Argument/CounterArgument Essay
The Art of Persuasion
Ms. Greene
CHOOSING A TOPIC
To begin an argumentative/persuasive
essay, you must first have an opinion you
want others to share.
 You will develop a thesis statement that
can be argued.

Research-Gather Data to Support
Your Claim/Thesis






To be valid, an opinion or point of view must be
supported by facts and information.
Once you know what you will write about, you
will need to do research on the topic.
Research through interviewing people, or
reading newspaper, book, journal or Internet
articles.
Use appropriate web sites
Make sure your experts are valid
Prepare your Works Cited page and your
parenthetical citations (Source Notes) in advance
THESIS STATEMENT
 states
your position on the topic
 sets
up the structure for the
paper
 can
be argued
SUPPORT THE THESIS

Support your thesis with at least two
reasons.

Write down each of the reasons that
support your belief on a separate piece of
paper.

These are your arguments and are the
blueprints for your paper.
COUNTER-ARGUMENTS
Every controversial issue has two
sides.
 Once you can support your
position with research, you need
to explore what others think.
 If you do not address the opposition to
your argument, and explain why your
opinion is more valid, you will weaken
your own argument.

PREPARING YOUR
ARGUMENTS

Look at the main reasons for
your opinion.

What objections would others have to
each of your reasons?

Write these down under each of your
reasons. Now you have arguments and
counter-arguments.
ANSWERING COUNTERARGUMENTS

Write your answers down under the
counter-arguments.

Now you have the raw material for each
paragraph of the argumentative essay.
THE AUDIENCE
Before writing and introducing the topic,
think about the audience first.
 How much does the audience know about
the topic?
 Is the audience likely to be friendly
or hostile to your position?
 How can you “hook” the audience’s
attention?

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH
The first sentence is a general statement,
designed to attract the reader’s attention
and “hook” the reader in.
 Provide background information to orient
the reader to the issue
 What does the reader need to know about
this issue?
 Define terms
 Create a thesis statement or assertion to
guide the reader

More Introduction:
Think of the introduction as having a
funnel shape:
Developing a Thesis Statement Arguable or Not Arguable?

Marijuana should be legalized.

Arguable
Smoking
cigarettes is harmful to
people’s health.


Fatburger sells the best burgers in Los
Angeles.


Not Arguable
Arguable
Emissions hurt the ozone.

Not arguable
Developing the Thesis:

You may want to “brainstorm” before
developing your thesis

Conversely, you may want to think of your
thesis before you brainstorm.

In any case, you will need to create a
brainstorm before you write your paper.
Sample Graphic Organizer
Brainstorm Format:

Chart
Topic: Should marijuana be legalized?
Pro
Con
OTHER TYPES OF
BRAINSTORMING:
Listing
 Mind Map
 Webbing
 Venn Diagrams
 Note taking
 Free-writing
 Clustering
 Drawing

BUILDING BODY
PARAGRAPHS
The first topic sentence of the first body paragraph
will be the first reason that supports your position.
The
topic sentence of the second body paragraph
.
will be the second reason that supports your
position
Repeat these steps as necessary.
The topic sentence of one of the body paragraphs
will address the counter argument.
Body Paragraphs
Provide a clear topic sentence for each
paragraph
 Contain quotations and evidence that help
prove the thesis of the essay.
 Include explanation of how the quotations
back up the thesis.
 Build to the strongest argument
 Use a variety of appeals
 Demonstrate logic and reasoning
 Address the opposition

Types of Appeals Review - Logos, Pathos, and Ethos – to
use in the content of your essay:

Logos-logical appeal
 Evidence and the reasoning based on that
evidence

Ethos-ethical appeal
 According to Aristotle--the credibility or
trustworthiness that the author establishes in
his writing

Pathos-Emotional appeal
 Persuades the audience by using emotions
The Antithesis

Address the case of the opposition


Concede points which can not be refuted


Several paragraphs at the beginning or weaved
throughout the paper (argument-concession)
Use signal words and phrases such as Admittedly, While
it is true that etc.
Offer refutation for claims which can be
countered

Use signal words and phrases such as It has been
argued, However etc.
Conclusion
Restate your main premise
 Provide a brief summary of your argument
 Show how a group will benefit from
following your assertion
 Explain what might happen if your idea is
not accepted
 End with a rhetorical question
 Ask for a call to action

Rough Outline;

It is a good idea to complete a rough
outline of your essay before writing:
A. INTRO:
Hook
Background Information
Thesis
Three reasons that support your
position (may be included in the thesis)
Body Paragraphs Rough Outline:

B. Body – paragraphs 1 – however many
you need.

1. 1st reason






a. quotation/example
b. explanation
c. quotation example
d. explanation
e. concluding sentence typing what you are proving
to the thesis or to transition to the next paragraph.
For the counter argument, you will list an
opposing viewpoint instead of a reason.
Overview of an Argument Essay
 attention
getter
 organization
 antithesis—con
 refute the con
 connective words—transitions
 development of arguments
 conclusion
Download

Argument Essay - Venice High School