Step by Step Guide: How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Writing an argumentative essay is more than just voicing an opinion. Without sound reasoning, great structure, and solid evidence, even a strong perspective may fail to be compelling. In this guide, you will learn how to write an argumentative essay, including its structure and various models.

So, What Is an Argumentative Essay?

This is a type of writing that requires students to research a topic and take a position. From there, it is up to them to convince the audience or readers to support their claim through sound reasoning and evidence.

Although it is commonly confused with expository essays, they vary in terms of the amount of research and creativity involved. Some of the usual subjects include health care, technology, politics, and science.

What Are the Elements of a Good Argumentative Essay?

When writing an argumentative essay, you should focus on facts rather than personal feelings or ideals. Here are some elements that a good argumentative essay should entail:

Stance: Taking a position on one side of an argument is the first step to writing an excellent argumentative essay. Reveal your viewpoint and reason for it. For instance, has the internet affected education positively or negatively? Are you for the internet or against it? Your thesis should clearly state your side of the argument.

Evidence: This part includes basing your position on facts and evidence you collect during research. There is no argumentative essay without facts to back it up. With solid evidence, like statistics gathered from surveys, you may persuade your readers to support your claim. Just ensure that you include the references and citations of your sources. Without proof, your points are baseless and invalid.

Counterarguments: Although you may be tempted to completely ignore the other side of the argument, it is not advisable to do so. An effective argument should show that the other side is weak or incorrect. Be sure to research the position of the other side. Use their strong points to tear their arguments down using evidence.

Approaches on How to Write Argumentative Essays

An argumentative essay should have a good structure based on logic for easy reading. Although you can write your essay differently, there are three common models to outline your arguments.


This is the frequently used method and is also referred to as Aristotelian. Its simplicity allows readers with little to no prior knowledge to follow due because it is fact-based.

In this model, you introduce your thesis statement, a little background information, and your main stance. Elaborate on your main argument points through logical reasoning and clear evidence. Next, introduce your opposition viewpoint and refute the points as you go. In the conclusion part, present all your main points and provide solutions or research that could be done in the future.


This model is more appropriate for polarizing topics when people strongly disagree and seek a middle ground. It allows you to analyze the two opposing sides by exploring their strengths and weaknesses to reach a conclusion.

Its structure involves presenting the problem, introducing the opponent’s viewpoint, and validating the facts. Next, you introduce your perspective together with its supporting facts and evidence. Proceed to show a possible compromise. What can each side benefit from each other? Find common ground to conclude the argument.


This is a standard structure when faced with complex topics with no defined truths. It requires deep analysis and steep logic, thus making it perfect for refuting opposing views and resolving complicated issues. Your essay itself could be a counterargument instead of a whole different claim.

It includes:

  • Introduction
  • Presenting claim
  • Providing grounds to support the thesis
  • Showing the connection between your claim and evidence.
  • Explaining possible rebuttals and limits of your stance

Steps to Writing an Argumentative Essay

Just like any other academic paper, argumentative essays have the same recommended outline and writing process. Any good article comes down to thorough preparation and extensive research. Here is a step-by-step guide on writing an excellent argumentative essay.

Select a topic if not already given

There are various topics to choose from if you are given the option to do so. You can pick something you are passionate about while considering its connection to your subject, relevance, basic values, and room for further studies. Ensure to present it in a debate format even when using the Rogerian model.


In argumentative research, you present and back your claims with solid evidence. This is where research comes to play. Use information from credible sources, including blogs, journals, books, documentaries, and articles. You can also conduct interviews, experiments, surveys, and observations.

During the research, read widely to get an in-depth understanding of the topic. This includes the ongoing studies, previous debates, counterarguments, and main points. Acknowledge different points of view and explore unique approaches for a well-balanced essay.

Draft and write the essay

first, draft an outline of the content for a smooth flow execution of ideas. The structure involves the introduction, body, and conclusion.


Just like any other form of writing, the opening statement should captivate the readers’ undivided attention. It could be surprising statistics or a rhetorical question. Next, you could narrow down the context by providing background information without revealing your central position. Finally, introduce and defend your thesis statement in the last sentence.

Body paragraphs

It is essential to assign one paragraph per point. Each section should contain these parts.

  • Topic sentence: It introduces a point of the argument.
  • Claim: Here, you connect your first point to your thesis statement. How does it validate your argument?
  • Evidence: In argumentative essays, always support your claim with a factual base. It can be statistics or references from credible sources.
  • Concluding statement: With claim and ground in place, explain the warrant. Why is the claim important to the thesis?


This part aims to convince the reader that your thesis is valid. In the first sentence, restate your thesis in a reassuring way. Proceed to summarize all your main points and close your argument. Conclude your essay with a memorable closing statement to invoke interest for further research.

Proofread and review

With writing done, proofread your work and pay attention to grammar mistakes while keeping your audience in mind. Add or eliminate any unnecessary points to make your essay more intriguing. Also, keep it academic and eliminate any personal anecdotes.

Argumentative Essay Summary

Writing a good argumentative essay comes down to using evidence and facts to support an argument. Whether you are writing for publication or academic purposes, you can always use classical, Rogerian, or Toulmin approaches to write a great argumentative essay. Ensure to include a strong thesis, back your claims with grounds, and refute the opposing argument to make it weak and invalid.

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