menu

How to Write a Controversial Essay


A controversial essay can be challenging for the author because the topics usually cover issues that people already feel strongly about. The most effective way to approach this type of composition is by combining opinions with facts and reasoning that help readers to see both sides of the issue, or to persuade them to understand and agree with your viewpoint.

How To Write A Controversial Essay

Choose a topic that you can defend with valid arguments and justifications, especially if you are writing an argumentative essay to persuade your audience to adopt your point of view. Write an introduction that contains your thesis statement. This statement should briefly and resolutely explain your stand on the issue. This may be the most important part of the essay because it establishes your assertiveness from the beginning.

Write the body of the essay. Decide on at least three strong points and elaborate each point in different paragraphs. Even though you are writing a persuasive essay, support your thesis at all times as you would in an informative piece. You can do this by presenting an opposing viewpoint and refuting it with examples and reasoning that can be supported by facts. Opinions supported by data will help readers to understand and support your argument.

Research before you write the essay. Find necessary and respectable resources to support each argument in order to establish your viewpoint with solid evidence. By utilizing this method, the essay will not be simply a rendering of your opinions and reasons about why you think you are right. You will be able to substantiate your views, which will add credibility to your content.

Debate the issue, but do not preach to the readers. Rely on facts and strong personal arguments, not rhetoric, to sway the audience. In the conclusion, summarize your main points in one short paragraph that reinforces your thesis. This will affect readers by encouraging them to continue thinking about the topic and possibly change their opinion.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.