Want to know how to write an outline for an argumentative essay?
An argumentative essay is quite a common task, which is assigned at both high school and college. It aims to show the tutor how students are able to study the topic, gather information, process it and provide strong evidence on a given subject. This task requires lots of energy and time, so we have decided to collect information on the key elements and features, which your argumentative paper outline should possess.
During the working process, you need to study all the arguments and choose the side you are on. This may require lots of sleepless nights, as the volume of information may be very impressive. However, it doesn’t mean that a first-class argumentative essay is a huge challenge.
We offer you an article, which will answer all of your questions and you will be able to create an outline that will reflect all of your ideas in a clear and brief manner.
H2 Proper structure
Any time you need to start something new, you feel nervous and think that the task is too complicated. Let us assure you that after reading this guide you will find the whole process quite simple and won’t need to stress out.
Your outline should consist of equally important sections, which aim to show the tutor what you stand on. These sections include:
- Working on arguments;
- Discrowning opponent’s arguments;
Let us take a closer look at every section. Just make yourself comfortable and continue reading!
You probably know a popular saying that you won’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It greatly reflects the whole deal with the introductory section, as it can easily catch the reader’s interest or make him want to drop your essay at once.
As any other paper, an argumentative introduction should consist of the hook, basic information and a thesis statement.
The hook is the first sentence you read and it has a huge impact on the number of audience you will have. You will probably agree that you will likely stop reading an article or a book if the beginning is boring or uninteresting. The same applies to your essay and you need to make your hook as catchy, as possible.
Here are the things you may use as a hook:
- Quotes of famous people or characters;
- Anecdotes if your topic is entertaining and doesn’t require an academic tone;
- A question, which will intrigue the reader;
- A misconception;
- A fact or statistics, which will surprise the audience.
After the hook, you should proceed with the basic information on the subject. To make the whole process much simpler, you should try to answer the following questions:
- Who may consider this topic important?
- What matter are you going to talk about?
- Why you think the topic is important?
You need to finish your introduction with a thesis statement, which should be not more than two sentences long. It should give the reader a chance to understand what your essay is about. It should be performed in a form of a statement about the general idea of the whole paper. Don’t forget to include your personal opinion on the subject to give the reader a chance to understand what side you are on.
Remember, most of the readers pay great attention to the thesis statement, so it is crucial to make it specific, focused, clear and readable, and correspond with the main goals of your argumentative essay.
Don’t forget that your thesis is not a title and shouldn’t become an absolute statement. It is the quintessence, the general idea of your work and can become your biggest strength if prepared thoughtfully.
Working on the arguments
Now, when your introductory section is ready, it is necessary to work on the arguments. The second section of your essay should consist evidence, which will support all of your arguments on a given topic.
You should start every paragraph with the claim. It is the central part of your essay and has a great effect on the flow of your whole work. Your claims should be catchy, strong and interesting, as they form your arguments and give the reader an idea of what principles you stand for.
The main goal of a claim is to determine the direction and the scope of the paper. However, it is quite simple to make such a statement: think of the subject and audience to choose a proper argument. When this part is ready, go on to providing the evidence.
Every claim of your essay should be backed by evidence. This means that the reader should see that your argument is credible, valid and trustworthy. You need to process huge volumes of information to find facts, statistics, researches and so on.
Once your outline is ready, you will get an idea of what claims to include to your text and you can start working on finding a proper evidence. Search for academic papers online, at libraries or ask your tutor for some materials. Remember, a claim, which is not backed with evidence, is pointless. You need to prove your point of view and give the audience a chance to see that you have completed a thorough research. They need to be sure that your arguments are strong and valid to believe you.
Discrowning opponent’s arguments
One of the biggest mistakes any student makes, while completing an argumentative essay is that he works only on his arguments and a proper evidence. He just supports one claim after another, trying to persuade the reader to support his point of view.
However, such attitude is far from a proper one, as an argumentative essay is all about giving the audience a chance to see not only your position on the matter but also to get familiar with the opposite thoughts.
That is why in the third section you need to prove arguments of your opponents and try to debunk them. It is quite a simple task, as you will have access to multiple sources, both offline and online. Try to get reliable information or find out weak places in opposite arguments to uncrown them.
The structure of this section is quite similar to the previous one. Your paragraphs should start with a claim or an argument followed by your evidence why the statement is incorrect. Using such techniques, you will prove the reader that your point of view is correct.
While giving the reader a chance to get familiar with both sides, you help yourself to prove you are right and earn respect and trust of the audience. In addition, you will look noble because of including other opinions to your argumentative essay.
Don’t forget that this section should also be backed with trustworthy sources, proper references and credible statistics.
Once your introduction and evidence sections are ready, you can take a deep breath and have a break. Pour yourself some coffee, go for a walk and relax. Once you have a proper rest, proceed with working on the final section.
It is a well-known fact that your conclusions play a crucial part in the final impression from the work. However, most of the students still neglect this section, thinking that no one ever reads it.
If you want to make your conclusions flawless, you need to remember that they should consist of three parts:
- Restatement of your arguments;
- A short summary of the whole work and the thesis statement;
- A statement of the benefits and of a positive impact of the arguments on the society. Here you can also make a sort of a warning what may happen if the reader doesn’t support your ideas.
To make the paper look organic, try to make your conclusions the same size, as the introductory section. Never use the same phrases, as the reader may think that your paper is repetitive.
Tips to remember
Now, when you know how an argumentative essay is created and how its outline looks like, you can be sure to perform the task in the best possible way. However, there is always a cherry on the top and here is a list of advices, which you may use throughout the way:
- You need to understand the topic clearly before starting your work on an outline;
- Always consult your plan to make sure you include every important idea to your text;
- Provide only credible information, which is backed with statistics. Never make up facts, as they may be checked on a plagiarism software and you will have serious troubles;
- Use simple language and short sentences;
- Edit and proofread your paper a multiple times before you eliminate all the mistakes.
As you see, an argumentative essay is not a task to be afraid of. It is just a way to provide evidence on a topic, backed with trustworthy information. To make sure you obtain high grades, simply use the outline, which was discussed in our article.