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Structuring Your Essay
Argumentative Essay Structuring Your Essay
Argumentative Essay - Structure
Introduction Body Arguments supporting your stance Argument 1, supported by evidence. Argument 2, supported by evidence. and so on… Arguments opposing your stance Argument 1, supported (briefly) by evidence. Refute this Argument. Conclusion
Introducing your Argumentative Essay
The introductory paragraph of your essay should make the following clear to your reader: The issue that you will be discussing in your essay. Your stance on that issue. In addition to this, the opening of your essay should capture the reader’s attention, making them interested in the subject you are writing about and encouraging them to read on. Here are some ways in which you can capture your reader’s attention: Provocative Tone “It is difficult to comprehend why countries still permit capital punishment.” Balanced Tone “Capital punishment is a subject which has the world divided.” Quotation “Anton Pavlovich Checkov, a Russian playwright and author, once said: ‘The government is not God. It does not have the right to take away that which it can’t return even if it wants to.’ ” Illustration “On a depressing, murky winter morning, a petrified young man is quietly escorted from his prison cell. The chains which bind his ankles clatter and clang on the bare cement floors. His knees are weak. His heart is pounding. He is thinking about his mother, his sister, his baby girl. He is tied to the chair. He is prayed upon by a solemn stranger. He is pumped full of electricity until his body can take no more. He is pronounced dead. What if he was innocent? This is the reality of capital punishment.” Anecdote “I have always detested capital punishment since I was almost physically sick while watching a film of someone being put to death by the electric chair.”
Body Section: Structuring your Arguments
When writing an Argumentative Essay, you should apply exactly the same principles as you use when writing a Critical Essay. Make a Point / Introduce an Argument. Provide Evidence to support that Point / Argument. Explain how the Evidence you have provided supports your Point / Argument. The only difference is that: In a Critical Essay, you use contexualised quotations to support your points. In a Discursive Essay, you can use a range of types of evidence to support your ideas: Quotations from experts Statistical evidence Real life examples And so on.
Body Section: Structuring your Arguments
When writing an Argumentative Essay, you should apply exactly the same principles as you use when writing a Critical Essay. Make a Point / Introduce an Argument. Provide Evidence to support that Point / Argument. Explain how the Evidence you have provided supports your Point / Argument. A clear reason why capital punishment cannot be allowed to continue in this day and age is the fact that there is the risk of executing someone who later turns out to be innocent. There have been many examples of this happening, one being the case of Derek Bentley, a young man who was hanged in 1953 for supposedly murdering a police officer during an attempted robbery. After Bentley’s death, a campaign was led to clear his name, and in 1998 he was completed pardoned of the crime he was executed for. While this may have provided some consolation for Bentley’s campaigners, such a victory is clearly a bittersweet one as, regardless of any posthumous pardon, the state cannot simply undo its execution of innocent people. This clearly demonstrates that capital punishment is an inflexible and immoral form of punishment which has no place in our society.
Body Section: Linking your Arguments
Any well-written piece of argumentative writing will flow as one continuous piece, despite being made up of three or four different arguments. One of the techniques which can help you to achieve this effectively is the use of linking vocabulary. These words are usually used at the beginning of a new paragraph but can also be used to link ideas within a paragraph. Here are some examples: To introduce a point: It would seem; Many people believe; There are those who feel; The modern thinker; Current opinion is; It seems; It would appear… Same line of thought: Firstly; Secondly; Furthermore; In addition; Likewise; Similarly; Also; Moreover… To emphasise a point: Indeed; Undoubtedly; Without doubt; Without question; It seems obvious; Of course; Unquestionably; Absolutely… To re-direct an argument: Despite this; Nevertheless; It would therefore seem; Conversely; Yet; On the other hand; However; Although; Otherwise; On the contrary… To conclude a point: Thus; Therefore; Consequently; Accordingly; Hence; In conclusion; In brief; As a result…
Concluding your Argumentative Essay
Purpose: What is the conclusion to a discursive essay for? To remind the reader of the main arguments relating to the issue being considered. To persuade the reader that your stance on the issue is the correct one. Content: The concluding paragraph of your essay should remind your reader of the following key pieces of information: The issue that you discussed in your essay. The stance you took on that issue. The main arguments that have been considered with regard to the issue. Similarly to your introductory paragraph, it is important to conclude your essay in a memorable way that leaves a lasting impression on your reader. Some reference to ideas that you introduced in your introductory paragraph is often an effective way to do this, as it shows your reader that you have come full circle, and are now rounding off your essay.
Example Conclusion In conclusion, it is clear to see that capital punishment is a ridiculously outdated form of punishment that has no place in a modern, civilised society. As has been discussed, many argue that people who commit serious crimes such as mass murder and child abuse do not deserve to live, and that there is a risk of such people re-offending once they have served the prison sentences that they are given. However, this simply means that governments will have to find alternative strategies to deal with such criminals, as the risk of executing innocent people is too great, combined with the essential argument that no one should have the right to take another person’s life, regardless of the circumstances.
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