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Dylan Collins
Dylan Collins

Argumentative Essay Writing Exercises



In this section you can find writing topics and prompts for students . Material covers essays, letters. emails, articles and others. For each topic there is also a PDF - printer-friendly version available.




argumentative essay writing exercises



Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.


Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.


However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.


Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.


A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.


  • Argumentative essays are by far the most common type of essay to write at university.Table of contentsWhen do you write an argumentative essay?

  • Approaches to argumentative essays

  • Introducing your argument

  • The body: Developing your argument

  • Concluding your argument

  • Frequently asked questions about argumentative essays



An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.


This page also includes a number of templates[2] or examples that you may find helpful for writing argumentative/analytical essays. Keep in mind that it is possible to change the sequence of the framework sections. Also, the templates can be used interchangeably.


Imagine that you have been asked to write an argumentative essay about physical education in the Canadian high school system. Use one of the templates suggested to write a thesis statement about this topic.


The we choose to take a stand on an issue of any sorts, there is a requirement to validate your position if we are intent on finding the truth. When we work to substantiate our stance in a written form the piece we will create is viewed as augmentative writing. It can be viewed as the written form of a debate. In order to prepare for such a work, you will need to do a bit of detective work. Outside of a full-fledged research paper, this is one of the lengthiest investigations that you will need to do in order to write a well-prepared piece. The best arguments are prepared by fully understanding the stance of both sides of the issue. I have found from over a decade of working on this form of writing with students that at first it is difficult for them. This is because students have been conditioned to only find one correct answer. In an argumentative essay you will need to explore all of the things that support your side of the argument. I also find that after students get some experience with writing these pieces, they enjoy it and get stronger with every successive project. These worksheets with help students learn to approach these types of works and the process that is required to prepare great works.


Counterarguments - A counterargument is an argument someone makes in order to disagreewith your claim. When writing an argumentative essay, it is important toanticipate the main counterarguments against your claim and to rebut(argue against, disprove) them. Doing so will make your essay morepersuasive. It will also demonstrate that you have taken the time toconsider different viewpoints.


There is a common format that is often followed here that is called the five-paragraph format. It begins with an introductory paragraph that states the issue and your stance on it. That is followed by three evidentiary body paragraphs that support your position and it ends with a conclusion paragraph. I am personally not a fan of carrying this into all forms of essay writing. I find that it several handcuffs students into thinking that this method fits all situations. There will be circumstances where you have endless evidence that must be explored and other times you may just have a single body of evidence. Complex issues require complex solutions. There also must be room for authors to flesh out their thoughts and create a sense of context for their readers.


There are many engaging activities to use when teaching argumentation and persuasion beyond the classic essay. While the argumentative essay can certainly be effective, try something new with one of these 6 engaging activities. Your students will be excited and eager to apply argumentation and persuasion in the classroom and beyond.


Watching TV. Driving down the highway. Scrolling through social media. The art of argumentation and persuasion are everywhere. So, why not bring some of those real-life examples to your classroom? Because the truth is, persuasion and argumentation comes in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, it might be time to look beyond the traditional argumentative essay. And with these activities, you can.


Shark Tank Teacher Tip. Looking to beef up the argumentative writing side of things? You can have students submit a short research-based argumentative paper that supports the need for their product. Regardless of the specifics, students will be eager to dive into this activity with such real world application.


The name alone screams engagement, right? Even better, this activity is engaging. Instead of assigning a list of overused (and sometimes outdated) argumentative prompts, let students take the reins by choosing a topic that matters to them. So, after teaching your students about rhetorical appeals, the appropriate use of persuasion, and the basics of argumentative writing, let students showcase their newfound skills with the PSA Passion Project. In this project, rather than simply writing an essay for the sake of getting grades, students are diving into an issue of their choice in hopes of raising awareness.


For students, the discussion often bridges the gap between the speaking and listening learning areas and reading and writing ones. It is for this reason that we will look at some oral discussion activities before examining how to approach the writing of discussion pieces in the classroom. These oral activities can serve as excellent pre-writing exercises for the students to prepare their thoughts and ideas before writing. They also work well as standalone oral activities that allow students to practice their persuasive speaking skills and all that entails.


These styles of writing are often confused, and whilst they do share common elements, they are two separate genres with different purposes. If you are looking for a complete guide to writing a persuasive essay, please view ours here.


In writing a balanced argument, students must consider the positives and negatives of the issue. The body of the text should be focused on presenting the pros and cons, the for and against arguments, relating to the central issue. This is why oral starter activities can be so valuable as prewriting exercises.


Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your work with us. As teachers, we are always in need of fresh material. I teach college level creative writing classes, and your worksheets help my students. Sometimes I change the essay topics to fit their particular age group or interest, but having these examples laid out for us and made available for use in our classrooms is wonderful.


The way to good grades for every student is to practice. Yes, some students will have to practice their essay writing skills more than others. It is the exploration and understanding of the essay writing process that lead to good writing.


While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.


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