Standard Argumentative Essay Format

An argumentative essay involves bringing up evidences and concrete sources to back your main stance pro or against an issue. For instance, you were assigned to write an essay about the support for decriminalization of prostitution. If your initial stance is against the issue, then you may find it hard to write about something you are against in.

But don’t worry; it is hard but not impossible. To aid you in your problem, you can use this example argumentative essay format in achieving your goal. To make it easier, you can first create an outline to facilitate easier writing of your essay later.


The first part of the essay format is the introduction. In this part, you can write about the history or background of the issue. In this case, you can tackle the long history of prostitution in many societies as well as the reasons behind their existence. If you want to do something new, you can try including data and statistics in the introduction that can support your side in the issue.

Sources that Back Your Stance on the Issue

After discussing the introduction, you proceed to researching about the possible references or reasons that support your stance on the issue. Since you are assigned on supporting the decriminalization of prostitution, then you must find reasons why the act should be done. For example, you can say that decriminalization will pave way for better sexual health of women who are engaged in the trade. Since being a prostitute is currently illegal, then the government in turn, strip the prostitutes of their right for basic healthcare.

As much as possible, list many reasons why you think the decriminalization should be pushed. The more arguments to support your position, the better.

Inclusion of Counter-Arguments or Rebuttals

Once you are finished with your arguments, you must now think of reasons what the other side can possibly come up with as a defense for their strong opposition against an issue. For this section of the argumentative essay format, you must think as your opponents. Place your head in their position and think of reasons why the decriminalization must not push through. Then, provide a refuting statement for each counter-argument and expound on the limits of their premise.

The Conclusion

The last part of the argumentative essay format is the conclusion. In this section, you will write about the summary of your arguments as well as the counter-arguments you presented. You can include examples but not too many as most of these are already included in your arguments. In one great finishing paragraph, greatly stress your stance on the issue and why others should find your arguments more realistic and feasible compared to the opposing side.


William Nericcio is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature and a member of the faculties in the CCS and CLAS department at San Diego State University. For all the students who need info on courses schedule and homework writing tasks, contact him via Facebook and Twitter.

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