You may not be required to write an outline as a part of your argumentative essay, but you still should do it. Even if it seems to you a waste of time, don’t skip outline before writing an argumentative essay.
Why does it matter? Students used to think of an outline as of mandatory part of the paper. However, it’s more than a sketch of your work. But rather writing technique that will help you arrange ideas and logically distribute them in an argumentative essay. Here are some outlines basics that will help you understand how the one should be written. Or in case you order argumentative essays you can ask a writer for hire to follow these outline writing guidelines.
Best Tips on How to Write an Argument Essay Outline
If you want to write your best essay paper, no matter what type it would be, you should know how to deal with some typical essay outline. Here you have few important steps you must follow while creating your argumentative essay outline.
Start writing outline even when conducting arguments research
The easiest way to write an effective outline that will serve you a reliable guide through the whole argumentative essay writing process is to start composing it when doing research. Sort out all the findings you obtain by their importance and topic relevance. Write them briefly down as long as you proceed with research.
Stick multi-level structure
Normally, an outline looks like an extended plan, arranged in sections. Each section stands for the name of the chapter. All-in-all there are as many sections as there are chapters in an argumentative essay. However, you can make your outline even more detailed by expanding sections with subsections. This way you can arrange your ideas or research results more precisely.
Steps to Prepare Your Outline
The main and very first thing is that you should choose a topic to write your essay outline. This will be your main focus. You should focus and kept your thoughts gathered.
There is a chance to use some broad topic. You can be not trying to fit it into your specific thesis statement. Just don’t try to narrow it down. Don’t talk about France during World War II, for example. Instead, you should look at WWII in general.
Besides that, you can also create an argument paper outline for some bigger piece. It can be a novel or a story. But, still, you need always to focus on your topic.
There is a task to determine the main goal and purpose of your argument paper. It will give you the right topic direction and will help you to get some logical structure in your argument paper. You should write down your thesis statement if you are writing some kind of a formal essay. It will help you to fulfill the statement and purpose.
Besides that, you can compare two different things. You should analyze two chunks of information using connections and critical thinking. It is not only summarizing the process, you should also do some research.
Also, you can get a smooth cause and effect presentation. Your task is to show that something happened and identify its causes. Try to analyze every concept and terms you are giving in your argument paper.
There must be at least one part of an argument, but, for the better effect, you should also provide some counter-argument. Don’t forget to get some evidence and examples to do your conclusion. It is a must for you to provide backups for your conclusions, statements, and facts. The article type does not matter.
At this point, you should start to gather all materials you may use for supporting your argument. What might it be? Your best-supporting subjects are different information, like images, quotes, theories, statistics, points and your personal experience. All these things should reflect your opinion and be related to what you are writing in your essay.
You need to identify and then disable all spaces (real and potential) in your outline to prevent any troubles with your paper writing in the future. You may write not only an argumentative essay but even a novel. So for this type of work you should have information about the period you are writing about, about fashion, food, and habits of this period.
You must always note the information about data that you have found to use in your outline. Note down everything you may need to find this information again.
You also should make a decision about your paper outline type. For this purpose, you can use some short phrases to make your outline more general and flexible. Don’t forget to use full sentences and complete details.
Or you can start it with some flexible structure features as a topic essay outline. Then consider converting it into a sentence outline. The main difference between these two is that you can use complete sentences from the second variant later in your article.
You must deal with ordering your supporting information. The main purpose of it is to support your main goal. You need to be sure that your order of the information is the most effective one and does its job perfectly. Consider starting with your best and strongest points. You should be sure that all the evidence are related and well-organized flowing one into another.
This may be the chronological order, especially when it is some historically themed paper. You also may order your evidence by theme for some literature interpretation, for example. If you want to show both sides of the story before taking your way, you must present evidence from your side for the better effect.
We hope this info will help you to create a strong and reliable outline for your argumentative essay. In case you need help, you are always welcomed on our website. Tell us about your problems via our simple order form.
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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Contributors: Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-03-10 11:46:44
What is an argumentative essay?
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph essay
A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.
Longer argumentative essays
Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.