Basic Argumentation Structure

If you want to reduce the basic structure to creating an argument, you could reduce it to this structure:

Topic Sentence

Statement / Claim

Evidence / Example

(Citation of Evidence, whether summarized or quoted)

Explanation / Transition


Topic Sentence: a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which occurs.

Statement / Claim: expression of material information that builds upon the topic sentence and/or sets up your eventual example.

Evidence / Example: usually taken from some source aimed at supporting your statement/claim and ideally in support of your larger thesis.

(Citation for any Summary, Paraphrasing, and/or Quoting of material)

Explanation: Following your use of source to support larger claim or statement, usually aims to explain and connect quotation to larger overall argument expressed in thesis.

Transition: When finished explaining and moving on to a new paragraph, should help move the conversation/argument forward into a topic of conversation.


From this basic structure you can set up, integrate research information, and explain it, connecting it back to your thesis statement.

I did an example here, color coded to match structure above:

image.png

This process allows you to BUILD around information you are using to support your thesis (argument) while making sure it is crystal clear to your audience and at the same time extending the length of your paper.

image.png

I have below here a grouping of beginning arguments done by former students. They are not perfect but they can allow you some window/insight into the process.

Sample Arguments

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