Argumentative Essay Outline

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Argumentative Essay Outline


What makes an argument effective?  Logic is key, and so too is the progression of thought from point A to point B.  If one cannot follow your reasoning, it will be that much harder to make the argument stick.  To help with your essay, try our argumentative essay outline.  It gives the basic structure for how to set up an argument, what steps to take to get from where you are to where you want to be, and even shows how to plug in the points you want to make in your own paper.  Let’s get started!

Argumentative Essay Outline Template

I. Introduction

a. Pose a question related to the problem you want to argue.  This will be the “hook” with which you catch the reader and lure him in.

b. Answer the question with a series of points related to your argument.

c. The points should lead up to your ultimate point—i.e., the thesis.  End the introduction with your thesis statement, which tells the reader what you are going to show and how.

II. Body

a. Those points you covered in your intro?  Start out with the first one and expand on it by creating a topic sentence here.

i. Support that topic sentence with your reasons for why it is important to your overall argument

ii. Provide facts or details that can make your argument seem more plausible

iii. Foreshadow the next point you will make at the end of the paragraph so that the reader has a reason to look ahead and continue to follow your argument.

b. Now tackle that second point you made in your intro.  Again, begin with a topic sentence.

i. Support it the same way as in the first paragraph.

ii. Pile on the statistics or some other form of data that you have not yet used; keep it interesting for your reader and don’t be afraid to mix it up!

iii. Get ready to move on to your third and final point and tell your reader here why the next point is going to be the most important to consider.

c. State the topic sentence here and emphasize the importance of the point.

i. Use good, solid, rational arguments for why this point is even more crucial than the previous two.

ii. Give the reader some credit in case he is still skeptical—try something like this:  “Even if you don’t agree with the first two points, it doesn’t matter because this is really the only point that needs to be considered.”

iii. Sum up the point without belaboring it.

III. Conclusion

a. Restate your thesis in a new way.

b. Quickly cover the points from one to three.

c. Push the reader to investigate the facts of the case on his own.

Argumentative Essay
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Outline Example

I. Introduction

a. What is the real story behind the George Floyd death and the riots that erupted all over the nation in 2020?

b. Most people will say that the concerted action in the wake of Floyd’s death was the result of years of pent up anger about police violence.

c. The facts tell a different story.

i. Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe before police even pinned him—i.e., while he was still standing

ii. If you can’t breathe, you don’t have breath to say you can’t breathe over and over and over again

iii. Kneeling on the neck the way Officer Chauvin was would not obstruct the airway—it is how police are trained to do it

iv. Floyd’s toxicology report showed he had fentanyl in his system

v. Chauvin and Floyd knew one another

vi. The riots that erupted were coordinated across the nation—i.e., controlled by an…

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…by an agency that supplied bricks and weapons to rioters and looters

vii. Floyd himself was an actor and used the stage name Floyd the Landlord in the films in which he starred

viii. Floyd had a history of violence

ix. Floyd was  no Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, yet the outpouring of emotion for him suggested he was even greater than they

d. There is more to the story of George Floyd and the riots that followed, and this paper will show why.

II. Body

a. Who was Floyd?

i. Also known as Floyd the Landlord

ii. Had an extensive criminal record and history of violence

iii. Worked  as a bouncer at the same club where Chauvin worked security

b. Chauvin didn’t kill Floyd

i. Floyd’s toxicology report showed what killed him

ii. Chauvin’s knee on the neck was not obstructing an airway

c. The riots were planned

i. Pallets of bricks and caches of weapons were found all over cities where riots “spontaneously” occurred

ii. Rioters were paid provocateurs, as police reported again and again

iii. The entire episode has all the markings of a set-up like what is often found in psy-ops

III. Conclusion

a. George Floyd was not a martyr

b. Police brutality did not kill Floyd

c. There is more to the story than is being told


An argumentative essay outline will help you to keep your thoughts together as you write out your essay.  Use the basic structure provided here, play with it, adjust it as needed, and add to it or takeaway as it suits your purpose.  Your argument may require more than three paragraphs or points; or you may want to give space for a counter-argument and rebuttal.  You can always bolster your own argument by considering the other point of view and responding to it.

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