How to Write an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay uses logic and reasoning to defend a position or point of view. In an argumentative essay, research, evidence, and examples are used to convince the reader to consider a different point of view. A strong argument essay also acknowledges the opposing viewpoint. This is known as the counterargument. Ultimately, the counterargument is disputed with evidence in an attempt to convince the reader to support the writer’s initial claim.
Most argumentative essays have five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion
The introduction begins with a hook, an attention-grabbing statement about the topic. The hook is followed by two to three background sentences about the topic. The last part of the introduction includes a clearly defined thesis statement. The thesis statement is also called the claim. It is the most important part of an argumentative essay. The thesis statement clearly states the writer’s position, and it is followed by reasons that support the argument.
Electric cars were invented more than 100 years ago! Battery-powered electric vehicles were on the roads in the late 1800s. Eventually, electric and gas-powered cars replaced horses for personal transportation. Today, all vehicles should be electric-powered because electric cars are better for the environment and they cost less to fuel.
Body Paragraphs 1 & 2
The first two body paragraphs provide reasons, evidence, and explanations to support the argument presented in the thesis. Each body paragraph begins with a transition word. Next, a reason to support the thesis is stated. The reason must be followed with credible evidence. Examples of credible evidence include examples, quotes, facts, and statistics. It is important to give credit to the author whose work is used as evidence. Credit is provided with an in-text citation and a reference list citation. The in-text citation includes the author’s last name and the year of publication (Chicago Manual of Style). Finally, an example or explanation is provided to show what the evidence proves.
First, all cars should be electric because they are better for the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, electric cars emit less greenhouse gasses than gas-powered cars (EPA 2022). This shows that electric cars are better for the environment because greenhouse gases can lead to an unnatural warming of the Earth.
Next, all cars should be electric because they cost less to fuel than gas-powered cars. A 2020 Consumer Reports study found that electric vehicle owners spent 60% less for fuel than gas-powered vehicle owners (Lindwall 2022). In other words, owning an electric vehicle allows people to save the money they would normally spend on gas.
Body Paragraph 3
The third body paragraph includes the counterargument and rebuttal. The counterargument is the opposing position. Providing a counterargument adds credibility to the essay and helps gain the reader’s trust. The counterargument is followed by the rebuttal. The rebuttal provides a reason to disprove the counterargument. To be effective, the rebuttal should be supported with credible evidence and an explanation.
Some people believe that all cars should not be electric because electric cars cannot drive long distances. This is not the case because many electric cars can travel long distances without charging. For example, Tesla’s Model S can drive approximately 370 miles without stopping for a charge (Siddiqui 2020). This means it is possible to drive long distances in an electric car without need to stop and recharge.
The final paragraph of an argumentative essay restates the thesis, summarizes the reasons that support the thesis, and ends with a strong statement about the topic. The concluding paragraph should not introduce new reasons or evidence to support the writer’s position.
In conclusion, all cars should be electric. Electric cars are better for the environment and they cost less to fuel. When it is time to purchase a car, an electric vehicle is clearly the better choice.
A list of references, or bibliography, is always included with an argumentative essay. References are alphabetized by author name or article title. The first line of each citation is aligned left. The following lines are indented.
Argumentative Writing Unit with PowerPoint Presentation
Introduce argumentative writing to all levels of learners with this comprehensive unit! Everything you need to differentiate and scaffold instruction is included with this printable and digital argument writing lesson!
Use this bundle of step-by-step materials to guide students through every paragraph and element of argument writing. Make it easy for all students to plan, draft, and revise their essays. A Powerpoint and Google Slides presentation is also included!