An Argumentative Essay Outline

An Argumentative Essay Outline

Argumentative Essay
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Writing an outline is like developing a plan: the more time you spend on it, the easier it will be to build the house according to it. By developing an excellent plan, you eliminate numerous risks and prevent possible errors. So, why not do it?

We can think of only two reasons students do not create outlines before writing the piece itself. First, they might not realize what a treasure it is. They can view it as a daunting task, one of the many other assignments their teachers assign to them. In this case, they simply have no idea what they are talking about.

The other reasons why they do not write outlines before writing the article itself is because they do not know where to start. They understand all the benefits an outline can bring them. However, they do not know where to start working on it, what components to include in it, and how detailed this plan should be.

In this article, we will prove that creating an outline is essential and show practical ways to write them in the shortest terms possible.

But first things first: let’s start with a definition.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is one of the many academic essay types. Its main point is in using strong arguments to prove and support your opinion as well as refute the position of your opponents.

While this might sound quite easy for people good at confrontation, most of us dread the idea of arguing with someone. That is why if you are not really good at this in real life, learning how to write such essays can be your lucky ticket: it helps you develop essential skills to sound reasoning as well as find ways to back up your opinion in the best way possible.

As you probably guessed from the title, you have to be persuasive when composing this piece of writing. Therefore, one has to choose proper words and phrases. Help the readers see your confidence and believe you. And being persuasive is a way to do it.

Besides, remember that the key to a successful argumentative essay is in finding proper evidence to support your opinion. That is why get ready to invest time and effort into in-depth research. The more time you dig through information looking for pieces that fit you the most, the higher your chances are to impress and convince the target audience.

Now that we are on the same page about the definition and basics of the development of an argumentative essay, let’s learn how to write an argumentative essay outline.

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How to write an argumentative essay outline

The outline for this type of essay usually consists of four main points.

  1. An introductory paragraph introducing the reader to the problem.
  2. Main body paragraphs that provide arguments to support your opinion.
  3. Several sections used to show the weaknesses of the opposing claims.
  4. A conclusion that summarizes the main points and calls to take measures.

Only four points to remember. We are sure this will make your life easier, won’t it?

Just save these points and read on to see what each one of them should consist of to have the desired impact on the target audience.

An introduction to an outline for an argumentative essay

This is where readers start their journey with you. From the very first sentence, they get to understand whether they want to continue reading your piece, or they want to drop the whole idea altogether.

To prevent them from leaving, we recommend you sticking to our plan. Use these three components to make your writing interesting and consistent, and see how they can do wonder to the impact of your piece.

  1. Start with a hook.
    A hook, as you can understand from its title, is a piece of content that aims to grab the audience’s attention. It should not be long. Just one sentence is enough. However, it has to be catchy.
    Scholars state that several things can be used as hooks in your introduction: funny stories, controversial statements, intriguing questions, or statistical data. You have to begin your essay with either one of these things.
  2. Develop your thoughts.
    Later, you need to develop your hook. Explain to your audience your choice of the subject, why it is important, and how you talking about it can make a difference. This part should not be longer than a couple of sentences.
  3. Create a thesis statement.
    Finally, you have to state a loud and clear thesis statement which you will support with solid arguments in the text. It should depict your position and explain why you find this topic essential.

As long as you follow our advice, you will be able to write an excellent introduction. Now, let’s explain how you can write main body paragraphs.

Presenting the argument: Main body paragraphs

Bear in mind several schemes for your main body paragraphs:

  1. You can separate paragraphs presenting your arguments supporting the thesis statement and sections refuting the opponents’ claims. This way you will need to work both ways, backing up your position with several pieces of evidence and showing the weakness of opponents’ beliefs.
  2. Alternatively, you can go from the opposite and use one paragraph to refute one popular claim. Thus, you can make a clear statement and bring your opponents on the heels in just a few sections.

The choice is all yours. We have no convictions that one way is better than the other. Just opt for what you are most comfortable with.

A conclusion of an argumentative essay outline

The main point of a conclusion is to remind the readers of the reasons why you chose to talk about a topic in question, restate your arguments that support the position you stick to, and call them to action.

More often than not, readers remember only this part of your essay no matter how much thought and effort you invested into your piece. So, it is better to make it outstanding and nothing short of perfect so that the audience agrees with you in the long run.

By now you are probably willing to see an excellent argumentative essay outline template. And as we promised in the beginning, here it is. You can save it to use when writing an argumentative essay outline the next time.

An argumentative essay outline template

  1. Introduction:
    A hook: Start with a vivid picture, an intriguing questions, statistical data, or an anecdote.
    Mention your reasons to choose this topic. Why do you believe it is important? Who should care about these issues and why?
    A thesis statement: Develop your previous sentences into a clear thesis statement explaining the main points of your piece and showing your position on the issue.
  2. Main body paragraphs.
    Argument #1: State the argument. Use quotes to support it.
    Mention three different points to support the idea.
    Summarize the paragraph by restating the argument and its evidence.

    Argument #2: State the argument. Use quotes to support it.
    Mention three different points to support the idea.
    Summarize the paragraph by restating the argument and its evidence.

    Argument #1: State the argument. Use quotes to support it.
    Mention three different points to support the idea.
    Summarize the paragraph by restating the argument and its evidence.
  3. Conclusion:
    Restate the thesis statement, recount the arguments you used to support your position and show how you refuted opponents claims.
    In the end, ask your audience a question or paint a picture of what could happen if nothing is changed concerning the issue you raised.

Save this template, as it is a perfect cheat sheet you can use every time working on your outline.

However, just knowing the theory is not enough to write an incredible article. So, let’s look at an argumentative essay outline example that will show us how a student applied this theoretical knowledge to action and what came out of it.

An argumentative essay outline example

Should prostitution be made legal?

  1. Introduction:
    Mention the official statistical data of prostitution rates in the United States.
    Explain why women choose to sell their bodies, and men opt to pay for having sex.
    Thesis statement: Show that legalization of prostitution can harm the society in many ways, and thus, should not be legalized.
  2. Argument #1: Prostitution helps spread the AIDS and other diseases.
    Use official sources to support this idea.
    Summarize that for this reason it should not be made legal.
  3. Argument #2: Prostitution destroys moral values and humiliates the role of a woman.
    Pain a picture of how an average woman in this “business” views herself and what self-image she passes on to the next generation.
    Summarize that this “occupation” is detrimental to healthy values and self-image and can impact the society in the future.
  4. Argument #3: Prostitution legalized does not mean decreased sex slavery across the states.
    Show the example of Germany that legalized this occupation but still cannot prevent human trafficking and girls being sold into slavery.
    Summary: making it legal does not help prevent trafficking and sex slavery
  5. Conclusion:
    Prostitution is not a profession; it is a way to humiliate women, break their human rights, and spread diseases. It is degrading. Thus, it should not be legalized and, on the contrary, should be by all means prevented.

Use these samples as a way to build your own outline. We are sure it will make everything clearer and simpler!

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Essay
Undergraduate
14 days