OUTLINE FOR AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY
Introduction -- (sets the tone for the entire essay -- be serious, formal, convincing)
A. Lead (hook, attention-getter, motivator)
2-4 well-developed sentences
Use an anecdote (a little story), startling facts, surprising statistics, a quotation, a
contrary opinion, an emotionally charged statement, or any combination of the
B. Background information (2-3 sentences to explain the history or background or
seriousness of the issue)
C. Thesis statement/Claim (strong, clear statement of your position on the issue)
Participation in school athletics builds character.
Children up to the age of ten and pregnant women should receive free medical
A class in multicultural literature should be required for graduation.
(The thesis always includes the topic + position.)
D. Blueprint (a sentence that offers 2-3 lines of argumentation that will support the thesis
Jogging is an overrated form of exercise. (Thesis statement)
Few joggers consider that jogging can be hazardous to one’s emotional, financial,
and physical health. (Blueprint)
First body paragraph (use order of importance and start with your weakest argument)
A. Transition + Topic sentence (begins each body paragraph; your first line of
argumentation in your blueprint)
C. Concluding sentence (ties the above together and leads into next paragraph)
Second body paragraph (stronger argument-the second line of argumentation in your
blueprint) Include transitions.
A. Transition + Topic sentence
C. Concluding sentence
Third body paragraph (the strongest argument—the third line of argumentation in
your blueprint.) Include transitions and points A, B, and C above.
Counterclaims/Concessions --the opposing point of view (admitting they have a point)
and rebuttals/counter arguments/refutations (countering the opposing view). Not
necessarily a separate paragraph but may be structured that way. May be included in the
intro, the body, or the conclusion.
Some people argue that teenagers are better drivers than older people. It’s
true that young people have faster reflexes, but they also have less experience
on the road….