The 4 Parts Of An Argumentative Essay: A Guide For Newbies

So you’ve been asked to put together an argumentative paper, and you have absolutely no idea where to start. Below is a quick guide to the four parts of an argumentative essay.


In the first section, you will start with an introduction for your argument. This section is made up of:

  • A Hook, which is the first sentence of your paper and should catch the reader’s eye straight away.
  • Some background information that will enable your reader to understand why you have chosen to write this paper. (What you are arguing and why is it important?)
  • A thesis, which is where you share your opinion on the topic.

The Body of Your Paper

Now you will need to develop your argument. You have told your reader what the argument is about and why it is important, you have also told him or her your opinion on the matter. Now you need to back it up.

In this section, you need to make claims and back up every claim with factual evidence. It does not matter how many claims you need to make, but they all need to have factual and indisputable evidence to accompany them. In other words, every statement you make needs to be supported by bulletproof evidence.

The Refutation

In this section, you will need to talk about your opponent's rebuttals and acknowledge them. To listen and understand their point does not mean you agree with it. Therefore, you will need to discuss what your opponent’s views are and argue them intelligently with hard facts. Put yourself in a lawyer's mind and try do research to come up with facts that cannot be argued further.

The rebuttal is not an opportunity to try and embarrass your opponent or show any form of disrespect, it is a chance for you to engage with your readers and show respect for your opponent whilst proving that they are ultimately wrong. It is key to do this in a professional and intellectual manner with backed up evidence.

The Conclusion

There are two tasks that need be accomplished in the conclusion of an argumentative essay; these are:

  • You must restate the major arguments you made and why this topic is important
  • You will need to summarize your key points. To do this you may point out the weaknesses of your opponent’s argument, re-emphasize the importance of your argument, suggest how your points can be implemented, or even paint a picture of what the world would be like if your reader did not listen to you. By making your reader take responsibility, you will get their attention.

Last But Not Least

Write a checklist for your argumentative paper so that you do not forget any key points. In addition to this, you will need to back up any points you make with reliable references. It is important that you provide a full list of references and present your bibliography in the way in which your tutor or professor asked for it.


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