Argument Essay Outline Template

For instance, let’s say you’re writing an argumentative essay about why Americans should start eating insects.

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The following template is only a suggestion from our GRE study guide, so feel free to adjust it slightly into a version that best works for you!

After presenting you with another author’s argument, there are a variety of ways your task can be stated.

He presents evidence to suggest this is valid including _________.

Though the underlying issue may have merit, because of a lack of relevant evidence, unaddressed assumptions, and vague terminology, the author’s argument is unsubstantiated and deeply flawed. Identify a primary assumption and give examples of evidence that would make the assumption unlikely to be true and therefore weaken the conclusion.

You are not expected to disprove the conclusion; instead, you want to show that the author, if he did more research, might find that his conclusion isn’t a strong one. Here you will be using the author’s own rhetorical construction against him.

Use a transition phrase again, then attack the specific terminology the author utilizes in the argument. This is a “time valve” paragraph–that is, only write it if you have plenty of time to spare.

All of these tasks ask you to analyze the argument and look for its assumptions and flaws; it’s essential that your essay makes reference to the specific directions you are given and refers back to those directions.

For instance, if you are asked to provide some questions that will need to be answered in order to assess the validity of the argument, state explicitly in your response that there are some questions that need to be answered–and then list some of those questions and provide some possible, theoretical answers that would either strengthen or weaken the argument.

Quickly restate your original thesis, that the argument has too many assumptions and flaws in reasoning to be acceptable.

I’ve said it time and time again—there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page. The introduction is where you lay the foundation for your impenetrable argument.


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