How to Write an Argumentative Essay

The argumentative essay is one of the many types of essays. This type of essay aims to convince the reader to believe its author and to be on their side. It requires thorough research because you need to persuade your reader by presenting a logic and concrete evidence. As you have probably already guessed, this kind of essay is most common in the academic setting.

Why should you write an argumentative essay?

In today’s setting, people obtain solutions after making an informed decision. Most of the decisions such legal, customary, political or decisions concerning human rights are directed by various clauses in our constitutions. To establish the constitutions, various discussions accompanied by arguments were convened to enable the law makers and policy developers like members of parliament to explore an argumentative issue in terms of supporting ideas as well as opposing ideas. From the above background, the relevance of argumentative essay in a student life becomes evident. Precisely, argumentative essay is a vital writing skill that seems to define how best a student will be able to approach critical issues in life.

Why is writing an argumentative essay important?

The main goal of an argumentative essay is to convince or persuade the target audience, as well as help them understand the other side of an argument that supports a certain belief or idea. Knowing how to write an argumentative essay is a basic and fundamental skill of every college student: To further understand the workings of an argumentative essay, here are its components and characteristics:

  • Logical and persuasive: An argumentative essay should aim at developing your skills in persuasion, helping you effectively argue against an issue in a logical manner. Moreover, your arguments should be understood by the audience involved. For instance, the issue at hand may be complex, but with your skills, it can be logically and concisely explained – this is critical to the potency of an argumentative essay.
  • Critical thinking: The argumentative essay also enables a student develop critical thinking skills. It’s a skill not only essential in school, but life in general. This enables them to explore both weaknesses and strengths of an issue, as well as helps them explore alternative solutions and perspectives. 
  • Research skills: In the world of academics, research is a vital tool. An argument or idea can only be considered valid if backed up by research. As such, learning how to write an argumentative essay hones your research skills. Only a coherent analysis can help your formulate a sound argument.
  • Evidence for claim: Again, your argumentative essay is only relevant if there are facts and evidences supporting it.
  • Writing skills: While obvious, learning how to write an argumentative essay requires good writing skills. Its potency will rely mostly on the writer’s ability to convey messages, which is precisely why having such writing skills is essential. Should a writer still be on the stage of grasping such a skill, writing an argumentative essay is complex enough to help them learn.

The argumentative essay

As the name suggests, an argumentative essay has to have an argument to defend. The author of such an essay must have a firm stand on the chosen topic. He cannot just present facts and sides of the argument and then let the reader decide for himself. Although ultimately, the reader has the freedom to decide, the author’s goal is to steer the reader towards accepting his argument as true.

Parts of an argumentative essay

The argumentative essay follows the same structure of the basic essay: it has an introduction, body, and a conclusion. However, this type of essay has specific content in the body. The introduction is where you tell your readers your topic. More importantly, this is where you introduce your thesis statement. 

Parts of an Argumentative Essay

In the argumentative essay, the introduction can extend to another paragraph, or even more, because you need to provide background to your reader. You should tell your readers about the different sides of the issue before presenting your own claims. The body is where you present your main arguments and evidence. This is where the actual persuasion happens. The body of your essay should have three claims and one counterclaim.

  • The claims are the reasons or facts that support and promote your stand on the issue. Keep in mind, however, that this is not just your opinion. These should be based on facts. Avoid logical fallacies at all cost as this wil take huge points away from your essay.
  • The claims are usually followed by pieces of evidence or examples. This shows that your claims are realistic. These are meant to make your argument airtight.
  • After presenting all your claims, present a counterclaim. This counterclaim should be carefully selected. Firstly, it should present a strong counterargument to your stand. Secondly, you should be able to counter it with any or all of your arguments. Lastly, the presentation of the counterclaim should further strengthen your argument.
  • The last part of your essay, the conclusion, is where you repeat your thesis statement and arguments in brief. You may also mention additional takeaway ideas for your reader here.

Step-by-step guide on writing an argumentative essay

Writing an argumentative essay follows the general process of writing an essay.

  1. Choosing a topic for your argumentative essayCourse instructors assign students the topic for argumentative essays most of the time. However, there are also instances where in you will have to decide on the topic on your own. CustomEssayMeister suggests that you visit the recent social issues you are hearing all over the news or reading on the internet. List them all down, and browse through them when you feel like you have a wide array of topics to choose from. Choose the topic which interests you the most then allow yourself some time to look for scholarly reading materials on both sides of your argument. For instance, you decided to work on an argumentative essay on Mental Health. You may begin by looking for recent medical journals about mental health.
  2. Drafting an outline. The most important aspect of writing an argumentative essay is deciding on your argument which you will try to prove in your paper. This will guide you in drafting your outline, but first you need to make sure that you know how to write an effective outline. Your outline must divide your argumentative essay into its three main parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. The basic essay can be written in three paragraphs. However, five-paragraph essays (or more) are usually practiced in higher education levels to represent higher level of comprehension and analysis. Treat your outline as the blueprint or the master plan of your argumentative essay, so that wehn you begin writing, you know the parts that you need to combine to create each component.
  3. Writing the introduction. Writing the introduction is a little difficult for some because of the prolific information one has researched for the argumentative essay. This is where the function of your outline comes in. Your introduction should be able to bring your reader to the same page as you - meaning, they should be able to have enough knowledge on what your paper will be about, the premise of your argument, as well as your argument or in this case, your thesis statement. Learn how to write an introduction before you even attempt to begin your argumentative essay.
  4. Transition to the body of the essayThe ideal format of an argumentative essay is to discuss each supporting evidence in separate paragraphs. Make sure that you cite all your sources by mentioning the authors of quotes, paraphrased information, and other ways to avoid plagiarism. By discussing each evidence in separate paragraphs, you are providing enough room to present the validity of your argument as well as establish the coherence of your argumentative essay.
  5. The counter-argument. Every argumentative essay needs to equally represent a counter-argument. You need to disprove counter-arguments in order for your argumentative essay to be unbiased. Discussing the counter-argument also gives you the chance to find the loophole of your thesis, so do not skip the research on information that does not go with your thesis. Counter-arguments, despite its name, actually strengthens your thesis.
  6. Wrap up with a conclusion. Your last paragraph should tie all the paragraphs of your argumentative essay together. Provide a summary, highlight your thesis, and challenge your readers to either expand your paper or disprove your argument.

Free example of argumentative essay on the case against banning books in school curricula


The references are an equally crucial aspect of the argumentative essay. It is the backbone of your arguments since these are where you get your facts. So, in order to write a persuasive essay, your sources should be credible. As part of your resources evaluation, be wary of websites that propagate incorrect or biased information to promote their own views or agenda without regard for the truth. If possible, stick to primary sources such as books and peer-reviewed journals, mainstream news agencies, articles with reputable authors, and sites that end with .org, .edu, .gov.

Most importantly, don’t forget to cite your sources! Writing an argumentative essay may take up some time, but it’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it. Remember, practice makes perfect. As you go along with your essay, don't hesitate to ask for our assistance. 

Writing service for college students

As mentioned, writing an argumentative essay takes careful time, effort, and skill. It does not only focus on the content, but the manner of conveying the message and the research itself. It is a difficult task, one that may not be possible for some students. Luckily, there are writing services like CustomEssayMeister, dedicated to helping students like you. Out talented pool of writers will be able to help you craft a convincing argumentative essay. Moreover, we can also write custom essays, research papers, and even thesis papers. Should you be interested, do not hesitate to contact our Support Team.