4 Tips for Writing an Argumentative Essay

Arguments aren’t fun. Honestly, when’s the last time you enjoyed arguing with someone? Amazingly, argumentative essays are becoming more and more popular amongst educators. The goal, of course, is to improve student’s debating skills; however, it’s hard to find the thin line between argumentative and overbearing, moderate and wishy-washy, logical and boring. Students that are trying to navigate their way through argumentative essays need a few tips to keep them on track and writing in the right direction. Here are four tips of the trade when it comes to argumentative essay writing:

  1. Have confidence. Now, being confident does not mean being cocky or close-minded. It simply means being confident in the idea that your opinion or point of view is the right way to go. Without confidence, an argumentative essay falls completely flat. You not only need to convince your audience of your opinion on logical grounds, but you need to show them how passionately and truly you support the belief. People are drawn to honest confidence, so demonstrate it in you’re writing, and they’ll be drawn to you!
  2. Use credible evidence. With an argumentative essay, you have to back up any argument you make with evidence. Now, there is tons of so-called ‘evidence’ out there for you to choose from – the trick is, using credible and impartial sources. You don’t want your evidence to be the opinions of other people. You want it to be as factual, accurate and supportive of your argument as possible. Use credible, unbiased evidence and people are more likely to believe the argument’s validity.
  3. Address the most serious issues. Don’t skirt those serious, hot-button issues that may be roaming around your essay subject. Address them right out. Whether your entire essay is on a controversial issue or a controversial topic simply affects your thesis, don’t be afraid to take a stand. People will respect you less if you try to avoid talking about gay marriage, abortion, or any other serious issues that may crop up. Taking a moderate stand may be appropriate, but make sure you aren’t sacrificing your confidence – or your argument – when you do so.
  4. Respect the other side of the argument. It’s not enough to be confident; it’s not enough to get great evidence, and it’s not enough to take a firm stand on the issue. You also need to show respect to your opposing argument. Half the purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade others to join your side of the argument. To do this, you need to establish common ground with opposing believers while showing empathy and respect for their beliefs. People are more likely to convert if you show them that their opinions matter, too.