Writing Arguments

In argumentative writing, you take a stand on a debatable issue.  The issue being debated might be a matter of public policy: Should religious groups be allowed to meet on school property? Should we restrict gun ownership? On such questions, people can disagree.

Your goal in argumentation writing is to change the way your readers think a bout an issue or to convince them to take an action that they might not otherwise be inclined to take.  To convince your readers, you need to build arguments strong enough to stand up to the arguments put forward by your opponents.

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Consider your audience
  • state your major argument in a thesis - 
  • example: Although young male drivers have a high accident rate, insurance companies should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone who has driven for the past two years without a traffic violation.
  • Draft an introduction that states your position
  • Support each argument with specific evidence - use facts and statistics, use examples and anecdotes, cite expert opinions..       
  • Avoid common mistakes in reasoning (refer to the lecture on logic and fallacies)