Argumentative essays are very common in examinations. It uses facts and evidences to present arguments about an issue from two different perspectives. Sometimes, you could be impartial and not in favor of either side. However, it is usually easier to take on one side and persuade the reader to agree with your viewpoint. Personal opinions not backed by facts and evidences must be avoided at all times.

One easy approach towards argumentative essays is to remember the structure. There are five parts:

1. Introduction, begin with a topic sentence addressing the issue and towards the end of the paragraph, write a precise thesis statement which clearly states one’s stand.

A good thesis statement must not be too general and must be debatable, focusing on just one idea.

Example of a bad thesis statement:
Fried food is bad for health.

A preferred thesis statement:
Fried food should be banned in schools as it is high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, resulting in childhood obesity.

2. Three body paragraphs
3. Conclusion – Re-assert topic, restate the thesis/viewpoint without cutting and pasting the introduction and finally end the essay with a call for action.

A call for action example: Schools should regulate their nutrition programs by replacing fried food with wholesome choices and educate students on the importance of healthy eating.

Remember to use transitional words and phrases as they make essays more coherent.

Argumentative/Persuasive essays typically revolve round four themes:
Education, Environment, Science & Technology and Social. All students should read widely and intensively on these areas, collect data so they are able to write essays with sound reasonings and back up arguments with solid evidences.

Click here for readings on the four themes.