How to Write a Argumentative Essay

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Lesson 6: Writing an Argument
Today is the day! You will spend today writing your argument.

Gather your notes, your outline, and any other prewriting materials you have and get ready.

Lesson Objectives
Write an argument with an introduction that includes a strong thesis statement. Write an argument with a body that includes examples, evidence, and quotations as needed to support the thesis. Write an argument with a body that includes recognition of opposing views and concedes a point. Write an argument with a conclusion that restates the thesis or makes a call to action. Use an appropriate pattern of organization and transitions.

Keywords and Pronunciation
anecdote : a usually brief story

call to action : a passage urging readers to take a specific action in support of the views of the author

coherence : the sensible presentation of smoothly connected ideas in a paragraph or essay

conceding a point : acknowledging that an opposing point is reasonable

conclusion ( sound file ) : the final paragraph of an essay

connotation : a shade of meaning in a word or phrase that makes it different from other words or phrases with similar meanings

emotional appeal : an argument that tries to persuade by affecting people’s feelings

evidence : a specific detail, such as a fact or expert opinion, that supports a reason

example : a specific instance of something, used to illustrate an idea

extended quotation : use of quotations or partial quotations that are blended in with the writer's own words in a paragraph

fact ( sound file ) : a statement that can be proven true

introduction : the first paragraph of an essay, identifying the topic and stating the main idea

logical fallacy : false logic caused by an error in reasoning

paragraph outline : a list of paragraph topics in an essay

pattern of organization : the order in which details are arranged

quotation : a report of the exact words uttered or written by a person; usually placed within quotation marks

style : the words the writer chooses and the way the writer arranges the words into sentences

thesis statement : the sentence that states the main idea of an essay

tone : the writer´s attitude toward the topic or subject

transition : a word or phrase that connects ideas

unity : a trait of writing achieved when all sentences in a paragraph or all paragraphs in an essay support the main idea

voice : the way a piece of writing sounds

Activity 1. Write Your Argument (Offline)
As you begin writing a draft of your argument, keep your paragraph outline and your thesis statement at hand. Refer to them periodically as you write to make sure you stay on track, following your chosen pattern of organization. Many writers like to check off points on their outline as they finish writing about those points in their drafts.

Make sure to include detailed evidence to prove your point. Specific examples, facts, statistics, anecdotes, and quotations from experts are among the types of evidence that you may have recorded in your notes. Your draft does not have to include every piece of evidence you found in your research, however. Use your evidence selectively. Include evidence that is truly relevant and interesting. Ask yourself, "Is this an important piece of evidence?" and "Will this piece of evidence help persuade my readers?" If the answer is "No" to both questions, then leave out that particular piece of evidence.

Quotations from experts can make a memorable impression. The feeling that a knowledgeable, sincere person is speaking helps persuade readers. Make a special effort to include at least one extended quotation in your essay, as Joshua did. In the excerpt below, notice the underlined quotations in his argument. Joshua wove the words of Tomlinson into some of his own sentences so that the entire paragraph flows smoothly.

According to Tomlinson, "The late afternoon is the time that people will notice the...
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