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Teacher Tips and Answers

Writing an Argument Essay

You've researched controversial topics in your school, community, nation, and world. You've stated a position and explored reasons for and against it. You've even outlined your argument based on whether your audience is receptive or resistant. Now it's time to write your first draft. The following activities will guide you.

Writing the Beginning Paragraph

The beginning first needs to grab the reader's attention. Then it introduces the topic and provides background leading up to your position statement. To get started with your beginning paragraph, you can experiment with different lead-writing strategies.

Write a lead sentence.

Write a different lead sentence for each strategy to capture the reader's attention. Use the examples as inspiration. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Ask a provocative question.

    What if Waterford had more dining options, including exotic foods from Africa, the South Pacific, and the Middle East?


  2. Provide a fascinating quotation.

    “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” 
    ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


  3. Provide a surprising fact.

    Food trucks have evolved from ice cream and hot dogs to Kobe steaks and calamari.


  4. Directly address the issue.

    Most people would agree that special interest lobbies meant to restrict competition result in unfair laws—except when the topic is "food trucks."


Write your beginning paragraph.

Start with your lead, and then provide background and develop a paragraph leading to your position statement.


Writing the Middle Paragraphs

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