How To Write An Argumentative Essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay?


An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that reinforces a point of view by weighing the points for and against the argument.

When writing an argumentative essay, the writer tries to sway the readers to understand and support their point of view by:

  • stating their reasoning.
  • providing evidence to back their reasoning.
  • providing counter arguments to their reasoning.
  • disputing those counter arguments.

Make a careful preparation of your points before

  • Carefully read and understand the main concept of the topic.
  • Decide the arguments "for" or "against" the topic.
  • Make a summary of all the relevant & logical points related to your opinion. Avoid emotional opinions. Spend no more than 10 minutes doing this.

Outline of an argumentative essay

An argumentative essays should have a straight forward structure for the examiner to follow easily. Here is a good structure for an argumentative essay:

  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Conclusion

Introduction of an argumentative essay

The first paragraph of your essay is your introduction and should outline your topic and introduce your argument. You can start by announcing the topic and giving your opinion. For example you can start as follows:

"The has usage of the internet has greatly increased over the last few years. We are now in the age where the internet has become a necessity for everyone. I personally believe ……"

The idea is to start by giving a valid point, followed by your own relevant opinion.


Body of an argumentative essay

The body of an argumentative essay typically contains at least three paragraphs that explain the reasons why you support your point of view. Each body paragraph should contain a unique point and also contain a topic sentence that sways the reader to agree with your point of view.

All in all, the main body of an argumentative essay should include the following:

  • The arguments "For". Your arguments should include valid and logical points. The arguments "For" must all be in favour of your opinion and they should include your strongest points.
  • The counter arguments and their counter arguments. Choose the strongest counter arguments in a completely logical and honest way. The biggest scoring point of an argumentative essay is to give both sides of the argument and then prove yourself right. Finally, after pointing out the counter arguments, you must then counter them and prove them to be either wrong or not strong enough to win the argument.

Here’s an example of a counter argument and how to dispute it:

"Internet should be made free for every student as it helps the students in their research and in other forms of electronic learning."

You can dispute this counter argument as follows:

"Though the internet provides students with a great knowledge database, most of the information on the internet is poorly written by unverified authors for a non academic audience. Some of the information contain hidden agendas that are difficult for the students to filter out. Students can benefit from free textbooks from verified authors than having them surf the internet…"

How to conclude an argumentative essay

The best way to conclude your essay is by reinforcing your opinion in a different perspective.

"Instead of giving students free internet to aid their learning there other better ways to aid their learning. It would be better to give the students free industrial tours and field trips to educational monuments such as museums."

The add a killer ending sentence. For example:

"Hence all these points show that giving students free internet will do more harm than good to their way of learning."

Points to remember when writing an argumentative essay

  • You’re not simply stating your points but trying to convince the examiner that your opinion is correct.
  • Emotional points will harm your argument.
  • Avoid using words such as "firstly, secondly, thirdly or finally", instead, use good expressions to connect your points, such as "Furthermore, In addition to this”.

Juliet Muturuki

Quantity Surveyor and Freelance Writer.

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