Top Secrets of How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Top secrets of how to write an argumentative essay outline

Writing a good, argument begins with good planning. As you plan for your argument, you are able to organize your thoughts to allow ideas flow logically from the introduction to the end. One way of preparing for an argument is by having an outline. An argument outline acts as a roadmap to follow as you develop your case step by step. Once you have mastered how to write an argumentative essay outline, the rest of your assignment becomes a walkover because it will serve you as a compass. Most tutors will ask you to submit your argument outline before you start writing your essay. This allows him or her to guide you on what to add or leave out in your paper. Read on and enhance your writing today…

Tips and tricks of how to write an argumentative essay outline

Preparing an argumentative outline is sometimes a daunting task. However, this step is what will make your case standout. A good plan ensures that you stick to the instructions of your paper and present your ideas coherently.

As you work on your argument outline, it is necessary to be flexible and adjust it once you are through with your paper. Revising your outline ensures that you harmonize it with the rest of paper since your argument may change along the way or take a different angle.

A standard argument has four major parts, which you must remember to have an understanding of how to write an argumentative essay outline. These include the following:

Major parts of an argumentative essay outline

  1. Your introduction – This is where you lay the foundation of your argument. Give basic information, which will help the reader follow your case without getting lost.
  2. Argument developing – In this section, you delve into research and give evidence, which support your argument. This part forms the backbone of your case.
  • Negating counterargument – Here, you give rebuttal for the opposing views of your case. To excel in argumentative writing, learn to give both sides of the case, i.e. your position and the stance of your opponents. This makes your argument balanced.
  1. Conclusion – This is the last section of your argument. Here, you wrap up the case, restate your thesis, challenge your readers to take action and affirm the significance of the issue at hand.

With this in mind, you should be able to handle any argumentative assignment. The four parts will help you break your thoughts into manageable and expandable portions. In fact, you do not have to panic when you have these guidelines of how to write an argumentative essay outline.

Let us look at an example as you reflect on what we have so far discussed.

Example #1: Sample Argument Essay Outline


1-2 paragraphs tops

PURPOSE: Clearly state your argument 

Optional Elements

  1. Catch your readers’ attention by making your introduction interesting
  2. Give background information of your argument

 Required Elements

  1. For published works, give bibliographical information
  2. For film, state title, director and year of release
  • Your claim should be at the end of introduction (THESIS)


1-2 paragraphs tops;

Purpose: Lays foundation for your case

Give the following:

  1. Summary of the work under discussion
  2. Definition of terms
  • Explain theories


  1.  Purpose: To prove your argument..
  2. Topic Sentence: State your main idea
  • Give evidence: State and explain your evidence, supporting your argument
  1. Concluding Sentence: End your paragraph by saying how the idea supports your thesis


Repeat above


  1. Purpose: To anticipate your reader’s opposing side
  2. Optional; usually 1-2 paragraphs tops
  • End


  1. Purpose: Remind our reader about the argument and evidence
  2. Restate your thesis

As you can see from the example above, the outline shows different parts of your argument. You can view it as a skeleton of your work. The following section will give you more hints on how to write an argumentative essay outline.

The principles of how to write an argumentative essay outline

Your introduction is the face of your work. The person reading your argument will get an impression of yourself from the manner in which you introduce your work. Take time and make sure you develop a compelling paragraph to pique the attention of everyone who comes across your essay.

In this section, we shall focus on how to outline your introduction. Keep reading.

Outlining your intro for an argumentative essay

Try the following when drafting your introduction:

Step 1: Start with a hook: Your first sentence on that blank paper should have a hook. A hook is a statement or sentence that grabs the attention of the reader.

A hook is what makes the difference between an interesting argumentative essay and a boring piece, which no one wants to look at.

Step 2: Give background information – At this stage, give relevant details that will aid the reader to understand your argument. In your explanation, bring out the issue at hand. Tell the reader the significance of the issue. Why should people care? How prevalent is the issue?

Do not give excess background information. Remember that you still have body paragraphs to develop.

Step 3: Craft your thesis Statement – As you think of how to write an argumentative essay outline, have your main idea or claim in mind. This is what you intend to prove throughout your essay. Besides stating your position, your thesis should also tell the reader a reason that supports your position on the issue.

Consider another example and see how to integrate these elements in your argumentative essay:

Example #2: Sample Argument Essay Outline

 Argumentative Essay Outline

TITLE (Main Idea): _________________________________________


INTRODUCTION: Introduce your topic 

SIDE 1: _________________________________________________

SIDE 2: _________________________________________________

THESIS STATEMENT (What is your opinion?): ____________________________________________________________


REASON #1 why you support your argument ___________________________

SOURCE: ___________________________________________________________


REASON #2 why you support your argument _______________________________

SOURCE: ____________________________________________________________


REASON #3 why you support your argument _______________________________

SOURCE: __________________________________________________________


CONCLUSION (Summarize your thoughts):

RESTATE SIDE 1: ________________________________________________________

RESTATE SIDE 2: __________________________________________________________

Restate your evidence_________________________________________________________

Wrap up the issue:  ____________________________________________________

This is an excellent example showing how to write an argumentative essay outline. It is as simple as that. What you should have in mind is your claim and evidence.

More thoughts on how to write an argumentative essay outline

Once you have a sketch of your introduction paragraph, you need think of how you will develop the body of your argument. Have in mind body paragraphs determine the weight of the issue you are discussing. You can have a catchy introduction but lose your audience when you move to the body.

Body paragraphs give specific information. Unlike in your intro where you move from unknown to the known, here, your focus is on the things that you know.

In the following segment, you will learn more on developing an excellent body for your essay.

Elements of a good paragraph

The main elements of a good paragraph include transition, topic sentence, evidence, and brief summary. Here is a breakdown of these elements:

 Transition – This refers to movement from one idea to another. Ensure that you have a smooth transition between ideas for your audience to follow.

Topic sentence – Start every paragraph with a topic sentence, stating the main idea of the paragraph.

Specific evidence – This includes facts that support your opinion. Provide specific evidence without being vague.

Brief wrap up – This tells your readers how your evidence backs your thesis and helps in advancing your argument.

Another element that will help you have a grip on how to write an argumentative essay outline is the counterargument. Take a look at ways of organizing your rebuttals.

How to draft your counterargument in an essay outline

Good argumentative essays are objectives and balanced. Do not present a biased argument to your audience.

Research and anticipate a negative opinion that challenges your position. To handle this, you must present the counterargument before you negate it using evidential support from your research findings.

As you present your argument, your focus should be on people who are yet to make up their mind on the issue. Those who agree with your position will need less information as compared to fence sitters.

The following examples will help you understand how to outline your arguments.

Example #3: Sample Argument Essay Outline

Make this guide your toolkit and you will surely excel. Fare Thee Well

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How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline