How do I write an argument essay?

CWI Writing Center: Argument Essay

  • Gives information and supports a specific point of view on the topic.
  • Argues that the intended audience should support the writer’s stance or opinion.
  • Remains objective, but argues in support of one side or the other.
  • Identifies both the supporting and the opposing viewpoints.
  • Uses credible sources to help logically strengthen the writer’s viewpoint.


Why: This person is arguing that the CWI mascot should be unicorns instead of otters. While the evidence in the argument is based on fact, the argument itself is the author’s opinion. Use facts and sources to support your opinion on the topic.

Steps for Writing an Argument Essay

  1. List topics you have an opinion about. Which topic do you want to use for the assignment?
  2. What evidence can you support your selected opinion with? (Research may be needed.) Try to find at least three points of evidence.
  3. What does the opposition believe and why? (Research may be needed.) Try to find at least three points of evidence for the opposition as well.
  4. Compare the evidence from both viewpoints. Why does your evidence outweigh the opposition? My Evidence Pros and Cons vs My Opposition's Evidence Pros and Cons
  5. What do you want your audience to do? (This will help your thesis statement and conclusion give your readers a call to action or an invitation to accept your belief.)

Download the PDF version of this handout by clicking the button at the top of the page for a worksheet that you can fill out to help guide your thought process.

Please see the Standard Paper Organization and Thesis Statement handouts for further guidance.

For more information, contact the Writing Center.