Argument Essay

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The Art Of Delivering An Argument Essay

You might think that delivering an argument essay is fairly straightforward because all essays are supposed to be about argument, but the art of presenting a proper argument within an essay is not a skill to be taken lightly.

Argument essays format does not mean demonstrating your ability to be pugnacious and confrontational but rather, the skill of being reasoned and analytical with the issues, even, or should it be said, especially where your own personal point of view is in marked contrast to the views you are deliberating over. An A level student doing A level coursework cannot afford to get sucked into an intransigence of opinion where all that is propagated is an indignant rant aimed at avenging the audacity of the question. That is temptingly easy to slip into, but ultimately all it will show is one’s lack of sophistication at dealing with one of the most basic principles of academic rigour: that of dealing with the problem of applying proper balance.

The most ideal way for essay writers to get to grips with the complexities of writing good critical essays is to plan, plan, plan. You’d not venture into the hostile, snowy, sub-zero depths of the Arctic without at least planning on taking your jacket, so why would you begin your Macbeth essay without committing a few relevant notes to paper? More than a few, actually! The purpose of making notes is, first and foremost, for you to be sure that you actually know what it is you want to say and to be able to define that in a competent way. You also need to see that you can categorise and delineate whatever ideas you have. There are usual strategies for properly planning your essay, such as creating a ‘for’ and ‘against’ column and jotting points on each side that clearly demarcate the issues within it. It is also best to prioritise the order in which each point will be addressed in order to create some logical, ordered flow. This way, anyone reading your essay (examiners, for example) will get the sense that you fully understand the issues you are dealing with and their relative weighting in the context of the overall debate.

Don’t be tempted, having done all that planning, to eventually gloss over the relevance of certain points in your essay, or give less exploration to particularly unfavourable points. It is not mature to be unable to provide the balance all academics require in an argument essay. Unlike debating with your mates, your essay is not designed to be a conduit for your views, or to force someone to change their mind, rather it is designed (if done right) to provide the insight and exploration of the facts and issues that will help a reader become more informed, thus able to address their own thoughts on the topic without feeling they’re being press-ganged by your mob of coercive words.

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