Everything You Should Know About Creating the Outline of an Argumentative Essay

It doesn’t matter whether or not you like arguing with others, as a student you must always be prepared to present an argumentative essay.

As a rule, you never want to turn in a low-quality essay and get a C-, right? However, staring at your blank piece of paper for hours isn’t a solution either. Start by gathering all your thoughts on the matter, putting them on paper in a logical order and weeding out everything that’s not relevant to the topic at hand. Think of the outline of the argumentative essay as the action plan for writing the actual paper; then you can start writing.

In case you are struggling with how to write a good essay or you just don’t have any ideas on what to write the topic, there are a lot of ideas you could find online.

The Structure of Your Argumentative Essay

The outline and the essay itself should both have the same logical structure. However, the essay itself will be a lot longer as you will include all the relevant information pertaining to the thoughts scribbled down in the outline. It is really worth to take your time with the outline as it will guide the entire writing process.

Basically, there are four different sections that the essay needs to follow:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body, containing your arguments
  3. Combating opposing arguments
  4. Conclusion

Naturally, you will have to focus more on presenting your “pro” arguments than combating the possible opposing arguments. You only have to mention possible opposing arguments to let the reader know that you are objective in your judgment and you are open to others’ arguments as well.

  • Introduction

As a rule of thumb, all essays must start with the introductory part, so you should not skip this step.

  • Grab the Attention

The first thing you will need is a hook that will grab the reader’s attention. For this, you will need some information about your audience as different groups require different hooks. As an example, think about an argumentative essay saying that there needs to be another official language of the U.S., besides English, such as Spanish. If you did a bit of research on the topic, you could start your essay with something like:

“Since the majority of the immigrants speak the Spanish language, this should be considered the second language in the U.S.”.

  • Answer the Questions

At this stage, you should answer the basic questions the readers might have: present the topic at hand and add a very short presentation on what the essay will include. Knowing the topic will help the readers decide whether or not they wish to read on.

As an example, it could go like this:

“Studies show that the immigrants coming from the southern borders of the country find it difficult to learn the English language in school. This makes the question of a second language all the more relevant.”

What Is Your Thesis?

Here is the place of the main argument. There is no need to ask questions; you just present your opinion on the matter clearly and briefly.

To ensure that your essay will be unforgettable, you might be interested in some tips on writing essay introductions with a hook (which will require a bit of research).

  • Present Your Arguments

Once you state something, you need to present some data or information supporting that statement, found during your research. Even if there is a lot you have to say on the matter, try not to exceed five paragraphs.

  • Statement

Start with a powerful statement and then bring arguments to support that statement. You could say that:

“Choosing Spanish as a second language would have a positive economic impact on the U.S. economy.”

However, chances are, the readers won’t believe you.

  • Data and Statistics

For your essay to be a truly argumentative one, you will have to support all your claims with verifiable data. This can’t be based on personal experience and you should be really careful about it. Just look at this example:

“The local economy has increased by 14% in the regions where Spanish has been informally accepted as the second language”.

However, regardless of how well the arguments are supported, the reader won’t believe that you could be impartial until you present opposing arguments as well.

  • Opposing Arguments

Keep in mind that all readers will form different opinions upon reading your essay and there is nothing wrong with that. Just think about what someone would say if they didn’t agree with you. This way you will know what to write in the essay’s third part.

You could start with a question that challenges your arguments. Point out the root of their concern (such as fear of something new or the unknown). Always remember that even your personal beliefs need to be supported by data. If you find arguments against your opinion, you should find enough pro arguments to be able to prove your point.

If all this seems difficult, you should remember that you can always find a pre-written essay online.


Reiterate the Thesis

Presenting all the arguments might make you lose focus for a moment. The same happens to the readers; remind them of the starting point by restating the thesis. Emphasize your winning points. Present a hypothetical situation in which your ideas aren’t supported.

Focus on the Importance of the Topic

This will convince the reader that you were right. You could use big words like:

“If Spanish isn’t chosen as the second language, we could be facing another civil war.”

Still Not Sure What to Do?

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