In argument essays, students develop and defend a position according to the demands of the given prompt.  The overall goal of argument is to provide appropriate and sufficient evidence for a central claim.

Effective argument consists of the following elements:

  1. Claim—arguable points the writer poses, which he or she will later defend

  2. Data—evidence to back up a claim, including facts, statistics, examples, illustrations, personal experience, or expert opinions

  3. Commentary (known in argument as Warrant)—a discussion of how the data provided prove the claim (often answering the question “So what?”; this piece of the argument elaborates on how the reader should interpret the data the student provides

  4. An acknowledgement (and refutation) of the counter-argument at some point in the essay

What to avoid

  • using evidence or explanations that are insufficient or less convincing

  • failing to develop the argument (see steps 1-3) or demonstrating lapses in coherence

Please see the PDF file below for an Argument essay sample.