Learning Effective Argument-Building through Writing an Argumentative Essay

Writing effective arguments and convincing your adversary to accept your point of view is a highly challenging task especially in academic settings. The process of mastering various techniques of arguing learnt in your school/college writing classes can prove to be lifelong skills. If learnt effectively, they can help students in writing better research proposals, job applications, research grants, and business letters for achieving success at various walks of life.

This article guides you to produce a successful argumentative essay through various phases of planning, drafting, writing and revising to write a successful and well-crafted argumentative/persuasive essay to convince your reader. The skills learnt through this essay can equally benefit students and professionals in building arguments for gaining success with their audiences to fulfill various purposes in their professions and businesses.


An argumentative piece of writing is meant to express your clear opinion on a certain topic with respect to a particular position on the issue by providing evidence to prove your position. The aim of the essay is to convince the reader of your opinion or position on a certain issue.

In this type of essay, you need to take a position in order to change the way readers think or make them act in a certain way. It is mostly a controversial or debatable issue as it involves presenting lots of evidence to convince the reader of your opinion. The topic should not be a non-controversial one because if everyone agrees on the issue, it would be an explanation/expository essay.

Writing an argumentative essay in English can be challenging especially if you are an English as a Second Language (ESL) learner. This article guides you through various stages of writing in order to persuade the reader to accept your opinion.

Argument-building has several elements essential to its structure. Taking a look at those might give you an idea of what an argumentative piece of writing might contain:

Elements Essential to Argument Building
Introduction to the topic – provision of background information on the topic, explanations and details required on the issue to bring the reader in context.

A comprehensive thesis statement – a concise statement for outlining the position you have taken and what are the points of your defense or reasons to take up that position later to be explained in the body paragraphs.

Evidence to prove your opinion – facts, figures/statistics, examples, quotes by relevant people while defending your claims.

Text cohesion – achieved through transition words and repetition of key terms to develop a link between ideas.

Language to engage the readers – a hook or a catchy phrase to catch reader’s attention, words having emotional appeal, rhetorical questions, a proverb that could well describe your point, a shocking detail.

Conclusive remarks to sum up your position – restatement of thesis in a conclusive way, some suggestions or warnings pertaining to the solving of the issue.