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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 and responded to objections. Now it's time to write your first draft. The following activities will guide you.

Writing the Argument Beginning

The beginning first needs to grab the reader's attention. Then it should introduce your topic and provide 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(s) 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.

    Why is gender such a taboo subject in high school?

     

  2. Provide a fascinating quotation.

    "True equality means holding everyone accountable in the same way, regardless of race, gender, faith, ethnicity, or political ideology."
    ― Monica Crowley

     

  3. Provide a surprising fact.

    Did you know more than half of female students in grades 7-12 report experiencing some form of sexual harassment?

     

  4. Directly address the issue.

    Recently a wave of women's empowerment has swept across the country, but it hasn't seemed to reach high schools.

     

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

Develop a middle paragraph for each reason that supports your position statement. Organize these paragraphs using your outline (for a receptive audience) or follow a pattern for a resistant audience.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Narrative Arguments unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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