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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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claim in argumentative essay example

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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How to Write an Effective Claim (with Examples)

Formulating a claim for your essay can be difficult even if you are already a masterful debater — especially if you are not quite sure what a claim is, and how it may differ from a counterclaim or thesis statement. This guide will make it easy to decide on your claim!

Essay Claim Basics

In essay writing, a claim can most succinctly be defined as "a debatable statement" — which the writer then defends with supporting evidence and rhetoric. It is easy to confuse a claim and a thesis statement, because the thesis is indeed a type of claim as well. Essays can contain further claims that orbit the topic of the thesis statement, however.

Claims straddle the line between opinion and fact. If you're hoping to make a strong claim that seamlessly fits into a powerful essay, you will need to make sure that your claim ticks the right boxes:

  • Your claim can debated — solid arguments can be made both in favor and against. Therefore, statements such as "I live in Queens" or "Joe Biden is the President" are not claims. In an argumentative essay, "the death penalty should be abolished" is an example of a claim. Even scientific papers make claims, such as "Keyboards contain more germs than toilet seats", which can be tested. These are called hypotheses.
  • You will state your claim as a matter of fact. "Many people oppose the death penalty, and with good reason" is not a good claim, but "the death penalty is no longer an appropriate punishment in modern America" can be.
  • Your claim is sufficiently specific to allow you to explore all aspects that you intend to tackle. "The Victorian era was Britain's darkest era" give you more bite than you can comfortably chew. "Fast food should be taxed to reduce obesity rates" is more specific.

Types of Claim (With Examples!)

Claims are debatable statements, but there are numerous different types. If you have specifically been asked to present a claim in an essay, you may be able to choose what kind of claim you would like to work with.

1. Claim of Fact or Definition

In research essays, a claim of fact or definition is one that defines a fact, as you see it, and proceeds to lay out the evidence in favor of the claim. Here are some examples to show you how it works:

  • Plant species are becoming extinct at a faster rate than animal species, yet the plight of plants has been overlooked.
  • Amazon's Alexa has revolutionized many people's daily lives — but this appliance also makes us vulnerable to new forms of hacking.
  • Commercial air travel transformed the way in which we do business.

2. Claim of Cause & Effect

In a claim of cause and effect, you argue that one thing causes another, such as:

  • Internet gaming has a widespread negative effect on students' grades.
  • Lax enforcement of preventative measures against Covid has enabled the pandemic to continue for much longer than it need have.
  • Playing jigsaw puzzles leads to novel cognitive connections that help senior citizens stay sharp.

3. Claim of Value

Claims of value are more heavily opinion-based than other types of claims. If you are making a claim of value, you will usually want to compare two things. For example:

  • George W Bush was a better President than George W H Bush.
  • Emotional health is just as important as physical health.
  • Stephen King is the best horror writer of al time.

4. Claim of Solution or Policy

Claims of solution or policy state a position on a proposed course of action. In high school and college essays, they typically focus on something that should be done, or something that should no longer be done. Examples might include:

  • Depressed patients should always be offered talk therapy before they receive a prescription for antidepressants.
  • The United States should not accept refugees from Afghanistan.
  • First-time offenders should be given lighter sentences.

Claim vs. Counterclaim vs. Thesis Statement

If you've been told to make an essay claim, you may be confused about the differences between a claim, counterclaim, and thesis statement. That's understandable, because some people believe that there's no difference between a claim and a thesis statement.

There are important distinctions between these three concepts, however, and if you want to write a killer essay, it's important to be aware of them:

  • A thesis statement is the very foundation of your essay — everything else rests on it. The thesis statement should contain no more than one or two sentences, and summarize the heart of your argument. "Regular exercise has consistently been shown to increase productivity in the workplace. Therefore, employers should offer office workers, who would otherwise be largely sedentary, opportunities to work out."
  • A claim is a statement you can defend with arguments and evidence. A thesis statement is a type of claim, but you'll want to include other claims that fit neatly into the subject matter as well. For instance, "Employers should establish gyms for employees."
  • A counterclaim is a statement that contradicts, refutes, or opposes a claim. Why would you want to argue against yourself? You can do so to show that arguments that oppose the claim are weak. For instance, "Many employers would balk at the idea of facilitating costly exercise classes or providing a gym space — employees can work out in their own time, after all. Why should the boss pay for workers to engage in recreational activities at work? Recent studies have shown, however, that workplaces that have incorporated aerobics classes enjoy 120% increase in productivity, showing that this step serves the bottom line."

Together, a thesis statement, claims, and some well-placed counterclaims make up the threads of your story, leading to a coherent essay that is interesting to read.

How to Write an Effective Claim

Now that you've seen some examples, you are well on your way to writing an effective claim for your essay. Need some extra tips? We've got you covered.

First things first — how do you start a claim in an essay? Your claim sentence or sentences should be written in the active voice, starting with the subject, so that your readers can immediately understand what you are talking about.

They'll be formulated as an "[Subject] should be [proposed action], because [argument]. You can stay with this general structure while making different word choices, however, such as:

  • It is about time that
  • We have an obligation to
  • Is the only logical choice
  • It is imperative that

Once you have formulated a claim, you will want to see if you can hook your readers with an interesting or provocative statement that can really get them thinking. You will want to break your argument down into sections. This will lead you to sub-claims. If your claim is your main argument, your sub-claims are smaller arguments that work to support it. They will typically appear naturally once you contemplate the subject deeply — just brainstorm, and as you research, keep considering why your claim is true. The reasons you come up with will sprout sub-claims.

Still not sure what to write? Take a look at these examples of strong claim statements:

  • A lack of work experience has proven to be the main barrier to finding satisfying employment, so businesses should be incentivized to hire recent graduates.
  • The rise in uncertified "emotional support animals" directly causes suffering for people suffering from severe pet dander allergies. Such pets must be outlawed in public places to alleviate the very real harm allergy patients now experience on a daily basis.
  • Emerging private space exploration ventures may be exciting, but they greatly increase CO2 emissions. At a time when the planet is in crisis, private space exploration should be banned.

Additional Tips in Writing a Claim the Right Way

You now know what you need to include in a claim paragraph to leave a strong impression. Understanding what not to do is equally important, however.

  • Take a stand — if you're writing an argumentative essay, it is perfectly OK to take a controversial opinion, and no matter what you write, it is bound to have the potential to offend someone . Don't sit on the fence. Even when you're defending a position you disagree with, embrace it wholeheartedly.
  • Narrow your claim down. The more specific you can get, the more compelling your argument can be, and the more depth you can add to each aspect of your argument.
  • Have fun! You want your essay to be interesting to read, and any genuine passion you have will be apparent.
  • Choose the right subject — one about which you can find a lot of data and facts.

What should you avoid in writing a claim, you wonder? Don't:

  • Use any first-person statements. The claim is about your ideas, not about you.
  • Base your claim on emotional appeal. You can work some pathos in, but don't make feelings your center.
  • Clutter your claim with too many separate ideas, which will make the rest of your essay harder to read, less powerful, and unwieldy for you to develop.

How do you use a claim?

When you're writing your essay, you can think of the thesis statement as the spine. The claims you make are, then, your "ribs", so to speak. If you prefer a different analogy, the thesis is your trunk, and the claims branches. You use them to build a strong final product that shows you have considered all aspects of your argument, and can back them up with evidence and logic.

What is a good way to start a claim?

You can start with a shocking fact, objective data from a reliable source, or even an anecdote — or, if you prefer, you can simply offer your argument without bells and whistles.

Can a claim be in a paragraph or is it a single sentence only?

Claims are almost always limited to a single sentence. It can be a long compound sentence, though! The claim does not have to remain all alone in the paragraph. You can immediately surround it with rhetorical punches or further facts.

What are some examples of argumentative claims?

So, you want to learn to argue like a pro? Watching speeches politicians make is a great way to look out for claims, and court transcripts and academic debates are two other places you can look for great argumentative claims.

Is there a claim generator you can use?

Yes! Some claim generators are free to use, while others require a subscription. These tools can be interesting to play with, and can serve as inspiration. However, it's always best to tweak your final claim to fit your needs.

Related posts:

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  • All that Glitters is Not Gold - Meaning, Origin and Usage
  • Ginning Up - Meaning, Usage and Origin
  • Chime In - Meaning, Origin and Usage

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How to Write a Claim for An Argumentative Essay Step-By-Step

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by  Antony W

October 24, 2022

how to write a claim for an argumentative essay

Have you searched for a guide on how to write a claim for an argumentative essay but came out empty?

You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re looking forward to working on a difficult argumentative essay topic or you already have easy subject to work on, this guide will show you how to write a claim that you can defend using evidence and reason.  

Key Takeaways

  • A claim is a declaration sentence subject to debate.
  • Claims are different from topic sentences in that they appear only in the thesis statement of the essay. A topic sentence appears in every paragraph of an essay.
  • For a sentence to be a claim, it should communicate a message that engages an audience to do something or act in a certain way.

What is a Claim in an Argumentative Essay?

A claim in an essay is a debatable statement and a part of an argument’s declaration sentence. In respect to academic writing standards, a claim must exclude personal feelings and already known facts and it must leave room for debate.

Just as personal opinions are unacceptable in argumentative writing, a claim must not have a link to how you feel about a subject. Rather making a bold statement that potentially demonstrate that you’re right about an issue, you must bind your claim up for inquiry within the specific subject.

The purpose of a claim in an argument is to convince, persuade, or give proof to move your audience to agree with your point of view. You can focus on communicating a message, but it’s best to double down on moving an audience to think in a certain way.  

Types of Claims in Argumentative Essay

A claim is one of the elements that drive an argument . For the best outcome, you need to use the right type of claim depending on the topic presented in the prompt.

You can make a:

  • Claim of fact
  • Claim of definition
  • Claim of cause and effect
  • Claim of value
  • Claim of policy

Let’s look at each of these types of claims to help you understand what they mean.

Claim of Fact

How valid is the statement you’re about to give? Is there an element of truth in the statement you intend to present?

Should such be the statement you want to present, you’re looking at making a claim of fact.

A claim of fact mainly presents an argument that demonstrates whether something is true or false. It holds that if you’re going to challenge what we consider as facts, you must have concrete research to back it up. 

Claim of Definition

A claim of definition argues about definitions of things or phenomena. Ideally, you may argue that something means another thing altogether, even if some people don’t consider your definition sounding.

Rather than offering a discount explanation of your claim, you shouldn’t hesitate to give your personal explanation. However, you must ensure that you sound neither emotional nor biased.

Pay attention to the information that you provide when dealing with a claim of definition. Remember that when writing an argumentative essay, even a claim of definition must be debatable.

Claim of Cause and Effect

The claim of cause and effect requires you to do two things:

First, you should describe the cause of an event. Second, you should explain the implication or impact the issue has.

By doing so, your essay will be so comprehensive and valuable that you earn top grades.

Claim of Value

If you’re going to base your argument on the significance of the topic in question, you will have to make a claim of value. 

Claim of Policy

You can also make a claim of policy in your argumentative essay.

This type of claim seeks to give readers the reasons why they should care about what you have to say. It also should suggest what they should do after reading your essay.

How to Write a Claim for an Argumentative Essay

You’ve learned three important things so far. You know what claim is in an essay, why the claim is important, and the types of claims you can write in your argument.

But how do you write a claim for an argumentative essay?

1. Explore the Essay’s Topic

Exploring your focus topic is a good way to determine what claim can best fit in your argumentative essay.

Whether you’ve selected your own idea or received a focus topic from your teacher, you should do preliminary research and develop concrete ideas that you can easily argue.

Let’s say you’re working on a topic about global warning. Deforestation would make a good focus topic here. From this, you can present evidence and give reasons why cutting down trees is the major cause of global warming.

2. Ask a Question

Narrowing down to a specific subject has two benefits.

  • It’s easy to come up with tons of useful ideas for your central argument.
  • You can develop reasonable questions to help you develop a relevant claim for the essay.

The most relevant question for the project is one that summarizes your thoughts. For the claim to be bold, you must follow the question with a short, clear, and direct response to summarize your positon.

3. Determine the Goal of the Essay

Another way to come up with a strong claim for an argumentative essay is to look at the assignment brief once more to understand the primary goal of the argument .

Determining the goal of the assignment can help you to develop a claim that can easily challenge the opinion of your readers regardless of what they assume to be true.

From a writing standpoint, your essay will focus on multiple issues. However, you’ll need to ensure that they all tie together to address the central theme in the thesis statement. In this respect, your claim should demonstrate a clear stand on the main issue. 

4. Take a Unique Approach

We’ve looked at hundreds of argumentative essay samples in the last few months. What we discovered is a similarity in the way students approach the assignment.

Either they state arguable facts followed by blunt claims.

There’s nothing with this. The problem, though, is that it becomes difficult to grab the attention of a reader.

So we recommend that you take a different approach. By doing so, you can write a claim that’s not only interesting but also sustainable.

Our team of professional writers and editor, who hold college and university degrees in various fields will research, write, and validate the information in the essay and deliver results that exceed your expectations.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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8 Effective Strategies to Write Argumentative Essays

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In a bustling university town, there lived a student named Alex. Popular for creativity and wit, one challenge seemed insurmountable for Alex– the dreaded argumentative essay!

One gloomy afternoon, as the rain tapped against the window pane, Alex sat at his cluttered desk, staring at a blank document on the computer screen. The assignment loomed large: a 350-600-word argumentative essay on a topic of their choice . With a sigh, he decided to seek help of mentor, Professor Mitchell, who was known for his passion for writing.

Entering Professor Mitchell’s office was like stepping into a treasure of knowledge. Bookshelves lined every wall, faint aroma of old manuscripts in the air and sticky notes over the wall. Alex took a deep breath and knocked on his door.

“Ah, Alex,” Professor Mitchell greeted with a warm smile. “What brings you here today?”

Alex confessed his struggles with the argumentative essay. After hearing his concerns, Professor Mitchell said, “Ah, the argumentative essay! Don’t worry, Let’s take a look at it together.” As he guided Alex to the corner shelf, Alex asked,

Table of Contents

“What is an Argumentative Essay?”

The professor replied, “An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that presents a clear argument or a firm position on a contentious issue. Unlike other forms of essays, such as descriptive or narrative essays, these essays require you to take a stance, present evidence, and convince your audience of the validity of your viewpoint with supporting evidence. A well-crafted argumentative essay relies on concrete facts and supporting evidence rather than merely expressing the author’s personal opinions . Furthermore, these essays demand comprehensive research on the chosen topic and typically follows a structured format consisting of three primary sections: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.”

He continued, “Argumentative essays are written in a wide range of subject areas, reflecting their applicability across disciplines. They are written in different subject areas like literature and philosophy, history, science and technology, political science, psychology, economics and so on.

Alex asked,

“When is an Argumentative Essay Written?”

The professor answered, “Argumentative essays are often assigned in academic settings, but they can also be written for various other purposes, such as editorials, opinion pieces, or blog posts. Some situations to write argumentative essays include:

1. Academic assignments

In school or college, teachers may assign argumentative essays as part of coursework. It help students to develop critical thinking and persuasive writing skills .

2. Debates and discussions

Argumentative essays can serve as the basis for debates or discussions in academic or competitive settings. Moreover, they provide a structured way to present and defend your viewpoint.

3. Opinion pieces

Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often feature opinion pieces that present an argument on a current issue or topic to influence public opinion.

4. Policy proposals

In government and policy-related fields, argumentative essays are used to propose and defend specific policy changes or solutions to societal problems.

5. Persuasive speeches

Before delivering a persuasive speech, it’s common to prepare an argumentative essay as a foundation for your presentation.

Regardless of the context, an argumentative essay should present a clear thesis statement , provide evidence and reasoning to support your position, address counterarguments, and conclude with a compelling summary of your main points. The goal is to persuade readers or listeners to accept your viewpoint or at least consider it seriously.”

Handing over a book, the professor continued, “Take a look on the elements or structure of an argumentative essay.”

Elements of an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay comprises five essential components:

Claim in argumentative writing is the central argument or viewpoint that the writer aims to establish and defend throughout the essay. A claim must assert your position on an issue and must be arguable. It can guide the entire argument.

2. Evidence

Evidence must consist of factual information, data, examples, or expert opinions that support the claim. Also, it lends credibility by strengthening the writer’s position.

3. Counterarguments

Presenting a counterclaim demonstrates fairness and awareness of alternative perspectives.

4. Rebuttal

After presenting the counterclaim, the writer refutes it by offering counterarguments or providing evidence that weakens the opposing viewpoint. It shows that the writer has considered multiple perspectives and is prepared to defend their position.

The format of an argumentative essay typically follows the structure to ensure clarity and effectiveness in presenting an argument.

How to Write An Argumentative Essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an argumentative essay:

1. Introduction

  • Begin with a compelling sentence or question to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Provide context for the issue, including relevant facts, statistics, or historical background.
  • Provide a concise thesis statement to present your position on the topic.

2. Body Paragraphs (usually three or more)

  • Start each paragraph with a clear and focused topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
  • Furthermore, provide evidence and explain the facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, and quotations from credible sources that supports your thesis.
  • Use transition sentences to smoothly move from one point to the next.

3. Counterargument and Rebuttal

  • Acknowledge opposing viewpoints or potential objections to your argument.
  • Also, address these counterarguments with evidence and explain why they do not weaken your position.

4. Conclusion

  • Restate your thesis statement and summarize the key points you’ve made in the body of the essay.
  • Leave the reader with a final thought, call to action, or broader implication related to the topic.

5. Citations and References

  • Properly cite all the sources you use in your essay using a consistent citation style.
  • Also, include a bibliography or works cited at the end of your essay.

6. Formatting and Style

  • Follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.
  • Use a professional and academic tone in your writing and edit your essay to avoid content, spelling and grammar mistakes .

Remember that the specific requirements for formatting an argumentative essay may vary depending on your instructor’s guidelines or the citation style you’re using (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Always check the assignment instructions or style guide for any additional requirements or variations in formatting.

Did you understand what Prof. Mitchell explained Alex? Check it now!

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Prof. Mitchell continued, “An argumentative essay can adopt various approaches when dealing with opposing perspectives. It may offer a balanced presentation of both sides, providing equal weight to each, or it may advocate more strongly for one side while still acknowledging the existence of opposing views.” As Alex listened carefully to the Professor’s thoughts, his eyes fell on a page with examples of argumentative essay.

Example of an Argumentative Essay

Alex picked the book and read the example. It helped him to understand the concept. Furthermore, he could now connect better to the elements and steps of the essay which Prof. Mitchell had mentioned earlier. Aren’t you keen to know how an argumentative essay should be like? Here is an example of a well-crafted argumentative essay , which was read by Alex. After Alex finished reading the example, the professor turned the page and continued, “Check this page to know the importance of writing an argumentative essay in developing skills of an individual.”

Importance of an Argumentative Essay


After understanding the benefits, Alex was convinced by the ability of the argumentative essays in advocating one’s beliefs and favor the author’s position. Alex asked,

“How are argumentative essays different from the other types?”

Prof. Mitchell answered, “Argumentative essays differ from other types of essays primarily in their purpose, structure, and approach in presenting information. Unlike expository essays, argumentative essays persuade the reader to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action on a controversial issue. Furthermore, they differ from descriptive essays by not focusing vividly on describing a topic. Also, they are less engaging through storytelling as compared to the narrative essays.

Alex said, “Given the direct and persuasive nature of argumentative essays, can you suggest some strategies to write an effective argumentative essay?

Turning the pages of the book, Prof. Mitchell replied, “Sure! You can check this infographic to get some tips for writing an argumentative essay.”

Effective Strategies to Write an Argumentative Essay


As days turned into weeks, Alex diligently worked on his essay. He researched, gathered evidence, and refined his thesis. It was a long and challenging journey, filled with countless drafts and revisions.

Finally, the day arrived when Alex submitted their essay. As he clicked the “Submit” button, a sense of accomplishment washed over him. He realized that the argumentative essay, while challenging, had improved his critical thinking and transformed him into a more confident writer. Furthermore, Alex received feedback from his professor, a mix of praise and constructive criticism. It was a humbling experience, a reminder that every journey has its obstacles and opportunities for growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

An argumentative essay can be written as follows- 1. Choose a Topic 2. Research and Collect Evidences 3. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement 4. Outline Your Essay- Introduction, Body Paragraphs and Conclusion 5. Revise and Edit 6. Format and Cite Sources 7. Final Review

One must choose a clear, concise and specific statement as a claim. It must be debatable and establish your position. Avoid using ambiguous or unclear while making a claim. To strengthen your claim, address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. Additionally, use persuasive language and rhetoric to make your claim more compelling

Starting an argument essay effectively is crucial to engage your readers and establish the context for your argument. Here’s how you can start an argument essay are: 1. Begin With an Engaging Hook 2. Provide Background Information 3. Present Your Thesis Statement 4. Briefly Outline Your Main 5. Establish Your Credibility

The key features of an argumentative essay are: 1. Clear and Specific Thesis Statement 2. Credible Evidence 3. Counterarguments 4. Structured Body Paragraph 5. Logical Flow 6. Use of Persuasive Techniques 7. Formal Language

An argumentative essay typically consists of the following main parts or sections: 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Counterargument and Rebuttal 4. Conclusion 5. References (if applicable)

The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a particular viewpoint or position on a controversial or debatable topic. In other words, the primary goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the audience that the author's argument or thesis statement is valid, logical, and well-supported by evidence and reasoning.

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Argumentative Essay Examples & Analysis

July 20, 2023

claim in argumentative essay example

Writing successful argumentative or persuasive essays is a sort of academic rite of passage: every student, at some point in their academic career, will have to do it. And not without reason—writing a good argumentative essay requires the ability to organize one’s thoughts, reason logically, and present evidence in support of claims. They even require empathy, as authors are forced to inhabit and then respond to viewpoints that run counter to their own. Here, we’ll look at some argumentative essay examples and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

What is an argumentative essay?

Before we turn to those argumentative essay examples, let’s get precise about what an argumentative essay is. An argumentative essay is an essay that advances a central point, thesis, or claim using evidence and facts. In other words, argumentative essays are essays that argue on behalf of a particular viewpoint. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the reader that the essay’s core idea is correct.

Good argumentative essays rely on facts and evidence. Personal anecdotes, appeals to emotion , and opinions that aren’t grounded in evidence just won’t fly. Let’s say I wanted to write an essay arguing that cats are the best pets. It wouldn’t be enough to say that I love having a cat as a pet. That’s just my opinion. Nor would it be enough to cite my downstairs neighbor Claudia, who also has a cat and who also prefers cats to dogs. That’s just an anecdote.

For the essay to have a chance at succeeding, I’d have to use evidence to support my argument. Maybe there are studies that compare the cost of cat ownership to dog ownership and conclude that cat ownership is less expensive. Perhaps there’s medical data that shows that more people are allergic to dogs than they are to cats. And maybe there are surveys that show that cat owners are more satisfied with their pets than are dog owners. I have no idea if any of that is true. The point is that successful argumentative essays use evidence from credible sources to back up their points.

Argumentative essay structure

Important to note before we examine a few argumentative essay examples: most argumentative essays will follow a standard 5-paragraph format. This format entails an introductory paragraph that lays out the essay’s central claim. Next, there are three body paragraphs that each advance sub-claims and evidence to support the central claim. Lastly, there is a conclusion that summarizes the points made. That’s not to say that every good argumentative essay will adhere strictly to the 5-paragraph format. And there is plenty of room for flexibility and creativity within the 5-paragraph format. For example, a good argumentative essay that follows the 5-paragraph template will also generally include counterarguments and rebuttals.

Introduction Example

Now let’s move on to those argumentative essay examples, and examine in particular a couple of introductions. The first takes on a common argumentative essay topic —capital punishment.

The death penalty has long been a divisive issue in the United States. 24 states allow the death penalty, while the other 26 have either banned the death penalty outright or issued moratoriums halting the practice. Proponents of the death penalty argue that it’s an effective deterrent against crime. Time and time again, however, this argument has been shown to be false. Capital punishment does not deter crime. But not only that—the death penalty is irreversible, which allows our imperfect justice system no room for error. Finally, the application of the death penalty is racially biased—the population of death row is over 41% Black , despite Black Americans making up just 13% of the U.S. population. For all these reasons, the death penalty should be outlawed across the board in the United States.

Why this introduction works: First, it’s clear. It lays out the essay’s thesis: that the death penalty should be outlawed in the United States. It also names the sub-arguments the author is going to use to support the thesis: (1), capital punishment does not deter crime, (2), it’s irreversible, and (3), it’s a racially biased practice. In laying out these three points, the author is also laying out the structure of the essay to follow. Each of the body paragraphs will take on one of the three sub-arguments presented in the introduction.

Argumentative Essay Examples (Continued)

Something else I like about this introduction is that it acknowledges and then refutes a common counterargument—the idea that the death penalty is a crime deterrent. Notice also the flow of the first two sentences. The first flags the essay’s topic. But it also makes a claim—that the issue of capital punishment is politically divisive. The following sentence backs this claim up. Essentially half of the country allows the practice; the other half has banned it. This is a feature not just of solid introductions but of good argumentative essays in general—all the essay’s claims will be backed up with evidence.

How it could be improved: Okay, I know I just got through singing the praises of the first pair of sentences, but if I were really nitpicking, I might take issue with them. Why? The first sentence is a bit of a placeholder. It’s a platitude, a way for the author to get a foothold in the piece. The essay isn’t about how divisive the death penalty is; it’s about why it ought to be abolished. When it comes to writing an argumentative essay, I always like to err on the side of blunt. There’s nothing wrong with starting an argumentative essay with the main idea: Capital punishment is an immoral and ineffective form of punishment, and the practice should be abolished .

Let’s move on to another argumentative essay example. Here’s an introduction that deals with the effects of technology on the brain:

Much of the critical discussion around technology today revolves around social media. Critics argue that social media has cut us off from our fellow citizens, trapping us in “information silos” and contributing to political polarization. Social media also promotes unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards, which can lead to anxiety and depression. What’s more, the social media apps themselves are designed to addict their users. These are all legitimate critiques of social media, and they ought to be taken seriously. But the problem of technology today goes deeper than social media. The internet itself is the problem. Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning. The internet is, quite literally, rewiring our brains.

Why this introduction works: This introduction hooks the reader by tying a topical debate about social media to the essay’s main subject—the problem of the internet itself. The introduction makes it clear what the essay is going to be about; the sentence, “But the problem of technology…” signals to the reader that the main idea is coming. I like the clarity with which the main idea is stated, and, as in the previous introduction, the main idea sets up the essay to follow.

How it could be improved: I like how direct this introduction is, but it might be improved by being a little more specific. Without getting too technical, the introduction might tell the reader what it means to “promote distracted thinking and superficial learning.” It might also hint as to why these are good arguments. For example, are there neurological or psychological studies that back this claim up? A simple fix might be: Whether it’s on our phones or our laptops, on a social media app, or doing a Google search, countless studies have shown that the internet promotes distracted thinking and superficial learning . The body paragraphs would then elaborate on those points. And the last sentence, while catchy, is a bit vague.

Body Paragraph Example

Let’s stick with our essay on capital punishment and continue on to the first body paragraph.

Proponents of the death penalty have long claimed that the practice is an effective deterrent to crime. It might not be pretty, they say, but its deterrent effects prevent further crime. Therefore, its continued use is justified. The problem is that this is just not borne out in the data. There is simply no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment, like long prison sentences. States, where the death penalty is still carried out, do not have lower crime rates than states where the practice has been abolished. States that have abandoned the death penalty likewise show no increase in crime or murder rates.

Body Paragraph (Continued)

For example, the state of Louisiana, where the death penalty is legal, has a murder rate of 21.3 per 100,000 residents. In Iowa, where the death penalty was abolished in 1965, the murder rate is 3.2 per 100,000. In Kentucky the death penalty is legal and the murder rate is 9.6; in Michigan where it’s illegal, the murder rate is 8.7. The death penalty simply has no bearing on murder rates. If it did, we’d see markedly lower murder rates in states that maintain the practice. But that’s not the case. Capital punishment does not deter crime. Therefore, it should be abolished.

Why this paragraph works: This body paragraph is successful because it coheres with the main idea set out in the introduction. It supports the essay’s first sub-argument—that capital punishment does not deter crime—and in so doing, it supports the essay’s main idea—that capital punishment should be abolished. How does it do that? By appealing to the data. A nice feature of this paragraph is that it simultaneously debunks a common counterargument and advances the essay’s thesis. It also supplies a few direct examples (murder rates in states like Kentucky, Michigan, etc.) without getting too technical. Importantly, the last few sentences tie the data back to the main idea of the essay. It’s not enough to pepper your essay with statistics. A good argumentative essay will unpack the statistics, tell the reader why the statistics matter, and how they support or confirm the essay’s main idea.

How it could be improved: The author is missing one logical connection at the end of the paragraph. The author shows that capital punishment doesn’t deter crime, but then just jumps to their conclusion. They needed to establish a logical bridge to get from the sub-argument to the conclusion. That bridge might be: if the deterrent effect is being used as a justification to maintain the practice, but the deterrent effect doesn’t really exist, then , in the absence of some other justification, the death penalty should be abolished. The author almost got there, but just needed to make that one final logical connection.

Conclusion Example

Once we’ve supported each of our sub-arguments with a corresponding body paragraph, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

It might be nice to think that executing murderers prevents future murders from happening, that our justice system is infallible and no one is ever wrongly put to death, and that the application of the death penalty is free of bias. But as we have seen, each of those thoughts are just comforting fictions. The death penalty does not prevent future crime—if it did, we’d see higher crime rates in states that’ve done away with capital punishment. The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. And the death penalty disproportionately affects people of color. The death penalty is an unjustifiable practice—both practically and morally. Therefore, the United States should do away with the practice and join the more than 85 world nations that have already done so.

Why this conclusion works: It concisely summarizes the points made throughout the essay. But notice that it’s not identical to the introduction. The conclusion makes it clear that our understanding of the issue has changed with the essay. It not only revisits the sub-arguments, it expounds upon them. And to put a bow on everything, it restates the thesis—this time, though, with a little more emotional oomph.

How it could be improved: I’d love to see a little more specificity with regard to the sub-arguments. Instead of just rehashing the second sub-argument—that wrongful executions are unavoidable—the author could’ve included a quick statistic to give the argument more weight. For example: The death penalty is an irreversible punishment meted out by an imperfect justice system—as a result, wrongful executions are unavoidable. Since 1973, at least 190 people have been put to death who were later found to be innocent.

An argumentative essay is a powerful way to convey one’s ideas. As an academic exercise, mastering the art of the argumentative essay requires students to hone their skills of critical thinking, rhetoric, and logical reasoning. The best argumentative essays communicate their ideas clearly and back up their claims with evidence.

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Dane Gebauer

Dane Gebauer is a writer and teacher living in Miami, FL. He received his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, and his writing has appeared in Complex Magazine and Sinking City Review .

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What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

Argumentative Essay

We define an argumentative essay as a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. The purpose is to convince the reader to accept a particular viewpoint or action. In an argumentative essay, the writer takes a stance on a controversial or debatable topic and supports their position with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The essay should also address counterarguments, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

Table of Contents

  • What is an argumentative essay?  
  • Argumentative essay structure 
  • Argumentative essay outline 
  • Types of argument claims 

How to write an argumentative essay?

  • Argumentative essay writing tips 
  • Good argumentative essay example 

How to write a good thesis

  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Paperpal? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a coherent and logical analysis of a specific topic. 1 The goal is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or opinion on a particular issue. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay: 

  • Thesis Statement : The central claim or argument that the essay aims to prove. 
  • Introduction : Provides background information and introduces the thesis statement. 
  • Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph addresses a specific aspect of the argument, presents evidence, and may include counter arguments. 

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  • Evidence : Supports the main argument with relevant facts, examples, statistics, or expert opinions. 
  • Counterarguments : Anticipates and addresses opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall argument. 
  • Conclusion : Summarizes the main points, reinforces the thesis, and may suggest implications or actions. 

claim in argumentative essay example

Argumentative essay structure

Aristotelian, Rogerian, and Toulmin are three distinct approaches to argumentative essay structures, each with its principles and methods. 2 The choice depends on the purpose and nature of the topic. Here’s an overview of each type of argumentative essay format.

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Argumentative essay outline

An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here’s an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3  

1.  Introduction : 

  • Hook : Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention. 

Example: “Did you know that plastic pollution is threatening marine life at an alarming rate?” 

  • Background information : Provide brief context about the issue. 

Example: “Plastic pollution has become a global environmental concern, with millions of tons of plastic waste entering our oceans yearly.” 

  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position. 

Example: “We must take immediate action to reduce plastic usage and implement more sustainable alternatives to protect our marine ecosystem.” 

2.  Body Paragraphs : 

  • Topic sentence : Introduce the main idea of each paragraph. 

Example: “The first step towards addressing the plastic pollution crisis is reducing single-use plastic consumption.” 

  • Evidence/Support : Provide evidence, facts, statistics, or examples that support your argument. 

Example: “Research shows that plastic straws alone contribute to millions of tons of plastic waste annually, and many marine animals suffer from ingestion or entanglement.” 

  • Counterargument/Refutation : Acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints. 

Example: “Some argue that banning plastic straws is inconvenient for consumers, but the long-term environmental benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.” 

  • Transition : Connect each paragraph to the next. 

Example: “Having addressed the issue of single-use plastics, the focus must now shift to promoting sustainable alternatives.” 

3.  Counterargument Paragraph : 

  • Acknowledgement of opposing views : Recognize alternative perspectives on the issue. 

Example: “While some may argue that individual actions cannot significantly impact global plastic pollution, the cumulative effect of collective efforts must be considered.” 

  • Counterargument and rebuttal : Present and refute the main counterargument. 

Example: “However, individual actions, when multiplied across millions of people, can substantially reduce plastic waste. Small changes in behavior, such as using reusable bags and containers, can have a significant positive impact.” 

4.  Conclusion : 

  • Restatement of thesis : Summarize your main argument. 

Example: “In conclusion, adopting sustainable practices and reducing single-use plastic is crucial for preserving our oceans and marine life.” 

  • Call to action : Encourage the reader to take specific steps or consider the argument’s implications. 

Example: “It is our responsibility to make environmentally conscious choices and advocate for policies that prioritize the health of our planet. By collectively embracing sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier future.” 

claim in argumentative essay example

Types of argument claims

A claim is a statement or proposition a writer puts forward with evidence to persuade the reader. 4 Here are some common types of argument claims, along with examples: 

  • Fact Claims : These claims assert that something is true or false and can often be verified through evidence.  Example: “Water boils at 100°C at sea level.”
  • Value Claims : Value claims express judgments about the worth or morality of something, often based on personal beliefs or societal values. Example: “Organic farming is more ethical than conventional farming.” 
  • Policy Claims : Policy claims propose a course of action or argue for a specific policy, law, or regulation change.  Example: “Schools should adopt a year-round education system to improve student learning outcomes.” 
  • Cause and Effect Claims : These claims argue that one event or condition leads to another, establishing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Example: “Excessive use of social media is a leading cause of increased feelings of loneliness among young adults.” 
  • Definition Claims : Definition claims assert the meaning or classification of a concept or term.  Example: “Artificial intelligence can be defined as machines exhibiting human-like cognitive functions.” 
  • Comparative Claims : Comparative claims assert that one thing is better or worse than another in certain respects.  Example: “Online education is more cost-effective than traditional classroom learning.” 
  • Evaluation Claims : Evaluation claims assess the quality, significance, or effectiveness of something based on specific criteria.  Example: “The new healthcare policy is more effective in providing affordable healthcare to all citizens.” 

Understanding these argument claims can help writers construct more persuasive and well-supported arguments tailored to the specific nature of the claim.  

If you’re wondering how to start an argumentative essay, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the argumentative essay format and writing process.

  • Choose a Topic: Select a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Ensure that the topic is debatable and has two or more sides.
  • Define Your Position: Clearly state your stance on the issue. Consider opposing viewpoints and be ready to counter them.
  • Conduct Research: Gather relevant information from credible sources, such as books, articles, and academic journals. Take notes on key points and supporting evidence.
  • Create a Thesis Statement: Develop a concise and clear thesis statement that outlines your main argument. Convey your position on the issue and provide a roadmap for the essay.
  • Outline Your Argumentative Essay: Organize your ideas logically by creating an outline. Include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis.
  • Write the Introduction: Start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention (a quote, a question, a surprising fact). Provide background information on the topic. Present your thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
  • Develop Body Paragraphs: Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis. Support your points with evidence and examples. Address counterarguments and refute them to strengthen your position. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and respond to opposing viewpoints. Anticipate objections and provide evidence to counter them.
  • Write the Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your argumentative essay. Reinforce the significance of your argument. End with a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking statement.
  • Revise, Edit, and Share: Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Share your essay with peers, friends, or instructors for constructive feedback.
  • Finalize Your Argumentative Essay: Make final edits based on feedback received. Ensure that your essay follows the required formatting and citation style.

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Argumentative essay writing tips

Here are eight strategies to craft a compelling argumentative essay: 

  • Choose a Clear and Controversial Topic : Select a topic that sparks debate and has opposing viewpoints. A clear and controversial issue provides a solid foundation for a strong argument. 
  • Conduct Thorough Research : Gather relevant information from reputable sources to support your argument. Use a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert opinions, to strengthen your position. 
  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement : Clearly articulate your main argument in a concise thesis statement. Your thesis should convey your stance on the issue and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow your argument. 
  • Develop a Logical Structure : Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point of evidence that contributes to your overall argument. Ensure a logical flow from one point to the next. 
  • Provide Strong Evidence : Support your claims with solid evidence. Use facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions to support your arguments. Be sure to cite your sources appropriately to maintain credibility. 
  • Address Counterarguments : Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counterarguments. Addressing and refuting alternative perspectives strengthens your essay and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issue. Be mindful of maintaining a respectful tone even when discussing opposing views. 
  • Use Persuasive Language : Employ persuasive language to make your points effectively. Avoid emotional appeals without supporting evidence and strive for a respectful and professional tone. 
  • Craft a Compelling Conclusion : Summarize your main points, restate your thesis, and leave a lasting impression in your conclusion. Encourage readers to consider the implications of your argument and potentially take action. 

claim in argumentative essay example

Good argumentative essay example

Let’s consider a sample of argumentative essay on how social media enhances connectivity:

In the digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool that transcends geographical boundaries, connecting individuals from diverse backgrounds and providing a platform for an array of voices to be heard. While critics argue that social media fosters division and amplifies negativity, it is essential to recognize the positive aspects of this digital revolution and how it enhances connectivity by providing a platform for diverse voices to flourish. One of the primary benefits of social media is its ability to facilitate instant communication and connection across the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram break down geographical barriers, enabling people to establish and maintain relationships regardless of physical location and fostering a sense of global community. Furthermore, social media has transformed how people stay connected with friends and family. Whether separated by miles or time zones, social media ensures that relationships remain dynamic and relevant, contributing to a more interconnected world. Moreover, social media has played a pivotal role in giving voice to social justice movements and marginalized communities. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #ClimateStrike have gained momentum through social media, allowing individuals to share their stories and advocate for change on a global scale. This digital activism can shape public opinion and hold institutions accountable. Social media platforms provide a dynamic space for open dialogue and discourse. Users can engage in discussions, share information, and challenge each other’s perspectives, fostering a culture of critical thinking. This open exchange of ideas contributes to a more informed and enlightened society where individuals can broaden their horizons and develop a nuanced understanding of complex issues. While criticisms of social media abound, it is crucial to recognize its positive impact on connectivity and the amplification of diverse voices. Social media transcends physical and cultural barriers, connecting people across the globe and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard. By fostering open dialogue and facilitating the exchange of ideas, social media contributes to a more interconnected and empowered society. Embracing the positive aspects of social media allows us to harness its potential for positive change and collective growth.
  • Clearly Define Your Thesis Statement:   Your thesis statement is the core of your argumentative essay. Clearly articulate your main argument or position on the issue. Avoid vague or general statements.  
  • Provide Strong Supporting Evidence:   Back up your thesis with solid evidence from reliable sources and examples. This can include facts, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes, or real-life examples. Make sure your evidence is relevant to your argument, as it impacts the overall persuasiveness of your thesis.  
  • Anticipate Counterarguments and Address Them:   Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen credibility. This also shows that you engage critically with the topic rather than presenting a one-sided argument. 

How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Paperpal?

Writing a winning argumentative essay not only showcases your ability to critically analyze a topic but also demonstrates your skill in persuasively presenting your stance backed by evidence. Achieving this level of writing excellence can be time-consuming. This is where Paperpal, your AI academic writing assistant, steps in to revolutionize the way you approach argumentative essays. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Paperpal to write your essay: 

  • Sign Up or Log In: Begin by creating an account or logging into paperpal.com .  
  • Navigate to Paperpal Copilot: Once logged in, proceed to the Templates section from the side navigation bar.  
  • Generate an essay outline: Under Templates, click on the ‘Outline’ tab and choose ‘Essay’ from the options and provide your topic to generate an outline.  
  • Develop your essay: Use this structured outline as a guide to flesh out your essay. If you encounter any roadblocks, click on Brainstorm and get subject-specific assistance, ensuring you stay on track. 
  • Refine your writing: To elevate the academic tone of your essay, select a paragraph and use the ‘Make Academic’ feature under the ‘Rewrite’ tab, ensuring your argumentative essay resonates with an academic audience. 
  • Final Touches: Make your argumentative essay submission ready with Paperpal’s language, grammar, consistency and plagiarism checks, and improve your chances of acceptance.  

Paperpal not only simplifies the essay writing process but also ensures your argumentative essay is persuasive, well-structured, and academically rigorous. Sign up today and transform how you write argumentative essays. 

The length of an argumentative essay can vary, but it typically falls within the range of 1,000 to 2,500 words. However, the specific requirements may depend on the guidelines provided.

You might write an argumentative essay when:  1. You want to convince others of the validity of your position.  2. There is a controversial or debatable issue that requires discussion.  3. You need to present evidence and logical reasoning to support your claims.  4. You want to explore and critically analyze different perspectives on a topic. 

Argumentative Essay:  Purpose : An argumentative essay aims to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a specific point of view or argument.  Structure : It follows a clear structure with an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs presenting arguments and evidence, counterarguments and refutations, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is formal and relies on logical reasoning, evidence, and critical analysis.    Narrative/Descriptive Essay:  Purpose : These aim to tell a story or describe an experience, while a descriptive essay focuses on creating a vivid picture of a person, place, or thing.  Structure : They may have a more flexible structure. They often include an engaging introduction, a well-developed body that builds the story or description, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is more personal and expressive to evoke emotions or provide sensory details. 

  • Gladd, J. (2020). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays.  Write What Matters . 
  • Nimehchisalem, V. (2018). Pyramid of argumentation: Towards an integrated model for teaching and assessing ESL writing.  Language & Communication ,  5 (2), 185-200. 
  • Press, B. (2022).  Argumentative Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide . Broadview Press. 
  • Rieke, R. D., Sillars, M. O., & Peterson, T. R. (2005).  Argumentation and critical decision making . Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. 

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Related Reads:

  • Empirical Research: A Comprehensive Guide for Academics 
  • How to Write a Scientific Paper in 10 Steps 
  • What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)
  • Life Sciences Papers: 9 Tips for Authors Writing in Biological Sciences

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Writing Arguable Claims in Argumentative Essays (+Examples)


  • March 18, 2023 January 23, 2024
  • What You Should Know
  • Argumentative Essay Topics
  • Argumentative Claims
  • Counterarguments & Rebuttals
  • Deductive Arguments
  • Inductive Arguments
  • Abductive Arguments
  • Analogical Arguments
  • Syllogistic Arguments
  • Aristotelian (Classical) Arguments
  • Toulmin Arguments
  • Rogerian Arguments
  • Causal Arguments
  • Evaluation Arguments
  • Rebuttal Arguments
  • Proposal Arguments
  • Definition Arguments
  • Narrative Arguments
  • Persuasive Arguments
  • Historical Arguments
  • Literary Arguments
  • Identifying and Avoiding Fallacies
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Emotional Fallcies
  • Ethical Fallacies
  • Moral Equivalence Fallacy
  • 5-Paragraph Argumentative Essay on Euthanasia
  • Aristotelian Argument Essay on Marijuana
  • Toulmin Argument Essay on Artificial Intelligence
  • Rogerian Argument Essay on Gun Control
  • Rebuttal Argument Essay on Renewable Energy
  • Sample Historical Argument Essay on the Industrial Revolution
  • Literary Argument Essay on 'The Cask of Amontillado'
  • Persuasive Argument Essay: Financial Literacy
  • Persuasive Argument Essay: Social Media and Politics
  • Proposal Argument Essay on Reusable Containers
  • Proposal Argument Essay on Workplace Wellness
  • Rhetorical Evaluation Argument Essay: MLK's "I Have a Dream"
  • Literary Evaluative Argument Essay: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
  • Narrative Argument Essay on Resilience
  • Definition Argument Essay on Privacy
  • Causal Argument Essay on Education

Developing an Arguable Thesis

Key Components

  • Claim: A claim is a statement or proposition that expresses a viewpoint, assertion, or belief. It is an assertion that can be supported, challenged, or debated with evidence and reasoning. Claims are used to present arguments, make judgments, or convey opinions on various topics. They serve as the foundation for discussions, debates, and critical thinking, as they can be analyzed, evaluated, and either accepted or refuted.
  • Evidence: Evidence refers to the factual information, data, examples, research findings, or expert opinions that support your claim. It provides concrete support and validity to your argument. When making a claim, you will need to present evidence throughout your essay to convince your readers of the credibility and reliability of your position.
  • Logical Reasoning: Reasoning refers to the logical and rational connections between your claim and the evidence you present. It explains how the evidence supports and substantiates your claim. Reasoning helps readers understand the logical progression of your argument and how the evidence reinforces your stance.

Arguable claims are not self-evident or universally accepted truths. They often involve complex issues, controversial topics, or subjective matters where reasonable people can hold different opinions. The key characteristic of an arguable claim is that it can be supported or refuted with evidence, reasoning, and logical argumentation.

Developing Effective Arguable Claims

Argumentative Essay Essentials

  • Identify your topic: Choose a specific topic that you want to write or argue about. The more focused your topic is, the easier it will be to develop a clear and arguable claim.
  • Research your topic: Gather information and evidence related to your topic. This can include books, articles, data, statistics, expert opinions, and personal experiences.
  • Analyze your topic:  Consider the different perspectives and viewpoints on the topic. Are there varying opinions, theories, or interpretations related to the subject matter?
  • Determine your stance:  Based on your research and analysis, decide where you stand on the issue. What is your main argument or position? Are you in favor of something, against it, or proposing a new solution?
  • Make it specific:  Your claim should be clear and specific. Avoid vague, broad, or general statements. Instead, focus on a narrow aspect of the topic that can be effectively discussed in your essay or argument.
  • Make it debatable:  An arguable claim is one that invites debate or discussion. It should not be an obvious fact or something that everyone agrees with. Consider counterarguments and differing viewpoints on the topic.
  • Craft a concise and clear statement:  Write a one or two-sentence statement that encapsulates your argument. This is your thesis statement, which should appear in the introduction of your essay.
  • Use strong and precise language:  Ensure your claim is expressed in clear, direct language that conveys your position with conviction. Avoid vague terms or weak qualifiers.
  • Support with evidence:  A strong arguable claim is only as good as the evidence supporting it. Ensure you have credible and relevant evidence to back up your position. This might include data, examples, quotes, or research findings.
  • Revise and refine:  Review and refine your claim as you work on your argument. It’s okay to make adjustments based on new information or insights that arise during your writing process.

Here’s an example of a non-arguable claim and its transformation into an arguable one:

Non-Arguable Claim: “Climate change is real.”
Arguable Claim: “Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, are the primary drivers of climate change, and addressing these issues is crucial for mitigating its impacts.”

The arguable claim is specific, debatable, and supported by the assertion that human activities are the primary cause of climate change, which can be debated with counterarguments and evidence.

Remember that the strength of your argument depends on the quality of your claim and the evidence you provide to support it. An effective thesis statement will guide your readers and help them understand the core of your argument.

3 Main Types of Arguable Claims

  • Factual/Existence Claims: These claims are based on objective evidence and can be verified by facts, statistics, or research. Examples of factual claims might include “smoking causes lung cancer” or “climate change is caused by human activity.”
  • Interpretive Claims: These claims involve an interpretation or analysis of evidence, rather than just presenting objective facts. Examples of interpretive claims might include “the protagonist in the novel is a symbol of society’s struggle for justice” or “the painting is a critique of capitalism.”
  • Evaluative Claims : These claims involve a value judgment or evaluation of something, such as an idea, object, or action. Examples of evaluative claims might include “capital punishment is immoral” or “online education is more effective than traditional classroom instruction.”

Overall, claims are a crucial component of argumentative essays as they provide the foundation for the writer’s argument and persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view.

Examples of Arguable Claims of Fact

Here are some examples of arguable claims of fact that can be applied in argumentative essays with each component identified:

  • Claim: Vaccinations are safe and effective.
  • Evidence: Studies have shown that vaccines significantly reduce the incidence of diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend vaccinations for individuals of all ages.
  • Reasoning: Vaccinations work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that can fight off specific diseases. By vaccinating individuals, the spread of diseases can be prevented, thus promoting public health.
  • Claim: Climate change is real and is caused by human activity.
  • Evidence: The Earth’s temperature has increased by approximately 1 degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, and there is evidence of melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. Research has also shown that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, contribute significantly to climate change.
  • Reasoning: The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat and contributing to the Earth’s warming. The impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, have significant consequences for human health and the environment.
  • Claim: The death penalty does not effectively deter crime and is applied disproportionately to marginalized groups.
  • Evidence: Studies have shown that the death penalty does not effectively deter crime and that the risk of being sentenced to death is often determined by factors such as race, socioeconomic status, and location. In addition, there have been cases of innocent individuals being sentenced to death.
  • Reasoning: The use of the death penalty as a form of punishment is controversial and raises questions about its effectiveness as a deterrent to crime. The disproportionate application of the death penalty to marginalized groups also raises concerns about its fairness and equity in the criminal justice system.
  • Claim: The use of plastic bags and straws contributes to environmental pollution and harm to marine life.
  • Evidence: Single-use plastics such as bags and straws are major sources of plastic pollution in the environment. They are not biodegradable and can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, causing harm to wildlife and ecosystems. In addition, plastic pollution has been found in the food chain, with potential impacts on human health.
  • Reasoning: The use of plastic bags and straws is a significant contributor to environmental pollution and has significant consequences for the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Alternatives such as reusable bags and biodegradable straws can help reduce the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.

Examples of Arguable Interpretive Claims

Here are some examples of arguable interpretive claims that can be applied in argumentative essays with each component identified:

  • Claim: Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” explores the theme of revenge and its destructive consequences on both the individual and society.
  • Evidence: Throughout the play, Hamlet seeks revenge for his father’s murder, which ultimately leads to the deaths of multiple characters and the destabilization of the Danish kingdom. Additionally, the character of Fortinbras, who seeks revenge for his father’s death, is presented as a foil to Hamlet, highlighting the destructive nature of revenge.
  • Reasoning: Shakespeare’s exploration of revenge in “Hamlet” critiques the idea of vengeance as a means of justice and highlights its negative impact on individuals and society as a whole.
  • Claim: The character of Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” embodies the theme of ambition and the corrupting influence of power.
  • Evidence: Lady Macbeth encourages Macbeth to murder King Duncan in order to fulfill their ambition of becoming king and queen. As Macbeth becomes increasingly ruthless and paranoid, Lady Macbeth also suffers from guilt and madness, ultimately leading to her suicide.
  • Reasoning: Through the character of Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare explores the theme of ambition and the corrupting influence of power, highlighting the dangerous consequences of unchecked ambition.
  • Claim: In George Orwell’s novel “1984,” the theme of government control and manipulation of language is a commentary on totalitarianism and its dangers to individual freedom.
  • Evidence: In the novel, the government of Oceania uses Newspeak, a language designed to limit free thought and expression, and manipulates historical records to control the population. The protagonist, Winston, rebels against the government’s control of language and information, ultimately facing severe consequences for his dissent.
  • Reasoning: Through its exploration of government control and manipulation of language, “1984” serves as a warning against the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of individual freedom and autonomy.
  • Claim: The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee critiques racism and prejudice in the American South during the 1930s.
  • Evidence: The novel depicts the trial of Tom Robinson, a Black man falsely accused of rape, and the racism and prejudice he faces in the criminal justice system. The character of Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defends Tom, is presented as a moral exemplar and an ally in the fight against racism and injustice.
  • Reasoning: Through its critique of racism and prejudice in the American South, “To Kill a Mockingbird” highlights the need for empathy, understanding, and social justice.
  • Claim: The film “Get Out” directed by Jordan Peele uses the horror genre to comment on racism and the appropriation of Black culture in contemporary society.
  • Evidence: The plot revolves around a Black protagonist who visits his white girlfriend’s family, only to discover a sinister conspiracy involving the exploitation and commodification of Black individuals. This storyline allows the film to explore themes of racism, cultural appropriation, and the dynamics of power between races.
  • Reasoning: The claim that “Get Out” uses the horror genre to comment on racism and the appropriation of Black culture can be supported by examining the evidence mentioned above. The film’s intentional use of symbolism, the storyline that revolves around racial themes, and the portrayal of characters all contribute to the interpretation of its underlying message.

Examples of Arguable Evaluative Claims

Evaluation Argument

  • Claim: The use of social media has had a negative impact on interpersonal communication and relationships.
  • Evidence: Studies have shown that excessive use of social media can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, and can also contribute to a decline in face-to-face communication skills.
  • Reasoning: The negative impact of social media on interpersonal communication and relationships can be attributed to the fact that it often promotes a superficial, curated version of oneself that is not reflective of one’s true self. This can lead to a lack of authenticity and meaningful connection in relationships.
  • Claim: Online learning is a more effective and efficient method of education than traditional classroom learning.
  • Evidence: Online learning has been shown to increase accessibility to education, improve flexibility for students, and provide more opportunities for individualized learning.
  • Reasoning: Online learning is more effective and efficient than traditional classroom learning because it allows students to learn at their own pace, provides access to a wider range of resources, and encourages more active engagement in the learning process.
  • Claim: The legalization of marijuana would have significant economic and social benefits for society.
  • Evidence: Legalization of marijuana would generate revenue from taxes, reduce the burden on law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and create jobs in the legal marijuana industry.
  • Reasoning: The legalization of marijuana would have significant economic and social benefits for society because it would remove the stigma associated with its use and reduce the harm caused by its criminalization. It would also provide a safer, regulated market for marijuana and reduce the risks associated with purchasing from unregulated sources.
  • Claim: The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports is unethical and undermines the integrity of athletic competition.
  • Evidence: The use of performance-enhancing drugs can give athletes an unfair advantage over others, and can also have harmful health effects on the user.
  • Reasoning: The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports is unethical and undermines the integrity of athletic competition because it is a form of cheating that undermines the principles of fair play and equal opportunity. It also sends a negative message to young athletes and fans, and can lead to a culture of drug use in sports.
  • Claim: The death penalty is an ineffective and unjust form of punishment that should be abolished.
  • Evidence: Studies have shown that the death penalty does not effectively deter crime, and that it is often applied in a racially biased manner. Additionally, there is a risk of executing innocent people.
  • Reasoning: The death penalty is an ineffective and unjust form of punishment that should be abolished because it violates human rights, fails to effectively deter crime, and is often applied unfairly. Additionally, the risk of executing innocent people is too high to justify its use as a form of punishment.

Techniques of Development

  • Implementing stricter gun control laws will reduce gun-related violence.
  • Implementing a four-day workweek will increase employee productivity.
  • Introducing stricter penalties for texting while driving would decrease the number of accidents caused by distracted driving
  • Implementing a universal basic income would reduce income inequality.
  • Legalizing recreational marijuana would generate tax revenue and reduce drug-related crime.
  • Excessive sugar consumption leads to an increased risk of developing diabetes.
  • Regular exercise decreases the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Higher education is correlated with higher lifetime earnings.
  • Excessive screen time is linked to decreased attention span in children.
  • Electric cars are more environmentally friendly than gasoline-powered cars.
  • Public transportation is a more sustainable option than individual car ownership.
  • Online shopping offers greater convenience compared to traditional retail stores.
  • Implementing universal healthcare in the United States is financially viable.
  • Implementing a colony on Mars is a feasible long-term goal for human exploration.
  • Introducing high-speed rail networks across the country is economically viable.
  • Transitioning to a completely renewable energy grid by 2050 is feasible.
  • Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius at sea level under standard atmospheric conditions.
  • The Earth revolves around the sun.
  • Triangles have three sides.
  • Vegan diets are not nutritionally adequate for human health.
  • Vaccines can have adverse side effects in a small percentage of individuals.
  • Gun ownership can enhance personal safety and protection against potential threats.
  • Raising the minimum wage could lead to job losses and reduced employment opportunities.
  • Failure to address climate change will result in severe environmental degradation.
  • Increased automation in industries may lead to significant job displacement.
  • Failure to invest in early childhood education can lead to long-term societal consequences.

By recognizing and understanding these various techniques used in developing arguable claims, writers can effectively structure their arguments to suite a particular purpose in different sections of their argumentative essays. Remember to support each arguable claim/argument with sufficient, relevant, and credible evidence and logical reasoning to illustrate validity and persuade the reader to agree with your position.

Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Table of contents

claim in argumentative essay example

Meredith Sell

Have you ever been asked to explain your opinion on a controversial issue? 

  • Maybe your family got into a discussion about chemical pesticides
  • Someone at work argues against investing resources into your project
  • Your partner thinks intermittent fasting is the best way to lose weight and you disagree

Proving your point in an argumentative essay can be challenging, unless you are using a proven formula.

Argumentative essay formula & example

In the image below, you can see a recommended structure for argumentative essays. It starts with the topic sentence, which establishes the main idea of the essay. Next, this hypothesis is developed in the development stage. Then, the rebuttal, or the refutal of the main counter argument or arguments. Then, again, development of the rebuttal. This is followed by an example, and ends with a summary. This is a very basic structure, but it gives you a bird-eye-view of how a proper argumentative essay can be built.

Structure of an argumentative essay

Writing an argumentative essay (for a class, a news outlet, or just for fun) can help you improve your understanding of an issue and sharpen your thinking on the matter. Using researched facts and data, you can explain why you or others think the way you do, even while other reasonable people disagree.

Free AI argumentative essay generator > Free AI argumentative essay generator >

argumentative essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an explanatory essay that takes a side.

Instead of appealing to emotion and personal experience to change the reader’s mind, an argumentative essay uses logic and well-researched factual information to explain why the thesis in question is the most reasonable opinion on the matter.  

Over several paragraphs or pages, the author systematically walks through:

  • The opposition (and supporting evidence)
  • The chosen thesis (and its supporting evidence)

At the end, the author leaves the decision up to the reader, trusting that the case they’ve made will do the work of changing the reader’s mind. Even if the reader’s opinion doesn’t change, they come away from the essay with a greater understanding of the perspective presented — and perhaps a better understanding of their original opinion.

All of that might make it seem like writing an argumentative essay is way harder than an emotionally-driven persuasive essay — but if you’re like me and much more comfortable spouting facts and figures than making impassioned pleas, you may find that an argumentative essay is easier to write. 

Plus, the process of researching an argumentative essay means you can check your assumptions and develop an opinion that’s more based in reality than what you originally thought. I know for sure that my opinions need to be fact checked — don’t yours?

So how exactly do we write the argumentative essay?

How do you start an argumentative essay

First, gain a clear understanding of what exactly an argumentative essay is. To formulate a proper topic sentence, you have to be clear on your topic, and to explore it through research.

Students have difficulty starting an essay because the whole task seems intimidating, and they are afraid of spending too much time on the topic sentence. Experienced writers, however, know that there is no set time to spend on figuring out your topic. It's a real exploration that is based to a large extent on intuition.

6 Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay (Persuasion Formula)

Use this checklist to tackle your essay one step at a time:

Argumentative Essay Checklist

1. Research an issue with an arguable question

To start, you need to identify an issue that well-informed people have varying opinions on. Here, it’s helpful to think of one core topic and how it intersects with another (or several other) issues. That intersection is where hot takes and reasonable (or unreasonable) opinions abound. 

I find it helpful to stage the issue as a question.

For example: 

Is it better to legislate the minimum size of chicken enclosures or to outlaw the sale of eggs from chickens who don’t have enough space?

Should snow removal policies focus more on effectively keeping roads clear for traffic or the environmental impacts of snow removal methods?

Once you have your arguable question ready, start researching the basic facts and specific opinions and arguments on the issue. Do your best to stay focused on gathering information that is directly relevant to your topic. Depending on what your essay is for, you may reference academic studies, government reports, or newspaper articles.

‍ Research your opposition and the facts that support their viewpoint as much as you research your own position . You’ll need to address your opposition in your essay, so you’ll want to know their argument from the inside out.

2. Choose a side based on your research

You likely started with an inclination toward one side or the other, but your research should ultimately shape your perspective. So once you’ve completed the research, nail down your opinion and start articulating the what and why of your take. 

What: I think it’s better to outlaw selling eggs from chickens whose enclosures are too small.

Why: Because if you regulate the enclosure size directly, egg producers outside of the government’s jurisdiction could ship eggs into your territory and put nearby egg producers out of business by offering better prices because they don’t have the added cost of larger enclosures.

This is an early form of your thesis and the basic logic of your argument. You’ll want to iterate on this a few times and develop a one-sentence statement that sums up the thesis of your essay.

Thesis: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with cramped living spaces is better for business than regulating the size of chicken enclosures.

Now that you’ve articulated your thesis , spell out the counterargument(s) as well. Putting your opposition’s take into words will help you throughout the rest of the essay-writing process. (You can start by choosing the counter argument option with Wordtune Spices .)

claim in argumentative essay example

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers, making the low-cost protein source harder to afford — especially for low-income consumers.

There may be one main counterargument to articulate, or several. Write them all out and start thinking about how you’ll use evidence to address each of them or show why your argument is still the best option.

3. Organize the evidence — for your side and the opposition

You did all of that research for a reason. Now’s the time to use it. 

Hopefully, you kept detailed notes in a document, complete with links and titles of all your source material. Go through your research document and copy the evidence for your argument and your opposition’s into another document.

List the main points of your argument. Then, below each point, paste the evidence that backs them up.

If you’re writing about chicken enclosures, maybe you found evidence that shows the spread of disease among birds kept in close quarters is worse than among birds who have more space. Or maybe you found information that says eggs from free-range chickens are more flavorful or nutritious. Put that information next to the appropriate part of your argument. 

Repeat the process with your opposition’s argument: What information did you find that supports your opposition? Paste it beside your opposition’s argument.

You could also put information here that refutes your opposition, but organize it in a way that clearly tells you — at a glance — that the information disproves their point.

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers.

BUT: Sicknesses like avian flu spread more easily through small enclosures and could cause a shortage that would drive up egg prices naturally, so ensuring larger enclosures is still a better policy for consumers over the long term.

As you organize your research and see the evidence all together, start thinking through the best way to order your points.  

Will it be better to present your argument all at once or to break it up with opposition claims you can quickly refute? Would some points set up other points well? Does a more complicated point require that the reader understands a simpler point first?

Play around and rearrange your notes to see how your essay might flow one way or another.

4. Freewrite or outline to think through your argument

Is your brain buzzing yet? At this point in the process, it can be helpful to take out a notebook or open a fresh document and dump whatever you’re thinking on the page.

Where should your essay start? What ground-level information do you need to provide your readers before you can dive into the issue?

Use your organized evidence document from step 3 to think through your argument from beginning to end, and determine the structure of your essay.

There are three typical structures for argumentative essays:

  • Make your argument and tackle opposition claims one by one, as they come up in relation to the points of your argument - In this approach, the whole essay — from beginning to end — focuses on your argument, but as you make each point, you address the relevant opposition claims individually. This approach works well if your opposition’s views can be quickly explained and refuted and if they directly relate to specific points in your argument.
  • Make the bulk of your argument, and then address the opposition all at once in a paragraph (or a few) - This approach puts the opposition in its own section, separate from your main argument. After you’ve made your case, with ample evidence to convince your readers, you write about the opposition, explaining their viewpoint and supporting evidence — and showing readers why the opposition’s argument is unconvincing. Once you’ve addressed the opposition, you write a conclusion that sums up why your argument is the better one.
  • Open your essay by talking about the opposition and where it falls short. Build your entire argument to show how it is superior to that opposition - With this structure, you’re showing your readers “a better way” to address the issue. After opening your piece by showing how your opposition’s approaches fail, you launch into your argument, providing readers with ample evidence that backs you up.

As you think through your argument and examine your evidence document, consider which structure will serve your argument best. Sketch out an outline to give yourself a map to follow in the writing process. You could also rearrange your evidence document again to match your outline, so it will be easy to find what you need when you start writing.

5. Write your first draft

You have an outline and an organized document with all your points and evidence lined up and ready. Now you just have to write your essay.

In your first draft, focus on getting your ideas on the page. Your wording may not be perfect (whose is?), but you know what you’re trying to say — so even if you’re overly wordy and taking too much space to say what you need to say, put those words on the page.

Follow your outline, and draw from that evidence document to flesh out each point of your argument. Explain what the evidence means for your argument and your opposition. Connect the dots for your readers so they can follow you, point by point, and understand what you’re trying to say.

As you write, be sure to include:

1. Any background information your reader needs in order to understand the issue in question.

2. Evidence for both your argument and the counterargument(s). This shows that you’ve done your homework and builds trust with your reader, while also setting you up to make a more convincing argument. (If you find gaps in your research while you’re writing, Wordtune Spices can source statistics or historical facts on the fly!)

claim in argumentative essay example

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3. A conclusion that sums up your overall argument and evidence — and leaves the reader with an understanding of the issue and its significance. This sort of conclusion brings your essay to a strong ending that doesn’t waste readers’ time, but actually adds value to your case.

6. Revise (with Wordtune)

The hard work is done: you have a first draft. Now, let’s fine tune your writing.

I like to step away from what I’ve written for a day (or at least a night of sleep) before attempting to revise. It helps me approach clunky phrases and rough transitions with fresh eyes. If you don’t have that luxury, just get away from your computer for a few minutes — use the bathroom, do some jumping jacks, eat an apple — and then come back and read through your piece.

As you revise, make sure you …

  • Get the facts right. An argument with false evidence falls apart pretty quickly, so check your facts to make yours rock solid.
  • Don’t misrepresent the opposition or their evidence. If someone who holds the opposing view reads your essay, they should affirm how you explain their side — even if they disagree with your rebuttal.
  • Present a case that builds over the course of your essay, makes sense, and ends on a strong note. One point should naturally lead to the next. Your readers shouldn’t feel like you’re constantly changing subjects. You’re making a variety of points, but your argument should feel like a cohesive whole.
  • Paraphrase sources and cite them appropriately. Did you skip citations when writing your first draft? No worries — you can add them now. And check that you don’t overly rely on quotations. (Need help paraphrasing? Wordtune can help. Simply highlight the sentence or phrase you want to adjust and sort through Wordtune’s suggestions.)
  • Tighten up overly wordy explanations and sharpen any convoluted ideas. Wordtune makes a great sidekick for this too 😉

claim in argumentative essay example

Words to start an argumentative essay

The best way to introduce a convincing argument is to provide a strong thesis statement . These are the words I usually use to start an argumentative essay:

  • It is indisputable that the world today is facing a multitude of issues
  • With the rise of ____, the potential to make a positive difference has never been more accessible
  • It is essential that we take action now and tackle these issues head-on
  • it is critical to understand the underlying causes of the problems standing before us
  • Opponents of this idea claim
  • Those who are against these ideas may say
  • Some people may disagree with this idea
  • Some people may say that ____, however

When refuting an opposing concept, use:

  • These researchers have a point in thinking
  • To a certain extent they are right
  • After seeing this evidence, there is no way one can agree with this idea
  • This argument is irrelevant to the topic

Are you convinced by your own argument yet? Ready to brave the next get-together where everyone’s talking like they know something about intermittent fasting , chicken enclosures , or snow removal policies? 

Now if someone asks you to explain your evidence-based but controversial opinion, you can hand them your essay and ask them to report back after they’ve read it.

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What Is a Claim in an Essay? Read This Before Writing

What is a claim in an essay?

In this article, you’ll find the essay claim definition, characteristics, types, and examples. Let’s learn where to use claims and how to write them.

Get ready for up-to-date and practical information only!

What Is a Claim in Writing?

A claim is the core argument defining an essay’s goal and direction. (1) It’s assertive, debatable, and supported by evidence. Also, it is complex, specific, and detailed.

Also known as a thesis, a claim is a little different from statements and opinions. Keep reading to reveal the nuances.

Claims vs. statements vs. opinions

Where to use claims.

To answer the “What is claim in writing?”, it’s critical to understand that this definition isn’t only for high school or college essays. Below are the types of writing with claims:

  • Argumentative articles. Consider a controversial issue, proving it with evidence throughout your paper.
  • Literary analysis. Build a claim about a book , and use evidence from it to support your claim.
  • Research papers. Present a hypothesis and provide evidence to confirm or refute it.
  • Speeches. State a claim and persuade the audience that you’re right.
  • Persuasive essays and memos. State a thesis and use fact-based evidence to back it up..

What can you use as evidence in essays?

  • Facts and other data from relevant and respectful resources (no Wikipedia or other sources like this)
  • Primary research
  • Secondary research (science magazines’ articles, literature reviews, etc.)
  • Personal observation
  • Expert quotes (opinions)
  • Info from expert interviews

How to Write a Claim in Essays


Two points to consider when making a claim in a college paper:

First, remember that a claim may have counterarguments. You’ll need to respond to them to make your argument stronger. Use transition words like “despite,” “yet,” “although,” and others to show those counterclaims.

Second, good claims are more complex than simple “I’m right” statements. Be ready to explain your claim, answering the “So what?” question.

And now, to details:

Types of claims in an essay (2)

Writing a claim: details to consider.

What makes a good claim? Three characteristics (3):

  • It’s assertive. (You have a strong position about a topic.)
  • It’s specific. (Your assertion is as precise as possible.)
  • It’s provable. (You can prove your position with evidence.)

When writing a claim, avoid generalizations, questions, and cliches. Also, don’t state the obvious.

  • Poor claim: Pollution is bad for the environment.
  • Good claim: At least 25% of the federal budget should be spent upgrading businesses to clean technologies and researching renewable energy sources to control or cut pollution.

How to start a claim in an essay?

Answer the essay prompt. Use an active voice when writing a claim for readers to understand your point. Here is the basic formula:

When writing, avoid:

  • First-person statements
  • Emotional appeal
  • Cluttering your claim with several ideas; focus on one instead

How long should a claim be in an essay?

1-2 sentences. A claim is your essay’s thesis: Write it in the first paragraph (intro), presenting a topic and your position about it.

Examples of Claims

Below are a few claim examples depending on the type. I asked our expert writers to provide some for you to better understand how to write it.

Feel free to use them for inspiration, or don’t hesitate to “steal” if they appear relevant to your essay topic. Also, remember that you can always ask our writers to assist with a claim for your papers.

Final Words

Now that you know what is a claim in an essay, I hope you don’t find it super challenging to write anymore. It’s like writing a thesis statement; make it assertive, specific, and provable.

If you still have questions or doubts, ask Writing-Help writers for support. They’ll help you build an A-worthy claim for an essay.


  • https://www.pvcc.edu/files/making_a_claim.pdf
  • https://lsa.umich.edu/content/dam/sweetland-assets/sweetland-documents/teachingresources/TeachingArgumentation/Supplement2_%20SixCommonTypesofClaim.pdf  
  • https://students.tippie.uiowa.edu/sites/students.tippie.uiowa.edu/files/2022-05/effective_claims.pdf
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Argumentative Essay – Outline, Form, and Examples

Daniel Bal

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay requires the writer to investigate a specific topic by collecting and evaluating evidence to establish a position on the subject matter.

When preparing to compose a good argumentative essay, utilize the following steps:

Step 1: Select a topic.

Step 2: Identify a position.

Step 3: Locate appropriate resources.

Step 4: Identify evidence supporting the position. ( NOTE: If there is little evidence in support of the claim, consider re-examining the main argument.)

Steps to write an argumentative essay

When gathering evidence, use credible sources . To determine the credibility of the source, consider authority, currency, accuracy, and objectivity:

Who is the author ? Are they an expert in the field? Has a reputable publisher published the work?

How current is the information in the source? Does the currency of the source matter? Does the age of the source impact the content? Is there newer information that disproves the source’s information?

Can other sources verify the accuracy of the information? Does the information contradict that found in other commonly accepted sources?

Is there any evidence of bias, or is the source objective ? Is the research sponsored by an organization that may skew the information?

The following are typically recognized as providing appropriate, credible research material:

Peer-reviewed journals/research papers

Government agencies

Professional organizations

Library databases

Reference books

Credible sources

Writers should avoid using the following sources:

Social media posts

Out-of-date materials

Step 5: Utilize the research to determine a thesis statement that identifies the topic, position, and support(s).

Step 6: Use the evidence to construct an outline, detailing the main supports and relevant evidence.

Steps to write an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay outline

After gathering all of the necessary research, the next step in composing an argumentative essay focuses on organizing the information through the use of an outline:


Attention Grabber/Hook

Background Information: Include any background information pertinent to the topic that the reader needs to know to understand the argument.

Thesis: State the position in connection to the main topic and identify the supports that will help prove the argument.

Topic sentence

Identify evidence in support of the claim in the topic sentence

Explain how the evidence supports the argument

Evidence 3 (Continue as needed)

Support 2 (Continue as needed)

Restate thesis

Review main supports

Concluding statement

Invite the audience to take a specific action.

Identify the overall importance of the topic and position.

Argumentative essay outline

How to write an argumentative essay

Regardless of the writer’s topic or point of view, an argumentative essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and works cited.

Background information

Body Paragraphs

Analysis of evidence

Rephrased thesis

Review of main ideas

Call to action

Works Cited

Components of an argumentative essay

Argumentative essay introduction

The introduction sets the tone for the entire paper and introduces the argument. In general, the first paragraph(s) should attract the reader’s attention, provide relevant context, and conclude with a thesis statement.

To attract the reader's attention , start with an introductory device. There are several attention-grabbing techniques, the most common of which consist of the following:

The writer can emphasize the topic’s importance by explaining the current interest in the topic or indicating that the subject is influential.

Pertinent statistics give the paper an air of authority.

There are many reasons for a stimulating statement to surprise a reader. Sometimes it is joyful; sometimes it is shocking; sometimes it is surprising because of who said it.

An interesting incident or anecdote can act as a teaser to lure the reader into the remainder of the essay. Be sure that the device is appropriate for the subject and focus of what follows.

Provide the reader with relevant context and background information necessary to understand the topic.

Conclude with a thesis statement that identifies the overall purpose of the essay (topic and position). Writers can also include their support directly in the thesis, which outlines the structure of the essay for the reader.

Avoid the following when writing the introduction to argumentative writing:

Starting with dictionary definitions is too overdone and unappealing.

Do not make an announcement of the topic like “In this paper I will…” or “The purpose of this essay is to….”

Evidence supporting or developing the thesis should be in the body paragraphs, not the introduction.

Beginning the essay with general or absolute statements such as “throughout history...” or “as human beings we always...” or similar statements suggest the writer knows all of history or that all people behave or think in the same way.

Argumentative essay thesis

The thesis statement is the single, specific claim the writer sets out to prove and is typically positioned as the last sentence of the introduction . It is the controlling idea of the entire argument that identifies the topic, position, and reasoning.

When constructing a thesis for an argumentative paper, make sure it contains a side of the argument, not simply a topic. An argumentative thesis identifies the writer’s position on a given topic. If a position cannot be taken, then it is not argumentative thesis:

Topic: Capital punishment is practiced in many states.

Thesis: Capital punishment should be illegal.

While not always required, the thesis statement can include the supports the writer will use to prove the main claim. Therefore, a thesis statement can be structured as follows:


No Supports: College athletes (TOPIC) should be financially compensated (POSITION).

Supports: College athletes (TOPIC) should be financially compensated (POSITION) because they sacrifice their minds and bodies (SUPPORT 1), cannot hold

Argumentative essay body paragraphs

Body paragraphs can be of varying lengths, but they must present a coherent argument unified under a single topic. They are rarely ever longer than one page, double-spaced; usually they are much shorter.

Lengthy paragraphs indicate a lack of structure. Identify the main ideas of a lengthy paragraph to determine if they make more sense as separate topics in separate paragraphs.

Shorter paragraphs usually indicate a lack of substance; there is not enough evidence or analysis to prove the argument. Develop the ideas more or integrate the information into another paragraph.

The structure of an argumentative paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence, and a transition.

The topic sentence is the thesis of the paragraph that identifies the arguable point in support of the main argument. The reader should know exactly what the writer is trying to prove within the paragraph by reading the first sentence.

The supporting evidence and analysis provide information to support the claim. There should be a balance between the evidence (facts, quotations, summary of events/plot, etc.) and analysis (interpretation of evidence). If the paragraph is evidence-heavy, there is not much of an argument; if it is analysis-heavy, there is not enough evidence in support of the claim.

The transition can be at the beginning or the end of a paragraph. However, it is much easier to combine the transition with the concluding observation to help the paragraphs flow into one another. Transitions in academic writing should tell the reader where you were, where you are going, and relate to the thesis.

Some essays may benefit from the inclusion of rebuttals to potential counterarguments of the writer’s position.

Argumentative essay conclusion

The conclusion should make readers glad they read the paper. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest readers but also enrich their understanding in some way. There are three aspects to follow when constructing the conclusion: rephrase the thesis, synthesize information, and call the reader to action.

Rephrased the thesis in the first sentence of the conclusion. It must be in different words; do not simply write it verbatim.

Synthesize the argument by showing how the paper's main points support the argument.

Propose a course of action or a solution to an issue. This can redirect the reader's thought process to apply the ideas to their life or to see the broader implications of the topic.

Avoid the following when constructing the conclusion:

Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as "in conclusion," "in summary," or "in closing;" although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as trite in writing

Introducing a new idea or subtopic in the conclusion

Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of the paper

Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper

Argumentative essay examples

Examples of argumentative essays vary depending upon the type:

Academic essays differ based upon the topic and position. These essays follow a more traditional structure and are typically assigned in high school or college. Examples of academic argumentative essay topics include the following:

Advantages or disadvantages of social media

Animal testing

Art education

Benefit or detriment of homework

Capital punishment

Class warfare


School uniforms

Universal healthcare

Violence in video games

Argumentative literary essays are typically more informal and do not follow the same structure as an academic essay. The following are popular examples of argumentative literary essays:

“Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf

“Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell

“Thoughts for the Times on War and Death” by Sigmund Freud

“Does the Truth Matter? Science, Pseudoscience, and Civilization” by Carl Sagan

“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Elements of Argument

10 Types of Claims

By jim marteney.

There are three types of claims: claims of fact, claims of value, and claims of policy . Each type of claim focuses on a different aspect of a topic. To best participate in an argument, it is beneficial to understand the type of claim that is being argued.

Claim of Fact

A c laim of f act asserts that something quantifiable has existed, does exist, or will exist. The center of controversy in a factual claim is over the reasonableness of the fact in question. In other words, a claim of fact debates whether the statement of the claim is correct or incorrect, valid or invalid, true or false. In making such implications, we reason from something that is known to something that is unknown. Claims of fact also focus on cause-to-effect relationships.

The goal in arguing for a claim of fact is to gain audience acceptance that something that is currently not accepted as fact or that something that is currently considered a fact should no longer be considered as such. The goal in arguing against a claim of fact is to get your audience to deny acceptance of some proposed new fact or to defend the status quo that something that is a fact should remain so. Claims of fact may be assertions about the past, present, or future.

Past claims of fact tend to deal with the assigning of motive or responsibility for historical actions. Examples are “ General Custer was responsible for the massacre at the Battle of the Little Big Horn ,” or “ Democrat policies caused the rise of terrorism .”

Present claims of fact tend to deal with events of current importance. Examples are “ There is a God ,” “ Divorce is causing increased juvenile crime ,” “Video games lead to the increase of violence among teens,” or “Climate change is exacerbated by people.”

Future claims of fact deal with making predictions about the nature of future events; such as “ Tuition at community colleges will be increased next year ,” “ Oil prices will continue to rise ” or “ The Tesla Model 3 will become the best-selling sedan in the United States .”

Claims of fact are quantifiable. That is, establishing the correctness of factual claims depends heavily on empirical verification. Such verification, or evidence, usually consists of using some combination of sensory data (sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste).

Claim of Value

A c laim of v alue asserts qualitative judgments along a good-to-bad continuum relating to persons, events, and things in one’s environment. If you construct a position claiming that something is good or bad or one thing is better than another, you’ve made a claim of value. Examples of claims of value are “ The Wizard of Oz is the greatest movie of all time ,” “ Snowboarding is the greatest way to spend a vacation ,” or “ Indian food is the best food of all .”

The center of argument in a value claim is over the criteria used in making the judgment. Value claims call into question a standard of comparison: bad as compared to what, good as compared to what, superior as compared to what? All judgments we make are opinions that compare two or more items and assert that one of the items is, by comparison, the better one. For instance, “ Coke is better than Pepsi ,” “ Natural gas is our best energy source ,” and “ George Washington is the greatest President of all time .” How do you define words like “ better ,” “ best ,” and “ greatest ”? And more importantly, do you and the person you are arguing with define them identically? If not, that difference must be resolved first with agreed-upon definitions of these key terms. Then you can begin your argument.

In our everyday decisions, we make many kinds of value judgments. Our own experiences reveal how difficult it often is to empirically quantify these judgments. Your parents ask you not to associate with a certain person because they are a “ bad influence .” You go to a certain college to get a “good” education. You buy a certain car because it is “ better ” than other similar cars. What is a “bad” influence, a “good” education, a “better” car? These words have no universality or common understanding. This puts you in the position of having to define how value judgments are made in a particular situation, to argue for that definition, and to assess how well the person/thing being judged meets that definition.

For example, with the claim “Abraham Lincoln is the greatest president ever,” the advocate would have to prove either or both that Lincoln meets the criteria for a great president, which involves arguing for the criteria as well as judging his play against that criteria AND that he meets the criteria better than any other president, which involves comparing and contrasting his presidency to other presidents.

A person’s values are often called into play when a person is arguing morality. Since value claims cannot be empirically supported, our arguments with others tend to be qualitative and without much factual support. One significant problem in social argumentation is that we tend to view claims of value as claims of fact, and thus we shift the focus of argument from good and bad to true or false. Value claims are the hardest on which to reach consensus because of the lack of objective criteria.

A major problem we often face is that we frequently argue claims of value as if they are claims of fact. Look at the following claims:

  • Law and Order is the best program on television.
  • Barack Obama was a great president.
  • Abortion is morally wrong.
  • The Lakers are better than the Celtics.

All of these claims are claims of value. We tend, however, to often debate them as if they were claims of fact, or “true or false” statements. Instead of getting others to accept our position as having the same validity as theirs does, successful conflict resolution demands that one of us abandon our “false” position and accept the other’s “true” position.

We do this without the universal criteria necessary for such “truthfulness” to be argued. We expect that others will accept our value judgments as “true,” without the empirical data necessary to prove such judgments. This is why social argumentation occasionally breaks down into quarreling and bickering, and why we have such a difficult time getting along with others who see the world differently than we do. Because most values are personal, and because the process of argumentation calls for one side or the other to abandon a value, constructive conflict resolution is hard to achieve when debating value claims.

Claim of Policy

A c laim of p olicy asserts that something should or should not be done by someone about something. It proposes that some specific course of action should, but not necessarily will, be taken. The key word in a claim of policy is the conditional verb “should” which implies that some action ought to be taken, but not that it must or will be taken. For instance, “The United States should send a manned expedition to Mars,” or “Students should read the assigned text material before the instructor lectures on it.” Policy claims are analyzed by locating the sub-claims of fact (the need for a policy change in the status quo) or value claims (the desirability of making such a change) inherent in the policy claim.

For example, the following claim has been advanced, “All professional athletes should be randomly drug-tested . ” We can analyze this claim by first finding the sub-claims of fact, which center around the need for drug testing of athletes. We might discover the following: drug use among athletes has increased, drug use affects athletic performance, athletes are role models for youth, and other methods to discourage drug use have not worked. In order to discover the sub-claims of value, we need to discuss the desirability of drug testing on athletes. We might discover the following: athletic performance will be greatly improved if we have mandatory drug testing, fans will have greater respect for athletes if they submit to drug tests, or random drug testing is the best way to deal with drug use in sports. We can now debate the original claim using these sub-claims as the major arguments that will determine pro or con adherence.

With a claim of policy, the pro-side in a debate must establish a need in the system for a change and desirability of their approach. The con-side only needs to defeat one of the two to defeat the claim.

  • Claims of fact are quantifiable statements that focus on the accuracy, correctness, or validity of such statements and can be verified using some objective evidence.
  • Claims of value are qualitative statements that focus on judgments made about the environment and invite comparisons.
  • Claims of policy are statements that focus on actions that should be taken to change the status quo.


“Types of Claims” by Jim Marteney is licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0

Writing Arguments in STEM Copyright © by Jason Peters; Jennifer Bates; Erin Martin-Elston; Sadie Johann; Rebekah Maples; Anne Regan; and Morgan White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

What Is a Claim in an Essay: Definition, Types, & Examples

22 December 2023

last updated

Essays are important academic papers that students use to present and express their thoughts. A quality essay revolves around a central claim or thesis statement, which expresses the writer’s thoughts toward a topic, problem, or research question. The term “claim” refers to an assertion that convinces, argues, demonstrates, and suggestively implies something to a reader who agrees with or disputes it using available evidence, knowledge, or experience. These assertions differ from general statements in that others may approve or disagree with arguments. Good assertions should be clear, concise, distinct, affirmative, and easy to prove. The right step in writing a claim in an essay includes exploring the topic, asking critical questions, determining the goal of writing, and taking a unique standpoint. These phases must focus on assertions to align them with the existing knowledge and evidence for justification.  

General Aspects of Writing a Claim in an Essay

Providing a claim in an essay is the main argument that determines its complexity, effectiveness, and quality. This guideline focuses on how to write a claim in an essay and contains concise examples that people should follow to create outstanding academic papers. Anyone reading this article can understand the role of an argument in defining an essay’s direction, scope, and purpose. In different types of papers , authors must use evidence, quotations, arguments, expert opinions, statistics, and details to affirm their claims. A good argumentative statement should be specific, which helps to focus on a single idea. General assertions may make an entire essay vague and boring to readers. A good essay should contain a thesis statement as a central claim. However, each body paragraph should have supporting claims related to the thesis statement. Because all types of essays are important in communicating useful information to readers, one must make specific, believable, and justifiable assertions.

What Is a Claim in an Essay: Definition, Types, & Examples

Definition of What Is a Claim and Its Meaning

A claim is an assertion that convinces, argues, demonstrates, and suggests something to a reader who agrees with or disputes it based on available knowledge and understanding. Claims are useful in an essay since they define its scope and direction. In writing an argumentative essay , students use their thoughts to make claims and support them using evidence. The nature of the main assertions determines if the targeted audience can read through, agree, or disagree with the main message of an essay. In turn, a claim statement refers to a written sentence that reflects someone’s opinion. As a result, after choosing their essay topics , authors make argumentative statements to mean expressing their thoughts regarding a subject under discussion.

Claim vs. Statement

The main difference between a claim and a statement is the levels of agreeableness. For example, a claim means a debatable statement regarding a specific issue. Although readers may not disagree with statements, they can have diverse opinions regarding an argumentative claim. On the other hand, a statement may represent facts that are not debatable. An example of a general statement is: “The first African American president of the United States was Barack Obama.” One cannot dispute this statement because it represents a fact. However, an example of a claim is: “The election of Barack Obama as the American President marked the end of racism based on skin color.” In summary, some people may disagree with this argument under existing cases of racial discrimination against African Americans during and after President Obama’s tenure.

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Types of Claims

Writers can use various types of claims to make their essays more convincing. This section explains different types of assertions when writing a claim in an essay.  

  • Cause and Effect . This claim contains information about two or more phenomena regarding their origin and effect.
  • Argumentative . Results from reasoning and reflects people’s opinion toward a subject. However, writers must use evidence to support any argumentative claim.
  • Fact . The factual statement is useful in arguing out the truth or falsity of some assertions. One must use facts to justify the correctness or invalidity of any statement.
  • Definition . This claim asserts that something is the case without providing evidence. Moreover, assertions accurately describe an object, event, or situation.
  • Solution . This assertion provides an answer to an existing problem or question of interest and responds directly to an inquiry or an existing doubt.
  • V alue . The value argument is a statement about what people should regard as worthwhile. Such claims should show different policies, things, beliefs, and facts that humans regard as more valuable than others.
  • Comparative . The comparative claim refers to an assertion that relates different objects or things to reveal their differences or similarities. Comparisons are necessary for showing the diversity of objects to enable readers to make informed choices depending on their needs.
  • Importance . This claim reveals the significance of a statement, information, object, or even opinion. An assertion of importance should convince the audience that an item is better than other similar things.

4 Easy Steps for Writing a Strong Claim for an Argumentative Essay

Developing a claim for an argumentative essay should contend for a certain interpretation or understanding debate topics . For example, students must understand a specific subject and take a position to justify it. However, the main assertion may contradict popular opinions regarding the subject. In turn, one must provide justifiable evidence to affirm any position taken. The following are the necessary steps that students should take to write a suitable claim for an argumentative essay.

Step 1: Exploring a Specific Topic

The first step in writing a claim for an argumentative essay is to explore sensitive or controversial debate topics . In this case, one must do preliminary research on the selected or assigned topic to develop concrete ideas for possible arguments. The information gathered should allow writers to support and justify a specific position. For example, if the topic concerns global warming, one may gather evidence to justify why cutting down trees is a major cause of heat waves experienced in different parts of the world.

Step 2: Asking Questions

The second step of making a claim in an essay should involve narrowing it down to a specific subject by asking critical questions regarding the evidence gathered. This stage is necessary to enable authors to determine the quality of the information obtained on the subject. Interrogating the evidence allows one to determine if the selected side of the argument is valid and convincing. As a result, examining the topic may lead to identifying possible counterclaims and valid opposite arguments.

Step 3: Determining an Essay’s Goal

Reviewing the assignment briefing to understand the primary goal of the argument is an important step in developing a strong claim. In this stage, writers should develop a deeper understanding of the primary goal of making a good argument. The resulting insights are necessary to focus the essay’s scope and develop a claim that challenges the target readers’ opinions. Besides, reviewing the goals is essential in refuting what one assumes to be true. On the other hand, reviewing the essay’s goals is important in combining related and relevant ideas. Even if argumentative essays focus on multiple issues, quality papers should address a central theme guided by a clear thesis statement. In turn, writers must connect related ideas to make refutable claims demonstrating a clear stand on the main subject.

Step 4: Taking a Unique Standpoint

The fourth step should involve a unique standpoint to make a refutable argument. Most students need to start stating arguable facts followed by straightforward claims. A quality essay should contain a unique argument that convinces the audience to develop an alternative thought on the subject. Moreover, students should critically evaluate the obtained evidence and deduce a unique position to argue about. As a result, all sides taken should rebut popular beliefs and truths and affirm a distinctive position.

Types of Essays, Use of Claims, and Difference

Different academic articles should have unique claims. In this case, students should identify the type of essay to make a suitable assertion, including a hook . The most common types of academic work encountered during academic studies include a research paper , an argumentative essay, a persuasive speech , a literary analysis , a persuasive essay , a rhetorical analysis, and a memo . This section contains information on the type of assertions one should make when writing these papers.  

  • Research Paper . Claims used in this work should provide insights into specific research topics by informing readers more about the main idea or argument. Assertions used in research papers should lead to a greater understanding of the subject instead of presenting different viewpoints.
  • Argumentative Essay . Central claims used in this paper should take a clearly defined stance on a subject to allow writers to build an evidence-based case to support all positions. The most unique feature of argumentative claims is that they should be questionable.  
  • Persuasive Speech . Students should present convincing opinions, ideas, or assertions. Such claims are useful in swaying or influencing people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, or behaviors.  
  • Literary Analysis . Possible assertions used in literary analysis papers should affirm a certain position as truthful. Writers can make factual or judgmental claims to express their point of view, interpretation, evaluation, or critical assessment of a literary work.
  • Persuasive Essay . Claims used in this type of paper should convince the audience to accept a certain point of view. A persuasive assertion should openly communicate the central theme or idea presented in an essay and affirm its credibility.
  • Rhetorical Analysis . The claim used in rhetorical analysis should reflect the evidence or appeals used in a piece of work to convince readers. One should mention the rhetorical devices and appeals used in the specific work under evaluation.
  • Memo . The primary purpose of writing a memorandum is to inform a group of professionals about a specific problem, solution, event, or situation relevant to their institution. The claim used in a memo should state the proposed solution to a problem and important points on the identified course of action.

Types of Evidence for Writing Claims

  • Expert Opinions . Professionals in various areas of specialists give opinions regarding issues that contain credible information. Such views are important in shaping claims for an essay focusing on current issues.  
  • Interviews . Researchers gather first-hand evidence by interviewing participants affected by a problem under investigation. Analysis of obtained views and opinions of participants should inform the formation of a central claim in an essay.
  • Direct Observation . Scholars may observe how humans behave in their natural settings without informing them. The findings may lead to the development of convincing claims regarding social behaviors.  
  • Examples of Past Experience . Examples from past incidents allow people to gain unique insights regarding real-life issues. One may use the information to develop an argumentative claim for an essay.  
  • Primary Research . Through primary research, students obtain first-hand evidence and knowledge, contributing to understanding real-life issues. The conclusion drawn from such studies is good for developing credible assertions for research papers.  
  • Synthesis of Secondary Research . Scholars present their research findings in journal articles and reports. One can draw evidence from secondary sources to develop a claim for argumentative or persuasive essays on specific issues or topics of interest.   
  • Facts, Statistics, or Other Data . Historical facts, statistics obtained from primary research, and other forms of credible sources are crucial in justifying an assumption, a hypothesis , or a theory under analysis. Critical evaluation of these reliable sources of information can lead to claims for memos, persuasive speeches, and various types of essays.

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Topic Examples for Making Claims in an Essay

Research Paper Topics

  • Excessive Use of Social Media Platforms Enhances Academic Performance Among Teenagers
  • Children From Divorced Families Demonstrate Greater Psychological Resilience
  • Low Salaries Are the Primary Cause of Corruption in Modern Societies

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Impacts of Technology on Society
  • The Ethical Implications of Gene Editing: A Paradigm Shift in Medicine
  • Roles of Parental Attachment in Child Development
  • Balancing School Curriculum: Is Art Education as Important as Science?
  • Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Vehicles: Evaluating Safety and Efficiency
  • It Is Ethical for Doctors to Modify Unborn Fetuses to Meet Their Parents’ Desires Genetically
  • The Government Should Ban Social Media Platforms That Collect Users’ Data Without Consent
  • Abortion Is a Fundamental Right for Women

Persuasive Speech Topics

  • Reimagining the Role of Technology in Enhancing Sports Performance
  • Martin Luther King’s Speech “I Have a Dream” Changed People’s Lives
  • Doctors Should Embrace Art and Music Therapy to Enhance the Healing Process
  • Students Should Learn an Instrument in School to Boost Their Creativity
  • Introverts Make Great Leaders Than Extroverts

Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Great Gatsby Essay: The American Dream, Pursuit, and Corruption
  • Gender Roles in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Flower Symbolism in “A Rose for Emily”
  • Endurance in “The Old Man and the Sea”

Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Childhood Vaccinations and Their Importance in Society
  • Local Governments Should Regulate Gambling and Betting
  • Teenagers Should Be Allowed to Acquire Driving Licenses
  • Poverty Lowers Academic Achievement

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”
  • Problems in Education and Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity”
  • Analysis Essay of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Speech “I Call for You to Do More”
  • Evaluating the Speech Writing Power in President Obama’s Inaugural Speech
  • Analyzing the Ise of Rhetorical Devices in Harry Porter

Memo Topics

  • Explaining Human Resource Policy Change
  • Company Budget Cuts
  • Summary of the 2023 Action Plan

Examples of Claims for Essays

  • Abortion is a fundamental right for women – Although some scholars argue that abortion is unethical because it terminates the life of an innocent fetus, women have a fundamental right to make decisions regarding their bodies, especially when they face terminal health risks.
  • Children from divorced families demonstrate greater psychological resilience – Because kids experience social and economic challenges, they develop greater psychological resilience as a coping mechanism.  
  • Doctors should embrace art and music therapy to enhance the healing process – Doctors should include a method as an intervention to lower stress among admitted patients and enhance recovery because art and music create a soothing effect to enhance psychological well-being.
  • Gender roles in “The Great Gatsby” – The novel “The Great Gatsby” reflects on opposing values of social models through different female characters who become objectified by men.  
  • Poverty lowers academic achievement – Because parents from low-income families cannot afford quality education, academic achievement among their children remains lower than those from middle- or high-income backgrounds.
  • Evaluating the rhetorical devices in Harry Porter – J. K. Rowling used literary devices, such as irony, symbolism, contrasting characters, pathos, and ethos, to present the theme of death.
  • Explaining human resource policy change – The board of directors agreed that employees must take their scheduled annual leave without fail to promote psychological resilience.

What to Include in a Claim Paragraph

A claim paragraph should contain adequate information to explain the focus of an essay or research paper. One should include an attention-getter or start with a quote to attract readers’ attention to go through the information provided. The passage should contain background information about the topic presented in the paper to provide the target audience with a glimpse of the main ideas. Other important details include the main argument of the essay’s thesis statement.

Thesis Statement as a Claim in an Essay

A central claim may serve as a thesis statement in an essay. Academic papers should have an introduction with an argumentative thesis statement, which serves as a central claim. In this case, the main assertions should be last sentences of a college essay introduction , which provide the paper’s overview and focus when used as a thesis statement.  

A hypothesis in a research paper represents a statement that requires testing for validation. Such a claim represents an unvalidated relationship between independent and dependent variables. Researchers state their assumptions or predictions about what their research results will confirm. This statement represents a tentative answer to the research question. In this case, hypotheses do not represent claims because they indicate unjustified answers that may be correct or wrong.

The results from a research paper refer to the confirmed and justified findings. Scholars use available evidence, theories, and results to test and affirm hypotheses. In turn, conclusion examples made become the findings in specific research work. Besides, these results may take a form of claims since they represent a justifiable or debatable position on a topic of interest.  

Body Paragraphs

A typical paragraph should have a topic sentence or claim, supporting evidence, and explanations. For example, any claim in an essay should begin with a statement followed by supporting evidence. One must provide a clear explanation linking the evidence to the assertion. In turn, justifications provided should link all claims to a central thesis statement.

What Is a Counter Claim and Its Meaning for an Essay

A counterclaim refers to a statement that refutes a central argument in an essay. Different scholars have unique views regarding a specific topic. Such opposing thoughts reveal an alternative way of understanding the subject. For instance, opposers in a debate make counterclaims to contest the motion, while proposers make assertions and rebuttals to counter opposing statements. In this case, rebuttals are unique counterclaims that allow debaters to justify their arguments.  

20 Tips to Write a Good Claim in an Essay

Claims used in essays should be clear and easy to prove. Basically, one should choose a statement that is easy to justify using available evidence. Because assertions convey the main points in a paper or paragraph, writers should include a strong supporting statement. Besides, any claim should have a definitive and affirmative tone.

10 Things to Do When Making a Claim:

  • Choose a justifiable claim.
  • Use simple terms.
  • Cover a decisive tone.
  • Maintain a positive tone.
  • Take a single-issue stand.
  • Define a narrow and clear scope in logical order .
  • Create a unique approach to the topic.
  • Describe the issue clearly.
  • Follow active voice.
  • Include a short statement.

10 Things Not to Do:

  • Selecting a broad scope.
  • Implementing negative language.
  • Including complex vocabulary.
  • Writing first-person statements.
  • Basing claims on emotional appeal.
  • Cluttering arguments with multiple ideas.
  • Presenting wordy sentences with multiple fill-up words.
  • Using passive voice.
  • Placing claims in illogical order.
  • Covering ambiguous statements that are hard to prove.

Summing Up of What Is a Strong Claim in an Essay

  • Claims are important in an essay since they reflect the writer’s perspective.
  • All arguments should be clear and justifiable statements about a topic.
  • A central assertion must provide the accurate scope of an essay.
  • Some types of claims include cause and effect, argumentative, fact, definition, solution, value, comparative, and importance assertions.
  • Claim paragraphs are important in outlining the scope of an essay.
  • Good claims should be clear, specific, justifiable, and presented in a simple, assertive, and distinctive tone.

To Learn More, Read Relevant Articles

Impacts of social media on society: progress or peril, roles of ethics in artificial intelligence.


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At some point, you’re going to be asked to write an argumentative essay. An argumentative essay is exactly what it sounds like—an essay in which you’ll be making an argument, using examples and research to back up your point.

But not all argumentative essay topics are created equal. Not only do you have to structure your essay right to have a good impact on the reader, but even your choice of subject can impact how readers feel about your work.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of writing argumentative essays, including what argumentative essays are, how to write a good one, and how to pick a topic that works for you. Then check out a list of argumentative essay ideas to help you get started.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is one that makes an argument through research. These essays take a position and support it through evidence, but, unlike many other kinds of essays, they are interested in expressing a specific argument supported by research and evidence.

A good argumentative essay will be based on established or new research rather than only on your thoughts and feelings. Imagine that you’re trying to get your parents to raise your allowance, and you can offer one of two arguments in your favor:

You should raise my allowance because I want you to.

You should raise my allowance because I’ve been taking on more chores without complaining.

The first argument is based entirely in feelings without any factual backup, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven. Your parents are more likely to respond positively to the second argument because it demonstrates that you have done something to earn the increased allowance. Similarly, a well-researched and reasoned argument will show readers that your point has a basis in fact, not just feelings.

The standard five-paragraph essay is common in writing argumentative essays, but it’s not the only way to write one. An argumentative essay is typically written in one of two formats, the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

The Toulmin model is the most common, comprised of an introduction with a claim (otherwise known as a thesis), with data to support it. This style of essay will also include rebuttals, helping to strengthen your argument by anticipating counterarguments.

The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Both essay styles rely on well-reasoned logic and supporting evidence to prove a point, just in two different ways.

The important thing to note about argumentative essays as opposed to other kinds of essays is that they aim to argue a specific point rather than to explain something or to tell a story. While they may have some things in common with analytical essays, the primary difference is in their objective—an argumentative essay aims to convince someone of something, whereas an analytical essay contextualizes a topic with research.


What Makes a Good Argumentative Essay?

To write an effective argumentative essay, you need to know what a good one looks like. In addition to a solid structure, you’ll need an argument, a strong thesis, and solid research.

An Argument

Unlike other forms of essays, you are trying to convince your reader of something. You’re not just teaching them a concept or demonstrating an idea—you’re constructing an argument to change the readers’ thinking.

You’ll need to develop a good argument, which encompasses not just your main point, but also all the pieces that make it up.

Think beyond what you are saying and include how you’re saying it. How will you take an idea and turn it into a complex and well thought out argument that is capable of changing somebody’s mind?

A Strong Thesis

The thesis is the core of your argument. What specific message are you trying to get across? State that message in one sentence, and that will be your thesis.

This is the foundation on which your essay is built, so it needs to be strong and well-reasoned. You need to be able to expand on it with facts and sources, not just feelings.

A good argumentative essay isn’t just based on your individual thoughts, but research. That can be citing sources and other arguments or it can mean direct research in the field, depending on what your argument is and the context in which you are arguing it.

Be prepared to back your thesis up with reporting from scientific journals, newspapers, or other forms of research. Having well-researched sources will help support your argument better than hearsay or assumptions. If you can’t find enough research to back up your point, it’s worth reconsidering your thesis or conducting original research, if possible.


How to Come Up With an Argumentative Essay Topic

Sometimes you may find yourself arguing things you don’t necessarily believe. That’s totally fine—you don’t actually have to wholeheartedly believe in what you’re arguing in order to construct a compelling argument.

However, if you have free choice of topic, it’s a good idea to pick something you feel strongly about. There are two key components to a good argumentative essay: a strong stance, and an assortment of evidence. If you’re interested and feel passionate about the topic you choose, you'll have an easier time finding evidence to support it, but it's the evidence that's most important. 

So, to choose a topic, think about things you feel strongly about, whether positively or negatively. You can make a list of ideas and narrow those down to a handful of things, then expand on those ideas with a few potential points you want to hit on.

For example, say you’re trying to decide whether you should write about how your neighborhood should ban weed killer, that your school’s lunch should be free for all students, or that the school day should be cut by one hour. To decide between these ideas, you can make a list of three to five points for each that cover the different evidence you could use to support each point.

For the weed killer ban, you could say that weed killer has been proven to have adverse impacts on bees, that there are simple, natural alternatives, and that weeds aren’t actually bad to have around. For the free lunch idea, you could suggest that some students have to go hungry because they can’t afford lunch, that funds could be diverted from other places to support free lunch, and that other items, like chips or pizza, could be sold to help make up lost revenue. And for the school day length example, you could argue that teenagers generally don’t get enough sleep, that you have too much homework and not enough time to do it, and that teenagers don’t spend enough time with their families.

You might find as you make these lists that some of them are stronger than others. The more evidence you have and the stronger you feel that that evidence is, the better the topic.  Of course, if you feel that one topic may have more evidence but you’d rather not write about it, it’s okay to pick another topic instead. When you’re making arguments, it can be much easier to find strong points and evidence if you feel passionate about our topic than if you don't.


50 Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

If you’re struggling to come up with topics on your own, read through this list of argumentative essay topics to help get you started!

  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should parents be able to modify their unborn children?
  • Do GMOs help or harm people?
  • Should vaccinations be required for students to attend public school?
  • Should world governments get involved in addressing climate change?
  • Should Facebook be allowed to collect data from its users?
  • Should self-driving cars be legal?
  • Is it ethical to replace human workers with automation?
  • Should there be laws against using cell phones while driving?
  • Has the internet positively or negatively impacted human society?


  • Should college athletes be paid for being on sports teams?
  • Should coaches and players make the same amount of money?
  • Should sports be segregated by gender?
  • Should the concept of designated hitters in baseball be abolished?
  • Should US sports take soccer more seriously?
  • Should religious organizations have to pay taxes?
  • Should religious clubs be allowed in schools?
  • Should “one nation under God” be in the pledge of allegiance?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • Should clergy be allowed to marry?
  • Should minors be able to purchase birth control without parental consent?
  • Should the US switch to single-payer healthcare?
  • Should assisted suicide be legal?
  • Should dietary supplements and weight loss items like teas be allowed to advertise through influencers?
  • Should doctors be allowed to promote medicines?


  • Is the electoral college an effective system for modern America?
  • Should Puerto Rico become a state?
  • Should voter registration be automatic?
  • Should people in prison be allowed to vote?
  • Should Supreme Court justices be elected?
  • Should sex work be legalized?
  • Should Columbus Day be replaced with Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
  • Should the death penalty be legal?
  • Should animal testing be allowed?
  • Should drug possession be decriminalized?


  • Should unpaid internships be legal?
  • Should minimum wage be increased?
  • Should monopolies be allowed?
  • Is universal basic income a good idea?
  • Should corporations have a higher or lower tax rate?
  • Are school uniforms a good idea?
  • Should PE affect a student’s grades?
  • Should college be free?
  • Should Greek life in colleges be abolished?
  • Should students be taught comprehensive sex ed?


  • Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
  • Should books with objectionable words be banned?
  • Should content on YouTube be better regulated?
  • Is art education important?
  • Should art and music sharing online be allowed?


How to Argue Effectively

A strong argument isn’t just about having a good point. If you can’t support that point well, your argument falls apart.

One of the most important things you can do in writing a strong argumentative essay is organizing well. Your essay should have a distinct beginning, middle, and end, better known as the introduction, body and opposition, and conclusion.

This example follows the Toulmin model—if your essay follows the Rogerian model, the same basic premise is true, but your thesis will instead propose two conflicting viewpoints that will be resolved through evidence in the body, with your conclusion choosing the stronger of the two arguments.


Your hook should draw the reader’s interest immediately. Questions are a common way of getting interest, as well as evocative language or a strong statistic

Don’t assume that your audience is already familiar with your topic. Give them some background information, such as a brief history of the issue or some additional context.

Your thesis is the crux of your argument. In an argumentative essay, your thesis should be clearly outlined so that readers know exactly what point you’ll be making. Don’t explain all your evidence in the opening, but do take a strong stance and make it clear what you’ll be discussing.

Your claims are the ideas you’ll use to support your thesis. For example, if you’re writing about how your neighborhood shouldn’t use weed killer, your claim might be that it’s bad for the environment. But you can’t just say that on its own—you need evidence to support it.

Evidence is the backbone of your argument. This can be things you glean from scientific studies, newspaper articles, or your own research. You might cite a study that says that weed killer has an adverse effect on bees, or a newspaper article that discusses how one town eliminated weed killer and saw an increase in water quality. These kinds of hard evidence support your point with demonstrable facts, strengthening your argument.

In your essay, you want to think about how the opposition would respond to your claims and respond to them. Don’t pick the weakest arguments, either— figure out what other people are saying and respond to those arguments with clearly reasoned arguments.

Demonstrating that you not only understand the opposition’s point, but that your argument is strong enough to withstand it, is one of the key pieces to a successful argumentative essay.

Conclusions are a place to clearly restate your original point, because doing so will remind readers exactly what you’re arguing and show them how well you’ve argued that point.

Summarize your main claims by restating them, though you don’t need to bring up the evidence again. This helps remind readers of everything you’ve said throughout the essay.

End by suggesting a picture of a world in which your argument and action are ignored. This increases the impact of your argument and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

A strong argumentative essay is one with good structure and a strong argument , but there are a few other things you can keep in mind to further strengthen your point.

When you’re crafting an argument, it can be easy to get distracted by all the information and complications in your argument. It’s important to stay focused—be clear in your thesis and home in on claims that directly support that thesis.

Be Rational

It’s important that your claims and evidence be based in facts, not just opinion. That’s why it’s important to use reliable sources based in science and reporting—otherwise, it’s easy for people to debunk your arguments.

Don’t rely solely on your feelings about the topic. If you can’t back a claim up with real evidence, it leaves room for counterarguments you may not anticipate. Make sure that you can support everything you say with clear and concrete evidence, and your claims will be a lot stronger!

What’s Next?

No matter what kind of essay you're writing, a strong plan will help you have a bigger impact. This guide to writing a college essay is a great way to get started on your essay organizing journey!

Brushing up on your essay format knowledge to prep for the SAT? Check out this list of SAT essay prompts to help you kickstart your studying!

A bunch of great essay examples can help you aspire to greatness, but bad essays can also be a warning for what not to do. This guide to bad college essays will help you better understand common mistakes to avoid in essay writing!

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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Argumentative Essay Examples (3 College Samples to Use)

argumentative essay examples

When writing an argumentative essay, it can be helpful to look at examples and samples that provide the structure of the outline for the essay form. Here are argumentative essay examples to use when writing your university-level essay.

Argumentative essay

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay backs up its claims with facts and evidence. Its ultimate goal is to persuade the reader to concur with the thesis. Instead of only the author’s thoughts and feelings, a strong argumentative essay will incorporate facts and evidence to back up its claims.

This article will find three different argumentative essay examples to help you understand how to frame a good argument.

Argumentative essay outline:

Argumentative essays typically follow the conventional five-paragraph pattern. However, this is not necessary. The two common frameworks for these articles are the Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

  • The most popular model is the Toulmin one. It starts with an introduction, moves on to a thesis or claim, and then provides information and proof to support that argument. Rebuttals of opposing points are also included in this type of essay.
  • The Rogerian paradigm examines both sides of an argument, weighs their advantages and disadvantages, and then draws a decision.

Argumentative essay examples

Below are three examples of argumentative essays.

Essay Example 1:

Some people have proposed closing public libraries and replacing them with iPads with e-reader subscriptions as online learning becomes more widespread and more resources are transformed into digital form.

The idea’s proponents claim that it will result in financial savings for nearby cities and villages because libraries are expensive. They think more people will read since they won’t have to go to the library to borrow a book. Instead, they can just click on the book they want to read and read it from wherever they are. Additionally, since libraries won’t need to purchase physical copies of books because they can simply rent as many digital ones, they’ll have access to more resources.

But using tablets to replace libraries would be a grave error. First, compared to print resources, digital books and resources are more problematic and are connected with less learning. According to research comparing tablet and book reading, tablet users read 20–30% slower, remember 20–20% less information, and comprehend 10–15% less of what they read than those who read the same material in print. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that gazing at a computer for an extended period is significantly more likely than reading print to result in several health issues. Such as blurred vision, faintness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain.

A higher incidence of more significant health conditions like fibromyalgia, shoulder and back discomfort, and carpal tunnel syndrome. And muscle strain is also observed in individuals who use tablets and mobile devices extensively.

Second, assuming that libraries provide book lending is limited-minded. There are many advantages to libraries, many of which can only be accessed if the library is physically there. These advantages include serving as a peaceful study area, offering a forum for neighborhood interaction, hosting classes on various subjects, creating employment opportunities, responding to client inquiries, and maintaining a sense of community. Over a third of residents in one neighborhood said they felt more connected to their community when a local library started hosting community events like play dates for young children and their parents .

Similarly, a 2015 Pew survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of American respondents believed eliminating their neighborhood library would significantly negatively impact their neighborhood.

Tablets can’t provide these advantages nearly as well as libraries do for those looking to connect with others and find answers to their queries.

Despite the numerous problems with digital screens, replacing libraries with tablets may seem straightforward, but it would inspire people to spend even more time staring at screens. Additionally, many of the advantages of libraries on which people have come to rely would no longer be accessible. A simple object in many communities could never replace libraries since they are such a vital element of the social fabric.

Essay Example 2:

Malaria is a contagious illness brought on by parasites that are spread to humans by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Over 500 million people contract malaria each year, with about 80% of those individuals residing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Every year, malaria claims the lives of close to 500,000 people, the majority of them being young children under the age of five. Malaria has a higher death rate than many other infectious disorders.

Rather than treating the illness once the person is already infected, even though there have been numerous programs created to increase access to malaria treatment.

Numerous medications are available to treat malaria; many are effective and life-saving. Nonetheless, malaria eradication projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that place an excessive emphasis on treatment and insufficient emphasis on prevention have not been successful over the long run . The WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme was a significant initiative to eradicate malaria. It was founded in 1955 to eradicate malaria in Africa during the following ten years . The program largely focused on vector control and was based on earlier successful initiatives in Brazil and the US. Chloroquine was widely dispersed, while DDT was sprayed in massive quantities.

The effort to eradicate malaria cost more than one billion dollars. However, the initiative was plagued by numerous issues, and in 1969, WHO had to acknowledge that the program had failed to eradicate malaria. During the period the initiative was in place, the number of malaria cases and malaria-related deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa had increased by more than 10%.

The project’s failure was largely due to the consistent strategies and procedures it imposed. The program was not nearly as effective as it could have been since it did not consider differences in governments, geography, and infrastructure. Sub-Saharan Africa lacks the resources and infrastructure necessary to sustain such a complex program, making it impossible to carry out in an intended manner.

Most African nations lack the funds to adequately treat and immunize all of their citizens, let alone afford to clean marshes or other malaria-prone areas. Only 25% of what Brazil spent on malaria eradication was spent per person on the continent. Africa’s Sub-Saharan region cannot rely on a strategy that calls for increased funding, infrastructure, or further expertise.

The widespread use of chloroquine has also led to developing parasites that are now a problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used frequently but ineffectively, mosquitoes became resistant, and as a result, over 95% of mosquitoes in Sub-Saharan Africa are now resistant to it. To prevent and treat malaria, newer, more expensive treatments must be utilized, which raises the price of malaria treatment for a region that can’t afford it.

Programs should concentrate on preventing infection from arising in the first place rather than creating plans to treat malaria after the infection has already occurred. This strategy is more affordable and effective and also decreases the number of days lost to missed work or school, which can further impair the region’s output.

Insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to prevent malaria (ITNs). These nets offer a secure perimeter around whoever is utilizing them. Bed nets treated with insecticides are far more useful than those that haven’t since they prevent mosquitoes from biting people through the netting. And help lower mosquito populations in a neighborhood, aiding those who don’t even possess bed nets. Because most mosquito bites occur when a person is asleep, bed nets can significantly lessen the number of transmissions at night. Where ITNs are widely used, malaria transmission can be decreased by as much as 90%.

Households suffering from malaria can usually only gather 40% of the yields that healthy families can. A household with malaria sufferers also spends about a fifth of its income on medical expenses, not accounting for the time lost from work due to the sickness. According to estimates, malaria causes Africa to lose 12 billion USD in revenue annually. Sub-Saharan Africa needs a strong economy made possible by a large working population.

Essay Example 3:

People are once again debating whether college athletes should be paid due to the continued popularity of college athletics and the significant financial success of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

There are numerous possible payment structures. Student-athletes might receive compensation through sponsorships, autographs, and the right to use their likeness, just like professional Olympians do. These payments could take a free-market approach in which players can earn whatever the market offers.

The idea’s proponents contend that college athletes need to be paid in some way for their labor since they are the ones who practice, compete in games, along with drawing spectators. Without college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, coaches wouldn’t be paid their (sometimes very high) salaries, and companies like Nike wouldn’t be able to make money off college sports. College athletes don’t receive any of the $1 billion in annual revenue that the NCAA generates in the form of a paycheck.

People who support paying college athletes assert that doing so will encourage them to stay in school longer and delay turning pro.

The Duke basketball sensation Zion Williamson, who suffered a catastrophic knee injury during his freshman year, is cited by the idea’s proponents as evidence. Many others claimed that even he adored representing Duke, risking another injury and prematurely terminating his professional career for an organization that wasn’t paying him wasn’t worth it. Later that year, Williamson declared his eligibility for the NCAA draught, showing that he agreed with them. He might have remained at Duke for more time had he been paid.

Paying athletes might also end the NCAA’s ongoing recruitment issues. Because it was determined that coaches were utilizing sex workers to attract recruits to join the team, which was completely wrong. The NCAA stripped the University of Louisville men’s basketball team of its national championship trophy in 2018. Numerous additional recruiting scandals have occurred, in which college athletes and recruiters were bought off with anything from free automobiles to having their grades modified to outright bribery.

The NCAA might end the dishonest and unlawful methods certain schools and coaches use to recruit athletes by paying college athletes and disclosing their earnings.

Even though both sides have valid arguments, it is evident that the drawbacks of compensating collegiate athletes exceed their advantages. College athletes dedicate much time and effort to representing their institution but are rewarded with scholarships and benefits. This can result in a bidding war only for the top athletes.

In contrast, most student athletics and college athletic programs would suffer or shut down due to a lack of funding. It is possible for many people if benefits for student-athletes are maintained at the current level.

A successful argumentative essay incorporates the author’s thoughts and opinions and uses facts and evidence to support its claims. For instance, you might have wished to write an argumentative essay arguing that your friends would like to travel to New York.

The majority of individuals concur that eating fast food is unhealthy. It is arguable whether the federal government should regulate the size of sodas sold at fast-food restaurants because junk food is detrimental to your health. The statement is open to reasonable agreement or disagreement.

Start with a sentence that will grab your attention. Describe the texts in detail. Declare your position. Verify that you have rephrased the prompt. Add a topic sentence that restates your assertion and justification.

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claim in argumentative essay example

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claim in argumentative essay example

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  1. 007 How To Write Claim For An Argumentative Essay Example

    claim in argumentative essay example

  2. 007 How To Write Claim For An Argumentative Essay Example

    claim in argumentative essay example

  3. How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step By Step

    claim in argumentative essay example

  4. PPT

    claim in argumentative essay example

  5. What Is a Claim in Writing? Examples of Argumentative Statements

    claim in argumentative essay example

  6. 007 How To Write Claim For An Argumentative Essay Example

    claim in argumentative essay example


  1. Argumentative Essay (2nd Claim) (In-Text Citations)

  2. Steps for Planning to Write an Argument

  3. How to Make an Argument

  4. How to write #argumentative essays #essays @@AbiatalEnglish

  5. لقطة إنسانية من جمهور كوت ديفوار يساعد مشجع مغربي في ورطة صعبة في طريقه للعودة للمغرب💔

  6. Argumentative Essay Lecture


  1. What Is a Claim in Writing? Examples of Argumentative Statements

    Just what is a claim in writing? It's not all that far off from a claim you might make out loud. Learn more about when you're making a claim right here.

  2. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    Argumentative Essay Example 2. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Each year, over half a billion people will become infected with malaria, with roughly 80% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  3. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  4. How to Write an Effective Claim (with Examples)

    In an argumentative essay, "the death penalty should be abolished" is an example of a claim. Even scientific papers make claims, such as "Keyboards contain more germs than toilet seats", which can be tested. These are called hypotheses. You will state your claim as a matter of fact.

  5. Parts of an Argumentative Essay

    The 4 parts of an argumentative essay are the claim, counterclaim, reasoning, and evidence. The claim is the author's argument that they are attempting to prove in the essay. The counterclaim is ...

  6. How to Write a Claim for An Argumentative Essay Step-By-Step

    1. Explore the Essay's Topic. Exploring your focus topic is a good way to determine what claim can best fit in your argumentative essay. Whether you've selected your own idea or received a focus topic from your teacher, you should do preliminary research and develop concrete ideas that you can easily argue.

  7. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay comprises five essential components: 1. Claim. Claim in argumentative writing is the central argument or viewpoint that the writer aims to establish and defend throughout the essay. A claim must assert your position on an issue and must be arguable. It can guide the entire argument.

  8. Argumentative Essay Examples & Analysis

    What is an argumentative essay? Before we turn to those argumentative essay examples, let's get precise about what an argumentative essay is. An argumentative essay is an essay that advances a central point, thesis, or claim using evidence and facts. In other words, argumentative essays are essays that argue on behalf of a particular ...

  9. What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

    An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here's an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3. 1. Introduction: Hook: Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader's attention.

  10. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay attempts to convince a reader to agree with a particular argument (the writer's thesis statement). The writer takes a firm stand one way or another on a topic and then uses hard evidence to support that stance. An argumentative essay seeks to prove to the reader that one argument —the writer's argument— is the ...

  11. Writing Arguable Claims in Argumentative Essays (+Examples)

    Examples of Arguable Claims of Fact. Here are some examples of arguable claims of fact that can be applied in argumentative essays with each component identified: Arguable Claim of Fact Example on Vaccinations vs. Diseases: Claim: Vaccinations are safe and effective. Evidence: Studies have shown that vaccines significantly reduce the incidence ...

  12. Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You [+Formula]

    Argumentative essay formula & example. In the image below, you can see a recommended structure for argumentative essays. It starts with the topic sentence, which establishes the main idea of the essay. Next, this hypothesis is developed in the development stage. Then, the rebuttal, or the refutal of the main counter argument or arguments.

  13. What Is a Claim in an Essay? Definition and Examples

    A claim is the core argument defining an essay's goal and direction. (1) It's assertive, debatable, and supported by evidence. Also, it is complex, specific, and detailed. Also known as a thesis, a claim is a little different from statements and opinions. Keep reading to reveal the nuances.

  14. Claim & Counterclaim in Argumentative Writing

    Writers should state claims as fact and be as straightforward and concise as possible. In an essay or any other form of argumentative writing, the claim is usually found at the end of the first ...

  15. Argumentative Essay

    When preparing to compose a good argumentative essay, utilize the following steps: Step 1: Select a topic. Step 2: Identify a position. Step 3: Locate appropriate resources. Step 4: Identify evidence supporting the position. ( NOTE: If there is little evidence in support of the claim, consider re-examining the main argument.)

  16. How to Write an Argumentative Essay (Examples Included)

    Developing an argument requires a significant understanding of the subject matter from all angles. Let's take a look at the steps to writing an argumentative essay: 1. Choose appropriate argumentative essay topics. Although topics for an argumentative essay are highly diverse, they are based on a controversial stance.

  17. Claim Statements in Arguments

    An argument breaks down into three primary categories: a strong claim (also referred to as a strong statement), reasons or justifications for the claim, and evidence supporting those reasons. For ...

  18. Types of Claims

    10. Types of Claims. by Jim Marteney. There are three types of claims: claims of fact, claims of value, and claims of policy. Each type of claim focuses on a different aspect of a topic. To best participate in an argument, it is beneficial to understand the type of claim that is being argued.

  19. Strong Thesis Statements

    Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. Example of a thesis that is too broad:

  20. What Is a Claim in an Essay: Definition, Types, & Examples

    Argumentative Essay. Central claims used in this paper should take a clearly defined stance on a subject to allow writers to build an evidence-based case to support all positions. The most unique feature of argumentative claims is that they should be questionable. Persuasive Speech. Students should present convincing opinions, ideas, or assertions.

  21. 50 Great Argumentative Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    Check out our helpful list of argumentative essay topics, plus tips on picking the best one for you. ... An argumentative essay is exactly what it sounds like—an essay in which you'll be making an argument, using examples and research to back up your point. ... comprised of an introduction with a claim (otherwise known as a thesis), with ...

  22. Argumentative Essay Examples (3 College Samples to Use)

    Here are argumentative essay examples to use when writing your university-level essay. Examples Grammar Abbreviations English. Home / English / November 6, 2022. ... malaria claims the lives of close to 500,000 people, the majority of them being young children under the age of five. Malaria has a higher death rate than many other infectious ...