Main Body Of Argumentative Essay Topic

Contributors: Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

The following sections outline the generally accepted structure for an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and that your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

You may also use the following Purdue OWL resources to help you with your argument paper:

Introduction

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why am I reading it?
  3. What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions by doing the following:

  1. Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
  2. State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
  3. State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

For exploratory essays, your primary research question would replace your thesis statement so that the audience understands why you began your inquiry. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.

If your argument paper is long, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, and the opposition to your position. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing. Your forecast could read something like this:

First, I will define key terms for my argument, and then I will provide some background of the situation. Next, I will outline the important positions of the argument and explain why I support one of these positions. Lastly, I will consider opposing positions and discuss why these positions are outdated. I will conclude with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

When writing a research paper, you may need to use a more formal, less personal tone. Your forecast might read like this:

This paper begins by providing key terms for the argument before providing background of the situation. Next, important positions are outlined and supported. To provide a more thorough explanation of these important positions, opposing positions are discussed. The paper concludes with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

Ask your instructor about what tone you should use when providing a forecast for your paper.

These are very general examples, but by adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.

Thesis checklist

Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.

This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:

Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:

  • A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
  • A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
  • A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
  • A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
  • Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 42). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.

Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:

  • A good thesis is unified:
    • NOT: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them

(floppy). vs.

  •  
    • BETTER: Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).

  • A good thesis is specific:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.

  • Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.

Quick Checklist:

_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above

_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment

_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable

_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal

Contributors: Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs: Moving from general to specific information

Your paper should be organized in a manner that moves from general to specific information. Every time you begin a new subject, think of an inverted pyramid - The broadest range of information sits at the top, and as the paragraph or paper progresses, the author becomes more and more focused on the argument ending with specific, detailed evidence supporting a claim. Lastly, the author explains how and why the information she has just provided connects to and supports her thesis (a brief wrap-up or warrant).

Image Caption: Moving from General to Specific Information

The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)

A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: Transition, Topic sentence, specific Evidence and analysis, and a Brief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant) –TTEB!

  1. A Transition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand-off from one idea to the next.
  2. A Topic sentence that tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph.
  3. Specific Evidence and analysis that supports one of your claims and that provides a deeper level of detail than your topic sentence.
  4. A Brief wrap-up sentence that tells the reader how and why this information supports the paper’s thesis. The brief wrap-up is also known as the warrant. The warrant is important to your argument because it connects your reasoning and support to your thesis, and it shows that the information in the paragraph is related to your thesis and helps defend it.

Supporting evidence (induction and deduction)

Induction

Induction is the type of reasoning that moves from specific facts to a general conclusion. When you use induction in your paper, you will state your thesis (which is actually the conclusion you have come to after looking at all the facts) and then support your thesis with the facts. The following is an example of induction taken from Dorothy U. Seyler’s Understanding Argument:

Facts:

There is the dead body of Smith. Smith was shot in his bedroom between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., according to the coroner. Smith was shot with a .32 caliber pistol. The pistol left in the bedroom contains Jones’s fingerprints. Jones was seen, by a neighbor, entering the Smith home at around 11:00 p.m. the night of Smith’s death. A coworker heard Smith and Jones arguing in Smith’s office the morning of the day Smith died.

Conclusion: Jones killed Smith.

Here, then, is the example in bullet form:

  • Conclusion: Jones killed Smith
  • Support: Smith was shot by Jones’ gun, Jones was seen entering the scene of the crime, Jones and Smith argued earlier in the day Smith died.
  • Assumption: The facts are representative, not isolated incidents, and thus reveal a trend, justifying the conclusion drawn.
Deduction

When you use deduction in an argument, you begin with general premises and move to a specific conclusion. There is a precise pattern you must use when you reason deductively. This pattern is called syllogistic reasoning (the syllogism). Syllogistic reasoning (deduction) is organized in three steps:

  1. Major premise
  2. Minor premise
  3. Conclusion

In order for the syllogism (deduction) to work, you must accept that the relationship of the two premises lead, logically, to the conclusion. Here are two examples of deduction or syllogistic reasoning:

Socrates

  1. Major premise: All men are mortal.
  2. Minor premise: Socrates is a man.
  3. Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.

Lincoln

  1. Major premise: People who perform with courage and clear purpose in a crisis are great leaders.
  2. Minor premise: Lincoln was a person who performed with courage and a clear purpose in a crisis.
  3. Conclusion: Lincoln was a great leader.

So in order for deduction to work in the example involving Socrates, you must agree that (1) all men are mortal (they all die); and (2) Socrates is a man. If you disagree with either of these premises, the conclusion is invalid. The example using Socrates isn’t so difficult to validate. But when you move into more murky water (when you use terms such as courage, clear purpose, and great), the connections get tenuous.

For example, some historians might argue that Lincoln didn’t really shine until a few years into the Civil War, after many Union losses to Southern leaders such as Robert E. Lee.

The following is a clear example of deduction gone awry:

  1. Major premise: All dogs make good pets.
  2. Minor premise: Doogle is a dog.
  3. Conclusion: Doogle will make a good pet.

If you don’t agree that all dogs make good pets, then the conclusion that Doogle will make a good pet is invalid.

Enthymemes

When a premise in a syllogism is missing, the syllogism becomes an enthymeme. Enthymemes can be very effective in argument, but they can also be unethical and lead to invalid conclusions. Authors often use enthymemes to persuade audiences. The following is an example of an enthymeme:

If you have a plasma TV, you are not poor.

The first part of the enthymeme (If you have a plasma TV) is the stated premise. The second part of the statement (you are not poor) is the conclusion. Therefore, the unstated premise is “Only rich people have plasma TVs.” The enthymeme above leads us to an invalid conclusion (people who own plasma TVs are not poor) because there are plenty of people who own plasma TVs who are poor. Let’s look at this enthymeme in a syllogistic structure:

  • Major premise: People who own plasma TVs are rich (unstated above).
  • Minor premise: You own a plasma TV.
  • Conclusion: You are not poor.

To help you understand how induction and deduction can work together to form a solid argument, you may want to look at the United States Declaration of Independence. The first section of the Declaration contains a series of syllogisms, while the middle section is an inductive list of examples. The final section brings the first and second sections together in a compelling conclusion.

Contributors: Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Rebuttal Sections

In order to present a fair and convincing message, you may need to anticipate, research, and outline some of the common positions (arguments) that dispute your thesis. If the situation (purpose) calls for you to do this, you will present and then refute these other positions in the rebuttal section of your essay.

It is important to consider other positions because in most cases, your primary audience will be fence-sitters. Fence-sitters are people who have not decided which side of the argument to support.

People who are on your side of the argument will not need a lot of information to align with your position. People who are completely against your argument—perhaps for ethical or religious reasons—will probably never align with your position no matter how much information you provide. Therefore, the audience you should consider most important are those people who haven't decided which side of the argument they will support—the fence-sitters.

In many cases, these fence-sitters have not decided which side to align with because they see value in both positions. Therefore, to not consider opposing positions to your own in a fair manner may alienate fence-sitters when they see that you are not addressing their concerns or discussion opposing positions at all.

Organizing your rebuttal section

Following the TTEB method outlined in the Body Paragraph section, forecast all the information that will follow in the rebuttal section and then move point by point through the other positions addressing each one as you go. The outline below, adapted from Seyler's Understanding Argument, is an example of a rebuttal section from a thesis essay.

When you rebut or refute an opposing position, use the following three-part organization:

The opponent’s argument: Usually, you should not assume that your reader has read or remembered the argument you are refuting. Thus, at the beginning of your paragraph, you need to state, accurately and fairly, the main points of the argument you will refute.

Your position: Next, make clear the nature of your disagreement with the argument or position you are refuting. Your position might assert, for example, that a writer has not proved his assertion because he has provided evidence that is outdated, or that the argument is filled with fallacies.

Your refutation: The specifics of your counterargument will depend upon the nature of your disagreement. If you challenge the writer’s evidence, then you must present the more recent evidence. If you challenge assumptions, then you must explain why they do not hold up. If your position is that the piece is filled with fallacies, then you must present and explain each fallacy.

Contributors: Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

  1. Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

  2. Tell them (body).

  3. Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

If you're a student of the English 101 class or any similar course, you have most probably faced tons of writing assignments. They drive most students mad. School students feel less pressure than college and university peers. Higher academic levels require higher knowledge and broader set of skills. That is why students from colleges receive more complicated assignments. The topics become more complex.

Usually, the teachers or professors assign the topics on their own. However, sometimes students have a right to pick their own questions for discussion.

An argumentative essay is that type of academic papers which requires three set if skills from each student:

  1. Research skills
  2. Reading and writing
  3. Analysis

When you experience difficulties with at least one of the listed skills, it is better to hire professional assistance from one of that numerous, trusted websites. In any case, try to compose an essay on your own without any help. You may use various examples available on the internet for free.

Remember: argumentative tasks are assigned to maintain debating abilities. This sort of task impacts how well a student will give speeches in public or simply defend his point of view in the future.

How to Choose Negotiable Argumentative Topics Wisely

Many students feel relaxed when their tutors come up with the topic ideas. Still, it is better to have a freedom of choice as far as you can pick the issue which interests you. It is possible to choose an interesting topic from any field of science. While working on the argumentative paper, a student must gather all relevant and time-tested sources to show his awareness of the particular problem. Students should use some of the following credible resources:

  • Their class textbooks
  • Various published editions
  • Videos
  • Academic journals
  • Newspapers
  • Laws and regulations
  • Etc.

You may be an expert in the selected area, but always remember to add quotes from the external sources. This way, students prove that they can gather and choose sources with the most quality information on the given topic. Moreover, in-text citations will show your awareness of the different papers formats. Formatting is one of the steps on the way to your desired grade. Whenever you have any doubts concerning the topic to write your argumentative essay on, contact online specialists who are selling cheap custom argumentative essays on any topics in the world. They know how to make your essay stand out from the rest of the papers.

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Top Recommended Argumentative Essay Topics

Simple Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. The complexity of the US educational system
  2. The problem of obesity among American population
  3. Free access to the internet is one of the biggest threats to education
  4. Men should have a right to make decisions on their own whether to join the war or not
  5. College curriculum should be changed with respect to students’ preferences
  6. The advantages of higher education
  7. Which languages are the most widespread and demanded nowadays?
  8. Is Spanish really the simplest language to study?
  9. MBA: pros and cons of studying business
  10. Can we say about an educational system that it is too commercialized?
  11. Why are Michigan, SAT, and ACT results important?

Sports Related Subjects

  1. Are steroids helping or destroying our body?
  2. PE lessons in the educational system.
  3. NCAA: advantages and disadvantages
  4. What is the highest achievement in sport?
  5. Is Mike Tyson still a superstar?

Argumentative Paper Topics for Young Students

  1. Is there a strong correlation between regular training, meals, and overall health condition?
  2. Are diets as effective as they are told?
  3. The negative consequences of the anorexia fashion.
  4. Why should people dedicate more time to sleep?
  5. Is it still cool to play golf?
  6. Is swimming the only sport that keeps fit all human body muscles?
  7. Skiing and other risky sports.
  8. Children should not watch horror films.

College Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. It is illegal to produce and sell tobacco
  2. 25 years of prison instead of the death sentence
  3. Passive smokers suffer more than active
  4. Can alcohol completely destroy human brain?
  5. The government should forbid alcohol sales after 10 P.M.
  6. Are non-alcoholic energetic drinks dangerous?
  7. Does TV have a right to document every court proceeding?
  8. When can people start voting?
  9. The most appropriate age to start smoking or using alcohol.
  10. Is there justice for social minorities?
  11. Was the Industrial Revolution spread all over Europe?

Classical Argumentative Ideas

  1. The government must forbid the usage of species of animals in research
  2. Government must punish each citizen who does harm to the environment
  3. Are electric vehicles the best solution the problem of pollution?
  4. Globalization: for and against
  5. Why do people say that Wilson actually lost the war?
  6. The strong aspects of Roosevelt reign
  7. Was King-Kong right killing humans who came to investigate his land?
  8. Are the US really under the threat of disappearing from the map?
  9. The consequences of tornado
  10. Tsunami and its sacrifices
  11. How can people protect the nature of Amazonia?
  12. Are there any true Indians left on the territory of America?

Controversial Argumentative Topics

  1. How to overcome the risk of the Third World War?
  2. Is there a chance that financial crisis will stop?
  3. More schools should become public and free
  4. Top colleges and universities should raise their acceptance rates
  5. Everyone has a right to free education
  6. The right way to implement gun control and other preventing measures
  7. Same-sex marriages and their impact on the society
  8. High level of corruption is one of the causes of low wages
  9. Is there a way to be above the law?
  10. Communism is not that bad
  11. Is CIS the best replacement of the USSR?

Technological Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Computer games like shooters caused mass murders at the US schools
  2. Are many modern people lonely due to the existing technology?
  3. Filthy language on the web
  4. The age of technologies turns us into zombies
  5. The usage of smartphones leads to less live communication
  6. Technology and its influence on educational system
  7. When will the rapid technological advancement stop?

Argumentative Essay Related to Social Media

  1. Is technology restricting human imagination?
  2. Threats of having accounts in social networks like Facebook
  3. The modern world depends on the Internet heavily
  4. Can virtual relationships exist?
  5. Is online censorship critical for the Internet users?

Fifth & Sixth Grade Argumentative Essay

  1. Healthcare: any treatment must be free
  2. People are all kind by their nature
  3. The working hours must be reduced to let people dedicate more time to their families
  4. The wages should go up in the United States
  5. Governments must invest more in the social movements
  6. Parents cannot interrupt too much in the lives of their kids
  7. Spy applications do really work
  8. Cloning is not legal
  9. Every woman has a right to decide on her own regarding abortion
  10. Is it OK for a woman to date a much younger man?
  11. Cross-cultural marriages positively impact the racial tolerance
  12. Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
  13. Are abortions legal?
  14. Is online dating safe enough?

Humorous & Joking Argument Topics

  1. Would Superman find his place in a real world?
  2. Why do Ninja Turtles love pizza?
  3. Who should portray April in TNMT movie?
  4. 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D: When Will It Ever Stop?
  5. Can the chip fully control our brains and actions?
  6. The jokes of Peter Griffin make Family Guy the best TV show ever
  7. Why are humans in Simpsons yellow?
  8. Marijuana does no real harm to human health
  9. How to make parents softer with their children?

Music + Art + Cinematography Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. Can you earn enough money on art?
  2. Music and films are better than painting
  3. Which type of art is the most popular in Europe?
  4. Can you earn sufficient amount of money being an artist?
  5. Are today's lyrics making any sense?
  6. Heavy metal makes more sense than hip-hop
  7. Modern movies are worse than they used to be in the middle of 20th century
  8. Kurt Cobain did not kill himself

Download More Argumentative Paper Examples Online

Helpful Tips & Common Features of the Good Topic Ideas

If you want every reader to enjoy your writing and make it to the end, here is what you should do:

  1. Select an idea that everybody is talking about today. Consider rumors, facts, interesting stories, etc.
  2. Pick a problem which makes the majority of people have doubts.
  3. Try to select the audience which denies your point of view.
  4. Choose the topic on which everybody has a unique thought.
  5. Come up with a topic which relates to your own

We Have Collected the Most Useful Hints and Prompts Based on the Successful Argumentative Essays:

  • Avoid choosing obvious argumentative essay topics!
  • Never pick an issue that does not have any arguments. Ignore topics that are too trivial.
  • A persuasive paper has to concentrate on the problem discussed by centuries. It may even lead to the international conflicts, but people will go on discussing it.
  • Issues connected with the politics (e.g. US government or elections) are always great.
  • Feel free to pick the topic associated with the modern college standards that do annoy most of the students. It may stimulate your peers to argue with your tutors, but that is what argumentative essay is all about!
  • Avoid topics that people usually agree on without any hesitations.
  • Try not to choose any topics related to the sensitive aspects of our life such as religion, gender, nationality, etc.
  • Follow MLA or APA format as there are many examples on the web.
  • Always pay attention to what other people say about your chosen theme.

You may notice that the process is almost always the same. The main purpose is to select the most inspiring argumentative essay topics to have an impact you expect. The goal is to satisfy your target audience, no matter whether it's your teacher or classmates. Pretend that you compete to receive the highest award in some contest. Here, A grade is your most wanted prize. Each time you demand quick assistance with your task, contact online expert writing service which can prepare an argumentative essay on the topic you like. They will do it pretty fast.

What about the Structure?

Every academic paper has its own structure. The argumentative essay involves the following stages:

  1. Broad primary and secondary research
  2. Collecting sources
  3. Choosing the most trusted and latest sources
  4. Preparing a draft
  5. Writing your paper
  6. Proofreading & Editing
  7. Double-checking all mistakes

As for the organization of the final essay, it is recommended to use a 5-paragraph structure. Develop an outline and keep to it. Your unique ideas must flow in this way:

  • Introduction. Include some interesting facts, add a quote, joke, or find another way to attract the reader from the very beginning. Then, create a powerful thesis statement.
  • First body paragraph. Begin with your argument number one. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
  • Second body paragraph. Write down your argument number two. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
  • Third body paragraph. Write down your argument number three. Don't forget about in-text citations to support your argument. Add evidence to sound persuasive.
  • Conclusion. It is the last paragraph of your entire essay. Restate your thesis which is the last sentence of your introduction. Prepare a brief review of the main points. Add Call-to-Action in the last sentence.
  • Bibliography. List all of the applied sources.

Conclusion

Is't it easy to choose, prepare a draft, write, and proofread? Save your best argumentative essays to use them in your future career.

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