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Key ingredients of an effective argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that outlines the reasons for and counterarguments against a particular claim.

Argumentative essays, above all, should be convincing and plausible. A piece of writing that is littered with supporting examples is likely to convince its readers of its genuineness. The examples must not be hypothetical or speculative; they must be relatable and, of course, factual. For instance, if one is to write an argumentative essay on ‘Is America having a negative influence on the world?’ It is preferable to discuss the Vietnam War or the drone attacks in Pakistan than say, the character of American citizens. Carl Sagan wrote in his book ‘Billions and Billions’ that bigger claims should be supported by stronger evidence. This makes great sense because readers are unlikely to be persuaded by mere rhetoric comprising of sweeping statements or exaggerated claims. This is one of the reasons why students fail to write good argumentative essays.

It is vital to structure your custom essay paper and write clearly and skillfully. Often writers overhaul the reader with too many examples and claims that may be unrelated or not well connected. A thoughtful mind map sketching an introductory, body and concluding paragraph can serve as a guide for intellectuals wishing to advocate a particular topic. There is no real use of hoarding a lot of evidence if one cannot present it in a logically consistent manner.


Many writers underestimate the importance of taking a stance. Without a clearly written stance, the entire point of one’s essay may be lost and, in fact, it may become difficult to organize supporting information. The stance must not be ambiguous or unnecessarily lengthy; it must indicate clearly which side the writer is willing to support.

Language is a subtle (and needless to say, powerful) tool that should be employed capably for the fulfillment of one’s objectives. As a general rule it is best to avoid emotionally charged language in an argumentative essay. One must be able to distinguish between a rational and an irrational claim and this is only possible if one’s stream of emotion is kept in check. This is a necessary condition for impartiality. But impartiality also demands the use of ‘standard neutral’ language that is regularly seen in healthy discourses.

In short, good argumentative essays ought to change the perspective of the reader, without completely ignoring counterarguments, by furnishing plausible pieces of evidence that are adeptly sequenced in a persuasive manner.

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