How to start an argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. It’s different from an expository essay, which only presents one side. A good argumentative essay demonstrates why one side of an argument is stronger or better than the other using facts, statistics, quotes, and examples as support. Sites like online writing service provide useful tips and guidelines for crafting effective argumentative essays.

The introduction of an argumentative essay is extremely important as it sets the stage for the entire paper. A strong intro grabs the reader’s attention, provides background information on the topic, clearly states your position on the issue, and previews the main arguments you’ll make in the essay body. Follow these tips to craft a compelling introduction.

Hook the Reader

You want to start your essay with a “hook” that draws the reader in. Ask a thought-provoking question, state a startling fact or statistic, use an attention-grabbing quote, describe a vivid example or anecdote, or create a unique scenario. The goal is to grab attention right from the beginning.

For example, for an essay arguing for stricter gun control laws, you could open with a statistic on gun deaths or news of a recent tragic shooting.

Provide Background

After the hook, give some background on the topic, explain why it’s important, and briefly mention the popular positions. This provides context so readers understand the issue.

For the gun control essay, you could give statistics on gun ownership rates in different countries and summarize current laws. A strong essay also defines key terms or concepts that will be central to the argument.

State Your Position

Clearly establish your position on the issue and preview your main arguments. Do you agree or disagree with something? Are you arguing for a particular solution or policy change? Tell readers upfront so there’s no confusion about where you stand.

For gun control, you could say you believe strict laws need to be enacted given statistics on gun deaths and recent shootings. Preview that you’ll argue for expanded background checks, bans on assault weapons, etc.

Main Body

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in more detail, present evidence to support your claims, and address opposing viewpoints. Here are tips for crafting a compelling, persuasive case:

Paragraph Structure

Each body paragraph should focus on one argument or point. Begin the paragraph with a topic sentence stating your claim, followed by multiple sentences supporting it with facts, quotes, examples, statistics, etc. End by explaining why this evidence matters in context. For a complex legal argument, you may want to consider help from top law essay writing services in the UK to ensure your reasoning and evidence are air-tight.

Using the gun control example, your topic sentence could assert that background checks reduce gun crime. You’d then cite studies proving this with supporting statistics. Explain how this evidence demonstrates a need for expanding checks.

Address Opposing Views

A strong argument anticipates potential counterarguments and addresses them. After making a claim, raise an objection someone might have or an opposing viewpoint. Then rebut or refute it using logic and evidence. This makes your overall argument more credible.

For gun control, acknowledge restrictions could negatively impact hunters or people who feel safer armed. But argue the impacts on public safety outweigh these concerns based on evidence.

Varied Examples

Use a mix of evidence like facts, statistics, quotes from experts, anecdotes, analogies, and real-world examples that readers can relate to. This robust support makes your case more compelling. Sticking to just one type of evidence is less convincing.

For guns, you could cite stats on deaths, expert opinions on gun control efficacy, examples of permit systems elsewhere, similarities to car ownership regulations, etc.


Your conclusion should restate your overall position and the main points supporting it. End by explaining why your argument matters and what implications it has moving forward. Some closing techniques include:

  • Call to Action: What should readers do based on your argument? Advocate for a policy? Change behaviors? Donate time/money?
  • Prediction: What will occur if your argument is ignored/embraced? Paint a vivid picture.
  • Summary: Recap your main points and overall argument in fresh language without outright repeating earlier phrasing.
  • Closing Thought: End with a compelling idea to leave readers contemplating your argument. This ties everything together nicely.

Proofread carefully to fix any grammar, spelling, or logical issues. Strong organization, transitions, and language clarity strengthen your writing. A polished essay conveys credibility and demonstrates effort put into masterfully crafting an argument.

Following these guidelines will help you write effective, persuasive argumentative essays. Know the issue in-depth, choose a clear position, support it robustly while anticipating other views, and hammer the importance of your argument home. With practice, your skills will keep improving.