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Three Types of Argumentative Essays

Updated November 21, 2016

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays present an argument and try to persuade the reader that one side of the argument is better than the others. These types of argumentative essays should start out by clearly stating the author's point of view and should use the evidence to support that point of view throughout. As different sides of the argument are discussed, the writer should refute these views in order to persuade the reader that his point of view is the right one.

Research Papers

Argumentative research papers rely heavily on external sources to make and support the main argument. When writing an argumentative research paper, it's important to take a balanced approach. Authors must try to cite roughly the same amount of sources for the differing points of view as for the main argument.

Analysis Essays

Argumentative analysis essays focus on other argumentative essays. The purpose of this type of essay is to analyze another author's argument. Major elements of analysis include persuasiveness, evidence, clarity of writing, presentation and style. Although this is an analysis essay, it is also an argumentative essay, so the author must make a clear case about the quality and persuasiveness of the essay she is evaluating.

Personal Essays

A personal argumentative essay does not need to rely on research in order to make a case. This type of essay is based on opinion and personal taste, so the author must make a compelling case based on his own subjective reasoning. The challenge inherent in this type of argumentative essay is convincing others to share a personal opinion. Research can and should still be utilized in a personal argumentative essay in order to make the main argument more compelling. In addition, all sides of the issue should be considered in order to further validate the author's point and convince the reader that it has been well developed.

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