Understand the assignment

In your essay, you will defend an opinion about an academic topic.


Remember that after you do enough preliminary research to brainstorm and choose your focus, you should do more detailed research about your topic so that you can make your outline.

When you research for an argumentative essay, look for the opinions of the supporters, but also look for the opinions of the opponents. A strong argument often acknowledges the opposite point of view.


You can use a mind map, a free write, general internet search, or a discussion group if you are having a difficult time thinking of things to write about.

Example topics could include the following:

  • Should the government censor what people do online?
  • Should scientists spend time and money exploring space?
  • Does establishing a minimum wage benefit the economy?
  • Should men be given time off for paternity leave?
  • What kinds of renewable energy are worth it?

Choose your focus

Make sure the topic isn't too broad to cover in your essay.


Also begin an outline for your essay. As you research about your topic, start organizing your findings. Some people begin an outline by listing topics and quotes. Others write topic sentences and supporting sentences. An argumentative essay follows typical essay organization.


Your introduction should start by describing any background that will be important for the reader to know.

Here are some questions that can help you think about background information that the reader needs to be able to understand the problem:

At the end of your introduction paragraph, you should give your thesis. The thesis should clearly state the opinion that you will defend in your essay.

Example: Everyone should begin taking small steps today to begin reducing the negative effects of air pollution on our environment, our health, and the global climate.

Review the characteristics of an effective thesis as needed. For an argumentative essay, it is especially important that you don't simply state a fact; your thesis should be something that can be argued against.

1 Exercise: Revise thesis statements

Revise the thesis statements to be more effective for an argumentative essay.

  1. The following paragraphs will talk about the three main negative effects of social media plays: first, how social media is an emerge of a new clinical disorder, second, why there are symptoms such as depression and self-esteem and finally, how social media affects student's mental health.
  2. Health and environmental consequences are the issues to discuss.
  3. Some students believe that college education does not have benefits. Some people disagree. They think people who earn a college degree make more money, they have better and more employment opportunities, and they are healthier and live longer.
  4. The vaccines are been our friends for many years for their many speculate benefits.
  5. The chance to make a better choice can increase significantly.
  6. For example, streamers become an important influence within young people, use communication platforms as a job to earn money and become fictionally a celebrity for the medium where they present themselves.
  7. I will explain why governments should be involved in censoring websites that are used for social media purposes.
  8. Human activity contributes to many global problems.


Your body paragraphs should give reasons that support your thesis, and you may want to dedicate a body paragraph to making a counterargument. If you choose to acknowledge the other side of the issue, make sure you keep a respectful tone in your writing

You may structure your counterargument paragraph like this:


Your conclusion paragraph should start by restating your thesis. Then you should discuss your problem more generally and apply your opinion to the general context you established in your introduction. You can end with a closing statement that is s suggestion, prediction, or opinion. The end of an argumentative essay may be a call to action, asking your readers to join you in your cause.

2 Exercise: Evaluate an outline

Read the outline for an essay about vaccines. Evaluate it. What would make the outine more effective? Work to revise the outline.

  • TH: Many people think that vaccines can prevent many deaths and diseases, however, is necessary to evaluate, fatal effects, government intervention, and harmful ingredients.
    • TS: Vaccines can cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects on children.
    • TS: People think that vaccines can protect the children's lives which is not true.
    • TS: Government should not intervene in a personal medical choice to have vaccines.
    • TS: Some major medical organizations state that vaccines are safe, therefore, they are wrong.
    • TS: Vaccines can contain harmful ingredients for children.
    • TS: The ingredients in vaccines for children are safe which is not true.
  • TH: The vaccines are being questioned for their defects more than their benefits. Therefore, is fundamental to look over their fatal effects, government intervention on personal medical choice and harmful ingredients.