In academic writing, an argument or claim will usually form the central idea of your essay. This argument should be proposed in your thesis, along with reasoning which suggests why you believe your thesis to be true.
In many essays, you will also consider the counterargument against your reasoning. Rather than simply distracting yourself from your central idea, this is actually an excellent method of strengthening your argument, as it allows you to pre-empt the objections a skeptical reader might have.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at five failsafe methods of strengthening your argument in an academic essay, as compiled by the professional essay writing service Oxbridge Essays.
- Outline your position
There’s no ambiguity in a strong argument. To avoid ambiguity you need to know your subject inside out. If the topic doesn’t really spark your interest, find one that does. There are plenty of argumentative topics out there so don’t settle until you’ve found something that really grabs you.
The most convincing arguments are put by those who are passionate about their views; but a strongly held belief without evidence, logic and reason does not constitute a good argument.
- Gather your evidence
When we think of a verbal argument, it’s often a number of exasperated people talking loudly and making dramatic gestures. The beauty of the written argument is your ability to remove all the emotion from your argument and lay out the facts. To do this successfully you need to find the most compelling evidence, so before you start writing take time to build the strongest possible case.
- Present the counterargument
In an argument essay you should explore both sides of a topic to explain why your position is better. Counterargument is a disarming but also persuasive tactic. By anticipating the doubts that the reader might have and pre-empting their objections, you portray your argument as one that has been carefully weighed-up, with potential stumbling blocks confronted rather than being swept under a rug.
You should not entertain every objection, but addressing the most pertinent points will help you come across as someone who is more interested in discovering the truth, rather than scoring points.
- Structuring the counterargument
How you structure your counterargument is really up to you. It can form part of your introduction to show that the existence of two opposing views is the reason for your essay. It can appear as a paragraph just below your introduction, setting out the expected or standard position before you turn to develop your own. Alternatively, you can address each counterargument as a quick move within a paragraph that is arguing on that point.
Although counterargument is essential, it’s important not to overdo it by justifying every point you make. This can sap energy from your essay and begin to obscure your initial idea.
- Always cite and never exaggerate the evidence
There’s a big difference between a logical conclusion and a point of view that’s based on emotion. To present the best possible argument you should avoid using emotional language. You must also form your arguments based entirely on the evidence you present. Never exaggerate or make up evidence and always cite your sources. This will ensure your argument is completely transparent.