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How to Outline an Argumentative Essay

27 Mar 2019

Essay writing is one of the key moments in the educational process, no matter what stage of your studies you currently are on. Today, let’s figure out how to write a good argumentative paper and receive an “A” for it.

An argumentative essay outline is half of the success or even more than a half. It is often more difficult to decide what to write about, how to arrange information, connect your thoughts, and make it all interesting. After you come up with an outline, only grooming is left.

What Is A Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline?

This kind of writing teaches to conduct research and support your opinion, meanwhile refuting an opponent’s position. So what is the outline for an argumentative essay? It is a structure of your future paper. You create a skeleton for an essay. An outline sums up a strategy with main ideas, arguments, and conclusion. It is a map that will help you to move in the right direction.

A powerful college argumentative essay outline is always based on a powerful topic. If an issue is not relevant or controversial, it will not be interesting to discuss or read about. Another aspect of a powerful outline is how useful it is. If you write an essay without paying much attention to a prepared outline, you’ve done it wrong.

Every argumentative essay outline consists of five elements:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Arguments to back up your opinion.
  3. Arguments that prove the weakness of opposing claims.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Cited works.

Don’t forget that you need to specify the exact argumentative essay topic you are going to write about. Discuss an issue that matters for an audience. Go with something that splits opinions. Besides creating a powerful paper, you will learn to analyze information, check the facts, make conclusions. Take a look at our list of suggestions if choosing a topic seems complicated.

Structure of Argumentative Essay Outline

So how to write an argumentative essay outline? There is a specific structure you should stick to while working on your piece.

Introductory paragraph states a problem, announces it to a reader. Start with a hook. It can be:

  • recent event or discovery;
  • statistics;
  • funny life story;
  • controversial claim;
  • intriguing question;
  • quote.

Add background information – a couple of sentences that extend your thoughts. Explain why you consider this topic important and decided to cover it. Close it up with a thesis statement, which clearly expresses your attitude.

There are two strategies you can use for body paragraphs during writing an argumentative essay outline:

  • Present a supporting argument, then a refuting of an opponent’s claim right after it.
  • Divide arguments for your viewpoint and against the opposing one into two different parts – finish with all the primer and then move to the latter.

Every paragraph should feature the main idea – a certain argument you focus on. Always use several arguments to support a claim, including quotes, statistics, research, etc. “Just because I think so” strategy doesn’t fit. Your essay should not be subjective. Summarize this paragraph by restarting the main idea.

Conclusion is a reminder why you decided to cover this topic and what you think about it. Just restate your position here by summarizing the statement and ideas developed in the body.

Good Example of Argumentative Essay Outline

You already have an answer to “How do I write my argumentative essay?” Let’s suppose you have got a topic, too. There is one last thing to pay attention to – a real outline for an argumentative essay you can use as an illustrative example, just like the one below.

Topic: Is the US really under a threat of disappearing from the map?

Introduction. “We have no country if we have no border. We have some bad hombres here and we're gonna get ‘em out.” This is exactly what Donald Trump said during the third presidential debate on Oct. 19, 2016. Recent aggressive immigration policies and reforms are explained by the fact that the country is losing its identity. But the US is not under any threat of disappearing from the map.

Paragraph 1. The truth is the USA has always been a country of freedom, opportunities, and immigrants.

  • Brief historical insight.
  • Statistics about ethnic background.
  • Reminder about native population.

Paragraph 2. The USA is still among top influential countries in terms of culture, technology, economics, etc.

  • Shifting trends in technology and manufacturing put the States in the best position to benefit from a new wave of globalization.
  • Numerous global leading corporations originate from the US or have offices there.
  • English is the most popular second language learned around the world.

Paragraph 3. The desire to build a wall, to restrict in-move and similar initiatives don’t focus on the US identity. They are more about discrimination.

  • “These aren't people. These are animals,” is just one of the representative quotes.
  • How about the fact that his wife is not a local either?
  • Mass shootings are what puts the population in danger. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on real threats and their prevention than deportation of immigrants who don’t violate any laws?

Conclusion. The US is not under the threat of disappearing from the map. Immigration is part of the country’s identity. As of today, 0.9% of the population are American Indians, so the rest 99.1% are immigrants. Only some of them have stayed there for a longer time.

Don’t worry if you face difficulties with an outline of an argumentative essay at first; good results always come with practice. You can use this article as a guideline for your future work. Start with creating a similar outline for your first essay. Be ready to defend your viewpoint, listen to criticism, provocative objections. Always response by weighting the facts. If you feel like you are completely stuck or need one more good example, feel free to contact PapersOwl for professional assistance. We’ll be really glad to help.

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