What Are the Elements of an Argument Made in an Essay?


Quick Answer

A logical written argument in an essay requires a thesis statement, proof that the material was understood by the writer and an ability to apply this material beyond the basic definition or facts already known. Arguing is the ability to express a point of view on a subject and support that point with evidence.

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Full Answer

Arguments start with a main idea. This is the thesis statement or claim. A thesis statement is typically a sentence found in or near the first paragraph of an essay that presents the writer's argument to the reader and gives an idea of what to expect in the following paragraphs.

After presenting the reader with a clear thesis, the essay must then offer evidence that supports the argument. This evidence varies depending on the type of academic essay. For instance, an essay grounded in the sciences may require information from graphs, charts or other quantitative data. Essays within more liberal arts subjects, such as English, benefit from using quotations from the considered text or examples of symbols or characters.

When writing an argument, it is also helpful to consider the intended audience for the essay. While the reader is likely familiar with the material, the writer should not assume that the reader is in agreement with the central argument. An argument is not merely an opinion; it is a stance that requires solid proof or evidence to support the claims.

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