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An Argumentative Essay Outline

Argumentative Essay Structure

❶You need to make an attempt to collect all your thoughts in one place and focus on what is really important and related to your topic.

Argumentative Essay Outline

An introduction to an outline for an argumentative essay
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How to write an argumentative essay outline

The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. Make sure your thesis is arguable. Your thesis should express a clear position on your topic that can be supported using evidence from your sources.

Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact. Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. There are many possibilities for a counter argument, which makes this topic arguable. Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In addition to having a thesis that is arguable, you should also include some details about why you hold the position.

In other words, you should avoid simply saying that something is bad and should be changed and provide a bit of detail about why it is bad and should be changed. Who would benefit if it was changed? Providing this detail gives readers a good sense of what the rest of the paper will discuss. Your thesis should tell your reader why your argument matters, and for whom. Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your argumentative essay will help you to organize your information more effectively.

You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want. Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper.

For example, part 1 might be your introduction, which could then be broken into three sub-parts: Generate key terms and phrases to help you with your research. As you develop key terms, keep your topic and your position in mind. For example, some relevant key terms and phrases for a paper on lowering the drinking age to 18 might be: Find appropriate secondary sources for your argumentative essay.

In order to find support for your argument, you will need to gather a variety of sources. See your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor if you have questions about what types of sources are appropriate for your assignment.

Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using. These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility.

Use trustworthy sources only in your argumentative essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author. There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy. The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor.

If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument?

If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Noting the publication date is especially important for scientific subjects, since new technologies and techniques have made some earlier findings irrelevant. If the information that this author presents contradicts one of your trustworthy sources, then it might not be a good source to use in your paper. Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them.

Make sure that you read your sources very carefully and that you stay focused on your topic as you read. Read the sources multiple times if necessary and make sure that you fully understand what each source is about. You should be able to summarize the source in your own words and generate a response to the source. To be certain that you understand your sources and that you are capable of responding to each of them, try writing a paragraph summary and response after you finish each one.

Some people find keeping notecards on their sources to be a helpful way of organizing their ideas about each one. Give yourself plenty of time to read your sources and understand what they are saying. Take notes while you read your sources.

Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them. As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook. Even accidental plagiarism may result in a failing grade on a paper.

Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction.

Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your argumentative essay and act as a preview to your essay. Provide background information to help guide your readers. Providing adequate background information or context will help to guide your readers through your essay. Think about what your readers will need to know in order to understand the rest of your essay and provide this information in your first paragraph.

This information will vary depending on your argument topic. Tell your readers about this problem in more detail so that they will begin to see why something needs to change. Keep in mind that your background information in the first paragraph should lead up to your thesis statement. Explain everything the reader needs to know to understand what your topic is about, then narrow it down until you reach the topic itself.

Provide your thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph. After you have given your readers some information on the topic and captured their interest, you should provide your thesis. Providing your thesis at the end of your first paragraph will help to guide your readers through the rest of your essay. Make sure that you state your thesis is a very direct manner, so there is no mistaking that this is your position.

Use your body paragraphs to discuss specific parts of your argument. Rather than trying to talk about multiple aspects of your argument in a single paragraph, make sure that each body paragraph focuses on a single aspect of your text. Your discussion of each of these aspects should contribute to proving your thesis. For example, you could provide statistics on teen drinking in other countries where the drinking age is lower, or you could summarize an interview with an authority of the subject, or cite an article that explains the psychological basis of this phenomenon.

Whatever source s you choose, make sure that they are relevant that they offer convincing support for your claim. Develop a conclusion for your essay. Concluding an essay is the hardest part of writing for many people, but it may make more sense if you understand the purpose of the conclusion. Your conclusion should emphasize what you have attempted to convince your readers about your topic and either frame or reframe the stakes of your argument.

Before you write your conclusion, spend some time reflecting on what you have written so far and try to determine the best way to end your essay. There are several good options for ending an argumentative essay that might help you decide how to format your conclusion.

For example, you might: Rephrase it so that it sounds different but has the same meaning. Summarize some of the most important evidence you have offered in your essay and say remind readers of how that evidence has contributed to supporting your thesis.

Synthesize what you have discussed. Put everything together for your readers and explain what other lessons might be gained from your argument. How might this discussion change the way others view your subject? Explain why your topic matters. Help your readers to see why this topic deserve their attention. How does this topic affect your readers?

What are the broader implications of this topic? Why does your topic matter? Return to your opening discussion.

If you offered an anecdote or a quote early in your paper, it might be helpful to revisit that opening discussion and explore how the information you have gathered implicates that discussion. Make sure that you have cited all of your sources. Before you finish working on your essay, you will need to make sure that you have cited all of your sources using the proper format. Not citing your sources using in-text citations or a works cited page may be considered plagiarism by your professor and lead to failure of the assignment or even the course.

Put aside your paper for a few days before revising. By taking a break after you have finished drafting your paper, you will give your brain a rest. When you revisit the draft, you will have a fresh perspective. It is important to begin writing a paper far enough ahead of time to allow yourself a few days or even a week to revise before it is due.

If you do not allow yourself this extra time, you will be more prone to making simple mistakes and your grade may suffer as a result. Give yourself plenty of time to revise. Revision is just as important, if not more important, than the drafting phase of writing a paper. Therefore, you will need to give yourself time to do a thorough revision of your paper.

Plan to finish writing your draft at least a few days before the final version is due. Present your 1st point and supporting evidence. Refute your opposition's first point. Refute your opposition's second point. Present your first point and supporting evidence.

Present your second point and supporting evidence. Present your first point and it's supporting evidence, which also refutes one of your opposition's claims. Present your second point and it's supporting evidence, which also refutes a second opposition claim.

Present your third point and it's supporting evidence, which also refutes a third opposition claim. Basic 5-Paragraph Argument Essay Outline: This outline also serves for other essays such as research papers, or the basic 5-paragraph essay. Highlight-and-print outline to fill in. Another Argument Essay Outline: This outline asks questions that help you critically think about your topic. This outline can help guide you through a series of questions.

You can highlight-and-print this outline, but it's not a fill-in-the-blank outline; use it as a guide. Many of my students like to use this outline for both research papers and argumentative papers. Another Argument Outline Template. Audience and how you plan to appeal to them: Explain the interest in this topic.

What experiences have caused the writer to become interested careful using 1st person! Background Information, including history and context for problem: How you will appeal to Ethos: Refutation or Opposing Arguments Explain them, explain how and why there may be value in them, and disagree with the parts you believe to be invalid.


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Putting together an argumentative essay outline is the perfect way to get started on your argumentative essay assignment—just fill in the blanks!

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Creating an Argument Outline. Although there is no set model of organization for argumentative essays, there are some common patterns that writers might use or that writers might want to combine/customize in an effective way.

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Classic Model for an Argument No one structure fits all written arguments. However, most college courses require arguments that consist of the following elements. Below is a basic outline for an argumentative or persuasive essay. This is only one possible outline or organization. Always refer to your handbook for specifics. Argumentative Essay Outline (To save a copy for yourself choose “file>download as” or “file>make a copy”. Cheers!) Intro Hook Background information Thesis Develop Your Argument.

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Argumentative Essay Outline. There are three possible argumentative essay outline (s) which can be used as a starting point. Ensure that you have brainstormed the PROS and CONS of your topic effectively and have sufficient material on hand which will assist you in making your refutations. A conclusion of an argumentative essay outline The main point of a conclusion is to remind the readers of the reasons why you chose to talk about a topic in question, restate your arguments that support the position you stick to, and call them to action.