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How to Write an Argumentative Essays

Writing an argumentative essay is highly advantageous and effective in that it is one of the best communication channel or medium to discuss a controversial topic. Many students are required to write argumentative essays for their coursework tasks. Some individuals may find this task easy to handle, however, there are still some others who may require guidance on how to write an argumentative essay.

Writing an argumentative essay is different from writing a descriptive or informative essay. For one, the purpose of the essay differs - an argumentative essay is written not only to provide information but to present arguments that are both for and against the topic or issue. The argumentative essay is written to persuade the audience of the writer's point of view regarding the issue; with this, there are several elements that need to be included within the essay that are not usually included in other essay types.

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These elements are covered in this short how to write an argumentative essay guide:

  • The topic. All essays require a good topic, however, the argumentative essay requires a topic that is rather controversial, holds conflicting view points and interesting both to the readers and the audience.
  • The position. When determining the argumentative essay topic, the student needs to consider his stand on the subject - this affects the type and quality of information that will be presented in the essay and the manner in which the information is presented. The student should list down all the points or arguments for both sides, considering that an argumentative essay presents both viewpoints as well as a methodical assessment of all the arguments presented, be it for or against the issue.
  • The supporting data. All arguments in an argumentative essay have to be logical, reasonable and supported with reliable data. Students should conduct thorough research on the topic, exploring both sides of the topic as well.
  • The essay. When writing the argumentative essay, the arguments for both sides are to be presented, analysed and assessed. The student will then have to defend the position he has decided to take on the argument, providing all necessary supporting data which states why his chosen position is better than the other. All arguments should be presented one at a time, using a single paragraph for each point.


The aforementioned guidelines discuss the basics on how to write an argumentative essay. Here are other tips which may prove useful as well:

  • Avoid the use of any emotional language. An essay has to be written objectively and logically.
  • Use credible evidence. Avoid using 'evidence' that was formulated simply to defend a point that needs to be stressed.
  • Always cite any sources or references included in the essay. Give due credit to the sources of your researched information - you also avoid committing plagiarism in the process.
  • Outline the essay to make it easier to track all arguments and to establish a flow between all the necessary points. The essay work in progress should be systematic enough that you are able to easily locate any specific line of argument or counter-argument presented. The obvious reason is to avoid confusing your claims and assertions for a more convincing and clearer content.


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