Best Ways to Write a Balanced Argumentative Essay

In a successful argumentative essay, you need to use hard evidence and draw on reliable sources to prove your argument. Your argument must be logic-based and you must disprove any opposing arguments.

Argumentative essays are different from persuasive essays which tend to be less formal and more emotional. In an argumentative essay, you must argue that one point of view is the correct one and back it up with solid evidence and logic.

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Choose a topic

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You may be presented with a topic for an argumentative essay or have to select one. If you have to select a topic, make sure it is a debatable one with two valid opposing perspectives. The opposing argument has to be strong enough to need a good explanation of why it’s wrong. Try to stay away from broad topics that are too general and make sure you will be able to find enough evidence from credible sources.

Do your research   

You will need to gather relevant evidence from a variety of sources to support both sides of the argument. You will also need to cite all your sources and write a biography for your essay. It’s vital to keep records of all your sources and know what citation style you need to use. When you research the arguments you can start creating your essay outline as you will discover what main points you need to cover.  

Write your thesis statement 

To write a clear thesis statement you must state your position on the topic concisely in a sentence or two. What do you want to convince readers of or remember after reading your essay? Knowing this will help to clarify your structure, format, and what evidence you need to include. If your thesis is weak, your essay will be much harder to write.

Decide how to structure your essay

There are a number of different ways to structure an argumentative essay. In your introduction, you will present your thesis, offer context, and make readers want to find out more.

Each paragraph in the body should cover a single point and relevant, credible evidence that supports it. You will also cover the arguments of opponents and discredit them with solid facts and logic.

Your conclusion will revisit your thesis, summarize your key points, and reinforce why your position is the most reasonable one.    

A classic structure (Aristotelian) is straightforward and is as follows:

  • Introduce the argument
  • Explain your perspective
  • Explain the opposing point of view
  • Refute the arguments for this view one by one
  • Present evidence for your point of view
  • Close your argument

Write your first draft

When you write your first draft it helps to closely follow your outline. Elaborate on each point and add enough empirical data to support your thesis statement. In your conclusion, leave readers with a final thought or broader implication of the topic. 

Revise and edit

Your first draft is likely to be far from perfect. Revising and editing often takes more time than writing the initial draft. Start by proofreading your essay for errors in grammar, punctuation, and style. It often helps to read it out loud. This will help you to pick up redundancies, unclear logic, and other style issues. You can work on improving your word choice and sentence structure. It is also important to check that you have quoted all your sources correctly.  


An argumentative essay has a central argument that you must establish and defend throughout your essay. You must convince your readers that your argument is valid by presenting credible supporting evidence and logically refuting opposing arguments. Writing an argumentative essay can improve your research skills, develop your critical thinking, and make you into a more confident writer.