5. Avoid Logical Fallacies.  
  6. Don't get personal - "Anyone who believes that is stupid."
  7. Avoid "I" unless you're giving a story, example, etc. in the introduction or conclusion. 
  8. We already know what you think because of your modals. "People should" is just as good as "I think people should."  
  9. Check your sources, make sure that they are reliable. Web sources that include a .org or .edu are usually more reliable than a .com.
  10. Instead of using as a source check the footnotes at the bottom and find the sources of the wikipedia article. In this way, you get the info closer to the original source.


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