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Guide to Writing Strong Introductions for Argumentative Essays

Adela B.

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Have you ever stared at a blank document, the cursor blinking back at you, as your mind races to conjure the perfect starting line for your argumentative essay? If so, you're in good company.

Opening an essay is often the most daunting part for many students. They oscillate between typing out a line and hastily hitting the backspace, feeling the pressure of that first sentence. After all, first impressions matter, right? So, your introduction should be nothing short of spectacular.

But here's the good news - crafting a powerful introduction for your argumentative essay is not as elusive as it seems. In fact, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you out, and trust us, they work!

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who has ever struggled with introducing their argumentative essay - so essentially, every student ever! We're going to break it down, step by step, showing you the do's and don'ts, the tips and tricks, and even providing you with some solid examples.

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And if you're worried about whether you can do it on your own, don't fret! Our expert argumentative essay writers at Writers Per Hour are always ready to help you.

So, let's dive into the art of crafting a compelling introduction for an argumentative essay, shall we?

Understanding the Purpose of an Introduction

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of writing a killer introduction, it's important to understand why it matters so much.

Your introduction, essentially, sets the stage for your argumentative essay. It is your reader's first glimpse into the argument you're about to unfold. An effective introduction grabs your reader's attention, piques their interest, and provides a clear road map for what's to come in the essay.

In simpler words, the purpose of an introduction in an argumentative essay is threefold:

Engage the reader : A well-crafted introduction acts as a hook, capturing the reader's attention and encouraging them to read further.

Provide background information : It sets the context of the argument by offering necessary background details about the topic.

Present the thesis statement : Arguably the most critical part of your introduction - the thesis statement clearly outlines your position on the argument.

REMEMBER : a great introduction is your ticket to a good grade. It is the first impression you make on your reader. So, if it isn't engaging, concise, and clear, you might lose your reader before they even get to the main argument.

The Anatomy of a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

Now that you understand the purpose of an introduction, let's break down the structure.

An effective introduction to an argumentative essay will generally have three main sections: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.

The Hook : This is the first sentence of your introduction, and it needs to grab your reader’s attention. An effective hook could be a surprising fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing statement that challenges common perceptions. This needs to be relevant to your topic and should provoke curiosity, pushing the reader to continue.

Background Information : Following the hook, provide some context to your argument. Explain the relevance of your topic or problem, its history or evolution, or the common debates surrounding it. This provides a basic understanding for your reader and sets the stage for your argument.

Thesis Statement : This is where you state your position clearly and concisely. The thesis statement is arguably the most important part of your introduction—it is the crux of your argument and should be compelling and thought-provoking. It needs to clearly indicate what your argument is and give a hint of how you plan to approach it.

IMPORTANT : your introduction is not a place to present all your evidence or explain every aspect of your argument—that's what the body of your essay is for. Instead, your introduction should hint at these things, creating a roadmap for the reader.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay

Crafting a strong introduction for your argumentative essay is about adhering to some key dos and don’ts. Let's take a look at some of these:

1. Engage your reader : Your introduction's first job is to engage the reader. You can achieve this with a compelling hook that draws them into your essay. Remember, first impressions matter!

2. Provide relevant background information : Your reader may not be as knowledgeable about your topic as you are, so be sure to provide some context and background information to help them understand your argument.

3. State your thesis clearly : Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and debatable. The reader should have no doubts about your stance on the issue.

4. Preview your argument : Give your reader a sense of what's to come by previewing your main points or arguments. This prepares them for the rest of your essay.

1. Don't make your introduction too long : Remember, the introduction is just a sneak peek into your essay, not the main event. Keep it concise and to the point.

2. Don't use clichés : Starting your essay with clichéd phrases or overused quotes can make your introduction feel unoriginal. Instead, aim for a fresh and unique opening line that will pique your reader's interest.

3. Don't be vague : Be clear and precise in your introduction. Vague statements can confuse your reader and make your argument seem weak.

4. Don't forget your audience : Always keep your audience in mind while writing. Your language, tone, and the context you provide should be appropriate for your audience.

REMEMBER : your introduction sets the tone for the rest of your essay, so take your time with it.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing the Introduction

Crafting an engaging introduction for your argumentative essay is like setting the stage for a compelling drama. It should hook your audience, provide context, and present your stance on the issue. But how can you bring all these elements together effectively? Let's break it down step-by-step. Here's your comprehensive guide to writing a riveting introduction for your argumentative essay.

Step 1: Understanding Your Topic

Before you begin writing, ensure that you thoroughly understand the topic and the argument you wish to present. This means going beyond surface-level research and really digging deep into the subject matter.

Step 2: Define Your Stance

Clearly outline your stance on the argument. This will be the foundation of your thesis statement and guide the tone and direction of your essay.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Hook 

Begin your introduction with a hook - an interesting fact, a question, a quote, or a compelling statement that grabs the reader's attention.

Step 4: Provide Background Information

Next, provide some context to your reader about the topic at hand. Remember not to delve too deep into the specifics - just enough information to guide the reader to understand the relevance of your argument.

Step 5: State Your Thesis

Lastly, present your thesis statement - a concise summary of your main argument. This should be clear, precise, and strongly worded. The thesis statement will guide the entirety of your essay, so make sure it's impactful.

Step 6: Preview Your Main Points 

Briefly preview the main points that you will elaborate on in the body of your essay. This helps your reader to understand what to expect from the rest of your argumentative essay.

Step 7: Revise and Edit

Always revise and edit your introduction after writing. Look for any grammar mistakes, unclear sentences or ideas, and ensure that your introduction smoothly transitions into the body of your essay.

REMEMBER : the introduction is the first impression your reader gets of your argumentative essay. Make it impactful, clear, and concise, and you'll have set a strong foundation for the rest of your essay. If you're ever in doubt, reach out to our legal essay writing service , and we'll help guide you on your journey to mastering argumentative essays.

Case Study: Good vs. Bad Introduction

Bad Introduction : "The topic I am writing about is the use of social media. It is very popular. People are always on their phones checking their social media accounts. I am going to talk about if it is good or bad."

Analysis : This introduction falls flat for several reasons. It doesn't grab the reader's attention, and the thesis statement is unclear and broad. It doesn't offer any specific viewpoint or direction for the argument to follow.

Good Introduction : "Every minute, approximately 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 347,222 stories are posted on Instagram, and 2.4 million snaps are created on Snapchat. The rise of social media platforms is more than a trend - it's a global phenomenon. But as these virtual communities continue to grow, a vital question arises: Is the widespread use of social media enhancing human connection or creating deeper isolation? This essay will delve into the multifaceted impacts of social media, arguing that despite its potential for fostering a global network, it often serves as a platform that promotes isolation and disconnection."

Analysis : This introduction starts with an attention-grabbing statistic, clearly showing the extent of social media usage. The background information provided is concise and relevant, offering enough context without overshadowing the argument. The thesis statement is clear, arguable, and offers a specific direction for the essay to take.

By comparing these two examples, you can see how a well-crafted introduction sets the tone for the entire essay, providing a clear, compelling roadmap for the argument to follow.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Crafting an engaging introduction for an argumentative essay doesn't have to be an intimidating process. By understanding the crucial elements involved, practicing, and continuously refining your writing, you're well on your way to creating introductions that captivate your audience and set a strong precedent for your arguments.

  • Start with a powerful hook.
  • Provide necessary background information.
  • State your thesis clearly and concisely.
  • Set the stage for your main argument.
  • And most importantly, revise and refine your introduction.

And there's one more thing to bear in mind: you're not alone in this journey. Writing can be challenging, but help is always within reach.

Additional Resources

To further solidify your introduction writing skills and broaden your understanding of argumentative essays, here are some additional resources that are worth diving into:

Posts from Writers Per Hour Blog

  • How to Write Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
  • How Significant Are Opposing Points of View in an Argument
  • Argumentative Essay Topics Ideas
  • Rebuttal in Argumentative Essay

External Resources

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: Introduction to Argumentative Essays
  • University of North Carolina Writing Center: Introductions
  • Harvard College Writing Center: How to Write an Essay

Remember, becoming proficient in writing argumentative essays is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, practice, and patience. But don't forget - if you ever find yourself in need of help, our argumentative essay writing service is here for you. Our American essay writing service is adept at crafting essays and can support you in reaching your academic goals.

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Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

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what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Meredith Sell

Have you ever been asked to explain your opinion on a controversial issue? 

  • Maybe your family got into a discussion about chemical pesticides
  • Someone at work argues against investing resources into your project
  • Your partner thinks intermittent fasting is the best way to lose weight and you disagree

Proving your point in an argumentative essay can be challenging, unless you are using a proven formula.

Argumentative essay formula & example

In the image below, you can see a recommended structure for argumentative essays. It starts with the topic sentence, which establishes the main idea of the essay. Next, this hypothesis is developed in the development stage. Then, the rebuttal, or the refutal of the main counter argument or arguments. Then, again, development of the rebuttal. This is followed by an example, and ends with a summary. This is a very basic structure, but it gives you a bird-eye-view of how a proper argumentative essay can be built.

Structure of an argumentative essay

Writing an argumentative essay (for a class, a news outlet, or just for fun) can help you improve your understanding of an issue and sharpen your thinking on the matter. Using researched facts and data, you can explain why you or others think the way you do, even while other reasonable people disagree.

Free AI argumentative essay generator > Free AI argumentative essay generator >

argumentative essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an explanatory essay that takes a side.

Instead of appealing to emotion and personal experience to change the reader’s mind, an argumentative essay uses logic and well-researched factual information to explain why the thesis in question is the most reasonable opinion on the matter.  

Over several paragraphs or pages, the author systematically walks through:

  • The opposition (and supporting evidence)
  • The chosen thesis (and its supporting evidence)

At the end, the author leaves the decision up to the reader, trusting that the case they’ve made will do the work of changing the reader’s mind. Even if the reader’s opinion doesn’t change, they come away from the essay with a greater understanding of the perspective presented — and perhaps a better understanding of their original opinion.

All of that might make it seem like writing an argumentative essay is way harder than an emotionally-driven persuasive essay — but if you’re like me and much more comfortable spouting facts and figures than making impassioned pleas, you may find that an argumentative essay is easier to write. 

Plus, the process of researching an argumentative essay means you can check your assumptions and develop an opinion that’s more based in reality than what you originally thought. I know for sure that my opinions need to be fact checked — don’t yours?

So how exactly do we write the argumentative essay?

How do you start an argumentative essay

First, gain a clear understanding of what exactly an argumentative essay is. To formulate a proper topic sentence, you have to be clear on your topic, and to explore it through research.

Students have difficulty starting an essay because the whole task seems intimidating, and they are afraid of spending too much time on the topic sentence. Experienced writers, however, know that there is no set time to spend on figuring out your topic. It's a real exploration that is based to a large extent on intuition.

6 Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay (Persuasion Formula)

Use this checklist to tackle your essay one step at a time:

Argumentative Essay Checklist

1. Research an issue with an arguable question

To start, you need to identify an issue that well-informed people have varying opinions on. Here, it’s helpful to think of one core topic and how it intersects with another (or several other) issues. That intersection is where hot takes and reasonable (or unreasonable) opinions abound. 

I find it helpful to stage the issue as a question.

For example: 

Is it better to legislate the minimum size of chicken enclosures or to outlaw the sale of eggs from chickens who don’t have enough space?

Should snow removal policies focus more on effectively keeping roads clear for traffic or the environmental impacts of snow removal methods?

Once you have your arguable question ready, start researching the basic facts and specific opinions and arguments on the issue. Do your best to stay focused on gathering information that is directly relevant to your topic. Depending on what your essay is for, you may reference academic studies, government reports, or newspaper articles.

‍ Research your opposition and the facts that support their viewpoint as much as you research your own position . You’ll need to address your opposition in your essay, so you’ll want to know their argument from the inside out.

2. Choose a side based on your research

You likely started with an inclination toward one side or the other, but your research should ultimately shape your perspective. So once you’ve completed the research, nail down your opinion and start articulating the what and why of your take. 

What: I think it’s better to outlaw selling eggs from chickens whose enclosures are too small.

Why: Because if you regulate the enclosure size directly, egg producers outside of the government’s jurisdiction could ship eggs into your territory and put nearby egg producers out of business by offering better prices because they don’t have the added cost of larger enclosures.

This is an early form of your thesis and the basic logic of your argument. You’ll want to iterate on this a few times and develop a one-sentence statement that sums up the thesis of your essay.

Thesis: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with cramped living spaces is better for business than regulating the size of chicken enclosures.

Now that you’ve articulated your thesis , spell out the counterargument(s) as well. Putting your opposition’s take into words will help you throughout the rest of the essay-writing process. (You can start by choosing the counter argument option with Wordtune Spices .)

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers, making the low-cost protein source harder to afford — especially for low-income consumers.

There may be one main counterargument to articulate, or several. Write them all out and start thinking about how you’ll use evidence to address each of them or show why your argument is still the best option.

3. Organize the evidence — for your side and the opposition

You did all of that research for a reason. Now’s the time to use it. 

Hopefully, you kept detailed notes in a document, complete with links and titles of all your source material. Go through your research document and copy the evidence for your argument and your opposition’s into another document.

List the main points of your argument. Then, below each point, paste the evidence that backs them up.

If you’re writing about chicken enclosures, maybe you found evidence that shows the spread of disease among birds kept in close quarters is worse than among birds who have more space. Or maybe you found information that says eggs from free-range chickens are more flavorful or nutritious. Put that information next to the appropriate part of your argument. 

Repeat the process with your opposition’s argument: What information did you find that supports your opposition? Paste it beside your opposition’s argument.

You could also put information here that refutes your opposition, but organize it in a way that clearly tells you — at a glance — that the information disproves their point.

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers.

BUT: Sicknesses like avian flu spread more easily through small enclosures and could cause a shortage that would drive up egg prices naturally, so ensuring larger enclosures is still a better policy for consumers over the long term.

As you organize your research and see the evidence all together, start thinking through the best way to order your points.  

Will it be better to present your argument all at once or to break it up with opposition claims you can quickly refute? Would some points set up other points well? Does a more complicated point require that the reader understands a simpler point first?

Play around and rearrange your notes to see how your essay might flow one way or another.

4. Freewrite or outline to think through your argument

Is your brain buzzing yet? At this point in the process, it can be helpful to take out a notebook or open a fresh document and dump whatever you’re thinking on the page.

Where should your essay start? What ground-level information do you need to provide your readers before you can dive into the issue?

Use your organized evidence document from step 3 to think through your argument from beginning to end, and determine the structure of your essay.

There are three typical structures for argumentative essays:

  • Make your argument and tackle opposition claims one by one, as they come up in relation to the points of your argument - In this approach, the whole essay — from beginning to end — focuses on your argument, but as you make each point, you address the relevant opposition claims individually. This approach works well if your opposition’s views can be quickly explained and refuted and if they directly relate to specific points in your argument.
  • Make the bulk of your argument, and then address the opposition all at once in a paragraph (or a few) - This approach puts the opposition in its own section, separate from your main argument. After you’ve made your case, with ample evidence to convince your readers, you write about the opposition, explaining their viewpoint and supporting evidence — and showing readers why the opposition’s argument is unconvincing. Once you’ve addressed the opposition, you write a conclusion that sums up why your argument is the better one.
  • Open your essay by talking about the opposition and where it falls short. Build your entire argument to show how it is superior to that opposition - With this structure, you’re showing your readers “a better way” to address the issue. After opening your piece by showing how your opposition’s approaches fail, you launch into your argument, providing readers with ample evidence that backs you up.

As you think through your argument and examine your evidence document, consider which structure will serve your argument best. Sketch out an outline to give yourself a map to follow in the writing process. You could also rearrange your evidence document again to match your outline, so it will be easy to find what you need when you start writing.

5. Write your first draft

You have an outline and an organized document with all your points and evidence lined up and ready. Now you just have to write your essay.

In your first draft, focus on getting your ideas on the page. Your wording may not be perfect (whose is?), but you know what you’re trying to say — so even if you’re overly wordy and taking too much space to say what you need to say, put those words on the page.

Follow your outline, and draw from that evidence document to flesh out each point of your argument. Explain what the evidence means for your argument and your opposition. Connect the dots for your readers so they can follow you, point by point, and understand what you’re trying to say.

As you write, be sure to include:

1. Any background information your reader needs in order to understand the issue in question.

2. Evidence for both your argument and the counterargument(s). This shows that you’ve done your homework and builds trust with your reader, while also setting you up to make a more convincing argument. (If you find gaps in your research while you’re writing, Wordtune Spices can source statistics or historical facts on the fly!)

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

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3. A conclusion that sums up your overall argument and evidence — and leaves the reader with an understanding of the issue and its significance. This sort of conclusion brings your essay to a strong ending that doesn’t waste readers’ time, but actually adds value to your case.

6. Revise (with Wordtune)

The hard work is done: you have a first draft. Now, let’s fine tune your writing.

I like to step away from what I’ve written for a day (or at least a night of sleep) before attempting to revise. It helps me approach clunky phrases and rough transitions with fresh eyes. If you don’t have that luxury, just get away from your computer for a few minutes — use the bathroom, do some jumping jacks, eat an apple — and then come back and read through your piece.

As you revise, make sure you …

  • Get the facts right. An argument with false evidence falls apart pretty quickly, so check your facts to make yours rock solid.
  • Don’t misrepresent the opposition or their evidence. If someone who holds the opposing view reads your essay, they should affirm how you explain their side — even if they disagree with your rebuttal.
  • Present a case that builds over the course of your essay, makes sense, and ends on a strong note. One point should naturally lead to the next. Your readers shouldn’t feel like you’re constantly changing subjects. You’re making a variety of points, but your argument should feel like a cohesive whole.
  • Paraphrase sources and cite them appropriately. Did you skip citations when writing your first draft? No worries — you can add them now. And check that you don’t overly rely on quotations. (Need help paraphrasing? Wordtune can help. Simply highlight the sentence or phrase you want to adjust and sort through Wordtune’s suggestions.)
  • Tighten up overly wordy explanations and sharpen any convoluted ideas. Wordtune makes a great sidekick for this too 😉

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Words to start an argumentative essay

The best way to introduce a convincing argument is to provide a strong thesis statement . These are the words I usually use to start an argumentative essay:

  • It is indisputable that the world today is facing a multitude of issues
  • With the rise of ____, the potential to make a positive difference has never been more accessible
  • It is essential that we take action now and tackle these issues head-on
  • it is critical to understand the underlying causes of the problems standing before us
  • Opponents of this idea claim
  • Those who are against these ideas may say
  • Some people may disagree with this idea
  • Some people may say that ____, however

When refuting an opposing concept, use:

  • These researchers have a point in thinking
  • To a certain extent they are right
  • After seeing this evidence, there is no way one can agree with this idea
  • This argument is irrelevant to the topic

Are you convinced by your own argument yet? Ready to brave the next get-together where everyone’s talking like they know something about intermittent fasting , chicken enclosures , or snow removal policies? 

Now if someone asks you to explain your evidence-based but controversial opinion, you can hand them your essay and ask them to report back after they’ve read it.

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What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

Argumentative Essay

We define an argumentative essay as a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. The purpose is to convince the reader to accept a particular viewpoint or action. In an argumentative essay, the writer takes a stance on a controversial or debatable topic and supports their position with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The essay should also address counterarguments, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

Table of Contents

  • What is an argumentative essay?  
  • Argumentative essay structure 
  • Argumentative essay outline 
  • Types of argument claims 

How to write an argumentative essay?

  • Argumentative essay writing tips 
  • Good argumentative essay example 

How to write a good thesis

  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Paperpal? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a coherent and logical analysis of a specific topic. 1 The goal is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or opinion on a particular issue. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay: 

  • Thesis Statement : The central claim or argument that the essay aims to prove. 
  • Introduction : Provides background information and introduces the thesis statement. 
  • Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph addresses a specific aspect of the argument, presents evidence, and may include counter arguments. 

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  • Evidence : Supports the main argument with relevant facts, examples, statistics, or expert opinions. 
  • Counterarguments : Anticipates and addresses opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall argument. 
  • Conclusion : Summarizes the main points, reinforces the thesis, and may suggest implications or actions. 

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay structure

Aristotelian, Rogerian, and Toulmin are three distinct approaches to argumentative essay structures, each with its principles and methods. 2 The choice depends on the purpose and nature of the topic. Here’s an overview of each type of argumentative essay format.

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Argumentative essay outline

An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here’s an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3  

1.  Introduction : 

  • Hook : Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention. 

Example: “Did you know that plastic pollution is threatening marine life at an alarming rate?” 

  • Background information : Provide brief context about the issue. 

Example: “Plastic pollution has become a global environmental concern, with millions of tons of plastic waste entering our oceans yearly.” 

  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position. 

Example: “We must take immediate action to reduce plastic usage and implement more sustainable alternatives to protect our marine ecosystem.” 

2.  Body Paragraphs : 

  • Topic sentence : Introduce the main idea of each paragraph. 

Example: “The first step towards addressing the plastic pollution crisis is reducing single-use plastic consumption.” 

  • Evidence/Support : Provide evidence, facts, statistics, or examples that support your argument. 

Example: “Research shows that plastic straws alone contribute to millions of tons of plastic waste annually, and many marine animals suffer from ingestion or entanglement.” 

  • Counterargument/Refutation : Acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints. 

Example: “Some argue that banning plastic straws is inconvenient for consumers, but the long-term environmental benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.” 

  • Transition : Connect each paragraph to the next. 

Example: “Having addressed the issue of single-use plastics, the focus must now shift to promoting sustainable alternatives.” 

3.  Counterargument Paragraph : 

  • Acknowledgement of opposing views : Recognize alternative perspectives on the issue. 

Example: “While some may argue that individual actions cannot significantly impact global plastic pollution, the cumulative effect of collective efforts must be considered.” 

  • Counterargument and rebuttal : Present and refute the main counterargument. 

Example: “However, individual actions, when multiplied across millions of people, can substantially reduce plastic waste. Small changes in behavior, such as using reusable bags and containers, can have a significant positive impact.” 

4.  Conclusion : 

  • Restatement of thesis : Summarize your main argument. 

Example: “In conclusion, adopting sustainable practices and reducing single-use plastic is crucial for preserving our oceans and marine life.” 

  • Call to action : Encourage the reader to take specific steps or consider the argument’s implications. 

Example: “It is our responsibility to make environmentally conscious choices and advocate for policies that prioritize the health of our planet. By collectively embracing sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier future.” 

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Types of argument claims

A claim is a statement or proposition a writer puts forward with evidence to persuade the reader. 4 Here are some common types of argument claims, along with examples: 

  • Fact Claims : These claims assert that something is true or false and can often be verified through evidence.  Example: “Water boils at 100°C at sea level.”
  • Value Claims : Value claims express judgments about the worth or morality of something, often based on personal beliefs or societal values. Example: “Organic farming is more ethical than conventional farming.” 
  • Policy Claims : Policy claims propose a course of action or argue for a specific policy, law, or regulation change.  Example: “Schools should adopt a year-round education system to improve student learning outcomes.” 
  • Cause and Effect Claims : These claims argue that one event or condition leads to another, establishing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Example: “Excessive use of social media is a leading cause of increased feelings of loneliness among young adults.” 
  • Definition Claims : Definition claims assert the meaning or classification of a concept or term.  Example: “Artificial intelligence can be defined as machines exhibiting human-like cognitive functions.” 
  • Comparative Claims : Comparative claims assert that one thing is better or worse than another in certain respects.  Example: “Online education is more cost-effective than traditional classroom learning.” 
  • Evaluation Claims : Evaluation claims assess the quality, significance, or effectiveness of something based on specific criteria.  Example: “The new healthcare policy is more effective in providing affordable healthcare to all citizens.” 

Understanding these argument claims can help writers construct more persuasive and well-supported arguments tailored to the specific nature of the claim.  

If you’re wondering how to start an argumentative essay, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the argumentative essay format and writing process.

  • Choose a Topic: Select a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Ensure that the topic is debatable and has two or more sides.
  • Define Your Position: Clearly state your stance on the issue. Consider opposing viewpoints and be ready to counter them.
  • Conduct Research: Gather relevant information from credible sources, such as books, articles, and academic journals. Take notes on key points and supporting evidence.
  • Create a Thesis Statement: Develop a concise and clear thesis statement that outlines your main argument. Convey your position on the issue and provide a roadmap for the essay.
  • Outline Your Argumentative Essay: Organize your ideas logically by creating an outline. Include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis.
  • Write the Introduction: Start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention (a quote, a question, a surprising fact). Provide background information on the topic. Present your thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
  • Develop Body Paragraphs: Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis. Support your points with evidence and examples. Address counterarguments and refute them to strengthen your position. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and respond to opposing viewpoints. Anticipate objections and provide evidence to counter them.
  • Write the Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your argumentative essay. Reinforce the significance of your argument. End with a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking statement.
  • Revise, Edit, and Share: Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Share your essay with peers, friends, or instructors for constructive feedback.
  • Finalize Your Argumentative Essay: Make final edits based on feedback received. Ensure that your essay follows the required formatting and citation style.

Struggling to start your argumentative essay? Paperpal can help – try now!   

Argumentative essay writing tips

Here are eight strategies to craft a compelling argumentative essay: 

  • Choose a Clear and Controversial Topic : Select a topic that sparks debate and has opposing viewpoints. A clear and controversial issue provides a solid foundation for a strong argument. 
  • Conduct Thorough Research : Gather relevant information from reputable sources to support your argument. Use a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert opinions, to strengthen your position. 
  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement : Clearly articulate your main argument in a concise thesis statement. Your thesis should convey your stance on the issue and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow your argument. 
  • Develop a Logical Structure : Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point of evidence that contributes to your overall argument. Ensure a logical flow from one point to the next. 
  • Provide Strong Evidence : Support your claims with solid evidence. Use facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions to support your arguments. Be sure to cite your sources appropriately to maintain credibility. 
  • Address Counterarguments : Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counterarguments. Addressing and refuting alternative perspectives strengthens your essay and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issue. Be mindful of maintaining a respectful tone even when discussing opposing views. 
  • Use Persuasive Language : Employ persuasive language to make your points effectively. Avoid emotional appeals without supporting evidence and strive for a respectful and professional tone. 
  • Craft a Compelling Conclusion : Summarize your main points, restate your thesis, and leave a lasting impression in your conclusion. Encourage readers to consider the implications of your argument and potentially take action. 

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Good argumentative essay example

Let’s consider a sample of argumentative essay on how social media enhances connectivity:

In the digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool that transcends geographical boundaries, connecting individuals from diverse backgrounds and providing a platform for an array of voices to be heard. While critics argue that social media fosters division and amplifies negativity, it is essential to recognize the positive aspects of this digital revolution and how it enhances connectivity by providing a platform for diverse voices to flourish. One of the primary benefits of social media is its ability to facilitate instant communication and connection across the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram break down geographical barriers, enabling people to establish and maintain relationships regardless of physical location and fostering a sense of global community. Furthermore, social media has transformed how people stay connected with friends and family. Whether separated by miles or time zones, social media ensures that relationships remain dynamic and relevant, contributing to a more interconnected world. Moreover, social media has played a pivotal role in giving voice to social justice movements and marginalized communities. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #ClimateStrike have gained momentum through social media, allowing individuals to share their stories and advocate for change on a global scale. This digital activism can shape public opinion and hold institutions accountable. Social media platforms provide a dynamic space for open dialogue and discourse. Users can engage in discussions, share information, and challenge each other’s perspectives, fostering a culture of critical thinking. This open exchange of ideas contributes to a more informed and enlightened society where individuals can broaden their horizons and develop a nuanced understanding of complex issues. While criticisms of social media abound, it is crucial to recognize its positive impact on connectivity and the amplification of diverse voices. Social media transcends physical and cultural barriers, connecting people across the globe and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard. By fostering open dialogue and facilitating the exchange of ideas, social media contributes to a more interconnected and empowered society. Embracing the positive aspects of social media allows us to harness its potential for positive change and collective growth.
  • Clearly Define Your Thesis Statement:   Your thesis statement is the core of your argumentative essay. Clearly articulate your main argument or position on the issue. Avoid vague or general statements.  
  • Provide Strong Supporting Evidence:   Back up your thesis with solid evidence from reliable sources and examples. This can include facts, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes, or real-life examples. Make sure your evidence is relevant to your argument, as it impacts the overall persuasiveness of your thesis.  
  • Anticipate Counterarguments and Address Them:   Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen credibility. This also shows that you engage critically with the topic rather than presenting a one-sided argument. 

How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Paperpal?

Writing a winning argumentative essay not only showcases your ability to critically analyze a topic but also demonstrates your skill in persuasively presenting your stance backed by evidence. Achieving this level of writing excellence can be time-consuming. This is where Paperpal, your AI academic writing assistant, steps in to revolutionize the way you approach argumentative essays. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Paperpal to write your essay: 

  • Sign Up or Log In: Begin by creating an account or logging into paperpal.com .  
  • Navigate to Paperpal Copilot: Once logged in, proceed to the Templates section from the side navigation bar.  
  • Generate an essay outline: Under Templates, click on the ‘Outline’ tab and choose ‘Essay’ from the options and provide your topic to generate an outline.  
  • Develop your essay: Use this structured outline as a guide to flesh out your essay. If you encounter any roadblocks, click on Brainstorm and get subject-specific assistance, ensuring you stay on track. 
  • Refine your writing: To elevate the academic tone of your essay, select a paragraph and use the ‘Make Academic’ feature under the ‘Rewrite’ tab, ensuring your argumentative essay resonates with an academic audience. 
  • Final Touches: Make your argumentative essay submission ready with Paperpal’s language, grammar, consistency and plagiarism checks, and improve your chances of acceptance.  

Paperpal not only simplifies the essay writing process but also ensures your argumentative essay is persuasive, well-structured, and academically rigorous. Sign up today and transform how you write argumentative essays. 

The length of an argumentative essay can vary, but it typically falls within the range of 1,000 to 2,500 words. However, the specific requirements may depend on the guidelines provided.

You might write an argumentative essay when:  1. You want to convince others of the validity of your position.  2. There is a controversial or debatable issue that requires discussion.  3. You need to present evidence and logical reasoning to support your claims.  4. You want to explore and critically analyze different perspectives on a topic. 

Argumentative Essay:  Purpose : An argumentative essay aims to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a specific point of view or argument.  Structure : It follows a clear structure with an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs presenting arguments and evidence, counterarguments and refutations, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is formal and relies on logical reasoning, evidence, and critical analysis.    Narrative/Descriptive Essay:  Purpose : These aim to tell a story or describe an experience, while a descriptive essay focuses on creating a vivid picture of a person, place, or thing.  Structure : They may have a more flexible structure. They often include an engaging introduction, a well-developed body that builds the story or description, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is more personal and expressive to evoke emotions or provide sensory details. 

  • Gladd, J. (2020). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays.  Write What Matters . 
  • Nimehchisalem, V. (2018). Pyramid of argumentation: Towards an integrated model for teaching and assessing ESL writing.  Language & Communication ,  5 (2), 185-200. 
  • Press, B. (2022).  Argumentative Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide . Broadview Press. 
  • Rieke, R. D., Sillars, M. O., & Peterson, T. R. (2005).  Argumentation and critical decision making . Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. 

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How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

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A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way.

Start With a Hook

Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic. To pique the reader's interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal story, a surprising statistic or an interesting question. For example, if you are arguing that smoking should be banned from all public places, you can start your introduction by referencing a statistic from a verified source: "Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year -- more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to the World Health Organization." This strategy grabs the reader's attention while introducing the topic of the essay.

Include Background

Providing readers with background on the topic allows them to better understand the issue being presented. This information provides context and history that can be crucial to explaining and arguing your point. For example, if you are arguing that there should never be a military draft in the United States, your introduction can include information about the history of the U.S. draft and the events that led to it being abolished.

State Your Thesis

The thesis is the essence of an argumentative essay. In a single, clear sentence, it sums up what point you are trying to make. The thesis statement should assert a position on a particular issue -- one that a reader can potentially argue against. Therefore, the thesis cannot be a fact. For example, if a professor assigns the general topic of war, you can formulate the following thesis statement: "The United Nations must be redesigned because it is currently incapable of preventing wars." The rest of your essay serves to explain and provide evidence in support of your thesis statement.

What to Leave Out

A good introduction should not be describing arguments or providing analysis that belong in the body paragraphs. Your introduction should introduce and set up your point, rather than lay out evidence to support it. Also, while your intro is a road map for the rest of the essay, you shouldn't explicitly announce what and how you will be arguing: "I am going to prove to you that ..." This type of set up does not add any pertinent information and only serves as filler.

  • Utah State University Writing Guide: Introduction and Conclusion
  • Purdue University: Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

How to Write a College Expository Essay

How to write a persuasive essay, teacher tips: how to write thesis statements for high school papers, how to develop and write a paragraph, how to write a higher level essay introduction, how to write an essay for the ged test, how to write a pros & cons essay, important elements in writing argument essays, rhetorical essay format, most popular.

  • 1 How to Write a College Expository Essay
  • 2 How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • 3 Teacher Tips: How to Write Thesis Statements for High School Papers
  • 4 How to Develop and Write a Paragraph

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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.

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Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.

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3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

What's Next?

Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!

You'll probably also need to write research papers for school. We've got you covered with 113 potential topics for research papers.

Your college admissions essay may end up being one of the most important essays you write. Follow our step-by-step guide on writing a personal statement to have an essay that'll impress colleges.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction

When your professor assigned it to you, you may have had the urge to debate on the intricacies of an argumentative essay. What is it? Why do you need to write it? And how are you going to accomplish it?

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

First of all, you will need to know what an argumentative essay is. It is a genre of writing that requires you to do considerable research on a topic, collect evidence and data, evaluate your findings, and defend the resolution to your whole argumentative essay within the paper itself.

Sometimes people confuse an argumentative essay with an expository essay, possibly because the two involves research. The only difference is that argumentative essay prompts requires more time and effort to produce, since it is usually the last project assigned in a subject during a non-graduating class semester. The best part is that you can also use argumentative essays tips to write a scholarship essay, a convincing pitch at work, and many others.

What Is In an Argumentative Essay?

It must have a strong introduction.

Any writing work requires an impeccable introduction in order to transition to the succeeding parts of the paper. Without it, there is no paper. And without a paper, you have no grade at all. To give you a better idea on how impactful an introduction is, this is considered as your winning statement. This is where you summarize the issue, the research performed, the facts collected, and the findings that you’ve made. Still, it has to be short enough to leave more room for discussion in the succeeding parts of your essay.

It contains a thesis statement located in the first paragraph of the essay, preferably the first sentence.

This is essentially the log line of your argumentative essay. The professor who assigned your argumentative essay prompt wants to know what the essay is about at first glance and not have to read through a lengthy introduction that does not contain anything useful. Your thesis statement is your logline and it will be the basis of your argument essay prompts’ introduction.

The transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion are clean and understandable.

You can’t just jump from one topic to another. You have to smoothly slide in your next discussion with a strong connection to the previous paragraph. This is done by using proper writing skills and grammar usage.

There is a clear emphasis on the data and facts you used.

You cannot just list down the sources and numbers you used to create your argumentative essay. You need to properly explain how you found it, where you found it, and how you used it. Even if it is more of a qualitative essay, you still have to emphasize the origin of your quotes and the development of your ideas.

A simple, yet impactful conclusion.

This is what you need to close it all down. You cannot leave your professor – or anyone else reading your argumentative essay – hanging. They need to know how it all ends and why they ended up there in the first place. More importantly, your conclusion has to prove that your argumentative essay is leaning heavily in your favor.

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What Is the Most Important Part of an Argumentative Essay?

Your whole essay is important, but the keystone for your argumentative essay is your introduction. It is the first thing people will see and it is what they will continuously return to as they read through your whole essay. If you are not 100% sure in this part, it is better to request “help me with rewriting my essay ” service.

Your introduction is where you will explain why you chose the topic and how you came up with the conclusion. It is essentially a condensed version of your essay, but with little mention of what really went on. That part is discussed in the body. As for your results, you may mention the final verdict, but the conclusion can elaborate on that more.

Without the introduction, you cannot hope to keep the reader hooked through the body, let alone until the conclusion of your essay. Aside from that you need to write down an introduction that prepares the reader for what they are about to expect. It has to be enticing enough in order for them to want to prove your wrong or find out whether you’ve outdone yourself and proved a thesis statement completely.

Argumentative Essay Tips on Introduction Writing

Writing a good introduction requires you to be prepared with facts and argumentative statements that have bearing. Once you are ready to start, here are some tips that will help you along the way.

  • Explain what your topic is. In order for this to work, the reader must know what they are about to look at. A simple sentence or two will do. You can write a brief explanation as well, in case people are not familiar with the idea you proposed. This way, even if they are not interested, they might find out something new.
  • Defend your topic. Make the reader see why it is important to read about your essay. You need to have creative and interesting ideas for an argumentative essay that resonates with people. Even if it is a shallow topic, the reader must be interested in it enough to know the answer to the question you posed.
  • Explain why some people may disagree with your topic. Obviously, you cannot choose a topic that everyone adheres to, especially since there is no such thing as a one-sided discussion between two entities. You must elaborate on why your essay is a sore point for some people, so that the audience will understand why you feel the need to defend your idea.
  • Give the readers a play by play on what is about to happen – or what they are about read. The introduction also poses how the whole paper will flow. This way the readers know what to expect at every turn and where they can go to when they are looking for a particular piece of information. We are not talking about a table of contents – just a simplified enumeration of what the paper is about and how it is structured.
  • Lastly, write a stimulating thesis sentence that will leave the readers wanting more. Although the point of a thesis statement is to put all your thoughts in one line, it must also serve as the log line that will urge the reader to want to know more about what you have come up with. Do not choose a thesis statement that you cannot defend – especially one that is inarguable. This is an argumentative essay, is it not? If you are still having difficulty with composing a good introduction, why not check some argumentative essay introduction examples as well?

There are many argumentative essay tips, but simplicity is the true key. If you need help, you can always find someone who provides essay writing service online . If you do it yourself, you can still write your essay and get the upper hand in your subject!

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Top 10 Argumentative Essay Introduction Examples

When writing an argumentative essay , the introduction might be the most important part of your paper. The introduction to your argumentative essay must grab your readers’ attention and draw them to the topic. There are many points that you need to include in your introduction when writing an argumentative essay.

An attention-getter can set up what will follow throughout the rest of the paper, make the reader see what you are trying to prove, and provide an example to show why your topic is important.

Creating a sense of importance or urgency brings the reader into the essay because they feel they should know more about it. This will allow readers to become engaged in your topic and stay interested throughout the rest of your argumentative essay.

Here are a few examples of good argumentative essay introductions.

Argumentative essay introduction example 1

Gambling, or gambling addiction, is a complex subject to understand. Some people often win, which may lead others to believe that they are lucky rather than skilled. Many people gamble to escape reality for a bit and have fun. Others gamble for the thrill of it because their lives are boring. It is difficult to determine when a person’s behavior turns from a hobby into a problem. It is even more challenging to decide if that something is indeed an addiction. Although gambling may be harmful in specific ways, I believe that the negatives do not outweigh the positives.

Argumentative essay introduction example 2

In today’s society, there are many different opinions about what is right and wrong. From drinking alcohol to smoking, each person has a different set of standards. Where people differ, the most is about morality. Morality is the standard of conduct in society, being considered right or wrong by most people. There are different schools of thought on morality, including classical, evolutionary ethics, and social contract theory. This paper will discuss how these three theories define moral law.

Argumentative essay introduction example 3

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that the media has played in stoking debates about ethnic diversity, multiculturalism, and national identity. I will discuss ways in which print journalism promoted political agendas by using certain news stories as examples. For example, The Globe & Mail’s coverage of ‘ethnic voters’ during the 1993 federal election attempted to explain why the Canadian electorate was leaning toward a change in government. The paper also illustrated the consequences of public opinion on legislation throughout Canada’s history, such as passing anti-Chinese legislation in B.C., and more recently, Quebec’s Bill 101.

Argumentative essay introduction example 4

People often consider athletes to be role models for society. They say that athletes are good, clean-cut people who live out the American dream. People think of them as successful individuals who have earned their money through hard work and determination. They usually leave out that many famous athletes today are just in it for the money and don’t care who they hurt in the process. They will do whatever it takes to make more money and become even more famous, even if it means ruining their reputation and hurting people. Many athletes have had problems with steroids, drinking alcohol underage, drugs, etc., yet fans continue to look up to them because of their athletic abilities.

Argumentative essay introduction example 5

Does the United States need a military draft? Many people think so, and there are many examples of why it would be effective. A military draft has several benefits but is not without its disadvantages. People believe that an all-volunteer army is better than conscription for various reasons, but the cons outweigh the pros. The benefits of compulsory military service are that it would increase the number of troops drastically overnight, solve unemployment problems, and ensure loyalty to America rather than other countries. The disadvantages include low-quality individuals in the armed forces, unfairness towards people who cannot enlist because they have certain health problems or are married with children, and the adverse effects of war on those drafted into service.

Argumentative essay introduction example 6

The first several decades of the twentieth century were marked by peace and tranquillity in North America and Europe. This era was known as the ‘American Dream.’ The world’s economy had never been stronger, and all shared this newfound wealth. The economy improved with the automobile industry, the oil business, the steel industry, and radio broadcasting. What led to this era of prosperity that people were experiencing? Were there policies or circumstances that created economic stability worldwide? There were many reasons for this era of peace, but the leading cause was that most economies were based on gold. People bought and sold goods with real money, rather than government-issued paper or funny money.

Argumentative essay introduction example 7

The use of animals in scientific research is a highly controversial issue. Opponents say it is cruel and immoral to use animals for experiments, whereas proponents argue that developing life-saving drugs and treatments is necessary. It is necessary to use animals in scientific experiments for medical research because humans and animals are similar in complex ways. The brain, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune systems of different species are so alike that studying the effects of drugs on non-human subjects is highly beneficial to advancing knowledge about how various substances will affect people.

Argumentative essay introduction example 8

Driving while talking on a cell phone can be very dangerous. If you drive while using your cell phone, you become four times more likely to get into an accident. For this reason, many countries and provinces in Canada have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Using a headset or speakerphone is an alternative to holding the phone, but it does not eliminate the risk. One of the concerns is that talking on a cell phone slows reaction time and causes people to miss visual cues they would otherwise notice.

Argumentative essay introduction example 9

Does the average person really need to drink eight glasses of water a day? This idea has been passed down, but is it based on scientific facts, or is it a myth? Some people say that drinking eight glasses of water a day is an old wives’ tale, whereas others insist that one should drink at least this amount of water every day. The main point is that the body requires a certain amount of daily fluid intake, and it is important to maintain proper hydration levels for overall health. It is not necessary to drink eight glasses of water each day, but one should drink enough to urinate at least four times per day.

Argumentative essay introduction example 10

Is the U.S. directly responsible for spreading democracy across the world? The United States has been involved in various activities which have led to regime changes in other countries, where democratically elected governments replaced leaders. Countries that have received military training from the U.S., such as El Salvador and Colombia, are flourishing democracies. This has led many people to believe that the U.S.’s interest in spreading democracy across the world is genuine. Still, others are skeptical because it benefits America when other countries join NATO or accept free trade deals.

How to Create a Sense of Importance or Urgency in Your Introduction

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Here are some tips for creating a sense of importance or urgency in your introduction:

  • Watch your tone. If you want to be urgent, use words like “need,” and if you want it to feel important, use words like “should.”
  • Use a relevant quote.
  • Make an example out of someone in the past or present that agrees with your opinion.
  • Take a stand and let readers know right away your opinion with a command like “don’t believe the hype” or “it’s time we do something about it.”
  • Emphasize the benefits of having your opinion with words like, “Imagine if everyone was responsible enough to recycle.”
  • Link it back to history. Let readers know that what you’re saying is nothing new with phrases like that, it’s “a tale as old as time.”
  • Explain how this is happening in the present with phrases like “the effects of” and “we see a rise in.”
  • Use persuasive words. Persuasive essay writing uses words that make your readers feel guilty, like “deserve,” and inspire them to change and take action with words like “must.

What Influences an Excellent Argumentative Essay Introduction?

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Several factors come into play when it comes to writing a good introduction. The most important points to consider are:

  • Choice of the argumentative essay topic

Picking interesting argumentative essay topics makes it easier to write an interesting introduction. Another set of topics that guarantee good introductions are the controversial argumentative essay topics.

Writing argumentative essays need proper research done. It does not matter if you are writing a basic argumentative essay or an argumentative research paper. You need to do proper research for your introduction to be effective.

You have to choose the audience targeted in your introduction. For instance, use formal language when addressing professors and informal language when speaking with friends. You can also adjust the thought process of your audience by using certain words. Choice of words targeted for middle school students will be different from a postgraduate audience.

Tips for Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay Introduction

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

Here are some tips you can use when you write an argumentative essay introduction. They include:

Introduce the conflicting ideas with a comparison or analogy.

Give a brief background on the conflicting ideas to show your readers how they came to be. Make a clear and concise statement that sums up both sides of the argument, like “some say X while others say Y.” Make sure it’s something that can be backed up with evidence later on.

End your introduction with a thesis statement that states which side of the argument you’re taking and what type of claim it is, like “I believe we should eliminate homework because doing so will improve students’ test scores.”

Ask readers questions that get them thinking about your idea.

Questions have proven to be an effective way to get readers thinking about what you’re trying to say. You can ask questions that help them relate it back to their lives, like “What would happen if there was no drinking water?” or “What if everyone decided they didn’t want to eat meat anymore?”

Introduce the opposing side.

If you’re going to be arguing against a popular opinion , you’ll need to state what that opinion is briefly. Let readers know how you plan to argue against it with a word like “despite” or “although” that shows you’re aware of the other side.

Describe your audience.

People are more likely to read something if they feel it’s written specifically for them, so mention your audience right away by saying something like “for all students.” You can also mention a specific group of people, like “for all teens.”

Present readers with a thought-provoking quote.

Quotes can be a great way to grab readers’ attention and get them thinking about what you plan to say. You don’t want your quote to sound like something that was copied and pasted from a textbook, so try using one that has creative language or has been taken out of its original context.

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing Introductions for Argumentative Essays

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

There are many mistakes that writers commonly make while writing introductory paragraphs. These include:

Being too basic.

People are reading your essay to learn more about your argument, so give them what they need with concrete examples. You don’t need to tell readers something they already know if you are not adding any new information or angle.

  • Being too wordy.

Writing too much can cause your introduction to be confusing and messy. Readers will stop reading if they feel like their eyes are glazing over, so try not to use five words when one would do the job just as well. If you’re having trouble cutting down on the length of your statements, ask yourself what your main point is and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your introduction.

  • Not narrowing down your argument.

Narrowing down your argument is important because it allows readers to focus on the main point of your essay. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your ideas, try listing reasons why one option would be better than the other or what impact it will have if certain things are changed.

  • Not strengthening your argument by using evidence.

Your thesis statement should be supported by evidence , so make sure your introductory paragraph flows easily into the body. If you’re struggling with what types of evidence to include, think about what can be seen as common sense, backed up by research or stated by an expert.

  • Not using transitional words.

Transitional words help the flow of your writing because they signal an upcoming change in idea or direction. Words like “however,” “for example,” and “despite this” can be used to show readers when the tone of your argument is changing.

  • Not using a hook.

A hook draws a reader in by making them curious about what you’re going to say next or how it relates to them, so choosing one that best suits your argument can help improve the effectiveness of your introduction.

Writing a good introduction for an argumentative essay is key to catching your readers’ attention and making them want to learn more. A strong introduction should consist of ideas relevant to your argument, clarify how you plan to form an argument and provide readers with a compelling reason to continue reading. Remember not to include too much information or make mistakes common among new writers, like being wordy or not including evidence.

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

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How to Write a Hook for An Argumentative Essay in 5 Minutes

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by  Antony W

October 24, 2022

how to write a hook for an argumentative essay

In this guide, you’ll learn how to write a hook for an argumentative essay without trying so hard.

At Help for Assessment, we understand that introducing an argument isn’t as easy. You might find yourself writing and rewriting the introduction more than you can count.

However, if you can write a solid hook for your argument, the rest of the essay will be easy to write even if you’re already running out of time.

Key Takeaways

Writing a strong hook for your essay doesn’t have to be difficult. You can:

  • Grab a reader’s attention with a common misconception.
  • Share a unique story your audience have never read anywhere else.
  • Start the essay with a quote provided the quote within the context of your argument.
  • Use statistics as a means to raise curiosity.
  • Ask questions to grab reader’s attention and draw their interest in the topic.
  • If everything else fails, buy an argumentative essay online from our team of creative custom writers.

What is a Hook in an Argumentative Essay?

In an argumentative essay, a hook is an opening statement that introduces the focus topic to the target audience. The hook can be one or two sentence long, and it serves the purpose of drawing in the attention of a target to read the next consecutive paragraphs.

To be abundantly clear:

A hook is not an introduction of the essay. It’s a part of the introduction, and it makes the starting point just immediately after the argumentative essay topic .

When it comes to writing a solid hook for an argument, the goal isn’t to present oneself as a formal writer to an audience.

Don’t hesitate to wear your creativity hat and write the hook in a way that piques your audience’s interest. That way, they’ll want to read the rest of the essay to learn more about your argument.

How to Write a Hook for an Argumentative Essay and Grab Readers’ Attention

Here are five ways to write a hook for an argumentative essay and grab your reader’s attention:

1. Use a Common Misconception

The purpose of a hook is to grab the attention of a reader instantly, and one of the best way to do that in an argumentative essay is to use a common misconception.

A common misconception is a statement, event, person, or something many people accept to be true but is actually false.

Starting the essay with such a misconception will startle and intrigue your reader, giving them the urge to read the rest of the essay because they want to know more about what you have to say. 

2. Share a Short Story

Can you tell a whole story in a sentence or two? If you can, don’t hesitate to use an anecdote to illustrate your points.

Stories mostly work well for narrative topics and descriptive essays . They can also fit well in your argumentative essay if you know how to incorporate them.

To be clear, you have a very small chance to impress your readers with your story. To impress your audience, make your story short, clear, and direct to the point.

In addition to being something that you can relate to, the story you share should be free from personal feelings. In other words, unless your instructor allows you to incorporate personal pronouns in your argument , your essay shouldn’t reflect personalization.

Also, you must ensure that the story you share relate to the essay’s main idea.

3. Start with a Quote

We never recommend starting an essay with a quote .

Quite too often, professors discourage the use of quotes in an essay for two reasons:

  • A quote reflect another author’s thoughts and hiders the presentation of your ideas.
  • Quotes can limit your ability to express yourself, hence crippling your creativity.

However, if the quote falls within the context of an argument, it could make a solid hook for your assignment.

For a quote to fit in your work, it must be relevant to the topic and agree with your argument’s thesis statement. Also, ensure the quote you use in your hook is neither general nor insanely overused.

4. Use Statistics

Statistics raise curiosity. They can hook readers to facts and information they didn’t even know existed, thus sparking their interest in reading the rest of the essay.

Academic writing requires clarity and authenticity.

With this respect, do some preliminary research to validate the statistics before including them in your essay. Also, you must include the source where you collected the data for reference.

5. Ask a Rhetorical Question 

Starting an argument with a question can grab a reader’s attention and draw their interest in a topic so much that they develop the urge to keep reading.

However, the case of questions is only viable if the question isn’t too general or already obvious.

Let’s say you’re writing about phones.

A question such as “are smartphones bad?” is vague and obvious. Everyone is familiar with the details. Such a question will do very little to capture anyone’s attention.

You must refrain from questions that require Yes or No answers and come up with interesting questions that engage your audience in critical thinking.

Rhetoric should be your secret weapon.

For example, “ should kids own smartphones before going to college?” is a question that, in addition to being argumentative, draws a reader’s attention from the get go. Also, such a question leaves room for debate. 

6. Get Essay Writing Help

Even if you can write a strong hook for an argumentative essay yourself, you still might find the assignment challenging to compete.

If that’s the case, you can contract our writers to help you write your argumentative essay for you.

If there’s one thing you should learn from this guide, it’s that writing a hook for an argumentative essay doesn’t have to be difficult.

We’ve shown you six ways to grab your audience’s attention. Pick an option that best suits you. Then utilize it to write a solid hook that can draw your readers’ attention on the spot.

If that’s the case, and you feel like you need a helping hand, our writers can help you write great argumentative essays in a short time. Simply click the button on the right and talk to us about your assignment.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

what makes a good introduction in an argumentative essay

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”

Summarising

You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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    4. That is to say. Usage: "That is" and "that is to say" can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: "Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.". 5. To that end. Usage: Use "to that end" or "to this end" in a similar way to "in order to" or "so".