How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Knowing how to write an argumentative essay outline is considered to be the gateway to crafting outstanding essay papers. In fact, the skills can as well help you in writing other assignments at school. Continue reading to find out how to easily craft an outstanding outline for an argumentative essay.

In order to effectively know how to write an argumentative essay outline, you should start by establishing what is required in this type of paper. The reason for this is because, an outline is simply a basic layout of how your ideas will be presented in the essay.

An argumentative essay is a kind of essay that requires you to analyze a subject that has got two opposing views and conclusions, discuss both sides and finally take a stand. In writing the essay, you will be required to prove the logic behind the position that you have taken in a way that can convince readers. Just like the name suggests, an argumentative essay requires you to give a claim and proof for that particular idea.

By knowing how to write an argumentative essay outline, you will not only be able to turn-around your grades but also improve your general writing skills. Such skills will be quite useful long even after school in your career.

Tips on how to write an argumentative essay outline

Although an argumentative essay is written more like other academic papers, there are some specifics that you have to consider. This implies there are a few points that you should look into so as to draft a good outline for an argumentative essay.

Read the following guidelines to find out how to write an argumentative essay outline.

Think of what you want to discuss

An outline serves as the template that you will use in writing the argumentative essay. Hence, it has to portray the actual ideas that you intend to present in the paper. Take some time to brainstorm on the topic of the essay in order to determine the approach to pursue.

Remember you can only write an outline for an essay when you have the ideas, so try to also do some research to get more information about the subject. However, you have to ensure that the research is focused on the topic of your paper.

Organize your thoughts

From the research, you will be able to come up with various ideas about the subject to be discussed. In order to make the task easier, it is important that you narrow down the ideas to identify the outstanding ones that can be used in delivering a compelling argument regarding your stand on the subject.

Identify the main points about the two controversial views on the topic. Besides, it is also important that you get evidence to support the identified points since all these will be written in the outline.

In organizing your thoughts, it is advisable that you also decide on the best approach that will make your argument to be compelling and logical. This will serve as the thesis statement for the paper and has to be clearly defined.

The best way to organize your ideas is creating subheadings to indicate the main points, followed by simple illustrations to explain each. Besides, you can also use numbers, letters or bullets to highlight the required points.

Steps on how to write an argumentative essay outline

Writing an argumentative essay outline should always take the format of a typical essay paper. This means that it should clearly show the contents of the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.

However, it should be noted that an outline should simply put the ideas in brief for reference during writing.

Follow the steps outlined below to easily find out how to write an argumentative essay outline.


This is the window through which readers will look at your essay and should clearly identify the subject of discussion, and also your goal.

In the outline, you can draft an opening sentence that will be further elaborated in the essay. This can be a general information about the subject to be discussed.

List the main points that will be used to highlight the two different arguments on the topic of discussion.

Note down the catch phrases for your thesis statement. For instance, you can state the reason why you have chosen to pursue a particular stand on the subject.

After stating the thesis, you should also highlight a few transitional words that will be used in linking the introduction to the rest of the essay.

Body paragraphs

The body paragraphs play an important role in the general appeal of the essay since it is whereby you will be required to provide a detailed explanation of your claim and evidence to support it. This means that this section of the outline should be more detailed.

In many essays, the body paragraphs are usually three to four. In a case like this one, you will need to list three main points about your argument that can be used in giving a logical explanation. The points should be strong enough to counter the opposing views about the subject.

After listing the main ideas, you should then indicate the evidence that will be used to prove each. In the case of long quotes or references, you can simply indicate the source or a catchword that you can easily remember. For instance, you can name the main points as Point 1, Point 2 and Point 3.

Under Point 1, list the evidence that will be used to explain it in the essay. This should be repeated for the rest of the points. You can always have as many evidences as you wish based on the particular point or idea to be discussed.

The main points that you have listed down should present distinct ideas but related to the subject of discussion and thesis statement.


A good argumentative essay conclusion should show the closure of your discussion while also leaving some space for further exploration on the subject.

On this part, you can draft a short sentence that re-captures the thesis statement and can vividly show the importance of your paper.

Always remember not to bring in a new idea that has not been discussed in the essay at the conclusion since this might end up confusing your readers.

Examples of Argumentative Essay Outlines

Reading sample argumentative essay outlines is also another way through which you can easily find out how to write an argumentative essay outline. Herein are three examples to guide you on how to go about writing good outlines for argumentative essays.

Example 1

Sample Argumentative Essay Outline

’Thesis statement: Professional wrestling is the greatest sport to be discovered by mankind. In order to prove this argument, we must first show that it is indeed a sporting activity. Through the use of various online sources (as well as the rhetoric of the author), this paper will attempt to prove the latter claim in order to prove the former.

  1. Wrestling has to be a sport
  1. Sport can be defined in several ways
  2. More active sports (Football, soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, cricket among others)
  3. Less active sports (Nascar, cheerleading, some track and field sports among others)
  1. NASCAR as a sport
  1. In the view of fans
  • It is competitive, hence a sport…

View the rest of this sample argumentative essay outline here.

Example 2

Sample Argument Outline

Introductory Section

Thesis (Claim and reason): The United States should lift economic sanctions against Iraq, because this only does more harm than good to both nations.

Body Sections

Section 1

Claim: The sanctions have not accomplished the goals that they were set up for.

Evidence: Logical appeal (facts, expert authority)

  • Saddam Hussein is still in power
  • Other dictatorial leaders have withstood sanctions, for instance, Fidel Castro

Section 2

Claim: Instead of hurting Saddam, the sanctions only make life harder for the common Iraqi people.

Evidence: Logical appeal (statistics), Ethical appeal (fair, humane), Emotional appeal

  • Goes against the American ideal of helping others
  • Thousands of Iraqi children continue to die every month amid sanctions
  • Limitations on medicines and food hurt the poor population….

You can view the rest of this outline at

Example 3

Sample Argumentative Research Paper Outline

‘’Thesis statement: Are badgers really that of a problem for Pleasantville?

Although they slow us down, they can be a little more comfortable entering our homes, there are benefits of having creatures around too. This paper will look at those benefits and weighs their importance versus the perceived disadvantage of hedgehog infestation.

Main supporting text: ‘’Hedgehogs need and can provide love if they are treated right’’ by HR Harvey.

  • Negative effects of hedgehogs
  • Hedgehogs slow us down

At stoplights

  • The animals take quite a lot of time to cross the road especially when in a group….

Click here to read the entire sample.

In case you may need help on how to write an argumentative essay, simply get in touch with us. Besides, you can also visit our homepage to find out more on the custom essay writing services that we offer.