How To Excel In Writing An Outstanding Argumentative Research Paper

Consider the following suggestions while writing your argumentative research paper:

  1. Write a strong thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be ONE sentence at the end of your introduction. In your thesis, state clearly what you are arguing. Then, very briefly discuss how you will prove that statement. Avoid saying “in this paper I will”; instead, just state your argument like a fact. Here is an example of a good thesis statement:

    • “Adopting animals is better than buying pets from pet stores because it saves animal lives, doesn’t contribute to unethical breeding practices, and adoption fees help other shelter animals receive medical care.”

  2. Your body paragraphs should follow the structure set up by your thesis statement, so if you were writing a paper based on the above statement, the first paragraph should explain how adopting pets saves lives, the second paragraph should explain how it doesn’t contribute to unethical breeding practices, and the third paragraph should explain how adoption fees helps other shelter pets.

  3. When you are writing your body paragraphs, be very thorough and assume that your reader doesn’t know anything about the subject. If there is something you are discussing that isn’t common sense, make sure to explain it in detail. For example, if you were writing the above essay, you might not need to explain why saving animal lives is good, but you would want to describe the unethical breeding practices and prove why they are unethical. Always give more information, rather than less!

  4. Never use “I” statements. Your argumentative paper should be based on facts, not opinions. Never say “I believe” or “I think”; you can just state your opinion and then prove it by providing evidence from your sources. For example, instead of saying “I think that too many cats and dogs are killed because they can’t find homes,” simply say “Too many cats and dogs are killed because they can’t find homes.” Then, follow up that sentence with two or three sentences proving it, using statistics, research, and cold hard facts.

  5. Anticipate arguments. Think about what someone who disagrees with you might say in a debate, and address their argument in your paper. For example, someone might say something like: “it doesn’t matter if shelter animals are killed, because they don’t have real emotions or thoughts.” Take the time to find research that refutes this, and address the issue in your paper. You could write something like: “some people believe that animal lives don’t matter because they don’t have emotions or thoughts like humans do, but research shows that animals lead rich inner lives. For example, in one study…”

  6. Cite your sources properly. Never use someone else’s ideas or research without giving them credit! Every piece of information in your paper that comes from an outside source should be cited properly. If you’re not sure whether you need to cite something, cite it anyway, just to be safe!

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