Almost every essay example, on any subject, from weekly assignment writing to writing an undergraduate or masters dissertation or even a thesis, has one thing in common. It will revolve around an argument. Whether you are driving home a specific theory, considering an issue from all angles or debating a double-sided problem, an argument should emerge to give structure and direction to your essay format. So read on for our top tips on essay writing: how to strengthen your argument.

Essay format: a strong argument

The structure and format of your academic essay writing are crucial tools to use in conveying a strong argument. Instead of thinking of the two as separate aspects of your essay, use the format to punctuate and clarify your argument. This is particularly important when writing an undergraduate or masters dissertation, as their great length can mean that your argument becomes diluted and hard to follow.

  1. Use a concise introduction to your academic essay to set out key points in your argument and very clearly show what the shape of the essay will look like.
  2. Use separate sections for each new topic – don’t be afraid to use headings or chapters to clarify these and make sure that they each show a clear new idea in your argument. (Particularly relevant for dissertation writing).
  3. Allow yourself to start a new paragraph for a new idea or opinion, particularly if you are considering different sides of an issue.
  4. Allow your structure to clarify the flow of your argument – set out the most important or pertinent points first, followed by further details, and reserving more unusual ideas or final thoughts for later on.
  5. Any academic essay needs a strong conclusion to remind your reader what your argument has been and show clearly how you have used the different threads of your argument to reach an inevitable final conclusion.

Argumentative essay writing

Many students think that writing a strong argument in academic essay  and dissertation writing means bombarding the reader with reasons and evidence to support their point of view until they forget any alternative theories. In fact, essay examples which address the alternate view and explain why it is redundant contain much stronger arguments. So when you are writing essays, set aside a clear separate section in which you tackle any opposition to your argument and strongly contradict each issue with reasoning and evidence. This will not only strengthen your argument, but also give the reader greater faith in your essay writing, as they will feel your essay or dissertation is giving them an unbiased, rounded view.

Follow these top tips for the strongest possible arguments in your essay writing.