A clear sense of argument is crucial to all types of academic essays. Thoughts that come to our mind when we encounter natural or cultural phenomena have to be ordered in a specific way so others can receive them and respond. Such an exchange is the main goal of the scholarly enterprise. The conventions of the academic essay are both logical and playful. Any well-written essay must demonstrate to the reader a mind developing a thesis, supporting it with evidence, and keeping the moment of discovery.
Purpose and Idea
An essay should necessarily have a purpose. When composing such a paper, one should not simply transfer data from one place to another or demonstrate that he/she has processed specific material. If an author does so, that would be extremely boring. Instead, the writer should strive to make the best possible case for a unique idea he or she has come up with after conducting research.
When immersing yourself in the material, you start discovering patterns and generating insights. From multiple possibilities, one thought seems to be the most promising. You should try to ensure it is unique and significant since it is senseless to argue for something already known and obvious.
Thesis and Development
The paper’s thesis is the main point an author is trying to make, using the best evidence he/she can collect. A thesis should develop during the course of composing drafts, but everything that happens in the essay must be directed toward proving its validity.
Often, students are worried about how they can generate a new idea about something that scholars have spent years exploring. But students can provide original opinions on various scales. What is required is an honest effort to create originality, given the requirements of the assignment.
It is a good exercise during the writing process to stop from time to time and reword your thesis as briefly as you can so a reader without any knowledge in this field could understand its meaning and significance. Do not avoid complexity when composing a thesis, but make sure you are able to distill its essence.
Once you get a solid understanding of the point you are going to argue, you can intrigue the audience by first asking questions and thoroughly building a case for the validity of your idea. One more good way to start is with a provocative observation, which will invite the readers to follow your own way of discovery.
The Tension of Argument
An argument involves some tension that comes from the basic asymmetry between the one who wants to convince and those who have to be convinced. The common ground they share is the reason. The writer’s goal is to make a case so that the reader would be persuaded of the reasonableness of the thesis.
To ensure this, the first step is gathering and ordering evidence, categorizing it by kind and strength. You might also choose to move from the smallest piece of evidence to the greatest. Or begin with the most persuasive and then present other supporting details.
Whatever strategy you choose, it is crucial to review evidence that could be used against your point of view and come up with responses to expected objections. This is the main concept of counterargument. If you cannot find anything to be said against your idea, it is likely obvious or vacuous. If, however, too much can be said against it, you should probably think about another thesis.
The Structure of Argument
The main thing about the academic essay is persuasion, and your argument’s structure significantly affects this. To convince, you have to set the stage, provide a context, and choose how you are going to present your evidence. Make sure to describe the objective of an essay swiftly, by asking a question that will lead to the thesis, or making a thesis statement. From the very beginning, your readers have to know where they are going. Avoid the mistake of merely listing evidence without the logic of presentation in the body part of your essay.
The most common argumentative structure is deductive: beginning with a generalization or assertion and then supporting it. Such a pattern can be used for a single paragraph as well as for a whole paper. One more common structure is inductive: facts, examples, or observations are presented, and the conclusion is made from them. There is no perfect structure; the perfect is one that shows a focused mind making sense of the topic.