Essays on Cost, Buchanan and Thirlby, ed.

A persuasive thesis statement is a one-sentence description of your topic AND the argument that you plan to make. For example, if I was arguing about the use of the death penalty in the U.S., my thesis statement would probably look like one of the following examples:

in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

As you begin the research process, ask yourself:

To write a persuasive paper, you’ll need to use evidence and good reasons to convince others to agree with your point of view on a particular subject.

Typical Research Paper on Biofuels

While some teachers consider and argument papers to be basically the same thing, it’s usually safe to assume that an argument paper presents a stronger claim—possibly to a more resistant audience.

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Think about yourself as a child, asking your parents for permission to do something that they would normally say no to. You were far more likely to get them to say yes if you anticipated and addressed all of their concerns before they expressed them. You did not want to belittle those concerns, or make them feel dumb, because this only put them on the defensive, and lead to a conclusion that went against your wishes.
The same is true in your writing.

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These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

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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.

You MUST choose one side or the other when you write an argument paper!

…use strictly moral or religious claims as support for your argument

Select a good topic! If you don't care about your topic, how are you going to get anyone else to? You’ll also need to conduct effective research, obtaining facts and evidence to support your ideas.

…use weak qualifiers like “I believe,” “I feel,” or “I think”—just tell us!

…address the opposing side’s argument and refute their claims

Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.

…assume the audience will agree with you about any aspect of your argument

This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.

This resource describes some steps you can take to better understand the requirements of your writing assignments. This resource works for either in-class, teacher-led discussion or for personal use.