An argumentative research paper is a paper in which you demonstrate that you can research, that you can evaluate that research, and that you can argue a point in an academic and supported way. That all sounds like quite a lot, but if you understand what is being evaluated in your paper, and what your tutor expects to see, then the process can be much easier, even enjoyable! So, how to write an argumentative research paper with guidelines:
The first interaction that your reader has with your paper is your introduction, and it is essential that this paragraph makes your position absolutely clear: what are you researching, why is it important, what is your specific thesis. Be clear on this final point, tell your reader, precisely, what you will be arguing: ‘I will show that…’
Talk, in a general but evidenced way, about the subject matter at hand: ‘postmodern fiction is generally considered to be’. ‘As X argues…’. Put your reader in your context.
Now narrow down to your thesis: what point do you want to make in the context of the wider discussion outlined above? Talk, for example, about what your particular research will take as its primary material, and develop your position and your argument. Provide evidence form existing work that supports your position, and make sure that you critically evaluate your supporting evidence.
Now, to strengthen your position, demonstrate an awareness of other positions, or counter-argument. Evidence these with sources, and address these in the same way that you addressed you supporting sources.
Now make a comparison between the respective merits of these two approaches, and describe, again with evidence and critical engagement, how your position is more viable. This is where you really make your reader see your argument’s value in relation to the most viable alternative.
Your conclusion must say how you have demonstrated and evidenced precisely what your introduction said you would do. Draw conclusions, and indicate both wider concerns, and future research directions.
This framework is recommended to ensure that you display all of the things that your professor will be looking to see in an argumentative research paper. So, put them into place!
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