We will discuss every arguments based on the following essay question as sample, to illustrate our point.
Sample Question : Some people believe that children should be allowed to stay at home and play until they are six or seven years old. Others believe that it is important that young children to go to school as soon as possible. What do you think are the advantages of attending school from a young age?
- Do not use Probabilistic words / phrases :
When presenting your argument, do not use can, may or other probability words. Us of probabilistic words in your argument, make them weak. And, in an argumentative essay, which one would you prefer, present a strong argument or a weak one. For example,
The advantage of going to school early is that they can learn discipline. ==> WRONG
The advantage of going to school early is that they learn discipline. ==> CORRECT
- Do not start a your paragraph with long sentence.
This makes the readers confused on the message you are trying to convey. As the book section contains section heading, then only the long descriptive texts, so should your paragraph do i.e Short Clear section heading sentence, followed by follow-up descriptive texts .
For example, a book contains the Heading text “Introduction” and does not directly divulge into introduction text. Imagine how difficult would it had been for the reader, if the reader will have to decode by themselves the headings, by going through the text itself. Would you prefer such a book with no sections clearly marked and defined ?
Well, if you don’t then why do you, yourself write a essay which has no clear “Introductory short sentence” corollary to “Heading” sections defined ? Hence always use a short and clear introductory sentence in a essay that is corollary to the “Section headings” in the book.a. Introductory Sentence – Short and brief, corollary to Book Heading .
Why : Short- sweet -clear
e.g Firstly, the advantage of going school at an early age , is that learning can be much more easier. ==> WRONG
Firstly, the advantage of early age school, is that learning becomes comparatively easier. ==> Correct
Compare and Contrast yourself, which sentence looks more like a “Introduction”
b. Explanatory Description : Now divulge into the description. Clarify your introductory sentence. This will serve as the conceptual explanation to your Introductory Sentence. Include the following, as relevant / applicable:
– Why ?
– How ?
– When ?
c. Practical Example : The purpose of the practical example, is to solidify your conceptual explanation with the real world example, so that if the readers can correlate your concept to the real world example and understand it better.
d. Conclusion : As with any section of the book, write a one liner concluding sentence, emphasizing your concept. Remember, your conclusion should be short and be clear. It should never introduce newer concepts, as it confuses the reader. For example,
For the discussion, it becomes evidently clear that, early age schooling makes learning much more easier to late schooling.
- Writing strong points :
a. Compare and Contrast : If a essay illustrates multiple perspective, then make sure that the argument you are making makes perfect sense when compared and contrasted to the other side.
For example, for the above essay question, your argument should never be generic enough or applicable across both. For example
“The advantage of early schooling is that they learn discipline.” ==> WRONG
“The advantage of early schooling is that they learn discipline more easily.” ==> CORRECT
The first argument, if we examine further, we find that is applicable for both young and old age children and hence becomes the weak argument.
- Make sure you are answering your question right :
Sometimes, you might think you are answering the question, but if fact you might not be answering.
For example, answering the above question with
“In my opinion, the advantages of…..” ==> Incorrect
“I think , the advantages of…..” ==> Correct
Since the question is explicitly asking for what you think. Although subtle difference between the meaning of think and opinion, being that “think : direct one’s mind towards someone or something;” vs “opinion : a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” i.e If question think is forcing you more towards the idea, you cannot use “opinion” hence.
The safer bet is to always the word as in the question itself.
- Do not use abstract words / concepts :
When presenting your ideas in an argument, do not use abstract words or argument. For example,
“Young mind is fresh, hence can catch concepts easier” ==> Incorrect
The phrase “Young mind is fresh”, is an abstract concept. It can meaning anything and cannot be directly correlated to “catching concepts”. In fact the fresh might be in-fact also be used contrarily as “Because young mind is fresh, its harder to catch concepts easily, because the necessary foundations have not been learnt yet.””Generally, young minds catch concepts easily, hence early schooling is advantageous” = > Incorrect
Do not use abstract word such as “Generally”, because it already is making your argument weaker.
“Young minds can catch things easily” = > Incorrect
Thing can mean anything. It’s abstract and hence unclear.
- Do not leave room for interpretation or misinterpretation, when writing your essays
- Answer all portions of the question : Your essay must answer all portions of the question. It is not sufficient to answer the question partially.
For example “Popular international events eases tension and release patriotic emotions”
Wrong “To just answer releases tension’
- Include reference to your points :
Based on the above discussed points ,… and …., hence it can be concluded that “Popular international event eases tension and releases patriotic emotions”.
- Use Passive voice in conclusion : In conclusion, use passive voice to conclude, if you have used active voice in the introduction and vice versa.
This prevent you from repeating the same sentence again in introduction and conclusion. Furthermore, more importantly it shows that you have nice command over active and passive voice, which is a strong point to score good in your essay.
- Clarity on what your main idea and supporting idea is : In conclusion, include your main idea vs supporting idea clearly.
For example, Popular events fosters healthy competition strengthening international relations.
It’s unclear which is the main idea and which one is the supporting idea, use words such as thus. e.g
Popular events fosters healthy competition and hence ultimately strengthens international relations.
Writing Strong Conclusions : Conclusions should include.
– Reference to your earlier idea
– Points should be clear i.e
– main idea vs supporting idea e.g use thus, by to show relation between main and supporting idea
– Strong conclusion e.g “it can be ultimately concluded that”
– Conclusion should be clear
– Use of voice i.e active vs passive voice.
Your main idea should always have 2 to 3 supporting ideas e.g one stick easy to break vs 3 sticks in bundle hard to break.
Question : I cannot write strong argument, what should I do?
Answer : Its easy, Come up with a point and to make it strong, ask 3-5 why’s until you can correlate it with its end user -implication.
For example, for the point “Common language makes it easy for communication” – point
Ask 3-5 why, as in
1. Why is making communication easy important ? – To exchange ideas, news, information easily
2. Then ask Why is sharing information important ? – If you have trouble answering why, try comparing and contrasting i.e what if no one shares information ? The answer would be – everyone will be dumb, the world will be dumber.
3. Then ask again, what happens if everyone is dumb? The world will be worse off, with everyone dumb. Everyone will suffer.