Skip to content
Home » 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay

10 Tips for Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is one that presents both sides of an argument or issue and allows the reader to decide which side is best. They are often seen as a useful academic tool, particularly in law schools, as they allow students to practice developing critical thinking skills while also presenting the logic used by lawyers and judges. Although argumentative essays can be seen as a ‘friendly’ style of writing, showing agreement with the reader rather than ‘winning’ an argument, that is certainly not the case. This type of writing requires careful consideration of each element, including the introduction, body, and conclusion, which we’ll discuss in turn.

Introduction

The introduction is one of the most important sections of the essay. It gives the reader the information they need to understand what is being discussed, and it sets the stage for the rest of the paper. This is where you would begin by clearly defining the issue or argument and explaining why it is important. If you want to write an effective argumentative essay, keep these two things in mind: Firstly, ensure that you have clearly defined the issue, and secondly, make sure that the reader has enough information to understand the argument being made. With this in mind, here are the top ten tips for writing an effective argumentative essay:

1. Define the terms you’ll be using

It is essential that the reader knows exactly what terms you are using, as these will have a significant impact on the reader’s understanding of what is being discussed. Before you start writing, define the terms you will be using in the essay and ensure that you use the correct ones. Once you have settled on the terms, write them down and ensure that you use them consistently throughout the essay. If you are using words and phrases that are unfamiliar to the reader, then they will not have the same meaning as you and may even misconstrue your argument. For example, if you are writing about abortion and use the term ‘unborn child’, you may unintentionally suggest that the reader should have sympathy for the baby. However, if you want to write an effective argumentative essay, then you must use the phrase ‘a person who is not yet born’, as the term ‘unborn child’ can also be applied to a fetus (an embryo that has not yet developed its full set of organs). Using the appropriate terminology will ensure that everyone understands what you are discussing and that nothing is misunderstood. It is also recommended that you check your essays for any errors in terminology before you submit them. For example, if you make a mistake and call someone a ‘genius’ instead of a ‘intellectual’, it could potentially ruin your entire essay. Always use the correct terminology and do your best to avoid these kinds of errors, as they can seriously damage your argument. To write an effective argumentative essay, always keep in mind the importance of proper terminology and avoid using slang or vernacular words that might confuse your readers. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, be as precise as possible when defining your terms.

2. Make the introduction relevant and interesting

The introduction should be relevant and interesting, as it will be this section of the paper that draws the reader’s interest. A dull introduction will make the reader want to skip to the next part (the body of the essay). To write an effective argumentative essay, keep these two rules in mind: First, make sure that the information you provide in the introduction is relevant to the issue being discussed. This should not be too difficult, as you are writing about a specific topic, but it is important that everything in the essay relates back to that topic. For example, if you are writing about abortion and suggest in the introduction that it should be legal, then the information you provide in the body of the essay must relate to this issue. In order to write an interesting introduction, look for the topic or issue that you want to discuss and provide some details about it. Alternatively, you could use the opportunity to write about something that is relevant to your own life, such as how you intend to approach an essay topic or how you came to be writing the essay. Whatever you put in the introduction will determine what the readers get out of the rest of the paper, so make sure that it is both relevant and interesting. Second, make sure that the introduction is interesting. This is a bit harder to explain, but it really depends on you. What makes an interesting introduction? Make sure that you develop a clear thesis statement in the introduction and that you use this to determine the content and style of the paper. This will make your work more objective, as you are presenting facts rather than opinions. An objective paper will make the readers think more clearly and allow them to concentrate on the content rather than being distracted by your style. In order to write an effective argumentative essay, find something that you are passionate about and that you feel is both relevant and interesting to the reader. If you can, perform a serious of research on the topic, looking for both sides of the argument and presenting them in a balanced manner.

3. Make the body of the essay readable

The body of the essay is where you will present your argument, discussing the topic in detail. The body of the essay, excluding the conclusion, must be easy to read and understand. Remember that you are writing for university students who may not be familiar with your topic, so make sure that everything you write is easy to comprehend. In order to achieve this, you must make use of academic vocabulary and avoid using words that might be difficult for a general audience. It is also recommended that you avoid using too many long sentences, as this will make your work incomprehensible. Instead, use short, sharp sentences that are almost imperceptible. In terms of formatting, it’s important to keep the paragraphs short and a maximum of six sentences per paragraph. These are just some basic guidelines that you must keep in mind, as there are many different ways to write an effective argumentative essay. To write an effective argumentative essay, keep these three points in mind: first, develop a clear thesis statement that will form the backbone of your argument. This should not be too difficult, as you are writing about a specific topic, but it is important that everything in the essay relates back to that topic. Make sure that you use a mixture of both short and long sentences, as it is important to keep the general audience in mind and ensure that your work is accessible to everyone. Finally, make sure to include any relevant supporting evidence, as this will further strengthen your argument and give the reader a better understanding of what is being discussed. Once you have written the body of the essay, you will need to take a bit of a break before you start writing the conclusion. During this time, go over your essay and make sure that it is both concise and effective, as this is the last section and the one that will determine (at least in part) your success or failure as a writer.

4. Use transitional words

If you are writing in the present tense, then you must use transitional words to move from one part of the text to the next. These words will help the reader follow your train of thought and ensure that the information they provide is both relevant and effective. Here are some common transitional words that you should know:

  • and
  • but
  • hence
  • so
  • for
  • as
  • thus
  • therefore

These words will help your writing flow naturally and ensure that your points are both clear and relevant. Remember, if you write an interesting and informative paper, you will have a great chance of getting a high score (at least in terms of a word-for-word grade).

5. Use appropriate academic vocabulary

In law school, students are often tested on their vocabulary, particularly in the context of writing legal arguments. Make sure that you use the correct vocabulary, as this will have a direct impact on your score. In order to write an effective argumentative essay, remember that you are writing for a general audience, so make sure that you use the correct terminology. In law school, using slang or vernacular may actually be appropriate in some circumstances (i.e., for effecting a comedic tone), but in general it is considered very disrespectful. In order to write an effective argumentative essay, make sure that you use the correct terminology, as this will help the reader follow your train of thought and ensure that the information they provide is both relevant and effective.