Writing an Argumentative Essay Outline

Writing an Argumentative Essay Outline

Writing an argumentative essay outline enables you to depict a logical ordering and hierarchical relationship of information in your essay. If you are writing a long essay, a good outline will enable you to keep track of the information that you intend to include in the essay as demonstatred here here. This is very important because you must present adequate information in a logical way in order to convince readers. An argumentative essay is an essay that requires you to present information which includes facts and other types of evidence to persuade readers to see or accept your point. While writing an argumentative essay, you not only present your arguments, but also explain and support the arguments with substantive or convincing facts as explained in this link link.

An outline for an essay is a plan that shows how you intend to organize and present information in the essay. It is a skeleton that provides the structure as well as guidance to you as a writer at www.wikihow.com.

Steps to follow when writing an argumentative essay outline

Before you start outlining your argumentative essay, make sure that you have straight facts to support your arguments. This implies that you need to have verifiable and solid sources where you will get the necessary information for your essay from. If you do not have verifiable sources, the outline of your essay will not be valid from the beginning of the essay to the end.

Here are the steps that you should follow when writing an outline for your argumentative essay:

  1. Select a topic

A good topic for an argumentative essay should be controversial. It should be a topic that will enable you to pick the stance to support with confidence in the essay. Make sure that you are comfortable arguing from the stance that you take as well as from the opposing side. Thus, choose a topic that allows you to take a stance against or for the issue in question. This way, you will be able to present information to support both sides and this will make your argument more credible.


Come up with a thesis statement

A thesis statement is the central argument of your essay. Your essay should aim at supporting this statement or idea. Therefore, come up with a thesis statement that elicits strong responses from the intended readers. However, you may be required to change this statement later as you develop your essay or if you come across new materials or logical connections.


Brainstorm for ideas

Come up with a list of all ideas that you find relevant for your topic. This includes information and quotes from secondary and primary sources. Your list should include everything that will support your thesis statement in the essay.


Group all related ideas

After creating a list of ideas, read them carefully and then organize them into categories. Remember that a good argumentative essay should have ideas presented in a logical and hierarchical manner. Therefore, group ideas with the relationship between the groups of your ideas in mind.


Start listing the sections with Roman numerals

The heading of each section should begin with a capital Roman numeral followed by the paragraph’s topic. Capital letters should be used to label the subheadings or the secondary sections. Lower case numerals should be used to label tertiary subheadings or sections while lowercase letters should be used to label the final subheadings.


The introductory paragraph

This is the first paragraph of the essay. While writing an argumentative essay outline, indicate the information that will go into this paragraph. This can be an observation or question but it should capture the attention of the reader. However, this paragraph should start from a general viewpoint and end up being specific.


Body paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the substance of the argument. If you are writing a standard essay with five paragraphs, the body will have three paragraphs. Every paragraph of the body should explore an idea of its own and support it with evidence. However, all paragraphs of the body should be aimed at supporting the stated thesis statement. Counter-arguments should also be included in the body of an argumentative essay.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion of an argumentative essay should create a closure feeling in the reader’s mind after reading it. It should also leave the topic open to allow for further exploration. Instead of just restating a thesis, include evidence and arguments that were presented in the body to enhance reader’s comprehension.

Sample outline of an argumentative essay

If you are writing an argumentative essay outline for the first time, a sample outline will make writing your outline easier.

Here is an argumentative essay outline sample that you can use as your writing guide:


The U.S government should ban the production, possession and sale of assault weapons by private citizens

  1. Introduction

The United States government should ban the production, possession and sale of assault weapons by private citizens because they increase cases of barbaric slaying.

Thesis statement: This essay will support the view that the production, possession and sale of assault weapons by private citizens should be banned by the U.S government to reduce the occurrences of public slaying cases.


  1. Cases of public slaying can be reduced by preventing production, possession and sale of assault weapons by private citizens.
  1. Firm murders in July 93
  2. Columbine shootings in a school

    Incident at the University of Virginia

  • Human and monetary costs that are incurred when assault weapons are used to commit crimes are highly significant to be ignored.
  • Major organizations, law enforcers and public opinions support the move to ban assault weapons.
  • How were the weapons acquired by these individuals?
  • 12 percent favor the ban (92 Timetable News).
  • Organizational endorsements
  • Handguns were used to commit 10,561 murders in 1990
  • Study of the medical expenses of 131 people injured and paid using public funds.

    Opposing views

  • Strict laws to control gun ownership will not affect the rate of crime.

Refutation: The rate of murder cases is low in Australia and Britain where there are strict laws that control gun ownership and use.

  • Guns would still be owned by outlaws

Refutation: Future generations will benefit from the efforts to move the current trend towards the opposite direction.


  1. Adequate evidence presented shows that barbaric slaying will reduce if the government bans production, possession and sale of guns by private citizens.
  2. Crimes will continue increasing if nothing is done to curb gun production, possession and sale by private citizens.

Additional tips for writing an argumentative essay outline

  • Introduction

Present the main idea of your argument in the introduction in a way that makes it easily visible and memorable to you while writing the essay and to the reader. Make sure that the outline indicates your opinion on the topic or subject clearly so that readers can easily tell the side that you will be arguing from or supporting.

  • Tell more about the topic

Present more information to the readers in the first part of the outline. Do not fear that by presenting more information you may not have anything to tell readers in the body or essay. Instead, present more captivating facts to thrill readers and keep them interested in reading the rest of the outline and the essay after you write it. The outline of your essay should present information that shapes the focus of the readers.

  • Get specific

As you write the outline of the essay, get more specific by providing specific arguments and supporting them with facts and proofs that you gathered during your research. Ensure that the outline states your arguments clearly followed by evidence that will support it in the essay. Start with the claims that you have the strongest evidence for.

  • Present counter-arguments

Do not leave counter-arguments because this will make your essay less credible. Including counter arguments and refuting them shows that you took time to conduct research and that you have facts to show why you did not take the other side of the argument. Make sure that the outline is organized in a way that tells readers where they can go and find counter arguments in the essay and your refutation.

  • Conclusion

When writing an argumentative essay outline, summarize your arguments in the conclusion section. Highlight the main arguments that will be discussed in the body of the actual essay. Make sure that your conclusion not only reminds readers about your argument, but also leaves them thinking about what you said in the essay. The conclusion section of your outline should include points that will enable you to show readers the consequences of accepting your point of view or opposing it in the essay. It should also ensure a logical end for the essay as seen at  valenciacollege.edu.

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