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Humanities LibreTexts

9.3: The Argumentative Essay

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  • Lumen Learning

Learning Objectives

  • Examine types of argumentative essays

Argumentative Essays

You may have heard it said that all writing is an argument of some kind. Even if you’re writing an informative essay, you still have the job of trying to convince your audience that the information is important. However, there are times you’ll be asked to write an essay that is specifically an argumentative piece.

An argumentative essay is one that makes a clear assertion or argument about some topic or issue. When you’re writing an argumentative essay, it’s important to remember that an academic argument is quite different from a regular, emotional argument. Note that sometimes students forget the academic aspect of an argumentative essay and write essays that are much too emotional for an academic audience. It’s important for you to choose a topic you feel passionately about (if you’re allowed to pick your topic), but you have to be sure you aren’t too emotionally attached to a topic. In an academic argument, you’ll have a lot more constraints you have to consider, and you’ll focus much more on logic and reasoning than emotions.

A cartoon person with a heart in one hand and a brain in the other.

Argumentative essays are quite common in academic writing and are often an important part of writing in all disciplines. You may be asked to take a stand on a social issue in your introduction to writing course, but you could also be asked to take a stand on an issue related to health care in your nursing courses or make a case for solving a local environmental problem in your biology class. And, since argument is such a common essay assignment, it’s important to be aware of some basic elements of a good argumentative essay.

When your professor asks you to write an argumentative essay, you’ll often be given something specific to write about. For example, you may be asked to take a stand on an issue you have been discussing in class. Perhaps, in your education class, you would be asked to write about standardized testing in public schools. Or, in your literature class, you might be asked to argue the effects of protest literature on public policy in the United States.

However, there are times when you’ll be given a choice of topics. You might even be asked to write an argumentative essay on any topic related to your field of study or a topic you feel that is important personally.

Whatever the case, having some knowledge of some basic argumentative techniques or strategies will be helpful as you write. Below are some common types of arguments.

Causal Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you argue that something has caused something else. For example, you might explore the causes of the decline of large mammals in the world’s ocean and make a case for your cause.

Evaluation Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you make an argumentative evaluation of something as “good” or “bad,” but you need to establish the criteria for “good” or “bad.” For example, you might evaluate a children’s book for your education class, but you would need to establish clear criteria for your evaluation for your audience.

Proposal Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you must propose a solution to a problem. First, you must establish a clear problem and then propose a specific solution to that problem. For example, you might argue for a proposal that would increase retention rates at your college.

Narrative Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you make your case by telling a story with a clear point related to your argument. For example, you might write a narrative about your experiences with standardized testing in order to make a case for reform.

Rebuttal Arguments

  • In a rebuttal argument, you build your case around refuting an idea or ideas that have come before. In other words, your starting point is to challenge the ideas of the past.

Definition Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you use a definition as the starting point for making your case. For example, in a definition argument, you might argue that NCAA basketball players should be defined as professional players and, therefore, should be paid.

https://assessments.lumenlearning.co...essments/20277

Essay Examples

  • Click here to read an argumentative essay on the consequences of fast fashion . Read it and look at the comments to recognize strategies and techniques the author uses to convey her ideas.
  • In this example, you’ll see a sample argumentative paper from a psychology class submitted in APA format. Key parts of the argumentative structure have been noted for you in the sample.

Link to Learning

For more examples of types of argumentative essays, visit the Argumentative Purposes section of the Excelsior OWL .

Contributors and Attributions

  • Argumentative Essay. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/argumentative-essay/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Image of a man with a heart and a brain. Authored by : Mohamed Hassan. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : pixabay.com/illustrations/decision-brain-heart-mind-4083469/. License : Other . License Terms : pixabay.com/service/terms/#license

Enago Academy

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

Importance_of_an_ArgumentativeEssays

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

StrategiesOfWritingArgumentativeEssays

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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Praxis Core Writing

Course: praxis core writing   >   unit 1, argumentative essay | quick guide.

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Argumentative essay (30 minutes)

  • states or clearly implies the writer’s position or thesis
  • organizes and develops ideas logically, making insightful connections between them
  • clearly explains key ideas, supporting them with well-chosen reasons, examples, or details
  • displays effective sentence variety
  • clearly displays facility in the use of language
  • is generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • organizes and develops ideas clearly, making connections between them
  • explains key ideas, supporting them with relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • displays some sentence variety
  • displays facility in the use of language
  • states or implies the writer’s position or thesis
  • shows control in the organization and development of ideas
  • explains some key ideas, supporting them with adequate reasons, examples, or details
  • displays adequate use of language
  • shows control of grammar, usage, and mechanics, but may display errors
  • limited in stating or implying a position or thesis
  • limited control in the organization and development of ideas
  • inadequate reasons, examples, or details to explain key ideas
  • an accumulation of errors in the use of language
  • an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • no clear position or thesis
  • weak organization or very little development
  • few or no relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • frequent serious errors in the use of language
  • frequent serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • contains serious and persistent writing errors or
  • is incoherent or
  • is undeveloped or
  • is off-topic

How should I build a thesis?

  • (Choice A)   Kids should find role models that are worthier than celebrities because celebrities may be famous for reasons that aren't admirable. A Kids should find role models that are worthier than celebrities because celebrities may be famous for reasons that aren't admirable.
  • (Choice B)   Because they profit from the admiration of youths, celebrities have a moral responsibility for the reactions their behaviors provoke in fans. B Because they profit from the admiration of youths, celebrities have a moral responsibility for the reactions their behaviors provoke in fans.
  • (Choice C)   Celebrities may have more imitators than most people, but they hold no more responsibility over the example they set than the average person. C Celebrities may have more imitators than most people, but they hold no more responsibility over the example they set than the average person.
  • (Choice D)   Notoriety is not always a choice, and some celebrities may not want to be role models. D Notoriety is not always a choice, and some celebrities may not want to be role models.
  • (Choice E)   Parents have a moral responsibility to serve as immediate role models for their children. E Parents have a moral responsibility to serve as immediate role models for their children.

How should I support my thesis?

  • (Choice A)   As basketball star Charles Barkley stated in a famous advertising campaign for Nike, he was paid to dominate on the basketball court, not to raise your kids. A As basketball star Charles Barkley stated in a famous advertising campaign for Nike, he was paid to dominate on the basketball court, not to raise your kids.
  • (Choice B)   Many celebrities do consider themselves responsible for setting a good example and create non-profit organizations through which they can benefit youths. B Many celebrities do consider themselves responsible for setting a good example and create non-profit organizations through which they can benefit youths.
  • (Choice C)   Many celebrities, like Kylie Jenner with her billion-dollar cosmetics company, profit directly from being imitated by fans who purchase sponsored products. C Many celebrities, like Kylie Jenner with her billion-dollar cosmetics company, profit directly from being imitated by fans who purchase sponsored products.
  • (Choice D)   My ten-year-old nephew may love Drake's music, but his behaviors are more similar to those of the adults he interacts with on a daily basis, like his parents and teachers. D My ten-year-old nephew may love Drake's music, but his behaviors are more similar to those of the adults he interacts with on a daily basis, like his parents and teachers.
  • (Choice E)   It's very common for young people to wear fashions similar to those of their favorite celebrities. E It's very common for young people to wear fashions similar to those of their favorite celebrities.

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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. 

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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.” 

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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. 

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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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General Education

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If there’s one writing skill you need to have in your toolkit for standardized tests, AP exams, and college-level writing, it’s the ability to make a persuasive argument. Effectively arguing for a position on a topic or issue isn’t just for the debate team— it’s for anyone who wants to ace the essay portion of an exam or make As in college courses.

To give you everything you need to know about how to write an argumentative essay , we’re going to answer the following questions for you:

  • What is an argumentative essay?
  • How should an argumentative essay be structured?
  • How do I write a strong argument?
  • What’s an example of a strong argumentative essay?
  • What are the top takeaways for writing argumentative papers?

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepped and ready to write a great argumentative essay yourself!

Now, let’s break this down.

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What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents the writer’s position or stance on a specific topic and uses evidence to support that position. The goal of an argumentative essay is to convince your reader that your position is logical, ethical, and, ultimately, right . In argumentative essays, writers accomplish this by writing:

  • A clear, persuasive thesis statement in the introduction paragraph
  • Body paragraphs that use evidence and explanations to support the thesis statement
  • A paragraph addressing opposing positions on the topic—when appropriate
  • A conclusion that gives the audience something meaningful to think about.

Introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion: these are the main sections of an argumentative essay. Those probably sound familiar. Where does arguing come into all of this, though? It’s not like you’re having a shouting match with your little brother across the dinner table. You’re just writing words down on a page!

...or are you? Even though writing papers can feel like a lonely process, one of the most important things you can do to be successful in argumentative writing is to think about your argument as participating in a larger conversation . For one thing, you’re going to be responding to the ideas of others as you write your argument. And when you’re done writing, someone—a teacher, a professor, or exam scorer—is going to be reading and evaluating your argument.

If you want to make a strong argument on any topic, you have to get informed about what’s already been said on that topic . That includes researching the different views and positions, figuring out what evidence has been produced, and learning the history of the topic. That means—you guessed it!—argumentative essays almost always require you to incorporate outside sources into your writing.  

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What Makes Argumentative Essays Unique?

Argumentative essays are different from other types of essays for one main reason: in an argumentative essay, you decide what the argument will be . Some types of essays, like summaries or syntheses, don’t want you to show your stance on the topic—they want you to remain unbiased and neutral.

In argumentative essays, you’re presenting your point of view as the writer and, sometimes, choosing the topic you’ll be arguing about. You just want to make sure that that point of view comes across as informed, well-reasoned, and persuasive.

Another thing about argumentative essays: they’re often longer than other types of essays. Why, you ask? Because it takes time to develop an effective argument. If your argument is going to be persuasive to readers, you have to address multiple points that support your argument, acknowledge counterpoints, and provide enough evidence and explanations to convince your reader that your points are valid.

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Our 3 Best Tips for Picking a Great Argumentative Topic

The first step to writing an argumentative essay deciding what to write about! Choosing a topic for your argumentative essay might seem daunting, though. It can feel like you could make an argument about anything under the sun. For example, you could write an argumentative essay about how cats are way cooler than dogs, right?

It’s not quite that simple . Here are some strategies for choosing a topic that serves as a solid foundation for a strong argument.

Choose a Topic That Can Be Supported With Evidence

First, you want to make sure the topic you choose allows you to make a claim that can be supported by evidence that’s considered credible and appropriate for the subject matter ...and, unfortunately, your personal opinions or that Buzzfeed quiz you took last week don’t quite make the cut.

Some topics—like whether cats or dogs are cooler—can generate heated arguments, but at the end of the day, any argument you make on that topic is just going to be a matter of opinion. You have to pick a topic that allows you to take a position that can be supported by actual, researched evidence.

(Quick note: you could write an argumentative paper over the general idea that dogs are better than cats—or visa versa!—if you’re a) more specific and b) choose an idea that has some scientific research behind it. For example, a strong argumentative topic could be proving that dogs make better assistance animals than cats do.)

You also don’t want to make an argument about a topic that’s already a proven fact, like that drinking water is good for you. While some people might dislike the taste of water, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that proves—beyond the shadow of a doubt—that drinking water is a key part of good health.  

To avoid choosing a topic that’s either unprovable or already proven, try brainstorming some issues that have recently been discussed in the news, that you’ve seen people debating on social media, or that affect your local community. If you explore those outlets for potential topics, you’ll likely stumble upon something that piques your audience’s interest as well.  

Choose a Topic That You Find Interesting

Topics that have local, national, or global relevance often also resonate with us on a personal level. Consider choosing a topic that holds a connection between something you know or care about and something that is relevant to the rest of society. These don’t have to be super serious issues, but they should be topics that are timely and significant.

For example, if you are a huge football fan, a great argumentative topic for you might be arguing whether football leagues need to do more to prevent concussions . Is this as “important” an issue as climate change? No, but it’s still a timely topic that affects many people. And not only is this a great argumentative topic: you also get to write about one of your passions! Ultimately, if you’re working with a topic you enjoy, you’ll have more to say—and probably write a better essay .

Choose a Topic That Doesn’t Get You Too Heated

Another word of caution on choosing a topic for an argumentative paper: while it can be effective to choose a topic that matters to you personally, you also want to make sure you’re choosing a topic that you can keep your cool over. You’ve got to be able to stay unemotional, interpret the evidence persuasively, and, when appropriate, discuss opposing points of view without getting too salty.

In some situations, choosing a topic for your argumentative paper won’t be an issue at all: the test or exam will choose it for you . In that case, you’ve got to do the best you can with what you’re given.

In the next sections, we’re going to break down how to write any argumentative essay —regardless of whether you get to choose your own topic or have one assigned to you! Our expert tips and tricks will make sure that you’re knocking your paper out of the park.

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The Thesis: The Argumentative Essay’s Backbone

You’ve chosen a topic or, more likely, read the exam question telling you to defend, challenge, or qualify a claim on an assigned topic. What do you do now?

You establish your position on the topic by writing a killer thesis statement ! The thesis statement, sometimes just called “the thesis,” is the backbone of your argument, the north star that keeps you oriented as you develop your main points, the—well, you get the idea.

In more concrete terms, a thesis statement conveys your point of view on your topic, usually in one sentence toward the end of your introduction paragraph . It’s very important that you state your point of view in your thesis statement in an argumentative way—in other words, it should state a point of view that is debatable.

And since your thesis statement is going to present your argument on the topic, it’s the thing that you’ll spend the rest of your argumentative paper defending. That’s where persuasion comes in. Your thesis statement tells your reader what your argument is, then the rest of your essay shows and explains why your argument is logical.

Why does an argumentative essay need a thesis, though? Well, the thesis statement—the sentence with your main claim—is actually the entire point of an argumentative essay. If you don’t clearly state an arguable claim at the beginning of your paper, then it’s not an argumentative essay. No thesis statement = no argumentative essay. Got it?

Other types of essays that you’re familiar with might simply use a thesis statement to forecast what the rest of the essay is going to discuss or to communicate what the topic is. That’s not the case here. If your thesis statement doesn’t make a claim or establish your position, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

Example Thesis Statements

Here are a couple of examples of thesis statements that aren’t argumentative and thesis statements that are argumentative

The sky is blue.

The thesis statement above conveys a fact, not a claim, so it’s not argumentative.

To keep the sky blue, governments must pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions.

The second example states a position on a topic. What’s the topic in that second sentence? The best way to keep the sky blue. And what position is being conveyed? That the best way to keep the sky blue is by passing clean air legislation and regulating emissions.

Some people would probably respond to that thesis statement with gusto: “No! Governments should not pass clean air legislation and regulate emissions! That infringes on my right to pollute the earth!” And there you have it: a thesis statement that presents a clear, debatable position on a topic.

Here’s one more set of thesis statement examples, just to throw in a little variety:

Spirituality and otherworldliness characterize A$AP Rocky’s portrayals of urban life and the American Dream in his rap songs and music videos.

The statement above is another example that isn’t argumentative, but you could write a really interesting analytical essay with that thesis statement. Long live A$AP! Now here’s another one that is argumentative:

To give students an understanding of the role of the American Dream in contemporary life, teachers should incorporate pop culture, like the music of A$AP Rocky, into their lessons and curriculum.

The argument in this one? Teachers should incorporate more relevant pop culture texts into their curriculum.

This thesis statement also gives a specific reason for making the argument above: To give students an understanding of the role of the American Dream in contemporary life. If you can let your reader know why you’re making your argument in your thesis statement, it will help them understand your argument better.

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An actual image of you killing your argumentative essay prompts after reading this article! 

Breaking Down the Sections of An Argumentative Essay

Now that you know how to pick a topic for an argumentative essay and how to make a strong claim on your topic in a thesis statement, you’re ready to think about writing the other sections of an argumentative essay. These are the parts that will flesh out your argument and support the claim you made in your thesis statement.  

Like other types of essays, argumentative essays typically have three main sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Within those sections, there are some key elements that a reader—and especially an exam scorer or professor—is always going to expect you to include.

Let’s look at a quick outline of those three sections with their essential pieces here:

  • Introduction paragraph with a thesis statement (which we just talked about)
  • Support Point #1 with evidence
  • Explain/interpret the evidence with your own, original commentary (AKA, the fun part!)
  • Support Point #2 with evidence
  • Explain/interpret the evidence with your own, original commentary
  • Support Point #3 with evidence
  • New paragraph addressing opposing viewpoints (more on this later!)
  • Concluding paragraph

 Now, there are some key concepts in those sections that you’ve got to understand if you’re going to master how to write an argumentative essay. To make the most of the body section, you have to know how to support your claim (your thesis statement), what evidence and explanations are and when you should use them, and how and when to address opposing viewpoints. To finish strong, you’ve got to have a strategy for writing a stellar conclusion.

This probably feels like a big deal! The body and conclusion make up most of the essay, right? Let’s get down to it, then.

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How to Write a Strong Argument

Once you have your topic and thesis, you’re ready for the hard part: actually writing your argument. If you make strategic choices—like the ones we’re about to talk about—writing a strong argumentative essay won’t feel so difficult.

There are three main areas where you want to focus your energy as you develop a strategy for how to write an argumentative essay: supporting your claim—your thesis statement—in your essay, addressing other viewpoints on your topic, and writing a solid conclusion. If you put thought and effort into these three things, you’re much more likely to write an argumentative essay that’s engaging, persuasive, and memorable...aka A+ material.

Focus Area 1: Supporting Your Claim With Evidence and Explanations

So you’ve chosen your topic, decided what your position will be, and written a thesis statement. But like we see in comment threads across the Internet, if you make a claim and don’t back it up with evidence, what do people say? “Where’s your proof?” “Show me the facts!” “Do you have any evidence to support that claim?”

Of course you’ve done your research like we talked about. Supporting your claim in your thesis statement is where that research comes in handy.

You can’t just use your research to state the facts, though. Remember your reader? They’re going to expect you to do some of the dirty work of interpreting the evidence for them. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between evidence and explanations, and how and when to use both in your argumentative essay.

What Evidence Is and When You Should Use It

Evidence can be material from any authoritative and credible outside source that supports your position on your topic. In some cases, evidence can come in the form of photos, video footage, or audio recordings. In other cases, you might be pulling reasons, facts, or statistics from news media articles, public policy, or scholarly books or journals.

There are some clues you can look for that indicate whether or not a source is credible , such as whether:

  • The website where you found the source ends in .edu, .gov, or .org
  • The source was published by a university press
  • The source was published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • The authors did extensive research to support the claims they make in the source

This is just a short list of some of the clues that a source is likely a credible one, but just because a source was published by a prestigious press or the authors all have PhDs doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best piece of evidence for you to use to support your argument.

In addition to evaluating the source’s credibility, you’ve got to consider what types of evidence might come across as most persuasive in the context of the argument you’re making and who your readers are. In other words, stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of the entire context of your argumentative paper is key to choosing evidence that will strengthen your argument.

On some exams, like the AP exams , you may be given pretty strict parameters for what evidence to use and how to use it. You might be given six short readings that all address the same topic, have 15 minutes to read them, then be required to pull material from a minimum of three of the short readings to support your claim in an argumentative essay.

When the sources are handed to you like that, be sure to take notes that will help you pick out evidence as you read. Highlight, underline, put checkmarks in the margins of your exam . . . do whatever you need to do to begin identifying the material that you find most helpful or relevant. Those highlights and check marks might just turn into your quotes, paraphrases, or summaries of evidence in your completed exam essay.

What Explanations Are and When You Should Use Them

Now you know that taking a strategic mindset toward evidence and explanations is critical to grasping how to write an argumentative essay. Unfortunately, evidence doesn’t speak for itself. While it may be obvious to you, the researcher and writer, how the pieces of evidence you’ve included are relevant to your audience, it might not be as obvious to your reader.

That’s where explanations—or analysis, or interpretations—come in. You never want to just stick some quotes from an article into your paragraph and call it a day. You do want to interpret the evidence you’ve included to show your reader how that evidence supports your claim.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be saying, “This piece of evidence supports my argument because...”. Instead, you want to comment on the evidence in a way that helps your reader see how it supports the position you stated in your thesis. We’ll talk more about how to do this when we show you an example of a strong body paragraph from an argumentative essay here in a bit.

Understanding how to incorporate evidence and explanations to your advantage is really important. Here’s why: when you’re writing an argumentative essay, particularly on standardized tests or the AP exam, the exam scorers can’t penalize you for the position you take. Instead, their evaluation is going to focus on the way you incorporated evidence and explained it in your essay.

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Focus Area 2: How—and When—to Address Other Viewpoints

Why would we be making arguments at all if there weren’t multiple views out there on a given topic? As you do research and consider the background surrounding your topic, you’ll probably come across arguments that stand in direct opposition to your position.

Oftentimes, teachers will ask you to “address the opposition” in your argumentative essay. What does that mean, though, to “ address the opposition ?”

Opposing viewpoints function kind of like an elephant in the room. Your audience knows they’re there. In fact, your audience might even buy into an opposing viewpoint and be waiting for you to show them why your viewpoint is better. If you don’t, it means that you’ll have a hard time convincing your audience to buy your argument.

Addressing the opposition is a balancing act: you don’t want to undermine your own argument, but you don’t want to dismiss the validity of opposing viewpoints out-of-hand or ignore them altogether, which can also undermine your argument.

This isn’t the only acceptable approach, but it’s common practice to wait to address the opposition until close to the end of an argumentative essay. But why?

Well, waiting to present an opposing viewpoint until after you’ve thoroughly supported your own argument is strategic. You aren’t going to go into great detail discussing the opposing viewpoint: you’re going to explain what that viewpoint is fairly, but you’re also going to point out what’s wrong with it.

It can also be effective to read the opposition through the lens of your own argument and the evidence you’ve used to support it. If the evidence you’ve already included supports your argument, it probably doesn’t support the opposing viewpoint. Without being too obvious, it might be worth pointing this out when you address the opposition.

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Focus Area #3: Writing the Conclusion

It’s common to conclude an argumentative essay by reiterating the thesis statement in some way, either by reminding the reader what the overarching argument was in the first place or by reviewing the main points and evidence that you covered.

You don’t just want to restate your thesis statement and review your main points and call it a day, though. So much has happened since you stated your thesis in the introduction! And why waste a whole paragraph—the very last thing your audience is going to read—on just repeating yourself?

Here’s an approach to the conclusion that can give your audience a fresh perspective on your argument: reinterpret your thesis statement for them in light of all the evidence and explanations you’ve provided. Think about how your readers might read your thesis statement in a new light now that they’ve heard your whole argument out.

That’s what you want to leave your audience with as you conclude your argumentative paper: a brief explanation of why all that arguing mattered in the first place. If you can give your audience something to continue pondering after they’ve read your argument, that’s even better.

One thing you want to avoid in your conclusion, though: presenting new supporting points or new evidence. That can just be confusing for your reader. Stick to telling your reader why the argument you’ve already made matters, and your argument will stick with your reader.

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A Strong Argumentative Essay: Examples

For some aspiring argumentative essay writers, showing is better than telling. To show rather than tell you what makes a strong argumentative essay, we’ve provided three examples of possible body paragraphs for an argumentative essay below.

Think of these example paragraphs as taking on the form of the “Argumentative Point #1 → Evidence —> Explanation —> Repeat” process we talked through earlier. It’s always nice to be able to compare examples, so we’ve included three paragraphs from an argumentative paper ranging from poor (or needs a lot of improvement, if you’re feeling generous), to better, to best.

All of the example paragraphs are for an essay with this thesis statement: 

Thesis Statement: In order to most effectively protect user data and combat the spread of disinformation, the U.S. government should implement more stringent regulations of Facebook and other social media outlets.

As you read the examples, think about what makes them different, and what makes the “best” paragraph more effective than the “better” and “poor” paragraphs. Here we go:

A Poor Argument

Example Body Paragraph: Data mining has affected a lot of people in recent years. Facebook has 2.23 billion users from around the world, and though it would take a huge amount of time and effort to make sure a company as big as Facebook was complying with privacy regulations in countries across the globe, adopting a common framework for privacy regulation in more countries would be the first step. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself supports adopting a global framework for privacy and data protection, which would protect more users than before.

What’s Wrong With This Example?

First, let’s look at the thesis statement. Ask yourself: does this make a claim that some people might agree with, but others might disagree with?

The answer is yes. Some people probably think that Facebook should be regulated, while others might believe that’s too much government intervention. Also, there are definitely good, reliable sources out there that will help this writer prove their argument. So this paper is off to a strong start!  

Unfortunately, this writer doesn’t do a great job proving their thesis in their body paragraph. First, the topic sentence—aka the first sentence of the paragraph—doesn’t make a point that directly supports the position stated in the thesis. We’re trying to argue that government regulation will help protect user data and combat the spread of misinformation, remember? The topic sentence should make a point that gets right at that, instead of throwing out a random fact about data mining.

Second, because the topic sentence isn’t focused on making a clear point, the rest of the paragraph doesn’t have much relevant information, and it fails to provide credible evidence that supports the claim made in the thesis statement. For example, it would be a great idea to include exactly what Mark Zuckerberg said ! So while there’s definitely some relevant information in this paragraph, it needs to be presented with more evidence.

A Better Argument  

This paragraph is a bit better than the first one, but it still needs some work. The topic sentence is a bit too long, and it doesn’t make a point that clearly supports the position laid out in the thesis statement. The reader already knows that mining user data is a big issue, so the topic sentence would be a great place to make a point about why more stringent government regulations would most effectively protect user data.

There’s also a problem with how the evidence is incorporated in this example. While there is some relevant, persuasive evidence included in this paragraph, there’s no explanation of why or how it is relevant . Remember, you can’t assume that your evidence speaks for itself: you have to interpret its relevance for your reader. That means including at least a sentence that tells your reader why the evidence you’ve chosen proves your argument.

A Best—But Not Perfect!—Argument  

Example Body Paragraph: Though Facebook claims to be implementing company policies that will protect user data and stop the spread of misinformation , its attempts have been unsuccessful compared to those made by the federal government. When PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a Federal Trade Commission-mandated assessment of Facebook’s partnerships with Microsoft and the makers of the Blackberry handset in 2013, the team found limited evidence that Facebook had monitored or even checked that its partners had complied with Facebook’s existing data use policies. In fact, Facebook’s own auditors confirmed the PricewaterhouseCoopers findings, despite the fact that Facebook claimed that the company was making greater attempts to safeguard users’ personal information. In contrast, bills written by Congress have been more successful in changing Facebook’s practices than Facebook’s own company policies have. According to The Washington Post, The Honest Ads Act of 2017 “created public demand for transparency and changed how social media companies disclose online political advertising.” These policy efforts, though thus far unsuccessful in passing legislation, have nevertheless pushed social media companies to change some of their practices by sparking public outrage and negative media attention.

Why This Example Is The Best

This paragraph isn’t perfect, but it is the most effective at doing some of the things that you want to do when you write an argumentative essay.

First, the topic sentences get to the point . . . and it’s a point that supports and explains the claim made in the thesis statement! It gives a clear reason why our claim in favor of more stringent government regulations is a good claim : because Facebook has failed to self-regulate its practices.

This paragraph also provides strong evidence and specific examples that support the point made in the topic sentence. The evidence presented shows specific instances in which Facebook has failed to self-regulate, and other examples where the federal government has successfully influenced regulation of Facebook’s practices for the better.

Perhaps most importantly, though, this writer explains why the evidence is important. The bold sentence in the example is where the writer links the evidence back to their opinion. In this case, they explain that the pressure from Federal Trade Commission and Congress—and the threat of regulation—have helped change Facebook for the better.

Why point out that this isn’t a perfect paragraph, though? Because you won’t be writing perfect paragraphs when you’re taking timed exams either. But get this: you don’t have to write perfect paragraphs to make a good score on AP exams or even on an essay you write for class. Like in this example paragraph, you just have to effectively develop your position by appropriately and convincingly relying on evidence from good sources.

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Top 3 Takeaways For Writing Argumentative Essays

This is all great information, right? If (when) you have to write an argumentative essay, you’ll be ready. But when in doubt, remember these three things about how to write an argumentative essay, and you’ll emerge victorious:

Takeaway #1: Read Closely and Carefully

This tip applies to every aspect of writing an argumentative essay. From making sure you’re addressing your prompt, to really digging into your sources, to proofreading your final paper...you’ll need to actively and pay attention! This is especially true if you’re writing on the clock, like during an AP exam.

Takeaway #2: Make Your Argument the Focus of the Essay

Define your position clearly in your thesis statement and stick to that position! The thesis is the backbone of your paper, and every paragraph should help prove your thesis in one way or another. But sometimes you get to the end of your essay and realize that you’ve gotten off topic, or that your thesis doesn’t quite fit. Don’t worry—if that happens, you can always rewrite your thesis to fit your paper!

Takeaway #3: Use Sources to Develop Your Argument—and Explain Them

Nothing is as powerful as good, strong evidence. First, make sure you’re finding credible sources that support your argument. Then you can paraphrase, briefly summarize, or quote from your sources as you incorporate them into your paragraphs. But remember the most important part: you have to explain why you’ve chosen that evidence and why it proves your thesis.

What's Next?

Once you’re comfortable with how to write an argumentative essay, it’s time to learn some more advanced tips and tricks for putting together a killer argument.

Keep in mind that argumentative essays are just one type of essay you might encounter. That’s why we’ve put together more specific guides on how to tackle IB essays , SAT essays , and ACT essays .

But what about admissions essays? We’ve got you covered. Not only do we have comprehensive guides to the Coalition App and Common App essays, we also have tons of individual college application guides, too . You can search through all of our college-specific posts by clicking here.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Table of contents

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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 .)

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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!)

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Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

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 😉

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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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The New York Times

The learning network | 200 prompts for argumentative writing.

The Learning Network - Teaching and Learning With The New York Times

200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

<a href="//www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/education/07classrooms.html">Related Article</a> | <a href="//learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/does-class-size-matter/">Related Student Opinion Question</a>

Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts .

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get five new Student Opinion questions delivered to you every week.

What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.

Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.

So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.

For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest , a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing .

<a href="//www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/education/studies-show-more-students-cheat-even-high-achievers.html">Related Article</a>

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  • Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
  • Should Marijuana Be Legal?
  • Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?

Personal Character and Morality Questions

<a href="//www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/opinion/sunday/its-not-mess-its-creativity.html">Related Article<br /></a>

  • Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
  • Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
  • Can Money Buy You Happiness?
  • Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
  • Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  • Do People Complain Too Much?
  • Can Kindness Become Cool?
  • Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  • How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  • When Should You Compromise?
  • Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
  • Can You Be Good Without God?
  • Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
  • What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
  • What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
  • Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  • How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
  • How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
  • Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
  • How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
  • Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
  • Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  • When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  • Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
  • Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
  • How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?

Other Questions

<a href="//www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/opinion/sunday/here-comes-the-neighborhood.html">Related Article</a><a href="//learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/lesson-plans/"></a>

  • Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
  • What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  • Should Charities Focus More on America?
  • Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
  • Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
  • Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
  • What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  • Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  • How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?

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Argumentative prompts – 200

So i was thinking about doing a topic of Nuclear War for school and i am not able to take and find it on here does anyone know were i can find it?

Many of these questions aren’t at all appropriate for someone writing a persuasive speech. Take the question about life existing other than on earth. The only argument that should convince anyone that life exists other than on earth would use definitive scientific evidence. And if we had that, there wouldn’t be an argument in the first place.

Regarding the section on Gender Issues:

Where are the questions regarding transgender teens or adults? Where are the questions regarding sexuality? Where are the questions regarding whether or not gender roles have an impact on teens? Where are the questions regarding society’s view on the LGBT(etc.) community?

Hi Tasha, We have touched on all of these issues on the blog numerous times, but for this collection of questions, we only highlighted those asked in a way that most naturally led to argumentative writing. But, for example, we have a whole collection on teaching about LGBT issues here, and we ask questions and run lesson plans around aspects of teenage sexuality regularly. (For instance, just off the top of my head, here , here , here , here , here, here , here and here .) But we’re always open to suggestions, so let us know what else you’d like to see. –Katherine

I have another persuasive argument-should students have recess in junior high?

Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks? Have you ever seen an image of a model in a magazine and thought to yourself “wow, I wish I looked that remarkable”? You are not the only one. They are perfect, however, the images we view of these women and men are 99.9% not how they actually look. They use a tremendous amount of photoshop to create a look they could not even achieve themselves. Yes, looking at these images have an outcome of someone staring unhappily in the mirror, not seeing perfect skin and chiseled abs. Looking at perfect people in pictures for hours and then looking at yourself, you seem to come across every blemish and fault that the models in the pictures did not have. Having the idea that you could never look as flawless as the unreal people in magazines does have the power to lower your self-esteem. You do not really know how bad you feel about your looks until you see teeth as bright as the sun, the perfect coke bottle shape, and the flawless sun kissed skin in your favorite magazine. Photoshopped images make you look and feel better, but then again it portrays an unrealistic person that is hardly yourself. Everyone has flaws and with this photoshop madness, the flaws are erased. With no flaws in these images there is no limit to how far someone will go to get that level of perfection, even though that level is unachievable because a great deal of lightening, smoothing, and shrinking has been added to the image. The more photoshop is being used to clear up insecurities; the more it is just adding to ours. If you see before and after photos, you will realize that people in the photoshopped images are not as perfect as they claim to be. And we should not feel bad about ourselves because of this, but we do. Seeing how a size 10 model can be photoshopped down to a size 1 is ridiculous. How can wrinkles vanish inconspicuously, uneven skin tones be evened out, dark circles erased, and stretch marks blurred? In real life this is not possible to be completely without a blemish or flaw. So, when we see all of these photoshopped images we start putting our heads down in shame knowing we cannot look as impeccable as these fake images display. Altering images to try and fit the society’s way of how people should look is nonsense. We will never look like that and it is just making people self-esteem worse because we will go to the end of the world and back to figure out every secret to acquire glowing skin and youthful looking skin like the individuals in our magazine. But the secret is all in the image, it is a little thing called photoshop and it is ruining the way we look at ourselves.

Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks? Have you ever seen an image of Kim Kardashian in a magazine and thought to yourself “wow, I wish I looked that remarkable”? You are not the only one to think in this fantasizing way. Kim is perfect; however, the images we view of her are 99.9% retouched. Photographers use a tremendous amount of photoshop to create a look of pure perfection they could not achieve themselves. Yes, looking at these images has an outcome of staring unhappily in the mirror, not seeing perfect skin and chiseled abs. Looking at perfect people in pictures for hours and then looking at yourself, you seem to come across every blemish and fault that the models in the pictures did not have. Having the idea buried in your mind that you could never look as flawless as the unreal people in magazines does have the power to lower your self-esteem. You do not really know how bad you feel about your looks until you see teeth as bright as the sun, the perfect coke bottle shape, and the flawless sun kissed skin on your idle, in your favorite magazine. Photoshopped images make them look and feel better about themselves, but then again it portrays an unrealistic person that is hardly close to the real you. Everyone has flaws and with this photoshop madness, the flaws are erased. With no flaws in these images there is no limit to how far someone will go to get that level of perfection, even though that level is unachievable because a great deal of lightening, smoothing, and shrinking has been added to the image. The more images being photoshopped to clear up insecurities; the more insecurity there is being piled on the viewers. If you see before and after photos, you will realize that people in the photoshopped images are not as perfect as they claim to be. And we should not feel bad about ourselves because of this, but we do. Seeing how a size 10 model can be photoshopped down to a size 1 is ridiculous. How can wrinkles vanish inconspicuously, uneven skin tones be evened out, dark circles erased, and stretch marks blurred? In real life this is not possible to be completely without a blemish or flaw. So, when we see all of these photoshopped images we start putting our heads down in shame knowing we cannot look as impeccable as these fake images display. Altering images to try and fit into society’s way of how people should look is nonsense. We will never look like that and it is just making people self-esteem worse because we will go to the end of the world and back to figure out every secret to acquire glowing and youthful looking skin like the individuals in our magazine. But the secret is all in the image, it is a little thing called photoshop and it is ruining the way we look at ourselves.

Carly H & Maggie W Galvin Middle School Canton, MA 02021

Should student be able to wear whatever they want?

Many adults argue there is a line between skimpy and sweet. More than 75 % of schools in the United States have issued dress codes that limit what boy and girls are allowed to wear on school grounds. Unless schools are supplying uniforms or paying money for students’ wardrobes we believe schools should not have a say. Although many teachers would say middle school and high school students’ choice of clothing is rather inappropriate and distracting, almost all parents and students would beg to differ. As middle schoolers we strongly believe schools have taken away students right to express themselves. Middle school and high school age kids are just starting to come out of their shells. Some students feel more comfortable in their own clothes than they would feel in a uniform. Nowadays students have been bullied due to what they are wearing. Kids have been called “ugly” or “weird” and “gay”. Kids want to fit in and wear the newest styles. It seems though these styles have been getting skimpier and skimpier. Letting a child wear clothing of their choice it can boost their self confidence. We feel that as long as your parents let you out of the house the way that you are dressed then the schools should not have a say. About 63% percent of kids in middle school get bullied because of what they are wearing. Without a dress code students have that chance to fit in and develop a personal style. Many teachers and faculty believe schools without dress codes have lower test scores. People say that these low test scores can be because students are dressing inappropriately. Dressing inappropriately can distract other students and faculty. Some people have a hard time paying attention in school and then skimpy clothing can just make it worse. One theory suggests that students who wear uniforms and who don’t not have freedom to wear what they want get better grades in school. Even though wearing uniforms might seem like it can solve all problems no matter what people choose to do clothing will always be a debate in schools. All in all wearing whatever you want has its advantages but also disadvantages. When you have the freedom to wear what you want there is always going to be the kids that take that for granted. But then having that freedom can be a way for children to fit in and express themselves. We believe that students should be able to wear whatever they want.

Colleen B. Sofia C. Galvin Middle School Canton, MA 02021

Why women are not pursuing careers in the S.T.E.M. field.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Throughout history humans haven’t been treated equally, most of this injustice has to do with sex, race, or ethnicity. As humanity has developed we have created rights for the discrimination. Women have always been thought as the inferior gender, however as time has progressed women have earned more rights. Unfortunately many women still think of themselves as secondary.

One reason the majority of female has not been choosing careers in math and science has to do with encouragement. Repetition builds a muscle, a muscle builds a habit and habit builds a character that sticks. If children are not encourage from a young age, or don’t get exposed to S.T.E.M. careers, their mind has already been developed and is not focused on exploring the science and math fields. Most children of this generation are steered toward sports from a young age, which does not allow females in particular to see a variety of career options in their future. Its not that the majority of women don’t want to work in the S.T.E.M. field but their upbringing does not promote these callings.

Throughout history, women have always been stereotyped as the inferior gender. Women are usually thought as less intelligent and are relegated to lower paying jobs. Females in the past have had a very small work selection. From the 1950s to the 1970s, women commonly had two job options, becoming a teacher or a nurse. However, as time has progressed women have begun to expand their career choices but still make less than males. The Media can make a big impact on how women are seen through pop culture.

Even though statistics state that the percentage of females in the S.T.E.M. field has decreased, people still believe that our country has a stable science and math field. Many believe that in our future, the science fields will open up to women population more. This may be true but the fields are already open for females to enter. However, the majority of females still do not choose to pursue these careers.

Just as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Until more women explore the S.T.E.M. fields we can never quite tell how strong and intelligent women are.

Is Prom Worth it?

As teenagers we all want to have one perfect night, especially girls. For us prom is the only chance to have a complete Cinderella dream. You wait all these years until the day finally comes, dress hunting. That’s the moment when you doubt and say the unspeakable, “Is prom worth it?” Some might say yes while others may say no whatever the reason is the glitz or the thought of getting rejected. People come in and out of our lives, but many articles say this is our last chance to be with our peers. It isn’t really because there is still graduation but to have a lot of fun with our peers, proms the night. In that one night you become the person you were when you walked into to high school for the first time and now you get to leave as the person you have become. In high school you change, you make new types of choices and maybe become mature. Sometimes in growing up we forget the things that makes us, us and in this night you get a chance to remember and become that graduating class that you were always meant to be. To some people they still say no, however I think it is still worth it. Other articles say that prom is a big memorable moment. You all fall into places like in a story, there is a king and queen and moments to remember. Moments aren’t only captured in pictures but in places, in our minds, in people, in heartbeats. These moments are what brings a class together and helps us say, “Don’t you remember…” This will definitely be something you will remember. Many of us want to do everything, trying anything, and do them with the people they love. We have choices in our lives which sometimes get’s in the way of doing things but is prom a choice which helps us accomplish this? About twenty five percent of the teen population don’t attend prom. Some might not want to go after seeing the price on the dress tag or the ticket itself. Most families spend about a thousand one hundred thirty nine dollars. For most families this is a lot and people don’t plan to spend this much unless it’s their wedding. In this economy college tuition also seems a lot to families and this seems like an unnecessary expense. Despite the cost and the drama that prom brings on, it is a night to remember. From the moment you meet your date to the moment the limo picks you up there is a story to be told within.

• //learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/is-prom-worth-it/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 • //www.lifeway.com/Article/parenting-teens-family-Prom-in-Perspective

Grace K and John A Galvin Middle School Canton MA 02021

School Dress Codes . In middle schools and high schools all over the country, administrators are punishing children for their clothing choices. The reason for this being that girl specifically, dress too provocatively. Therefore, stricter dress codes are being enforced, but is it worth it? It isn’t appropriate for anyone besides a child’s parents to tell them what they can and can not wear. Period. Most people buy their kids shorter, smaller and lighter clothes for the warmer months, spending their own hard earned money. For a public school to then proceed to tell those parents that their child is not permitted to wear that clothing on school grounds, where they spend over 7 hours of their day, just isn’t right. If a child’s legal guardian is perfectly fine with their kids wearing a pair of “short-shorts” then why should a school policy be allowed to them they can’t? Especially when the school isn’t providing uniforms or money to buy clothing that fit into their particular dress codes. Another reason why schools shouldn’t enforce such strict dress codes is because of basic human rights. Freedom of expression, by definition, is the right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other communication. For centuries, clothing has been one of those forms of other communication. To deny people their rights is illegal, no matter what age, race, or sex and schools not allowing students to wear clothing of their choice is no exception. Besides it being against the law, schools are supposed to encourage kids to be themselves, stand up for what they believe in, and help them find their identities. One of the best ways for our country’s youth to accomplish these things is to allow them to be as unique and personal with their clothes as possible. If this means letting a child wear a tank top with straps that are less than 3 inches wide, so be it. Many people don’t want to give kids, girls in particular; the freedom to wear whatever they want to school because they think it will be too much of a distraction for boys. While I agree with that, I think it is more important for children to be able to express themselves freely. Besides that, who’s to say that girls aren’t distracted by the clothing that boys wear? There are almost no restrictions or limitations towards the clothing that boys are allowed to wear yet there are several for girls. It shouldn’t be a female student’s problem that some young boys get too “distracted” by what they wear when boys are hardly even affected by the dress code at schools anyways. In conclusion, school dress codes are harsh and unnecessary and should be lessened at the least. Plenty of people agree with this as well as disagree. Hopefully, schools will see the error of their ways and adjust their clothing policies, as they are currently unfair and too strict for many different reasons.

Colleen B. Sofia C. Galvin Middle School Canton, MA 02021 Why women are not pursuing careers in the S.T.E.M. field. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Throughout history humans haven’t been treated equally, most of this injustice has to do with sex, race, or ethnicity. As humanity has developed we have created rights for the discrimination. Women have always been thought as the inferior gender, however as time has progressed women have earned more rights. Unfortunately many women still think of themselves as secondary. One reason the majority of female has not been choosing careers in math and science has to do with encouragement. Repetition builds a muscle, a muscle builds a habit and habit builds a character that sticks. If children are not encourage from a young age, or don’t get exposed to S.T.E.M. careers, their mind has already been developed and is not focused on exploring the science and math fields. Most children of this generation are steered toward sports from a young age, which does not allow females in particular to see a variety of career options in their future. Its not that the majority of women don’t want to work in the S.T.E.M. field but their upbringing does not promote these callings. Throughout history, women have always been stereotyped as the inferior gender. Women are usually thought as less intelligent and are relegated to lower paying jobs. Females in the past have had a very small work selection. From the 1950s to the 1970s, women commonly had two job options, becoming a teacher or a nurse. However, as time has progressed women have begun to expand their career choices but still make less than males. The Media can make a big impact on how women are seen through pop culture. Even though statistics state that the percentage of females in the S.T.E.M. field has decreased, people still believe that our country has a stable science and math field. Many believe that in our future, the science fields will open up to women population more. This may be true but the fields are already open for females to enter. However, the majority of females still do not choose to pursue these careers. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Until more women explore the S.T.E.M. fields we can never quite tell how strong and intelligent women are. -//learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/22/why-arent-more-girls-choosing-to-pursue-careers-in-math-and-science/ -//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept09/vol67/num01/Encouraging-Girls-to-Pursue-Math-and-Science.aspx

Should cyber-bullying laws be passed?

Cyber-bullying is extremely serious, no one should suffer from cyber-bullying, those doing the bullying should not get away with it they need to be punished. More laws on cyberbullying and punishments need to be passed. If cyber bullying doesn’t get prevented it will drastically increase over the years due to the progress of new technology. Cyberbullying is cruel and hurtful, it can cause depression, thoughts of suicide and low self esteem. Anna Maria Chavez the chief executive officer of girl scouts once said “unless and until our society recognizes cyberbullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue.” Hurtful words take a toll on the individual, at times they may feel worthless and believe the world would be a better place without them. In the United States 49 states have bullying laws only 19 states include cyberbullying, meaning 31 states have yet passed a cyberbullying law. How much longer until more cyberbullying laws are passed? How many more lives will be lost? Each year over 13 million individuals are bullied, there are about 4,400 deaths in the United States by suicide those being bullied have a greater chance to be one of those individuals. No one should be cyber bullied, bullies need to be punished for their actions. Megan Meier from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri committed suicide on October 17, 2006 at the age of 13 due to cyberbullying. After Megan’s death, her mother Tina Meier urged that Megans bully must be punished, and was able to get “Megans Law” passed which protects individuals from harassment on social networking sites. The majority of parents plead for more cyberbullying laws, why aren’t they passing? Therefore each state should pass laws preventing cyberbullying and punishments for bullies. Bullying is a stab in the heart after the constant fighting,trying to get through the pain, the heart gives up as the individual cannot take it anymore. Katherine Jenkins, a classical crossover singer has said “children should be able to live free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand.” Cyber Bullying must end before it´s too late.

Sources The Associated Press. “Mother Wants Maximum Penalty in Cyberbullying Case.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2008. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. //www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/us/29internet.html?ref=meganmeier “About Tina Meier.” Megan Meier Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. //www.meganmeierfoundation.org/about-tina-meier.html “State Cyberbullying Laws.” N.p., Feb.-Mar. 2014. Web. Feb.-Mar. 2014. < //www.cyberbullying.us/Bullying_and_Cyberbullying_Laws.pdf>. “Bullying and Suicide.” Bullying Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. //www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html Jenkins, Katherine. “Beatbullying’s The Big March 2012.” Beatbullying’s The Big March 2012. Feb.-Mar. 2014. Address. Chavez, Anna Maria. “Confronting Cyber Violence in the Digital Age.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. //www.huffingtonpost.com/anna-maria-chavez/confronting-cyber-violenc_b_3157086.html

It can’t be worked out systematically. Young people need to leap beyond the assumption that at 18 they can do everything; buy cigarettes, drink alcohol, vote, drive and fight in wars—but it actuality, not until they’re 21.

Young people need to be protected by law since a majority is ignorant of the consequences that follow every decision. Anemona Hartocollis found that many young people thought they weren’t mature enough in making life-or-death decisions before 21. It not only applied to drinking and smoking, but combat as well. When both parties are in agreement that one is in need of guidance, justifies raising the age limit, making it equivalent, provides consistency.

Dealing with consumption, privileges and the civic engagement, privileges are the least controversial of the three. At 16, young people can receive their license. There should be regulations—which some states have already implemented. The ‘We Check to Protect-Vertical Identification Program’ requires those under 21 a vertical (portrait) style driver’s license (Johnson). This ensures health and safety of young people as reminder for teenagers, parents, businesses, law enforcement, retailers and merchants.

Buying cigarettes and drinking alcohol is next controversial. Enforcing an age limit is virtually impossible (by society’s standards, since keeping up with our standard of living in our culture of instant gratification, where underage this that and the other, are the best things these days) it wouldn’t make a difference. It would receive outcry.

“If [loved ones] condone it, then… it’s acceptable,” says Patrick Brown who sought the consultation of his mother before enlisting. Even though it may not be idealistic with underage consumption, ‘Older adults with the benefit of a lot of hindsight might tend to agree’ (Hartocollis).

Immaturity extends beyond a person’s legal entrance into adulthood. Cheryl G. Healton, dean of Global Health at N.Y.U. says, “The executive function [of the brain]…is really not fully developed until…over 21” (Hartocollis). If, through someone else’s experience, has better knowledge about these issues, then the government raising the age limit to 21, for a majority of them, is right when young people aren’t fully prepared to comprehend such actions psychologically.

Some will argue about the consistency. Keeping the age limit to drive at 16, treating them like minors until 21, and raising it to 21 for the other issues, will receive different levels of criticism. It’s simpler to have a bit of difference than to have no congruity.

Buying cigarettes, drinking alcohol, voting, driving and fighting in wars shouldn’t be given freedom until 21. Young people are supposed to make mistakes and everyone is a life lesson learned. We don’t want to be guilty by association of not trying to prevent such lessons learned at severe expenses and/or too early.

Hartocollis, Anemona. “Smoking? Combat? Wait Till 21, Young Recruits Say.” New York Times [New York] 23 Apr 2013, early ed. A19. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. < //www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/health/smoking-combat-wait-until-21-to-decide-young-recruits-say.html>.

Johnson, Ruth. Michigan. Department of State. Vertical Driver’s License Helps with Age Verification!. State of Michigan, 2003. Web. < //www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8669-70561–,00.html>.

Nathaniel Skinner

Are we Ever Without God?

People often wonder “Can we be good without God?” . It’s a common question; one may argue that there are good atheists all around us. This is true, even by Christian standards; there are atheists practice good deeds and some who practice evil deeds, just like there are Christians who practice good deeds and some who practice evil deeds. Some atheists give to the poor, help those in jail, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and do other things a good Christian should do. Being an atheist does not always equate to being an immoral or bad person. So yes you can be good and you can do this without believing in God. What is God, is there a single definition or are there multiple? According to Roman Catholic belief, what we refer to as God is an all powerful deity consisting of The Father, the son, and the Holy spirit. A common understanding of this God, to many non-Christians is the guy in the white garb standing on the clouds with the beard and sandals;this is not the sole image of God. God is all powerful, so why would ‘he’ maintain one form for all the 7 billion plus people on earth now, not to mention all the people who have come before us? In truth God is all things good, God is happiness, God is love, God is faith, God is truth and God is compassion. Truly whatever religion whatever race what ever culture, if you are just and honest and practice these things then God is with you. So The more prevalent question here instead of can you be good without god is: are people ever without God?

God is not bound to human form nor is God bound to any of the laws of physics or reality that are recognized by modern day science(Proverbs 15:3) This means that God can and does appear in a multitude of forms and situations. We must be careful not to put God into human restraints: God is not subject to the same terms that we judge our fellow men and women(Job 11:7-9). In this way God is all around us, even inside our hearts. God knows us like we know ourselves because we all have a little piece of God in ourselves, this furthers the fact that no one can be without God. Even people who are commonly considered immoral or evil have God in them or around them; just because one does not believe in God does not mean God is not present so even murderers and stone cold criminals have God in their life.

God is also all knowing, meaning that god knows the future, the present and the past by “heart”. The argument can be made that if God knows a certain person will go to hell after they die from the beginning why does he not just send them straight to hell? The answer is that life is a journey and if God were to send people straight to hell without giving them a chance to walk the path of life and understand what they are called to do, then it would be extremely unfair. Just because a person is an atheist does not mean they are doomed to hell; actions speak louder than words. It really is true. So if you worship god in your actions but don’t do it in your voice or mind then this still counts as being with God.

God loves all of us; every human to walk this earth have received love from God even if they don’t know it. God has a roundabout way of getting things done. Every Action is weaved into God’s design: running like a perfect machine every action affects somebody,then somebody else then somebody else and so on. God is in fact everywhere and we cannot and will not part unto death. until then there is never a step one person walks without God

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”

― John Lennon

Due to the controversial and seemingly almost unique view included in this editorial, there are no New York Times sources that support the ideas expressed. I hope to receive a slight pardon for not having a NY times source. If this essay does not qualify, I understand. N. Skinner

//www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+11%3A7-9&version=ESV

Proverbs 15:3

//www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+15%3A3&version=ESV

Why does society (men and women) tell women that they have to appeal a certain way to the public eye? Women are the most beautiful creation God has made because without women, there wouldn’t be a population to grow to carry out the future. Since this is true who do we as a society tend to present to women that they need to change. keep in thought that we don’t have to make something perfect, if it was already perfect to begin with. In some cases women have always been told what to do or how to appeal a certain way to the public eye. I believe that society’s appeal to the preconceived image of the perfect woman is unjust because no two women are the same and no to women should have to conform to look like one another. Society, both men and women, have been putting pressure on women to have that ‘perfect’ body. From the New York Times, Katherine Schulten had said that “the ads show girls of different races and sizes, and others playing sports in a wheelchair. Each one with the campaign’s slogan: ‘I’m beautiful the way I am.’” This describes how women shouldn’t be discriminated on how their body appears in the public eye. The woman should see herself just as worthy as she sees all the other women. In some circumstances, women have always been told that they have to take the second seat to man. There’s a song that compares women and society, it shows how “we say to girls: ‘You can have ambition but not too much. You should am t be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man’ (Knowles). Throughout this song i can confer that some women are able to handle the pressure of the workplace, whereas other women like the role of being a domestic engineer. However, Maybelline expresses through their campaign that women should indeed wear makeup. Maybelline’s President, David Greenberg, claimed that “makeup helps women feel more comfortable with going out in public.” Mr. Greenberg says that they’re not trying to make women have a false identity, but instead trying to make them have a secure sense of security. Women shouldn’t be judged by their appeal to the public eye. Society needs to stop advertising a certain type of woman, and show all types of women. If a woman were to walk down the street, either she is insecure, obese, and/or depressed, and she were to look up to a beautiful woman on the billboard, shes going to feel more insecure and want to change how she appears. A life of a woman shouldn’t be based on their physical appearance, because every woman is beautiful in their own way and it shouldn’t be hidden due to what society says. – Schulten, Katherine. “Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?” The Learning Network Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have Perfect Bodies Comments. New Yorks Times, 03 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. < //learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/is-there-too-much-pressure-on-girls-to-have-perfect-bodies/>.

Does Technology make us more alone? As a greatness that has increased the way that we perceive the world, technology can be a burden. Unlike the many screen glossed eyes and over exerted thumbs, technology is doing something far worse than hand cramps: it is making the human mind more comfortable with being alone and devoid of human contact. Technology has created, based upon evidence stated by Sherry Turkle, the desire ‘to customize our lives’ through the vast creativity that technology provides. It forces people to only ‘pay attention to what interests them’. But who wouldn’t? People typically pay more attention to the subjects that interest them and would most likely try to find those subjects online where they are easiest to access. Yes, despite increasing our knowledge, it is decreasing our ability to converse with one another. The fear of being judged all gone with eye contact glued to a screen. It is as if no one wants to be bothered by others around them, but is willing to have millions follow them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Even Sherry Turkle- a psychologist and professor employed at M.I.T- states in her article The Flight from Conversation that ‘people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people- carefully kept at bay’. This need to be important and loved by a persona is a reassuring concept that provides those two wants without having to deal with actual human emotion. The need for interaction with living, breathing people seems to be cast aside for the more accurate version from a nonliving thing such as a robot. We live in an age where technology is a necessity in life, but it is becoming a way to destroy connecting and feeling emotions from other people, enforcing being alone in a world that is barely real.

“The Flight From Conversation”. New York Times. April 21, 2012. Web. March 2, 2014. //www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all

Legalize Marijuana Drugs aren’t as harmful as people believe them to be. Marijuana is more helpful than harmful. Statistics state that 88,000 people die from alcohol and more than 480,000 people die from cigars. While less than a hundred people die from the marijuana usage. This drug benefits people with diseases such as cancer. It seems that many people would rather drink alcohol that can become addictive rather than smoke marijuana which is a drug that most people value for medical needs. Marijuana is being legalized in many places for different reasons. In Mexico City officials suggest “Legalization of marijuana, not other drugs.” People smoke the drug instead of having any other addictions such as shopping, sex, tv and video games. In Guatemala, the president has put forward a plan for the government to legalize and sell the drug. While these two places are allowing the drug, majority of the U.S is still against the use of marijuana. “The U.S has rejected legalization as a solution to drug use.” Citizens in the U.S have different emotions about this debate with many citizens not accepting the drug. Marijuana isn’t harmful because it is a natural substance. People should be able to smoke a substance that is natural rather than tobacco which is mixed with a highly addictive substance called nicotine. Allen St. Pierre a Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws agrees that the drug marijuana should be legalized. He stated that he hopes more Americans would legalize it. “Since 1996, 18 states approved marijuana for medical use.” And also “13 states have decriminalized the possession of marijuana, removing the possibility of jail time.” This suggest that many of the world’s population are able to persuade their government that marijuana isn’t as much as an addictive drug as society believes it to be. Marijuana isn’t a harmful substance unless it is laced with another drug. Marijuana has been proven to be a palliative drug and should be legalized in the U.S

Archibold, Randal C. “Americas Coalition Suggests Marijuana Laws Be Relaxed.” New York Times. 18 May. 2013: A.7. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Gonchar,Michael. Should marijuana be legalized?.Ny times. 31, May 2013. Web. 10, March 2014

Sexual Violence against Young Women According to American Medical Association, Sexual violence and rape are considered the most under reported violent crime. In the Steubenville case 2 high school football players were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl. After being found guilty of raping and sending nude images of the girl around, 1 boy got 1 year in juvenile jail and the other boy got 2 years. After the case one of the boys apologized to the victims family stating “No pictures should have been sent around, let alone ever taken.” The fact that the 2 high school boys raped and took pictures shows that we as a society are not teaching the effects and consequences of rape to young adults. According to an article in the New York Times, “the judge of the case noted that the boys could have had far worse punishments and said that this was a cautionary lesson.” The fact that the judge is giving them a cautionary lesson astounds me. Rape is rape and no matter what age the rapists are the consequences should be served based on the crime not their age.

In Ms. Nathman’s article “Raising children who will speak up tot prevent rape, not defend it,” she discusses the “Cult of Masculinity” and how male power and strength are being praised upon especially since these 2 boys were football stars. The teenage boys thought that because they were football stars that they were unstoppable and could get away with anything until they were caught and found guilty. Nathman states that there is often and impulse to “Blame the victim” and that is one thing I disagree with her. There in any case is never an impulse to blame the victim noted on what she was wearing. So the amount of insincerity people are showing to the victim of this case is unbearable. Social media also had a big role on the insincerity people showed the victim.

In my opinion, the work of these college activists is impressive, but we need to do more. I also agree with the college activists saying that colleges and high schools are falling short in educating students about sexual assaults since most young adults are defending the rapists of this case. Also many people are tweeting to the victim that she “ruined their life” when the rapist ruined their own life. “Rape is not a recreational activity. We, as a society, have an obligation to do more to educate our young people about rape. They need to know that it is a horrible crime of violence. And it is simply not ok.” Stated Ohio attorney of the Steubenville case Dr. DeWine.

Guarino, Mark “Steubenville’s Troubling Question: Is Rape Just a Part of ‘Hook-up Culture?’ Christian Science Monitor, March 20, 2013 n.p

Oppel, Richard “Ohio Teenagers Guilty in Rape That Social Media Brought to Light”. New York Times, March 17, 2013

Books not Guns

In 2002 at a Arizona university, an irate student shot three professors to death. This event and many other school shootings lead to one of the biggest questions in Arizona’s and other states government and schools… “Should weapons be aloud on campus?” Guns and other weapons should not be permitted in schools and on campuses. They can cause danger to other students and professors. Students or teachers may use them without a cause or for the wrong reasons, and bringing weapons to campus can be the cause of more school shootings. If students bring weapons to school, it can put everyone in that building or on that campus in danger. Students or professors may feel unsafe and not comfortable there, even though a campus is supposed to be a comfortable, friendly environment. Having people on campus able to carry weapons on them can cause students and/or teachers to have violent outburst. For example, if the student thinks it’s unfair to have an assessment or finds the material they are learning too difficult, they might use their weapon upon the teacher. The number of students bringing weapons to school is sky rocketing and the number teachers being threatened by their students is increasing as well. As of now the risk of a student accidentally getting shot or obtaining a gun during a school year has increased by 40 percent in the past four decades. Because of one child carrying a gun on campus, others may feel they can too. “Campus shootouts are a relative rarity, but they do occur. The most notorious shooting at an Arizona university took place in 2002 when a disgruntled nursing student shot three professors to death.” Just from being angry and dissatisfied, she shot the people there to help her. Exactly as Carmen Themar stated, “…and bullets don’t always go where they are aimed.” Taking out your frustration on someone may impact another’s life. The shooting victims most likely have families that are devastated. The anger could cause those certain people to shoot others. A gun shooting is more than just injuring or killing that human; whole families are affected. Guns should stay out of any educational environment because schools are for learning and guns have no purpose to be there.

“Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?” The Learning Network Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Szabo, Liz. “Guns in the Home Are Proving Deadly for Kids.” //sks.sirs.com . Newspaper USA Today, 29 May 2013. Web.

Is it really worth calling a sport? From experience, I can tell you cheerleading is a sport. Girls train endless, tiring hours each week perfecting a routine that includes a combination of gymnastics, dance, and stunting. Not only do you need a high level of strength and skill, cheerleading offers a high risk of injury. And what is that cheerleading doesn’t have that other sports do? “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature” is the definition of a sport according to Dictionary.com. Cheerleading exceeds all these criteria. According to the Women’s Sport Foundation, a sport must include a physical activity which involves propelling a mass through space or overcoming the resistance of mass, like a football, baseball, or in cheerleading, a person.Of course it takes strength and skill to throw a ball accurately, but to throw a person up into the air takes a tremendous amount of strength. All sports are governed by rules, and have some element of competitiveness. Cheerleading has rules that restrict skills in each level and performance time, and as far as I know, cheerleading is the most competitive sport I’ve ever participated in. Cheerleaders travel the U.S. all year round to compete in different states. There is even a competition called The World Championship that is broadcasted on ESPN. If its broadcasted on television, then its definitely a sport. 65.1% of all catastrophic sports injuries in high school females are from cheerleading, according to livescience.com. So, over half of all injuries in high schools in girls are from cheerleading, so what makes it not a sport? Injuries are sadly common in every sport, and I have experienced one before. As a backspot, my job is to catch and make sure my flyer stays up safely in the air. While putting their safety before mine, I have numerous girls fall on me, especially my head. After many visits to the doctors, I was diagnosed with a concussion. Missing many days of school, I had left my team stranded with one less team member. Injuries really take a toll on life, especially when you play a sport that has a high risk of it occurring. According to, George W. Bush was the head cheerleader at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Since, cheerleading has grown tremendously. Numerous cheer gyms are opening in every state, why would there be such a demand for them if cheerleading wasn’t a sport. Not only are their gyms continuously opening, but cheerleading is all over the media, television and online shows are dedicated to the sport. So, if you still don’t think cheerleading is a sport, ask cheerleader, and they will tell you countless reasons why it is.

Sources Thomas, Katie. “Cheering Clamors to Be Sport.” The New York Times 22 May 2011: 1-5.

IS Music The Key to Success?

Music. It’s Not Just For Entertainment

Collaboration. Creativity. Discipline. Three important qualities that are hard to come by in society today. As people, we need to find a way to acquire these traits. Many people look to music for entertainment. Unfortunately they are missing the big picture. Music can encourage these desired qualities within us. In fact, many successful people in business, acting and newscasting have been classically trained in music. Coincidence? I think not. Alan Greenspan, a man who served as the chairman of the federal reserve,and grew up playing the clarinet and piano, told the New York Times that he himself, knows that this is no coincidence. “The probability that this is just chance is extremely small.” Greenspan explains. In agreement, many pose the question, “Why does this connection exist?” Most would simply say “It just does.” Paul Allen says otherwise. The co founder of Microsoft has played both the violin and the guitar. He informed the New York Times that at the end of a long day of programming, he would pull his guitar out and play, learning to express himself in a brand new way. The sad part is that music isn’t being taught to many students. In a 2003 Gallup Poll, only 54% of American households said they have have at least one musician. Since 1978, this statistic has dropped by 15%. Sooner or later, there will be nobody playing musicians. Parents have argued that the arts do nothing for our students, but do gym classes really do anything for us? At a small middle school in Holliston Massachusetts, kids are required to take a form of music class. Students can play instruments, sing in the chorus or study general music. Holliston has ranked number 18 in the state. Interestingly, all of the schools ranked ahead of Holliston require music to graduate. In an article in Forbes Magazine, a writer says that if a scientist were to have musical training it would have no relevance on how great a scientist they are. Thus, countering the fact that musical training will lead to success. This may be true but most would agree that listening to music can help us concentrate on work. Music being a branch of performing arts also can give us confidence. SInging in front of a crowd could help with public speaking. Playing an instrument in front of thousands shares the language of melody, sharing our ideas in front of a crowd shares the language of our knowledge. Many instrumentalists refer to music as a “hidden language.” If we believe that languages of countries will help us to be successful, then we believe that the language of music will help too.

Works Cited: Lipman, Joanne. “Is Music the Key to Success?.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. < //www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/is-music-the-key-to-success.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0> .Ubel, Peter. “An Embarrassingly Unscientific New York Times Op-Ed On Music And Success.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. < //www.forbes.com/sites/peterubel/2014/01/10/an-embarrassingly-unscientific-new-york-times-op-edon-music-and-success/>.

Collaboration. Creativity. Discipline. Three important qualities that are hard to come by in society today. As people, we need to find a way to acquire these traits. Many people look to music for entertainment. Unfortunately they are missing the big picture. Music can encourage these desired qualities within us. In fact, many successful people in business, acting and newscasting have been classically trained in music. Coincidence? I think not. Alan Greenspan, a man who served as the chairman of the federal reserve,and grew up playing the clarinet and piano, told the New York Times that he himself, knows that this is no coincidence. “The probability that this is just chance is extremely small.” Greenspan explains. In agreement, many pose the question, “Why does this connection exist?” Most would simply say “It just does.” Paul Allen says otherwise. The co founder of Microsoft has played both the violin and the guitar. He informed the New York Times that at the end of a long day of programming, he would pull his guitar out and play, learning to express himself in a brand new way. The sad part is that music isn’t being taught to many students. In a 2003 Gallup Poll, only 54% of American households said they have have at least one musician. Since 1978, this statistic has dropped by 15%. Sooner or later, there will be no musicians left. Parents have argued that the arts do nothing for our students, but do gym classes really do anything for us? At a small middle school in Holliston Massachusetts, kids are required to take a form of music class. Students can play instruments, sing in the chorus or study general music. Holliston has ranked number 18 in the state. Interestingly, all of the schools ranked ahead of Holliston require music to graduate. In an article in Forbes Magazine, a writer says that if a scientist were to have musical training it would have no relevance on how great a scientist they are. Thus, countering the fact that musical training will lead to success. This may be true but most would agree that listening to music can help us concentrate on work. Music being a branch of performing arts also can give us confidence. SInging in front of a crowd could help with public speaking. Playing an instrument in front of thousands shares the language of melody. Sharing our ideas in front of a crowd shares the language of our knowledge. Many instrumentalists refer to music as a “hidden language.” If we believe that languages of countries will help us to be successful, then we believe that the language of music will help too.

Can you suggest me any topic /argumentative essay on aboriginal health?

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Last Updated: June 14, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 845,296 times.

Understanding how to structure and write an argumentative essay is a useful skill. Strong argumentative essays present relevant evidence that supports an argument and convinces the audience of a particular stance. This type of essay provides the reader with a thorough overview of a topic, covering all facets, but also attempts to persuade the reader into agreeing with the author's point of view.

Understanding the Format

Step 1 Understand the purpose of an argumentative essay.

  • Argumentative essays also provide your audience with a well-rounded summary of the issue at hand, but clearly indicate what your own point of view is and why this view is the best option over others.

Step 2 Understand the methodology of an argumentative essay.

  • The effectiveness of this type of essay depends on the author's ability to parse through the various facets of the topic and lead the reader toward an obvious and logical conclusion. To this end, you must familiarize yourself with all opinions about the topic so that you can also outline the viewpoints that oppose your own view (counterarguments).

Step 3 Understand the desired outcome of an argumentative essay.

  • Make sure you have your desired outcome in mind as you move forward in the writing process.

Selecting a Topic

Step 1 Choose something that fits the format.

  • For example, writing an argumentative essay on the fact that exercise is good for you would be undesirable because it would be difficult to find contradicting views on the topic; everyone agrees that exercise is good for people.

Step 2 Pick an issue that is interesting to you.

  • Avoid choosing a topic that has been overdone, or, on the other hand, one that is too obscure (since supporting evidence may be more difficult to find).

Step 3 Test your argument.

  • Try a debate-style conversation in which you each bring up aspects of the controversy and attempt to explain your view on the topic.

Step 4 Keep your audience in mind.

  • Are you writing the paper for a class, in which case your audience is your professor and your classmates? Or perhaps you are writing it for a presentation to a larger group of people. Regardless, you must think about where your audience is coming from in order to lead them to your desired outcome.
  • People's backgrounds and experiences often influence how they will react to views different from their own, so it is helpful for you to be knowledgeable about these factors.
  • You also use different language when addressing different groups of people. For example, you would speak to the pastor at your church differently than you might speak in a casual setting with your best friend. It is important to be mindful of these distinctions when considering your audience.

Step 5 Understand the rhetorical situation.

  • Rhetorical situations usually involve employing language that is intended to persuade someone toward a particular view or belief. That is why rhetoric is important in an argumentative essay. These types of essays aim to convince the reader that the author's view on the subject is the most correct one. [6] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Structuring Your Argument

Step 1 Create a catchy title.

  • A good title will act as a "preview" for what your paper will be about. Many titles for academic papers come in two parts, separated by a colon. The first part is often a catchy hook that involves a pun on your topic or an impactful quote, and the second part is usually a sentence that sums up or provides details about your argument. [8] X Research source

Step 2 Come up with a thesis statement.

  • A good thesis statement is concise and clear. It tells the reader what the point of the paper is and why it's important. The thesis must make a claim of some sort. [10] X Research source This can be a claim of value (describing the worth of how we view a certain thing), a claim of definition (arguing that the way we define a term or idea needs to be altered in some way), a claim of cause and effect (claiming that one event or thing caused another event or thing), or a claim about policy solutions (arguing that the way we do things needs to be changed for some reason).
  • Here is an example of a strong thesis statement: Excessive meat consumption in America is the leading cause of pollution today, and, thus, is a significant influence on global warming. This thesis makes a claim (specifically a cause and effect claim) about a debatable topic with a narrow enough focus to create an interesting, manageable argumentative essay.
  • Here is an example of a weak thesis statement: Pollution is a problem in the world today. This is not a debatable issue; few people would argue that pollution is not a problem. The topic is also too broad. You can't write a paper on every single aspect of pollution.

Step 3 Avoid the standard three-part thesis often taught to beginning writers.

  • Changing the thesis to avoid this form will make for a much more functional essay that is written at a more advanced level. A more effective thesis would be something like this: Due to increasing global temperatures and rising ocean levels, global warming has become an issue that needs to be acknowledged by a wider audience in order to begin reversing the effects.

Step 2 Write an introduction.

  • There are many different ways to organize your argument, but the most important thing is that you cover all aspects of the issue. Leaving out information simply because it contradicts your thesis idea is unethical as it does not provide an accurate portrayal of the issue.
  • Be sure to include counterarguments (those ideas that are at odds with your own view), but explain to your reader why your own viewpoint is more logical and accurate, perhaps because the opposing view is based on outdated information, etc. Avoid implicating opposing views as wrong because it could alienate your readers.

Step 4 Write a conclusion.

  • Be sure to review your main points and restate your thesis. But make sure not to introduce any new information in the conclusion so that you can effectively wrap up what you've already said.
  • Often, it is helpful to end with a look forward to further research that could be done on the topic in light of what you have said in your paper.

Including Research and Sources

Step 1 Do your research.

  • Ask a reference librarian for assistance in finding reputable, useful sources for your argument. They will probably be happy to help you.

Step 2 Pick sources that are reputable and provide accurate, up-to-date information.

  • Scholarly sources should be written by experts in the field (i.e. use a quote from someone with a PhD in environmental science if you are writing an argumentative paper on the dangers of global warming) or published in scholarly, peer-reviewed outlets. This means that sources are fact-checked by a panel of experts before they are approved for publication.
  • It is important to remember that anyone can write things on the internet without any kind of publication standards for accuracy, so using blogs and many websites is not a good idea in an academic paper.

Step 4 Cite your sources.

  • Citing sources involves writing quotation marks (") around the verbatim quotes and then including a parenthetical in-text citation at the end of the quote that refers to a source listed on the Bibliography or Works Cited page at the end of your paper.
  • There are several different formatting methods that are used in different fields. [16] X Research source For example, in English departments they use MLA formatting and in history departments they usually implement Chicago style formatting.

Editing and Applying Final Touches

Step 1 Take a step back.

  • Sentence fragments. [18] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Fragments are incomplete phrases that cannot stand alone as a sentence because they are missing either a verb, a noun, or a complete thought.
  • Parallelism. [19] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Errors in parallelism occur when words or groups of words do not appear in the same format or structure within a sentence.
  • Subject-verb agreement. [20] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Errors with subject-verb agreement happen when an incorrect verb form is used with a particular subject. For example, he know instead of he knows.

Step 3 Check for problems with formatting or quote incorporation.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Include only relevant information. Don't drift off-topic. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to make each paragraph about a different aspect. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Use basic writing techniques to write the essay. Sentences should logically flow and have a specific purpose. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

comments on argumentative essay

  • It is important to respect different views and to only use information, not insults, to support your claim. Thanks Helpful 41 Not Helpful 7
  • It is also important not to base your reasons on opinions. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Write an Argumentative Research Paper

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/organizing_your_argument.html
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/argumentative-essay/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/rhetorical_situation/index.html
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/top-10-argumentative-essay-topics.html
  • ↑ https://umanitoba.ca/student/academiclearning/media/Writing_a_Great_Title_NEW.pdf
  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/
  • ↑ https://slc.berkeley.edu/writing-worksheets-and-other-writing-resources/suggestions-developing-argumentative-essays
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/argumentative-writing
  • ↑ https://guides.skylinecollege.edu/c.php?g=279231&p=4339683
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_for_errors.html
  • http://homeworktips.about.com/od/essaywriting/a/argument.htm

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write an argumentative essay, select a debatable topic that you have a strong opinion about. Your job is to convince the reader that your view on the subject is the best one, so choose a topic you can investigate and support with research. Open the essay with a concise thesis that asserts your viewpoint, then sum up all aspects of the issue, including your opinion and counterarguments. Pull quotes from reputable sources to support your stance, and end by restating your thesis and reasserting your main points. If you want to learn more, like how to format your Works Cited page to list your sources, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Composition Writing Studio

Argumentative essay/commentary.

From the University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/05/):

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

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that s/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

  • Argument Essays: Getting Started
  • Developing Paragraphs
  • Finding Academic Journals
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Research Writing

General Resources:

  • Argument :   UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center's online handout in argument.
  • Types of Argument
  • Writing Arguments: An Overview :  Comprehensive guide from Colorado State University's Writing Studio
  • Sample Argument Essays
  • Prompts for Argument Essays :  301 ideas from the New York Times
  • Argument :  Main page for several argument sources from Oregon State University
  • Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion

Rhetorical Appeals (Logos, Pathos, Ethos)

  • Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos :  Numerous examples of each appeal from YourDictionary
  • The Rhetorical Situation :  Purdue OWL's discussion of Aristotle's three appeals and use of telos and kairos
  • Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Advertising :  YouTube video
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos:   YouTube video

Toulmin Argument

  • Toulmin Method :  An extensive online guide from Colorado State University on using the Toulmin method of argumentation
  • Toulmin Method of Analyzing Arguments :  PowerPoint that defines and offers examples for Toulmin method
  • Definition of the Toulmin Method :  Adaptation of a chapter on Toulmin's approach to argument
  • Toulmin Argument (Aims of Argument) :  YouTube video

Rogerian Argument

  • Rogerian Argument :  Information on definition and format of argument
  • Rogerian Argument Example :  YouTube Video
  • Rogerian Argument :  YouTube Video

Counter Arguments/Perspectives

  • Counter Argument :  Overview provided by Harvard College
  • Writing Counter Argument Paragraphs :  YouTube video
  • Rhetorical Fallacies

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52 Argumentative Essay Ideas that are Actually Interesting

What’s covered:, how to pick a good argumentative essay topic, elements of a strong argumentative essay, argumentative essay idea example topics.

Are you having writer’s block? Coming up with an essay topic can be the hardest part of the process. You have very likely encountered argumentative essay writing in high school and have been asked to write your own. If you’re having trouble finding a topic, we’ve created a list of 52 essay ideas to help jumpstart your brainstorming process! In addition, this post will cover strategies for picking a topic and how to make your argument a strong one. Ultimately, the goal is to convince your reader. 

An argumentative essay tasks the writer with presenting an assertion and bolstering that assertion with proper research. You’ll present the claim’s authenticity. This means that whatever argument you’re making must be empirically true! Writing an argumentative essay without any evidence will leave you stranded without any facts to back up your claim. When choosing your essay topic, begin by thinking about themes that have been researched before. Readers will be more engaged with an argument that is supported by data.

This isn’t to say that your argumentative essay topic has to be as well-known, like “Gravity: Does it Exist?” but it shouldn’t be so obscure that there isn’t ample evidence. Finding a topic with multiple sources confirming its validity will help you support your thesis throughout your essay. If upon review of these articles you begin to doubt their worth due to small sample sizes, biased funding sources, or scientific disintegrity, don’t be afraid to move on to a different topic. Your ultimate goal should be proving to your audience that your argument is true because the data supports it.

The hardest essays to write are the ones that you don’t care about. If you don’t care about your topic, why should someone else? Topics that are more personal to the reader are immediately more thoughtful and meaningful because the author’s passion shines through. If you are free to choose an argumentative essay topic, find a topic where the papers you read and cite are fun to read. It’s much easier to write when the passion is already inside of you!

However, you won’t always have the choice to pick your topic. You may receive an assignment to write an argumentative essay that you feel is boring. There is still value in writing an argumentative essay on a topic that may not be of interest to you. It will push you to study a new topic, and broaden your ability to write on a variety of topics. Getting good at proving a point thoroughly and effectively will help you to both understand different fields more completely and increase your comfort with scientific writing.

Convincing Thesis Statement

It’s important to remember the general essay structure: an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A strong thesis statement will set your essay up for success. What is it? A succinct, concise, and pithy sentence found in your first paragraph that summarizes your main point. Pour over this statement to ensure that you can set up your reader to understand your essay. You should also restate your thesis throughout your essay to keep your reader focused on your point.

Ample Research

A typical argumentative essay prompt may look like this: “What has been the most important invention of the 21st century? Support your claim with evidence.” This question is open-ended and gives you flexibility. But that also means it requires research to prove your point convincingly. The strongest essays weave scientific quotes and results into your writing. You can use recent articles, primary sources, or news sources. Maybe you even cite your own research. Remember, this process takes time, so be sure you set aside enough time to dive deep into your topic.

Clear Structure

If the reader can’t follow your argument, all your research could be for nothing! Structure is key to persuading your audience. Below are two common argumentative essay structures that you can use to organize your essays.

The Toulmin argument and the Rogerian argument each contain the four sections mentioned above but executes them in different ways. Be sure to familiarize yourself with both essay structures so that your essay is the most effective it can be.

The Toulmin argument has a straightforward presentation. You begin with your assertion, your thesis statement. You then list the evidence that supports your point and why these are valid sources. The bulk of your essay should be explaining how your sources support your claim. You then end your essay by acknowledging and discussing the problems or flaws that readers may find in your presentation. Then, you should list the solutions to these and alternative perspectives and prove your argument is stronger.

The Rogerian argument has a more complex structure. You begin with a discussion of what opposing sides do right and the validity of their arguments. This is effective because it allows you to piece apart your opponent’s argument. The next section contains your position on the questions. In this section, it is important to list problems with your opponent’s argument that your argument fixes. This way, your position feels much stronger. Your essay ends with suggesting a possible compromise between the two sides. A combination of the two sides could be the most effective solution.

  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is the electoral college outdated?
  • Should we have lower taxes?
  • How many Supreme Court Justices should there be?
  • Should there be different term limits for elected officials?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the country legalize marijuana?
  • Should the country have tighter gun control laws?
  • Should men get paternity leave?
  • Should maternity leave be longer?
  • Should smoking be banned?
  • Should the government have a say in our diet?
  • Should birth control be free?
  • Should we increase access to condoms for teens?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • Do school uniforms help educational attainment?
  • Are kids better or worse students than they were ten years ago?
  • Should students be allowed to cheat?
  • Is school too long?
  • Does school start too early?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?
  • Is summer break still relevant?
  • Is college too expensive?

Art / Culture

  • How can you reform copyright law?
  • What was the best decade for music?
  • Do video games cause students to be more violent?
  • Should content online be more harshly regulated?
  • Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?
  • Should schools ban books?
  • How important is art education?
  • Should music be taught in school?
  • Are music-sharing services helpful to artists?
  • What is the best way to teach science in a religious school?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should parents be allowed to modify their unborn children?
  • Should vaccinations be required for attending school?
  • Are GMOs helpful or harmful?
  • Are we too dependent on our phones?
  • Should everyone have internet access?
  • Should internet access be free?
  • Should the police force be required to wear body cams?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to collect data from their users?
  • How has the internet impacted human society?
  • Should self-driving cars be allowed on the streets?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Are professional athletes paid too much?
  • Should the U.S. have more professional sports teams?
  • Should sports be separated by gender?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • What are the best ways to increase safety in sports?

Where to Get More Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original argumentative essay ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

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  • Writing Tips

50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

50 Argumentative Essay Topics for Students

4-minute read

  • 11th June 2022

The goal of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to understand and support your position on an issue by presenting your reasoning along with supporting evidence. It’s important to find the right balance between giving your opinions and presenting established research.

These essays discuss issues around a range of topics, including science, technology, politics, and healthcare. Whether you’re a teacher looking for essay topics for your students or a student tasked with developing an idea of your own, we’ve compiled a list of 50 argumentative essay topics to help you get started!

●  Does texting hinder interpersonal communication skills?

●  Should there be laws against using devices while driving?

●  Do violent video games teach or encourage people to behave violently?

●  Should social media sites be allowed to collect users’ data?

●  Should parents limit how long their children spend in front of screens?

●  Is AI helping or hurting society?

●  Should cyber-bullying carry legal consequences?

●  Should Supreme Court justices be elected?

●  Is war always a political decision?

●  Should people join a political party?

●  Is capitalism ethical?

●  Is the electoral college an effective system?

●  Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

●  Should the death penalty be legal?

●  Are governments around the world doing enough to combat global warming?

●  Is healthcare a fundamental human right?

●  Should vaccinations be mandated for children?

●  Are there any circumstances under which physician-assisted suicides should be legal?

●  Should parents be able to choose specific genetic modifications of their future children?

●  Should abortion be legal?

●  Is it ethical to perform medical experiments on animals?

●  Should patients who lead unhealthy lifestyles be denied organ transplants?

●  Should doctors be able to provide medical care to children against their parents’ wishes?

Mental Healthcare

●  What causes the stigma around mental health?

●  Discuss the link between insufficient access to mental health services and the high suicide rates among veterans.

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●  Should cannabis be used as a treatment for patients with mental disorders?

●  Is there a link between social media use and mental disorders?

●  Discuss the effect of physical activity on mental health.

●  Should sports be segregated by gender?

●  Should male and female athletes be given the same pay and opportunities?

●  Are professional athletes overpaid?

●  Should college athletes be paid?

●  Should sports betting be legal?

●  Should online access to art such as music be free?

●  Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism?

●  Are there any circumstances under which books should be banned?

●  Should schools be required to offer art courses?

●  Is art necessary to society?

●  Should schools require uniforms?

●  Should reciting the Pledge of Allegiance be required in schools?

●  Do standardized tests effectively measure intelligence?

●  Should high school students take a gap year before pursuing higher education?

●  Should higher education be free?

●  Is there too much pressure on high school students to attend college?

●  Are children better off in two-parent households?

●  Should LGBTQ+ partners be allowed to adopt?

●  Should single people be able to adopt children as easily as couples?

●  Is it okay for parents to physically discipline their children?

●  Does helicopter parenting help or hurt children?

●  Should parents monitor their children’s Internet use?

Proofreading & Editing

An argument could also be made for the importance of proofreading your essay ! The reader can focus more on your message when your writing is clear, concise, and error-free, and they won’t question whether you’re knowledgeable on the issues you’re presenting. Once you have a draft ready, you can submit a free trial document to start working with our expert editors!

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics

Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. 

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and argue for or against it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas available to get you started. Then you need to take a position, do some research, and present your viewpoint convincingly.

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing. This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject. Otherwise, you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. You don't need to know everything, though; part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.

It's best if you have a general interest in your subject, but the argument you choose doesn't have to be one that you agree with.

The subject you choose may not necessarily be one you are in full agreement with, either. You may even be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view. Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives. 

Ideas for Argument Essays

Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked by looking at many different options. Explore this list of possible topics and see if a few pique your interest. Write those down as you come across them, then think about each for a few minutes.

Which would you enjoy researching? Do you have a firm position on a particular subject? Is there a point you would like to make sure you get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

List of 50 Possible Argumentative Essay Topics

A number of these topics are rather controversial—that's the point. In an argumentative essay , opinions matter, and controversy is based on opinions. Just make sure your opinions are backed up by facts in the essay.   If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay and speech topics  as well.

  • Is global climate change  caused by humans?
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is the U.S. election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Does the U.S. have a fair tax system?
  • Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  • Is cheating out of control?
  • Are we too dependent on computers?
  • Should animals be used for research?
  • Should cigarette smoking be banned?
  • Are cell phones dangerous?
  • Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?
  • Do we have a throwaway society ?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should companies market to children?
  • Should the government have a say in our diets?
  • Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  • Should members of Congress have term limits?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Are CEOs paid too much?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Do violent video games cause behavior problems?
  • Should creationism be taught in public schools?
  • Are beauty pageants exploitative ?
  • Should English be the official language of the United States?
  • Should the racing industry be forced to use biofuels?
  • Should the alcohol-drinking age be increased or decreased?
  • Should everyone be required to recycle?
  • Is it okay for prisoners to vote (as they are in some states)?
  • Should same-sex marriage be legalized in more countries?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school ?
  • Does boredom lead to trouble?
  • Should schools be in session year-round ?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the government provide health care?
  • Should abortion be illegal?
  • Should more companies expand their reproductive health benefits for employees?
  • Is homework harmful or helpful?
  • Is the cost of college too high?
  • Is college admission too competitive?
  • Should euthanasia be illegal?
  • Should the federal government legalize marijuana use nationally ?
  • Should rich people be required to pay more taxes?
  • Should schools require foreign language or physical education?
  • Is affirmative action fair?
  • Is public prayer okay in schools?
  • Are schools and teachers responsible for low test scores?
  • Is greater gun control a good idea?

How to Craft a Persuasive Argument

After you've decided on your essay topic, gather evidence to make your argument as strong as possible. Your research could even help shape the position your essay ultimately takes. As you craft your essay, remember to utilize persuasive writing techniques , such as invoking emotional language or citing facts from authoritative figures. 

  • Preparing an Argument Essay: Exploring Both Sides of an Issue
  • Controversial Speech Topics
  • 100 Persuasive Essay Topics
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • Bad Essay Topics for College Admissions
  • 25 Essay Topics for American Government Classes
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay or Speech
  • Topic In Composition and Speech
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • 40 Writing Topics for Argumentative and Persuasive Essays
  • MBA Essay Tips
  • High School Debate Topics
  • 61 General Expository Essay Topic Ideas to Practice Academic Writing
  • 501 Topic Suggestions for Writing Essays and Speeches
  • Expository Essay Genre With Suggested Prompts
  • Topical Organization Essay

Man or bear? Hypothetical question sparks conversation about women's safety

Women explain why they would feel safer encountering a bear in the forest than a man they didn't know. the hypothetical has sparked a broader discussion about why women fear men..

comments on argumentative essay

If you were alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man? Answers to that hypothetical question have sparked an ongoing and debate about why the vast majority say they would feel more comfortable choosing a bear.

The topic has been hotly discussed for weeks, with men and women everywhere chiming in with their thoughts all over social media.

Screenshot HQ , a TikTok account, started the conversation, asking half a dozen women whether they would rather run into a man they didn't know or a bear in the forest. Out of the seven women interviewed for the piece, only one picked a man.

"Bear. Man is scary," one of the women responds.

A number of women echoed the responses given in the original video, writing in the comments that they, too, would pick a bear over a man. The hypothetical has people split, with some expressing their sadness over the state of the world and others cracking jokes about the situation. Some men are flabbergasted.

Here's what we know.

A bear is the safer choice, no doubt about it, many say

There were a lot of responses, over 65,000 to be exact, under the original post, with many writing that they understood why the women would choose a bear.

"No one’s gonna ask me if I led the bear on or give me a pamphlet on bear attack prevention tips," @celestiallystunning wrote.

@Brennduhh wrote: "When I die leave my body in the woods, the wolves will be gentler than any man."

"I know a bear's intentions," another woman wrote. "I don't know a man's intentions. no matter how nice they are."

Other TikTok users took it one step farther, posing the hypothetical question to loved ones. Meredith Steele, who goes by @babiesofsteele , asked her husband last week whether he would rather have their daughter encounter a bear or a man in the woods. Her husband said he "didn't like either option," but said he was leaning toward the bear.

"Maybe it's a friendly bear," he says.

Diana, another TikTok user , asked her sister-in-law what she would choose and was left speechless.

"I asked her the question, you know, just for giggles. She was like, 'You know, I would rather it be a bear because if the bear attacks me, and I make it out of the woods, everybody’s gonna believe me and have sympathy for me," she said. "But if a man attacks me and I make it out, I’m gonna spend my whole life trying to get people to believe me and have sympathy for me.'"

Bear vs. man debate stirs the pot, woman and some men at odds

The hypothetical has caused some tension, with some women arguing that men will never truly understand what it's like to be a woman, or the inherent dangers at play.

Social media users answered this question for themselves, producing memes, spoken word poetry and skits in the days and weeks since.

So, what would you choose?

Argument: When AI Decides Who Lives and Dies

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When AI Decides Who Lives and Dies

The israeli military’s algorithmic targeting has created dangerous new precedents., israel-hamas war.

News, analysis, and background on the ongoing conflict

More on this topic

Investigative journalism published in April by Israeli media outlet Local Call (and its English version, +972 Magazine ) shows that the Israeli military has established a mass assassination program of unprecedented size, blending algorithmic targeting with a high tolerance for bystander deaths and injuries.

The investigation reveals a huge expansion of Israel’s previous targeted killing practices, and it goes a long way toward explaining how and why the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could kill so many Palestinians while still claiming to adhere to international humanitarian law. It also represents a dangerous new horizon in human-machine interaction in conflict—a trend that’s not limited to Israel.

Israel has a long history of using targeted killings. During the violent years of the Second Intifada (2000-2005), it became institutionalized as a military practice, but operations were relatively infrequent and often involved the use of special munitions or strikes that targeted only people in vehicles to limit damage to bystanders.

But since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, 2023, the IDF has shifted gears. It has discarded the old process of careful target selection of mid-to-high-ranking militant commanders. Instead, it has built on ongoing advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including for locating targets . The new system automatically sifts through huge amounts of raw data to identify probable targets and hand their names to human analysts to do with what they will—and in most cases, it seems, those human analysts recommend an airstrike.

The new process, according to the investigation by Local Call and +972 Magazine , works like this : An AI-driven system called Lavender has tracked the names of nearly every person in Gaza, and it combines a wide range of intelligence inputs—from video feeds and intercepted chat messages to social media data and simple social network analysis—to assess the probability that an individual is a combatant for Hamas or another Palestinian militant group. It was up to the IDF to determine the rate of error that it was willing to tolerate in accepting targets flagged by Lavender, and for much of the war, that threshold has apparently been 10 percent.

Targets that met or exceeded that threshold would be passed on to operations teams after a human analyst spent an estimated 20 seconds to review them. Often this involved only checking whether a given name was that of a man (on the assumption that women are not combatants). Strikes on the 10 percent of false positives—comprising, for example, people with similar names to Hamas members or those sharing phones with family members identified as Hamas members—were deemed an acceptable error under wartime conditions.

A second system, called Where’s Dad, determines whether targets are at their homes. Local Call reported that the IDF prefers to strike targets at their homes because it is much easier to find them there than it is while they engage the IDF in battle. The families and neighbors of those possible Hamas members are viewed as insignificant collateral damage, and many of these strikes have so far been directed at what one of the Israeli intelligence officers interviewed called “unimportant people”—junior Hamas members who are seen as legitimate targets because they are combatants but not of great strategic significance. This appears to have especially been the case during the early crescendo of bombardment at the outset of the war, after which the focus shifted towards somewhat more senior targets “so as not to waste bombs”.

One lesson from this revelation addresses the question of whether Israel’s tactics in Gaza are genocidal. Genocidal acts can include efforts to bring about mass death through deliberately induced famine or the wholesale destruction of the infrastructure necessary to support future community life, and some observers have claimed that both are evident in Gaza. But the clearest example of genocidal conduct is opening fire on civilians with the intention of wiping them out en masse. Despite evident incitement to genocide by Israeli officials not linked to the IDF’s chain of command, the way that the IDF has selected and struck targets has remained opaque.

Local Call and +972 Magazine have shown that the IDF may be criminally negligent in its willingness to strike targets when the risk of bystanders dying is very high, but because the targets selected by Lavender are ostensibly combatants, the IDF’s airstrikes are not intended to exterminate a civilian population. They have followed the so-called operational logic of targeted killing even if their execution has resembled saturation bombing in its effects.

This matters to experts in international law and military ethics because of the doctrine of double effect, which permits foreseeable but unintended harms if the intended act does not depend on those harms occurring, such as in the case of an airstrike against a legitimate target that would happen whether or not there were bystanders. But in the case of the Israel-Hamas war, most lawyers and ethicists—and apparently some number of IDF officers—see these strikes as failing to meet any reasonable standard of proportionality while stretching the notion of discrimination beyond reasonable interpretations. In other words, they may still be war crimes.

Scholars and practitioners have discussed “human-machine teaming” as a way to conceptualize the growing centrality of interaction between AI-powered systems and their operators during military actions. Rather than autonomous “ killer robots ,” human-machine teaming envisions the next generation of combatants to be systems that distribute agency between human and machine decision-makers. What emerges is not The Terminator , but a constellation of tools brought together by algorithms and placed in the hands of people who still exercise judgment on their use.

Algorithmic targeting is in widespread use in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, where the Chinese government employs something similar as a means of identifying suspected dissidents among the Uyghur population. In both Xinjiang and the occupied Palestinian territories, the algorithms that incriminate individuals depend on a wealth of data inputs that are unavailable outside of zones saturated with sensors and subject to massive collection efforts.

Ukraine also uses AI-powered analysis to identify vulnerabilities along the vast front line of battle, where possible Russian military targets are more plentiful than Ukrainian supplies of bombs, drones, and artillery shells. But it does so in the face of some level of skepticism from military intelligence personnel, who worry that this stifles operational creativity and thoughtfulness—two crucial weapons that Ukraine wields in its David-versus-Goliath struggle against Russia.

During its “war on terror,” the United States’ ‘ signature strikes ’ employed a more primitive form of algorithmic target selection, with pilots determining when to strike based on computer-assisted assessments of suspicious behavior on the ground. Notably, this practice quickly became controversial for its high rates of bystander deaths.

But Israel’s use of Lavender, Where’s Dad, and other previously exposed algorithmic targeting systems—such as the Gospel —shows how human-machine teaming can become a recipe for strategic and moral disaster. Local Call and +972 published testimonies from a range of intelligence officers suggesting growing discomfort, at all levels of the IDF’s chain of command, with the readiness of commanders to strike targets with no apparent regard to bystanders.

Israel’s policies violate emerging norms of responsible AI use. They mix an emotional atmosphere of emergency and fury within the IDF, a deterioration in operational discipline, and a readiness to outsource regulatory compliance to a machine in the name of efficiency. Together, these factors show how an algorithmic system has the potential to become an “ unaccountability machine ,” allowing the IDF to transform military norms not through any specific set of decisions, but by systematically attributing new, unrestrained actions to a seemingly objective computer.

How did this happen? Israel’s political leadership assigned the IDF an impossible goal: the total destruction of Hamas. At the outset of the war, Hamas had an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 fighters. After almost two decades of control in the Gaza Strip, Hamas was everywhere. On Oct. 7, Hamas fighters posed a terrible threat to any IDF ground force entering Gaza unless their numbers could be depleted and their battalions scattered or forced underground.

The fact that Lavender could generate a nearly endless list of targets—and that other supporting systems could link them to buildings that could be struck rapidly from the air and recommend appropriate munitions—gave the IDF an apparent means of clearing the way for an eventual ground operation. Nearly half of reported Palestinian fatalities occurred during the initial six weeks of heavy bombing. Human-machine teaming, in this case, produced a replicable tactical solution to a strategic problem.

The IDF overcame the main obstacle to this so-called solution,—the vast number of innocent civilians densely packed into the small territory of the Gaza Strip—by simply deciding not to care all that much whom it killed alongside its targets. In strikes against senior Hamas commanders, according to the Local Call and +972 investigation, those interviewed said the IDF decided it was permissible to kill as many as “hundreds” of bystanders for each commander killed; for junior Hamas fighters, that accepted number began at 15 bystanders but shifted slightly down and up during various phases of fighting.

Moreover, as targets were frequently struck in homes where unknown numbers of people were sheltering, entire families were wiped out. These family annihilations likely grew as additional relatives or unrelated people joined the original residents to temporarily shelter, and it does not seem that the IDF’s intelligence personnel typically attempted to discover this and update their operational decisions accordingly.

Although Israel often presents the IDF as being in exemplary conformance to liberal and Western norms, the way that the IDF has used AI in Gaza, according to the Local Call and +972 , is in stark contrast to those same norms. In U.S. military doctrine, all strikes must strive to keep bystander deaths below the determined “non-combatant casualty cut-off value” (NCV).

NCVs for most U.S. operations have been very low, and historically, so have Israel’s—at least when it comes to targeted killing. For example, when Hamas commander Salah Shehadeh was killed along with 14 others in an Israeli airstrike in 2002, then-IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon said that he would not have allowed the operation to happen if he’d known it would kill that many others. In interviews over the years, other Israeli officials involved in the operation similarly stated that the high number of bystander deaths was a major error.

Local Call and +972 revealed that, by contrast, the assassination of Hamas battalion commander Wissam Farhat during the current Israel-Hamas war had an NCV of more than 100 people—and that the IDF anticipated that it would kill around that many.

Israeli military officers interviewed by Local Call and +972 explained that this shift was made possible by the supposed objectivity of AI and a mindset that emphasized action over judgment. The IDF has embraced a wartime logic, by which it accepts a higher rate of “errors” in exchange for tactical effectiveness while its commanders desire for vengeance against Hamas. In successive operations in 2008, 2012, and 2014—famously termed “mowing the grass” by former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett—Israel has periodically dropped nonprecision munitions in significant numbers on buildings and tunnel systems deemed to be Hamas targets. Combatant-to-noncombatant fatalities in these wars ranged between 1-to-1 and 1-to-3 —a commonly estimated figure for the current war.

An Israeli intelligence source interviewed by +972 Magazine claimed that time constraints made it impossible to “incriminate” every target, which raised the IDF’s tolerance for the margin of statistical error from using AI-powered target recommendation systems—as well as its tolerance for the associated “collateral damage.” Adding to this was the pressure to retaliate against the enemy for their devastating initial attack, with what another source described as a single-minded desire to “fuck up Hamas, no matter what the cost.”

Lavender might have been used more judiciously if not for the deadly interaction effect that emerged between a seemingly objective machine and the intense emotional atmosphere of desperation and vengefulness within IDF war rooms.

There are larger lessons to learn. The most significant of these is that AI cannot shield the use of weapons from the force of single-minded, vindictive, or negligent commanders, operators, or institutional norms. In fact, it can act as a shield or justification for them.

A senior IDF source quoted in the Local Call and +972 investigation said that he had “much more trust in a statistical mechanism than a soldier who lost a friend two days ago.” But manifestly, a set of machines is just as easily implicated in mass killing at a scale exceeding previous norms than a vengeful conscript fighting his way through a dense urban neighborhood.

It is tempting for bureaucracies, military or otherwise, to outsource difficult judgements made in difficult times to machines, thus allowing risky or controversial decisions to be made by no one in particular even as they are broadly implemented. But legal, ethical, and disciplinary oversight cannot be outsourced to computers, and algorithms mask the biases, limits, and errors of their data inputs behind a seductive veneer of assumed objectivity.

The appeal of human-machine teams and algorithmic systems is often claimed to be efficiency—but these systems cannot be scaled up indefinitely without generating counternormative and counterproductive outcomes. Lavender was not intended to be the only arbiter of target legitimacy, and the targets that it recommends could be subject to exhaustive review, should its operators desire it. But under enormous pressure, IDF intelligence analysts reportedly devoted almost no resources to double-checking targets, nor to double-checking bystander locations after feeding the names of targets into Where’s Dad.

Such systems are purpose-built, and officials should remember that even under emergency circumstances, they should proceed with caution when expanding the frequency or scope of a computer tool. The hoped-for operational benefits are not guaranteed, and as the catastrophe in Gaza shows, the strategic—and moral—costs could be significant.

Simon Frankel Pratt is a lecturer in political science at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne

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Trump says it’s up to states whether to punish, monitor women for abortions

Former president Donald Trump said in an interview published Tuesday that he would not intervene in state decisions on abortion policy, including in situations where states seek to monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans.

Trump also declined during the interview with Time magazine to commit to veto any additional federal restrictions if they were to come to his desk upon a possible return to the White House.

Asked by Time if he would be comfortable with states prosecuting women for having abortions outside limited periods permitted by state laws, Trump suggested the federal government should have no role.

“It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not,” Trump said. “It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.”

Trump’s comments highlight the fraught politics of the stance on abortion that he outlined earlier this month.

Trump announced on social media that policy should be left to the states, after months of mixed signals about his position. Trump has consistently taken credit for overturning Roe v. Wade — three of the justices who ruled on the case were appointed by him — yet has distanced himself from the political repercussions of the decision.

Shortly after Trump articulated his states-rights stance this month, Arizona’s Supreme Court revived an 1864 law passed before it was granted statehood that forbids abortions except to save a mother’s life and punishes providers with prison time. In that case, Trump said the state had gone too far.

During the Time interview, however, Trump repeatedly emphasized his support for state autonomy, at least in concept.

When asked, for instance, about the federal Republican-sponsored Life at Conception Act, which would grant “full legal rights to embryos,” Trump said: “I’m leaving everything up to the states.”

He declined to say whether he would veto such a bill, suggesting he wouldn’t be presented with that decision.

“I don’t have to do anything about vetoes,” Trump said, “because we now have it back in the states.”

Asked by Time if states should monitor women’s pregnancies to detect whether they get abortions after a ban takes effect, Trump said: “I think they might do that.”

“Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states,” he said. “Look, Roe v. Wade was all about bringing it back to the states.”

Democrats have sought to make abortion the dominant issue in the 2024 elections, highlighting Trump’s role in appointing the three conservative Supreme Court justices who helped overturn a constitutional right to abortion in 2022, and legislation pushed by Republican lawmakers to ban or severely restrict access to the procedure.

President Biden’s campaign seized on the Time interview after it was published Tuesday.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said Trump’s latest remarks are proof that reproductive health care is at stake in the election.

“Donald Trump’s latest comments leave little doubt: if elected he’ll sign a national abortion ban, allow women who have an abortion to be prosecuted and punished, allow the government to invade women’s privacy to monitor their pregnancies, and put IVF and contraception in jeopardy nationwide,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Simply put: November’s election will determine whether women in the United States have reproductive freedom, or whether Trump’s new government will continue its assault to control women’s health care decisions.”

Trump declined to answer directly when asked by Time if he thinks women should be able to obtain the abortion pill mifepristone .

“Well, I have an opinion on that, but I’m not going to explain. I’m not gonna say it yet.” He said he would announce his position “probably over the next week.” When pressed for an answer, Trump sought more time. “I will be making a statement on that over the next 14 days.”

Trump spoke with writer Eric Cortellessa at his home in Florida on April 12 and had a follow-up phone interview April 27, the magazine reported. On Tuesday it published a story about the interview along with a transcript .

The interview comes as Republicans brace for fallout from their newly pushed restrictions.

Florida’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy takes effect this week, one of the strictest in the nation.

The Republican-led Arizona Senate is expected to vote on a repeal of the state’s near total abortion ban after the state Supreme Court ruled a Civil War-era bill can take effect following the overturning of Roe v. Wade . Arizona’s House last week voted to repeal the law, after prominent antiabortion Republicans such as Senate candidate Kari Lake reversed course on the issue .

Trump, who once described himself as “very pro-choice,” said in 2000 that he would “indeed support a ban.” As a candidate, Trump struggled to adopt a position to fully satisfy leading members of the antiabortion movement while shielding himself and Republicans from blowback at the ballot box.

During the GOP nominating contests, Trump declined to take a firm stance on federal legislation and criticized Florida’s six-week abortion ban as a “terrible mistake.” In a CNN town hall last year, Trump would not say whether he would sign a federal abortion ban. Instead he said the antiabortion movement was in a “very good negotiating position” after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.

As president, Trump backed a 20-week abortion ban that did not have the votes to pass Congress and at the time conflicted with Roe, which gave Americans nationwide a right to abortion until a fetus was viable outside the womb, often pegged at roughly 24 weeks of pregnancy.

After publication of the Time interview Tuesday, Trump celebrated the piece while speaking to reporters outside the courtroom in New York, where he is on trial.

“I want to thank the Time magazine,” he said. “They did a cover story, which is very nice.”

“It’s at least 60 percent correct, which is all I could ask for,” Trump said, without identifying anything that he might say were inaccuracies. Trump walked away and ignored questions shouted by reporters.

Isaac Arnsdorf contributed to this report.

U.S. abortion access, reproductive rights

Tracking abortion access in the United States: Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade , the legality of abortion has been left to individual states. The Washington Post is tracking states where abortion is legal, banned or under threat.

Abortion and the election: Voters in about a dozen states could decide the fate of abortion rights with constitutional amendments on the ballot in a pivotal election year. Biden supports legal access to abortion , and he has encouraged Congress to pass a law that would codify abortion rights nationwide. After months of mixed signals about his position, Trump said the issue should be left to states . Here’s how Biden and Trump’s abortion stances have shifted over the years.

New study: The number of women using abortion pills to end their pregnancies on their own without the direct involvement of a U.S.-based medical provider rose sharply in the months after the Supreme Court eliminated a constitutional right to abortion , according to new research.

Abortion pills: The Supreme Court seemed unlikely to limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone . Here’s what’s at stake in the case and some key moments from oral arguments . For now, full access to mifepristone will remain in place . Here’s how mifepristone is used and where you can legally access the abortion pill .

  • States where abortion is on the ballot in the 2024 election April 15, 2024 States where abortion is on the ballot in the 2024 election April 15, 2024
  • States where abortion is legal, banned or under threat May 1, 2024 States where abortion is legal, banned or under threat May 1, 2024
  • Tears and despair at Florida abortion clinic in final hours before ban May 1, 2024 Tears and despair at Florida abortion clinic in final hours before ban May 1, 2024

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Guest Essay

The Supreme Court Has Already Botched the Trump Immunity Case

A photo illustration of the front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, but the columns in front are rearranged as an optical illusion, where the tops and bottoms of the columns fade into nothingness before reaching the other side.

By Melissa Murray and Andrew Weissmann

Ms. Murray and Mr. Weissmann are co-authors of “The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents With Commentary.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear oral arguments in Donald Trump’s immunity-appeal case on Thursday may appear to advance the rule of law. After all, few, if anyone, think that a majority of the court will conclude that a former president is completely immune from federal criminal liability.

But the court’s decision to review the immunity case actually undermines core democratic values.

The Supreme Court often has an institutional interest in cases of presidential power. But the court’s insistence on putting its own stamp on this case — despite the widespread assumption that it will not change the application of immunity to this case and the sluggish pace chosen to hear it — means that it will have needlessly delayed legal accountability for no justifiable reason. Even if the Supreme Court eventually does affirm that no person, not even a president, is above the law and immune from criminal liability, its actions will not amount to a victory for the rule of law and may be corrosive to the democratic values for which the United States should be known.

That is because the court’s delay may have stripped citizens of the criminal justice system’s most effective mechanism for determining disputed facts: a trial before a judge and a jury, where the law and the facts can be weighed and resolved.

It is this forum — and the resolution it provides — that Mr. Trump seeks, at all costs, to avoid. It is not surprising that he loudly proclaims his innocence in the court of public opinion. What is surprising is that the nation’s highest court has interjected itself in a way that facilitates his efforts to avoid a legal reckoning.

Looking at the experience of other countries is instructive. In Brazil, the former president Jair Bolsonaro, after baselessly claiming fraud before an election, was successfully prosecuted in a court and barred from running for office for years. In France, the former president Jacques Chirac was successfully prosecuted for illegal diversion of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris. Likewise, Argentina, Italy, Japan and South Korea have relied on the courts to hold corrupt leaders to account for their misconduct.

Because the courts have been such crucial scaffolding for democracy, leaders with authoritarian impulses often seek to undermine judicial authority and defang the courts to advance their interests. As the national-security and governance writer Rachel Kleinfeld has pointed out : “democracies have been falling all over the world in recent years. The decline has largely occurred at the hands of elected leaders who use their popularity to ride roughshod over their countries’ institutions, destroying oversight by a thousand cuts.”

Consider India, Bolivia, Hungary and Venezuela, where the erosion of judicial independence of the courts has been accompanied by a rise in all-consuming power for an individual leader.

Within our constitutional system, the U.S. Supreme Court can still act effectively and quickly to preserve the judiciary’s role in a constitutional democracy. If the court is truly concerned about the rule of law and ensuring that these disputed facts are resolved in a trial, it could issue a ruling quickly after the oral argument.

It would then fall to the special counsel Jack Smith and Judge Chutkan to ensure that this case gets to a jury. Obviously, fidelity to due process and careful attention to the rights of the accused are critical. To get to a trial and avoid any further potential delay, Mr. Smith may decide to limit the government’s case to its bare essentials — what is often called the “slim to win” strategy. And Judge Chutkan has already warned Mr. Trump that his pretrial unruly statements with respect to witnesses and others may result in her moving up the start of the trial to protect the judicial process.

Before Election Day 2024, if at all possible, voters should know if the facts of a case establish that one of the candidates engaged in an elaborate election-interference scheme in 2020.

Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the Manhattan criminal trial, and the New York appellate courts offer an instructive model of fair and expeditious case management. In less than a week, Justice Merchan has seated a jury, and he and many appellate judges have quickly ruled on Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the start of the trial.

If the Supreme Court resolves the immunity question quickly, allowing the federal election interference case to proceed, Judge Chutkan’s case management likewise will be pivotal in dealing with the intricacies of jury selection in a high-profile case and effectively distinguishing between frivolous and meritorious defense arguments that would prolong the trial timeline. These options may seem like a long shot, but they are the ones that remain.

Courts are supposed to serve as a neutral forum for the determination of facts and the adjudication of law. And, as examples in other countries illustrate, they can be a crucial bulwark for the rule of law in precarious times.

Politics and law are often seen as separate institutions, but in fact they regularly interact within our constitutional system as checks and balances — unless, as is the case here, the court takes on an overbearing role.

The Supreme Court’s review of the immunity issue delays indefinitely a jury trial of Mr. Trump’s role in obstructing the peaceful transfer of power — and therefore risks transforming our nation into a Potemkin village of democracy that bears the surface trappings of legal institutions but without actual checks on the executive branch of government.

Melissa Murray and Andrew Weissmann teach at the N.Y.U. School of Law and are co-authors of “The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents With Commentary.” They are co-hosts, respectively, of the podcasts Strict Scrutiny and Prosecuting Donald Trump .

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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    A. As basketball star Charles Barkley stated in a famous advertising campaign for Nike, he was paid to dominate on the basketball court, not to raise your kids. Many celebrities do consider themselves responsible for setting a good example and create non-profit organizations through which they can benefit youths. B.

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    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 ...

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    An argumentative essay is a structured, compelling piece of writing where an author clearly defines their stance on a specific topic. This is a very popular style of writing assigned to students at schools, colleges, and universities. Learn the steps to researching, structuring, and writing an effective argumentative essay below. Requirements ...

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  10. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Introductory paragraph. The first paragraph of your essay should outline the topic, provide background information necessary to understand your argument, outline the evidence you will present and states your thesis. 2. The thesis statement. This is part of your first paragraph.

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  12. 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

    Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, "401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing," as well as a companion piece, "650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.". We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get five new Student Opinion questions delivered to you ...

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    Logical, compelling progression of ideas in essay;clear structure which enhances and showcases the central idea or theme and moves the reader through the text. Organization flows so smoothly the reader hardly thinks about it. Effective, mature, graceful transitions exist throughout the essay.

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