Successful Argument Building

Online guide to successfully building an argument in an academic paper.

Building an argument

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If you are writing an academic paper – an essay, a dissertation, a thesis, or a report – then it is vital that you build an effective argument within that paper, drawing on evidence and coming to a well-reasoned conclusion. This skill can take practice to master, but once you’ve got it, your academic work will benefit!

If you want to build and effective argument, one that will help you get good grades in your paper, then you need to do the following things:

For the simplest argument:

red tick iconIdentify your main conclusion

red tick iconIdentify supporting reasons

red tick iconWrite your argument down

red tick iconCheck that the reasons support the conclusion

For more complex arguments, you will also need to:

red tick iconState your intermediate conclusions

red tick iconEmphasise the key turning points in your argument

Once you’ve got an understanding of these stages, it is extremely helpful to know about:

    • Counter arguments


The following chapters of this online book will give you ideas, advice and tips on how to do these things successfully.