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Writing an Argument Essay Outline

A good argumentative essay needs strong arguments and solid evidence. You want to hook your reader from the first line, provide convincing claims, and find the right words to refute opposing views. It might seem like a difficult task, but everything comes together once you learn the peculiarities of an argumentative essay outline. We will help you plan and structure a winning essay. 

What Is an Argument Essay?

An argumentative essay is one of the most common types of academic papers. Its purpose is to take a stance on a controversial issue and persuade the readers to agree with your arguments. 

An argument essay format always includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each part of a piece has its own purpose, which helps explain the main idea of the paper. With the correct structure of argumentative essays, students can easily provide logical reasoning and make their papers more convincing.

Elements of an Argument Essay

An argumentative essay is impossible without five essential elements. 

  1. Compelling hook. An inviting introduction allows attracting readers’ attention from the first sentence. It sets the tone for the whole piece and outlines the perspective from which you discuss the issue. 

  2. Convincing evidence. Even the best argument will not sound convincing if you fail to provide enough evidence to prove its validity. When planning an essay, create an argument paper outline to incorporate sufficient evidence and support your claims. 

  3. Logical reasoning. Reasoning has a major impact on the comprehensiveness of your essay. It helps the audience evaluate and accept your arguments. 

  4. Response to opposing views. To show that you have researched multiple perspectives on the discussed issue, address opposing arguments. In an argument paper format, refutation should appear in the body of your essay. 

  5. Proper organization. An argumentative writing structure relies on a traditional five-paragraph essay format. It ensures the smooth flow of ideas from an introduction to a conclusion. 

Main Types of Arguments

An argument is everything. The way you structure it determines whether or not your essay will meet the academic standards. The most popular types of arguments for an argumentative essay plan are the Toulmin argument, the Rogerian argument, and the Aristotelian argument. 

The Aristotelian Argument

The Aristotelian argument is a classical type of argument outline, argumentative research paper outline in particular. As it refutes all opposing opinions, it is also referred to as the adversarial argument. Ethos, pathos, and logos will help a writer appeal to readers’ logic and values to make their argument trustworthy. 

The Toulmin Argument

Many students prefer to use the Toulmin argument to structure their argumentive essay outline. Its model is simple. Introduce a claim and provide clear reasoning to support it. The argument also includes a rebuttal where the author needs to consider thoughts that dispute their thesis. 

The Rogerian Argument

The Rogerian argument recognizes the existence of opposing opinions and allows the writer to establish consensus. In the argumentative paper format, the analysis and evaluation of the opposing point of view usually appear in the first paragraph(s) of the body, followed by the author’s claims. The conclusion sets the compromise, pointing out the common features between the two opposing views.

Argument Essay Outline

Once you have chosen a contentious topic you are passionate about, you want to go creative and experiment with writing techniques. Yet, academic assignments require a straightforward structure. We will show you how to write an argumentative research paper outline. Have a look at its traditional structure. 

Argument Essay Outline includes 

  • introduction;

  • body; 

  • Conclusion.

Introductory Paragraph of an Argument Essay

An introductory paragraph in a traditional argumentative essay layout sets the context for the entire piece. Its goal is to focus the readers’ attention on the position you advocate for. To write a captivating introduction, outline all your claims and think about the controversy within the topic. Here is an argumentative essay outline example.

Introductory Paragraph of an Argument Essay

  1. Hook. Make your opening line captivating enough to hold readers’ interest. 

  2. Background information. Here you need to outline relevant background information but avoid being too general or vague.

  3. Thesis statement. It is the final sentence of the introduction. Your thesis statement should summarize your argument and prepare the readers to accept your claims. 

Body of an Argument Essay

This part of the essay contains the basic information that explains your argument. The Body of an Argument Essay has the following structure of paragraphs:

  • topic sentence;

  • evidence;

  • supporting ideas;

  • concluding sentence.

Usually, the body takes two or three well-developed paragraphs in the outline of an argumentative essay. Make sure you provide evidence for each claim. Its types can be diverse: statistics, research findings, examples, experiential knowledge, and so on.

Opposition of an Argument Essay

The Opposition of an Argument Essay is the part where you address contending viewpoints. It allows acknowledging the existence of opinions that dispute your argument. It will show your readers that you have studied multiple perspectives and made your conclusions based on the objective evaluation of evidence. 

Then, the outline of argumentative essay includes refutation that points out weaknesses in the opposing argument. It makes your claims more convincing and trustworthy. Usually, this part appears before the concluding paragraph, but it can also be placed right after the introduction in the Rogerian type of argument.

Conclusion of an Argument Essay

Argumentative essay outlines should always include a summary of the discussed information. It serves to restate the thesis statement and bring the piece to a logical end. The Conclusion of an Argument Essay can also suggest ways to expand the topic and outline the larger context for its further discussion. A balanced conclusion will reinforce your argument and make it more memorable. 

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