Classic Model for an Argument
No one structure fits all written arguments. However, most college courses require arguments that
consist of the following elements. Below is a basic outline for an argumentative or persuasive essay.
This is only one possible outline or organization. Always refer to your handbook for specifics.
o Your introductory paragraph sets the stage or the context for the position you are arguing for.
o This introduction should end with a thesis statement that provides your claim (what you are
arguing for) and the reasons for your position on an issue.
A. Your thesis:
o states what your position on an issue is
o usually appears at the ...view middle of the document...
1. Claim: Keeping assault weapons out of private citizensâ€™ hands can lower the
increasing occurrences of barbaric public slayings
o Jul 93 Law firm murders
o Columbine School Shootings
o University of Virginia incident
o How did these individuals gain access to weapons?
2. Claim: The ban on assault weapons is backed heavily by public opinion, major
organizations, and even law enforcement.
o 12% favor ban (Much 92 Timetable News)
o Organizational endorsements
o Nat'l Sherriff's Assoc./lntn'l Assoc. of Police Chiefs
3. Claim: The monetary and human costs incurred by crimes committed with assault
weapons are too great to ignore.
o 10,561 murders in 1990 by handguns
o Study of 131 injured patientsâ€™ medical expenses paid by public funds
III. Addressing the Opposite Side
o Any well-written argument must anticipate and address positions in opposition to the one
o Pointing out what your opposition is likely to say in response to your argument shows that
you have thought critically about your topic. Addressing the opposite side actually makes