Facts About Argumentative Essays:

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My appreciation for writing is why I am now a college English instructor. I teach Composition 101 and use the five-paragraph essay format because I want my students to understand structure and organization first. I don’t explain Aristotle’s approach until the second half of the semester, when my students have a solid grasp of essay structure and can apply Aristotle’s argumentative approach intelligently. However, I still limit their writing to five paragraphs because the question I always get asked by students is: how many paragraphs or how long does this paper have to be? Sadly, the majority of my students don’t want to go above and beyond what is expected and would rather do the bare minimum. At the same time, I don't want them to ramble on and on and would prefer their papers to be succinct and to the point.

Although the five-paragraph structure can be considered rudimentary, I don’t believe it’s entirely unengaging and useless. A creative writer can always find ways to make his or her writing more appealing and can still apply all the qualities of a good argumentative paper with this restriction. I’m always up for a challenge and change, so I’ll consider teaching the modern writing style this summer to vary my instruction. I’ll gladly inform you if your theory proves me wrong. :)

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Arguments against capital punishment essay

An argumentative essay include unsubstantiated opinions. Writing “I think sugary drinks should be regulated because they are unhealthy” is not a valid argument…unless you support it with evidence.

How to begin with argument essay topics?

The final element of a strong argumentative essay is refuting alternate positions. By addressing opposing positions, you make your argument stronger. It’s best to try to address the most common opposing beliefs.

And that, my friends, is the mark of a successful argument!

There are four important elements to consider when constructing an argumentative essay.

A well-constructed thesis serves as a lighthouse for your readers, offering them a guiding light in the stormy sea of claims and evidence that make up your argumentative essay.

…address the opposing side’s argument and refute their claims

This blog post will dissect the components of a good thesis statement and will give you 10 thesis statement examples that you can use to inspire your next argumentative essay.


Argumentative Essay Outline Template - Write a Writing

Please realize that I've taught for many years and have seen a great many methods come and go, but the Aristotelian model still provides the most effective scaffold for both expository and argumentative writing, and it does not exclude the 5 paragraph essay model.

Essay: Pro and Con Argument ..

I follow this process to teach my students to write argumentative essays, and close reading of this method reveals that the form of it is also consistent with the traditional 5 paragraph essay format. (Narrative writing of course requires an entirely different format, which I teach using Freytag's pyramid model.)

Essay: Pro and Con Argument - Sponsor A Village

What your argument equates to is turning every writing assignment into free writes, journals, rants and blogs. These are appropriate exercises to build off of, but that's all they are. Your refutation also assumes the five paragraph essay stops at five paragraphs, when it is really just the starting point for everything else. And I am confused when you argue "The five paragraph essay limits students into about 1 1/2 pages"; most are really about 3-4 pages of three transparent, well developed body paragraphs that define, present evidence, and explain with examples. All the emphasis on common core, Aristotle, and argument seem like red herrings in this argument about the five paragraph importance. If you are a high school teacher who wants to truly prepare your student for college or work, then you SHOULD be teaching students to use the five paragraph as a starting point of construction. You'll be doing them a big favor.

Argumentative essays are also known as ‘position papers ..

Thanks for continuing the conversation. The traditional five-paragraph essay can be an entry point, a starting point. But, too often, it becomes the goal. As long as students are using this traditional form for expository writing, it'll be OK. This does not develop higher levels of argument. All students deserve a chance to think at higher levels. If you email me (see contact Ray in header), I can share some of the ways I support special-needs students so they do move into deeper thinking.