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Key Characteristics of an Argument Essay

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1 Key Characteristics of an Argument Essay
Argument Writing Key Characteristics of an Argument Essay

2 Argument Essay Your Goal: When writing an argument as opposed to a persuasive essay, your goal is to convince your reader(s) that you have a valid point. You are not trying to get the reader(s) to necessarily agree with you. That is the goal of persuasive writing. To write an argument, you need to have a few key elements in your essay.

3 Claim: An opinion that is debatable/arguable.
A claim has a counter-argument that is also a reasonable conclusion. Example: When a person is convicted of driving drunk for the first time, he/she should have his/her license suspended for five years. * This is debatable/arguable. For instance, someone might claim that five years is too harsh.

4 NOT a Claim Example: Driving while intoxicated is dangerous to other drivers. The above is not debatable. Most reasonable people would agree with that statement.

5 Warrant: A warrant is an accepted truth by most people.
For instance, the “non-claim” statement that driving intoxicated is dangerous to other drivers is a warrant. It is a reason for your claim. Example: Too many Americans do not have health insurance. warrant (accepted truth/reason) The Affordable Care Act is necessary to provide insurance to all Americans. claim (debatable opinion)

6 Evidence: Evidence is the facts that help support your claim.
It can be statistics, examples, and personal testimonies that strengthens a warrant and supports a claim. Example: In 2011, 46.8 million Americans did not have health insurance (NPR). evidence (supports the above warrant). Therefore, going back to the drunk driving example, actual statistics as to how many innocent people are killed by first-time drunk drivers would be evidence supporting the warrant and, ultimately, the claim.

7 Practice: For each statement, write “claim”, “warrant” or “evidence”.
1. According to National Geographic, Americans spent 21.7 billion in 2011 on bottled water. 2. Drinking bottled water is a waste of resources and money. 3. Most of the money spent on bottled water is for the plastic and shipping costs.

8 More Practice 4. According to the “End to Cyberbullying Organization (ETCB), 1 in 3 teens have admitted to being cyberbullied. 5. Cyberbullying can lead to depression, suicide, and even violence in some people. 6. When a student feels afraid to come to school due to being cyberbullied, the situation affects the school. 7. Schools should have rules and consequences in place dealing with instances of cyberbullying.

9 Your assignment: Pick any debatable topic and write a practice claim, warrant, and an example or fact as evidence. Possible topics: gun control, immigration reform, in-school suspension, sweep, dress code, cyberbullying laws, insanity defense


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