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ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

An argumentative essay is a piece of formal or semi-formal writing. It can be:


 A for-and-against essay in which we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a specific topic;
 An opinion essay in which we present our opinion on a particular topic;
 An essay providing solutions to problems in which we discuss a problem and its causes as well as the expected
results or consequences of our suggestions;
 A discursive essay in which we should discuss a subject as broadly as possible without losing direction or flow.

USEFUL TIPS FOR ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS

Argumentative writing can be used in letters to someone in authority (e.g. a local politician, the editor of a newspaper)
Before starting to write your essay you should first make a plan.
Use formal style: do not include colloquial English or short forms.
Write well-developed paragraphs.
Use quotations. Quotations are a particularly useful way to start or end your piece of writing. Use a dictionary of quotations
to help you and include the name of the person you are quoting and, if necessary the occupation.
You should use a different paragraph for each point you make. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence which
summarizes the main idea of the paragraph. Give examples and reasons to support and justify your point of view in the rest
of the paragraph.
Avoid strong feelings. Don’t say: “It is impossible to disagree with me/ People who believe that …. are stupid/Everybody
hates… It is absurd to believe…”
Use generalizations: e.g. “Children assume/regard”, but do not use overgeneralizations: e.g. “All children assume that…”
Do not use strong personal expressions: e.g. “I know, I am sure”, use milder language e.g. In my view/It seems/appears to
me that/In my opinion/I tend to believe that…”
Use linking and sequencing words.
Make reference to other sources: e.g. Police officials believe that…
Give examples, not personal thoughts: e.g. ”Excessive intake of alcohol can damage the liver”
Do not refer blindly to statistics unless you are certain of a source. Don’t say: e.g. According to statistics, my statement
about students is precise”
Avoid clichéd introductions: e.g. “Since the old days…”

USEFUL EXPRESSIONS AND LINKING WORDS/PHRASES

To introduce the topic: Most people believe/claim that, As some of us know, It is often said that…,Everyone often
says/mentions/claims/goes on…I’d like to begin by…The first point I would like to make is…I don’t agree with the
statement, I couldn’t agree more that…
To list and add points: In the first place, To start/to begin with, Secondly, Thirdly, Finally, In addition (to this),
Furthermore, Moreover, Besides, Also, On the one hand… apart from, what is more, as well as, not to mention (the fact)
that, also, not only … but also/as well, both … and, There is another side to the issue/question/argument of…
To introduce or list advantages: The main/first/most important advantage of…. One/another/an additional advantage of…
One point of view in favour of… It is often suggested/ believed/ argued that… Some/many people suggest/feel/argue
that…Some/many people are in favour of/are convinced that…. One (very convincing) point/argument in favour of… /
against, A further common criticism of… / It could be argued that…..It is often claimed/suggested
It is widely argued maintained that…..It is generally felt/believed/held
To introduce or list disadvantages: The main/most important disadvantage/drawback of… One/another/an additional
disadvantage of… one point/argument against… Some/many people are against…
To introduce examples/reasons/results: For example/instance, such as, like, in particular, therefore, for this reason, because,
as, since, as a result, for which reason, subsequently, which is why, as a result of this/which…one example of… is…
particularly, especially, This is (clearly) illustrated/shown by the fact that… One/A clear/striking/ typical example of (this)
… The fact that…. shows/illustrates that…
To show contrast: On the other hand, however, still, but, nonetheless, nevertheless, although, even though, despite/in spite
of (the fact that)…, alternatively, whereas, while, on the one hand… on the other hand….there are many arguments
against/in favour of… Some/many/mostpeople/experts/scientists/skeptics/critics claim/suggest/argue/feel that
They advocate(+ing/noun)/support the view that…/oppose the view that…/ are in favour of/against…/are of the opinion
that/convinced that…/are opposed to…They maintain/believe/point out/agree/hold that… ,yet, even so, it may be
said/argued/claimed that,…Others/many people oppose this viewpoint/strongly disagree…, claim/feel/believe this
argument is incorrect/misguided…. Although, though, even though, while, whilst, whereas, regardless of the fact that
Opponents of … argue/believe/claim that…The fact that… contradicts the belief/idea that…While it is true to say that…,
in fact…While/Although …, it cannot be denied that…
To emphasise a point:
clearly, obviously, it is obvious, naturally, of course, needless to say, indeed
To express reality:
In fact, the fact (of the matter) is, actually, in practice, it is a fact that, in effect
To make general statements:
as a (general) rule, generally, in general, on the whole, by and large, in most cases
To make partially correct statements:
to a certain extent/degree, to some extent/degree, in a way/sense, this is partly true (but), to a limited extent, there is some
truth in (this), in some cases, up to a point
To explain/clarify a point:
in other words, that is to say, this/which means that
To express cause: owing to, due to (the fact that), on account of, on the grounds that, given that, because, as, since
To express effect: therefore, thus, as a result/consequence, consequently, so, for this reason, if… were to happen, … the
effect/result would be…
To express intention: to, so as to, in order to, so that, with the intention of (+ing)
To introduce a conclusion: In conclusion, to conclude/sum up, all in all, finally, lastly, all things considered, taking
everything into account/consideration, therefore, on balance, consequently… Finally/Lastly,…… it can be said/claimed
that ………… it seems/appears that…………… it would seem that………… it is likely/unlikely/possible/foreseeable that
……… it is clear/obvious that………. there is no/little doubt that …………………. it is true to say that ………….
although it must be said that ……… it may be concluded/said that … ……………it is my belief/opinion that ……. I
(firmly) believe/feel/think that ………I am convinced that… I am inclined to believe that ……I (do not) agree that/with …