Basic Information about Writing an Argumentative Essay

When writing an argumentative essay, think of yourself as a lawyer who is trying to persuade an audience of something or to consider something, showing all the evidence and sides of the issue. Instead of a persuasive essay, where you try to persuade readers to adopt your position with little acknowledgement of opposing sides, an argumentative essay focuses on presenting a comprehensive picture of the issue at hand, and showing what should be considered as the correct stance to take on it.

When thinking about how to start an argumentative essay, visualize it as a debate on paper. You have to imagine both the pro and con sides of the debate as the writer, and determine which side wins with all the evidence in view. Try to remain as logical and unbiased as you can in your essay, and aim for concise and clear language. Showing bias and less logic is more for persuasive essays, where one’s opinion is the most important factor. In saying this, an argumentative essay outline is practically required, as one needs to map out the entire essay in a detailed manner in order to draft the essay without hiccups.

Argumentative Essay Format

As was mentioned before, an argumentative essay should be logical in its approach. This refers to all stages of the essay’s development. A solid argumentative essay begins with a hook that presents either a surprising statistic or fact about the main issue. From there, the writer provides background information on the issue, which could be history or other key information that readers need to know in order to understand the issue properly.

After the argumentative essay introduction, body paragraphs focused on sub-issues within the main issue should be presented. Each body paragraph should center on only one sub-issue and also should provide evidence for its claims. One should balance the body paragraphs with claims, opposing views, and refutations of those opposing views. Usually, you make your main claims in the first three body paragraphs, and then follow them up with paragraphs about opposing views and their refutations.

If you are wondering how to conclude an argumentative essay, think of it as more than the sum of its parts. Yes, you need to mention your main claims, the opposing views, and their refutations; however, you should also make readers think about your topic long after they read your essay. By leaving an afterthought, or a statement or question that makes think more deeply about the issue at hand, readers can keep the topic discussed in your essay in their minds for possibly their entire life.

Style of an Argumentative Essay

The writing should be detailed, logical, and formal. It does not necessarily need to be dry, but one should not use jargon or informal language in general. As mentioned before, argumentative essays should not show bias and be over-the-top in its persuasiveness.

Each sentence should move your argument forward. There should not be paragraphs for meandering around the topic. Write as concise and efficient as you can without sounding dry.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics


  1. Does technology make us more anti-social?
  2. Should uploading our brains to the cloud ever be done?
  3. Is social media making us narcissistic?
  4. Do Americans spend too much time on their smartphones?
  5. Are digital photographs too numerous to be taken seriously anymore?

Gender Issues

  1. Is teaching children about all the different types of genders a sound idea?
  2. Why are women paid less in the workplace?
  3. Is cat calling in the street acceptable when women are calling out men?
  4. Should transgender people be able to serve in the military?
  5. Should sports be coed?

TV and Video Games

  1. Does watching reality TV harm teenagers?
  2. Is there a direct connection between shooter video games and mass killings?
  3. What makes a good TV commercial?
  4. Is the gaming world sexist?
  5. Are TV shows too white?

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