An Argumentative Essay
Brainstorm ideas on the subject.
Identify the main topics.
Use these topics as headings for organising
Decide which side you are on i.e. which
arguments are most convincing. Make sure
you choose the side that you can fully support.
Plan and write an outline for your essay noting
down the information you will include in each
Because of its cost, risk and alternatives, the building of
nuclear reactors should not continue.
Topic Sentence 1:
The first problem with nuclear reactors is their cost.
Topic Sentence 2:
Another problem is the serious consequences of
Some people might claim that there is no real alternative
to nuclear power.
In short, although nuclear power is an attractive option, it
has too many disadvantages.
Your introduction should:
Introduce the topic with a general statement
State why it is important
State there is a difference of opinion about this
Thesis statement must state what YOUR claim
is and can include the “parts” of the argument
you are going to state.
Example Introductory Paragraph
There has been much discussion about the
use of nuclear power ever since the first
reactor was built. People who support nuclear
power think that it provides a cheap and
effective means of supplying energy needs.
However, in reality it is not cheap at all and the
dangers are well-known after the accidents at
Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The fact is
that nuclear power is a tried, tested and failed
technology. Because of its cost, risk and
alternatives, the building of nuclear reactors
should not continue.
Arguments for: The reasons “parts” of your thesis
statement will be in your body paragraphs.
Give clear arguments for your claim with support
(examples, statistics, explanations, etc.)
Use transition words as you move from paragraph to
paragraph (Firstly, secondly, furthermore, in addition,
You can also use any of the transitions from the other
essay types as long as they are appropriate for your
argument. (You may want to compare/contrast things,
give reasons/results, descriptions, definitions etc.)
This is also used to support your claim.
Use the counter arguments to show that
your idea is the stronger one.
Do not focus only on the opposing ideas.
Useful words and phrases
When you can think of the opposing
opinion but you have not seen it written
could be claimed
It may be asserted that... However,
might be argued
Useful words and phrases contd.
When you have seen the opposing
opinion written in another text:
It has been asserted that... However,
Some people might claim that there is no
real alternative to a new generation of
nuclear reactors. However, combined heat
and power units, which generate electricity,
are already economical for large houses or
blocks of flats and smaller units will be on
the market next year. Local generation of
electricity eliminates the enormous losses
of wasted heat in electricity generation by
fossil fuels or nuclear reactors. Wind
turbines and solar cells on the roof can
also provide home solutions and will
become more economical as costs come
down with mass production.
Your conclusion should:
Restate the main claim
Present one or two general sentences which
accurately summarise your arguments which
support the main premise
Provide a general warning of the
consequences of not following the premise
that you put forward and/or a general
statement of how the community will benefit
from following that premise
Choose one of the topics below,
brainstorm and write a thesis statement.
Using animals for scientific and medical
Killing animals for food