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TeriRuiz: ArgumentativeEssayGuidelines

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Putting together an Argument

The Claim

Claims are "debatable and controversial statements or assertions you hope to prove" (182). Since claims are assertive statements, they should not be in the form of a question (183). Many times a claim is strengthened by including a qualifier. Qualifiers are ways of limiting the scope of your argument, making it more appealing to a larger audience. Qualifiers may simply be the addition of a word or phrase, such as "usually, sometimes, in many cases" (194-195).


It's often important for your audience to understand necessary background before they'll be willing to listen to your argument. Often times, this means you need to include historical information in order to explain how a certain issue became a problem to begin with.

Good Reasons & Evidence that Supports These Reasons

A good argument likely has different kinds of persuasive appeals. These may be emotional appeals, logical appeals, such as facts and statistics, and/or appeals based on the credibility of the speaker. Give your audience multiple reasons to support your claim, and back up these reasons with solid evidence.

Anticipate Objections and Rebut Them

As contrary as it may seem, it's better to acknowledge what opponents to your position will argue, and offer a strong defense. Explain why your claim is the better argument.

An Effective Conclusion

Sum up your arguments and remind your audience of why they should agree with your position.

Work Cited

Lunsford, Andrea A., and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything's an Argument. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013. Print. Original by J. Bray

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Page last modified on March 16, 2016, at 06:17 PM CST