This article will focus on how to develop a cogent argumentation/persuasion paper. Topics include: thesis statements, overall organization and transitions.
The need for education beyond the post secondary level is an absolute must in today’s job market. Thus, it is highly likely that in the pursuit academic enlightenment, the reader will be required to write a college level argument or persuasion essay for at least one class. This article was written in an effort to assist the reader with the paper help in developing a viable thesis statement, organizing content within a paper and effectively using transitional language within the body of the paper.
A thesis statement is merely a provable claim
An argumentation or persuasion paper must have a clear and defensible thesis statement. The word “thesis” is rarely used outside of academia and can sound quite intimidating to the beginning writer. This should not be the case; a “thesis” is simply a “claim.” That is to say, when a writer begins to develop a thesis statement, he or she makes a claim which will be proven within the body of the paper.
As the reader may well be aware, some claims cannot be proven. A thesis statement is “viable” if the claim that is made can be supported with evidence that is both reliable and valid. A claim which cannot be proven, or which has no clear truth value ( it cannot be shown to be either true or false), should not be used as a thesis.
The premise and good vs. bad thesis statements
An example of both a good and a bad thesis statement will be discussed now. Here is an example of a viable thesis statement: “Global warming is responsible for a decline in the Polar Bear population.” The viability lies in the fact that there are many premises which could be used to support the thesis. Any statement that is used to support a thesis is called a “premise.” One premise that could be used to support the claim might be that, according to a National Wildlife Federation website, “The chief threat to the polar bear is the loss of its sea ice habitat due to global warming.”
There are a number of other premises that can be found to support this particular thesis statement. On the contrary, here is an example of a non-viable thesis: “People born under the sign of Sagittarius are more honest.” Clearly, there is no way to assign a truth value to this statement (asking a Sagittarian merely introduces the possibility he might lie) nor is there any reliable or valid source to cite as an authority on this issue. Hence, this is a poor choice for a thesis. Once a valid thesis statement has been chosen, the writer must organize the paper to effectively present his supporting premises.
Organization is crucial for an effective presentation
Organization of ideas within any paper is crucial for effective presentation of the cause and effect relationship between the thesis and its supporting evidence. It is recommended that each supporting premise encompass at least one paragraph. The premises should be presented in the body of the paper in the same order as presented in the introductory paragraph.
With this in mind, it is also suggested that the paragraphs contain the following: a topic sentence relating the premise under consideration to the thesis statement, two or three sentences supporting the topic sentence with citations from credible sources, and a transitional sentence at the end. Transitional language is often one of the most overlooked components of effective writing.
Transitional language ties it all together
The importance of transitional language cannot be understated. The use of transitional language is often overlooked by the inexperienced writer. Just as a map provides its user with directions, transitions (between paragraphs) offer the reader a sense of what is to come in the paper. The material contained in two successive paragraphs can appear to be only weakly correlative without a proper transition in place.
Concerning the persuasion/argumentation essay, transitions give the reader a clear understanding of where each premise begins and ends. An example of a transition between paragraphs using the above thesis might look like this: “In addition to a diminishing food supply, another unwelcome effect of global warming which contributes to the decline in Polar Bear numbers is the loss of habitat resulting from melting ice pack.” This sentence is placed at the end of the paragraph about the effects of decreasing food supplies on the Polar Bear population and informs the reader of the author’s intention to introduce a new premise concerning habitat loss in the next paragraph. As a general rule, transition statements are placed at the end of every paragraph except the conclusion.
Education beyond the high school level is a given for most people today. Moreover, a student will certainly be required to write a persuasive or argumentative paper during the educational process. The author of this article, as part of his job description, routinely assists students with this type of composition and it is the primary reason the subjects of thesis viability, organization of content, and use of transitional language are presented here. These are the least understood and most problematic issues that commonly plague the beginning persuasive or argumentative essay writer.
About the author:
Diane H. Wong is a search engine optimization specialist and freelance team manager. Besides, she is a writer at DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.