An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. It could be that both sides are presented equally balanced, or it could be that one side is presented more forcefully than the other.
It all depends on the writer, and what side he supports the most. The general structure of an argumentative essay follows this format:
a. 1-2 paragraphs tops
b. Purpose: To set up and state one’s claim
c. Optional Elements
- Make your introductory paragraph interesting. How can you draw your readers in?
- What background information, if any, do we need to know in order to understand your claim? If you don’t follow this paragraph with a background information paragraph, please insert that info here.
d. Required Elements
If you’re arguing about a literary work—state author + title
If you’re arguing about an issue or theory – provide brief explanation or your of issue/theory.
If you’re arguing about a film—state director, year + title
STATE your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph
i. 1-2 paragraphs tops; Optional (can omit for some papers). Also, sometimes this info is incorporated into the introduction paragraph (see above).
ii. Purpose: Lays the foundation for proving your argument.
iii. Will often include:
Summary of works being discussed
Definition of key terms
Explanation of key theories
Supporting Evidence Paragraph #1
Purpose: To prove your argument. Usually is one paragraph but it can be longer.
Topic Sentence: What is one item, fact, detail, or example you can tell your readers that will help them better understand your claim/paper topic? Your answer should be the topic sentence for this paragraph.
Explain Topic Sentence: Do you need to explain your topic sentence? If so, do so here.
Introduce Evidence: Introduce your evidence either in a few words (As Dr. Brown states ―…‖) or in a full sentence (―To understand this issue we first need to look at statistics).
State Evidence: What supporting evidence (reasons, examples, facts, statistics, and/or quotations) can you include to prove/support/explain your topic sentence?
Explain Evidence: How should we read or interpret the evidence you are providing us? How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this paragraph? Can be opinion based and is often at least 1-3 sentences.
Concluding Sentence: End your paragraph with a concluding sentence that reasserts how the topic sentence of this paragraph helps up better understand and/or prove your paper’s overall claim.
Supporting Evidence Paragraph #2, 3, 4 etc.
o Repeat above
o Purpose: To anticipate your reader’s objections; make yourself sound more objective and reasonable.
o Optional; usually 1-2 paragraphs tops
o What possible argument might your reader pose against your argument and/or some aspect of your reasoning? Insert one or more of those arguments here and refute them.
o End paragraph with a concluding sentence that reasserts your paper’s claim as a whole.
Conclusion Part 1: Sum Up Paragraph
o Purpose: Remind readers of your argument and supporting evidence
o Conclusion you were most likely taught to write in High School
o Restates your paper’s overall claim and supporting evidence
Conclusion Part 2: Your “So What” Paragraph
o PURPOSE: To illustrate to your instructor that you have thought critically and analytically about this issue.
o Your conclusion should not simply restate your intro paragraph. If your conclusion says almost the exact same thing as your introduction, it may indicate that you have not done enough critical thinking during the course of your essay (since you ended up right where you started).
o Your conclusion should tell us why we should care about your paper. What is the significance of your claim? Why is it important to you as the writer or to me as the reader? What information should you or I take away from this?
o Your conclusion should create a sense of movement to a more complex understanding of the subject of your paper. By the end of your essay, you should have worked through your ideas enough so that your reader understands what you have argued and is ready to hear the larger point (i.e. the “so what”) you want to make about your topic.
o Your conclusion should serve as the climax of your paper. So, save your strongest analytical points for the end of your essay, and use them to drive your conclusion
o Vivid, concrete language is as important in a conclusion as it is elsewhere–perhaps more essential, since the conclusion determines the reader’s final impression of your essay. Do not leave them with the impression that your argument was vague or unsure.
o Warning: It’s fine to introduce new information or quotations in your conclusions, as long as the new points grow from your argument. New points might be more general, answering the “so what” question; they might be
quite specific. Just avoid making new claims that need lots of additional support.
Examples of Argumentative Essay Topics
Argumentative essay topics for college
- Production and sales of tobacco must be made illegal
- Death sentence should be activated in every country of the world
- Smoking in public places has to be banned
- Alcohol usage should be controlled
- They should not sell alcohol beverages after 11 P.M.
- Energetic drinks should be banned and made illegal
- Should court proceedings be documented for television?
- The most suitable age to have a right to vote.
- When can citizens start drinking and smoking (specific age)?
- On the whole, is there justice for all?
- Was the Industrial Revolution a Europe-wide phenomenon in the nineteenth century?
Argumentative essay on social media
12. Is technology limiting creativity?
13. The role of communications in social networks for modern education.
14. Are contemporary people too much reliant on technology?
15. Are online friends more effective than imaginary?
16. Is censorship of Internet necessary?
Controversial argumentative essay topics
17. Third World War should be Prevented by Russian and US Governments
18. Existing public school policies must be change
19. Is gun control an effective way to control the crime?
20. Government should forbid same-sex marriages
21. Society is turning over-regulated
22. The countries with the highest levels of corruption.
23. Are some political authorities engaged in illegal activities in the US?
24. Should people with physical disabilities be accepted by the government?
25. To be a politician: art or a born talent.
26. Can anyone be above the law?
27. Pros and cons of Monarchy.
28. Is CIS a better alternative for the USSR?
Easy argumentative essay topics
29. Education should be free for everyone
30. Why are the US citizens rapidly becoming more obese?
31. Internet access must be limited to students
32. Young people must have a right to choose when it comes to military
33. Each student must have a right to pick only those disciplines he is interested in
34. What are the advantages US educational system offers to international students?
35. Which secondary languages are worth studying today?
36. Is education too commercialised nowadays?
37. Is current academic grading helpful in performance?
38. Are tests like SAT and ACT effective?
39. Advantages and disadvantages of MBA program.
Argumentative essay topics for middle school
40. What is the real relationship between food, fitness, and weight?
41. What are the negative effects of diets?
42. Society should fight with anorexia
43. To regulate health issues, people should think about their sleep more
44. Is golf still demanded?
45. Steroid takers must be banned from team sports activities.
46. Is swimming really the best type of sport?
47. Hockey and other dangerous sports.
Art, Music & Movie Ideas for Papers
49. Does art pay?
50. Can music and cinematography be called an art too?
51. Is gothic art the most preferred and magnificent in history of mankind?
52. Can you succeed in life working in the field of art?
53. Are today’s music tracks educational or meaningful at all?
54. Is modern lyrics too explicit for a young audience?
55. There is no plot in the majority of up-to-date movies.
56. How long should a motion picture last?