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English - Writing to Argue, Persuade & Advise - Developing an Argument

Writing you ideas - developing an argument.

The opening paragraph of your argument is very important, this is where you will have the chance to capture your reader's interest and make your standpoint clear.

Your opening

Begin the argument with a statement of fact that cannot be disputed

The word - 'however' signals that you are going to then qualify your statement and allows you to clearly state your views and shows the line that your argument will follow.

Develop your ideas

Consider the key stages in planning an argument

Think about the topic or title

Work out what your standpoint is

Consider your ideas, both for and against the view you take

Decide which points you want to make

Decide on the order in which you will present your points

Decide on the evidence that you will provide to support your ideas

End your argument with an effective conclusion

Once you have written your opening paragraph, you can develop the main part of your argument by:

You can state the view that you are opposing and outline why people might hold this view, then put forward the arguments that you support.

Write your argument totally from one viewpoint and make references to alternative views where appropriate, throughout your response.

Ending the argument

The ending of an argument is just as important as the opening.

Words and phrases that you can use when discussing points of view and ideas:

It is certainly true that...

However...

Some people believe that...

In contrast to this...

I believe...

In conclusion...

Perhaps the most important is...

Alternatively...

Nevertheless...

On the other hand...

Similarly...

This suggests that...

Using the words and phrases above can help to make your argument more effective.

You can also use:

Rhetorical questions: which are questions that are used to create an effect rather than actually requiring an answer. Rhetorical questions raise questions in the reader's mind, appeal to the emotions and involve the reader in the argument.

Using personal experiences and anecdotes, can add weight to your argument.

Using opposing views, by anticipating what someone who hold an opposing view might say, then giving your counter argument.

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