How to Write an Argument Essay

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How to Write an Argument Essay

There are five main steps. 
Step 1: Read the essay
Read the question. Decide what kind of essay it is - opinion, compare/contrast, problem and solution, cause and effect, or a mixture. The type of question will decide the layout and your ideas.

Step 2: Underline
Underline key vocabulary in the question and write words with the same or related meaning. This will really save you a lot of time later on. It will also help to avoid repetition of words, and will show that you understand the question. Vocabulary

1: Read and Underline Key Words
Should governments spend money on space exploration, or should they spend the money on problems here first? 2: Write Down Other Words with the Same Meaning
Should governments spend money on space exploration, or should they spend the money on problems here first? Governments =  nations, countries, authorities, politicians Spend = allocate, give, allot, provide, budget, make available, waste, award Space exploration = space program, trips to the moon, the international space station, planets, planetary voyages Money =  budgets, taxes, resources, 

Problems =  concerns, issues, worries, disasters, threats, threatening, war, famine, poverty, education, homelessness, drugs, global warming Here = on earth, in our own countries, closer to home, in developing countries, foreign aid,  3: Use Your New Words in the Opening Sentences

With many global concerns such as war, poverty, hunger and pollution, many people do not think that nations should waste money on exploring space. (One side) However, others are convinced that expenditure on space programs is justified. (Other side)  4: Add a Thesis

With many global concerns such as war, poverty, hunger and pollution, many people question whether nations should waste money on exploring space. However, others are convinced that expenditure on space programs is justified. This essay will examine some arguments for and against space exploration. (Thesis)

→ Exercise: Are zoos cruel to wild animals?

Step 3: Get Ideas
Decide if you are for or against the idea. Usually it is best to give both sides (for and against - one paragraph each) and then to give your opinion in the conclusion. However there are other ways of laying out your essay.

Two sides of an argument
Give the other side's opinion, and then give YOUR opinion
Give the other side
Some people think that…  
Although many people feel that…  
It is claimed that…  
Some people feel that…  
One sentence (While, although)
While it is true that… … I believe…
Despite the fact that millions of people die every year from lung cancer, many people think it is cool to smoke. Although many people think that…., I feel that
Although it is often said that…, in fact the opposite is true

Two sentences
It is undoubtedly true that… …However…
It is often argued that… However, it is
Some people say that… They claim… However, I feel…
Supporters of this viewpoint say that… However, it is
One sentence (While, although)
While it is true that… … I believe…
Despite the fact that millions of people die every year from lung cancer, many people think it is cool to smoke. Although many people think that…., I feel that
Although it is often said that…, in fact the opposite is true

The 3773 Layout
The number 3773 just means three sentences in the introduction, seven in the second paragraph, and seven in the third paragraph and three in the conclusion.  Either
Introduction
Body:
Paragraph For
Paragraph Against
Conclusion
Or 
Introduction
Body:
Paragraph Against
Paragraph For
Conclusion

|Introduction:  |Present situation | |Three sentences |Both sides of Argument | | |What you are going to do in this essay / Your opinion (Thesis...
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