Basic Five-Part Structure of
1. Introduce the topic, or question-at-issue/problem,
and establish its importance.
Show its significance to society.
Use description, explanation, narrative to describe issue/problem.
Choose a primary strategy of appeal: emotional, logical,
2. Provide necessary background information
readers will be able to follow
History of the issue/problem?
Specific example of issue/problem; effect on individuals;
3. State your claim (your argumentative thesis,
or solution to problem) and develop your argument, making a logical appeal
based on the following factors:
4. Support your claims with facts, opinions,
examples. If appropriate, stir in emotional or ethical appeals,
but never rely on them.
Acknowledge counter arguments and treat them with respect.
Give opposing voices their due by quality paraphrase/summary, then refute
these arguments. Reject their evidence or their logic, and/or concede some
validity and refute accordingly.
After counter arguments and refutations have been addressed,
move on to your own claims.
The core of argument/counter argument, concession/refutation
must fill the middle of the essay and be appropriately introduced
5. Conclude by summarizing the main points of
your argument, and/or rephrase the benefits of your solution to the
key problem, and tell the reader what you want them to do!
*Based on information contained in Discovery and Commitment,
by Leonard J.