11 02 2008


One type of argumentative essay is that which gives advantages and disadvantages (for and against). It is a formal piece of writing in which a topic is considered from opposing points of view. A good essay of this type should consist of:

  • an introductory paragraph in which you state the topic. This means that you talk generally about the topic without giving your opinion;

  • a main body in which the points for and the points against, along with your justification, appear in two separate paragraphs; and

  • a closing paragraph in which you give either your opinion or a balanced consideration of the topic.

Points to consider

  • Make a list of the points for and against a topic before you start writing.

  • Write well-developed paragraphs in which the points you present are supported with justification, (i.e. reasons or examples).

  • Do not use informal style (e.g. short forms, colloquial language, etc.) or strong language (e.g. I firmly believe, etc.)

Linking words/phrases

  • To introduce points: one major advantage/disadvantage of, one point of view in favour of/against

  • To list points: in the first place, first of all, to start with, secondly, thirdly, finally, last but not least

  • To add more points to the same topic: what is more, furthermore, also, in addition to this/that, besides, apart from this/that, not to mention the fact that

  • To make contrasting points: on the other hand, however, in spite of, while, nevertheless, despite, even though, although, it can be argued that

  • To introduce examples: for example, for instance, like, especially, such as, in particular

  • To conclude: to sum up, all in all, all things considered, in conclusion, on the whole, taking everything into account, as was previously stated

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