In order to understand how to write an argumentative essay, let’s first understand the definitions of the basic concepts. An argumentative essay is a “genre” or a kind of written text that is often used to teach students the ability to argue, persuade and express their own opinions.
The word “argument” in the context of an argumentative essay means investigating events after identifying its key problems by using ideas that are supported by evidence from the relevant sources.
Preparation to writing of an argumentative essay
Before writing a well-reasoned argumentative essay, one should critically and selectively read the list of proposed topics and select the one which you find the most interesting. Critical knowledge means understanding, questioning and evaluating the material read. Scientific references to other authors will only strengthen the arguments of the student. Data, information and quotes collected in the reading process become significant only when they are logically and consistently integrated into the argument.
The process of developing a clear and convincing argument helps the author in his formation as a thinker and critic. This is due to the fact that written arguments contribute to the development of mental abilities, such as:
- the organization of thoughts,
- the structuring of the material,
- the assessment of facts,
- the observance of logical sequence and clear self-expression.
Structuring of a proper argumentative essay
The argumentative essay can be divided into certain constituent parts, of which 4 must always be present. They are standard for all types of essays: introduction, presentation of the argument, expectation of objections, withdrawal. In the introduction, there should be an introductory part and a thesis statement. Introductory statement is a special, attractive attention statement or question, quotation or other facts – everything that will make the reader read on.
The abstract statement, as a rule, is the last sentence of the introductory part, which acts as the controlling force of the essay. Presentation – this is presentation of the argument and the provision of evidence (statement and support). The conditionalities of the West, namely English academic rhetoric, require that at a certain stage the author acknowledge the opposite view. If the student is not able to consider the expected objections, thereby he deliberately ignores the evidence against his argument.
In addition, he should know that the argument will have more credibility if he himself recognizes the opposite side. The practice of contradiction improves critical thinking, forcing the author to put himself in the context of discussions and to realize that other points of view not only exist but have their justification. When examining objections, the student should propose problems that the opposing opinion puts before his argument, point out the weaknesses on which the opposite opinion is based, make concessions to him and offer a compromise position or decision. The conclusion should include the synthesis of the argument, the re-formulation of the thesis and the final statement.
When analyzing and evaluating a student’s argumentative essay, the teacher pays attention to four areas of the student’s competence:
- compliance with a given topic;
- critical use of written sources;
- justified argument;
- competent presentation.