Perhaps, the most widespread topics of our times are drinking age, capital punishment, abortion, gun control, and drugs legalization. Selection of one of these topics may become disadvantageous as many instructors have read hundreds of essays on such topics, and it will be next to impossible to grab their attention and make favorable impression. It is also unavailing to take up the topics that prejudice against certain generally accepted human beliefs, which can sometimes be quite steadfast.
Below is the possible structure of the argumentative essay:
Paragraph 1. Introduction. General discussion of a problem. Expression of the writer's opinion in a thesis statement.
Paragraph 2-4. Arguments that support the writer's opinion. Clear discussion of the arguments supported by the sources.
Paragraph 5. Transitional paragraph. Includes a summary of paragraphs 2,3,4 and introduces the counter-argument.
Paragraph 6. Rebuttal of the counter-argument stated in paragraph 5. Rebuttal should be supported by the sources. The basic structure of rebuttal is as follows: 1 - start with rebuttal sentence (However,?); 2 - support your opinion by source (quote, paraphrase or summarize); 3 - Explain source.
Paragraph 7-8. Introduction and rebuttal of other counter-arguments (similarly to paragraph 5 and 6).
Paragraph 9. Summary of the primary points and restatement of thesis. May also include recommendations for further actions in this area.
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