Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Some students misunderstand the purpose of an argumentative research paper. They mistake that the word ‘argumentative’ only means that you should argue your theory. But if you reconsider it, you will realize that all research papers require you to argue your point. The specialty of an argumentative assignment is that everything starting from the topic to the style of writing would be of argumentative nature. The introduction gives you only just enough space for introducing the topic. And the conclusion, an equally short paragraph lets you do nothing more than conclude the research paper. On the other hand, the body paragraphs, which occupy most of the space in your sheets, would be where you will do all the explanation and justification required to prove your theory.
While preparing the first body paragraph of your argumentative research paper, link it to the introduction. You can link it either to the thesis statement or any of the other relevant points mentioned in the introduction. This will also help you open up your discussion. In the first paragraph you can either explain your theory or straight away get to the bottom of the topic being discussed. Slowly develop your argument. The best way to convince someone about your argument is to cover all the aspects one by one and slowly progress towards the conclusion.
Since the theory is of argumentative nature, you will need to present many pieces of strong evidence which covers all the aspects of the theory. So, first organize the points, ideally using the outline. Most points in an argument will need elaborate description and discussion. Hence dedicate one paragraph each for the points you have collected. This will make it look neat and avoid any possible confusion to the reader.
Once you have decided what content should go into each one of body paragraphs of your argumentative research paper, the next task is to arrange them perfectly. While at it, remember that smooth transition between paragraphs is absolutely important for the reader to be able to follow your argument. And for the purpose of transiting smoothly, you should arrange the points in such a way that the discussion on one point leads to the one discussed in the next paragraph. If there are individual points which cannot be linked so, use one of the generalized aspects to link it together. Isolating points will not add to the appeal of a research paper.
Discuss all the points you have collected, in the body paragraphs. Do not leave out anything as the conclusion will not be able to accommodate the discussion of a fresh point. Be legible in the discussion of the points in the body paragraphs. Do not ask the reader to “go back and refer to the point mentioned in the first body paragraph”. Instead mention it briefly again. But do not elaborate as it will sound repetitive.
An argumentative research paper is not about arguing on just about anything but it is about arguing on an arguable point. And the focus must be on the main purpose of the assignment, which is to argue to prove an argumentative theory. And only by skillfully framed body paragraphs, will you be able to accomplish the task of proving your argument effectively.
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