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What is an Argumentative Essay?

Argumentation uses reasoning and logic to convince readers of the soundness of a particular opinion on a controversial issue. Moreover, it involves more than presenting a point of view and providing evidence; it assumes a controversy and addresses opposing viewpoints. The Macmillan Writer: Rhetoric and Reader

Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994

To write a good argumentative essay, you should choose a topic which has conflicting viewpoints. Do not, therefore, choose a subject which is merely factual and leaves little room for debate.

The introduction should:

• identify the controversy surrounding the issue and state your position clearly in a thesis statement

Fact: The country’s economy has gone down by 10% in the last three years Thesis: The high influx of illegal immigrants has had a marked detrimental effect on the country’s economy.

• give necessary general background information that helps the reader to predict what is going to be discussed

The body should:

• support your thesis statement with logical arguments, facts and examples (including cited outside sources otherwise your opinion is nothing more than subjective) personal experiences, physical description etc.

• acknowledge and refute differing viewpoints
You should acknowledge some opposing views, possibly admit that they have some merit and then refute them, thus strengthening your position / argument.

The conclusion should:

• summarize the main points
• restate the thesis statement

It may also forecast the future/call for action/discuss the implications

Checklist for an argumentative essay

1. Does the introduction identify and clarify the controversy about the issue you want to argue about? 2. Does it state your point of view?
3. Does it provide the necessary background information?
4. Do the main points support your thesis statement?
5. Are the supporting...
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