Argumentative Essay Structure – Prerequisite to Excellence

11 Jul 2019

While grading papers written by their students, tutors often consider many aspects. They evaluate student’s argumentation strength, quality, origins of cited evidence, and paper formatting. But most importantly, they look at structure. Excellent paper structure not only makes it easier for readers to follow writer’s ideas, but also significantly contributes to the strength. Argumentative essay structure is especially important because the very purpose of such an essay is to convince readers take particular position regarding a discussed controversial topic. As any other readers, your tutors will really appreciate reading essays with an excellent structure. So, let’s not waste time and take a look at several easy tips that will make your argumentative essay structure better and grades higher!

Begin with an Outline

No matter how little time you have, consider writing an outline. Really, unless you are a professional writer who writes essays for the last 20 years, create an argumentative essay outline before you start drafting. Although it may seem that outlines steal valuable minutes, reality is the opposite. They actually save time because they make writing easier. Outlines ensure a perfect structure. While creating outlines, students write out their future essay structures point-by-point. Indeed, good outlines often specify what students will present in their introductions, body of the paper, and conclusions in a clear and brief manner. I like to compare them with skeletons in a human body, because they carry out a comparable function: structures highlighted in outlines support purposes that students pursue while writing.

Point-By-Point Structure for an Argumentative Essay

Evidently, students should think about and create their essay structures on the outline writing stage. This applies to every essay kind, and it is true for argumentative essays. In order to clarify how to structure an argumentative essay, let’s consider major elements this essay should possess to reach its purpose: to persuade readers to agree with an author’s position. As other essays, argumentative essays should have an introduction, body, and a conclusion. So each element is discussed in a manner that illustrates where exactly they should appear in your essay.

Introduction

Argumentative essay introduction should a) introduce a controversy in an attention-grabbing manner, b) make readers feel like this controversy matters to them, c) clearly state your position in regards to it, and d) clarify how exactly you’ll argue in favour of this position in the main body. These four functions suggest the need for four specific elements that should be present in an introductory paragraph: hook, background, thesis, and an outline.

  • Hook – Good essays begin with a sentence that aims at grabbing readers’ attention, along with illustrating the importance of a discussed topic. Bold facts or statistics can serve as good hooks in argumentative essays. For instance, if I wrote an argumentative essay on abortion, I would begin with a following hook: “Although more than 45 thousand women annually do abortion in Australia, this procedure still remains illegal in Wales.”
  • Brief background information – Upon grabbing attention, students should help readers better orient in the topic. It is important to explain the controversy under concern. For instance, it is good when one explains the opposing views. In an abortion case, you may point out that supporters perceive it as a medical procedure, while opponents consider it a murder. Also, one can mention that this is not only a legal controversy, but also a moral issue that affects every member of society.
  • Thesis statement – After briefly explaining the controversy, present your own position. Readers should easily understand whether you agree with supporters or opponents in a controversy. For example, in an abortion essay, students may use the following thesis: “ Wales should legalize abortion because illegitimate status of this procedure fails to prevent women from doing it, but it puts their health under threat.”
  • Outline – Finally, upon presenting a position, clarify the structure of your argument. You should give your readers a preview of points that will be discussed in the body section in the same order they’ll be presented in your essay.

Main Body

When outlining main body, remember that it should comprise about 80% of your total word count. Use this information and decide on an exact number of paragraphs you’ll include. Mind that at least one paragraph should be devoted to the discussion and refutation of an opposite perspective, which is known as counterargument. Whether you support your own position or discuss counterargument, mind that each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence, contain supporting evidence, bring additional explanation, and end with a concluding sentence.

  • Topic sentence – In every body paragraph, the first sentence should introduce a major point, linking it back to your thesis. For instance, in our hypothetical abortion paper, the first paragraph can start with a following topic sentence: “New Wales authorities use illegal status of abortion as a means aimed at preventing women from doing this procedure.”
  • Evidence – Every paragraph should contain evidence. You can quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from credible sources. Mind that statistics, authoritative opinions, or results of studies often serve as convincing evidence.
  • Explanation – It is important to further elaborate an argument by developing points discussed in a paragraph.
  • Concluding sentence – Although concluding sentences are optional, brief summary of the points discussed in a paragraph, along with transition to the next point, makes your argument stronger.

Counterargument

When discussing counterarguments, consider refuting them effectively. You should list arguments that opponents often bring and explain why they are incorrect from your point of view. Successful counterargument paragraph will definitely help you persuade your readers. So it’s worth including it as part of an argumentative essay structure.

Conclusion

In a concluding paragraph, students should summarize main points and restate their thesis statements. Make sure your conclusion is a convincing summary of an argument presented in the essay. While proving the validity of your argument, don’t introduce any new information.

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Students who take their time to create an outline and develop a clear argumentative essay structure eventually end up with significant advantages compared to those who ignore these steps in essay writing process. Firstly, they add clarity. Secondly, well-thought arguments are more convincing. Finally, arguments that have a strong structure are challenging to refute. Therefore, readers are less likely to oppose well-structured arguments.

Although we’ve provided recommendations students can use to improve their essay structures, professional assistance in pursuit of excellence is a really good idea. On our platform, you can get essays with great structure without any efforts. We’ve spent a significant amount of time to attract the best writers experienced in academic writing. So just clarify your tutor’s requirements and get an original essay by the specified deadline.

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