You have certainly heard many times how important it is to be able to express your thoughts in a correct and adequate way. This task gets more complicated when it comes to more ambiguous issues than your plans for the nearest holidays. It is mostly about your personal attitude towards different aspects of human life. They include a wide gamut of social and political issues, science and technologies, cultures and religions, as well as all kinds of connections between these and many other spheres of life. Besides, they involve various attitudes and points of view, which come from different people and may sometimes be absolutely opposite. So when your task is to present your personal considerations about some of such controversial issues, as they are also referred to, it does take both time and efforts to make out their features and make up your own opinion on them. The way you do it and the conclusion you will finally make determine your ability to form your personal and independent judgements on the reality you live in, analyze the experience of the past and make reasonable predictions for the future. These small tips on how to write a successful argumentative essay will provide you with some good pieces of advice for your text. By the way, you can use them not only for writing, but also for preparing speeches, reports or articles on controversial topics.
Tip #1 Do Some Research
In most cases you don’t need to look for the topic of your essay. So let’s assume that you already know the issue you must write your essay on. The main question is how competent you are in it. You can’t write about things you have almost no idea about, can you? That is why you should google some information about the issue you are going to write about. You can use statistics, dates and quotes in your essay. Remember that they should be properly inserted in your text, without breaking any rules of spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on. While you are searching for the information, make some notes or copy what you think may be interesting and useful to a separate document. Before you start writing, re-read those extracts you have selected and work with the facts or quotes they contain.
Tip #2 Make a Good Plan
Argumentative essay is probably one of the most difficult types of essays. It requires proper structure and all its parts should be arranged and connected in a right way. So before you start, make a plan for your text. Generally, it has five or six paragraphs. Also, you can draw some pictures and add special signs, like stars or arrows. Do everything you want to make the structure of your essay and the connections between its paragraphs visible for you.
This is the very first part of the essay. Here you should briefly present the issue you are going to discuss below. Describe it, using facts and quotes you have picked up from other sources.
2. Paragraph with Hidden Opinion
Let’s call it like this. In this part you can mention the views on the issue or situation that already exist. For example, if you are writing about a conflict, describe how both sides treat it, what motives or perspectives they have. After that you should carefully insert your own opinion. Try to be creative with it and put it in one sentence. Express your support, sympathy or disapproval.
3. Main Part
It will consist of two or three paragraphs. There should be two or three logical and reasonable arguments to prove your opinion, expressed in the paragraph above. At the same time each argument should be supported by a few statements or ideas, providing either some additional details, description or facts. Each paragraph containing an argument and supportive elements can have a small conclusion which would sum up what you have mentioned.
This is the part where you can freely express your final point of view, basing on all the facts and arguments you have used. It should express your only thought about and support your only possible attitude towards the issue. There is no second way.
Tip #3 Make Friends with Logic and Sequence
These are two main criteria for an argumentative essay. If you follow them, the writing will get really easier and you will succeed. Again your plan will help you with it. Note that the wrong structure of a text is what catches the reader’s (that is your teacher’s) eyes much faster than the wrong spelling or even grammar.
Tip #4 Stay Impartial
Whatever the topic of your essay and whatever your personal attitude to the situation are, you should provide unbiased and independent arguments to support it and make a reasonable conclusion. Be both fair and diplomatic. Remember that your personal opinion mustn’t offend other people.
These are the most general tips for writing an argumentative essay. In case you consider something else is also important for your own text, don’t hesitate to use it. Just watch the logical structure and friendly thrust of your work.