Sure, you’re a lover not a fighter. I am too. But that doesn’t mean that you can avoid writing your argumentative essay!
Since you have to write an argumentative essay, you might as well learn how to write it well, right?
I’ve said it time and time again—there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page. Putting together an argumentative essay outline is the perfect way to turn your blank document into a ready-to-use template. All you have to do is fill in the blanks!
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you how to create an argumentative essay outline. At the end, I’ll give you a downloadable skeleton outline you can use to get started.
Structure of the Argumentative Essay OutlineIf you distill your argumentative essay outline down to its basics, you’ll find that it’s made of four main sections:
- Developing Your Argument
- Refuting Opponents’ Arguments
That’s not so bad! There’s really nothing to be afraid of.
Here’s how your argumentative essay outline would look if you turned it into a pretty picture:
Each of these four sections requires some important elements. Let’s break those down now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 1: Your Intro
Your introduction is where you lay the foundation for your impenetrable argument. It’s made up of a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.
1. Hook. Your first sentence is comprised of a “hook.” Don’t know what a hook is? A hook is a sentence that grabs your reader’s attention just like a good Jackie Chan movie grabs the attention of a martial arts fan.
Let’s say I’m writing an argumentative essay about why American people should start eating insects.
My hook could be, “For those interested in improving their diets and the environment, say ‘goodbye’ to eating chicken, fish, and beef and ‘hello’ to eating silk worms, crickets, and caterpillars.”
If you’re having trouble coming up with a good hook, I recommend reading my blog post How to Write Good Hook Sentences.
2. Background information. The next part of your intro is dedicated to offering some detailed background information on your topic.
Try answering the following questions:
What is the issue at hand? Who cares? Where is this issue prevalent? Why is it important?
For example, “Insects are abundant, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable. Currently, people in the United States shun the idea of eating insects as part of their diets, favoring instead less nutritious and environmentally destructive food options, such as beef and pork. The UN recently issued a statement calling for more world citizens to embrace the many benefits of eating insects.”
3. Thesis. Your thesis typically makes up the last sentence of your intro paragraph. This is where you clearly state your position on the topic and give a reason for your stance.
For example, “A diet of insects can help fix problems related to starvation, obesity, and climate change, and therefore, United States citizens should learn to rely on a variety of insects over chicken, beef, and fish as their main source of protein and nutrition.”
Notice the word “should” in my thesis statement? Using this word makes it clear I’m taking a stance on the argument.
You’ll also notice that my thesis statement sets up the three claims I’m going to expand on later: a diet of insects can help fix problems related to starvation, obesity, and climate change.
Here are even more example argumentative thesis statements.
Let’s talk about adding those claims to our argumentative essay outline now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 2: Developing Your Argument
Now that you have filled in the general points of your topic and outlined your stance in the introduction, it’s time to develop your argument.
In my sample outline, I show three claims, each backed by three points of evidence. Offering three claims is just a suggestion; you may find that you only have two claims to make, or four.
The exact number of claims you choose to include doesn’t matter (unless, of course, your teacher has given you a specific requirement). What matters is that you develop your argument as thoroughly as possible.
1. What is a claim? A claim is a statement you make to support your argument.
For example, “Bugs are highly nutritious and eating them can fix the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the United States.”
Great! So I’ve made my claim. But who’s going to believe me? This is where evidence comes into play.
2. What is evidence? For each claim you make, you need to provide supporting evidence. Evidence is factual information from reliable sources.
It is not personal knowledge or anecdotal.
For example, “Researchers at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States state that ‘Termites are rich in protein, fatty acids, and other micronutrients. Fried or dried termites contain 32–38 percent proteins.’“
My outline shows three pieces of evidence to support each claim, but you may find that each claim doesn’t necessarily have three pieces of evidence to back it. Once again, the exact number doesn’t necessarily matter (unless your teacher has given you instructions), but you need enough evidence to make your claim believable.
Once you have gathered your evidence to support your claims, it’s time to add the next important element of your argumentative essay outline: refuting your opponents’ arguments.
Let’s talk about that now.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 3: Refuting Opponents’ Arguments
In this section, you state your opponents’ views and then offer a rebuttal.
For example, “Opponents of insect eating from the Beef Council of America say that it is too difficult and time consuming to catch crickets, so it is not easy to gather enough food for a meal, whereas a cow is large and contains a lot of meat for many meals.”
Oh diss! We know the Beef Council just wants us to keep eating McD’s hamburgers and skip the cricket soup. (By the way—I just made that up. The Beef Council did not say that. In your essay, make sure to use real facts.)
Now it’s time to set the opponents straight with a refutation that is full of hard evidence and that will bring them to their knees.
For example, “According to researchers Cerritos and Cano-Santana, the best time to harvest crickets is to catch them in the hour just before sunrise when they are least active. What’s more, it is easy to develop the infrastructure to farm crickets in a way that is more sustainable than cattle farming.”
Booyah! The Beef Council has been served (crickets).
Once you have refuted your opponents’ viewpoints, it’s time to sail to the finish line with your conclusion.
Argumentative Essay Outline Section 4: Conclusion
In your conclusion, you are going to accomplish two important tasks.
1. Restate the importance of your issue. Similar to what you did in your introduction, you want to restate why this topic is critical.
For example, “Simply by incorporating insects into their diets, U.S. citizens can improve the sustainability and nutrition of the American diet.”
2. Paint a picture of the world if your argument is (or is not) implemented. In the final part of your conclusion, make your audience think about the ramifications of your argument. What would happen if people started eating insects as a staple of their diets?
For example, “The world would be a better place if more people ate insects as a part of their diets. Fewer people would go hungry, more people would get the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients they need to live healthy lifestyles, and our planet would be relieved of the burden of an unsustainable food system.
Closing with a clear picture of the world as you would like it to be can leave your reader convinced that your argument is valid.
Download the Argumentative Essay Outline TemplateOnce you break it down, writing an argumentative essay outline isn’t that daunting.
Download this skeleton Argumentative Essay Outline to get started.
Before you go off into the sunset and use my outline template, make sure that you are following the guidelines specific to your course. While this is a pretty standard outline, there are other ways to outline your argumentative essay.
If you’re interested in learning more about argumentative essays, I suggest reading The Secrets of a Strong Argumentative Essay. Want even more knowledge? Check out this argumentative essay infographic!
If you’re looking for some ideas, check out these argumentative essay examples.
When you have your argumentative essay and outline ready to go, you can always have one of our awesome editors give it a second look.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.
As you may already know, an argumentative essay is a writing genre where the student establishes a position on a given or chosen topic and then uses evidence to persuade the audience to see things from his/her point of view. To write a great argumentative essay the students first have to investigate several sides of the argument, which allows them to make an educated stance. Then, they have to collect evidence, including facts, statistics, and claims from experts in the topic’s field.
Generally, the primary objective of writing an argumentative essay is to learn how to convince people to change their mind about things which many of them are pretty firm about.
What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay Topic?
When you are asked to choose a good topic for your argument, start with something you are familiar with. Even if you hire a professional writer to help you with this assignment, speaking about something you know will be a much better sounding presentation of your arguments. Choosing an emotional topic is also a good idea. Appealing to the readers’ emotions connects them to the side of the writer and draws them in. One of the best ways to change anyone’s mind is with an emotional investment.
Pick Your Own Topic or Get Your Essay Done For You
We offer a great list of topics for writing your own argumentative essay. Did you also know you can get your essay written for a small fee? We employ hundreds of professional writers, who specialize in essay, dissertation and research writing. They have written literally hundreds of academic papers for students worldwide. We know how to write a perfect custom-written argumentative essay that will meet your requirements and will get you the grade you want. Contact us now to get professional essay writing help!
If you would like to write the paper on your own, below is the actual list of argumentative essay topics along with sample essays on most discussed ones:
Middle/High School-Level Argumentative Essay Topics
College-Level Argumentative Essay Topics
Try to Avoid These Argument Topics
Funny Argumentative Essay Topics
Classic Argumentative Essay Topics
Argument on Bioethics
Argument on Issues in the IT Sphere
Argumentative Topics for Legal Discussions
Argumentative Topics of Social Concerns
Society and the Media
Now, once you have chosen a good topic from the list, try to lay down your thoughts on your screen. Here are some tips on how to do it right:
Tips on Writing a GREAT Argumentative Essay
Here is how your argumentative essay should be structured:
Adhering to the above structure of an argumentative essay will hold your creative process together:
- The first paragraph offers a brief review of the topic, explains its importance, and shares the essay’s clear and concise thesis statement.
- After the introduction come the body paragraphs, in which the writer develops his/her arguments and supports them with valid and reliable evidence.
- The support should be anecdotal, logical, statistical, or factual depending on the essay’s topic.
- Following the argument paragraphs, the writer shares the opposing views.
- Ending the paragraph is the conclusion. This paragraph is quite important since it leaves the reader with the most immediate impression. The writer should synthesize the information shared in the body of the essay as they restate the topic’s importance, review main points, as well as review the thesis. No new information should be shared in the conclusion.
Here is another cool tip to make your arguments sound stronger: use connection words!
How Do I Use Connection Words While Writing an Argumentative Essay?
Transition or connection words and phrases hold your essay together. They provide flow as they connect thoughts and ideas.
|Addition||additionally; also; and; as a matter of fact; as well as; equally; equally important; furthermore; identically; in addition; in the first place; like; likewise; not only…but also; not to mention; similarly; together with; too|
|Contrast||above all; after all; albeit; although; although this may be true; as much as; be that it may; besides; but; conversely; despite; different from; even so/though; however; in contrast; in reality; in spite of; nevertheless; nonetheless; notwithstanding; of course…, but; on the contrary; on the other hand; or; otherwise; rather; regardless; whereas;|
|Cause or Purpose||as; as/so long as; because of; due to; for fear that; for the purpose of; given that; granted (that); if…then; in case; in view of; in order to; in the event that; in the hope that; lest; only/even if; owing to; provided that; seeing/being that; since; so as to; so that; unless; when; whenever; while; with this in mind|
|Examples or Support||another key point; as an illustration; by all means; chiefly; especially; for example; for instance; for this reason; in fact; in other words; notably; specifically; surprisingly; to point out; truly|
|Consequence or Result||accordingly; as a result; because the; consequently; due to; for; for this reason; hence; in effect; in that case; since; so that; therefore; with the result that|
|Conclusion / Summary / Restatement|
after all; all things considered; as a result; as can be seen; as shown above; consequently; for the most part; generally speaking; given these points; in conclusion; in fact; to summarize;
How Is Knowing All This Going to Help Me?
Writing a good argumentative essay develops your argumentative thinking. You will need it to not only survive among your peers today but also succeed among the humans around you in the future. Most of the businesses and partnerships prosper through argument. Getting the right arguments will help you prove your point and win.
The modern world is ruled by the intellect. Those win who keep themselves focused on becoming stronger at what they are set to choose as the profession. It means no distraction on things of little importance.
That's right, in order to succeed, you need to stay focused on what you really feel and are willing to devote your life to. And it should really take up most of your time. Seriously. The more research you can do to get better at your future profession, the better.
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