How to Write a Defense Paper

Defense essays – also known as argumentative essays – argue a specific point of view about a controversial issue. They require you to use factual evidence to support and defend your view while weakening the opposition’s view. Defense essays require acknowledging the opposition, finding evidence to disprove it and executing it in a way to show your argument is valid and the opposition’s argument is not – without actually saying that.

Step 1

Create an introductory paragraph that generalizes the topic of the essay. The introductory paragraph only introduces the readers to the importance of the topic, the arguments presented in the following paragraphs and how they are relevant to the topic.

Step 2

Add a thesis to the introductory paragraph. The thesis draws the reader’s attention to the essay and persuades them to continue reading. Included in the thesis is the basis of your argument and why it is significant to the essay. Without a strong thesis, your argument might seem irrelevant to your readers and cause them to discontinue reading the essay.

Step 3

Add transitions to progress your argument smoothly from one point to another. Transitioning happens at the end of each paragraph where the point wraps up and the next paragraph’s point is introduced. Poor transitioning collapses the structure of the essay and your reader can not follow the essay’s argument.

Step 4

Create a minimum of three argumentative points – each point limited to a single paragraph. A paragraph should have no more than one argumentative point to avoid confusing your reader. Each argumentative point should relate back to the thesis by explaining how and why the point supports it.

Step 5

Explain an alternative view point to that of your argument in a paragraph or two. Explaining how the opposing argument might not be well-informed or how it is out-of-date will increase your argument. A weak defense paper does not explain the alternative view or calls it outright wrong.

Step 6

Support each point with factual, logical, statistical or anecdotal support. Supporting your argumentative points with evidence validates your argument. Poorly supported papers do not fully develop your argument and could persuade the reader to believe the opposing argument.

Step 7

Create a conclusion paragraph to synthesize the information in the essay. A conclusion reiterates the thesis and each point and does not include any new information. The conclusion should transition the article to a closing. Do not leave your essay open-ended.

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