Argument is a key feature of an academic essay

It does not matter what your topic is or what style of essay you are writing: argument is a key feature of an academic essay. Consider that for every piece of academic writing there are six features. All six features are part of an argument. So no matter what type of academic essay you are writing, or what class it is for, you need to recognize that argument is a key feature. In order to present a clear argument, you need to follow these six steps:

Step One: Context

In the beginning of your academic essay you want to introduce the context for the paper. This means quickly providing background and summarizing your argument. No matter what you write, you will be making an argument. You will be arguing why Shakespeare was influential, or why you disagree with an author, etc…

Step Two: Thesis

This is where you make the bold claim that starts your argument. Every argument starts with ignition. Imagine you are sitting at home and a friend makes a statement that causes an argument. The statement they made, which caused the argument, is a thesis. It is the same thing you want to write. Your thesis is a promise. Your thesis statement promises the reader that you will convince them of X or Y.

Step Three: Navigation

You want to navigate your reader through the text. You can do this by occasionally summarizing your argument, making logical transitions between paragraphs, and using key concept transitions. This means you have to transition logically from one key concept to the next throughout the body of your essay.

Step Four: Evidence

You have to include evidence to support your argument. You need to cite the evidence, which means you tell the reader what it is. You need to interpret the evidence, which means you tell the reader what it means. You also need to tell the reader how your evidence relates to the argument. Evidence won’t speak for itself. So speak for it.

Step Five: Counter-argument

Every argument has a counterargument. Acknowledge the other side of the debate and deal with the objection through a rebuttal or acceptance.

Step Six: Conclusion

This is where you summarize everything you mentioned in the paper by focusing on the big picture and then bringing the reader back to your concise summary.

By following all six steps you can craft the perfect argument for your academic essay.

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