Argument Essays Video Lecture
So if the topic is legalizing drugs, whether you agree with it or not, you're going to write an argument on the side that you have the best support for. You're going to consider these points because, any time somebody is debating, if you're willing to consider your opponents position it shows that you have an open mind, that you've thought about both sides. Just like all the other essays we've talked about, you need to have a strong thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph.
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Have you completed all of your other modules? If so, that’s great. You’re now ready to write the argument essay. Argument essay is probably the most common type of essay that you’ll write in college, and in this kind of essay, you’re going to try to convince someone of your point or position on a debatable topic. As with writing any kind of essay, it takes a lot of practice. So be patient. Good luck.
This lesson is about writing argument essays. You might think that argument means fighting. It doesn’t really mean that in an essay. When we talk about argument, we are talking about persuading someone, not really fighting with them. So when you write an argument essay, you need to pick one of the sides of an issue, and then you’re going to try to defend that side. An argument will have two sides to it, but you pick only one side that you want to defend. Here are some sample argument topics. University tuition costs should be decreased. This is an argument because we can argue that this is true, where somebody else might say, no, that’s not true. They should not be decreased. Steroids should be legal is also a good argument topic because not everyone shares this belief. Someone could argue the opposite. Students who are caught cheating should be expelled is another example of an argument. And professional athletes make too much money is an argument topic. You might notice that several of these use the same word in them. The word should is a good word to use if you want to make sure that your topic is debatable. Anytime we say something should be something, it’s debatable because not everybody believes that. So you can use should in your topic, or like the last example, you don’t have to use the word should, but you need to make sure that the topic has two sides to it. So before you start writing, you need to think about your topic and make sure it is debatable. If it’s not a debatable topic, it will not be a good argument essay. And you also want to make sure that your topic is not something too obvious. If everybody already agrees with the point that you’re arguing, that’s not going to be a good argument essay. So it’s good to pick something that not everyone believes, and that’s how you’re going to get something that’s debatable. Then you need to decide your position. Which side are you going to argue? You may not always agree with what you’re writing. That’s hard for some students. But you need to write the side that you can best defend. So if the topic is legalizing drugs, whether you agree with it or not, you’re going to write an argument on the side that you have the best support for. So don’t worry if you don’t always agree with your topic. That’s not necessary. The point is to write a very defendable position in your essay. And something we’re gonna talk about is considering opposing points. Opposing points are the opposition, that means the other side of the argument. You’re going to consider these points because, any time somebody is debating, if you’re willing to consider your opponents position it shows that you have an open mind, that you’ve thought about both sides. So in a good argument essay, we can consider the opposing points. We don’t say that the opposing points are correct, but we acknowledge them. And then we show that our side actually has a better answer to that point. Just like all the other essays we’ve talked about, you need to have a strong thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph. In an argument essay, the thesis statement needs to state the topic, and then the controlling idea will be your position on that topic. Again, I keep repeating this, but make sure that your topic is debatable, and your thesis statement needs to be debatable. Just like we talked about before, you can mention your body paragraphs in the thesis statement as well, but you don’t have to do that. Here’s a sample topic for an argument. University tuition costs should be decreased. That’s the position that I’m going to argue. To prepare for my essay, I’m going to think about all of the points for that, and all of the points against it. This is just my pre-writing. I think about both sides of the argument, and I list everything I can think about for this argument and against this argument. So take a minute, and look at my list. You have a couple of choices on your body paragraphs in this type of essay. Now, when you’re arguing a side of an argument, of course, reasons are going to be your major kind of support. So each body paragraph will have a different reason that supports your argument. But if you want to add variety, you can also consider answering the opposition, which we already talked about. You might start one of your body paragraphs with a statement that the opposing side believes is true, and then go on to show that that’s actually not true. So you would use the opposing point as part of your topic sentence, but you would state that that belief, or that position, is actually wrong, and you would give information, details, and support why that position is wrong. So that’s one way to support a thesis statement in an argument essay. Another way is to use example. You might have a paragraph that is a good example of what you’re trying to show. That’s something new, so writing a whole paragraph that’s just an example is a possibility for an argument essay. So what I would recommend for your essay, your argument essay, is to try to think of three reasons to support your argument, and do a body paragraph for each reason. But then, also maybe challenge yourself to write a fourth body paragraph. It can either be an answer to an opposition, or it could be some kind of an example. Now, I wouldn’t put it at the end of the body. I would put that special paragraph somewhere between your other paragraphs. Maybe after your first reason paragraph. Maybe then you give an example paragraph that kind of develops that first reason more. So those are just some suggestions. If you’re not up to those challenges you can just stick with reasons, and give one reason per body paragraph.
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