How to Write an Argumentative Paper

An Argumentative Essay presents an idea and then provides support to show that the writer’s opinion is justified. Often times, the writer will be asked to address a current event or a controversial topic and take a stand on one side of the issue or the other. Usually, the process of writing will include recognition that the issue is complex and that there are a variety of opinions, all able to be supported with adequate evidence to prove their validity.

The writer will be assessed on whether or not the argument had enough credible support, not on whether or not the writer’s opinion is the same as that of the reader. It is important for the sources that are used and the information that will be used to be presented in a clear and concise manner.

The first step in writing an argumentative essay is a solid foundation of research. It is not enough to simply have an opinion on the topic to be written about, but the writer must ensure that the evidence is credible and correctly addresses the issue being written about.

The organization of the argumentative essay is also a key component. It might be a good idea for the writer to create a strong outline, complete with topic sentences and supporting arguments, before even beginning the actual process of writing. Such organization will help to ensure the proper flow of the argument for maximum effectiveness.

Template of an Argumentative Essay


  • Provides background on the topic
  • Presents a thesis that describes the stance of the writer on the given topic

Body Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should present evidence that supports the writer’s thesis
  • Should include ample evidence of research and critical thinking
  • Each topic sentence should relate back to the thesis and the argument being presented.


  • Restate the writer’s argument
  • Reiterate the key supporting points
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