University English Essay Guide

The argumentative essay is a longer, more detailed, and better researched version of the expository essay.Expository essays also attempt to persuade, but they are typically much shorter and based on limited research.Many introductory university-level composition classes use a five paragraph structure for the argumentative essay.

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The research should be credible to help establish the author's ethos, or credibility.

Credible sources include books, newspaper articles, journal articles, and well-regarded Internet sources such as sites that end in .gov, .org, or

For example, if the author's thesis is that universities should provide more financial assistance for needy students, their main points might include the fact that tuition has risen above the rate of inflation, that more students are working as well as going to school, and that increasing tuition costs are placing an unreasonable financial burden on students in the form of excessive student loan debt.

Each of these points should be placed in its own paragraph and developed using supporting evidence that the author has uncovered during his or her research.

Providing the thesis statement in the first paragraph gives the audience a solid background about what to expect as they read the rest of the essay.

The body of the essay should have well-developed points that support the author's argument.Students should avoid the overuse of sources that have a clear bias because these sources may not be seen as credible by the audience, and they may not present well-balanced or accurate information.In addition, students should beware of using Internet sources that are not from credible sources, such as wikis and blogs that are authored by non-experts on the topic.These transitions may be more subtle, especially in argumentative essays written for upper level university classes.After the author has presented his or her points, it is important to make sure that nothing has been omitted.An argumentative essay is an essay in which the author researches a controversial topic, takes a stance, and attempts to persuade the audience to agree with his or her position based on the evidence he or she has uncovered.This type of essay is carefully planned and usually takes several days of researching, pre-writing, writing, and proofreading before a final version is ready to distribute.The introduction should capture the interest of the audience and make them want to read more.An author might use one of several strategies for the introduction, including presenting a scenario, providing startling facts, or opening with a relevant quote.This structure is useful for teaching students who are new to writing argumentative essays because it provides a clear format for them to follow.However, upper-level composition courses often abandon this format, allowing more points to be made or for more complex points to be made that may span more than one paragraph.


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