There are no strict rules for writing an argumentative essay. However, you must follow general rules for this exercise, even if there are tolerances. Whatever the form of your argument, it is important to write your work in three main steps:
1. An Introduction
3. A conclusion
1. Make the plan
Your work must follow a plan. This plan corresponds to the essential and secondary ideas that you will argue in your development. Your plan must be concise and simple. It's not about making long sentences but nominalising your ideas.
Your plan must therefore include:
- your two or three essential ideas
- for each of them, your secondary ideas, that is to say the ideas that will enable you to support your argumentation
- for each of your secondary ideas, illustrations specific to your personal experience, your opinions and / or your general culture.
2. Introduce the introduction
Your introduction is used to guide the corrector before reading the arguments developed later, and must therefore be clearly detached from the rest of your work.
- The introduction is an inseparable whole: it is made up of a single block and must not include several paragraphs.
- It should not be too long or too short: a few lines are sufficient to outline your work.
- It must not contain personal arguments: you must explain the subject and the way in which you will treat it, that is to say, pose the problematic of the subject.
The introduction is composed of three parts:
1) The subject brought : resume the subject with your own words. You can give it a personal touch by situating it in time and / or in space. Say, for example, if the problem posed in the subject is in accordance with your time and with your cultural and / or geographical context.
2) The question posed : try to extract from this subject a problematic, that is to say the essential question that is implied in the subject brought.
3) The divided subject : briefly describe your plan. This part will allow you to guide the reader in your development: you announce to him what you will speak and in what order. So you have to list, in one sentence, the two or three essential ideas that you are going to deal with: We will begin this argument by ... to show that ... Finally, we will look at ... Articulation to your different parts.
Limit yourself to a two- or three-part development that matches your core ideas.
- each part of the development corresponds to an essential idea, and therefore to a paragraph.
- each part of the development must be clearly detached from the rest of the work. It is therefore necessary to skip a line between each part. Lastly, do not hesitate to skip two lines to further detach the whole development from the introduction and conclusion.
- the different parts must be balanced: they must have, more or less, the same length.
- the drafting rules of each of the parties are the same.
- the essential ideas must be sufficiently far from the others (for / against, cause / consequence ...) so that the reader does not find identical or similar elements in the different parts.
The drafting of a party generally complies with the following rules:
- statement of the essential idea: you must state, in the first sentence, your first essential idea.
- argumentation (secondary idea): your main idea can be divided into several secondary ideas. Treated one after the other, these secondary ideas will allow you to argue and discuss in detail the different elements of your essential idea.
- illustration / example: it is important to illustrate the first secondary idea with an example from your personal experience and / or general culture.
4. Concluding The conclusion is the last part of your work. It is important to take great care to leave the reader on a good impression. The conclusion is generally composed of two parts:
1) a synthesis of all of your development : Here you repeat, without repeating, the elements that seem to you the most striking of your work. For example, it is a question of weighing the pros and cons of the essential ideas that you have developed, and which can represent two different points of view. It is up to you to bring in a nuance, to draw a lesson, a moral and to inform the reader.
2) an opening to the subject that was originally proposed to you : Offer the reader a new way of thinking from the initial subject. Reformulate this new track, this opening, as if it were a new argumentative essay.