5 Parts Of An Argumentative Essay About Abortion

The Argument Essay

The argument essay is the most common type of writing assignment that college students will encounter throughout their academic careers. While there are different variations of the argument essay, the overall foundation is always the same: the writer is tasked with investigating an issue, taking a stand on the issue, and finding and incorporating a multitude of evidence in a logical manner to support the overall claim.

Most of us have experience with arguing, but an argumentative essay is quite different than a verbal argument that arises out of the blue. Verbal arguments often become heated and unreasonable, while the goal of an argumentative essay is the opposite: the argument must be specific, reasoned, detailed and supported with a variety of evidence. Furthermore, a verbal argument often focuses on who is right regarding a specific issue, while a well-written, researched argument essay focuses on what is the right side of a particular issue. In short, an argument essay must be logical from beginning to end.

The following are important elements of a good argument essay:

  • Create a clear, firm,and debatable thesis. An effective thesis statement is an important foundational element of any essay, but it is of even greater importance in an argument essay. The reader needs to know exactly what the argument is and why it is important; there can be no confusion. For more on creating a thesis statement, view the thesis statements page.
  • Provide the necessary background information on the topic. While an argument essay isn’t the same as a research essay, a bit of background information is often needed early in the essay to understand the argument. For example, if the writer is arguing that a certain amendment to the state constitution should be passed, it is probably necessary to describe what changes the amendment would make and whether or not a similar amendment has been proposed at some point.
  • Focus on organization and transitions. While transitions are important in any type of essay, they are particularly important in an argument essay. This is because the argument essay involves multiple reasons and evidence to support the overall thesis, and counter arguments are often discussed and refuted as well. 
    Argument essays can be organized in a variety of ways. Regardless of the order in which it is organized, all argument essays should explain and support several reasons why the argument is valid, as well as explain and refute several opposing arguments offered by the other side. All writers will benefit from creating an outline to organize all of the information that will be presented, and this benefit becomes even greater with longer argument essays. For more on creating an outline, view the creating an outline page.  
  • Perform effective and thorough research. Most argumentative essays require incorporating research into the essay.  If this is the case with your essay, make sure to perform a significant amount of research before fully committing to a topic. This is important because you need to make sure there are enough credible sources that can be used in your essay. You don’t want to commit to a topic and begin writing the essay only to later discover that you can’t find enough quality sources to make the topic work.
  • Incorporate logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos is a term that refers to the use of logic in a debate. As a writer, the use of logos should be primary, should appear throughout the essay, and it is the best way to convince someone to adopt a particular stance on any issue. It is also important to avoid using logical fallacies. While logos should be the primary target, pathos - which is the use of emotion - can also be incorporated. Pathos means getting the reader emotionally involved in the argument so that the reader is open to further persuasion. One of the best places to use pathos is in the introduction. Ethos - the use of credibility - is also important. The best way for writers to incorporate ethos is by addressing counterarguments and using credible sources. Additionally, taking a reasonable stand on the issue (as opposed to an extreme one) will also lead to more credibility.

Topic Selection

Topic selection is of the utmost importance in an argument essay. The writer should focus on picking a topic that is current and relevant to society and can be argued logically. It is best to avoid moral topics because they do not always support logical discussion. Additionally, any potential topic for an argument essay should be current, debatable, researchable and manageable. 

A current topic is one that has not been overdebated and is still being decided by society. Most writers and readers are sick of topics that have been debated for years: abortion, the death penalty, the legalization of marijuana, etc. 

A debatable topic is one that has differing viewpoints. In other words, it is a controversial issue. Writing about how child abuse has consequences for society is not debatable since no one would disagree with this thesis. On the other hand, debating whether the common punishments for child abusers are effective or not in deterring crime is debatable and can make for an interesting and well-supported essay. 

A researchable topic is one in which the writer can find a variety of credible and current sources. In other words, the writer needs to be able to find a multitude of research performed by qualified individuals to support the overall argument.  

A manageable topic is one that can be successfully performed within the page requirements of the essay. Writing about widespread issues such as national or global problems is often unmanageable in just a few pages. To avoid this, most writers should begin with a basic subject and then try to narrow the subject down to a more appropriate level. For example, if a writer is passionate about arguing for or against the Health Care Reform Act that was passed by Congress in 2010, it would be wise to narrow this topic. It isn’t possible to argue for or against the entire law (the bill itself is more than 2,000 pages long). It may be possible to argue for or against one portion of the law. 

Using the above criteria as a basic guideline should allow a writer to find a suitable topic.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay on any Topic

Published 4/24/2013

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay on any topic which discusses a topic and then makes an argument based on the discussion.

An effective argumentative essay must contain certain elements that will persuade your audience to see things from your perspective. During your essay planning, it’s important to consider your own points, known as the “pro” points, as well as strong arguments for the other side, known as the “con” points in order to shoot them down, making your essay more convincing.

How to Choose a Topic for an Argumentative Essay

In order to write a good essay, you need to find a topic that’s interesting, so that you can easily demonstrate your writing skills and finally get a high grade.

One of the best ways to find a topic for an argumentative essay is to perform a search for topics related to some compelling subject, like politics, religion, abortion, education or home life.

Using the following links, you can find a lot of good topics for your argumentative essay:

200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

50 Argument Essay Topics

100 Argument or Position Essay Topics

Argumentative Essay Structure

Making sure to select the right structure for your essay is one of the key points of success. Sticking to a recommended essay structure is the best way to properly outline and write it, paragraph by paragraph from the introduction to conclusion, without mistakes.

An argumentative essay is organized according to one of these five patterns: pro-con, con-pro, 3-con, claim / counterclaim or alternating.

PRO-CON Pattern

Recommended for short school essays on any topic.

In this simple pattern for an argumentative essay, you discuss two pro points and one con point.

This pattern contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, one for each pro or con point.

CON-PRO Pattern

Recommended for short school essays on any topic.

This pattern for an argumentative essay is very similar to the previous one, but the con point comes first.

The pattern contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, one for each pro or con point.

3-CON Pattern

Recommended for short school essays on any topic.

In this pattern for an argumentative essay you don’t explicitly present any particular point, but instead refute three con points.

The pattern contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, one for each CON point.

Claim / Counterclaim Pattern

Recommended for advanced school and college essays on any topic.

This pattern for an argumentative essay is more advanced than the previous three, and allows for a more complete development of your argument.

The pattern contains an introduction, a conclusion, and two main parts. In the three paragraphs of the first body part, you refute or rebut three points of the counterclaim. In three paragraphs of the second body part, you make three points in support of your main idea, and provide support for your claims.

Alternating Pattern

Recommended for advanced school and college essays on any topic.

This structure for an argumentative essay provides another option for claim and counterclaim discussion.

The pattern contains an introduction, a conclusion, and three main sections. In two paragraphs of each ,main section,, you refute or rebut one point of the counterclaim and provide one point supporting your claim.

Did you choose an argumentative essay pattern? Great! Now...

After choosing an essay pattern, now all you need is to write your essay, on any topic, according to your chosen structure. Also, be sure to read the A+ writing tips for an argumentative essay on any topic below. Follow these instructions and you will write an excellent argumentative essay.

Writing an A+ Argumentative Essay

Introduction

In an argumentative essay, the introduction is very important. It is where you lay out the main argument that your essay will make, and it gives the reader his/her first impression of your essay.

Start with brief background Information

Every pet owner knows that there are enormous responsibilities that go along with having a cat or dog. You must feed and exercise your pet to keep it physically healthy; you must play with it, and keep it emotionally healthy, too. You have to keep it safe from cars, people, or other animals, and you need to protect other people, property, or pets from your own animal.

Introduce the Topic of Your Essay

There’s another responsibility that not all pet owners think about, however: spaying or neutering, or “fixing.” What does “fixing” your pet mean? Simply put, it means taking your pet to the vet for a quick, cheap surgery that will prevent your pet from ever reproducing.

Explain Why it’s Important

This surgery solves problems that pet owners know about, and some that they might not have considered before.

State Your Position clearly

I believe that all pet owners should be required to have their pets fixed.

Counterclaim refutation paragraph

Clearly state the point

Spaying surgery is expensive.
Spaying surgery is risky.

Persuasively refute or rebut the point using evidence
(logical explanation, facts, statistics, well-known authority opinions)

To refute the point is to prove it is incorrect:

Almost all cities have a fund to help pay for the surgery. Just ask your vet or the local S.P.C.A. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The cost can be as low as $10.

To rebut the point is to prove that it is irrelevant or not powerful enough:

Spaying or neutering when your pet is young and healthy is almost 100% safe.
On other hand, your animal is in much more danger if it is not fixed, for the urge to run away from home will put your pet in extremely dangerous situations.

Turn this point to the opposite point, thus supporting your thesis

Therefore, there is no way we can agree with this point. Spaying or neutering should be done as soon as you get your pet.

Claim supporting paragraph

Clearly state the point

Spaying is good for the health of your pet.

Provide the supporting evidents (logical explanation, facts, statistics, well-known authority opinions)

Animals who are not fixed can sometimes go crazy trying to find mates. They can injure themselves trying to escape from their homes, or they may fight with other animals when they have escaped. Of course, while running free, they are in danger from cars. And finally, for females who become mothers, we must remember that giving birth is not a safe process.

Restate the argument as a proved thesis

For the ordinary pet owner, all these reasons should be strong enough to convince them to “fix” their dear pet.

Conclusion

The conclusion of an argumentative essay is just as important as the introduction. The conclusion reiterates your point, and reminds the reader that you have convinced them of your argument. The conclusion is the last part of the essay that your reader will experience.

Restate (do not repeat) your claim

No matter how you look at it, there’s really no valid reason not to spay or neuter your pet.

Briefly recount the arguments

Whether you consider the potential suffering of unborn animals, the health and comfort of your own pet, or your own convenience as a pet owner, you must agree that the facts all show that spaying or neutering is the way to go.

End by showing the importance of your conclusion

It’s not only the convenient choice, but also the morally right choice, and one that all pet owners should make.

Finalizing your Work

Pay attention that even though your essay is fully written, it still isn’t ready to submission.

There are some common and annoying mistakes which may significantly harm your grade. However, you can avoid those grade lowering mistakes by completing the following checklist:

  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Ensure that your essay is fully compliant with the required formatting standard
  • Properly organize all the citations and the References / Works Cited page
  • Ensure that your title page is done as required
  • Take a final look at your paper to be certain that everything is indeed fine

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