Your fellow students are probably your audience in this case. The last thing you want to do is wait to start organizing your essay until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time for the multiple stages of essay planning. Write a thesis statement. Make this a unique observation, a powerful argument, an interpretation of a particular work or event, or another relevant statement that is not simply stating the obvious or summarizing a larger work. It tells your audience what to expect from the rest of your essay.
A good thesis statement is usually disputable, meaning someone might challenge or oppose your idea. Include the most salient points within your thesis statement.
For example, your thesis may be about the similarity between two literary works. Describe the similarities in general terms within your thesis statement. A good thesis will explain why your idea or argument is important. Revise your thesis statement. If in the course of writing your essay you discover important points that were not touched upon in your thesis, edit your thesis.
Do research, if necessary. If your argument or analysis requires outside research, make sure you do it before you start organizing. Librarians are trained in helping you identify credible sources for research and can get you started in the right direction. Trying a few brainstorming techniques can generate enough material for you to work with. You just write say, for 15 minutes at a time about anything that comes into your head about your topic.
Try a mind map. Start by writing down your central topic or idea, and then draw a box around it. Write down other ideas and connect them to see how they relate. With cubing, you consider your chosen topic from 6 different perspectives: Go back and change your thesis accordingly. If your original thesis was very broad, you can also use this chance to narrow it down. Focus on more specific terms, which will help you when you start you organize your outline.
Create an outline of the points to include in your essay. Use your thesis statement to determine the trajectory of your outline. For example, if you will compare and contrast two different topics, outline the similarities and the differences.
Determine the order in which you will discuss the points. Or you might choose to build the intensity of your essay by starting with the smallest problem first. Avoid letting your sources drive your organization. For example, a very common mistake in beginning essays written about literature is to reiterate the plot point-by-point, building your argument along with it. Instead, focus on the most important idea of each paragraph.
Even if you have to present your evidence in a different order than it appears in your source, your paragraph will have a better flow. Write topic sentences for each paragraph. A clear topic sentence will assist with essay organization. Devote each paragraph to discussing only the point of its topic sentence. Discussing tangential information will create a disorganized essay. Avoid statements that may be on the general topic, but not directly relevant to your thesis. For example, compare these two first sentences: The second sentence contextualizes the fact and lets the reader know what the rest of the paragraph will discuss.
Use transitional words and sentences. Create coherence for your essay by using transitional words that connect each paragraph to the one before it. Beginning paragraphs with words such as "likewise" and "in contrast" will allow your reader to follow your train of thought. Transitions can also be used inside paragraphs. They can help connect the ideas within a paragraph smoothly so your reader can follow them. Try the revision strategies elsewhere in this article to determine whether your paragraphs are in the best order.
The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison has a handy list of transitional words and phrases, along with the type of transition they indicate. Craft an effective conclusion. Include a restatement of your thesis using other words and summarize your essay's main points.
To create a captivating conclusion, offer insights about the implications of your argument or findings for further thought or investigation. Your conclusion can show how necessary your essay is to understanding something about the topic that readers would not have been prepared to understand before. For some types of essays, a call to action or appeal to emotions can be quite helpful in a conclusion. Persuasive essays often use this technique. This allows your argument to achieve depth and richness.
However, it can also mean that your essay ends up feeling disorganized. As you read through your essay, summarize the main idea or ideas of each paragraph in a few key words. You can write these on a separate sheet, on your printed draft, or as a comment in a word processing document.
Look at your key words. Do the ideas progress in a logical fashion? Or does your argument jump around? Try splitting your paragraphs up. Cut your essay up.
Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. Instead, include the opposing side as a counterclaim. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak, but unrefuted, arguments.
Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. It also makes you look more credible because you appear to be knowledgeable about the entirety of the debate rather than just being biased or uniformed. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. Because cars are the largest source of private, as opposed to industry produced, air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution.
Cars generally have a long lifespan, meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. Instead of focusing on cars, which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution, the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems.
While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged, it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas, or for people who must commute to work; thus hybrid cars. A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way.
Next the author should explain why the topic is important exigence or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.
If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.
Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis warrant. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of the essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic.
Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle.
Let’s talk about adding those claims to our argumentative essay outline now. Argumentative Essay Outline Section 2: Developing Your Argument. Now that you have filled in the general points of your topic and outlined your stance in the introduction, it’s time to develop your argument.
Sep 05, · How to Write an Argument Essay Step by Step. Updated on July 3, Virginia Kearney. For instructions and examples on easy ways to write a good thesis statement for an argument essay see: it helps them to actually organize and write their information more clearly because making the headings helps them to realize their main points. If Reviews:
How to Organize an Argumentative Essay. The key pieces of this argumentative essay plan are: Introduction; Body paragraphs that support the thesis; Rebuttal paragraph/s; Conclusion; The Introduction to an Argumentative Essay. Your introduction is how you . In persuasive essays, it isn't enough to have smart, compelling arguments in favor of your position, though you do want those. You also need evidence to support your arguments, and that evidence should come in the form of specific facts and examples.
In this lesson you will learn how to organize your information for an argumentative essay by using boxes and bullets to prioritize evidence. Argumentative Paper Format *Please note that this is only a sample format. There are multiple ways to organize an argumentative paper INTRODUCTION o paragraphs tops o PURPOSE: To set up and state one’s claim strongest analytical points for the end of your essay.