Constructing an essay argument

Throughout the novel, Orwell includes imagery of entrapment, depravity, and helplessness to further this metaphor. One of the most important functions of the thesis statement is serving as a blueprint for your essay. Include a clearly defined list of the points that you plan to make in your argument.

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Avoid using any statistics or facts, but summarize the main claims to outline the paper structure. There are many ways to write a thesis, but it can be tough to come up with one on the spot. Put the topic and main points of your argument into a commonly-used thesis format, and then edit the sentence to better fit your argument. Create an outline of the argument using your thesis as a guide.

Use a bulleted or numbered list format, starting with the introduction. Most essays include at least 3 body paragraphs with an individual claim and at least 2 points of evidence for each paragraph. As you find the evidence, add a bullet under that claim including the fact and the source.

Be sure to also include a spot in your outline for addressing a counter-argument and making your conclusion. It might be helpful to just include names, page numbers, or big ideas that you want to cover in that paragraph. Then, you can build on your outline as you write. Write an informative introduction to attract your reader. Start with an interesting fact, a hypothetical question, or a call to action for the reader. Then, introduce the background of your argument by defining important phrases and information that your reader will need to understand the paper.

Close the introduction with your thesis statement. Break the body of your argument into claims supported by evidence. Take your outline and translate the information into a topic sentence with supporting evidence. Make sure your claim is well supported by scholarly resources, and provide smooth transition between points. Only focus on 1 claim per paragraph, and use your own thoughts and ideas to connect the evidence to the claim.

For a historical paper, your supporting evidence might be a statistic or a document, like a letter or speech.

How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline

Include a paragraph to address counterarguments. This is called a concession or rebuttal, which shows the reader you've researched multiple sides of the argument. State the opposing argument and acknowledge that it contains good points. Then, make your case as to why your point of view is correct according to the available evidence. Try to avoid logical fallacies, like attacking the character of someone with an opposing viewpoint or incorrectly stating their position.

Craft a conclusion that reiterates the importance of your topic. At the close of your essay, talk a bit about how your argument fits into a larger context or further questions that stem from your argument. Restate your main argument and why it provides a worthwhile contribution to an ongoing conversation involving the topic. Use quotations, paraphrasing, and summaries for your evidence.


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To keep your reader interested in your paper, try different means of including your supporting information. State the facts in your own words, make a general statement about the information, or include direct quotations. Make sure the paragraphs are arranged logically according to the topic.

How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline

In an argument, you should present your information in a defined pattern that works by building the evidence into a conclusion or by using logical syllogisms to infer a conclusion from a set of premises. For a scientific essay, you might order your arguments from those supported by specific observations to those supported by more generalized facts. A two-story thesis is usually considered competent, though some two-story theses are more intriguing and ambitious than others. A thoughtfully crafted and well informed three-story thesis puts the author on a smooth path toward an excellent paper.

The concept of a three-story thesis framework was the most helpful piece of information I gained from the writing component of DCC You can expect similar results if you dig deeper to form three-story theses. More importantly, doing so will make the actual writing of your paper more straightforward as well. Arguing something specific makes the structure of your paper much easier to design.

The three-story thesis is a beautiful thing. For one, it gives a paper authentic momentum.

Structure of the Argumentative Essay Outline

The body paragraphs build on one another, moving through each step of the logical chain. Each paragraph leads inevitably to the next, making the transitions from paragraph to paragraph feel wholly natural. The conclusion, instead of being a mirror-image paraphrase of the introduction, builds out the third story by explaining the broader implications of the argument. It offers new insight without departing from the flow of the analysis. I should note here that a paper with this kind of momentum often reads like it was knocked out in one inspired sitting.

But in reality, just like accomplished athletes and artists, masterful writers make the difficult thing look easy. They write in order to figure out what they want to say. Experienced writers develop theses in dialog with the body of the essay. An initial characterization of the problem leads to a tentative thesis, and then drafting the body of the paper reveals thorny contradictions or critical areas of ambiguity, prompting the writer to revisit or expand the body of evidence and then refine the thesis based on that fresh look.

The revised thesis may require that body paragraphs be reordered and reshaped to fit the emerging three-story thesis. Throughout the process, the thesis serves as an anchor point while the author wades through the morass of facts and ideas.


  • Argumentative Essay Outline Section 1: Introduction.
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  • The dialogue between thesis and body continues until the author is satisfied or the due date arrives, whatever comes first. Novice writers, in contrast, usually oversimplify the writing process. They formulate some first-impression thesis, produce a reasonably organized outline, and then flesh it out with text, never taking the time to reflect or truly revise their work.

    They assume that revision is a step backward when, in reality, it is a major step forward. Everyone has a different way that they like to write. For instance, I like to pop my earbuds in, blast dubstep music and write on a white board. I like using the white board because it is a lot easier to revise and edit while you write. After I finish writing a paragraph that I am completely satisfied with on the white board, I sit in front of it with my laptop and just type it up.

    In an era of political polarization, many students may think that a strong argument is based on a simple, bold, combative statement that is promoted it in the most forceful way possible. The purpose of the argument is to explain to readers why the author—through the course of his or her in-depth study—has arrived at a somewhat surprising point. On that basis, it has to consider plausible counter-arguments and contradictory information. In crafting and carrying out the three-story thesis, you are showing your reader the work you have done.

    How To Write an Argumentative Essay (Definition + Topics + Outline)

    The model of the organically structured paper and the three-story thesis framework explained here is the very foundation of the paper itself and the process that produces it. The subsequent chapters, focusing on sources, paragraphs, and sentence-level wordsmithing, all follow from the notion that you are writing to think and writing to learn as much as you are writing to communicate. Your professors assume that you have the self-motivation and organizational skills to pursue your analysis with both rigor and flexibility; that is, they envision you developing, testing, refining and sometimes discarding your own ideas based on a clear-eyed and open-minded assessment of the evidence before you.

    Armonk: M. Sharpe, In reality, data-collection is a creative and demanding craft, arguably more important than theorizing.

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    Skip to content Increase Font Size. Linen served as a form of currency in the ancient Mediterranean world, connecting rival empires through circuits of trade. The economic role of linen raises important questions about how shifting environmental conditions can influence economic relationships and, by extension, political conflicts. There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-story men.

    Two-story men compare, reason, generalize using the labor of fact collectors as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict—their best illumination comes from above the skylight. Peter Farrell.


    • Generating a Thesis Statement.
    • Constructing Good Arguments?
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    • Structure of the Argumentative Essay Outline.
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    • This is just the fantasy of the uninitiated. I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. Kaethe Leonard. Other resources The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an excellent, readable run-down on the five-paragraph theme, why most college writing assignments want you to go beyond it, and those times when the simpler structure is actually a better choice.

      There are many useful websites that describe good thesis statements and provide examples. Those from the writing centers at Hamilton College , Purdue University , and Clarkson University are especially helpful. Exercises Find a scholarly article or book that is interesting to you. Focusing on the abstract and introduction, outline the first, second, and third stories of its thesis.

      Here is a list of one-story theses. Come up with two-story and three-story versions of each one. Television programming includes content that some find objectionable.