Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper
This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 01:03:40
The following sections outline the generally accepted structure for an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and that your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.
You may also use the following Purdue OWL resources to help you with your argument paper:
The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:
- What is this?
- Why am I reading it?
- What do you want me to do?
You should answer these questions by doing the following:
- Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
- State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
- State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).
For exploratory essays, your primary research question would replace your thesis statement so that the audience understands why you began your inquiry. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.
If your argument paper is long, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, and the opposition to your position. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing. Your forecast could read something like this:
First, I will define key terms for my argument, and then I will provide some background of the situation. Next, I will outline the important positions of the argument and explain why I support one of these positions. Lastly, I will consider opposing positions and discuss why these positions are outdated. I will conclude with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.
When writing a research paper, you may need to use a more formal, less personal tone. Your forecast might read like this:
This paper begins by providing key terms for the argument before providing background of the situation. Next, important positions are outlined and supported. To provide a more thorough explanation of these important positions, opposing positions are discussed. The paper concludes with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.
Ask your instructor about what tone you should use when providing a forecast for your paper.
These are very general examples, but by adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.
Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.
This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:
Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:
- A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
- A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
- A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
- A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
- Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 42). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.
Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:
- A good thesis is unified:
NOT: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them
BETTER: Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).
- A good thesis is specific:
NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs.
BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.
- Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis:
NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs.
BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.
_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above
_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment
_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable
_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal
Twin College Essay: The Benefits of Being a Twin
Perhaps almost everyone has dreamed of having a twin in their childhood. It seemed to be so beneficial to have an identical copy of oneself that would think and act similarly. For children, having a twin means to have a reliable friend throughout their whole lives, a mate for sharing numerous jokes and playing games, or an invaluable assistant who would always come to help in the time of need. However, having a twin doesn’t lose its advantages even in the adult age. Twins share many interests; they often form bonds that, due to their unique nature, are not possible in any other relationship and it lasts forever. Therefore, being a twin has many benefits.
The advantages of being a twin are especially evident in the early childhood years. “In the early years the twin children develop a trust between themselves” (Safdarmehdi, 2012, para. 2). Sibling rivalry is not such a problem because the kids form an attachment to each other from birth. Furthermore, at an early age, twins need each other because they give each other a sense of support and security. The twins are there for each other as they experience the ups and downs of life and growing up. Academically, socially and emotionally, twins offer each other support which builds their relationship and creates trust between them.
In contrast, the teenage years offer more insight into the disadvantages of being a twin. This is because privacy and sexuality become more important, and rivalry for the attention of the opposite sex and from parents comes into play. For example, in the film Dead Ringers, two identical twins both became successful gynecologists and ended up falling in love with the same woman (Safdarmehdi, 2012, para. 3). After the teenage years, this rivalry and tension between the twins usually fades away. The twins get married and become involved with their own new families. They do not worry as much about what the other twin is up to. However, a close bond between the twins usually still remains. This process of growth, from early childhood through the teenage years and until adulthood, is what makes the twins bond and understand each other at a level other relationships most often do not get to.
A very positive thing about identical twins is that if they get along and they can help each other in some of life’s sticky situations. For instance, if one twin is sick, but simply cannot miss an appointment, date or meeting, the other twin can replace them. This type of assistance depends on how close the twins are and if they have the same skills. For example, one twin said her sibling is like a partner who completes what needs to be done when she cannot. She said, “On the days when I am busy I know that Lucas will cover my back and get all the bottles at night (Arnold, 2011, para. 3).
It is important to note that ‘perfect’ relationships are not always present and cannot always be achieved between twins. A lot depends on their environment, upbringing and genes. Most twins, particularly identical ones, enjoy a very special and close relationship based on trust because of growing up together and having many more things in common than regular siblings. Additionally, as with any close relationship, emotions can run from love to hate but the love between twins usually triumphs.
Therefore, there are many benefits of being a twin. Having a twin is like having your soul mate with you right from birth. Twins, especially identical ones, reflect each other’s images. In childhood, twins give each other a sense of security. They start to form their relationship based on mutual support and understanding. In the teenage years, twins may experience problems connected to sexuality and privacy, and they often start rivalry for the attention of the opposite sex and parents, but as they grow up that rivalry usually fades away.
A very valuable thing is that twins can help each other in difficult situations, using the similarity in their appearance. In addition, twins can experience complicated and ambiguous feelings towards each other, but usually the relationship they form lasts forever.
If you have no clue on how to start your essay, don’t panic. Examples of argumentative essays provided by EssayShark.com authors will help you understands the basics of academic writing. Search our blog for more samples and useful articles and feel free to post your questions. We remind you, however, that any usage of the texts posted at our website without proper acknowledgment is prohibited. Place an order to receive great examples of argumentative essays or any other kind of essays you may need to help alongside your educational path. We know that learning is hard, and we want to make it easier for you.
Argumentative Essay Example II: Should Parents Monitor Their Children’s Internet Use?
XXI century marked the Digital age in the human history and humanity was introduced to the Internet. It covers every field of specialization today, starting at any information humanity ever acquired on out to online communication between individuals. Access to the Internet requires interaction with a computer, that is proved by numerous researches to be injurious to health in an often use. Usually, it is linked to obesity, irregular sleep cycles and shorter duration sleep, impaired vision, and loss of social skills and we should to be anxious about our children’s health. But there are latent and more dangerous threats the Internet is linked to that we need to protect our children from.
Protection of the personal information, while you are searching the web, is critically important, especially while using social networks like Facebook, as it is the most popular way of communication with other people. Kids often are unaware of what information should not be shared with an online community, and in doing so, they can incur themselves to the danger that the internet possesses. Using this information sexual and other predators can stalk children on the Internet, taking advantage of their innocence, abusing their trust and, perhaps, ultimately luring them into hazardous personal encounters (“Teenagers and the Internet”, 2017). Maybe it would be too harsh to track their activities on the internet, without them knowing because every individual has a right to privacy, but it is necessary to talk with children about possible consequences of posting their personal information on the Internet.
As children grow and spend more time at school, parents are often afraid of them to fall into bad associations. It happens because they don’t know the difference between right and wrong; therefore they cannot distinguish a bad company from good. And if something like that happens there could be a possibility that some of their friends could be trying to convince them to do drugs, shoplift or do something against family’s moral code. The better way of dealing with it would be to talk about it in a neutral way, but if nothing helps to oversee child’s personal messages and to prevent it from happening if suspicions are satisfied will be a right decision. The more child grows, the less he talks to his parents about what is going on in his life, about his friends, and where he goes after school. There may be no need to be worried, as he merely visits the cinema with his friends and by not telling his parents he tries to state a right of privacy and protect it. But he also could be bullied and threatened at school and afraid to complain to parents. More importantly, with the development of the technologies, such harassment can run on and on any place your child goes and can happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It could be rumors sent by email, mean text messages, emails or posted on social networks, along with embarrassing images, videos, sites or fake profiles (Pogue, 2017). Whether done using technology or in person, the effects of bullying are similar: they could be reaching for alcohol and drugs, or skipping school, or have lower self-esteem, or even health problems (Cold et al., 2017). Whether a child experiences bullying or he is not the object of harassment but is a bully himself, parents should not make a hasty decision to spy child’s activity on the internet, as it will make things only worse. The best way is to be comfortably talking to the kid, asking guiding questions about what is going on in their life and how to stand up to bullies or why the behavior of harassing other children is not the best to establish social status.
Children may also unwittingly expose their families to online risks by accidentally downloading malware. Malware is a computer program that is installed without the knowledge of permission of the victim with an intention to steal personal data from the computer like passwords, parent’s bank account, and other sensitive information (“Teenagers and the Internet”, 2017). This program downloads and installs onto itself while you are visiting untrusted sites or by phishing. Phishing is the use of emails that try to trick people into clicking on malicious links and attachments, usually containing offers of things at a dramatically reduced price or even for free. With the development of targeted advertising, it became much easier to guess what an individual is interested in, as it analyzes the browsing history on your computer. Young people are easy marks for scams because they have not yet learned to be wary.
The Internet can pose dangers to kids, but it is not the Internet to blame. In fact, it can open doors of wonder for children that previous generations could not even have dreamed of. The best foundation for protecting against internet threats is educating your children and establishing comfortable communication with them fulfilled with trust and understanding, so they are willing to talk about what is going on in their lives.
Cold, Flu & Cough et al. “4 Dangers Of The Internet.” Webmd, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/4-dangers-internet#1.
Pogue, David. “How Dangerous Is The Internet For Children?.” Nytimes.Com, 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/technology/personaltech/28pogue-email.html?mcubz=1.
“Teenagers And The Internet.” Huffpost, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/teenagers-and-the-internet_b_7012050.html.