When formulating an argument for your essay, it pays to come up with several possible candidates during brainstorming. That way, you have a pool of choices to pick from, instead of being stuck with one that you can find adequate sources or strong evidence for.
Before getting all your research material in order, you want to come up with arguments that:
- Take a specific and tangible position on an issue.
- Has an opposing counter-argument. Note: if it doesn’t, then it’s not worth writing a paper about.
Once you have several candidates, it’s time to fill in the blanks. For an argument to hold water throughout an entire paper, you have to:
- Define a finite set of premises that illustrate the line of reasoning for the argument. This will constitute your main points, which should act as the main topic for each of your paragraphs.
- Gather evidence that will validate those premises. Evidence can be hard facts, statements from authority sources or real-world illustrations that establish the validity of each of your main points.
- Acknowledge opposing arguments, while managing to refute them.
If you have an argument that covers all those five things, then it should make for adequately strong material to use in your papers. The end result, of course, will depend on how well your structure your points and present your case, but you should be off to a good start.