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How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step

Steps in writing an argumentative essay

Steps in writing an argumentative essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

Argument essays seek to state a position on an issue and give several reasons, supported by evidence, for agreeing with that position.

Finding Ideas to Write About

Argument essay topics can be found everywhere. Check the headlines of a newspaper, or just listen to a conversation at Starbucks. Chances are, you will hear someone trying to persuade another person to believe in their claim about something:

  • Is it true?
  • What caused this?
  • How important is it?
  • What should we do about it?

Still can't come up with an idea? Check out the full list of my easy argumentative essay topic ideas or if you'd prefer something fun, look at my funny argument essay ideas.

How important are fathers? What makes a good father?

How important are fathers? What makes a good father?

5 Types of Argument Claims

1. Fact: Is it true or not?

2. Definition: What does it really mean?

3. Value: How important is it?

4. Cause and Effect: What is the cause? What are the effects?

5. Policy: What should we do about it?

How to Write a Thesis Statement

What Is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is one sentence in your introductory paragraph that concisely summarizes your main point(s) and claim(s) and presents your stance on the topic. It's worth spending some time crafting a strong thesis statement since it lets the reader know what the essay will be about and determine whether they want to read it.

Three Ways to Write a Thesis Statement (With Examples)

1. Question/Answer Format: The easiest way to write a thesis statement is to turn the topic or prompt into a question, and then answer that question. In order to write a clear answer, you need to understand the kind of question you are asking. Most types of questions fall into one of 5 categories: fact, definition, cause, value, or proposing a solution. Most topics can actually create questions in all of these categories, for example:

  • Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? (Fact)
  • What is "domestic violence?" (Definition)
  • What are the causes of divorce? (Cause)
  • How important is it for couples to avoid divorce? (Value)
  • What can you do to make your marriage divorce-proof? (Proposal)

Answer: Your question often can be the title of your paper, or it can be the first line of the introduction. Your answer to this question is your thesis.

Example: Question (used for title): What is the best way to make your marriage divorce-proof?

Answer: The most important way to make your marriage divorce-proof is to make sure you have carefully prepared for that commitment.

In answering the question, you can also tell the reader the focus of your paper, in this example, you let the reader know you are focusing on the preparation for marriage in order to prevent divorce.

2. Refute Objections: Another way to craft a thesis statement is to state one side of the argument and present a refuting statement.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.

In this example, you state one side of the argument—"there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage"—and refute it by saying "there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment." What makes this statement stronger (and more appealing) is the reference to studies that will back up your argument.

3. Roadmap: An additional way to make a strong thesis is to do a "Roadmap" which tells in just a few words the three or more main points you will cover.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking the time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged; by spending time with one another's family and friends; by talking about hot-button issues like finances; and by getting extensive premarital counseling.

This is an example of a really strong thesis statement in which you state a claim, your stance on the claim, and the main points that will back up your stance. Although it is a little long-winded, it thoroughly outlines what the essay will discuss. Not only is this helpful for the reader, but it will help you when crafting your essay by keeping you focused on these specific points.

Are larger families happier?  Does having children prevent divorce?

Are larger families happier? Does having children prevent divorce?

How to Start an Argumentative Essay

Your introductory paragraph should be crafted around your thesis statement, providing background information needed to understand your argument and presenting pieces of evidence that back up that argument.

Start With an Enticing Hook

Lead with an interesting fact or statistic, a quote, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question. Your first sentence should draw the reader in and get them interested in the topic you're writing about.

Provide Some Background and Context

What's the situation? What are the events that lead you to your argument? Why should people care? Give enough background on the topic so that the reader can understand your argument—nothing more, nothing less.

State Your Thesis

The background should transition smoothly into your main argument.

Introduce Your Evidence

The keyword is "introduce." State the main points that back up your argument and end it there. Leave the actual argument and analysis for the body paragraphs.

Essay Introduction Ideas

  1. Tell a true story.
  2. Present a hypothetical situation that illustrates the problem.
  3. Ask a thought-provoking question.
  4. State a startling fact or statistic (cite a reputable source).
  5. Simply explain the problem.
  6. Compare and contrast.

Use Logos, Pathos, and Ethos

The most persuasive essays are ones that have sound logic (logos), appeal to the readers' emotions (pathos), and speak to their character or morals (ethos).

Outlining Your Paper

Argument essays are fairly straightforward in their organization. In your paper, you will need to do the following:

  1. Interest the reader in the situation. Make them want to learn more about it.
  2. Explain the controversy or problem clearly.
  3. Explain the different sides of the debate.
  4. Tell them your side.
  5. Convince them that your side is the best one to take.
  6. Refute any objections they may be thinking about as they read.
  7. Urge the reader to adopt your point of view.


Explain the subject, and the controversy, and end with your thesis. Here are some tips:

  • Use the title to present your point of view. The title is often your thesis statement or the question you are trying to answer.
  • Be concise. You're only introducing your argument, not debating it.
  • Think about your audience—what aspects of this issue would most interest or convince them?
  • Appeal to the reader's emotions. Readers are more easily persuaded if they can empathize with your point of view.
  • Present undeniable facts from highly regarded sources. This builds a lot of trust and generally indicates a solid argument.
  • Make sure you have a clear thesis that answers the question. The thesis should state your position and is usually the last sentence of your introduction.


The body usually consists of three or more paragraphs, each presenting a separate piece of evidence that supports your thesis. Those reasons are the topic sentences for each paragraph of your body. You should explain why your audience should agree with you. Make your argument even stronger by stating opposing points of view and refuting those points.

1. Reasons and support

  • Usually, you will have three or more reasons why the reader should accept your position. These will be your topic sentences.
  • Support each of these reasons with logic, examples, statistics, authorities, or anecdotes.
  • To make your reasons seem plausible, connect them back to your position by using “if…then” reasoning.

2. Anticipate opposing positions and arguments.

  • What objections will your readers have? Answer them with an argument or evidence.
  • What other positions do people take on this subject? What is your reason for rejecting these positions?


The conclusion in many ways mirrors the introduction. It summarizes your thesis statement and main arguments and tries to convince the reader that your argument is the best. It ties the whole piece together. Avoid presenting new facts or arguments.

Here are some conclusion ideas:

  • Think "big picture." If you are arguing for policy changes, what are the implications of adopting (or not adopting) your ideas? How will they affect the reader (or the relevant group of people)?
  • Present hypotheticals. Show what will happen if the reader adopts your ideas. Use real-life examples of how your ideas will work.
  • Include a call to action. Inspire the reader to agree with your argument. Tell them what they need to think, do, feel, or believe.
  • Appeal to the reader's emotions, morals, character, or logic.

3 Types of Arguments

1. Classical (Aristotelian)

2. Rogerian

3. Toulmin

You can choose one of these or combine them to create your own argument paper.

1. Classical Argument Strategy

This is the most popular argument strategy and is the one outlined in this article. In this strategy, you present the problem, state your solution, and try to convince the reader that your solution is the best solution. Your audience may be uninformed, or they may not have a strong opinion. Your job is to make them care about the topic and agree with your position.

Here is the basic outline of a classical argument paper:

  1. Introduction: Get the reader's interest and attention, state the problem, and explain why they should care.
  2. Background: Provide some context and key facts surrounding the problem.
  3. Thesis: State your position or claim and outline your main arguments.
  4. Argument: Discuss the reasons for your position and present evidence to support it (largest section of paper—the main body).
  5. Refutation: Convince the reader why opposing arguments are not true or valid.
  6. Conclusion: Summarize your main points, discuss their implications, and state why your position is the best position.

2. Rogerian Argument Strategy

Rogerian argument strategy attempts to persuade by finding points of agreement. It is an appropriate technique to use in highly polarized debates—those debates in which neither side seems to be listening to the other. This strategy tells the reader that you are listening to opposing ideas and that those ideas are valid. You are essentially trying to argue for the middle ground.

Here's the basic outline of a Rogerian argument:

  1. Present the issue. Introduce the problem and explain why it should be addressed.
  2. Summarize the opposing arguments. State their points and discuss situations in which their points can be valid. This shows that you understand the opposing points of view and that you are open-minded. Hopefully, this will make the opposition more willing to hear you out.
  3. State your points. You won't be making an argument for why you're correct—just that there are also situations in which your points can be valid.
  4. State the benefits of adopting your points. Here, you'll appeal to the opposition's self-interest by convincing them how adopting your points will benefit them.

3. Toulmin Model of Argument

Toulmin is another strategy to use in a highly charged debate. Instead of attempting to appeal to commonalities, however, this strategy attempts to use clear logic and careful qualifiers to limit the argument to things that can be agreed upon. It uses this format:

  • Claim: The thesis the author hopes to prove. Example: Government should regulate Internet pornography.
  • Evidence: Supports the claim. Example: Pornography on the Internet is bad for kids.
  • Warrant: Explains how the data backs up the claim. Example: Government regulation works in other instances.
  • Backing: Additional logic and reasoning that supports the warrant. Example: We have lots of other government regulations on media.
  • Rebuttal: Potential arguments against the claim: Example: Government regulations would encroach on personal liberties.
  • Qualifier: The short phrase (usually uses “typically,” “usually,” or “on the whole”) limits the scope of the claim. Example: In most cases, the government should regulate pornography.
  • Exceptions: This further limits the claim by describing situations the writer would exclude. Example: Where children are not involved in pornography, regulation may not be urgent.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, “Cleaning toilets should be a part of the school curriculum?"

Answer: Start with a story which describes why you have this belief. Then follow it up with your statement and reasons. Conclude with an appeal to the readers to include this in the school curriculum and an explanation of why that will help the school and pupils.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay with the topic, "should the death penalty be banned as a form of punishment"?

Answer: Start with the story of a person who was given the death penalty for a crime they did not commit.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on "There has been a rising voice for Nobel committees to consider gender diversity in addition to work quality when nominating scientists. To what extent do you agree with this opinion?"

Answer: You might want to start with telling the recent story of the Chemistry nobel prize given to a woman, Frances H. Arnold. I've heard some interviews of her and you could look those up to give you some quotes. She was often asked about her thoughts on diversity and gender in the prizes. That would be a good lead-in to your question. The answer you give to the question would be your thesis.

Question: How do you write a thesis statement in an argumentative essay?

Answer: For instructions and examples on easy ways to write a good thesis statement for an argument essay see:

For help in writing excellent topic sentences see:

Question: How can I connect the topic sentences?

Answer: My most popular article, Easy Sentence Starters, (

explains how to use transition words effectively to connect all of your ideas, including the topic sentences. What you need to do is to think about how each sentence relates to the other ideas and choosing the appropriate transition (adding, comparing, contrasting, or sequence).

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, "With the pollution in the city, it's better to live in a village?

Answer: Start with a story about pollution in the city and how it has hurt people who have moved from the countryside. Then give some statistics about pollution before asking the question, "Is it better to live in a village or the country?" Then your thesis will be what you've given.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay with the topic, "I need to eat food that is nutritionally balanced and healthy, but fast food is not?"

Answer: Start with either a description of a healthy diet, an argument between two people about what is healthy eating, some descriptions in fast food advertisements about their "healthy food," or a personal story about trying to eat well.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on indigenous writing and how it can help develop indigenous sovereignty?

Answer: The best way to start an argumentative essay that proposes to suggest a solution, such as the idea of promoting indigenous writing to create political change, is to give a story about how that can happen or to give a story about the problem. Adding some facts or statistics to that is also helpful to show the scope of the problem.

Question: How do I conclude my thesis?

Answer: Conclude your thesis with what you want your reader to take away from your argument. I usually tell my students to end an argument with what you want your reader to do, say or believe after reading your paper. You can also include an emotional or logical appeal or a story to back up that final statement.

Question: How do I start an introduction to a paper about abortion?

Answer: The best sort of introduction to an emotional issue like abortion is a story. If possible, I suggest a real story, but it could also be a made-up story, which I call a "typical scenario" which would explain the problem and make it vivid for the reader. In this issue, it could be the story of a woman who finds herself in a crisis pregnancy. End the story with the question of your essay. Here are some possible questions:

1. What should a woman in a crisis pregnancy do?

2. How can we best help women who have crisis pregnancies?

3. How can we best advise friends who have a crisis pregnancy?

4. Is abortion ever a right choice?

5. Should we change abortion laws, and if so, how should they be changed?

My favorite book on this issue is called "Real Choices" by Frederika Matthews-Green. You don't actually have to read the book because she writes on her blog about this issue also. What I like about her work is that she takes the issue in a different direction by interviewing many women who have had abortions to find out what they really thought at the time that they were facing this crucial decision and how their decision affected them afterward.

Question: How do I come up with a title for my essay?

Answer: The easiest way to find a good title is to use a short version of the question. The second way is to make a statement which shows your point of view. If you chose the second one, you might want to make the language more dramatic to showcase your point of view. Here are some samples using the topic of diet and obesity:

1. What Causes Child Obesity?

2. Parents, You are Responsible if Your Child is Fat

3. What is the Best Diet?

4. Should Sugar Be Banned in Schools?

5. Children Need To Spend More Time Outside

6. When is Too Young to Go on a Diet?

Question: How do I start an argumentive essay on the topic "Americans must realize that happiness does not lie solely in consuming stuff."?

Answer: Start your paper with statistics or stories about people buying things at Christmastime. Perhaps you can use a "Black Friday" sale story or vivid picture as an opening illustration.

Question: Can you give me topics on how smoking affects human health?

Answer: 1. What are the health risks of smoking?

2. What is the best way to quit smoking?

3. How can you encourage someone else to give up smoking?

4. What is the difference in health risks of cigarette smoking vs. electronic cigarette smoking?

5. Should smokers have to pay more on health insurance?

Question: Do argumentative essays have headings?

Answer: I have been teaching my students how to add headings to all of their essays over the past five years because I think most of their writing for their careers will be in online environments. As anyone who does a Google search knows, being able to scan the headings of an article is very helpful so that you can figure out whether that article answers the question you are asking. Additionally, scanning headings (if they are written correctly) allows you to understand the main point of the article quickly and also to find the part you are most interested in reading. You can make headings by making a short version of your topic sentence in each paragraph. Generally, the shorter, the better. What I have found is that when my students use headings in their papers, it helps them to actually organize and write their information more clearly because making the headings helps them to realize their main points. If you've done a good job on your headings, a person should be able to read the title of your paper and all the headings and have a good grasp on what your article is about.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, "Do people who commit heinous crimes deserve the death penalty?"

Answer: You can get the reader's attention by telling a real story about someone who committed a crime that would deserve the death penalty. Or if you want to say that we should not have the death penalty, start with the story of someone who was wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. Then at the end of the story ask your question. Your answer to that question is your thesis. Here is how to take your thesis and turn it into topic sentences:

Question: Can you suggest some argumentative essay topics about euthanasia?

Answer: Here are some topic ideas:

1. Is euthanasia ever the right thing to do?

2. What kinds of rights should people have when they are terminally ill?

3. Is euthanasia linked to abortion?

4. Should euthanasia be legalized?

Question: How do I start the introduction of my argumentative essay on the topic of "environment as the most influential factor of why an individual becomes a shallow person?"

Answer: Tell the story of one or more people that illustrate the type of person you are talking about. It would be best if these are real people your readers would know. Then ask the question: Does the home environment cause a person to become shallow or not?

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, "Does love lead to happiness?"

Answer: Start with a story of a situation which would lead someone to ask that question. Then say the question and your answer (which is your thesis).

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, “Should you blame teachers for making you feel bored in class?"

Answer: Start with a story of a kid being bored in class and getting in trouble.

Question: Where can I find information about United States students versus students of other countries?

Answer: To get facts and statistics, you can go to the U.S. Department of Education website and look up the information you'd like to know. You can look up information from other countries on the Education sections of their government websites. If you want comparison information, you may need to go to an outside source like a non-profit which compares countries (such as the Pew Research Center: or the United Nations statistics division.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay with the quote: "It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness, and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous."?

Answer: Assuming that your assignment is to argue about this quote, whether it is true or not, I think it the best way to start is simply to say your thesis as you quote and then use the second sentence to rephrase the quote in your own words. The rest of the introduction can tell what you would like to do in the rest of the paper to prove this quote.

I don't know who said it, but if you do, it would be appropriate to make a note of that when you include the quote. For example, if you want to agree with this quote, you could say:

John Jones spoke the truth when he said, "It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness, and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous." There is nothing noble about a man unless he is also good and virtuous.

Question: What is argumentative writing?

Answer: Argumentative writing is trying to persuade someone about your point of view. It is not really like having an argument or fighting with someone. Instead, the idea is that you would present your point of view on the subject in a way that makes other people think you are right, or at least that you have good reasons for believing the way you do. Argumentative writing is usually done for the following 5 types of claims:

Fact: Is it true?

Definition: What does it mean?

Cause: What caused it? What are the effects?

Value: How important is it?

Proposal: How can we solve that problem?

Question: My argumentative research is about the negative impacts of social media on children. My question is, should my supporting ideas be about these negative effects or solutions for avoiding them?

Answer: It depends on whether you are writing an argument or a problem solution essay. You can argue for the position that social media has a negative impact and then give examples to persuade people that you are right. In that case, you concluding paragraph could suggest some solutions. Alternatively, if you want to focus on a solution to the problem, you can use the examples in the introduction and then use the question, "How do we prevent the negative impact of social media on children?" as the focus of the rest of your essay. If you have a lot of ideas for preventing the problem, the second essay would probably be a better one.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on a current political topic? For example, I'm doing the topic "analyze sectarianism as a political opportunity in the emergence of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?"

Answer: The best way to start an essay on a current political topic is to give a background of the situation, or tell a story of a situation which illustrates the point you want to discuss.

Question: How can I write a thesis statement for my argumentative essay? My topic question is "Can disabled people achieve success in their life?"

Answer: Your thesis sentence will be the answer to your question, but it also should include the reasons for that answer to be a full thesis "roadmap" for the rest of your paper. For example: Disabled people can achieve success in their life if they have supportive families, focus on what they can do rather than what they can't, and ignore people who try to discourage them. For more help in developing a thesis sentence, see my article: Easy Ways to Write a Thesis Sentence

Question: When delivering a debate, should the quote come before the greeting?

Answer: Both ways can be appropriate. What is most important is that you don't just "drop" the quote on the audience and expect them to understand the point and relevance of your quotation. Use the quotation to make a point and explain why you are using it.

Question: I need to write about what suffering does. What should I start with?

Answer: Start with a real story about someone suffering. It can be a story you read about on the news or something you've experienced or seen yourself. You could even give several stories in a sentence or two each. Then end with the question: What does suffering do? Your answer to the question is your thesis. Here is help on writing a thesis:

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic, "Marijuana and the effects on youth?"

Answer: Start either with information about the current legalization of marijuana, or evidence of problems it has on youth, or statistics about increasing use of marijuana by youth today.

Question: How do I go about writing an argument essay about extended rear facing car seats? I am for ERF, I am just unsure how to make it an argument essay?

Answer: You need a topic question and then your thesis will be the topic answer that will help you develop your essay. Your topic question could be, "Are extended rear facing car seats a good choice for parents? Here is an article that will help you take that question and develop it into a thesis and topic sentences:

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay with the topic "Parents are to be blamed for human trafficking in children?"

Answer: Start by formulating a question which has more than one answer. Your statement above would be one of the possible answers. Possible questions would be:

1. What causes children to become trafficked?

2. Who is most to blame when children are trafficked?

Then start your essay with a story of a child (real or imagined) who is trafficked by their parents. Next tell the statistics of trafficking of children. End that first paragraph (or it might take 2 paragraphs depending on how much information you have) with the question above. The next paragraph should tell some of the possible answers that other people might give, and then tell your answer in a sentence something like this:

Although some people might blame XX or XX, in reality, parents are to blame for human trafficking of their children because XX, XX, and XX.

Those three reasons after the 'because" are the basis of the rest of your argument.

Question: I have to write an argumentative essay on ugly produce being the answer to hunger. Can you help?

Answer: You have the answer to your question. Here are some thesis questions to help you:

1. Does the U.S. need to re-think the importance of "perfect produce?"

2. How can we solve the problem of hunger using our current resources?

3. What happens to "ugly produce?"

Question: How does a writer bring the reader into their argument?

Answer: You can bring your reader into your argument by stating questions that your reader might have and then answering those questions. You also bring the reader in by having vivid, interesting examples and stories. Finally, you can bring your reader into the argument by giving real-life examples that would make the reader think your ideas are relevant and interesting.

Question: How about this topic for an essay: My toddler Is resisting bedtime and naps. What can I do?

Answer: Your question is a kind of argumentative essay called a problem solution essay. That kind of essay requires you to describe the problem, talk about the different ways to solve that problem that people have tried before and suggest the best possible solution in this situation. Generally, essays are written to help other people and not just yourself; however, many people have this problem and if you are experiencing it with your own child, it can be very helpful to research and find out the variety of solutions that other people have tried. If you have time, it might be interesting to try some of those solutions. If so, your conclusion can be what you discovered in trying the different techniques. Here is information about writing a problem-solution essay:

Question: How can I write a thesis on gun control?

Answer: You start a thesis by asking a question. On gun control, you can ask any of the following:

1. What is the best way to solve the problem of gun violence in America?

2. Is gun control effective?

3. Do gun control laws work?

4. Do buy-back gun programs help keep guns off the streets?

5. How important is the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms?

Once you have the question you want to ask, you write the thesis by answering that question. For more help in writing the thesis and topic sentences, see my article on Easy Ways to Write a Thesis Statement:

Question: How do you create support in an argumentative essay?

Answer: For help in creating support for your argument, you can see my article about creating topic sentences:

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay titled "juvenile offenders should be given a second chance"?

Answer: Begin with the story of a juvenile who has realized what he did was wrong and turned his life around in jail but still faces a long prison term. Then give percentages of young people who are incarcerated. It would be helpful if you chose a real-life story and if that person was released and turned out to be a productive citizen because you can then use that real story as the conclusion of your essay to persuade the audience that they should agree with you.

Question: How do I pursue readers to believe that the kiss of an enemy is better than a bite of a friend?

Answer: Use a lot of examples from real life, from history, from movies and T.V. and from politics. Good, specific and interesting examples from a variety of sources are always persuasive.

Question: How can I write an argument essay on the topic "Should shark netting be used on coastal beaches?"

Answer: Start with the recent shark sightings and attack on the East Coast of the U.S. Give a vivid description and talk about how this has made people feel about the situation. Then end the first paragraph with your question. The rest of the article should be the answer to that question. See this article for how to turn a question into a thesis:

Question: How do I start the argumentative essay on the topic "Why have hut houses faded in Micronesia?"

Answer: You can start with a conversation between an older person and a younger person. The older person could bemoan the fact that the hut houses are fading and the younger person could be asking what it was like before. Then you could end with your question and your thesis.

Question: What will be a strong thesis statement for the topic "Identity and Culture?"

Answer: Start with a thesis question and then your answer to that question will be the thesis that guides your paper. Your reasons for that answer are the topic sentences that form the body of the paper. Here are some thesis questions on your topic of identity and culture:

1. How is identify formed by culture?

2. What is the value of culture in forming a person's identity?

3. How does being raised in two cultures change a person's sense of identity?

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic of having children?

Answer: If you question is whether people should have children, you can start with a couple having a discussion or argument about that topic. Then you can give statistics on childbirth and people being raised by one or two parents.

Question: How do I write a topic sentence for an argumentative essay on the subject "Year Round vs. Traditional Schooling"?

Answer: You would answer one of the following questions:

1. Is year-round schooling better than traditional schooling?

2. What are the benefits of year-round schooling vs. traditional schooling?

3. Should a school switch from traditional schooling to year-round?

Question: How do I come up with an argumentative essay with the main topic “human interactions?"

Answer: There are lots of possible topics:

1. What is the best way for parents to discipline their children?

2. Should teens date through texting?

3. Does face to face communication help relationships?

4. How important is it for couples to have a "date night" regularly?

5. Is using phones and computers a problem for relationships between parents and children?

6. Is phone "phubbing" a real phenomenon and does it matter?

Question: How I do I start an argumentative essay on why women should join peace talks?

Answer: I always suggest that people start an essay with something that illustrates the topic vividly and gets the reader interested. So you can start an essay with a real-life story, something from the news, an example you made up, a conversation or even interesting statistics and questions.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on "college career and success in Nigeria?"

Answer: Begin with a typical story, or your own story, about deciding whether to go to college or a story about the difficulties of doing well in college studies. End your story with one of the following questions (which one depends on the focus of your topic):

How can a college student in Nigeria be successful?

How can a college degree help a person in Nigeria have success?

Your answer to this question is your thesis and the reasons for that answer are the topic sentences in the body of your essay.

Question: How would I start an argumentative essay on a pair of athletic shoes that were awful?

Answer: I love this question because I had Olympic runner Trayvon Bromell in my class a few years ago and he wrote an essay about Nike shoes being the best (he was endorsing Nike at that time). He so convinced me that I switched from my New Balance to Nike shoes. A few months later, I began having foot pain. It took a while for me to realize the shoes were the cause. I went back to the same NB model I'd been wearing since 1991 and the pain eventually went away. Later, I found out that Trayvon had switched to endorsing NB! If I were writing an essay on this topic, I would probably start with a story about what convinced me to buy those new shoes, or how I imagined those shoes would enhance my life!

Question: How do I conclude an argumentative essay on "There has been a rising voice for Nobel committees to consider gender diversity in addition to work quality when nominating scientists. To what extent do you agree with this opinion?"

Answer: You would conclude with your final opinion, your answer to this question.

Question: I learned that in every argumentative essay, you begin by opening up the topic. How do we open up a topic in an argumentative essay?

Answer: You open up a topic by giving an example such as a story, a real-life situation, a conversation about the issue, a vivid description of the problem, statistics about the issue, or a personal example.

Question: How do I start an argumentative essay on the topic of “ubiquitous beauty of social media is also its blight? ”

Answer: First of all, you need to turn the topic idea into a question that can be answered in more than one way. Then your answer to the question will be the thesis of your argument essay. The reasons for that answer are your topic sentences. Here are some possible questions:

1. What is the cause of the ubiquitous beauty of social media also being its blight?

2. What is the effect of the ubiquitous beauty of social media?

3. What is the importance of the ubiquitous beauty of social media also being a blight?

5. How can we solve the problem of the ubiquitous beauty of social media also being a blight?

Question: How do cite evidence for an MLA format essay?

Answer: I have an article that gives you all of the information about MLA citation and also gives you the links to more help:


Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on August 22, 2020:

Perfect elaboration. A great teacher you are! Thanks for sharing.

Idaraligh on June 07, 2020:

Firstly, best website that has helpful article and explain the procedure step by step. This website is the best

Rahela on April 18, 2020:

Firstly, let me thank you for sharing such a helpful article. It is really nice and clear, but i was thinking if you added a written example of argumentative essay it would be more effective. Thanks again!

Annie Poe from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India on February 18, 2020:

This article has totally helped me study for my English exam. I read this article the night before my exam and took notes and it really helped me study as me English teacher had not taken this but had said that it would be a part of the exam. Thank you so much for this informative article.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 02, 2019:

Hi Calvin, see the full instructions on how to do that in my article about writing a thesis and topic sentences:

Calvin Koulibaly on December 01, 2019:

I don't understand how to write Thesis Statement

Lisette on October 20, 2019:

I've been writing argumentative essays without realizing it, but this article really tells how to perfect my craft, thank you very much.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 16, 2019:

Hi Vakatawa, then check out my articles with lists of over 100 topic ideas.

vakatawa on October 16, 2019:

what if I don't know what topic I m going to write a argumentative essay?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 09, 2019:

Hi Che--Check out one of my articles that give a lot of possible topics!

Hi I'm Che on September 08, 2019:

What if i don't know what topic I'm going to write a argumentative essay?

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 03, 2019:

Hi Anna- if you have an opinion on that topic, then you have an "argument." It doesn't mean you want to fight with someone about the topic, but it does mean that you think the ideas on one side are better. If everyone agrees on a topic, then it really isn't a good one to do an essay about. For example, the topic: "There are more people living in China than in the U.S." would not be a good topic because you can check out the facts and know it is true. However, you could write an article about: Why are there more people in China than in other countries? or "How has the population of China influenced the politics of the country?"

Anna on September 03, 2019:

What if you don’t have an argument about the topic?

Leanne Benson on August 03, 2019:

Really useful and helpful to me ,thankyou .

Mackie on July 23, 2019:

Very informative piece of work, thanks being simple and Precise. After reading through the article I find myself able to formulate a good thesis statement.

Diana clarks on June 25, 2019:

Your hub page has really helped my writing

Nihal Singh on April 30, 2019:

Nice article to write the argument essay for academic students. It helps to improve the writing skills for the students. Thanks for sharing.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 27, 2019:

Hi Lee, you have a good question to start from. You will have to first decide on your answer to that question and the reasons for your answer. The answer is your thesis and the reasons are the basis of your topic sentences and the body of the paper. For your conclusion it would be a good idea to tell the reader what you believe they ought to think or do about the topic.

Lee on April 26, 2019:

How do i write an argumentative essay on the question "do you agree or disagree that town planning is influenced by the environmental challenges"

زهراء مازن عبد حوشان on April 18, 2019:

Really useful information about writing argumentative essay....I have benefited a lot from them

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 01, 2019:

Hi Elizabeth, you should probably start with the story of an accident caused by this and then end give some statistics about the number of accidents caused by people cutting in front without signaling, or something like that. Then end that introduction with the question: Should it be illegal for drivers to cut in? Your answer to that question is the thesis and your reasons for the answer are your topic sentences.

Rachel on April 01, 2019:

Really useful. Thank you .

Elizabeth Langlois on March 31, 2019:

I’m writing that it should be illegal for drivers to cut you off. Is there any advice you can give me? I’m having a hard time with this one.

Adnan on March 24, 2019:

That was very helpful. Thank you

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 04, 2019:

Hi Wyatt, These methods of persuasion have helped me by teaching me to look carefully at the position of the other side. That enables me to make arguments that are meaningful to other people and also helps me to be sure of what I really do believe. I hope these help you too!

Wyatt on February 01, 2019:

I was just curious how successful was the methods described in the article been for you personally? What were some of your successes and failures in persuading others? What have you learned from those experiences?

hi i am shi on January 17, 2019:

i am writing an argumentative essay about should animals be kept in zoos this very helpful!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 13, 2018:

Hi Haaris! It is very hard to write a full essay in just 20 minutes. What I suggest is that you start by writing a brief outline. Turn the topic into a question. Answer the question (that is your thesis statement). Then write 3 reasons or supports for that thesis (you can jot down examples you will use to support those). Then do a conclusion that tells the reader what they are supposed to think, do or believe after reading your essay. Example:

Should students have to write essays in 20 minutes?

Writing twenty minute essays is helpful for learning to write quickly but does not teach students to think clearly, develop strong arguments, or fully think out answers.

Body: turn those three points above into 1-3 paragraphs with some examples.

Conclusion: Teachers should consider whether they want their students to write quickly or well when they give essay assignments.

Haaris Madaha on December 12, 2018:

Hello, my name is Haaris. I am in 8th grade. I am about to take an exam for the #1 highschool in Delaware. Wilmington Charter. I now know that we have to write an essay and we have 20 minutes. How I can finish in time and still have a good, effective essay.

angel on November 20, 2018:

Thanks. Its really helpful

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 28, 2018:

Hi Ansumana, debate questions need to be issues that have more than one answer. They also need to be something that people disagree about. Another quality of a good debate question is it has to be something that people care about. Here are some examples:

1. Is the WACE a fair test?

2. Do the questions on the WACE really test what someone has learned?

3. Does passing the WACE test mean a person is ready for University?

4. How can the WACE be more effective?

Ansumana Allieu on October 26, 2018:

This is really marvelous. You give us the right stuff in writing essays. But will you please guide me more on how to write to debate questions on West African Certificate Examination (WACE)?

Rose Bell from Toronto on October 20, 2018:

Beautiful article. Interesting to read

Sukhan on October 14, 2018:

Very are a great guide. Thank you so much

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 14, 2018:

Hi Sofia, political power is a good topic but you need a question to focus your essay around. Think about a question people have about political power, such as: “How can we make sure the government doesn’t abuse political power?” Start your essay with a story about the problem. Then ask your question. Your answer to the question is your thesis. Explaining and arguing for that answer is the body. Appealing to your audience to do something or believe a certain way is the conclusion.

Sofia on October 12, 2018:

Hi Virginia,

English is my second language and I have a hard time to figure out how to write my essay with a subject "POWER". I don't know if political will work but I don't know how I can start. Could you please give me some advice? Thank you.

Laura on August 23, 2018:

Thanks for the information. It was really helpful.

Maryanne on July 21, 2018:

Thanks for the ideas.

Mahri on July 01, 2018:

Thank you so much for priceless information.

Dean on June 09, 2018:


Kristina Heffter from London, UK on June 06, 2018:

great article

Kelly J on June 05, 2018:

excellent explanation! Thank you so much, this have been very helpful

Alessa Maninang on May 21, 2018:

I am so grateful for this work. I believe as much as it has helped me,so will it help others.

Houda samad on April 16, 2018:

This artical was really helpful for me because it shows the whole technique how to write an argumentative essay. In fact, everyone now could write one with such an ease and confidence.

I want to thank you so much for this artical.

Nick Celin on March 27, 2018:

Thank you....... this is the best information on arguments

Masechaba on January 21, 2018:

Thank you.... This is very helpful

tt on December 04, 2017:

thanks this was the best information on arguments

flddptcrd on November 18, 2017:

Thank you for the detailed explanation and tips!

Jem Basha on October 25, 2017:

It is really useful , thank u a lot .

Kyva on October 16, 2017:

This was very helpful. Thank you for this great guide for me. Also for my notes for my writing test.

Kavitha on October 01, 2017:

Simple to pursue and put into practice

Kitty on September 13, 2017:

This was helpful thank you

Ashley on August 03, 2017:

This was great thanks

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 28, 2017:

Hi Judith, I'm also a trained academic writer who has become more interested in popular writing. Some of the instructors that I work with have students write a paper in a particular style, but I prefer to view all of the argumentative techniques as part of our "bag of tricks." So, I think that to persuade, the most important thing is to, first of all, think about your audience carefully. Consider what they know and what they believe, including any "false beliefs" that they may hold about your subject. Then think about what it is that you actually want them to think, do, or believe after reading your work. Then look at the different strategies and decide which ones might work to convince that audience best. I have several different articles on persuasion that you might want to look at for ideas and examples.

Judith Coche PhD on June 28, 2017:

Virgiia..thank you ...clear and targeted language for the author of 4 books who wants to tell stories instead of more academic writing.

What is the difference between an academically constructed argument and memoir/ trade book on psychological topics?

Seems that Toulman is the style but need details....



Beth on May 25, 2017:

this was very helpful. thank you.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 29, 2017:

Sisila-I wish you all the best. I have about 100 articles on Hubpages about writing. I encourage you to keep on learning!

Sisilia R Toutai on January 29, 2017:

Hi Virginia,

English is my second language and struggling with essay writing and an argument essay, I find your advise but time is very short for my assessment test tomorrow. I will try my best to focus on your advise and see if I can pass on this level for my future study. Many thanks for this very helpful article about argument essay.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 21, 2015:

Miranda--I'm so glad this article has helped you. It really comes from my experience in teaching students to write rather than from a textbook. My students have taught me a lot! Much luck to you on your courses.

Miranda Stork from England on November 21, 2015:

Thank you for a really great hub! It's now officially on my 'favourites' bar. I have to do a lot of argument essays at the moment for my course, and I sometimes have a tricky time working out how to structure them - this hub is going to help me so much with making my arguments clearer.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 08, 2013:

Honestly, Dragos--often the best way to get started is just to write down everything you know, then write down questions that occur to you. If you are doing a research paper, you can then start gathering information based on your questions. I often just start by Googling some of the questions. Often you won't come up with research you can use in your paper, but it can jog you into having some good ideas. In an argument essay, what you really need is:

a question

an answer (your answer, plus what other people would answer)

3 or more good reasons for your answer

reasons why the other answers aren't as good as yours

That is basically what you are going to write about.

Dragos on December 08, 2013:

I pretty much know what has to go in an essay but I'm having a hard time planning my thoughts and writing down ideas on a topic.

Kathryn L Hill from LA on November 21, 2011:

I am so happy to see what you have brought to us! I hope everyone who is sittin' around doin' nothin' and complaining about everything will discover these HubPages and join in on what was started during the golden ages of America. The wisdom that we have and the capability of transmitting it over the internet is SO AWESOME. Thank You

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 05, 2011:

Thanks so much for reading! I work hard to try to make the process as easy as possible.

winphatak from Pune,India on September 05, 2011:

Wonderful and useful hub. It will certainly help improve my writing. Thanks.