When writing academically you are expected to
make your points by constructing arguments and these change your opinion into
acceptable statements. Simplistically an argument is:
Argument = Conclusion + Justification
The conclusion is a statement that something is,
or should be, the case, in other words the position that you are taking either
in response to a question or as the result of some research work you have carried out.
Justification is the term that refers to the
evidence that supports your position and the explanation of how it supports
So in effect now we have:
Argument = Position + Evidence + Explanation
It is good practice to start with your position
but then ‘weave’ the Evidence and Explanation together hopefully in one
paragraph. The last sentence of your paragraph should then briefly summarise
your position and what argument will follow, thus providing a link from one
argument to another.
In terms of the quality of the argument you
will need to ensure:
There is evidence that the person
reading your argument (or assignment) can check – obviously this means a clear
- That you have thought about the
source of your evidence.
- That your argument clearly links to
the question you are addressing.
- That you have not used too many
quotations in your argument – it is better to quote key phrases and then too
use your own words to paraphrase the rest of the cited work.
Your argument should fit into a good essay structure
that should look like:
that should be around 10% of the whole word count, should:
- Identify the main points and issues
of the question being asked,
- Provide some background to the
context of your arguments,
- State your overall position vis-à-vis
the answer to the question
- The structure the essay or report
- · Have a suitable title (obviously not
- · Set out the arguments that support
your position in a logical and coherent manner
- · Include arguments that challenge
that again should be up to 10% of the overall word count, should:
- · Start by restating your position.
- · Summarise the arguments you have
made to support your position.
- · Clearly show how these have
addresses you question you are answering.