Steps for an Argumentative Essay

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DIVYA RAGHUNATHAN

Updated on Apr 29, 2021

Exams Know-how | 3 min read
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For an Argumentative Essay, you need to produce an essay of 300-400 words (approximately) with coherent ideas and organisation. You have to produce a critique with some substance. The topic of this essay always makes a claim. The author has already advocated his position. The argument has to be read with a critical eye. Your aim is to find the flaws in the author's argument. You have to find all the assumptions the author makes as he moves from point to point and from a statement, to an evidence and finally, a conclusion. Remember every argument presented for this section is always flawed. Neither do you have to agree or disagree with the author nor do you have to present your personal views on the topic. You only have reason and analyse the argument.

Following are the steps:

Step 1: Understand the argument

The first step is to understand the question, the author's conclusions and his claims. Note this down on your booklet. After doing this, spot all the evidences for these claims. Check every sentence carefully. Make a written or a mental note of all those evidences that have not been mentioned or explained but must be true for the argument to be convincing. Be sure not to miss out on any of the ambiguities. This step takes about 2-3 minutes.

Step 2: Note down the points to be written

In this step, you have to question the conclusions and claims of the author. You have to question them in order to know as to how true and convincing they are w.r.t. the argument. Check whether there is any evidence to support the conclusion. Also, verify whether the evidence provided supports the conclusion properly. Now, think of all the additional evidences you can provide to strengthen or weaken these points.This step takes about 2-4 minutes.

Step 3: Organisation of your critique

Organise your points. The essay should have points that have been sequenced properly, so organise your points coherently. As long as your critique is logical, gripping, convincing and has some substance, you could follow any pattern you want. Usually, the introduction is a brief explanation about the author's argument. You can mention all his claims, conclusions and evidences used to support the prior. The first half of the body your critique could be about all the flaws of the argument, the unstated assumptions and the various ambiguities. The second half could be about your ways to strengthen the argument. Please try to give examples of evidence to demonstrate your points clearly. Your conclusion should mention a brief overview of all the points made in the body of your critique. Mention those points which do not make the author's argument persuasive. Also, speak about ways the author could have
made his argument persuasive. The opening and closing paragraphs have to be very strong.This step takes about 4-5 minutes

Step 4: Type your essay.

While typing, be precise and concise with your language. For emphatic writing, make use of transitions link related ideas. Use of transition words will help you get fluent with your communication of the subject and all the connections will be logical. This step takes about 15-20 minutes.

Step 5: Proofreading

It is important to proofread your critique because we are always liable to make mistakes. In this step, try to avoid making any major changes. Check your essay for some minor errors. Check whether any point has to be explained explicitly or any point has been linked to another point or example, inappropriately. This step takes about 4-5 minutes

The time duration for each step is subjective.