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Overall Information about Argumentative Essay

7 pages
1663 words
University of Richmond
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An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that is meant to persuade an individual or a group of people to agree or disagree with a certain school of thought. When writing an argumentative essay, the writer needs to know both sides of the argument being carried out. That is because one can only be convincing about a topic he or she knows its merits and the demerits. In case of an issue that people hold divergent opinions, one can hold a discussion where people give both supporting and dissenting opinions on the matter. At the end of the day, the more convincing and weighty argument with convincing points. An argumentative essay contains the ideas and illustrations supporting and opposing the statement of study. The writer usually looks at the contrary statement to balance the argument by presenting pros and at least a con. A situation where an argumentative essay is applicable is when the main argument and the contrary argument both have the backing of the people engaged in a discussion about issues of public or social interest. One important aspect of an argumentative essay is that it gives a chance for people at both sides of the argument, that is, the people supporting as well as the people opposing the argument to have a chance of presenting their reasons and supporting statements. Some of the important essays, such a death penalty essay need to be approached through an interactive platform and presented for readers as argumentative essays.

Formulation of an Argumentative Essay

To formulate an effective argumentative essay, one needs to, first, find a topic of interest. A topic for argumentative essay should be one which can lead to opposite arguments supported with logical evidence. For example, an essay about death penalty can be made into an argumentative essay since some people feel that death penalty is cruel while others support the death penalty for some criminal activities cases. Another characteristic of an ideal topic for an argumentative essay is that it should be addressing an issue of public interest, it should also be a topic which can be discussed based on strong reasoning, convincing and practical backing evidence.

The second step involves considering both sides of the topic, the consequences and benefits to help pick a side that one needs to support in the argumentative essay. For the case of a death penalty argumentative essay, the writer needs to consider both the possible arguments for and against the death penalty for criminals, the writer also needs to look into the logical perspective of the arguments by looking at the need to kill a person and for what reason. Picking a side to support in an argumentative essay requires that one considers practical examples that support the stance taken. When the points supporting the argument are more than the pints opposing the argument, then it is advisable that one chooses to support the argument so that the argumentative essay becomes realistic. One can only give a strong argument if he or she has deep knowledge of the topic and if the points for supporting or opposing the argument are enough to help build a convincing argument. Choosing the side to support in an argumentative essay is very important in becoming relevant and logical in the essay. One can end up struggling to support something that has n sufficient logical backing and end up writing an argumentative essay that least interests the readers.

Another important step in developing an argumentative essay is evidence gathering. After choosing the side to support, evidence gathering should be easier as the side chosen should be having a lot of logical reasoning behind it and available pieces of evidence and examples of real-life situations to support it. An important thing to note about evidence gathering in an argumentative essay is not to be biased in considering the pieces of evidence to use in the study. If one chooses to ignore certain pieces of evidence that can help in building a strong argument, just because such pieces of evidence do not support their stance in the argument, one might end up writing an argumentative essay that is full of critics to a point it can be considered vague. Evidence gathering is done for both sides of the argument because a counter-argument must be presented based on pieces of evidence in an argumentative essay. Evidence gathering, for example in the case of an essay about death, needs to include practical examples, which are in the public knowledge. Giving pieces of evidence that cannot be verified and are not about personal experiences may lead to the argument being invalidated due to vagueness in the presentation of supporting evidence.

Argumentative Essay Outline Format

After one picks a realistic topic, considerers both sides of the argument and picks a side, evidence gathering follows, after which, one can now sit down and write the argumentative essay outline. The argumentative essay outline is important in shaping the direction that the argument will take, the way the collected pieces of evidence will be used and the way the rules of writing an argumentative essay will be followed. An outline for an argumentative essay gives the structure of the essay, following the guidelines of writing a standard argument about matters of interest. An argumentative essay outline may be written in a template to help the reader get the structure used in the essay easily. For example, a death penalty essay outline can be written following the guidelines for an argumentative essay. That is because, death penalty argument essays may include the contributions from people who are for the supporting arguments, while others are for the opposing arguments. Death penalty essay outline, which follows the argumentative essay format should start with an introduction, followed by supporting argument paragraphs, then a counter-argument paragraph and lastly, a conclusion. This is just a quick illustration of the outline of an argumentative essay.

To break it down, the introduction paragraph should contain a first sentence that is captivating or one that is based on facts. Another important sentence in the introduction part is the one that states the side supported in the argument. The last sentence in an argumentative essay should be the thesis statement that includes all the argument points to be used in either supporting or opposing the argument. The thesis statement should be short, simple, and clear, with an elaborate list of all the arguments excluding the point to be used in the counter-argument paragraph.

The argumentative essay outline should also include the successive paragraphs to be used in either supporting or opposing the topic of discussion. For instance, in the case of a death penalty argumentative essay, the body paragraphs should contain arguments that support it if that is the side taken in the essay, or paragraphs that oppose the death penalty if the essay writer chose to oppose death penalty in the essay about death penalty.

The structure of the body paragraph includes a topic sentence, followed by supporting arguments and pieces of evidence. After which the last sentence in the body paragraph should give an overall view of the paragraph while confirming the stance taken in the argumentative essay. The number of body paragraphs in an argumentative essay should correspond to the number of argument points listed in the thesis statement. Another important paragraph in an argumentative essay is the counter-argument paragraph that comes just before the conclusion paragraph. The first sentence in a counter-argument should state clearly that the paragraph offers a contrary opinion, and it should present the point used to offer the counter-argument to the essay. The first sentence in a counter-argument is also considered to be a topic sentence, followed by the supporting pieces of evidence and explanations. At the end of the counter-argument paragraph, a refutation sentence should be given to invalidate the counter argument so that the essay reverts to the original argument.

The conclusion paragraph in an argumentative essay should offer a summary of the introduction, reaffirm the stance of the argument and offer recommendations appropriately.

Writing Death Penalty Argumentative Essay

When writing a death penalty argumentative essay, one can start the introduction by a captivating opening statement that gives credible or interesting information such as the statistics of death penalty cases worldwide or in a country. That may be followed by a background information about death penalty, consequences, effects and its necessities. In the introduction part, death penalty essay should present the stand taken, either to support it or to oppose it. If the death penalty argumentative essay is meant to oppose death penalty for criminals, the thesis statement should present points that can be elaborated further to help see the sense in doing away with death penalties altogether.

The listed points in the thesis should form the first sentence in each one of the body paragraphs, except in the case of the counter-argument, which in this case, argues that death penalty should be allowed. All the body paragraphs in essays about death penalty, which is argumentative in nature, should follow the death penalty essay outline. The counter-argument in a death penalty argumentative essay should express that death penalty should be allowed in the case where the argument paragraphs oppose death penalty. The refutation statement should give a point that reverts to the argument that death penalty should not be allowed. The conclusion should summarize the introduction, restate the thesis and give recommendations, such as providing an alternative to death penalty.


One needs to understand the difference between death penalty essay and death penalty argumentative essay. The former can be any form of an essay about death penalty, while the latter must follow the death penalty essay outline corresponding to the argumentative essay. Writing argumentative essay should be aimed at convincing people or a person to either agree or disagree with a certain reasoning concerning an issue of interest. It is important that people observe the argumentative essay development steps and the outline they formulate to shape the argumentative essay.

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