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The Argument Essay. An argument is an attempt to persuade a reader to think or act in a certain way. It helps you take action in problems or situations and defend your position. Writers choose argumentative essays when they want to persuade readers to change their minds about something.

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An argumentis an attempt to persuade a reader to think or act in a certain way. It helps you take action in problems or situations and defend your position.

Writers choose argumentative essays when they want to persuade readers to change their minds about something
In what situations would you find yourself requiring good argument skills?In College?At Work?In your everyday life?

Your goal is to get people to see your point. You must convince them of your point of view. Take a stand and support it with reasons and details.

Name the subject of your argument and take a stand. Don’t merely state the problem, but make a point about how to solve or eliminate it.

Your introductory paragraph needs to include:1. a brief description of the issue2. a clear statement of both sides of the issue3. an argumentative thesis statement, which is distinctive in that it takes a stand on the issue.

Use the reasons in your argument to focus your bodyparagraphs.If you have three reasons, then you’ll have three body paragraphs

To signal a reasonThe first reason is…The second reason is…Another reason is…An additional reason is…The most convincing piece of evidence is…

The strength of your argument depends on the quality of the reasons and evidence that you present to support your position.
Use order of importance to organize reasons for your position.Save the most convincing reason for last.
common transitions in argument
Common transitions in Argument
  • Another thing
  • Consider that
  • For example,
  • In addition, in fact, in particular, in the first place,
  • More important, most important,
  • The last point to consider, worst of all

I agree (disagree) that …I support the idea that…I do not support the idea that…I am in favor of…I am not in favor of …I propose…______ must (not) be changed______ should (not) be adopted


A thesis statement often mentions the opposing point of view. Some people feel that the USA should have a national health plan like Canada’s.Smokers say that they have a right to smoke.

to admit an opponent s point of view some say some claim most people assume we have been told that
To admit an opponent’s point of viewSome say…Some claim…Most people assume…We have been told that…
use the internet to find more on those controversial issues
Use the internet to find more on those controversial issues.
  • Ethical treatment of animals
  • Racial profiling
  • Euthanasia (assisted suicide)
  • Gay couples adopting children
  • The war in Iraq
  • Alien felons deportation
  • Smokers rights/ abortion rights
  • Wearing seatbelts

Other topics1. America should not be the policeman for the world.2. America is ready for a woman president, an African American president or a Hispanic president 3. You should have a will.4. We should all learn to speak a foreign language.5. We should not pay for illegal aliens’ health care.


More Topics6. Death penalty7. Improving our health8. School uniforms9. Violence on TV10. Buying a house11. Anorexia12. Drunk driving13. Animal experiment14. Women in the military

Jot down some ideas about an issue that is important to you.Focus on what position is and why.How does this issue affect you personally?

Choose a problem, describe it, mention who/ what causes it, how serious is itpropose and describe your solutionGive counter arguments against the solutionShow the benefits of the solution


An Argumentative Essay contains these five key elements:1. An explanation of the issue2. A clear thesis statement3. A summary of the opposing arguments4. Rebuttals to the opposing arguments5. Your own arguments


Use either a subject by subject or a point by point pattern of organization. Be sure to include the opposing point of view as well as your own.

The Introduction paragraph contains an explanation of the issue. You may also begin with surprising statistics or a dramatic story.

Your conclusion should refer back to your issue and position. It should end on a strong note urging your reader to see things your way and act accordingly .

to signal a conclusion we can conclude that this proves that this suggests that this shows that
To signal a conclusionWe can conclude that…This proves that …This suggests that…This shows that…
Should illegal Aliens receivespecial paymentsto attend UScolleges?Illegal Aliens do/do not deserve reduced tuition.What do you think?

Work CitedBook- Peterson, Debra. Writing Across the Curriculum. New Jersey: Oakland, 1987.Article- Daniel Robin. “ The Innocent Victim” Newsweek Dec.19, 2007: 89

documenting sources according to a psychologist has noted said as said in fact quote your sources
Documenting SourcesAccording to…A psychologist … has noted (said)As… saidIn fact ….Quote your sources “ “
Paraphrasesummarize in your own wordsand writing styleWrite the name of the person whose idea you have borrowed.