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Teens: What Do You Know About Argumentative Essays?

The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

You must note that some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved.

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published materials. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments.

Detailed research allows the students to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

  1. An argumentative essay has two sides of pros and cons because a debate has only one side
  2. In an argument, both sides need to be examined
  3. The elements for an argumentative essay are facts, data, and opinions of experts. Objectivity and accuracy are very important.
  4. A debate’s format is suggestive and the subject must be discussed with a mixture of facts and fiction to support one’s point of view.
  5. For a debate, you have to be consistent for the side chosen but one must not be violently one sided to lose all sense of proportion
  6. Each essay follows the standard layout of introduction, body and conclusion
  7. Each point should be used to develop a paragraph
  8. In the conclusion, you should restate your stance, summarise your points and consolidate the reasons for taking your stance.
  9. Several techniques can be used to boost your essay. These are: alienate argument, chronological argument or argument through examples.
  10. Alternate argument involves making direct comparisons between opponent’s points and yours.
  11. Chronological argument: involves stating the opponent’s points in one paragraph, and using the remaining paragraphs for one’s own points (in the process dismantling the opponents point of view)
  12. Argument by example involves using examples to organise one’s essay.

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