Tips for writing an argumentative essay

In an essay, you must argue, formulate an opinion on a specific subject in a formal written language.

  • Analyze the keywords of the subject
  • Mobilize ideas in the rough. If the subject asks you to analyze the advantages and the disadvantages, make 2 columns where you will classify the arguments FOR / VS (FOR / AGAINST)
  • Keep only the most relevant ideas, categorize them and make a plan based on your opinion (thus your conclusion) / chain ideas coherently and logically using transitions and linking words below: “Useful vocabulary to write my essay“) / give examples / develop explaining the causes, the consequences… / always place last arguments that are consistent with your opinion, so with your conclusion.
  • Write the introduction after making the plan and expressing your opinion only in the conclusion.
  • Use MAY, MIGHT to be less categorical in your affirmations: “We may / might wonder whether…”: we can / might wonder if…
  • Re-read your essay (spelling / punctuation / mistakes you usually make).
  • Indicate the number of words used.


  • clichés
  • to repeat an idea already expressed
  • to build up an accumulation of unrelated and unrelated ideas
  • to contradict you (check consistency)
  • to say: “an important problem”, but rather “a serious problem”
  • to use “good” / “bad”

Good (think of other positive adjectives): excellent, great, fine, serious, interesting, amazing, exciting…

Bad (think of other negative adjectives); dangerous, boring, hard, difficult…

The test follows very formal rules:

  • Please present your essay clearly: an introduction, development (at least 2 parts with several paragraphs), and conclusion. Make sure to air your homework: skip a line between introduction and development, and another between development and conclusion. Remember to change paragraphs each time you change your mind.


  • The introduction has 3 steps: you must bring the subject by announcing the theme, introduce a problem and announce the plan indirectly (by formulating questions for example).
  • It’s a shorter paragraph than the others.
  • If you need to analyze a social problem you can:

– begin by evoking the rise of the phenomenon by insisting on its newness, its importance

– from a cliché that will have to be refuted next

You do not have to mention your opinion in the introduction.


  • There are 3 main types of plans:

– the Cartesian plane (as soon as there is an opposition in the subject)

ex: Introduction / thesis / antithesis / synthesis (= conclusion / opinion)

– the logical plan (facts / causes / consequences)

– the explanatory plan (analysis of the principal terms of the subject illustrated with examples)


  • In the conclusion, you will have to answer the question posed by the subject and the problematic presented in the introduction.
  • You must also express your opinion, which can be decided or nuanced.
  • You can expand the subject (‘This might lead us to’: this may lead us to / ‘this might result in’ = this may result in / ‘what is at stake is’ = what is at stake, it is / ‘Time will tell whether’: the future will say if / ‘it is to be hoped that’: one can hope that…)
  • You can end with a question (‘what is to become of…?’). End with a formula that marks the reader.

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