A tutorial for students: what an argumentative research paper is

An argumentative research paper is a research paper where your goal is to argue a point and convince the reader that your point is valid or better than the opposition. The purpose of this style of writing is to investigate a topic. You should collect evidence related to the topic and evaluate it. From there you should pick your position with regard to the topic and write about it. This style of writing requires a great deal of research. Your job is to review existing literature and other empirical data such as experiments or interviews. With detailed research you are able to understand the different arguments or points of view. You can then decide to support one or the other.

Once you pick you side you should establish a thesis and present sound reasoning in support of your thesis.

When you write an argumentative research essay you should include the following components:

  1. Introduction
  2. Your introduction is where the thesis is housed. It is what sets the context of the paper. It also explains why this paper is important and why the reader should care. It is where you include your thesis statement and provide the reader with a road map of what you will cover.

  3. Body (with supporting evidence)
  4. Your body should include one idea per paragraph. Each idea should be easily read and have concrete evidence to support it. Make sure there is a logical connection to your thesis as well. Some of your paragraphs will directly support the thesis and others may indirectly support it. But you need to explain that no matter the case to your reader. With an argumentative paper you also need to explain the opposition and assess how these opinions do not align with your thesis or how they might be out of date or ill-informed. Make sure that every paragraph you have with an idea is supported with evidence. This can be facts or a quote from an expert. It can be data or logic too.

  5. Conclusion
  6. Your conclusion should leave a lasting impression on your reader. It should be effective and logical by restating the thesis and reviewing what evidence and key points you presented during the course of the paper. You can use this to propose where further research should be conducted or how this issue relates to the bigger picture.

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