Mistakes to Avoid in your Argumentative EssayWednesday, August 25th, 2010
Argumentative essays can be difficult to write!
When you write an argumentative essay, you are basically trying to prove your point by using logic and reason. In these essays, the writer demonstrates that one idea (their own) is more valid than another. By using a series of procedures and writing techniques, argumentative essays persuade the reader to adopt the same point of view they are expressing or even taking an action based on the reading. The purpose is almost the same as advertising, even when in the last one, the action is always the same: buy.
Many students make some mistakes when writing argumentative essays. Here we will show you how to avoid these mistakes.
Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong topic
If you tried to write a persuasive essay about the colours of the American flag, you’ll surely fail: there are no doubts about that question! That is why, when writing your essay, you should always choose a topic which must be controversial, such as capital punishment, affirmative action, euthanasia, immigration controls or globalisation. The topic, basically, should be an unsolved problem.
Mistake #2: Not doing enough research
We all tend to make a personal opinion on controversial topics as mentioned before. But you should not believe that reading a few articles in the local newspaper and speaking about affirmative action with your uncle qualifies you to write about it.
Before actually starting to write, do a good research and be well informed about your topic. A visit to the library would be a great idea. Direct quotes from experts in the topic are other valuable source of information.
Mistake #3: Letting your emotions guide you
Of course you must choose your own position in the essay you write, but you should do so by taking into account real facts that support it. Do not appeal to the reader’s feelings or beliefs but base your whole essay on logic and reason. For example, you can’t support euthanasia by saying “I saw my poor mother suffer for months”, but you can provide actual facts, such as a survey on how many patients would choose to end a terminal disease if given the chance.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the opposite point of view
Don’t write your essay as if yours was the only possible undebatable truth. Of course, if you have chosen a statement and you are trying to persuade people about it, that means a different statement is possible. As a writer, you must cope with it. You should provide the reader with the opposing argument as well, in order to refute it with evidence and examples that support your own statement. In some section of your argumentative essay, you should identify the opposite statement’s main points, and eventually prove them wrong. Reductio ad absurdum is the best resource to use in this part of your essay.
One last common mistake we must avoid is downloading free essays from the Internet. It is so easy to get caught that’s just not worth it… Consider buying a 100% original and unique custom written paper instead.