Paper guides

How To Write An Argumentative Research Paper: A Good Sample Can Come In Handy

You probably know where to look for good argumentative paper samples, but the knowledge of how to use these samples is no less important. Learn how to analyze research paper examples in order to perfect your skills of persuasive writing.

  • Analyze the thesis statement.
  • Regardless of how long a research paper is, its thesis statement should come as the last sentence of the first paragraph. It should clearly and explicitly state the purpose and significance of the research that follows. In an argumentative paper, a thesis statement should also reflect the author’s view on the problem that is explored. After reading a thesis statement, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is the paper about? What stance does the author take? Why is it important? If you fail to answer any, think of how the thesis statement could be amended to provide this information.

  • Identify each paragraph’s topic sentence.
  • Every paragraph in a persuasive research paper should elaborate a single point that is relevant to the main argument. After you read a paragraph, ask yourself a question: “What is it about?” Find a sentence that states this main idea most explicitly and highlight it.

  • Test evidence for relevance.
  • Look at the factual evidence that follows the topic sentence. Why do you think the author preferred to use these bits of facts? How do they help to prove the paragraph’s main point? Are there proper references to credible sources?

  • Test evidence for persuasiveness.
  • Read the paragraph once again. Do you find this argument convincing? Why (or why not)? Can you see any flaws in the author’s reasoning? Think of how these flaws could be improved. Could the author have done a better job by using other kinds of evidence to prove this point? What evidence should have been used instead?

  • Check the whole paper for logic and consistency.
  • Look at the highlighted topic sentences. Ideally, they should read like a separate text that makes sense. Every topic sentence should elaborate a single aspect of the thesis statement. Put “plus” signs next to topic sentences that you find to be relevant to the thesis, and “minus” signs next to those you think are irrelevant. Write a short comment explaining why you think there was no need to include this information in this paper.

  • Analyze the conclusion.
  • Read the last paragraph of the paper. Does it answer the question implied by the thesis statement? Does it offer a solution to the problem discussed? Does it indicate areas for further research?