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An Argumentative Essays Main Purpose Is To Persuade Someone

        A law should be passed that bans the use of a cell phone while driving. Too often I have seen people driving recklessly while engaged in conversation on a cell phone. They can't seem to find time to exercise proper vehicle functions or safe driving procedures because they are too busy gabbing on their little phones. One hand holds the phone to the ear, and the other hand might be used to steer. In fact, a study has shown that more accidents are caused by people using cell phones while driving than by people who are drunk while driving. The need for restricting cell phone use, then, is clear. These careless people are endangering you and me on the public streets, and I personally believe the time has come to call for an end to this needless and potentially dangerous practice.


        The writer clearly presents his opinion using the persuasive purpose. A key characteristic of persuasive writing, a persuasive claim, is evident in the first sentence of the essay when the writer proclaims, "A law should be passed that bans the use of a cell phone while driving." The writer bolsters the claim using another characteristic of persuasive writing, support, when he employs the personal appeal to tell of his own observations of careless driving. He brings the logical appeal into play by introducing evidence of a study that concludes that cell phoning drivers cause more accidents than drunken drivers. A third characteristic of persuasive writing, a general warrant, appears when the writer suggests that the streets belong to everyone and they should not be endangered by cell phone users. Other characteristics of persuasive writing, such as appropriate language and a direct address of the reader, are also apparent in the essay. The presence of these various characteristics of persuasive writing demonstrates the writer's effective use of the persuasive purpose.

Seventh sentence: gives a summative conclusion and concise evaluation.

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MORE PERSUASIVE EXAMPLES



Primary Purpose: Persuasive


Editorials


A common form of persuasion is the editorial. An editorial is a persuasive column that appears regularly in most newspapers. In an editorial, the writer gives his or her opinion about a certain issue. Three editorials from around 1900 follow.


On December 29, 1890, U.S. Army soldiers killed about 300 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The Indians had few weapons to fight back against the soldiers armed with machine guns. The so-called Massacre at Wounded Knee marked the last major battle between American Indians and whites.

A few days later, on January 3, 1891, an editorial about Wounded Knee appeared in the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It was written by a young editor named L. Frank Baum. About ten years later, Baum became famous for a book he wrote. That book was called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Editorial on Wounded Knee


       The peculiar policy of the government in employing so weak and vacillating a person as General Miles to look after the uneasy Indians, has resulted in a terrible loss of blood to our soldiers, and a battle which, at its best, is a disgrace to the war department. There has been plenty of time for prompt and decisive measures, the employment of which would have prevented this disaster.

       The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies future safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.


An eastern contemporary, with a grain of wisdom in its wit, says that "when the whites win a fight, it is a victory, and when the Indians win it, it is a massacre."



Primary Purpose: Persuasion


Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus


A child was having doubts about Santa Claus, so she wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun. The newspaper quickly printed an unsigned editorial in response on September 21, 1897. The editorial had been written by a cynical veteran newsman, Francis Pharcellus Church (1839-1906), the childless son of a Baptist minister who often railed against religious dogma. The editorial was an immediate sensation and has become the most reprinted editorial in history.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus


       We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:


    Dear Editor--
    I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no
    Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in THE SUN it's so."
    Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?

                                   Virginia O'Hanlon
                                   115 West 95th Street



       Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

       Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

       Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

       You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

       No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.




Primary Purpose: Persuasive


The Marvellous Balance of the Universe--
              A Lesson in the Texas Flood


In September 1900, a hurricane swept across Galveston Island, Texas, claiming 6000 lives. It was the worst natural disaster in American history. The following editorial meditates on the event. This editorial was published in a Hearst newspaper late in 1900.

The Marvellous Balance of the Universe


       A tidal wave and hurricane combined have destroyed thousands of lives in one small corner of the globe. After the first excitement and horror, the creditable outpouring of help, there should be thankfulness in the hearts of the many millions who live on safely.

       Do you ever think of the wonderful protection, the marvellous precision in celestial mechanics that guard you as you travel through space?

       The oceans, seas and lakes contain water enough to cover the entire surface of the earth to a depth of six hundred feet, if the earth's surface were actually round.

       In huge reservoirs, which we call oceans, the earth's waters are stored for our use. Those vast volumes of water rest on the surface of a whirling sphere travelling through space at fearful speed. The slightest derangement, the slightest lack of balance in our motion round the sun, the slightest shifting of the poles, and mountains of water miles high would sweep over the continents and wipe out--not only one small city--but the entire human race.

       Our existence here requires a precision so great that our minds can but feebly grasp it. Change the temperature of your body by but a few degrees and you die. But you travel through space safely, with a freezing ocean of ether about you. You travel in company with suns that throw out endless billions of degrees of heat. You are protected in a travelling hothouse, regulated exactly to suit your feeble strength and all your wants.

       Did you ever see the small, black nose of a pug dog pressed against the window of a flying express train? Have you ever seen that pug barking at the landscape whirling by? Have you ever reflected on the utter inability of that pug to realize the marvellous intelligence and power that are whirling him along as he barks and wags his tail and enjoys himself calmly?

       Kind reader, you and all of us, whirling along in this magnificently conducted express train called the earth--whirling onward to a destiny worthy of our habitation--are so many poor little pug dogs looking out at nature's marvels and looking out with less than pug-dog appreciation.



Primary Purpose: Persuasive


Editorial Cartoons


Some persuasions use words and images. An editorial (or political) cartoon uses imagery and a few words to convince the reader or to make a comment about current events.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, is an agency in the Department of Justice, which is part of the executive branch of the federal government. In the late 1940s, Congress (the legislative branch) wanted to use the FBI to investigate communist activities in the government. The cartoon suggests that President Truman would not condone such a use. Later, the Congressional investigation of "un-American activities" became known as McCarthyism, after Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. This cartoon was drawn by Clifford Berryman in 1948. The cartoon is from the National Archives and Records Administration (ARC 306137).

Hope This Won't Develop Into a Neighborhood Feud
May 18, 1948




Primary Purpose: Persuasion
Main Patterns: Narration, Evaluation

Email Scam Letter


I received this scam letter, sometimes called the Nigerian scam, by Email in October 2007. It is one of the best of this sort of scam letters I have received. I have not changed the content of the letter except for the Email address; all mistakes were in the original letter. Notice the extensive use of the emotional appeal.

Email Scam Letter


Dear One,

       Me and my sister got your contact when we were searching for a good honest and reliable person. we prayed over it and decided to reveal to you our problem. I am Benedict koffi Tinabacam (19 years old) and my sister name is Mercy (16 years old), the only children of late Dr Mrs. Amos Koffi Tinabacam. Our father was a very wealthy Gold/Diamond dealer in Freetown, the economic capital of Sierra Leone. our father was poisoned to death by his close business associates on one of their outings on a business trip. our mother died 16 years ago,precisely during the child deliverly birth of Mercy my kid sister and since then our father took us so special. He was also playing the role of a mother to us too.

       Before the death of our father in a private hospital in Freetown, he secretly called me by his bed side and told me of a deposit of $9,000,000,00 united state dollars (NINE MILLION DOLLARS) he concealed in a Trunk box and deposited with a Security Company in Abidjan, the economic capital of cote d'Ivoire, he used my name been the only son as the next of kin when he deposited the money.

       He warned me that because of envy that he was poisoned by his close associates. He also advised me to seek for an honest foreigner in a country of my choice those associates will not hurt me and my sister as they have succeeded in poisoning him. For your information, it has been difficult to know who is an honest person to assist us in this transaction, and we decided to make a try on you.

2
Email Scam Letter


       Me and my sister arrived here (ABIDJAN), a nearby country on the 6th of october 2006 since my uncle wants to kill me because of this certificate of deposits as he have suceeded in collecting all my father's property left behind. He and his wife always punish me and my sister, and have made life very difficult for us. The wife serve me a delicious poisoned rice meal on the 2nd of october, but for the devine mercy, her daughter secretly whispered to me not to eat the meal. I wasted the meal to the bin only to find two dead rat on the bin the following morning and that made me to run away immediately with Mercy my kid sister to abidjan,the economy capital of ivory coast. And we don't want to stay long here in abidjan since we know nobody or much money to pay for our hotel bill.

       Dear, I honourably seek your assistance to hurry up and come down here in abidjan so that me and Mercy will take you to the Security Company where our father deposited the money so that we can introduce you and you will help us clear the money and we will go together to a nearby bank and open a new account in your name and transfer the money immediately from the bank to your bank account in your country and together me and Mercy will enter plane with you and go back to your country with you so that we can continue our education over there and you will help us invest the money in your country. Me and Mercy has agreed to compensate you with %10 of the money.

Thank you as we are expecting your reply immediately you receive this email You can contact us true our private email xxxxx@xxxxx.com [address changed to protect the guilty]

Yours Faithfully,

Bendict and Mercy



Primary Purpose: Persuasive
Main Patterns: Narration, Evaluation

Letter from the Alamo


William Barret Travis (1809-1836) was born in South Carolina. He arrived in Texas in 1831 and gained land from Stephen F. Austin. When trouble developed between Mexico and Texas, Travis was one of the first to join the Texas military forces. In January 1836, Travis and a group of men entered the Alamo in San Antonio. By the middle of February, the group numbered about 180 men. Meanwhile, General Santa Anna's forces were building up around San Antonio. On February 24, 1836, Travis sent the following plea for help, which never came. The Alamo fell to Santa Anna's forces on March 6, 1836.

Letter from the Alamo


To The People of Texas and All Americans

Commandancy of the Alamo--
Bejar, Fby 24th 1836--

To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world--
Fellow citizens & compatriots--

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna--I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man -- The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country --

Victory or Death
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. comdt

P.S. The Lord is on our side -- When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn -- We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves -- Travis



Primary Purpose: Persuasive
Main Patterns: Narration, Description

Speech at the Brandenburg Gate


On June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave a speech in West Berlin, Germany. He stood at the Brandenburg Gate in the Berlin Wall. He called upon Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, to tear down the Berlin Wall. Two years later, the Berlin Wall was torn down. Part of Reagan's speech follows. The photograph is from the National Archives (ARC198585).


Speech at the Brandenburg Gate



       Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.


2

Speech at the Brandenburg Gate


       President von Weizsacker has said, "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Today I say: As long as the gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph. . . .

       And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

       Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

       General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! . . .



Primary Purpose: Persuasive
Main Patterns: Narration, Description

Florence Kelley Speaks Out on Child Labor


Florence Kelley (1859-1932) was the daughter of a U.S. congressman. She was college-educated and became a follower of Karl Marx. She was a well-known advocate for socialism, women's suffrage, civil rights for freed blacks, and regulations on child labor. In 1899, she helped form the National Consumer's League, a radical group working to gain a minimum wage and a limit on working hours for women and children. She delivered the following speech about child labor in Philadelphia on July 22, 1905.

Child Labor


       We have, in this country, two million children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their bread. They vary in age from six and seven years (in the cotton mills of Georgia) and eight, nine and ten years (in the coal-breakers of Pennsylvania), to fourteen, fifteen and sixteen years in more enlightened states.

       No other portion of the wage earning class increased so rapidly from decade to decade as the young girls from fourteen to twenty years. Men increase, women increase, youth increase, boys increase in the ranks of the breadwinners; but no contingent so doubles from census period to census period (both by percent and by count of heads), as does the contingent of girls between twelve and twenty years of age. They are in commerce, in offices, in manufacturing.

       Tonight while we sleep, several thousand little girls will be working in textile mills, all the night through, in the deafening noise of the spindles and the looms spinning and weaving cotton and wool, silks and ribbons for us to buy.

       In Alabama the law provides that a child under sixteen years of age shall not work in a cotton mill at night longer than eight hours, and Alabama does better in this respect than any other southern state. North and South Carolina and Georgia place no restriction upon the work of children at night; and while we sleep little white girls will be working tonight in the mills in those states, working eleven hours at night.

2
Child Labor


       In Georgia there is no restriction whatever! A girl of six or seven years, just tall enough to reach the bobbins, may work eleven hours by day or by night. And they will do so tonight, while we sleep.

       Nor is it only in the South that these things occur. Alabama does better than New Jersey. For Alabama limits the children's work at night to eight hours, while New Jersey permits it all night long. Last year New Jersey took a long backward step. A good law was repealed which had required women and [children] to stop work at six in the evening and at noon on Friday. Now, therefore, in New Jersey, boys and girls, after their 14th birthday, enjoy the pitiful privilege of working all night long.

       In Pennsylvania, until last May it was lawful for children, 13 years of age, to work twelve hours at night. A little girl, on her thirteenth birthday, could start away from her home at half past five in the afternoon, carrying her pail of midnight luncheon as happier people carry their midday luncheon, and could work in the mill from six at night until six in the morning, without violating any law of the Commonwealth.

       If the mothers and the teachers in Georgia could vote, would the Georgia Legislature have refused at every session for the last three years to stop the work in the mills of children under twelve years of age?

       Would the New Jersey Legislature have passed that shameful repeal bill enabling girls of fourteen years to work all night, if the mothers in New Jersey were enfranchised? Until the mothers in the great industrial states are enfranchised, we shall none of us be able to free our consciences from participation in this great evil.

3
Child Labor


       No one in this room tonight can feel free from such participation. The children make our shoes in the shoe factories; they knit our stockings, our knitted underwear in the knitting factories. They spin and weave our cotton underwear in the cotton mills. Children braid straw for our hats, they spin and weave the silk and velvet wherewith we trim our hats. They stamp buckles and metal ornaments of all kinds, as well as pins and hat-pins. Under the sweating system, tiny children make artificial flowers and neckwear for us to buy. They carry bundles of garments from the factories to the tenements, little beasts of burden, robbed of school life that they may work for us.

       We do not wish this. We prefer to have our work done by men and women. But we are almost powerless. Not wholly powerless, however, are citizens who enjoy the right of petition. For myself, I shall use this power in every possible way until the right to the ballot is granted, and then I shall continue to use both.

       What can we do to free our consciences? There is one line of action by which we can do much. We can enlist the workingmen on behalf of our enfranchisement just in proportion as we strive with them to free the children. No labor organization in this country ever fails to respond to an appeal for help in the freeing of the children.

       For the sake of the children, for the Republic in which these children will vote after we are dead, and for the sake of our cause, we should enlist the workingmen voters, with us, in this task of freeing the children from toil!



Most persuasive messages these days are visual. I have assembled several vintage advertisements and posters. The image files are each large, so they take quite a while to download. If you have dial-up Internet service, you might not want to look at the visual persuasive messages because of how long they would take to download. If you have broadband Internet service, you should look at the ads and posters at the link below.

Persuasive Purpose, part 2

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Site maintained by D. W. Skrabanek
English/Austin Community College
Last update: October 2012

Four types of essay: expository, persuasive, analytical, argumentative

For our academic writing purposes we will focus on four types of essay. 

1) The expository essay

 

What is it?
This is a writer’s explanation of a short theme, idea or issue.

The key here is that you are explaining an issue, theme or idea to your intended audience. Your reaction to a work of literature could be in the form of an expository essay, for example if you decide to simply explain your personal response to a work. The expository essay can also be used to give a personal response to a world event, political debate, football game, work of art and so on.

What are its most important qualities?
You want to get and, of course, keep your reader’s attention. So, you should:

  • Have a well defined thesis. Start with a thesis statement/research question/statement of intent. Make sure you answer your question or do what you say you set out to do. Do not wander from your topic. 
  • Provide evidence to back up what you are saying. Support your arguments with facts and reasoning. Do not simply list facts, incorporate these as examples supporting your position, but at the same time make your point as succinctly as possible. 
  • The essay should be concise. Make your point and conclude your essay. Don’t make the mistake of believing that repetition and over-stating your case will score points with your readers.

 

2) The persuasive essay


What is it?
This is the type of essay where you try to convince the reader to adopt your position on an issue or point of view.

Here your rationale, your argument, is most important. You are presenting an opinion and trying to persuade readers, you want to win readers over to your point of view.

What are its most important qualities?

  • Have a definite point of view. 
  • Maintain the reader’s interest. 
  • Use sound reasoning. 
  • Use solid evidence. 
  • Be aware of your intended audience. How can you win them over? 
  • Research your topic so your evidence is convincing. 
  • Don’t get so sentimental or so passionate that you lose the reader, as Irish poet W. B. Yeats put it: 
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity
  • Your purpose is to convince someone else so don’t overdo your language and don’t bore the reader. And don’t keep repeating your points! 

  • Remember the rules of the good paragraph. One single topic per paragraph, and natural progression from one to the next. 
  • End with a strong conclusion. 

 

3) The analytical essay


What is it?
In this type of essay you analyze, examine and interpret such things as an event, book, poem, play or other work of art. 

What are its most important qualities?
Your analytical essay should have an:

  • Introduction and presentation of argument 
    The introductory paragraph is used to tell the reader what text or texts you will be discussing. Every literary work raises at least one major issue. In your introduction you will also define the idea or issue of the text that you wish to examine in your analysis. This is sometimes called the thesis or research question. It is important that you narrow the focus of your essay.
  • Analysis of the text (the longest part of the essay) 
    The issue you have chosen to analyze is connected to your argument. After stating the problem, present your argument. When you start analyzing the text, pay attention to the stylistic devices (the “hows” of the text) the author uses to convey some specific meaning. You must decide if the author accomplishes his goal of conveying his ideas to the reader. Do not forget to support your assumptions with examples and reasonable judgment.
  • Personal response
    Your personal response will show a deeper understanding of the text and by forming a personal meaning about the text you will get more out of it. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you only have to have a positive response to a text. If a writer is trying to convince you of something but fails to do so, in your opinion, your critical personal response can be very enlightening. The key word here is critical. Base any objections on the text and use evidence from the text. Personal response should be in evidence throughout the essay, not tacked on at the end. 
  • Conclusion (related to the analysis and the argument)
    Your conclusion should explain the relation between the analyzed text and the presented argument.

Tips for writing analytical essays:

  • Be well organized. Plan what you want to write before you start. It is a good idea to know exactly what your conclusion is going to be before you start to write. When you know where you are going, you tend to get there in a well organized way with logical progression.
  • Analytical essays normally use the present tense. When talking about a text, write about it in the present tense. 
  • Be “objective”: avoid using the first person too much. For example, instead of saying “I think Louisa is imaginative because…”, try: “It appears that Louisa has a vivid imagination, because…”. 
  • Do not use slang or colloquial language (the language of informal speech). 
  • Do not use contractions. 
  • Avoid using “etc.” This is an expression that is generally used by writers who have nothing more to say. 
  • Create an original title, do not use the title of the text. 
  • Analysis does not mean retelling the story. Many students fall into the trap of telling the reader what is happening in the text instead of analyzing it. Analysis aims to explain how the writer makes us see what he or she wants us to see, the effect of the writing techniques, the text’s themes and your personal response to these.

 

4) The argumentative essay


What is it?
This is the type of essay where you prove that your opinion, theory or hypothesis about an issue is correct or more truthful than those of others. In short, it is very similar to the persuasive essay (see above), but the difference is that you are arguing for your opinion as opposed to others, rather than directly trying to persuade someone to adopt your point of view.


What are its most important qualities?

  • The argument should be focused
  • The argument should be a clear statement (a question cannot be an argument)
  • It should be a topic that you can support with solid evidence
  • The argumentative essay should be based on pros and cons (see below)
  • Structure your approach well (see below)
  • Use good transition words/phrases (see below)
  • Be aware of your intended audience. How can you win them over?
  • Research your topic so your evidence is convincing.
  • Don’t overdo your language and don’t bore the reader. And don’t keep repeating your points!
  • Remember the rules of the good paragraph. One single topic per paragraph, and natural progression from one to the next.
  • End with a strong conclusion.

 

Tips for writing argumentative essays:
1) Make a list of the pros and cons in your plan before you start writing. Choose the most important that support your argument (the pros) and the most important to refute (the cons) and focus on them.

2) The argumentative essay has three approaches. Choose the one that you find most effective for your argument. Do you find it better to “sell” your argument first and then present the counter arguments and refute them? Or do you prefer to save the best for last?

  • Approach 1:
    Thesis statement (main argument):
    Pro idea 1
    Pro idea 2
    Con(s) + Refutation(s): these are the opinions of others that you disagree with. You must clearly specify these opinions if you are to refute them convincingly.
    Conclusion
  • Approach 2:
    Thesis statement:
    Con(s) + Refutation(s)
    Pro idea 1
    Pro idea 2
    Conclusion
  • Approach 3
    Thesis statement:
    Con idea 1 and the your refutation
    Con idea 2 and the your refutation
    Con idea 3 and the your refutation
    Conclusion

3) Use good transition words when moving between arguments and most importantly when moving from pros to cons and vice versa. For example:

  • While I have shown that.... other may say
  • Opponents of this idea claim / maintain that …            
  • Those who disagree claim that …
  • While some people may disagree with this idea...

When you want to refute or counter the cons you may start with:

  • However,
  • Nonetheless,
  • but
  • On the other hand,
  • This claim notwithstanding

If you want to mark your total disagreement:

  • After seeing this evidence, it is impossible to agree with what they say
  • Their argument is irrelevant
  • Contrary to what they might think ...

These are just a few suggestions. You can, of course, come up with many good transitions of your own.

4) Use facts, statistics, quotes and examples to convince your readers of your argument