Argument Research Paper Introductions

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

Summary:

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:

Introduction

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why am I reading it?
  3. What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions by doing the following:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

Thesis checklist

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

(floppy). vs.

  •  
    • 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.

Quick Checklist:

_____ 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

When your professor assigned it to you, you may have had the urge to debate on the intricacies of an argumentative essay. What is it? Why do you need to write it? And how are you going to accomplish it?

What is an argumentative essay?

First of all, you will need to know what an argumentative essay is. It is a genre of writing that requires you to do considerable research on a topic, collect evidence and data, evaluate your findings, and defend the resolution to your whole argumentative essay within the paper itself.

Sometimes people confuse an argumentative essay with an expository essay, possibly because the two involves research. The only difference is that argumentative essay prompts requires more time and effort to produce, since it is usually the last project assigned in a subject during a non-graduating class semester. The best part is that you can also use argumentative essays tips to write a scholarship essay, a convincing pitch at work, and many others.

What is in an argumentative essay?

  1. It must have a strong introduction.

Any writing work requires an impeccable introduction in order to transition to the succeeding parts of the paper. Without it, there is no paper. And without a paper, you have no grade at all. To give you a better idea on how impactful an introduction is, this is considered as your winning statement. This is where you summarize the issue, the research performed, the facts collected, and the findings that you’ve made. Still, it has to be short enough to leave more room for discussion in the succeeding parts of your essay.

  1. It contains a thesis statement located in the first paragraph of the essay, preferably the first sentence.

This is essentially the log line of your argumentative essay. The professor who assigned your argumentative essay prompt wants to know what the essay is about at first glance and not have to read through a lengthy introduction that does not contain anything useful. Your thesis statement is your logline and it will be the basis of your argument essay prompts’ introduction.

  1. The transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion are clean and understandable.

You can’t just jump from one topic to another. You have to smoothly slide in your next discussion with a strong connection to the previous paragraph. This is done by using proper writing skills and grammar usage.

  1. There is a clear emphasis on the data and facts you used.

You cannot just list down the sources and numbers you used to create your argumentative essay. You need to properly explain how you found it, where you found it, and how you used it. Even if it is more of a qualitative essay, you still have to emphasize the origin of your quotes and the development of your ideas.

  1. A simple, yet impactful conclusion.

This is what you need to close it all down. You cannot leave your professor – or anyone else reading your argumentative essay – hanging. They need to know how it all ends and why they ended up there in the first place. More importantly, your conclusion has to prove that your argumentative essay is leaning heavily in your favor.

What is the most important part of an argumentative essay?

Your whole essay is important, but the keystone for your argumentative essay is your introduction. It is the first thing people will see and it is what they will continuously return to as they read through your whole essay.

Your introduction is where you will explain why you chose the topic and how you came up with the conclusion. It is essentially a condensed version of your essay, but with little mention of what really went on. That part is discussed in the body. As for your results, you may mention the final verdict, but the conclusion can elaborate on that more.

Without the introduction, you cannot hope to keep the reader hooked through the body, let alone until the conclusion of your essay. Aside from that you need to write down an introduction that prepares the reader for what they are about to expect. It has to be enticing enough in order for them to want to prove your wrong or find out whether you’ve outdone yourself and proved a thesis statement completely.

Argumentative Essay Tips on Introduction Writing

Writing a good introduction requires you to be prepared with facts and argumentative statements that have bearing. Once you are ready to start, here are some tips that will help you along the way.

  1. Explain what your topic is.

In order for this to work, the reader must know what they are about to look at. A simple sentence or two will do. You can write a brief explanation as well, in case people are not familiar with the idea you proposed. This way, even if they are not interested, they might find out something new.

  1. Defend your topic.

Make the reader see why it is important to read about your essay. You need to have creative and interesting ideas for an argumentative essay that resonates with people. Even if it is a shallow topic, the reader must be interested in it enough to know the answer to the question you posed.

  1. Explain why some people may disagree with your topic.

Obviously, you cannot choose a topic that everyone adheres to, especially since there is no such thing as a one-sided discussion between two entities. You must elaborate on why your essay is a sore point for some people, so that the audience will understand why you feel the need to defend your idea.

  1. Give the readers a play by play on what is about to happen – or what they are about read.

The introduction also poses how the whole paper will flow. This way the readers know what to expect at every turn and where they can go to when they are looking for a particular piece of information. We are not talking about a table of contents – just a simplified enumeration of what the paper is about and how it is structured.

  1. Lastly, write a stimulating thesis sentence that will leave the readers wanting more.

Although the point of a thesis statement is to put all your thoughts in one line, it must also serve as the log line that will urge the reader to want to know more about what you have come up with. Do not choose a thesis statement that you cannot defend – especially one that is inarguable. This is an argumentative essay, is it not? If you are still having difficulty with composing a good introduction, why not check some argumentative essay introduction examples as well?

There are many famous argumentative essay tips, but simplicity is the true key. If you need help, you can always find someone who is writing essays for college cheap. If you do it yourself, you can still write your essay and get the upper hand in your subject!

argumentative essayessay writingwriting tips

0 thoughts on “Argument Research Paper Introductions”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *