When writing an argumentative essay, a student must first choose a topic. The topic must be one that has two sides to it, and ideally, will have supporters for both sides of the topic.
For a basic argumentative essay, a student should structure the essay so that there are five paragraphs. The first paragraph will be the introduction, the second and third paragraphs will be the support paragraphs, the fourth paragraph will be the counter argument with rebuttal, and the final paragraph will be the conclusion. In terms of style, a writer would be wise to avoid the use of the personal pronouns "I" and "you" in the essay. When a writer uses "I" in the essay, there is a tendency to follow that pronoun with "think" or "believe" in the statement.
The only thing that will result from this pronoun usage will be a loss of credibility and a weakening of the essay. The essay will appear to be more opinion-based and less factual. In an argumentative essay, the writer wants the essay to appear clearly factual. If a writer utilizes the pronoun "you" too often, the audience will feel as though the essay is directed solely at them. This may not be catastrophic for the writer, unless the reader begins as a supporter. With an overuse of "you", the reader may feel under attack.
The introduction will start out with an attention-getter; this must be an interesting fact about the topic or a quote from an authoritative source about the topic. This will be followed by a general overview of the topic, generally spanning three to four sentences. The final sentence of the introduction will be the thesis statement. It is imperative that the writer must provide a stance in this statement along with reasons that support this stance.
The next two paragraphs will follow the same structure; these are the support body paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs will start with a topic sentence; the topic is taken from the thesis statement. Within the paragraph, the student must have two specific examples that will follow the reason of support for each paragraph. The specific examples must be accompanied by elaboration. Students must display the connection to the thesis and explain the importance of including the examples.
The next body paragraph, the fourth overall, is the most important for an argumentative essay. The writer will state the opposing side of the argument in this particular paragraph, followed by an explanation of this opposing side. However, the writer should not stop there. The counter argument must be followed by a rebuttal, or a reason why the counter argument is ineffective or wrong. This will further strengthen the initial position of the writer and give more credibility to the stance that the writer has chosen.
Finally, the writer must provide a conclusion in the final paragraph. The conclusion will start with a restatement of the thesis statement. This will be followed by an explanation of the significance of the topic and how it affects, or can affect, the reader and/or society. The conclusion will end with a call to action. This call to action will hopefully inspire people to do something that shows support of the original stance of the writer. These tips will ensure efficiency when writing an argumentative essay.