5 Important Tips on an Argumentative Research Paper

an argumentative research paper

Despite the fact that an argumentative research paper is one of the most frequently assigned types of academic tasks, many students have difficulties with it. It is said that practice makes perfect. However, practice under a mentor’s supervision shortens the path to perfection. Now, we’ll try to play the role of your mentor and give you some useful recommendations on how to deal with your paper.

Argumentative Research Paper: Crucial Recommendations

We have gathered five of the most essential tips that you will need when completing your paper. All of them were assembled according to common mistakes made by students. Read the tips and you will make sure that our tips clarify many tricky spots of writing.

Tip #1: Choose the topic that concerns your audience.
It doesn’t make much sense to write about anything that doesn’t directly concern you. For example, if you are living in the USA, you shouldn’t write a paper in which you take a stand in favor of selling alcohol in Morocco. Why is it useless to write essays that doesn’t concern your readers?

First of all, you won’t be able to gather enough information on the problem that is not global and takes place far from you. Secondly, your audience won’t be so interested in issues that are not close to them — it’s human nature. Thirdly, you won’t be so motivated to write a paper that won’t influence the reader.

Tip #2: Make sure the thesis statement exudes confidence
Some students make a huge mistake when formulating a thesis statement as an assumption. How can you convince someone when you are not sure in what you’re saying? Make your thesis convincing and confident so that other people believe you. Compare these two thesis statements:

  1. Smoking in public places must be strictly banned.
  2. Perhaps, smoking in public places should be limited.

The idea is the same but the way it is presented is quite different. In the first sentence, you see a strong position. In the second sentence, you see the position of a doubting person. Isn’t the first example more convincing? Generally, compromise is good but not when you are completing an argumentative research paper.

Tip #3: Give arguments that relate to different sides of the problem.
Each problem can be examined from different sides. If you choose to present only one argument to support your thesis, it won’t have a desirable effect on readers. Even if you have found many facts to support a definite argument, you shouldn’t write only about it. It’s better to give more arguments and fewer facts to support them than presenting one argument and support it with myriad facts. We hope that you understand this better from our examples:

Thesis
Smoking in public places must be strictly banned.

Arguments
1. Smoking in public places negatively influences the health of people who are engaged in passive smoking.
2. Smoking in public places increases the risk of fire hazards.
3. Smoking in public places affects flora and fauna.

The arguments that you see above concern different sides of the problem: people’s health, public safety and the ecological state. You could stay at the first argument and find many facts on how smoking influences health, but it’s better to leave room for two other arguments. That way, your argumentative research paper will be more complete.

Tip #4: Rebut the strongest opposing argument.
As you probably know, one of the requirements of an argumentative paper is rebutting the arguments of opposition. It’s almost impossible to refute all of them; therefore, you will need to choose which you are going to refute. We recommend that you start from the most powerful one. If you succeed to rebut it, your paper will be strong.

Opposing Arguments:
1. Prohibition of smoking in public places infringes human rights.
2. Prohibition of smoking in public places will make smokers suffer from stress.
3. Smoking in public places doesn’t pollute the environment as much as unprohibited factories do.

These are possible arguments that can be given by the opposition. Would you like to warm up a little? Try to refute one or all of these arguments. We will present refutation to only one opposing argument so that you have the ability to refute the other two opposing arguments.

Refutation:
Smoking is a choice which some people make. Other people didn’t make that choice, so why do they have to suffer? Their rights are also infringed! There is much research which points out that passive smoking is very harmful for people’s health. Why do non-smokers have to experience troubles with health from secondhand smoke? Smokers have the ability to find places which are not filled with people, so it’s what they should do. Because of smokers, the quality of public health is dropping.

A note to consider: In our refutation, there’s no specific research and statistical data mentioned, though it should be here. It was an example of how thoughts should be formulated when you are writing your refutation. If you fill this sample with the results of a specific research, it will be more convincing.

Tip #5: Appeal to logic and feelings at the same time.
Did you hear something about pathos, ethos and logos? These are the components that should be in your argumentative research paper. What does each of them mean?

Logos. This concerns appealing to logic. This means that the flow of your speech should be logical. Don’t make unfounded conclusions. All the claims that you make should be supported by facts.

Pathos. This concerns an appeal to emotions. All people, except sociopaths, have feelings. This tool is very powerful, so try to use it wisely. Think of the emotions that you need your readers to experience and find words to call these feelings.

Ethos. This component concerns your credibility as an author. We briefly touched this issue in Tip # 2. To be an author who people will be ready to believe, you need to appear confident. This means, you should be fully convinced in what you’re saying and this fact will reflect in your text. Also, you should refer to reliable sources and be accurate.

Many students pay attention only to one of the listed points, and in this case, it is not so effective. All of these components in combination will help you to reach your aim — to convince that your thesis is true. MLA and APA: Are Research Papers Double-Spaced?  Chekc out the answer in other helpful post.

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