Learning Effective Argument-Building through Writing an Argumentative Essay

You could also use a technique called anti-thesis where you accept that adversary’s claims are valid up to a point but they fail to address the concerns raised in your claim. Present claim and counter claim and show how your point refutes counter-claim. This is also called rebuttal. Acknowledging the point of view of the other party strengthens your argument.

Use of language is very important while defending claims. The language used should have an appeal to emotions, logic and reflect authorial credibility: ethos, logos and pathos.

Since it is an opinion essay, you could use emotive language, adjectives, and rhetorical questions as these devices can make use of emotions, or logic appeals to convince the readers. Transitional words and phrases use are very important as they show a link between ideas. While presenting opposing or counter-arguments and refuting them, you might consider the use of transitions like however, though, yet, in contrary to that, etc. Similar ideas might make use of transitions such as similarly, additionally and so on.

Pay attention to the overall coherence and linking between ideas and paragraphs. This can can be developed through repeating key words and phrases and transitions.

c) Conclusion

A sound conclusion provided at the end leaves a long lasting mark on readers’ mind which is crucial especially in persuasive/argumentative writing. The last paragraph should not only summarize your main points but move further by leaving the readers with some thoughts to ponder.

A re-statement of your thesis or position can be accompanied by some suggestions/advice or future warnings regarding your topic. The persuasiveness is increased manifold if the final concluding remark provides a future course of action to the readers.

3) Revising and peer-reviewing

After writing down the first draft, it is better to ask peers to get it reviewed. Your partner can provide a really good feedback to the arguments you have written as an outsider and help you correct some errors before finalizing it.

4) Final draft

Incorporate all the revisions and recommendations of the reviewers and finalize the draft.

5) Check before submitting

Before submission, the draft needs to be re-checked for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.

Make sure you have not omitted any crucial element of an argumentative essay before submitting. The following checklist can help you in this regard.

Checklist of organization and language of an argumentative essay before submission:Tick (√)
Have you provided enough background information on the topic?
Have you provided a sound thesis statement?
Have you provided enough evidence/proof to back up or support your claims made in the essay?
Have you provided opposing or counter-arguments to strengthen claims?
Have you followed the proper paragraph structure?
Have you developed flow in ideas and paragraph unity through the use of transitions and repetition of key terms?
Have you written a sound conclusion that not only summarizes the content of the arguments but moves further by leaving the readers with some thoughts to ponder?


Writing effective arguments is a life-long skill and if mastered can lead to success in various fronts of life. This essay has outlined the essentials of writing an argumentative essay to enable students become better writers of arguments. This article can be a useful resource for students of writing classes and for general professionals looking for information to enhance their argument-building skills to achieve success at their professions and businesses.


Sorenson, Sharon. (2010). Webster’s New World Student Writing Handbook, 5th Ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Connelly, Jacqueline & Forsyth, Patrick. (2012). Essay Writing Skills: Essential Techniques to Gain Top Scores. London: Kogan Page.

Shiach, Don. (2007). How to Write Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide for all Levels, with Sample Essays. Oxford: How to books.

Kemper, Dave & Sebranek, Pat. (2004). Inside Writing: Persuasive Essays. Wilmington: Write Source.

McCarthy, Tara. (1998). Persuasive Writing. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.

Robb, Laura. (2012). Smart Writing: Practical Units for Teaching Middle School Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

©2015 April 5 F. Masroor

Leave a Reply