Argumentative Essays



  1. Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
  2. State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
    • This is where you add any background information or pertinent details.
  3. State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

Body Paragraphs

  1. Strong topic sentence including your argument (reason) OR Transitional Sentence with your argument (reason)
  2. Evidence to support argument
  3. Warrant (Explanation)
  4. Counterclaim + Explanation
  5. Rebuttal to counterclaim + evidence + explanation
  6. Closing Sentence OR Transitional Sentence


  1. Begin with a starter to connect ideas in your essay (i.e.- mirroring your introduction, a quotation, etc.)
  2. Restate your thesis statement or main claim.
  3. Present 1 or 2 general statements which accurately summarize your body paragraphs.
  4. Set topic or argument in a larger context (how others are affected, cultural events, etc.)
  5. Provide a general statement of how the community will benefit from following/ accepting your claim.
  6. Establish a sense of closure.

Want a quick print version of this page? Open this handout. 


Writing Checklist


This writing checklist will help you proofread your essay while you go through the drafting process. If you feel I should edit this document, please send me an email and I will make the necessary adjustments.


Works Cited

“Welcome to the Purdue OWL.” Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

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