Caleb S.
Caleb S.

The Definitive Guide to Argumentative Essay Writing

20 min read

Published on: Jul 18, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 24, 2023

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays are a popular type of academic writing. They require you to develop a strong position on a controversial or debatable topic. 

If you're writing an essay for a class assignment, mastering the art of argumentation is a valuable skill. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the types of arguments and argumentative claims. We will guide you from choosing a topic to crafting a compelling conclusion. 

We'll also provide examples of argumentative essays and tips on how to improve them. 

Let’s get started! 

What is an Argumentative Essay?

According to the argumentative essay definition, an argumentative essay is a type of writing that requires the writer to:

  • Investigate a topic.
  • Collect and evaluate evidence.
  • Establish a position on the topic in a clear and concise manner.

This type of essay involves presenting a persuasive argument supported by evidence and logic. 

Argumentative essays are common in academic settings and are often assigned to develop critical thinking and writing skills. 

Importance of Argumentative Essay

Knowing how to write an argumentative essay is important for several reasons. 

  • For one, it helps you to become a more effective communicator. This way you learn how to express your ideas clearly and persuasively. 
  • Additionally, learning to construct a solid argumentative essay can be useful in a variety of settings to construct a compelling argument. 
  • The skill of constructing persuasive arguments is essential when you have to convince others to adopt your perspective.

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Types of Arguments and How to Use Them

In argumentative writing, there are different types of arguments that can be used to support a thesis statement. 

Understanding these types and how to use them effectively can help you craft a more compelling and persuasive essay.

Classical Argument

The Classical argument is the most traditional and commonly used type of argument in academic writing. 

It is a five-part argument that includes an introduction, narration, confirmation, refutation, and conclusion.

  • Introduction: In this section, the writer introduces the topic and presents the thesis statement.
  • Narration: This part provides background information on the topic and establishes the context of the argument.
  • Confirmation: Here, the writer presents evidence to support their thesis statement.
  • Refutation: This section addresses opposing arguments and provides counter-evidence to refute them.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces the thesis statement.

Rogerian Argument

The Rogerian argument emphasizes the importance of understanding the viewpoints of those who disagree with you. 

In this type of argument, the writer finds common ground with the opposing viewpoint. This way he creates a solution that benefits both parties.

  • Introduction: The introduction presents the issue and acknowledges the differing viewpoints.
  • Summary of Opposing Views: The writer summarizes the opposing viewpoints without judgment or bias.
  • Statement of Understanding: In this section, the writer acknowledges the validity of the opposing viewpoints and attempts to find common ground.
  • Statement of the Writer's Position: The writer presents their thesis statement while acknowledging the complexity of the issue.
  • Benefits to the Reader: This section explains how the writer's proposed solution benefits both parties.

Toulmin Argument

The Toulmin argument is a type of argument that focuses on the use of evidence and reasoning to support a claim. 

It is particularly useful for arguments that require extensive evidence or data.

  • Claim: The writer presents their thesis statement or the main argument they are making.
  • Grounds: This section provides evidence to support the claim.
  • Warrant: This part connects the evidence to the claim by explaining how the evidence supports the claim.
  • Qualifiers: Qualifiers are used to add complexity to the argument. They address potential counterarguments and acknowledge any limitations in the argument.
  • Rebuttals: In this section, the writer addresses potential counterarguments and provides evidence to refute them.

Expert Tip

To strengthen your argumentative writing skills, read our detailed guide on the different types of arguments.

5 Types of Argument Claims

In an argumentative essay, it is important to understand claims to persuade the audience effectively. 

Here are the five types of argument claims to consider:

Fact Claims

A fact claim is an assertion of truth that can be proven or disproven with evidence. 

It is a claim that something is or is not true. When making a fact claim, it is important to use credible sources to support the claim.

Example: The use of seat belts reduces the risk of fatalities in car accidents by 45%.

Value Claims 

A value claim is an assertion of whether something is good or bad, desirable or undesirable. 

It is a claim that something has or does not have worth or merit. When making a value claim, it is important to establish a clear set of values. It is also important to appeal to the audience's moral or ethical principles.

Example: The death penalty is morally wrong and should be abolished.

Policy Claims

A policy claim is an assertion that a particular course of action should be taken or not taken. 

It is a claim that something should or should not be done. When making a policy claim, it is important to propose a specific action and to provide evidence that supports its effectiveness.

Example: The government should provide free healthcare to all citizens to improve overall public health and reduce healthcare costs.

Causal Claims

A causal claim is an assertion that one event or phenomenon causes another event or phenomenon. 

It is a claim that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between two things. When making a causal claim, it is important to establish a clear link between the cause and effect. It is crucial to use evidence to support the claim.

Example: Climate change is caused by human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels.

Rebuttal Claims

A rebuttal claim is an assertion that counters an opposing argument. 

It is a claim that something the opposing argument is asserting is incorrect. When making a rebuttal claim, it is important to address the opposing argument directly. It is crucial to provide evidence that supports your own argument.

Example: Some argue that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime. Research has shown that it does not effectively reduce crime rates. It is applied disproportionately to marginalized communities.

Now that we have explored the various types of argument claims. Let's delve into the key steps of writing a successful argumentative essay.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay?

Writing a good argumentative essay requires a systematic approach to ensure that your arguments are logical, compelling, and convincing. 

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Choosing a Topic

The first step in the writing process of an argumentative essay is choosing a topic. The topic must be something that you are interested in and has enough credible sources to support your argument. 

It's important to choose a topic that you can argue from different perspectives and it's relevant to your audience.

Step 2: Conducting Research

Once you have a topic in mind, the next step is to conduct research to gather evidence that supports your argument. 

You can use various sources such as books, academic journals, online databases, and websites. 

Make sure to evaluate the credibility of the sources and choose those that are reliable.

Step 3: Developing a Thesis Statement

After conducting research, you need to develop a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument. 

The thesis statement should be debatable and supported by evidence.

Step 4: Creating an Outline

Before writing the essay, it's important to create an outline that organizes your ideas in a logical manner. 

The outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Step 5: Writing the Essay

Once you have an outline, you can start writing the essay. 

  • The introduction should capture the reader's attention and provide background information on the topic. 
  • The body paragraphs should present your arguments and provide evidence to support them. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea and include a topic sentence, supporting evidence, and analysis. 
  • The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement.

Step 6: Revising and Editing

After writing the essay, it's important to revise and edit it to ensure that it's well-structured and free from errors. 

You can also ask someone else to read the essay and provide feedback.

Check out this video to learn how to write an argumentative essay in detail.

Components of an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is composed of several key components that work together to present a convincing argument that persuades the reader. 

Argumentative essay writing process -

The main components of an argumentative essay include:


The introduction is an important part of how to start an argumentative essay. This first section of the essay introduces the topic and grabs the reader's attention. 

It should include a hook, background information on the topic, and a clear and concise thesis statement.

Hook Statement

A hook is the opening statement that grab the reader's attention and entice them to read further. 

The purpose of a hook is to spark the reader's interest in the topic and persuade them to continue reading. 

Example: In the introduction of an argumentative essay on the topic of climate change, use startling statistic such as

 "According to NASA, the Earth's temperature has increased by 1.8°F since the late 1800s" 

to grab the reader's attention.

Background Information

The background information provides context for the argument and helps the reader understand why the topic is important. 

This section can include statistics, facts, and historical information.

Example: In the same argumentative essay on climate change, the background information might include:

A brief overview of the history of climate change, including how human activities have contributed to the problem.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the main argument of the essay. It provides a clear and concise statement of the writer's position on the topic.

Example: The thesis statement of the same essay might read, 

"Human activity is the primary cause of climate change. We must take immediate action to reduce our carbon footprint in order to prevent catastrophic consequences."

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs in an argumentative essay serve as the main supporting framework for the thesis statement. 

Each paragraph should present a single argument that supports the central claim of the essay. 

To support the argument, provide relevant evidence such as statistics, facts, and expert opinions. 

It's important to use transitions between paragraphs to maintain the coherence of the essay.


One of the primary arguments in favor of taking action on climate change is its negative impacts on the planet. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperatures have risen by 1.1°C since pre-industrial times, and the planet is projected to warm by another 1.5°C within the next two decades. This increase in temperature has led to more frequent and severe natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Additionally, the melting of the polar ice caps has led to rising sea levels, which poses a significant threat to coastal communities around the world. If we do not take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, the situation is only going to get worse. Therefore, it is imperative that we take action now to combat climate change and protect the future of our planet.

Counter Arguments and Refutations

To strengthen the argument, it's important to address counterarguments and refute them with evidence. 

This shows that the writer has considered different perspectives and is confident in their argument.


Counter-argument: Some individuals argue that climate change is not caused by human activities, but rather it is a natural occurrence that has been happening for millions of years.

Refutation: While it is true that the Earth's climate has changed naturally in the past, the current rate and extent of climate change are unprecedented and largely caused by human activities. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial agriculture are all human activities that release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which trap heat and contribute to global warming. The scientific consensus is clear that humans are the primary cause of climate change, and we have a responsibility to take action to mitigate its effects.


The conclusion is the final section of the essay that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis statement. 

The final paragraph should also leave a lasting impression on the reader to agree and provide a call to action.

Example: In conclusion, the overwhelming evidence shows that climate change is a pressing issue that requires immediate action. The consequences of inaction are severe, including more frequent and severe natural disasters, rising sea levels, and irreversible damage to ecosystems. 

It is essential that individuals, governments, and businesses all take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. By working together and taking collective action, we can slow down the rate of climate change and ensure a habitable planet for future generations.

In short, the time for action on climate change is now. Let us all take responsibility for our role in the issue and work towards a sustainable future for our planet.

Argumentative Essay Format

Argumentative essays follow a specific paragraph format that is designed to communicate the writer's argument effectively. 

The essay should be clear, concise, and well-organized to make the strongest impact on the reader.

  • Length: Typically, the length requirement for an argumentative essay is around 5-6 paragraphs. However, the length can vary depending on the topic and the complexity of the argument.
  • Font: The essay should be written in a clear and readable font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Size: The font size for an argumentative essay should typically be 12-point. However, it's important to follow the guidelines provided. 
  • Spacing: The essay should be double-spaced to make it easier to read.

Argumentative Essay Examples

Argumentative essays require the writer to take a stance on a controversial issue and provide evidence to support their position. 

By examining examples of well-written essays, students can gain a better understanding of how to structure their own essays.

Here are some examples of argumentative essays:

Expert Tip

For a deeper understanding of how to craft a compelling argumentative essay, explore our comprehensive guide on argumentative essay examples.

How to Improve Your Argumentative Essays with Examples

Argumentative essays are a common writing assignment in school, but sometimes they may not be as effective as they could be. 

The reasons for this could vary, from a lack of clarity to not scoring well on the assignment. 

However, there are several ways to improve an argumentative essay and make it more effective in communicating the writer's viewpoint.

Here are two examples of argumentative essays that need improvements and some suggestions for how to make them better:

Example 1: Argumentative essay on college should be free for everyone.

The cost of college education has become increasingly expensive, leaving many students with overwhelming debt upon graduation. This is an issue that not only affects individual students, but also has broader implications for society as a whole. Therefore, it is time for college to be free for everyone.

One reason why college should be free is that the burden of student debt is a major obstacle for many students. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 65% of college seniors in 2017 graduated with student debt, with an average debt of over $28,000 per borrower. This debt can have serious consequences, such as delaying major life events like buying a house or starting a family. Moreover, it can limit students' career choices as they may feel pressured to take high-paying jobs to pay off their debt instead of pursuing their passions.

In addition, free college education would lead to a more educated population, which has numerous benefits. Higher education has been shown to improve economic outcomes for individuals and communities, such as increased earning potential and lower unemployment rates. It also has a positive impact on health outcomes, civic engagement, and social mobility. When more people have access to higher education, society as a whole benefits from increased innovation, productivity, and overall well-being.

However, some may argue that free college education is not financially feasible, or that it may lead to decreased quality of education. These are valid concerns that must be addressed. One solution could be to increase funding for higher education through progressive taxation or reallocation of government spending. Additionally, policies could be put in place to ensure that colleges are held accountable for maintaining high standards of education.

In conclusion, college should be free for everyone. The benefits of a more educated population outweigh the potential costs, and the burden of student debt is a major obstacle that limits opportunities for many students. While there are valid concerns about the feasibility of free college education, solutions can be found through careful planning and policy implementation. It is time for our society to prioritize higher education as a fundamental right, rather than a luxury for the few who can afford it.

The essay presents a compelling case for why college should be free. It cites statistics on student debt and the benefits of a more educated population. 

However, it lacks sufficient evidence to support its claims and does not effectively address counterarguments.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Provide more concrete examples and data to support the claims made in the essay.

Address potential counterarguments, like making college free would decrease the value of a college degree. You can also discuss if it would be too expensive for taxpayers to fund.

Example 2: Argumentative essay on social media is harmful to young people.

Social media has become an integral part of the lives of young people in today's digital age. However, despite its benefits, social media is a harmful platform that negatively affects young people. The increasing usage of social media has been linked to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems among young people. Moreover, social media has reduced face-to-face interaction and real-world communication skills, leading to a decline in social skills and interpersonal relationships.

It is essential to understand that the negative impact of social media on young people is widespread and needs to be addressed. For instance, studies have shown that social media use is linked to increased anxiety and depression among teenagers. The constant need to compare oneself to others, combined with the pressure to present a perfect image online, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Furthermore, social media has led to a decrease in face-to-face communication skills. Young people spend countless hours scrolling through their social media feeds, neglecting real-world interactions with their peers and family. This leads to a lack of social skills, which can result in difficulty communicating with others, especially in the professional world.

While some argue that social media has its benefits, such as connecting with distant family and friends and sharing news and ideas, the negative effects of social media on young people far outweigh the positives. To mitigate these negative effects, we need to encourage young people to limit their time on social media and seek face-to-face communication and interaction. In conclusion, it is imperative that we acknowledge the harmful effects of social media on young people and take steps to counteract them.

The essay provides several examples of the negative effects of social media on young people. It includes increased anxiety and decreased face-to-face interaction. 

However, it relies heavily on personal opinion and does not effectively address counterarguments or support claims.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Provide more evidence to support the claims made in the essay. Such as statistics on the correlation between social media use and mental health issues.

Address potential counterarguments, such as the argument that social media can be a valuable tool for communication and connection. Also, provide evidence to refute these arguments.

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Good Argumentative Essay Topics

Choosing a good topic is essential to writing a compelling argumentative essay. 

It's important to select a topic that you're passionate about and one that has plenty of evidence to support your argument.

Here are some easy argumentative topics for you:

  • Should college education be free for all students?
  • Is the death penalty an effective deterrent to crime?
  • Should standardized tests be used in college admissions decisions?
  • Is social media harmful to society?
  • Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes?
  • Are professional athletes overpaid?
  • Should gun control laws be stricter?
  • Is online learning as effective as in-person learning?
  • Should animal testing be banned?
  • Should parents be held responsible for their children's actions?

Expert Tip

If you're looking to select a captivating and thought-provoking topic, our comprehensive guide on argumentative essay topics is a valuable resource.

Tips for Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay

Writing an effective argumentative essay requires careful planning and execution. 

Here are some tips to help you write a compelling and persuasive essay:

  • Use Credible Sources: It's important to use credible and reliable sources to support your arguments. Look for sources that are well-researched and written by experts in the field. Avoid using sources that are biased or lack credibility.
  • Address Opposing Viewpoints: Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints in your essay. This shows that you have considered different perspectives and strengthens your argument by addressing potential objections.
  • Avoid Logical Fallacies: Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning that can weaken your argument. Be aware of common fallacies, such as ad hominem attacks or straw man arguments, and avoid using them in your essay.
  • Use a Clear And Concise Writing Style: Use simple and straightforward language to make your argument clear and easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or overly complicated language, and make sure your writing flows logically from one point to the next.

Expert Tip

Need more tips? Give a read to the blog on 10 tips for crafting a winning argumentative essay!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When writing an argumentative essay, it's important to avoid common mistakes that can weaken your argument and make it less persuasive. 

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Lack of Focus: Your essay should have a clear and focused thesis statement that presents a specific argument. Avoid including irrelevant information or arguments that don't support your main point.
  • Over-Reliance on Personal Opinions: While your personal opinions and experiences can be valuable, they shouldn't be the sole basis of your argument. Use evidence and reasoning to support your claims and strengthen your argument.
  • Lack of Evidence to Support Arguments: Use credible and reliable sources to provide evidence that supports your argument. Without evidence, your arguments may be seen as unsupported or weak.
  • Poor Organization and Structure: Make sure your essay is well-organized and has a clear structure that makes it easy to follow. Use transitional phrases and topic sentences to help guide your reader through your argument.

In conclusion, 

Writing an effective argumentative essay requires careful planning and execution. It is also important to use credible sources, address opposing viewpoints, and avoid common mistakes. 

Remember, the ability to construct an argument is a valuable skill in both academic and professional settings. 

So, start practicing today and become a master of the art of persuasion.

However, if you still feel stuck, look no further than the best argumentative essay writing service

Our team of experienced writers is dedicated to helping you succeed in your academic endeavors. 

Contact our essay writing service today and let us help you achieve your academic goals.

Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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