Writing Skills For A Level

Pre-Writing Skills

Identifying Questions Types

1. Arguments about the nature of something

What is X?

  • This is based on definitions.

  • One must question assumptions normally taken for granted.

  • Examples:

    • Is capital punishment as administered in Singapore discriminatory?

    • Is the human foetus a human thing?

2. Arguments of Cause and Effect

What are the causes/ consequences of X?

  • Answer the question of “Why” and “How.”

  • Two basic types:

    • Cause to Effect:

      • e.g.: “Singapore’s education system makes our students disciplined workers.” Discuss.

      • “The increase of overly indulgent parents is directly proportionate to rising incidents of gangsterism in schools.”

    • Effect to Cause:

      • e.g.: “Short life span is the result of the pressure to perform.” Discuss.

      • “If we abolish the death penalty, will that cause the rate of murder to increase?”

3. Arguments of Evaluation

Is X better or worse than Y?

  • Examples:

    • “The integrated school system is superior to the traditional ‘4-2 approach.’” Comment.

    • “An immediate attack on Iraq is the best solution to world terrorism.” Discuss.

    • “Tennessee Williams’ plays are better than Arthur Miller’s. Do you agree?”

4. Arguments of Policy

What should we do about X?

  • This addresses a specific problem.

  • Points to note:

    • Emphasizes consequences if problem is not addressed.

    • Propose a viable solution

    • Examples:

      • “Does the state have a right to influence the fertility rates of its population?”

      • “Singapore schools do not prepare students for life.” Do you agree?

      • Should pornography be censored?


  1. Is the Qn an expository / argumentative ? Or which of the 4 types does it belong to?

  2. What is the Direction word? What do they mean? (See table below)

  3. What are the key words?

    • Indication of main information needed by looking at content words

    • Draw your focus

      • Eg: Account for the breakdown of families in modern society.

  4. Are there any extreme views

    • Usually very provocative.

      • E.g. “All teachers should be females as they are nurturing and they have ample patience.

        • This is obviously a bias statement!

      • E.g. ‘Young people never really have choices; they are just victims of circumstance.’

        • Sometimes they can also exercise choice.

  5. Are there any jargons to define?

Brainstorming Techniques

  • CAF


    • Discuss: “Is it appropriate for teenagers to have BGRs at this time?”

  • PMI


      • Plus : pros

      • Minus: Cons

      • Interesting : opinion, anecdote, quotation, etc…

  • 2PIES

    • Psychological, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional & Spiritual

    • Suitable for discussion at personal/individual level

    • Discuss: “Adolescence is the best and worst part of one’s life. Do you agree?”

  • FIP

    • First Important Priorities

    • Which points are more important?

    • Discuss: “What is greatest threat facing youths in your country today?”


    • S: Science, Technology, Society

    • P: Personal views, Politics, Philosophy

    • E: Environment, Education, Economics

    • R: Race, Religion

    • M: Mass Media, Moral Values.

      • Suitable for discussion at SOCIETAL, personal or individual level.

      • Discuss: “All pure boys & girls schools should be turned into co-ed schools as they are out-dated and counter productive.”


    • Economics, Environment, Moral, Political, Religious, Social, Technological

    • Suitable for discussion at Global and Societal level

    • Discuss: “Should the law allowed Gay marriages?”

  • 6W1H

    • where, when, what, who, why, which, How.

    • Suitable for discussion at Individual, Global and Societal level

  • ICSG

    • Individual, Community, Society, globe

    • Hierarchy of factors.

    • Suitable for discussion at Individual, Global and Societal level

  • C & S

    • Consequences & Sequences

    • Any new action to be considered for their Consequences and the resulting sequence of reactions.

  • AGO

    • Aims, Goals, Objectives

    • What are we trying to achieve?

    • Useful for understanding opponents’ mindsets

  • APC

    • Alternatives, Possibilities & Choices.

    • A tool for reconsidering our current position.

Writing Introductions

9 Methods of Lead-Ins

1. Making a short sharp statement about the topic

Eg: ‘As society becomes more complex, we have more government and less freedom.’

Actually, every year people are becoming freer. One cannot agree with the statement that ‘as society becomes more complex, so we have more government and less freedom.’ This essay will first to consider the question of freedom in the modern world and then to deal with that of government.

2. Posing a question to the reader

Eg: What effects has commercialisation had upon sport?

Commercial interest can be seen to have had both a positive and a negative influence upon sport today. Would international sports competitions be as good as they now are if they were left to governments rather than companies to subsidise? Would we be able to enjoy so much good sport on television were it not sponsored by companies who use it as a method of advertising their products?

3. Giving an example from one’s own experience.

Eg: Is air travel as safe as it should be?

It is argued that air travel is safer than road travel but, given the high rate of road accidents, is that safe enough? This is hardly the case. Recently, a journalist on United Airlines decided to test the security at our capital's airport. He took two guns with him on a flight to New York. He put one in his suitcase and hid the other under his jacket. The airport security staff discovered neither.

4. Making an appropriate analogy.

Eg: What are the advantages and /or disadvantages of a university education for a businessman or woman?

A university education for a businessman or woman is like training a sailor on land. It is possible to learn something on shore about the theory of knots and winds but it is not possible to gain a real understanding of what seafaring is like until one sets foot on board. It is the same with business. A university education gives the future business person some advantages as we shall see later but no one can become a businessman or woman until they have had extensive practical experience of the business world.

5. A quotation

Eg: Are looks everything to a teenager?

‘Guys do not make passes at girls who wear glasses.’ remarked the well-known American novelist Dorothy Parker. Perhaps this explains why so many junior college girls switch from spectacles to contact lenses.

6. Description making an emotional appeal

Eg: Are our children adequately protected from child abuse?

With one eye blackened, one arm in a cast and third degree burns on her legs, Karen is not the victim of a war or natural disaster. Rather, she is one of a growing number of children who suffer daily from a hidden crime, child abuse.

7. Statement of a problem or popular misconceptions

Eg: ‘I am a Science student, therefore I can’t write well.” Comment.

Some people believe that only people in the Arts stream are able to appreciate creative writing. However, the broad membership of the Creative Writing Club which includes Science and Commerce students gives the lie to this misconception.

8. Catalogue of relevant examples

Eg: Are delinquents worth our attention?

A teenage dropout becomes the top cadet in the army. A former secret society member emerges as the top student in the polytechnic. These are just some of the many young people who had benefited greatly from counselling which helped to turn their lives around.

9. A paradoxical or intriguing statement

Eg: Chocolates: a curse or a blessing?

‘Eat two chocolate bars and call me in the morning.” said the psychiatrist to his patient. Such advice sounds like a chocolate fanatic’s dream but studies have indeed confirmed that chocolate positively affects depression and anxiety.

Sample Introductions

Qn: ‘The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone know everything.’ These words were written many years ago. Are they true today?

Sample 1

Our society has come along way since the Industrial Revolution. Today our teens are brought up in a relatively comfortable environment. One assumes naturally that our teens possess good ethical upbringing. Yet the truth cannot be further away than that. This essay will show by various examples how lacking in values the contemporary teenager is. To substantiate this view, attention will be given the myriad of behavioral problems displayed and petty crimes committed. In each case, the significance and impact of each example given will be fully illustrated.

Sample 2

The youth of today are a mixed bag: there are those who respect their elders, care for others and behave decently; and those who openly defy their parents and partake in vices in all sorts. Therefore it is incorrect to say that all of today’s youth are a hopeless lot of delinquents, and equally erroneous to claim that they are all saints. This essay will deal mainly with Singapore youths. It will examine factors which influence them, traditions and religions. Also it will highlight the curious position of Singapore’s youth: imbued with Western ideas yet grounded with Eastern conservatism.

Thesis statement


  • It is the controlling idea of the essay

  • It must be able to be developed into a pattern of sub-ideas

a. Declare the specific aspects of your discussion topic.

Eg: What can be done to alleviate suffering in the world?

There are many kinds of suffering in the world. Suffering can be caused by illness, by unrequited love, by fear, by an unhappy family life, by loneliness, by hunger, by political, religious or racial persecution. This essay shall concentrate on those less personal and more socially determined aspects of suffering like illness, hunger and persecution. Were society so inclined it would be able to do much to alleviate the suffering based on such ills.

b. Define/ clarify any important terms in the title

Eg: Should all forms of gambling be abolished?

In this essay, gambling shall be defined as being any kind of playing games for money. Thus, such activities as betting on horses or dogs, buying tickets; in a national lottery, using fruit machines and playing roulette or cards for money are all varieties of gambling. Risking money by investing on the stock market is not included by this definition of gambling as it does not constitute a game.

c. State your opinion clearly

Eg: How necessary is the University fees hike?

Many people have different opinions about the fairness of the fee hike and I agree with some of them. The issue of the fee hike is controversial. The government has imposed a fee hike. I oppose the fee hike because it discriminates against Arts students.


  1. To substantiate this…

  2. Or To develop this view…

  3. Or To argue my case…

  4. Or To justify my stance… etc

  5. I will [examine/discuss/evaluate] the following [areas/aspects/factors]

Eg: How important is government co-operation in the fight against terrorism?

  • Lead In

The recent terrorist bombings in Northern Ireland have served to remind us that the threat of terrorism is ever-present.

  • Opinion

It is important that government co-operation exists at all levels, but I also believe that this in itself is not enough.

  • Treatment

To develop this view, this essay will examine co-operation in the form of unity within the government system in a nation, government co-operation between a government and its citizens, and international co-operation between governments. It will then point out the particular importance of the mass media in the fight against terrorism.

  • Scope

The discussion shall be largely confined to America and the Middle East and

  • Interpretation

Terrorism may be defined as the act of generating fear through violence and using it to achieve political objective.


  • Introduces the major points to be discussed

  • Lets the reader know in advance the route you are taking

  • Helps to organise one’s essay

Eg: ‘As society becomes more complex, we have more government and less freedom.’

Actually, every year people are becoming freer. One cannot agree with the statement that ‘as society becomes more complex, so we have more government and less freedom.’ This essay will first to consider the question of freedom in the modern world and then to deal with that of government.

Eg: What are the main causes of international tension today?

Are the main causes of international tension today any different from what they were last century? Are there many different causes of international tension or can we isolate one or two, factors lurking behind every situation of tension? If we understand more fully the causes of tension will we then be in a position to reduce such tension? This essay shall attempt to answer each of these questions.

Eg: Was the Nazi’s control of the German population complete?

Countless historians have debated with this question: “How tightly controlled was Nazi Germany?” On one hand, we find a lively ‘blues’ music scene, but one the other hand the feared Gestapo was always on the back of the population’s mind. This essay would argue that the Nazi’s totalitarian control over was never in doubt. Through the unscrupulous use of propaganda, the secret police and concentration camps, Hitler could control Germany with an iron fist.

Topic Sentences

For your purpose, most good paragraphs will consist of 3 components:

  • Topic Sentence [TS]: main idea

  • Supporting Sentence [SS]: explanation of TS with reasons, facts, statistics & quotations.

  • Concluding Sentence [CS]: sums up


Identify the 3 components in the following paragraph with labels TS, SS & CS.

My understanding of how far basic fairness can take us came early on in the form of Miss Daily, my eighth-grade teacher. Though she was only five feet tall, she was a very powerful lady, the queen of her domain. I was one of three black students in the class, but she made me feel equal to every other student in the room. She didn’t do this by delivering searing diatribes on race relations; she simply treated me like everyone else. She never gave even a hint that her students’ race mattered to her. Regardless of our color, we all had to adhere to the highest academic standards. What she demanded of one, she demanded of all. Eventually I, too, became a teacher, and when I encountered students whose backgrounds were racially and ethnically diverse, the memory of Miss Daily helped me to judge my young charges on nothing more than the quality of their work.

Adapted from Wes Carter, “My Turn: The Newspapers Tell Only Half of the Story,” Newsweek. 13 Jan 2003.

A good paragraph must also have 2 elements

  • Unity:

    • Only one idea in a paragraph

    • This main idea is reflected in the topic sentence.

E.g. 'Politics has nothing to do with idealism; it is all about hard-headed decisions, money and power.' Do you agree? (RJC Prelim 2001)

On the international level, we still see a whole range of idealistic concepts being sounded and propounded. If anything, the level of idealism in international politics seems to have increased. From the signing of the International Declaration of Human Rights at the San Francisco Conference in 1945, a welter of protocols and conventions regarding any issue from genocide to women's rights have been created. With the United Nations at the forefront of this "humanitarian revolution", the issue of fundamental human rights cannot be avoided in politics today. This idealism in international politics has an inevitable effect on the domestic arena, as politicians increasingly support such ideals as democratization which offers equal rights to all. Indeed, in the past three decades, two thirds of countries which were non-democratic thirty years ago have held democratic elections. Thus we see that on the ideological level, democracy as the new Holy Grail has imbued politics with a noble hope.

How would you improve this paragraph in the light of what you know about ‘Unity’?

  • Coherence

    • Logical order

      • e.g There are several steps involved in baking an angel food cake. First sift the flour. Then add sugar to it.

    • Repeat key words, synonyms & pronouns

      • e.g Gold, a precious metal, is prized for two important characteristics. First of all, gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. Therefore, it is suitable for jewellery, coins, and ornamental purposes. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever.

    • Transition words

      • e.g. First of all, Therefore, If anything, Thus

  • Cohesion

    • Cohesion refers to the linguistic links between sentences that distinguishes them from a random collection of sentences. Such links demonstrate the relationship between the ideas contained in these sentences. Thus, a paragraph that is made up of sentences that are well-linked is said to be cohesive.

      • Cohesion ensures that the written text flows smoothly. Cohesion enhances clarity as the reader is able to follow the development of ideas in a text more easily.


Take a look at the two texts below. Which is more effective? Underline some of the cohesive devices used.

Text A

(1) Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of history’s meanest villains. (2) Richard had his brother Clarence killed. (3) Clarence stood in Richard’s way to the throne. (4) Richard had Clarence drowned in a huge casket of wine. (5) Richard hired assassins to kill his two little nephews. (6) The assassins smothered the little nephews in their beds. (7) Richard killed his won right-hand man, the Duke of Birmingham. (8) Buckingham had already had enough of Richard and his bloody ways. (9) Richard III was ruthless. (10) Richard gave the word ‘villain’ a new meaning.

Text B

(1) Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of history’s meanest villains. (2) For example, he had his brother Clarence killed because Clarence stood in Richard’s way to the throne. (4) This was done by drowning Clarence in a huge casket of wine. (5) He also hired assassins to kill his two little nephews. (6) They smothered the little princes in their beds. (7) Richard even killed his won right-hand man, the Duke of Birmingham who had already had enough of Richard and his bloody ways. (9) Richard III’s was ruthlessness gave the word ‘villain’ a new meaning.

  • Repetition

    • Repetition of key words/phrases or the use of synonyms

    • Repetition of key words, to focus the reader’s attention on certain issues

      • e.g. Whenever we turn on the TV or radio, we see sports stars celebrating their victory by drinking beer or smoking a cigarette. At first, we might think this entertaining and harmless, but if we were to examine the issue more closely, questions arise in our minds about the adverse effects these advertisements have on people. It may contribute to underage drinking and smoking as well as encourage sports fans to feel good about it, even though it is harmful. This is why sporting heroes should not promote tobacco and alcohol products.

    • Repetition of different forms of the same word

      • The use of different forms of the word e.g. honour, honourable

    • Use of superordinates/hyponyms

      • A word is a hyponym of another if its meaning includes the meaning of the other. Hyponymous relationships are hierarchical and can be displayed in the form of a tree diagram.

    • Repetition of structural pattern

      • This has the effect of building up expectation, and creating a powerful impact on the reader.

      • e.g. One of the most significant advantages of sport is that it provides athletes the opportunity to strive towards excellence, not for the fans in the stadium, not for the coaches, and not for the sports writers, but for themselves.

    • Antonym

      • Antonyms or opposites are often used for comparison or to achieve an antithetical effect.

      • e.g. A slim but energetic individual, who exercises regularly, is truly healthy, unlike a slim but listless person who often goes on crash diets.

  • Pronoun references

    • This includes “he,” “she,” “they,” “it,”. With this method, you avoid unnecessary repetition of important nouns and ideas.

    • e.g. The belief that abortion is murder accords the foetus the same rights as a human being. It is hence based on the assumption that a foetus is no different from a human being.

  • Demonstrative references

    • This includes “here,” “there,” “this,” “that,” “these,” “those”

    • e.g. The term syntax refers to the organisation of words into longer sequences. Speakers of a language know the principles that govern this organisation, even through they may not necessarily be conscious of their linguistic knowledge.

  • Ellipses

    • This refers to the mission of certain words in sentences whose meaning still remains clear without them.

    • e.g. A new system uses microwave radar to measure the relative speed and spacing of vehicles and then ( ) adjusts these values by automatic operation of the brakes and throttle.


    • Keep asking yourself: What is my purpose? What am I trying to accomplish or prove in this paragraph.

    • To maintain paragraph unity, you should not allow any supporting sentences (or SS) to deviate from the pattern projected by the topic sentence (TS).

    • Paragraph unity is maintained by adopting the principle of main clause unity—relating the main clause of each supporting sentence (subject and predicate) to the controlling idea of the topic sentence.

E.g (TS) The concept of civil disobedience outlines one of the ways by which citizens may achieve their purpose through non-violent means. (SS) The American people have succeeded in overturning policies which discriminated against those who were not white largely by means of such protests.

In the example above, the main clause of the supporting sentence: “The American people have succeeded “ is directly related to the controlling idea of “citizens achieving their purpose..” If the main clause of the supporting sentence contains information that is not related to the controlling idea of the topic sentence, the sentence will lose its focus as the information in a subordinate clause is often of secondary importance to that contained in the main clause.

E.g. (TS) The concept of civil disobedience outlines one of the ways by which citizens may achieve their purpose through non-violent means. (SS) Non-whites were discriminated against by certain policies which were eventually successfully overturned by the American people through such protests.


  • Identify the topic sentence and the controlling idea of that sentence.

  • Identify the supporting sentences and the subject and predicate of each sentence.

  • Do the supporting sentences contain information that is related to the controlling idea of the topic sentence? Has paragraph unity been maintained?

  • Is there information that needs to be placed in a subordinate clause and not exist as distinct sentences?

Eg. The Internet Revolution sparked great use of the internet by the millions. The only way to log on to the internet is a through a modem. The most common of modems is the fax modem which sends signals through the ready-built infrastructure of telecommunication lines.

Common Positions of Topic Sentences

  • Beginning

    • Also known as the ‘Deduction’ method where one state the main idea and this is followed by supporting sentences. All the example paragraphs above are of this type.

  • End

    • Also know as ‘Induction’ method where the writer introduces the supporting statements and then states the main idea. When the subject matter is controversial and the writer is at pains to convince the reader, this method is often used.

    • e.g. The students are running amok. Some are smoking casually in the toilets. Most of the teacher’s belongings in the common room are unsafe. The younger students go hungry because their allowance have been ‘confiscated’ by school bullies. This is the scenario if there is no corporal punishment in secondary schools.

  • Middle

    • This begins like the ‘Induction’ method, but the writer follows it up with more support.

  • Beginning & End

    • Largely similar to the first method, the writer adds a restatement of the main idea at the end of the paragraph.

Organising Paragraphs

  • Elaboration [aka Exemplification or Giving Examples]

  1. Logical Reasons

    • Facts, opinions that are based on reality.

  2. Evidences

    • To support a claim you have to support with evidences

    • Examples are used to make abstract ideas clearer to readers.

    • Ask yourself: WHERE IS THE PROOF?

1) ˜Identify the [CLAIM] and [PROOF] in this example:

In addition to the words which a speaker uses to convey meanings, the hearer has to deal with certain kinds of nonverbal clues. The first is body movements. When a body position or movement is linked with spoken language, it gives fuller meaning to a sender’s message. For example, we life one eyebrow for disbelief, rub our noses for puzzlement, shrug our shoulders for indifference, and slap our forehead for forgetfulness. Intonation too, influences the hearer’s perception of what is being said. A smooth, soft tone creates a different meaning than an intonation that is abrasive. […]

  • Rebuttal of opposing Viewpoint *

    • Sometimes in an Exposition, you need to state “the cons,” “disadvantages,” or the “opponents’ viewpoint.”

    • Yet you fear that this might contradict your position in the thesis statement, thus undermining your essay.

    • So how do you sound “objective” yet persuade your readers of your position?

    • You use three steps to achieve this.

      • Raise Opposing View [OV]

        • Generate points from the opposite perspective, but make sure that you can defend yourself against those points.

      • Strong Rebuttal [R]

        • Refute the OV you have raised in the preceding sentence. Always relate the rebuttal with your thesis statement, avoid sounding contradictory.

      • Restate your Thesis [T]

        • Punch in again your thesis statement for good measure.

Example Qn: ‘To ensure peace, it is vital to prepare for war.’ To what extent is this justifiable?

Thesis Statement: Under normal circumstances, if a country wants peace, it should prepare for war by building its armed forces.

[OV] Take countries like New Zealand and Brunei, both have grossly inadequate armies. Preparation for defence is nowhere in sight. Yet why has no one attack them? Why do they still enjoy peace? [R] The answer is quite straight forward. They are not strategically important to warrant any attacks. [OV] Then again, how do one account for countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland, being right in the middle of Europe? [R] Actually, they are uniquely vital as buffer zones for surrounding countries. [T] Hence, unless a country possesses these special qualities, it would do well to prepare itself for war.

  • Contrast

    • Pointing to a contrast to highlight a point being made

    • Useful when comparing differing aspects of 2 subjects

    • Make the Basis of contrast clear. e.g. Are you contrasting the appearance, function, development or effects etc…?

    • Textual Coherence Signals:

      • Prepositions: ‘in contrast to’ ‘as opposed to’ ‘unlike’

      • Verbs: ‘differs from’ ‘contrasts with’

      • Linkers: ‘however’ ‘on the other hand’

      • This list is not exhaustive

  • Comparison

    • Compare similar aspects of two related or unrelated subjects

    • Make the Basis of comparison clear. e.g. Are you comparing the appearance, function, development or effects etc…?

    • Textual Coherence Signals: ‘similarly’ ‘just as’ ‘can be compared with’ etc…

  • Causality [aka Cause & Effect]

    • time relationship between 2 actions, events, happenings with the notion that one will, might or should lead to the other by causing it.

    • Almost always related with chronology

    • Textual Coherence Signals:

      • Verbs: causes, lead to, create, result in, produce, contribute

      • Adjectives: to be responsible for, a resultant condition, a contributing factor

      • Linkers: therefore, consequently, as a result, because, for this reason, hence…

  • Chronology

    • Events arranged according to a time sequence

    • Usually to give historical background.

    • Textual Coherence Signals:

      • Adjectives: first, next, later

      • Linkers: then, at that point, after that, afterwards, thereafter, before that, meanwhile, during this time, While, Before, After, By the time.

  • Process

    • Describes the procedure, steps or stages

    • Usually used in instructions or a description about how something is done.

    • Textual Coherence Signals: [similar to Chronology]

  • Classification [aka Enumeration or Listing]

    • Consists of 3 parts

      • Identify the class the members belonged

      • ID the members

      • Specify the basis which they have been grouped.


A successful manager needs three skills. “The class” They are technical, human and conceptual. “The Members” Techinical skills are[…]. While Human relationships skills consists of […]. Finally conceptual skills consists of […]. “The Basis”

Create Interesting Paragraphs

A) drawing an analogy to illustrate an abstract idea

If you wish to comment on the wastage incurred in military spending, write like this:

“At the end of the day our taxpayers might find that the army is like our son whom we have sent for further education for $250 000. But upon his return 4 years later, we found that that rascal had not learnt anything useful.”

B) using a quotation to lend force to the point made

If you wish to criticise racial prejudice a useful quote might be from Bayard Rustin:

“[Prejudice’s] birthplace is the sinister room of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings.”

C) defining a concept to be dealt with

The introductory paragraph could possibly define what exactly the writer is going to mean when talking about zoos. Will the definition used cover safari parks, for example, and will it also include small zoos or pets' corners, exhibiting mainly ordinary domestic animals for young children's benefits?

D) rephrasing or repeating something in order to give it further emphasis

The concluding paragraph could ‑ as final paragraphs frequently do ‑ rephrase and repeat the arguments presented in the body of the essay.

Writing the Argumentative Essay


G eneral Comment (F I T P Q S)

I nterpretation / Definition of Key Terms (optional)

V iewpoint Statement (I believe/ in my opinion / in my view)

P review (optional)

(To develop this view, I will examine / discuss . . .)

(To substantiate this, I will examine / discuss . . .)

(I shall examine the political, social and economic aspects / reasons / factors that . . . )


Para 1 & 2:

1st main idea supporting your view

Topic Sentence

Elaboration / Examples

Restatement of stand

Para 3:

3rd main idea supporting your view

Topic Sentence

Elaboration / Examples

Restatement of stand

Transitional statement

Advocates of the opposing camp would say that . . .

Some people would argue that . . .

Some would disagree with my arguments because they feel that . . .

There are those who feel that . . .

Para 4:

1st main idea from an opposing view

Topic Sentence (Opposing view)


Own view (state why your view is stronger)

Para 5:

2nd main idea from an opposing view

Topic Sentence (Opposing view)


Own view (state why your view is stronger)


Restatement of your stand

Brief summary of main points

Evaluation of what has been discussed

(After careful consideration of the views explored in this essay, I feel that . . .)

Download Checklist for Argumentative Essay