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Argument Of Fact Essays

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 01:03:40

The following sections outline the generally accepted structure for an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and that your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

You may also use the following Purdue OWL resources to help you with your argument paper:

Introduction

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why am I reading it?
  3. What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions by doing the following:

  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
  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).

For exploratory essays, your primary research question would replace your thesis statement so that the audience understands why you began your inquiry. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.

If your argument paper is long, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, and the opposition to your position. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing. Your forecast could read something like this:

First, I will define key terms for my argument, and then I will provide some background of the situation. Next, I will outline the important positions of the argument and explain why I support one of these positions. Lastly, I will consider opposing positions and discuss why these positions are outdated. I will conclude with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

When writing a research paper, you may need to use a more formal, less personal tone. Your forecast might read like this:

This paper begins by providing key terms for the argument before providing background of the situation. Next, important positions are outlined and supported. To provide a more thorough explanation of these important positions, opposing positions are discussed. The paper concludes with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

Ask your instructor about what tone you should use when providing a forecast for your paper.

These are very general examples, but by adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.

Thesis checklist

Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.

This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:

Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:

  • A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
  • A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
  • A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
  • A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
  • Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 42). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.

Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:

  • A good thesis is unified:
    • NOT: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them

(floppy). vs.

  •  
    • BETTER: Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).

  • A good thesis is specific:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.

  • Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.

Quick Checklist:

_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above

_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment

_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable

_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal

20 Successful Argument Of Fact Essay Topics For College Students


When you need to write an argumentative essay, it’s important to have a great topic. If you’re just finding one off the internet, it may not be interesting enough. Always ask your teacher before you begin working on a topic. The ones included in this article are from past successful essays that can get you a good mark if you do your research and have a structured, edited essay.

It’s not just the topic, but how you talk about it that affects grade. Think about each one of the topics below while you’re reading the instructions for your homework. Is there any that stand out to you personally, or seem intriguing to learn more about? You can even ask your friends what their topics are and choose a similar one if they inspire you. It’s a great way to collaborate and help each other while still writing your own separate projects. In college, things are hard enough without not knowing what to write on your essays, so it’s great when you can have a place to start. The topics on this page are exactly that—a good starting place.

Topics for great argument of fact essays

  • 1. Should scientists be using animals for research purposes?
  • 2. Are humans too dependent on their computers?
  • 3. Should smoking cigarettes be illegal?
  • 4. Is it effective or acceptable to use the death penalty?
  • 5. Is there any way for pro-abortion and pro-life groups to work together?
  • 6. Are we contributing to global warming?
  • 7. Are the results of tests a good standard to hold schools at?
  • 8. Do video games focusing on violence encourage violent behavior?
  • 9. Should people receiving welfare have to have drug testing done?
  • 10. Should students of a class be able to grade their teachers?
  • 11. What laws should we have regarding cell phone use in cars?
  • 12. Do sports or martial arts keep teens from getting into trouble?
  • 13. Does it matter what age your partner is in a relationship?
  • 14. Is fashion really that important?
  • 15. How can we stop human trafficking?
  • 16. Should the military come to high schools to recruit students?
  • 17. Are athletes and actors paid too much?
  • 18. Would renewable energy to replace gasoline ruin the world’s economies?
  • 19. Should the minimum wage be raised for fast food workers?
  • 20. How to decide which people should be allowed to immigrate to the US?

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