Basic features of an essay arguing a position (Essay 3)

What are the key elements of this type of essay?

• A well-presented issue

To inform readers about an issue’s seriousness and arouse readers’ concern, writers may

give examples or statistics that show how many people are affected by the issue and how they are affected

use scenarios or anecdotes that resonate with readers’ own experience and raise their concern

quote authorities or research to show that the issue deserves attention.

• A well-presented position

Are the statements asserted to be facts widely accepted as true and complete?

Are cited authorities or sources trustworthy?

• An effective counterargument

Does the writer respond to possible objections readers might raise?

Does the writer acknowledge other concerns or other points of view?

Does the writer concede an objection and modifying the argument?

Does the writer refute readers’ possible objections?

• A readable plan

Essays arguing a position need to explain the issue, provide a reasoned argument, and counter argue objections. To make sure their essays are easy to read, writers usually include the following:

a forecast of the argument

key words introduced in the thesis and a forecasting statement

topic sentences introducing paragraphs

repeated use of key words

clear transitional words and phrases


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