- Planning: put simply, you will lose marks if your argument fails to have an effective structure. So a clear plan is essential to an effective written argument. The examiner's mark schedule states that your argument needs to show evidence of being consciously shaped.
- Decide on the most likely effective style - should you use standard English (probably...), be very formal (depends...), be chatty (probably not...) and so on.
- Brainstorm to create a list of points in favour of your idea. Choose five of the most convincing. Check that each point is truly separateand not a part of a larger, more general point if it is, use the larger point. Make sure each point would convince you if you were your opposition!
- Organise your five points into a progressive and persuasive order.
- Work out one or two of the main opposing points.
- Think how you could add authority to your writing: a piece of research, an expert opinion, a quotation from a respected source... (always sensible and made up for the exam!).
- Would an anecdote be a persuasive device to use?
- Remember to use reason but state it passionately if appropriate.
- Most especially remember that if you as much as even suggest that people are silly or foolish to hold an opposing view you have lost your argument! And worse... lost marks.
- Open strongly and in an original way to capture your reader's attention.
- Consider using an anecdote early in the argument.
- State your own point of view but don't be too strident in your tone.
- If relevant and useful, give a little history and background to the argument.
- Find some common ground between you and your reader to generate trust and goodwill in you as a person and as a thinker. 'Selling' yourself will help your reader decide to 'buy' your ideas.
CENTRAL or BODY PARAGRAPHS.
- Open each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the points created from your brainstorm and planning.
- Write about four to five more sentences that do no more than explain the point made in the topic sentence.
- Aim to…