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Effective Ideas for an Argumentative Research Paper

An argumentative research paper should persuade people to share your position on the subject. Writing this kind of paper is always a challenging job. Here are suggestions on how to do it well.

  • Pick a controversial topic you have a strong opinion on. It does not matter whether it is consistent with the generally accepted view on this issue or not.
  • List several arguments from each side. Think of which sounds more convincing and why.
  • Gather as much specific evidence from both sides – facts, statistics, and examples – as possible. To argue any subject, you need a profound knowledge of it.
  • Review your initial stance. As you discover facts you did not know before, you may feel a need to change your position. Do it, and make sure that you use these powerful pieces of evidence in your paper.
  • Study the arguments of the opposite side. The better you understand what your opponents believe in, the more effectively you can persuade them to change their views.
  • Put your weakest argument in the middle. Your first and last ones should be the most powerful.
  • Back your arguments with the strongest pieces of evidence you find. Use only evidence from credible sources. Cite the works of experts that support your view.
  • Do not ignore the opposite view. Explain the reasons of your opponents. Think of what they want to achieve. Craft your arguments to persuade them that your way is a better means to achieve the same.
  • Be respectful towards the other side. Give your opponents some consideration. If you recognize that there is a reason behind their views, they will be more willing to listen to your arguments.
  • Remember that the audience reading your paper might include both supporters and opponents of the point you are trying to prove. Your task is to win the opponents over to your side; not to offend, criticize, or mock them. Be assertive but not peremptory. Believe in your correctness but remain open to discussion. Focus on the strengths of your approach rather than on the flaws of the opposite view.

There are three models for organizing a persuasive paper:

  • Give the reasons of the opposite side first, then your arguments.
  • Give your arguments first, then the reasons of the opposite side.
  • Intersperse the arguments: the first of the opposite side followed by the first of yours, the second of your opponents followed by the second of yours, and so on.

Any of them might work for your paper. Experiment to find the one you will be most comfortable with.

Posted by July 7th, 2016