What does an ARGUMENT Essay look like?
In an essay it is important to present a clear ARGUMENT. Let’s think about possible answers to the ‘social networking‘ essay question above.
The following are two possible responses:
NO! Social networking has had a terrible effect on the quality of relationships
YES! Social networking has had an overwhelmingly good effect on the quality of relationships
These ARGUMENTS represent more extreme positions, and while it is possible to argue either position, there would be a good deal of pressure placed on you to justify and support such a strong claim.
he more conventional way to go is to consider both sides of the issue. This however, does not mean you should go straight for the middle, intermediate position; that is to argue something along the following lines.
Social networking has had both positive and negative effects on the quality of relationships
This example is a bit of YES and NO option, and while it is possible to argue it, your lecturer may criticize you for going for the easy, ‘sitting on the fence’ option.
The better academic arguments are ones that consider both sides of an issue, but ultimately make some commitment either way. Such arguments are often structured around connective words like while, although, however, such as the following:
WHILE social networking has had a number of positive effects on the quality of relationships in society, these are outweighed by the problems that this new technology has brought.
ALTHOUGH there are certainly some problems associated with social networking, on balance this technology has done much to improve the way that people relate to each other.
These are just two of the arguments you could run. There may be other ways you could take the topic. In the first example below, the ARGUMENT is focused on different ‘phases’ of social networking; in the second example, the focus is on different ‘uses’.