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Guide to Composing an Argumentative essay First Things First This essay is not a shouting match where you angrily make your points. You are not arguing with someone in an argumentative essay; you are making a case for something you think to be right. It is up to the reader to decide whether or not they agree with you. Thus, you want to not just state your opinion, but to back it up with convincing, supportive evidence and examples. Brainstorming for Your Essay What is something about which you feel strongly? What is a current issue under debate? This could be something simple, such as if a local high school should begin requiring uniforms; it could be more complex, such as the moral and ethical considerations in stem cell research. Topics to Avoid Some topics are too divided or overdone to make a convincing essay. Abortion, the death penalty, and assisted suicide are emotional and exhausted topics. There are plenty of other things to discuss. Come up with your own fresh idea! Form of the Argumentative Essay Introduction – Provide some historical background for your topic. This would be the appropriate time to acknowledge the opposing sides’ opinions. State the topic you will argue. Body – Here is where you provide supporting evidence. This can be scientific studies, polls, research, and your observations. Conclusion – Here you summarize your argument. This is your last chance to convince someone to change their mind. Problems with Argumentative Essays One of the biggest pitfalls when writing an argumentative essay is to offer opinions rather than facts as your support. Be careful! If you think the changing that current color of police uniforms to pink is a mistake, you must give evidence why. Do not just say you do not like the color pink; that is your opinion. Provide practical examples, such as: it would be an expensive thing to recall all current police uniforms and make and replace them with pink ones. You could argue that, historically, policemen have worn dark-colored uniforms and that people associate blue and black uniforms with authority. You could argue that a policeman wearing pink could put him/her at risk because he/she is more visible. Again, support your argument with facts, not with opinions.
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