What Skills Are Required To Write An Argumentative Essay

November 22, 2022 F WP

What Skills Are Required To Write An Argumentative Essay

Table of Contents

What Is Argumentative Essay Writing?

Argumentative essay writing is not hard to define if you look at certain things that are different in argumentative essays compared to other types of essays. Whether it is a narrative essay or a descriptive essay, writers convince the reader that what they have written or presented is true, through imagery, description, sensory experience, and so on. This is not the case with argumentative essays.

Simply put, argumentative essays rely on factual information and evidential support to back their main and sub-claims. As many misjudge from the name, argumentative essays are not about heated, emotionally-driven debates between opponents. It is a scientifically-grounded discourse where a writer takes a stance and then convinces or persuades the readers. In this pursuit, writers only rely upon logical reasoning, credible references, and citations to back up their claims.

As an argumentative essay is as good as the argument it is based on, there are three major approaches toward argument building. These include Rogerian, Toulmin, and Classical or Aristotelian.

How Is Argumentative Essay Writing Different From Other Essays?

To understand how argumentative essay writing is different from other essays, let us take three common examples one by one. When we take a look at a narrative essay, is about a story of an incident or personal experience that shaped the succeeding events in the writer’s life. The elements of this essay are characters, conflict, resolution, climax, and so on. For descriptive essay writing, a writer explains or describes a subject based on his objective and subjective understanding. The main elements are figurative language and sensory experiences to bridge the gap between space and time. As far as expository essays are concerned, they are about conveying factual and actionable information to the readers.

In the face of these essays, argumentative essays stand apart for their objective language but subjective stance, along with structured information, sound arguments based on evidential information, and citations.

Types of Argumentative Writing

Descriptive and narrative essays do not have specific types when it comes to the subject matter and premises, whereas expository and argumentative essays have several. In this section, we will take a look at different types of argumentative essays. Students should keep in mind that teachers do not spell out what type of argumentative essay they need to write for the assignment. They have to make that decision themselves. That’s why it pays to know the dynamics of different types of argumentative essays.

Personal Essay

Personal essays take a detour from the typical definition of an argumentative essay. In this type of essay, a writer takes a stance based on his inclinations. There is no need for evidential support and credible sources. He has to rely on subjective reasoning and logic to convince the readers. It is best to utilize research but not a compulsion in this essay type. That’s why it is called a personal essay and usually covers writings based on religious and spiritual topics.

Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays, as the name indicate, are about persuading or convincing the readers that one side of the argument is better and truer than the other. Since it is about the stance of the writer, he should make it clear which side he is on from the beginning. This will make it easier for the readers to know the side and follow it through. In addition to providing support for the side, the writer should also refute the counter-claims to further strengthen his side.

Research Paper

Research papers are written in universities and colleges at higher levels. In these types of argumentative essays, writers rely on external sources, such as citations and references, instead of personal logic and reasoning to make a point. Also, there is no one true side in these essays because writers are supposed to take a balanced approach. The idea here is to meet a middle ground. That’s why the roughly same number of sources are cited for both sides of the argument.

Analytical Essay

When a writer assesses another argumentative essay based on its merits and shortcomings, it is called an analysis or analytical essay. It is entirely based on judging the soundness of another author’s arguments. The writing of another writer is judged based on a set criterion which includes evidence, persuasive element, clarity of vision, style, tone, and so on. Apart from objectively taking a look at all these things, writers should make a clear case whether they agree with the analyzed view or not.

Skills To Write Winning Argumentative Essays

While knowing and understanding a phenomenon is important, there is much more that goes into putting that knowledge into practice. The same is true for argumentative essay writing. We have gone through the basic understanding of argumentative essay writing, what makes it different from other essay types, and the different types. So, now is the time to take a look at the core skills that every argumentative essay writer must have.
Superb Researching Skills

Research is the backbone of argumentative essay writing. Since writers are supposed to back their claims and arguments on credible sources and references, research comes in the process of essay writing from the pre-writing phase. The best way to ensure maximum productivity and fewer bottlenecks are to research and outline the essay at the same time. This will allow the writer to understand the scope and depth of the essay from the beginning.

Excellent Writing Skills

For obvious reasons, excellent writing skills are also an obvious requisite to get maximum scores in your argumentative essay. When it comes to writing an essay, it is necessary to understand the demands of each section. Since an essay has three major parts, writers must treat each one with relevant needs. The introduction must be catchy and has a thesis statement. The main body should cover all the arguments and evidence. The conclusion should conclude the talk.

Superior Proofreading And Editing Skills

Writing is not about churning out words and phrases that make little to no sense to the reader. They are about connecting the dots and making them convinced that this is indeed the right and only version of the truth. Proofreading and editing skills come in handy because they allow writers to fine-tune their prose. That’s why students must dedicate time after writing the first draft to ensure that there are no blatant errors and inconsistencies.

Expert Tips To Write Compelling Argumentative Essays

Now that we have covered the necessary skills to write argumentative essays, let us take a look at some expert tips that can help writers streamline their writing and editing processes. You can also use them as the checklist for writing an argumentative essay since they are positive in their nature and character.

Outline And Research Before Writing

We have already gone through this point in the previous section and we will go through it again here. This should highlight the importance of outlining and researching before the writing phase. To save more time and get a grip on the matter, it is best to do the two things at the same time. There will be no need for further planning because it will cover all the bases.

Start Every Section With A Topic Sentence

A topic sentence summarizes the whole idea of the paragraph in the beginning. It is like a prologue to the story. This provides a gist to the readers on what they should expect from the given paragraph. Paragraphs vary in their content and scope. So, it is best to cover the bases in the opening sentences to help readers better understand and follow a thought.

Bridge Paragraphs With The Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the boiled-down version of the main idea or the main argument in a single or a couple of sentences. It is a necessary element of an essay and must be covered in the opening part of the essay. For expository essays, you can start an essay with a thesis statement. The best place for a thesis is the closing lines of the introduction where it can bridge the section with the main body.

Proofread And Edit Before Turning It In

Just like outlining and researching, we cannot stress enough the importance of proofreading and editing in argumentative essay writing. Writers must go through the initial drafts to tweak and fine-tune sentences and paragraphs. This must be done in such a way that the sum of the parts should be more than the initial value of each paragraph. When this philosophy is followed, the results come out as remarkable.


There is nothing special about the skills that a writer needs for argumentative essay writing. They are either learned gradually or for the sole purpose of essay writing. These include collecting relevant information, writing superb prose, and editing and reviewing before submitting.

When it comes to balancing all the elements in an argumentative essay, it is that the structured information, thesis statement, subjectivity, and neutrality should enhance the effects of one another. The final product should be more than the sum of the things that make it.

Argumentative essay writing techniques are not many because the aim here is to write flawless prose with structured information. However, argument-building techniques are a few. These include Toulmin, Classical, Rogerian, and so on.

Following are some of the tips to master argumentation skills:

  • Research before engaging
  • Prepare answers for common counter-claims
  • Be patient and calm
  • Respond with objectivity and proofs
  • Citations and references are better than logical reasoning

Logic and reasoning help writers connect the dots between different aspects of argument and evidence for the readers. Mathematical logic is the pursuit of truth and reasoning that can help people look at the ultimate result of a system.

Following are some of the tips to remember if you want to write quality argumentative essays:

  • Retain objectivity of argument
  • Hone your prose skills
  • Connect the dots for the readers
  • Provide primary and credible sources

Honing Skills With Practice

Argumentative essay writing excellence is not a destination but a journey. It requires learning and applying skills to a craft where readers can be convinced and persuaded to understand the truth – or at least a version of it. Students often question the skills and abilities one must have to write riveting essays. This is not the case with argumentative essay writing. There are certain things that they must learn and apply to the craft properly, but there is nothing special here.

In this blog, we have covered all the important bases for the students that they might need in writing a winning argumentative essay for school.

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