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Argumentative Essay/Commentary

From the University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (

The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

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 s/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.


General Resources:

Rhetorical Appeals (Logos, Pathos, Ethos)

Toulmin Argument

Rogerian Argument

Counter Arguments/Perspectives

Last Updated: 7/15/15