The thesis statement of an argumentative essay acts as a brief, explicit guide for your reader. It is a one or two sentence summary of the point that you're trying to make in your paper and acts as the focus around which you will organize your entire essay, so it's important to get that statement nailed early on. Remember that the best thesis statement:. Diagram Explained:. INTRO: 1. Argument 2 for or against : topic sentence plus support. Argument 3 for or against : topic sentence plus support. Because the whole purpose of your argumentative essay is to persuade others to share your opinion, you should pay close attention to counter arguments.
It's not enough to simply say that your opponents are wrong. You have to understand the opposing arguments so that you can find and point out the flaws in those arguments. Making the logical connections between evidence or reasons and conclusions clear is very important. Listed below are some phrases that will help your reader differentiate between evidential statements and the conclusions that you draw from them.
English Argument and Research with Professor Williamson "Argument and Research" focuses on analysis, sythesis and evaulation, logical thinking, the techniques of argument, writing about literature, and preparation of the documented essay.
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In a Nutshell The argumentative essay is typically composed of: 1. The Thesis Statement The thesis statement of an argumentative essay acts as a brief, explicit guide for your reader.
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Remember that the best thesis statement: Makes a claim or argument. It is not a statement of fact and is more than a statement of opinion. Should come early in the paper and be easily identifiable. Introduces the reader to the topic of the paper AND identifies the specific arguments that will be used to support the writer's argument. However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.
It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay. The essay structure is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: the end is the quality of the argument. By creating a relevant structure, you make it much easier for yourself to present an effective argument.
There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e. These can be useful starting points, but you will probably decide to work with a more complicated structure e. In addition to these macro-structures you will probably need to establish a micro-structure relating to the particular elements you need to focus on e.
You may feel that, for your particular essay, structures like these feel too rigid. You may wish to create a more flexible or fluid structure.
An analogy could be that of symphony writing. This set out a pattern for the numbers of movements within the symphony, and for the general structure of writing within each movement. The continued popularity of their work today shows that they clearly managed to achieve plenty of interest and variety within that basic structure.
Later composers moved away from strict symphonic form. Some retained a loose link to it while others abandoned it completely, in favour of more fluid patterns.
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It would be rare, however, to find a symphony that was without structure or pattern of any kind; it would probably not be satisfactory either to play or to listen to. Similarly, a structure of some kind is probably essential for every essay, however revolutionary. The process of essay planning and writing does not need to be a linear process, where each stage is done only once.
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It is often an iterative process i. A possible iterative process is:. This section heading is in quotes as it is also the heading of chapter 8, pages , in Barass Barass p80 makes the simple but valid statement, that:.
The tutors reading and marking your essays deserve your consideration. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph or more to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower. Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort.
Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. They will not want to pull your essay to pieces.
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They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. In the words of a tutor:. A powerful introduction is invaluable. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. A useful generic structure is to:. It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more.
You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set.
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Here is an example of an introduction for an essay entitled:. Although the introduction appears at the beginning of your essay, you may prefer to write it towards the end of the drafting process:. Questions to ask of your introduction and conclusion may be useful. The middle part of the essay must fulfil the promises made in your introduction , and must support your final conclusions. Failure to meet either or both of these requirements will irritate your reader, and will demonstrate a lack of self-critique and of editing.
The central part of your essay is where the structure needs to do its work, however explicit or implicit your chosen structure may be. The structure you choose needs to be one that will be most helpful to you in addressing the essay title. The content of this central part will probably contain: ideas; explanations; evidence; relevant referencing; and relevant examples. It will be characterised by:.
Questions to ask of your essay content may be useful.
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A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. The aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job. A generic structure that you may find useful is:. The study guide What is critical writing? With critical writing, you are doing work with the evidence you are using, by adding a level of examination and evaluation. Questions to ask about your level of critical writing may be useful. Another useful tool to support critical writing is the paragraph! Aim to present one idea per paragraph.
Within the paragraph you could:. Finally, you need to take a break from your essay so that you can return to it with fresh eyes for the final editing. They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is well-expressed. Editing is both difficult and important. Yes, editing is important, but no it does not need to be difficult.
Also, criticising your writing tends to be easier than creating it in the first place. The study guide: The art of editing and the sheet: Questions to ask when editing may be useful.