The Argumentative Essay Outline

The Argumentative Essay Outline

Essay Title (must be relevant and attention grabbing):___________________

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  1. BODY PARAGRAPH #1: should introduce and explain reason #1

The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. Write a clear topic sentence introducing the first reason your claim is based on:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________A.       Supporting Detail 1 (EVIDENCE):



  1. Supporting Detail 2 (EVIDENCE):









  • BODY PARAGRAPH #2: should introduce and explain reason #2

The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. Write a clear topic sentence introducing the second reason your claim is based on:



  1. Supporting Detail 1 (EVIDENCE):



  1. Supporting Detail 2 (EVIDENCE):



BODY PARAGRAPH #3: should presentand then refutethe strongest point of your opponents**

  1. The topic sentence shouldstate the strongest opposing idea you wish you discuss:

E.g. Critics of X claim that …______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Supporting idea (explaining/supporting the opposing point further):

E.g. They believe so because…_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Your response to the opposing idea:

E.g. However, this argument is unfounded since/because…


  1. Supporting detail (in support of your response):



  2. Offer a realistic suggestion or recommendation. Avoid generalized, broad suggestions/recommendations that are neither realistic, nor practical:



  1. End with a memorable quotation, or thought provoking question:





























*How to write an effective thesis statement in an argumentative essay


  • Your introduction should end with a clear, concise thesis statement.
  • The thesis should directly respond to the essay question. It should present a narrow, focused argument, indicating your standpoint/position on the issue with reasons.
  • It should reflect the main points that will be explored in the body paragraphs, offering a road map for the rest of the paper.
  • Clear and engaging thesis statements usually contain words like “because,” “since,” “so,” “although,” “unless,” and “however” because these word help you narrow the scope of your argument. Qualifiers such as “typically,” “generally,” “usually,” or “mostly” also help to limit the scope of your claim by leaving room for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.
  • Please choose your words carefully while formulating your thesis; you should use specific vocabulary that conveys your ideas to the audience clearly. Be concise.
  • Avoid using expressions such as “I believe”, “I think” or announcements such as “This paper discusses”, “In this paper, I will prove”. Be straightforward.
  • Your thesis statement should never be in the form of a question.
  • Finally, remember that your thesis should always present your view and not someone else’s. Thus, always avoid quoting or paraphrasing someone in your thesis.
  • Examples of possible thesis statements:

Despite the common/popular belief that ……(the opposing idea you will refute)…………………, …(your opinion)……… because……(your reasons)……………………………


While some are concerned about (your opponents’ concerns that you will respond to/address in your refutation paragraph), …. (your opinion)……… because……(your reasons)……………………………


**More on the refutation paragraph:


The opponent’s argument: Usually, you should not assume that your reader has read or remembered the argument you are refuting. Thus at the beginning of your paragraph, you need to state, accurately and fairly, the main points of the argument you will refute.

Your position: Next, make clear the nature of your disagreement with the argument or position you are refuting. Your position might assert, for example, that a writer has not proved his assertion because he has provided evidence that is outdated, or that the argument is filled with fallacies.

Your refutation: The specifics of your counterargument will depend upon the nature of your disagreement. If you challenge the writer’s evidence, then you must present the more recent evidence. If you challenge assumptions, then you must explain why they do not hold up. If your position is that the piece is filled with fallacies, then you must present and explain each fallacy.


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