As a student, do you face challenges in understanding how you should approach an argumentative essay? Well, needless to say, argumentative essays can be confusing at times to understand. Besides, there can be different approaches to an argumentative essay which makes it far more complex for students.

But not to worry, this is your complete guide to writing an argumentative essay. This is the kind of resource you always wanted to know all the aspects of an argumentative essay so that you can become a pro at it. From how to write the introduction of an argumentative essay to the conclusion of an argumentative essay, this guide will tell you all of it with engaging examples. So, let us get started.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay in which you need to take a clear position or stance on the subject matter at hand and substantiate your stance with arguments backed by evidence and research.

In an argumentative essay, first, a view is presented and backed by evidence-based arguments. Further, the counter view is presented and refuted to finally validate the stance of the essay. These arguments are in line with the thesis statement of your essay that establishes your stance at the very beginning of the essay.

A few examples of topics for an argumentative essay are listed below

1. Discuss the effects of globalization on the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Examine the role of social media as a source of information in the contemporary world.
3. Assess the role of gamification in employee training as a measure to boost employee engagement.

So, as you can see, all these essay prompts are such that they require you to take a clear stance and substantiate with the assistance of evidence-based arguments to explain the cause-and-effect relationship. In either of these topics, you need to take a stance and then subsequently back that stance with arguments based on evidence.

Going ahead, let us see how we can write an impressive introduction for an argumentative essay.

How to write the introduction of an argumentative essay?

The introduction of your essay has a key role to play in creating the impression and impact of your essay. Besides, a concise introduction should clearly explain to the reader what the essay is about and your stance on the topic discussed in the essay. Having said that, it is important that you follow the right format for writing an essay introduction.

Essentially, the introduction of an essay includes the following elements:

1. Hook

2. Topic background brief

3. Purpose of essay

4. Thesis statement

5. Outline of the essay

So, let’s see how you can approach the introduction of an argumentative essay. For that, we need to take an example of an argumentative essay prompt. With respect to this example prompt, we are going to create the different sections of the argumentative essay for coherent understanding.

Example essay prompt: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

So, let us get started with the introduction of the argumentative essay prompt mentioned above

Introduction element: Hook (What is a hook and how to write)

A hook is meant to grab the immediate attention of the reader and to build curiosity around the topic. A hook can be in the form of a quotation, a statistical claim, an insightful fact, or even a question that triggers curiosity.

You need to determine the kind of hook that is most suitable with respect to your essay. With respect to some essay prompts, a statistical hook will be the most appropriate while for others, an intriguing fact may serve as a great hook.

For our example essay prompt, the hook is presented below

Example Hook

Topic: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sample hook

As reported by the World Health Organization, more than 603,711,760 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far including 6,484,136 deaths at the global level.

Introduction element: Thesis statement

The purpose of the thesis statement is to effectively summarize the essence of your essay or simply put, the central idea of the essay and also puts forth an explanation for the stance. The thesis statement is included in the introduction after you have explained the purpose of the essay. Furthermore, the thesis statement can vary based on the topic of the essay. In any case, the thesis statement of your essay should be concise, coherent, and disputable.

In fact, for more clarity on thesis statements, you can go through our effective guide on how to write a thesis statement.

In the case of argumentative essays specifically, the thesis statement should be such that it clearly establishes a strong position while defining your stance. Now let’s assume that you have to write an essay on marijuana stating whether it should be legalized or not. This is where you have to ensure that you are clearly taking a side of an argument clearing your audience whether you are for or against the given statement. In your body paragraphs, you will be presenting substantial arguments backed by evidence that support your thesis statement. It is notable that the thesis statement of an argumentative essay will be quite different from that of an expository essay or narrative essay.

For our example essay prompt, the thesis statement is presented below.

Topic: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sample thesis statement

Despite the fact that globalization is a popular idea on contemporary times, its definition remains largely subjective.

As you can clearly see, this thesis statement is not only debatable but also coherent and concise. It is exactly how the thesis statement of an argumentative essay should be.

Explanation of the stance of the example thesis statement:

With respect to the above thesis statement, we are taking a clear stance that globalization has impacted the response to the COVID-19 pandemic positively and has, in fact, played a crucial role in the cause of underdeveloped countries. We are taking a stance that given the benefits of globalization, developing and underdeveloped countries were able to put forth an enhanced response to the outbreak. Here, this stance is debatable because an alternate position can be that globalization rather hindered the development of responses to the pandemic or in the first place, globalization was the reason why COVID-19 spread outside China. However, before writing a thesis statement, we have to ensure that we are aware of both pros and cons of globalization before moving ahead.

Now, going ahead in this essay, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion should restate the same stance as represented in the thesis statement.

Introduction element: Outline of an argumentative essay

The outline of the essay explains the structure of your essay in a brief manner. It elucidates what the body paragraphs will discuss and how the body paragraphs will be different from each other. When the reader comes across the outline of the essay, the reader gets complete clarity on what the essay will be talking about in the due course of the body paragraphs.

In the context of an argumentative essay, it is vital to note that there can be different approaches to an argumentative essay. Basically, there are three types of argumentative essays that are listed below

1. Classical

2. Toulmin

3. Rogerian

Therefore, the explanation of the outline of your argumentative essay can vary depending on the approach or the type of the argumentative essay.

For our example essay prompt, the explanation of the outline is presented below.

Topic: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Example Outline

Firstly, the essay discusses how financial and medical aid from international organizations and developed countries helped the developing and underdeveloped countries. Secondly, the essay sheds light on how globalization helped countries to access covid vaccines at a larger scale and faster pace. Lastly, the essay highlights some hindrances in the global COVID-19 response largely because of globalization.

How to write the body paragraph of an argumentative essay?

In the usual sense, the structure of a body paragraph includes the following aspects

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Counter-arguments
  • Refutation to counter arguments

Argumentative essay body paragraph structure

Firstly, the topic sentence will clearly explain what the body paragraph’s stance is and what the paragraph will be discussing. Going ahead, you then present the evidence and empirical research that supports your argument and stance being elaborated in the body paragraph.

Next, you then include the counter-arguments that are opposed to the stance of your essay. Having discussed the counter-argument, you then refute the counter-argument to prove your stance is right. This is how you develop the body paragraph of your argumentative essay in a systematic manner covering all the key elements ranging from the topic sentence to refuting the counter-claims.

As mentioned above, there are three types of argumentative essays that include Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian essays. It is noteworthy that the approach of your essay and the construct of your body paragraphs can vary from one type of argumentative essay to another.

Having said that, before we move to how you should go about the body paragraphs of your essay, it makes complete sense to briefly understand how these three types vary from each other.

1. Classical

Classical arguments are based on formal logic and essentially have six components that include the following elements.

  • Introduction
  • Statement of background
  • Proposition
  • Proof
  • Refutation
  • Conclusion

2. Toulmin

The Toulmin model lays the greatest emphasis on claims. Further, the Toulmin model of argumentative essays asserts that logic has a greater correlation to probability and not certainty. Probing further, the Toulmin approach to argumentative essay writing focuses on the following three components

  • Claim
  • Data
  • Warrant

3. Rogerian

The Rogerian model gives great flexibility to the author to be open-minded or even objective. Most importantly, in these types of argumentative essays, the objective is aimed at building consensus and problem-solving.

Further, the components of a Rogerian argumentative essay are provided below

  • Introduction
  • Summary of opposing viewpoints
  • Statement of understanding
  • Statement of your position
  • Statement of contexts
  • Statement of benefits

For our example prompt which is more coherent to the classical types of argumentative essay, the body paragraphs are given below.

Topic: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Example body paragraph(s)

To begin with, it is explained how the underdeveloped and developing countries benefited from the medical and financial aid offered by the developed countries, in a highly globalized world. The US along with other countries has played a leading role in supporting other countries during the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. From humanitarian assistance to economic assistance, the US has offered paramount help to developing and underdeveloped countries. To substantiate, it is identified that the United States of America provided health, humanitarian and other forms of economic assistance worth USD 16 billion to other countries. Moreover, the US has pledged to donate around 1.2 billion vaccines to other countries free of cost (House, 2022). This has largely been possible due to the momentum that globalization has gained over the last few decades hence, enhancing bilateral and multilateral relationships between countries (Marçal et al., 2020). On the contrary, it is also argued that globalization was the primary cause why the COVID-19 pandemic spread outside China as international travelers acted as sources of transmission (Sharun et al., 2020). However, it is analyzed that COVID-19 continued to spread at a brisk pace despite early bans on international travel. This is where globalization proved to be of great help for developing and underdeveloped countries facing economic issues and economic setbacks. As a direct outcome of globalization, humanitarian aid, vaccines, and medical equipment could be sent to underdeveloped nations on an immediate basis.

The global vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 got a huge boost because of globalization. Among the first countries to come up with the COVID-19 vaccines are the US, the UK, and Russia. Given the cordial relationships between countries largely driven by globalization, these countries shared vaccines with underdeveloped and developing nations lacking the research and development infrastructure to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines. It is identified that the United States of America helped Brazil with more than 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca (Brazil, 2022). Further, the Oxford University Research Department collaborated with the Serum Institute of India to help India manufacture COVID shied doses locally and that helped India to vaccinate more than 100 crore people effectively (Purohit et al., 2022). On the contrary, it is argued that countries getting access to humanitarian aid and economic aid from developed countries was solely contingent on their diplomatic relations and not a direct outcome of globalization. There was a disparity in access to COVID-19 vaccines and humanitarian aid contingent on the different states of diplomatic relationships between countries. But it is analyzed that nations came ahead to help each other in such unprecedented times irrespective of the state of their bilateral or multilateral relationships. Hence, more than the outcome of diplomatic relations, the global vaccination campaigns were driven by the advantages of globalization and free trade.

How to write the conclusion of an argumentative essay

In the conclusion paragraph of your argumentative essay, you basically need to restate the thesis statement of the essay and summarize the central argument around which the thesis statement revolves. Further, for a strong conclusion to an argumentative essay, you also need to discuss a few implications of your position on the essay. The conclusion needs to be concise and you need not add any new information or arguments.

For our example essay prompt, the conclusion is presented below.

Topic: Critically assess the role of globalization in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Example conclusion

To encapsulate, it can be concluded that globalization played the role of a positive development in supporting the international response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed countries like the United States of America stepped up to provide the necessary aid and assistance to underdeveloped countries. This further implies that the momentum of globalization will continue to bridge gaps between countries and even in the face of future challenges, globalization will act as a strong foundation for underdeveloped countries to grow economically and overcome crisis situations.

Now, you have a better understanding of how to write an argumentative essay than ever before. This stepwise guide has explained in great detail how you can approach the different sections of an argumentative essay. Also, we are sure the examples would have added immensely to your confidence with respect to writing an argumentative essay. Once you know the right approach, no essay would seem difficult.

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What are the types of questions one should ask in an argumentative essay?

In an argumentative essay, we tend to develop answers around five types of questions which are as follows:

  • What do you want me to think?
  • Why should I think that?
  • How to clarify what you’re saying is true?
  • What about the additional considerations?
  • What are the general principles that ground your argument?

How does a persuasive essay differ from an argumentative essay?

While both persuasive and argumentative essays aim to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint, they differ in their approach. A compelling essay relies more on emotional appeals and may provide less factual evidence than an argumentative essay.