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Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to write an argument essay

There are five main steps.

Step 1: Read the question
Read the question. Decide what kind of essay it is - opinion, compare/contrast, problem and solution, cause and effect, or a mixture. The type of question will decide the layout and your ideas.

Step 2: Underline
Underline key vocabulary in the question and write words with the same or related meaning. This will really save you a lot of time later on. It will also help to avoid repetition of words, and will show that you understand the question.

Step 3: Get Ideas
Decide if you are for or against the idea. Usually it is best to give both sides (for and against - one paragraph each) and then to give your opinion in the conclusion. However there are other ways of laying out your essay.

Step 4: Decide Layout
You should decide on a layout. The easiest is 3773. That means four paragraphs: introduction (3 sentences) one side (7 sentences), the other side (7 sentences) and the conclusion (3 sentences). This will give you 20 sentences. An average of about 12 words each, that is 240 words. Perfect!

Step 5: Write
After you have written your plan, write your essay. Follow the steps in this website for writing the introduction, body, and conclusion. Check for fragments, run-ons and comma splices.

Opinion Essay Introduction
In the introduction, you should be very clear about the subject of your presentation. Name it in generic terms and define your line of argumentation. The reader must be informed about your ideas and attitude toward the topic since the very beginning of your essay. Your topic will, usually, be formulated a as question – you should provide an answer to it in the introduction, and elaborate on it in the body essay.

Opinion Essay Body – Paragraphs
In subsequent paragraphs you will elaborate on your arguments; that is, you will provide an argumentative context to the conviction you expressed in the introduction of the paper. Different elements of paragraphs will guide the reader through your fashion of reasoning.

Opinion Essay Argumentation Structure
You will be relating your arguments to two separate entities. First, refer your views on a particular topic to your own cultural background, age, family status, and personal experiences. You must allow the reader to situate your own self in the context of the problem you present.

Second, use varied source information in order to validate your points. Draw from multiple disciplines in order to manifest fluency in the subject and make your opinion essay sound authoritative, well-thought, and justified. Remember that one remark can be supported as well as challenged by scientific, axiological, historical references, and more.

Opinion Essay Language and Vocabulary
  • Avoid being too personal – don’t expose too many details from your personal life;
  • Avoid going off-topic – all arguments should reinforce thesis statement and you shouldn’t go off mark providing additional information on the arguments themselves – their origin, definition, etc.;
  • Avoid excessively emotional content – opinion essay presents a point of view and illustrates how it was developed by the author.
  • Avoid aggressive tone, moral judgments, and don’t attack the opposite side

Overall, avoid being excessively vocal about your opinion, however strong it is. Instead, concentrate on composing s logical flow of diversified arguments, and essential examples.

Language Expressions

1. Giving Opinion

  • In my opinion...
  • Personally, I think...
  • It seems to me...
  • As far as I'm concerned...
  • I think...
  • I'm convinced...
  • From my pint of view...

2. Agreeing

  • I agree with...
  • I definitely agree...
  • I completely agree with...

3. Disagreeing

  • I don't really agree with... The reason is that...
  • ..... may be correct, but... I have different view...

4. Emphasizing a point

  • It seems to me that the real issue is...
  • I think the basic cause is...
  • As far as I can see, the main problem is...
  • In my opinion, the basic problem is...

5. Stating priorities

  • In my opinion, the main thing is...
  • As I see it, the most important point is...
  • I feel that the most important consideration is...

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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