What is an argumentative essay? what are the features of argumentative essay? What is the three paragraph structure in argumentative essay?

The process of writing an argumentative essay, or any essay for that matter, is the same as discursive essay. The basic structure—

  1. Introduction
  2. Main body
  3. Conclusion

Apparently, the purpose of writing an argumentative essay is different from discursive essay. an argumentative essay demands the writer to stand on a issue. The main purpose of argumentative essay is to persuade the reader—by presenting facts, statistics, evidence etc.

An argumentative essay involves….. 

  • Research
  • Investigation
  • Collection
  • Analysis

The basic difference between discursive essay and the argumentative essay is in the pre-writing task.

 Keep the following points in mind while writing an argumentative essay

  • Though the writer has to take stand for either side of the issue, the writer should first present both the sides of the argument. Presenting both pros and cons of the issue shows the evidence of writer gathering the data and at the same time its shows knowledge and maturity of the writer.

Conclusion of argumentative essay is unlike that of an discursive essay. After presenting both pros and cons of the essay the writer should re-address the topic.

The basic structure of argumentative essay doesn’t differ from discursive essay.

But there are few points to remember

  1. The introduction paragraph though mentions the meaning of the topic, but by the end of the writing the argument should take stand with either of the side in argumentative essay
  2. In the second paragraph the writer can present pros and continue it with cons in the next paragraph, or vice verse
  3. The role of linker and cohesive markers is important in effecting a smooth transition of ideas within the paragraph and among the paragraph
  4. Conclusion should be logical giving an overview of the preceding paragraph
  5. Even though it is argumentative essay, the writer’s tone should remain logical and balanced. The writer should not use an emotional or personal tone, expect for expressing individual opinion or clarifying the stand taken.

Three possible structures of an argumentative essay

Structure I:

Para1: Introduction

Para2: supporting argument 1

Para3: supporting argument 2

Para4: opposing argument or arguments with strong point of view

Para5: conclusion

Structure II:

Para1: Introduction

Para2: opposing argument or arguments with  refutations

para3: Supporting arguments 1

para4: Supporting arguments 2

para5: Conclusion

Structure III

Para1: Introduction

Para2: Opposing argument 1 and refutation

Para3: Opposing argument 2 and refutation

Para4: Opposing argument 3 and refutation

Para5: Conclusion


  1. Choose an appropriate title, if the heading is in topic sentence. As this will help to convey main idea easily
  2. Brainstorm, prepare an outline and develop the thesis statement. These are important preliminary steps
  3. Use linker to connect ideas within the essay
  4. Start and end, if you wish, with a quotation, statement or a rhetorical question to make the essay impressive
  5. Remember the three stage of writing: pre-writing, writing, post-writing
  6. Get your evidences of writing right
  7. Be balanced and impersonal tone
  8. Use simple language and appropriate vocabulary and eliminate grammatical errors
  9. Use different paragraphs for different ideas and try to connect them
  10. Be cautious while editing in the third stage i.e., post-writing stage

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