How To Write an Argumentative Essay: Effective Writing Skills

Writing an argumentative essay

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a kind of essay that presents arguments about two different sides of the same issue. It could that both sides are equally presented, or it could be that one side is presented more than the other. It is very dependent on the person who writes or speaks about the issue.

The main parts of an argumentative essay

In the pre-writing stage, you should state the issue in a form of a question or a statement. For instance:

  • Should students use mobile phones in their class?
  • Should women work?                            
  • Women should be represented as equally as men in the parliament.
  • Children should not watch TV at all.

For each statement, there will be “pros” and “cons”. Some would state they are “with/for” and some would state they are “against”. As a writer, you will have to decide which side you will stand for. And you will have to support your ideas with facts, examples, quotes, and stats. This is usually done before writing, you brainstorm and collect as many relevant ideas as possible. You organize and categorize them on your draft. 


In the writing stage, you start putting your ideas together. your essay must include an introduction, in which you introduce the issue, some general information and the thesis statement. In the body, you will either start with the arguments in favor of the issue or the ones against it. For each argument, you provide as many details and examples as possible. In the conclusion, you give a balanced view and your opinion as a writer.

This is generally the format of the argumentative essay. Yet, some essays would include refutation. This is where you refute one of the sides of the issue and you and give a counter-argument. Most of the time this is done when the essay focuses on just one side.

The structure of an argumentative essay


  • State the issue, give some general information, and state a clear thesis statement.


  • Paragraph: topic sentence
  • a. argument 1
  • b. argument 2
  • c. argument 3
  • d. …
  • Paragraph: topic sentence
  • a. argument 1
  • b. argument 2
  • c. argument 3
  • d. …


  • a. Give a balanced view.
  • b. Give your opinion.


In the post-writing stage, you proofread your essay and you edit your spelling and grammar mistakes. You can do this with your friend or classmate if you are in the class, and then you share it with everyone. 


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