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How to Write Argumentative Paper - From Rough Draft to Final Copy

The first thing you need to make absolutely clear is that an argumentative essay must generate an argument. If you are one of those people who likes to give a balanced view to everything in life, then don't bring that type of behaviour into your essay writing. You choose the right topic and then you choose one side of the argument. You're not there to write a balanced view of both sides. You are there to justify one side of the argument. Get that fact right.

And before you start your rough draft and carry out research and planning etc. you must choose the best possible topic.

Can it be answered with a simple yes or no?

Now some students choose an argumentative topic and believe that it is a good choice because it certainly divides people down the middle. But that doesn't necessarily make it good. For example if the question you raised in mounting your argument can be answered with a simple yes or no, then there is little depth to your topic. The ideal answer would be ‘yes, however’. That requires further explanation.

The expression ‘rough draft’ means just that. The notes you take and the early writing that you make plays little or no attention to spelling and grammar. You simply want to get your ideas down on paper. You want to get your plan on a single sheet listing the paragraphs and the points to be made in each one. This is not the material you hand into your examiner or teacher. This is your rough work.

Now comes the polishing

So having chosen a topic which is certainly controversial or creates controversy and which has depth, and then chosen which side of the argument you are going to support, you collect quality research material. Remember irrelevant material does not help your essay.

Then with all the information laid out in simple form in your plan or outline you start to write your final copy. And this is the work you polish. This is the work which has all spelling and grammatical errors removed and which you show to friends or family for feedback and make any other changes in order to make the final copy the best it possibly can be.

The smarter you work in the rough draft stages, the easier it is to work on the final copy.

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