How To Make An Argument In An Essay – The Complete Guide

Knowing how to make an argument in an essay is one of the most fundamental skills you should learn during your student years. These skills not only help you get good grades, but they help shape the way you approach things later in life, such as in work or more advanced forms of academia.

In short, argumentative essays are formal essays that persuade the reader to agree with your thesis. These essays vary in complexity, from simple comparisons such as ‘red is better than blue’ to ‘arguing for socialism over capitalism’. Whatever the topic, argumentative essays involve research with supporting facts and data to back up your conclusions.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the fundamental points when it comes to crafting a compelling argument in an essay. We’ll consider structure, looking at the essay’s requirements and much more. Let’s dive in.

how to make an argument in an essay

How To Make An Argument In An Essay

So, let’s take a look at how to make an argument in an essay.

The first step before you do anything is to analyse the question. Identify what it is you’re being asked to consider. It’s how professional writing services like Write My Essays approach the process, as well as all other academics. 

It also helps if you have a point of view on the topic or at least an idea of what the main issues within it are. This can help form the base for the structure of the essay. 

However, that’s not to say you can’t write about something you’re not 100% familiar with. You can always research and learn, something we’ll discuss more below.

Let’s take a look at some of the key points to make out a successful argument in an essay.


When it comes to writing the likes of a university essay, research is an essential component that cannot be overlooked. Conducting thorough research allows you to gather reliable and credible information that forms the foundation of your essay. Without adequate research, your essay will lack the depth and substance required to engage your readers and make a convincing argument.

Research is vital because it enables you to explore different perspectives and ideas related to your topic. This process helps you broaden your understanding of the subject matter, which in turn leads to a more insightful and nuanced piece.

By researching, you can access a range of authoritative sources such as academic journals, books, and articles, which add weight and credibility to your arguments.

This research also allows you to identify gaps in existing knowledge which can help you gain deeper insights. This aspect is particularly important when it comes to university essays, as the expectation is for students to demonstrate critical thinking and analysis—essentially, providing their own thoughts and opinions.

So in short, through research, you can develop an informed and well-rounded argument that is backed up by evidence.

Structure of an essay

A well-structured essay is crucial to convey your arguments to your audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all structure, the following list serves as a helpful and general guide:

  1. Begin your essay with an introduction that captivates your reader’s attention and gives them a clear idea of what your essay will be about. This section should also include your thesis statement—which outlines the main point you will be arguing throughout your essay.
  2. The body of your essay is where you will present your evidence and arguments to support your thesis statement. It’s important to structure this section in a clear and logical way, using subheadings and transitional phrases to guide your reader through your ideas.
  3. Finally, your essay should end with a conclusion that ties together all of your arguments and evidence. You can use this section to summarize your key points and restate your thesis statement in a way that reinforces your argument. A well-written conclusion will leave your reader with a lasting impression of your essay and its message.

Remember that the structure of your essay is not set in stone, and you should be flexible in adapting it to suit the needs of your specific assignment and audience. However, by following these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your essay is well-organized and effectively communicates your ideas to your reader.

Argumentative Essay Requirements

When submitting an essay in college or university, it is crucial to adhere to the guidelines provided by your instructor or department. These guidelines serve as a roadmap to ensure that your essay meets the academic standards expected at the college or university level. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in a lower grade or even academic penalties.

Adhering to essay writing guidelines is important for several reasons. Firstly, it shows that you have a good understanding of the academic expectations and are capable of meeting them. This demonstrates your competence and academic skills to your instructor, which can be especially important if you are seeking recommendation letters or applying for graduate programs.

Secondly, following essay writing guidelines ensures that your work is properly formatted, cited, and structured. This makes your work easier to read and understand for your instructor, ensuring that they can focus on the content of your essay without being distracted by errors or inconsistencies in formatting. In addition, proper citation and formatting are important to avoid plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense that can have severe consequences.

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) is an excellent resource for students and offers comprehensive guides on a wide range of writing topics, including essay writing. The OWL has a specific section on essay writing, which includes information on how to write different types of essays, how to structure an essay, and how to properly cite sources.

Ensuring Each Argument Contributes To Answering The Question

The main question or thesis is the guiding force behind the essay, and each argument should contribute to answering it.

It can be tempting to include interesting or tangential information in an essay, but if it doesn’t directly relate to the main question or thesis, it can weaken the essay’s overall effectiveness.

Each argument should build upon the previous one, leading the reader to a clear and logical conclusion. When an argument is unrelated or doesn’t support the main question or thesis, it can disrupt this progression and cause confusion for the reader.

If you’re really unsure how to answer the question, you can get advice from writing services like Trust My Paper. Getting the insight of professionals who have fresh eyes can really open up your perspective. This, in turn, can give you ideas on how to structure your essay. 

More Quick Tips For Writing Arguments In Essays

Here are some more quick tips on writing arguments in essays:

  • When writing an essay, it’s important to avoid using generic language. Instead, formulate your arguments using your own phrases to make them more persuasive. Personal arguments can be effective, but make sure to balance them with authoritative sources to give your essay more weight.
  • To ensure that your essay is logical and consistent, all elements including arguments should be connected and follow a cause-and-effect relationship. Avoid vague statements and make sure each new argument continues the thought of the previous one.
  • Research is essential for writing a strong essay. Seek out books, articles, and reliable sources online that reflect all viewpoints on the subject you are studying. This will help you cover all aspects of the issue in your essay. Be sure to gather information that supports and contradicts your point of view.
  • When using sources, it’s important to choose reputable ones that build on advances in the field and suggest new questions to explore. Use both old sources that are fundamental to the field and new sources that represent the latest developments.
  • When referencing sources, be sure to support your position with serious scholarship and quote experts in the field. For example, if you are writing about global warming, quote a well-known environmental expert to reinforce your argument.
  • Lastly, always cite your sources appropriately. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism and can result in serious consequences. Make sure to give proper references when quoting someone else’s work.

Typical Mistakes You Can Make When Writing Essays

Writing an essay isn’t always easy, and there are some common mistakes that students tend to make. Here are a few of them:

  • Lack of planning: Students often dive right into writing without taking the time to plan their essay properly. This can lead to a disorganized and confusing essay that doesn’t effectively communicate their ideas.
  • Inadequate research: Without proper research, students may not have enough information to support their arguments or may unintentionally include inaccurate information. This can weaken the credibility of their essay.
  • Plagiarism: This is a serious mistake that students sometimes make by either intentionally or unintentionally using someone else’s work without proper citation. This can result in a failing grade or even expulsion.
  • Lack of clarity: An essay that lacks clarity can be difficult to follow, causing confusion for the reader. It’s important to use clear and concise language and to organize thoughts and arguments in a logical way.
  • Overreliance on personal opinion: While personal opinion is important in an essay, students should also support their arguments with reliable sources and evidence. Overreliance on personal opinion can make an essay feel one-sided and biased.
  • Neglecting to proofread: A poorly proofread essay can be distracting to the reader and can make it difficult to understand the author’s intended meaning. It’s important to proofread and edit your work carefully to catch any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

To Wrap It Up

Remember, to write a persuasive essay that will convince your reader, it needs a strong argument. To help achieve this, picking a topic that you feel strongly about can really help, but remember, research is everything. You can write about anything at all if you research it well.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make an argument in an essay, check out the guides below:


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