Writing Argumentative Essays

Writing introductions to argumentative essays

You now know how to write the body of an argumentative essay. In the next two sections of this unit you will learn how to write an introduction and a conclusion.

Introductions are very important. The introduction gives the reader his/her first impression of the text. The first impression that you are aiming to give the reader is of a high-quality argumentative text written in a professional, academic style.



Lets look again at the introduction from the model essay on Marine Parks:

The issue of whether we should allow marine parks to stay open has been widely debated in our community recently. It is an important issue because it concerns fundamental moral and economic questions about the way we use our native wildlife. A variety of different arguments have been put forward about this issue. This essay will consider arguments for having marine parks and point to some of the problems with these views. It will then put forward reasons for the introduction of laws which prohibit these unnecessary and cruel institutions.

Task 1: The four parts of an introduction
A simple introduction to an argumentative assignment has four parts. Read the following description of the parts. Then circle the sentences in the introduction above which cover each part and write the number for each part in the margin next to it, e.g. for the first part draw a circle around the sentence(s) that introduce(s) the topic and write "1" in the margin next to it.

1. Introduces the topic
2. States why the topic is important
3. States that there is a difference of opinion about this topic
4. Describes how the assignment will be structured and clearly states the writer's main premise

Check your answer here



Task 2: Ordering sentences in an introduction
Now put the following sentences into the correct order. They make up the introduction to an argumentative essay about the issue of whether Australia should become a republic.

a. As a result, the issue is a very controversial one and has attracted a lot of debate.
b. It will then put forward a number of reasons why Australia should change to a republican form of government.
c. The question of whether we maintain the monarchy is not merely a legal detail but is intrinsically linked to the way we perceive ourselves as a distinct nation of people with its own identity and culture.
d. Since the time of federation, Australia has been a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head of state.
e. This essay will consider some of the arguments for maintaining the monarch as head of state and will outline some of the problems with this position.
f. However, today many Australians are questioning whether this form of government is still relevant or appropriate and are suggesting that we move towards the establishment of a republic.

Check your answer here



Task 3: The four parts of an introduction (again)
Print out the answer to task 2. Then circle the sentences which cover each of the four parts of argumentative essay introductions and write the number for each part in the margin next to it, just as you did for the introduction to the marine parks essay in Task 1.

Check your answer here



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