How to Approach Writing an Argumentative Essay on Obesity
Obesity being a major problem in America is something that few will disagree with, but coming to an agreement on the solutions can be more difficult. The focus of any argumentative essay is to put forward a convincing case as to why your opinion should be the one that’s followed. In a standard five-paragraph essay format, you will lay this out as an introduction, three cohesive arguments as the body text and a conclusion that ties everything together, and we will look at them each in more detail here.
A checklist before you begin:
- Read the terms of your assignment clearly so you know what is expected;
- Research the topic by reading relevant papers and other literature;
- Write an outline of your position and three supporting arguments;
- Make note of relevant quotes and statistics that will support your positions;
- Ensure there is continuity throughout your basic outline.
Step 1: Introducing your argument
Though it is widely accepted as being a problem in contemporary America, one should never begin an essay based on a presumption. If your initial premise is proved to be off target or disagreed with by the reader, then you’re already fighting from a losing position before you’ve even started.
Begin with an arresting quote or statistic from a respected source and work your opening stance around that. This will lend greater authority to your own words in the eyes of the reader and encourage them to properly consider your points. For the purposes of this guide, we will take the stance that:
- Obesity affects a country on a national level and should therefore be dealt with nationally, not just individually.
Briefly explain the issues at hand and present your standpoint on what needs to be done, making sure that this fits with the main arguments you are going to make. Cohesiveness is always a key factor in a good argument.
Step 2: The body of the work and your specific arguments
In a standard essay format, you will have three paragraphs to go into detail on points you have chosen to support your argument. Try to make each of these arguments distinct from each other yet all in line with your main thesis. An example of this could be if you put forward three points such as these:
- Obesity leads to greater strain on healthcare and services;
- Workers are less productive, thus contributing less tax, when suffering from obesity;
- Similar to cigarettes, advertising for unhealthy lifestyle choices should be restricted or be obliged to provide strict warnings.
By taking a paragraph for each point and explaining it concisely, as well as including factual data from your research into relevant literature, you will be able to put across a strong argument in favour of your initial proposition. Each point should be able to exist on its own but also contain elements of your overall position. In the examples given, the first two points tie in with the “national” problem narrative, while the third suggests a path for a “national” solution.
Step 3: Bringing your argument to a climax
After the hard work of stating your belief and backing it up with incisive and well-supported points, the conclusion should leave a lasting impression. If your argument has been successful, the reader will have been won over to your side, and so this is your opportunity to really drive your argument home. Steer clear of excessive hyperbole but don’t be afraid of stating the real consequences of not listening to your argument. In general, one should restate a version of their introduction, briefly mention their points and then close on a line that will stick in the memory:
- If we do not heed the warnings about the effects obesity will have on our nation, this country, as we know it, may be facing one of its biggest problems since its inception.
With a good plan in place and following the guide we have laid out, you will be able to write an excellent argumentative essay that will convince any reader and guarantee great grades.