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How to Write an Effective Argument Essay:


  • Choose an appropriate, focused topic (ex: Airport Security)
  • Explore and decide your position for this topic
  • Predict opposing arguments
  • Consider your audience and occasion
  • Decide on which points you will argue (ex: Safe Traveler Card, etc.)
  • Decide on which points you will refute in the concession (ex: Loss of privacy, etc.)
  • Write a thesis that is focused, arguable, and opinionated (ex: If every US citizen had a Safe Traveler Card, airlines could screen for terrorists more effectively than they do now and avoid procedures that single out individuals solely on the basis of race.)
Research & Evidence
    Offer evidence that effectively supports the claims through evidence like
    • personal experiences (in this instance, it's okay to use the 1st person point of view—I, me, etc. to briefly give the personal evidence, then return back to 3rd person point of view; to see an example of this, click here; you may also want to see my PowerPoint on Point of View),
    • the experiences of others,
    • facts,
    • statistics from current, reliable sources,
    • hypothetical examples, and
    • testimony from authorities and experts .
Decode Evidence
    Analyze the evidence for effectiveness.
    • Select which of all the different gathered evidence you will use.
    • Highlight and annotate your evidence. This will help you decide which parts of your evidence are strongest, and therefore appropriate for your essay.
    • Decide what pieces of evidence you’d like to quote directly.
    • Summarize and paraphrase the other pieces of evidence.
  • Consider Rogerian or Traditional techniques
  • Create an argumentative outline
  • Write the Essay!
    • Check to see how your instructor wants you to format your essay. MLA formatting may be required.
  • Rethink the essay by:
  • Edit the essay
    • Spelling
    • Punctuation
    • Mechanics
  • Holistic Approach
    • Read it
    • Again
    • and again
  • Turn it in and share it with others!
Remember to...