How to Organize your Argument in Essay Paper
If you want to write persuasively, you have to know how to present your arguments. Your thoughts must be arranged in a proper way so that your readers would easily get a sense of your paper. We suggest using a common logical method of organizing an argument, which is known as the Toulmin Method.
Basically, the Toulmin Method implies the following format:
- Claim. It’s a general thesis of the author.
- Data – evidence that supports the claim.
- Bridge (warrant) – more detailed explanation of how the claim is connected to data, and how it’s supported by data.
- Foundation (backing) – additional reasoning or logical thoughts that support the bridge.
- Counterclaim – a claim which is opposite to the thesis.
- Rebuttal – evidence that explains why the counterclaim is wrong.
A strong bridge is a necessary ingredient of a good argumentative paper. Your readers shouldn’t guess how data is related to the thesis statement. You have to explain it and provide a clear connection between these two things.
Don’t forget about the opposite point. Consider counterclaims taking into account your arguments. Such an approach leaves your audience with no doubts regarding your point. When you mention counterclaims, you also attract more readers who may have agreed with the opposite point. You will demonstrate that you’re familiar with the other perspective, so you don’t agree with some thoughts for a reason. We suggest including several counterclaims in your argumentative essay, so that your readers would see that you are well-prepared for the discussion.
Here is an example of such a logical structure:
Claim: Hybrid cars help us fight air pollution.
First data: Private cars are the most common cause of pollution among citizens.
First bridge: Air pollution is caused by industrial and private factors, so switching to hybrid cars will be a considerable contribution to fighting air pollution.
Second data: The lifetime of private cars is approximately 12-15 years.
Second bridge: Given that cars are on the road during a long time, the effect of switching to hybrid engines will also be long-term.
Third data: Hybrid cars include an electric motor powered by a battery, along with a gasoline engine.
Third bridge: Such a combined technology allows us to lower the pollution. According to statistics, Toyota hybrid engines produce 90% fewer dangerous emissions than traditional gasoline engines.
Counterclaim: We must focus on the mass transit systems instead of switching to hybrid cars. Hybrid cars lower the pollution, but such an approach still supports the culture of driving.
Rebuttal: Mass transit cannot be provided in all necessary areas, especially considering suburban and country areas. Hybrid cars can be used by the majority of the nation.