How to write an introduction for an argumentative essay

How to write an introduction for an argumentative essay

Do you know how to write a good start for argumentative essay?

  • The word essay comes from the Latin exagium (respectively from the Old Latin exigere) and meant weight or (if we stick to the older version) also emphasis, and importance. 
  • Therefore, the purpose of an essay is to judge who is right or wrong, weigh the arguments of the parties and make a judgment. 
  • From Latin, we see the transition to Old French (essayer) and English (essai), in which it has the meaning of an exam. 

So an essay is not just a passive weighing, but a check, an active entering into a certain context, choosing a thesis, and making a decision. As gold is tested in the fire, so thoughts are tested in the essay.

We begin

In general, very narrow topics are good for essays – the narrower the topic, the better we will write about it, as well as finding ideal sources (unless we are writing a French monograph). As you have understood, the article will be a detailed breakdown of preparation. You will read about how to write an informative speech, not something abstract.

So, the essay begins with the choice of literature and topic. The topic is of interest in the essay because it is only used at the beginning. The purpose of the essay is not to write about Sigismund of Luxembourg at the Seimas of Constance, but to reflect on the topic in search of sources and, above all, the thesis.

The thesis is what forms the initial, clear essence of the essay. If we talked about the word essay, which comes from weigh, measure, and sift, it is clear why. 

  1. Our goal is to formulate a statement (i.e., thesis), which we will further prove and look for arguments. The thesis is usually a simple and catchy sentence that is used as the title of the essay, sometimes in the first sentence of the text or at the end of the first paragraph.

If we go back to our medieval example, the thesis may sound, for example, like this: “Sigmund sought to preserve his political influence in the Sejm, not the Hussite question.” It can be assumed that in Czech school historiography, the Council of Constance is spoken of as if it were the trial of Jan Hus. However, the reasons for convening the assembly were deeper and, together with the Trident, create the core of the modern councils that create the present Catholic Church. The key was to eliminate papal schisms, which would largely support Sigismund’s political goals.

  1. A thesis should ideally be attractive, surprising, controversial, appealing. For example, a bad thesis is that smoking causes cancer or that attending kindergarten increases the chances of success in school. Everyone knows this, and the tools for reporting on this issue may be statistical studies, but definitely not essays. Coming up with a good thesis is difficult, in fact, it is probably the most difficult task we face when writing an essay. It forces us to take sides, think, to debate. When we succeed in this step, we are more likely to get into the flow and enjoy writing. If not, then writing is mostly formalist poisoning.

So, if we managed to formulate a thesis, we have completed the first stage of creating an essay. Various creative techniques such as mind maps can be used to find the topic or the main outline of the thesis. You can find it via Reddit. 

  1. Usually we have a certain topic in front of us, for example our Sigmund, and with the help of a map we try to reflect different aspects of his life, what we are really interested in him, or to discover connections that are not very well known or common. If we succeed, we have won half of it. However, for your own thesis statement, prepare for systematic logical work.

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