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How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step

How to Write a Debate Essay: Simple Principles to Follow

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What is an Argumentative Essay?
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This template uses a mix of formal and informal styles. For example, you might start with the summary, do the critique and then say how it relates to your question. The more of this kind of detail you can get into your outline, the easier it will be to write your paper.

Introduction State what the research question is. Give an overview of what the different sources say about the question. First source Give a quick summary of the source a sentence or a few at most State how it answers the question If it does not answer the question directly, explain what ideas or information it provides that contributes to an answer.

Is it sufficient, relevant and representative? The same is true in your writing. To address the other side of the argument you plan to make, you'll need to "put yourself in their shoes.

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Ask yourself… How many people could argue against my position? What would they say? Can it be addressed with a yes or no? Can I base my argument on scholarly evidence, or am I relying on religion, cultural standards, or morality? Have I made my argument specific enough? Worried about taking a firm stance on an issue? You MUST choose one side or the other when you write an argument paper!

It is better to include more points than you think you will need, than not doing enough research and lacking evidence.

While the order of your material will be determined by your debate form, the format for your debate outline should follow the basic guidelines for outlining. If you are doing your debate for a class, you were likely presented with a rubric which you should be making sure you are following. Main headings will probably consist of arguments, while subheadings will contain different pieces of supporting evidence.

Each level of the outline has a particular symbol to use. Subheadings use capital letters A, B, C. Sub-sub headings use Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3. Keep these consistent throughout your outline. Indentation helps you follow the line of argument and keeps your outline organized. Your case is your primary argument: Start the outline of your debate by compiling a list of evidence that supports your case.

Order it so that the most influential and powerful evidence is the first to be presented, mediocre evidence is in the middle, and a final powerful piece is at the end. For example, you could have legal, moral, and economic support for your case. Aim to have a minimum of three supporting facts or pieces of evidence in your case outline. In debates in particular, quality is better than quantity.

You will have the opportunity to rebut or question the arguments presented by the other side. Identify potential arguments they may bring up. Many opposing arguments will probably be addressed in your research.

Brainstorm different ways to counter these arguments during your rebuttal should the opposing side bring it up. This will fortify your position in the debate. Many times their argument will be the opposite of yours, so while your argument lists the pros, theirs is listing the cons of a particular value. If you pay attention to this, you will be able to not only prove their side of the argument invalid, but also help to further promote your own.

Add detail to your outline. When you have made a bare bones outline of your case and rebuttals, begin adding a bit more detail that will benefit either essay writing or debating on the subject. Keep the outline form of headers, sections, and bulleted lists, but write in complete sentences, add in helpful questions and evidence, and make your argument more well rounded than just a list of a few words.

Write this more detailed outline as if you were speaking in the debate. This will help you with wording and understand your own argument, and coming up with logical questions and rebuttals for your opponent. A sound argument will be based on solid evidence that you can back up with if necessary. Avoid using a straw man. Often used by beginning debaters in their outlines, the straw man fallacy is when you misrepresent your opponents case by describing it wrongly to the audience.

Watch out for the slippery slope. When making your outline for your case and rebuttals, it may be easy to refer to using the slippery slope fallacy. This happens when you assume something more extreme will happen on the basis that something less extreme is about to occur. Be careful of the ad hominem fallacy.


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Defending a debate position is something high school students need to master. While defending a position verbally is usually easy, defending on paper can be more difficult. With careful thought and preparation, writing a debate paper can increase confidence, debate and written skills.

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Here’s how your argumentative essay outline would look if you turned it into a pretty picture: Each of these four sections requires some important elements. Let’s break those down now. Argumentative Essay Outline Section 1: Your Intro. Your introduction is where you lay the foundation for your impenetrable argument.

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Argument Essay #4. Click Here to View Essay "A Deadly Tradition" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #5. Click Here to View Essay "Society Begins at Home" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #6. A winning debate has several characteristics that you should know and use when writing own debate essay: logic; a certain position on an issue; proofs and evidences; refuting arguments; Principle 2: choose debate essay topics wisely Basically, a good debate essay topic is any current issue that is of great interest to public and causes heated debates.

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Sep 05,  · Step-by-step help in writing your argument paper. Instructions using Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin argument drossel.tks: An argument essay, as with all essays, should contain three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The length of paragraphs in these parts will vary depending on the length of your essay assignment.