The Art of Argumentative Writing Forms of Argumentative Writing

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The Art of Argumentative Writing

Forms of Argumentative Writing

  • Advertisements
  • Editorials
  • Reviews
  • Blogs
  • Argumentative Essays

Forms of Argumentative Writing

  • Advertisements try to convince you to do or buy something.

Forms of Argumentative Writing

  • Editorials about current issues appear in newspapers and magazines, or on television, radio, and the internet.

Forms of Argumentative Writing

  • Reviews evaluate items like books or movies and state an opinion as to whether the product is worth the reader’s time and money.

Forms of Argumentative Writing

  • Blogs provide commentary on a particular topic, often combining text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Blogs also allow readers to respond.

Goal of Argumentative Writing

  • Argumentative essays: To get a reader to acknowledge that your side is valid and deserves consideration by offering relevant reasons, credible facts and sufficient evidence

The Argumentative Essay

A Argumentative essay convinces readers to agree with the writer’s opinion

  • The lead/hook captures the reader’s attention
  • The thesis states the writer’s assertion (belief) about the topic
  • The supporting claims convince the reader that the thesis is correct
  • Optional counter claims respond to reader concerns and objections
  • The conclusion restates the thesis (comes back to the point)

Lead / Hook Grab the Reader’s Attention

  • Anecdote (narrative vignette)
  • I walked proudly through the hallways of AMS, my new blue mohawk glistening magnificently in the florescent lighting of the hallway, but then I saw Mr. Caruthers. I felt the wax in my hair start to melt.
  • Question
  • Do schools have the right to tell kids how to dress?
  • Hyperbole
  • For the past 300 years in this country, schools have been crushing the artistic freedom of students with oppressive dress codes!
  • Setting
  • At Centerville Middle School, a controversy is brewing. Walk down the hallways, and amidst a tranquil sea of khaki pants and navy blue polo shirts, the blades of a fuchsia mohawk cut through the peaceful learning environment.
  • Alliterative Phrase
  • Timeless. Tasteful. Tried and true. The traditional school uniform is the foundation of a true learning environment.
  • Quotation
  • “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Thesis and Forecast

  • A thesis statement is always one sentence that states your assertion (belief) about a topic. A thesis statement usually includes a forecast (brief preview of your arguments).

HoTT TEAL ROCC is an acronym to help you remember the structure of each part of an argumentative essay.

  • INTRODUCTION (HoTT): Hook your reader’s attention, set up your argument and clearly
  • present your thesis.
  • Ho: Hook (The opening statement that makes your reader want to read your essay)
  • T: Task (The statement that addresses the task of the essay and sets up your thesis)
  • T: Thesis (The central argument of your essay/the main idea of the essay)


  • BODY PARAGRAPHS (TEAL): Present and analyze evidence to prove your thesis. Each body paragraph should be dedicated to proving your thesis in one specific way.
  • T: Topic sentence (The first sentence of each body paragraph should describe how this paragraph
  • will support your thesis.)
  • E: Evidence (This part of the body paragraph requires two steps. First, you need a sentence to
  • explain and set up your evidence. Second you need to state your evidence. Evidence can
  • come in the form of facts, quotations, statistics etc.)
  • A: Analysis (Interpret your evidence and explain exactly HOW and WHY that evidence proves
  • your thesis.)
  • L: Link (The last sentence of each body paragraph should provide a transition to the next
  • paragraph, to the next argument that will prove your thesis.)


  • CONCLUSION (ROCC): Do more than summarize your thesis and evidence; leave your reader awed.
  • R: Review (Restate your thesis. Do not copy your thesis word for word from your introduction.
  • Rather, rephrase your thesis for emphasis. Remember, this is your last chance to convince
  • your reader that your thesis is true.)
  • O: Overview (Summarize the main arguments that you used to prove your thesis.)
  • C: Connections (Explain why your argument is important. Describe what themes and topics your
  • argument connects with.)
  • C: Clincher (The final sentence of your essay is of extreme importance. Here is your chance to
  • leave your reader awed with the depth and complexity of your argument.)

Which of the following is a good thesis statement?

  • I believe we must stop wasting food now!
  • The problem of food waste can easily be solved by implementing three simple steps: reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • If you aren’t reducing, reusing, and recycling, you should.
  • I believe wasting food is a huge problem. We need to reduce our food waste. For example, make a shopping list before you go to the store, and only buy things you truly need. You shouldn’t buy a gallon of milk if you are only going to drink a quart of it during the week. Who cares if the gallon size is on sale?

Counter Claims Address Reader Objections

  • Oil companies should not be allowed to drill for oil in Alaska.
  • Schools should make overweight students eat diet meals for school lunch.

Conclusion--ROCC Restate Overview Connections Clincher

  • But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
  • And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

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