- What are argumentative essays?
In such essays the candidate is expected to agree or disagree on a certain point. He/she should be very clear about which points are to be convincingly argued. There should be enough facts and examples to support his/her opinion.
- Should the candidate present both views about a topic in his argument?
No. Here the candidate has to take a particular position on one aspect of the topic.The candidate should be clear whether he /she agrees or disagrees with the topic. Once a definite view point is taken then the entire essay must be structured to argue convincingly to the reader on that particular opinion. The candidate should not spend time in explaining the alternate points of view. The opposite points can be mentioned only if they support or highlight the personal view points. Moreover, presenting the alternate viewpoints would be considered a sheer waste of time. This would also give an impression of the writer’s ignorance towards the techniques to be used for writing argumentative essays.
- What is the difference between argumentative essays and discursive essays?
A marked difference is that the writer in argumentative essays holds one definite point on an issue and argues to convince the reader on that particular view. The argument are generally based on his personal views. Discursive essays, on the other hand, demand a critical speculation about the topic from different angles. Here the candidate is given an open option to write at length about the topic, whether there are points to be agreed or to be refuted.
- Do we have to be coldly logical?
The students need to understand that in an argument they are expected to develop their point of views in a logical and reasonable manner. They must include examples and factual details for that purpose. Emotional feelings do exist but win the argument citing logical explanatory examples to support your idea. Do not get carried away and write an essay based purely on emotions.
- Can you offer some useful expressions which may be used in argumentative essays?
Yes. following are a few:
|I intend to feel that||Some people feel that|
|In my opinion, it is||It can be argued that|
|We should consider whether||It can be said that|
|It is useful to consider what effect…could have on||The most important thing is|
|I think it is reasonable to say that||I also believe that|
|In addition…||While it may be true that|
|I also feel||Although some people argue that overall, I believe|
- How much can I digress?
Not even a little. If the answer is irrelevant to the topic, you will lose marks because the examiner will think that you are purposely trying to stretch the answer.
- Do I need to commit to one side of an argument?
At times students do not clearly mention whether they agree or disagree about a certain topic. They begin with supporting one point throughout the essay and end their answer favouring the opposite. This creates an ambiguity for the reader to comprehend on what view point is being favoured. As a result the clarity of the essay is obscured. Therefore, before you begin your arguments write a sentence that should clearly state whether you agree or disagree to the topic. This will easily help the reader identify and keep a track of your main ideas and your supporting points.
- How can I ensure coherence?
Use the following words and phrases to connect your writing.
|It follows that||From this|
|For the reason that||In as much as|
- Avoid the use of superlatives such as ‘excellent’, ‘extremely’, ’very’, ’rubbish’ e.t.c.
- Always take at least five minutes to plan your essay.
- Remember to give a topic sentence to every paragraph. Topic sentence is a sentence that highlights the main point of the paragraph. Or a sentence that prepares the readers about the point to be discussed ahead in the paragraph.
- Your essay should be written in a formal register.
- Use a range of vocabulary and try to include phrases.
- Leave sometime to proofread your essay. Before you hand over your paper,check errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
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