Organising your Argument

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Organising your Argument

When planning to write this piece it is a good idea to use a for/against box. For your work to reach the highest marks you will need to have considered both sides of the argument, although you can come down heavily on one side in your conclusion.

Start your writing with your strongest argument, written in a short, punchy style. This way your audience should be immediately interested and engaged.

Next you should write all the counter arguments.

These should be presented as positively and strongly as you can, so that they sound convincing to the reader, and so that you are seen to be fair.

A sophisticated approach is to cast a little doubt on the counter arguments by using phrases such as 'people say' or 'according to...' as this will make these arguments sound more subjective.

Having set out the counter arguments now you need to advance your side of things. You should argue against and ideally undermine each point of the opposition's argument.

Once you have done this you can then go on to argue other positive points for your point of view.

You should finish by reinforcing your case with your most compelling argument.

Addressing the reader/audience directly, confronting them with the choice between the two sides is a powerful way to finish.

For example:

'So everything boils down to whether you have more sympathy for the hunters or the hunted, the rich and the powerful who gallop about the countryside filled with bloodlust, or the innocent, terrified animal their dogs tear to pieces. In the end who would you rather save?'

So the structure of your essay should be:

  • Your strongest argument for
  • Points against
  • Points for
  • Conclusion

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