How to write an argumentative essay

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You’ll hear argumentative essays a lot when it comes to academic writing as they are the most common type of essays.

Basically, argumentative essays present a detailed argument and support it throughout the paper to convince the reader. 

Argumentation techniques

First improve your argumentation. Most college papers require you to create and defend arguments. 

There’re two common types of argumentation, let’s continue with them. 

Rogerian arguments

You’ll hear Rogerian arguments a lot when studying how to write an argumentative essay. Rogerian arguments provide students with some steps to repeat during the writing process:

Argumentative essay outline with Rogerian arguments

Outline sample

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook sentence
    2. Background on your argument
    3. Thesis statement (Your argument & claim)
  2. First paragraph
    1. Present the correct sides of the opposing idea to your claim. Explore why people might support the opposing idea.
    2. Present the problems with the opposing idea according to your research.
  3. Second paragraph
    1. Now present your own claim/argument.
    2. Explore how your idea, argument, or claim can help overcome these problems in the first paragraph.
  4. Fourth paragraph
    1. Try to find a compromise with the opposing claim, discussed in the first paragraph.
    2. Now explain how opposing idea might benefit from your argument, partly or wholly.
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summarize your findings and restate your thesis statement.
    2. Stress the importance and benefit of your argument once again.
    3. Conclude your essay with a memorable sentence.


With the Rogerian arguments model, you’ll create a clear overview of both sides of a claim and argument. This approach is useful when analyzing a controversial topic

For example, say you want to discuss that social media positively impacts communication (see social media essay examples). With the Rogerian model, you’ll:

Toulmin arguments

Like Rogerian arguments, the Toulmin model is also based on a four-step approach. You may repeat these steps as many times as you wish to develop a solid essay structure.

Argumentative essay outline with Touilmin arguments

Outline sample

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook sentence
    2. Background on your argument
    3. Thesis statement (Your argument & claim)
  2. First paragraph
    1. Present your claim in detail
  3. Second paragraph
    1. Show evidence on your claim
    2. Describe the grounds of your evidence
  4. Fourth paragraph
    1. Evaluate the negative aspects of your claim to show you have evaluated the other perspectives as well
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summarize your findings, reiterate your thesis
    2. Conclude your essay with a memorable sentence


Even if you don’t follow all the steps above, you need to develop a clear connection between your argument, thesis statement, and essay

For example, say you’re working on an argument about the impacts of social media on communication. With the Toulmin model, you’ll:

You don’t have to make use of these approaches. Instead, you can mix them up to define your own style.

However, you should always have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion when writing your argumentative essay. Here is an argumentative essay example, feel free to have a look before writing one.

Argumentative essay introduction

Your introduction needs a hook sentence, background information, and a thesis statement. Below, you’ll see an example of an argumentative essay introduction

The wide use of social media has a substantial impact on business, education, and even love life. Hook: You draw the reader’s attention with a strong claim. People now tend to use social media in different contexts, and many scholars discuss its role in human psychology. For many psychologists, the effects of social media platforms are concerning and potentially dangerous for addictive individuals. Background: You set the context of your argument. Although some scholars highlight such concerns, there are obviously many social media benefits as an asset of communication and socializing, creating a digital memory album, and meeting new people for introverted people. Thesis statement: You present the central argument of your essay.

Body paragraphs

You’ll discuss and develop your arguments in the argumentative essay’s body. Here, present your credible evidence, your own analysis and deductions. 

Paragraphs are like small essays, and they need to be structured in a gradual format. Each paragraph should have its topic, and you need to introduce each of them with a topic sentence.

The excessive use of social media is a concern for many psychologists. Topic sentence: What will the paragraph be about? Its prevalence among society is extremely high; research found that almost every individual has a social media account (Radovic et al., 2017). However, many studies have stressed a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts (Scheinbaum, 2017). Evidence: You state and cite your evidence. Psychologists are not mistaken to think that social media can have serious impacts on human psychology; however, a further and expanded investigation is also necessary. Interpretation: This part evaluates the evidence. At this point, many psychologists stress the negative aspects of social media, but scholars have also highlighted the positive impacts of social media such as the availability of social networks, the feeling of belonging, and numerous business opportunities (Akram & Kumar, 2017). Counter argument: You present a counter-evidence to argue against the original claim. Therefore, the use of social media has positive sides that help individuals look for opportunities and different communities. Final sentence: You state your point made in this paragraph.

Argumentative essay conclusion

Like other types of essays, your argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes the findings. 

Below, you will find an example of a conclusion of the argumentative essay.

Social media has a substantial impact on many aspects of life; apart from adverse effects, its importance is valid in many fields such as communication, business opportunities, and the feeling of belonging. Summary: You summarize your arguments in the body and remind the reader of your thesis statement. As the current trends show, many individuals use social media opportunities in socializing, networking, and working life. Importance: Stress the importance of the argument by giving examples from the real life. After all, although many skeptics have increasingly highlighted the dangers of social media, it is here for a long time, and it is time to concentrate on its benefits with an optimistic approach. Closing statement: You capture the importance of your argument and conclude your essay with a memorable sentence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Just like any other type of essay, all argumentative essays consist of an introduction, preferably three separate body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

Topic ideas for argumentative essays are almost limitless. If you think you can present a stance and defend it against a counter argument, anything can be a topic for these essays.

You need to start an argumentative essay with an introduction that explains the topic and also presents the thesis statement, which is your main argument on the subject.

Osman Sirin
Osman Sirin
Founder @Tamara Research, Linguistics major and full time digital marketeer, loves dogs, sports, and nature

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