Argument Essay

Essay Writing Prompt:
The Civil Rights leaders of the past and present
greatly impact our lives. Write an argument essay
explaining how your Civil Rights leader impacted
society and showed perseverance in his or her life.
Introduction Paragraph
A good introductory paragraph begins with an
attention grabber/hook and ends with a clear thesis
statement (claim).
Attention Grabber/Hook Ideas
Try getting the readers attention with one of these:
 The personal anecdote/story
 Ask three thought provoking, universal questions
(NOT the question/questions posed in the essay
 Quotation, song lyric, or short poem
 Unusual, bizarre, or interesting fact or statistic
Thesis Statement
A thesis statement helps to guide your writing.
In an argument essay, the thesis is your claim.
Claim: an opinion statement presented as a fact; it’s
what you will be arguing
Thesis statement:
 (subject
+ claim = thesis statement)
Sample Thesis Statement
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the greatest peaceful
Civil Rights leader who persevered in his fight to
gain equal rights for all.
Body Paragraph(s): Background
Describe the education/early events that lead to
their influence. You must use at least one quote and
correctly cite it.
Describe later life events that lead to their influence
and how. You must use at least one quote and
correctly cite it.
Body Paragraph(s): Argument
Describe how the civil rights leader influenced civil
rights and how they impacted society (AKA their
legacy). You must use at least one quote and
correctly cite it.
In this paragraph, you must argue that your leader
You must also include counterarguments that
describe how Anti-Civil Rights opponents acted or
what they believed.
Argument Planner: Example
Reasons For:
Reasons Against:
Arguments to support my viewpoint
Arguments to oppose my viewpoint
MLK, speech, 1963, Lincoln Memorial
His safety was in danger
He was trying to inspire a nation
He was battling unfair laws
He was trying to inform a nation
He was battling racist views
He wanted equal rights
Counterargument Starters:
Some people believed…
Many people argued…
Opponents of the Civil Rights movement believed…
Anti-Civil Rights supporters…
Adversaries of equal rights…
A good conclusion paragraph ends by restating the
thesis statement (claim).
Just like your introduction started with getting the
reader’s attention with a hook, your conclusion must
end similarly. End with a bang.
Use the same introduction techniques to end your
 Anecdote/story,
questions, quotations, facts…
 Leave the reader with something to think about.