Valuable Guide to Argumentative Essay Format & Topic Ideas

An argumentative essay is a must item for students in high school and middle school levels. These persuasive essays usually require you to build a case backed by the necessary evidence to urge a reader to embrace your standpoint.

Argumentative essays are usually prompted by trigger words such as ‘argue’ or a question e.g., ‘do violent movies have a negative psychological impact on children?’ Owing to the fact-based nature of argumentative essays, many students often dread the task placed on them when they are assigned an argumentative essay.

This article will highlight the parts of an argumentative essay and some tips to help you structure your argument. We will also offer some argumentative essay ideas to guide you toward selecting a good topic for your paper. 

Parts of an argumentative essay

The parts of an argumentative essay may vary depending on the approach you select for writing your essay. Some of the popular approaches include the Toulmin approach and the Rogerian approach.

The Toulmin approach comprises the claim, the grounds, the warrant, and the counterclaim. This approach starts with a claim regarding the argument, followed by the evidence that supports your standpoint.

Next, show the points that warrant your claim followed by an analysis of the counterarguments and the reason why they are baseless. 

The Rogerian approach starts with stating the strength of the counterarguments followed by an analysis of the weaknesses of these counterarguments. Next, you are required to show your position on the argument and to indicate the compromises that would make the counterarguments better. 

Both approaches thus require you to be well versed with the claims, evidence, and counterarguments of the topic. However, there are many styles for presenting your argument. As such, we recommend that you consult your tutor to determine the approach they recommend for your paper. 

Steps to writing an argumentative essay

Like all research-based content, an argumentative essay requires intricate planning to present a quality argument. The proper style for an argumentative essay introduction is:

  1. Perform adequate research to establish the grounds of your argument and various counterarguments. Next, size the arguments and determine how they hold in light of the evidence. This information will allow you to select the side that you’ll represent and to determine various objections your reader may have in mind. 
  2. Next, draw an outline of your argument based on the data you have collected from your research. The outline allows you to connect related arguments, ensuring a logical flow of the components of your paper. The outline is a great guide as it informs you on when to go back to the drawing board and also highlights various weaknesses that require your attention. 
  3. Write your paper and proofread it for various errors, ensuring that your paper is free of contradictory claims. 

How to start an argumentative essay

The introduction of your argumentative essay is crucial in making an impression on your reader. It is thus crucial that you prepare a quality introduction that captures your reader’s attention and sets the ground for your argument.

The best way to start your essay is to:

  1. Follow a logical format

Your introduction should start by hooking your reader in and describing the topic you are handling. Here, you should discuss the background of your study and various shortcomings in the common views of your topic.

Next, the introduction should state your thesis and highlight your standpoint on the topic under discussion. 

  1. Come up with a quality hook

A good hook is a critical piece of your argumentative essay. Without a hook, it may be hard to convince your reader to give your paper a look. 

Ideally, start your paper with a fact, a statistic, or a story that highlights a problem that warrants your position. You may also start by stating a common fallacy and highlighting various reasons why this approach is skewed in light of the research.

This will nudge your reader to peruse other portions of your paper and set a base from which you can convince your reader of your stance. 

  1. Offer some background to your study

You must offer a background to your study to allow your reader to view the argument from your perspective. Be keen to include all the data that supports your claims and refutes various objections. 

  1. State your thesis

Finally, your introduction should restate the thesis without bias. The thesis should be an arguable statement that clearly shows your standpoint. e.g., nazi military leadership in WW2 was ineffective.

Argumentative essay outline

The argumentative essay can be divided into three major parts. The introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The introduction

  • The hook
  • The background
  • Your thesis statements

The body

  • Topic sentence
  • Claim
  • Evidence
  • Concluding sentence

The conclusion

  • Restate the thesis
  • Summarize your sub-arguments

Selection of the best argumentative essay topics

Topics for argumentative essay

  1. Should doctors be permitted to genetically change unborn infants at the request of their parents? 
  2. Has the internet improved society? 
  3. Should everyone have free access to the internet? 
  4. Should student-athletes be paid by colleges and universities? 
  5. Is it true that single-gender education is preferable to co-education? 

Argumentative essays for middle school

  1. Should teachers give pupils grades? 
  2. Is it ethical to test animals? 
  3. What is the best age for children to begin school? 
  4. Is it appropriate for pupils to review their teachers? 
  5. Is home-schooling a better option than the public school system? 
  6. Are test results the only way to assess a student’s ability? 

Funny argumentative essay topics

  1. Why you should never put your faith in a dog
  2. Why is the sky blue?
  3. Why should individuals avoid eating vegetables?
  4. Why is the human race on the verge of extinction?
  5. Would the world be a better place if religion didn’t exist?
  6. Should the wealthy be subjected to higher taxes?

Argumentative topics for kids

  1. Should smoking be prohibited in public places?
  2. Students should be allowed to use their iPhones in class.
  3. Is it true that cats are superior to dogs?
  4. Children should have extended vacations.
  5. Is it true that vampires exist?
  6. When it comes to exercise, how often should people do it?

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