Online Guide to Writing and Research

Chapter 8: Other Frequently Assigned Papers

Writing Arguments

Steps to Writing an Argument

Introduce Your Argument

When we prepare an argument, we have the opportunity to critically analyze our own ideas and the ideas of others, to weigh evidence and claims and make judgments about them, to examine our methods of thinking and investigating, and to present our ideas effectively and persuasively. Writing an effective argument follows certain steps:

Introduce your argument by setting the context.
Your introduction should draw your reader into your subject and build common ground for your argument. Establish your context for writing the argument and the context for your topic. In your introduction, establish your tone, style, and credentials—tell the reader why you are competent to write this argument. Clarify the issues; explain why the topic is important.