Argumentative Research Paper Example

This article offers five steps to follow when writing an argumentative research paper on gun control. The goal of an argumentative research paper is to take a clear stance on the topic of gun control and persuade your reader that your interpretation is viable by referencing reliable sources.

For this paper, your thesis should convey your stance on an issue related to gun control. Then, you will make a series of claims designed to further your arguments by providing convincing evidence.

 

Step 1: Write a Persuasive Thesis

You will be taking a strong stance either for or against gun control. Your claim will help you to establish your main thesis. You will include this thesis in the introduction paragraph. Start by reading a variety of information about different perspectives on gun control.

For example, you may write your research paper on whether or not you think gun control should be more or less enforced by the government, or whether or not you think gun control has beneficial or detrimental influences on society. When you narrow your topic, you can begin researching to provide evidence to support your stance on the issue.

Your thesis should be no more than one or two complete sentences.

Step 2: Gather Reliable Evidence

Once you have a working persuasive thesis, you may begin to research your topic. Find at least four reliable references to support your position on gun control and take note of key issues and ideas. You may highlight or bookmark key facts and quotations that will be used as persuasive evidence for each of your claim paragraphs. Make a list of facts and statistics related to gun control, or important moments in that subject’s legal and social history. Remember that you are collecting evidence to directly support your own perspective on the issue.

Keep track of your sources as these will become your working bibliography.

Step 3: Outline your Research Paper

After gathering evidence from your research, begin writing. Start with an outline by first identifying at least three individual persuasive claims to support your stance. These claims will become the topic sentences for each claim paragraph in your paper.

An outline will help you to identify the order in which you will present your persuasive claims. Include your thesis in the introduction paragraph, and remember that your claim paragraphs will form the bulk of the body of your essay.

Your conclusion should be a synthesis of the research you have presented and can also summarize your persuasive stance on the issue.

Your outline can be created as a simple list of bullet points. Alternately, you may choose to use index cards or a visual template to organize your ideas. Your individual claims should each further persuade your reader to agree with your arguments for or against gun control.

Step 4. Draft your Paper

Using the WriteWell Template, Argumentative Research Paper on Gun control, begin to write your research paper. Present your claims by starting with your thesis and providing essential background details to your reader.

Each claim paragraph should include a topic sentence. The topic sentence makes a persuasive claim to bolster your argument for or against gun control. Support each claim by including and citing at least one piece of evidence drawn from your research.

Ways to support your claims include providing facts and statistics, citing historical references, newsworthy events and direct quotations from experts on gun control.

Depending on the length requirements for your paper, you may include as many claim paragraphs as necessary to support your persuasive thesis on gun control.

Your conclusion should summarize your thesis without repeating it. Additionally, your conclusion can provide a “call to action” in which you provide your reader with something they can do to support your stance on gun control.

Step 5: Revise your Paper and Add a Bibliography/References Page

Next, begin the editing process on your first draft. You may begin with a basic spelling or grammar check.

Ascertain that your research paper has a clear introduction including a thesis in which you convey your stance on gun control. Your paper must also have a body and a conclusion. Check that your claims are unique from one another and not redundant.

Check that you have included the required number of references and given credit to the sources you consulted or quoted.

Check that your thesis has been accurately summarized in your conclusion, and that your conclusion reflects the claims you have made about gun control.

Finally, include your Bibliography/References page using an established academic format such a MLA or APA. Alternately you may use an online reference generator such as EasyBib.com or CitationMachine.net.

Step 1: Write a Persuasive Thesis

You will be taking a strong stance either for or against gun control. Your claim will help you to establish your main thesis. You will include this thesis in the introduction paragraph. Start by reading a variety of information about different perspectives on gun control.

For example, you may write your research paper on whether or not you think gun control should be more or less enforced by the government, or whether or not you think gun control has beneficial or detrimental influences on society. When you narrow your topic, you can begin researching to provide evidence to support your stance on the issue.

Your thesis should be no more than one or two complete sentences.

Step 2: Gather Reliable Evidence

Once you have a working persuasive thesis, you may begin to research your topic. Find at least four reliable references to support your position on gun control and take note of key issues and ideas. You may highlight or bookmark key facts and quotations that will be used as persuasive evidence for each of your claim paragraphs. Make a list of facts and statistics related to gun control, or important moments in that subject’s legal and social history. Remember that you are collecting evidence to directly support your own perspective on the issue.

Keep track of your sources as these will become your working bibliography.

Step 3: Outline your Research Paper

After gathering evidence from your research, begin writing. Start with an outline by first identifying at least three individual persuasive claims to support your stance. These claims will become the topic sentences for each claim paragraph in your paper.

An outline will help you to identify the order in which you will present your persuasive claims. Include your thesis in the introduction paragraph, and remember that your claim paragraphs will form the bulk of the body of your essay.

Your conclusion should be a synthesis of the research you have presented and can also summarize your persuasive stance on the issue.

Your outline can be created as a simple list of bullet points. Alternately, you may choose to use index cards or a visual template to organize your ideas. Your individual claims should each further persuade your reader to agree with your arguments for or against gun control.

Step 4. Draft your Paper

Using the WriteWell Template, Argumentative Research Paper on Gun control, begin to write your research paper. Present your claims by starting with your thesis and providing essential background details to your reader.

Each claim paragraph should include a topic sentence. The topic sentence makes a persuasive claim to bolster your argument for or against gun control. Support each claim by including and citing at least one piece of evidence drawn from your research.

Ways to support your claims include providing facts and statistics, citing historical references, newsworthy events and direct quotations from experts on gun control.

Depending on the length requirements for your paper, you may include as many claim paragraphs as necessary to support your persuasive thesis on gun control.

Your conclusion should summarize your thesis without repeating it. Additionally, your conclusion can provide a “call to action” in which you provide your reader with something they can do to support your stance on gun control.

Step 5: Revise your Paper and Add a Bibliography/References Page

Next, begin the editing process on your first draft. You may begin with a basic spelling or grammar check.

Ascertain that your research paper has a clear introduction including a thesis in which you convey your stance on gun control. Your paper must also have a body and a conclusion. Check that your claims are unique from one another and not redundant.

Check that you have included the required number of references and given credit to the sources you consulted or quoted.

Check that your thesis has been accurately summarized in your conclusion, and that your conclusion reflects the claims you have made about gun control.

Finally, include your Bibliography/References page using an established academic format such a MLA or APA. Alternately you may use an online reference generator such as EasyBib.com or CitationMachine.net.

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper

Summary:

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 01:03:40

The following sections outline the generally accepted structure for an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and that your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

You may also use the following Purdue OWL resources to help you with your argument paper:

Introduction

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. Why am I reading it?
  3. What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions by doing the following:

  1. Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
  2. State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
  3. State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

For exploratory essays, your primary research question would replace your thesis statement so that the audience understands why you began your inquiry. An overview of the types of sources you explored might follow your research question.

If your argument paper is long, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, and the opposition to your position. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing. Your forecast could read something like this:

First, I will define key terms for my argument, and then I will provide some background of the situation. Next, I will outline the important positions of the argument and explain why I support one of these positions. Lastly, I will consider opposing positions and discuss why these positions are outdated. I will conclude with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

When writing a research paper, you may need to use a more formal, less personal tone. Your forecast might read like this:

This paper begins by providing key terms for the argument before providing background of the situation. Next, important positions are outlined and supported. To provide a more thorough explanation of these important positions, opposing positions are discussed. The paper concludes with some ideas for taking action and possible directions for future research.

Ask your instructor about what tone you should use when providing a forecast for your paper.

These are very general examples, but by adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.

Thesis checklist

Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.

This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:

Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:

  • A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
  • A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
  • A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
  • A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
  • Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 42). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.

Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:

  • A good thesis is unified:
    • NOT: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them

(floppy). vs.

  •  
    • BETTER: Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).

  • A good thesis is specific:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.

  • Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis:
    • NOT: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs.

    • BETTER: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.

Quick Checklist:

_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above

_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment

_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable

_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal

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