Techniques in Argumentative Writing


Argumentative writing attempts to convince its readers that one opinion has more merit than another. As a writer on the website says, the argumentative, or persuasive, writer attempts to persuade the reader that his viewpoint is the strongest. Several techniques exist that you can use to write argumentative essays. You can even use emotion to a certain extent. If you don't balance this with the use of facts, however, you can weaken your presentation.


  • Depending on the audience you wish to reach, colloquialisms may be an effective technique to use in an argumentative paper. If you are talking to the average consumer, for example, trying to convince him the superiority of one given brand over another, colloquialisms may be a way of connecting with the average person. The website writer, however, warns against the overuse of colloquialisms, such as the beginning of a sentence with "and" or "but." It could actually annoy your readers.

Point and Counterpoint

  • According to San Antonio College Professor Lennie Irvin, writing on The Write Place website, you use the point-counterpoint technique when you concede to the argument of your opponent, but you also declare that you still strongly disagree with him. For example, if you were writing a paper in defense of the right to bear arms, you may argue that while the shootings of John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others were tragic events, and increased steps to protect public figures are necessary, more laws restricting gun possession and use could abridge our Second-Amendment rights.


  • Facts and statistics are powerful in a persuasive paper. Facts are observable phenomena which come from reading, observation and personal experience, and statistics add numbers to the picture you are attempting to paint. As the website says, always ensure that when you use this technique, always use a reputable source, and cite the information you use.


  • Poetic devices can also be effective in a paper of this type. Argumentative writers sometimes borrow alliteration, imagery, rhyme and other such literary techniques in writing an argumentative paper. Used in moderation, these devices can stir the emotions of your readers, helping them to seriously consider your argument.


  • You use the technique of emphasis when you spend more time developing your argument than that of your opposing side, according to Irwin. It helps you to strongly establish your view in the forefront of the mind of your readers. It lets them know that of all the points you raised in your paper, the point you deign worth emphasizing is most important in your whole discussion.


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