Argumentative Paper Format
*Please note that this is only a sample format. There are multiple ways to organize an
o 1-2 paragraphs tops
o PURPOSE: To set up and state one’s claim o OPTIONAL ELEMENTS
Make your introductory paragraph interesting. How can you draw your readers in?
What background information, if any, do we need to know in order to understand your claim? If you don’t follow this paragraph with a background information paragraph, please insert that info here.
o REQUIRED ELEMENTS
If you’re arguing about a literary work—state author + title
If you’re arguing about an issue or theory – provide brief explanation
or your of issue/theory.
If you’re arguing about a film—state director, year + title
STATE your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph
o 1-2 paragraphs tops; Optional (can omit for some papers). Also, sometimes
this info is incorporated into the introduction paragraph (see above). o PURPOSE: Lays the foundation for proving your argument.
o Will often include:
Summary of works being discussed Definition of key terms
Explanation of key theories
SUPPORTING EVIDENCE PARAGRAPH #1
o PURPOSE: To prove your argument. Usually is one paragraph but it can be
o Topic Sentence: What is one item, fact, detail, or example you can tell your
readers that will help them better understand your claim/paper topic? Your
answer should be the topic sentence for this paragraph.
o Explain Topic Sentence: Do you need to explain your topic sentence? If so,
do so here.
o Introduce Evidence: Introduce your evidence either in a few words (As Dr.
Brown states ―…‖) or in a full sentence (―To understand this issue we first
need to look at statistics).
o State Evidence: What supporting evidence (reasons, examples, facts,
statistics, and/or quotations) can you include to prove/support/explain your
o Explain Evidence: How should we read or interpret the evidence you are
providing us? How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make
in this paragraph? Can be opinion based and is often at least 1-3 sentences. o Concluding Sentence: End your paragraph with a concluding sentence that
reasserts how the topic sentence of this paragraph helps up better understand and/or
prove your paper’s overall claim.