Helping Others Follow
- To state that what you’re saying in your thesis (answer to your research question) is in opposition to what others have said:
- “Many people have believed …, but I have a different opinion.”
- To move from a reason to a summary of a research study that supports it (evidence).
- “Now let’s take a look at the supporting research.”
- To introduce a summary of a resource you’ve just mentioned.
- “The point they make is…”
- If the objection is that you’re not being realistic.
- “But am I being realistic?”
- To acknowledge an objection you believe a reader could have.
- “At this point, I should turn to an objection some are likely to be raising…”
- To move from the body of an essay to the conclusion.
- “So in conclusion…”
Phrases like these can grease the skids of your argument in your readers’ minds, making it a lot easier for them to quickly get it instead of getting stuck on figuring out why you’re bringing something up at a particular point. You will have pulled them into an argument conversation.
Examples: The Language of Arguments Done
The blog that accompanies the book They Say/I Say with Readings, by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst, contains short, elegantly constructed contemporary arguments from a variety of publications. Take a look at the They Say/I Say blog for a moment and read part of at least one of the readings to see how it can be helpful to you the next time you have to make a written argument.
Additional Advice Sources
Take a look at these sites for argument essay advice for students:
- Writing Mechanics – Ohio State Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
- Argument in College Writing – Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- Argument Handout – University of North Carolina Writing Center