What is an argumentative text?
We speak of an argumentative text when we identify texts whose main objective is to support a thesis that is presented through an organized exposition of ideas, reasons or coherent and logical justifications. The purpose of this presentation is to persuade the reader of the author’s point of view.
Argumentation, in a general way, implies the exposition of reasons with the purpose of demonstrating an aspect. In this way, it implies an exposition of ideas or previous information to achieve its objective. This is a clear example of the way in which many types of text are related to achieve their purpose. In these, the sender has a communicative intention through which he offers a subjective view.
Main features of argumentative texts
Let us now look at a series of features that this type of texts share and that allow us to identify them from others of their main category. Thus, we have the following main characteristics:
The intention of this type of texts, if not to persuade or convince, is to provoke a reaction that coincides with that of the author or to move him, thus creating a feeling of sympathy or rejection with what is being exposed. This is done based on the focus of the argumentative text in addressing the doubts, fears, desires or feelings of the audience.
Emotional and affective elements
Following the previous aspect, many of these elements to address the public more intimately are related to the arguments in concrete terms with examples of family or close people, alluding to the opinion of experts, appealing to the trust inspired by the issuer and credibility, the use of a public image, pointing out the choice of groups in the majority, exemplification, enumeration, among others.
Although it is true that argumentative texts can be identified in a large number of spaces and topics, they are usually designed especially for objectives that involve convincing a large or at least a considerable number of people. That is why their resources are often used in advertising, for example.
Clarity of information
In order to avoid any kind of doubts that may lead the author away from his main objective, it is essential that the information is presented in a clear way and in this way, as far as possible, there will be no gaps for the reader and it will be much shorter the way to convince him/her of the idea presented. That is why classifications, enumerations and descriptions are key elements that allow a better organization and exposition of the information.
Structure of an argumentative text
This type of texts is organized from three fundamental parts, although it is possible that in its development other complementary elements are generated that allow the exposition of the information. Let’s see:
In this section, the author must clearly state the main idea on which the content of the text is based. That is to say, the idea to be defended. It is very important that this idea or initial thesis is clearly formulated, since the development of the text should revolve around it and this should be easily understood by the reader.
In this part, each and every one of the issues, justifications or reasons must be clearly stated. In this section the author should begin to present the textual quotations that will allow him to support his initial thesis and that, in this way, demonstrate the point of view he has put forward.
Also known as synthesis, it is the final part in which the text closes and in which, according to the information presented in the development, begins the part of verification and connection of ideas to give firmness to the idea that was developed. It is essential that this last part is coherent from the idea or thesis to the development and the way it was presented in order to convince the reader.
Types of argumentative text
Now, it is possible to identify several types of argumentation in the development of this type of text. This division is made on the basis of the strategies that allow the author to contribute to the writing process. Among the main ones we find the following:
The argument directly presents the credibility of the source, whether it is a witness, a research institute or a researcher. It is very important to add all kinds of resources necessary for research, such as links to information gathering or mention of the institution consulted.
Cause and effect argument
Also known as cause and consequence argument, this strategy allows the author, in order to prove his thesis, to start looking for cause or reason relationships, as well as effect or consequence relationships, which allow him to connect the thesis and the conclusion in a more concrete way.
In this case we are talking about a strategy that allows you to confirm what has been stated based on real facts. It is not necessarily necessary to include examples that are positive, but situations of different nuances should be considered that allow the information presented in the thesis to be verified.
Argument by analogy
This type of argument and technique allows the author to start from the hypothesis that something should be treated in the same way. One of the types of text in which this strategy is most developed are the jurisprudence cases, another type of text with which it is related.
Argument from concrete evidence
In this strategy the author uses arguments that are based on concrete evidence, in this way he seeks to highlight the thesis based on specific information that can be found in reality. Among this type of elements we can find statistical data, facts in the public domain, for example, among others.
The basis of this argumentation strategy is related to the intention of escaping from the central discussion, in which the arguments are not valid or maintain this nuance and subjectivity is resorted to. To this technique it is possible to add other aspects such as citation or logical reasoning.
Common sense argument
In this type of argumentative texts with this strategy, the argument includes a statement that the author presents as a general consensus. It is usually used mainly for the defense of an opinion or point of view and lacks questionings or mentions against it due to its character of general recognition.
Elements to elaborate an argumentative text
We conclude with a series of fundamental aspects that must be taken into account when writing this type of text, considering the structure and essential characteristics of the argumentative text. These elements are:
The first thing that is required before starting to write is the collection of information and thus, a planning of the text based on the structure we need to start with. This planning involves an organization of all sources and resources, based on the main thesis of the document, establishing the necessary elements for the approach of each section.
Determine the writing format
This type of text implies the use of different resources on which to support the information to be argued, as well as the thesis to be established, which is why it is necessary from the beginning to identify, for example, the citation format to be used, consult it and reference each of the readings. One of the best known citation formats for argumentative texts is APA.
One of the most recommended resources in the writing of this type of documents are questions, since in this way a better orientation of the reader is generated to the extent that the topic is problematized and then an answer is provided in which the position and thesis of the author is also evidenced. This will be a question within the text that arises in a clear and concrete way from what has been developed.
Length of the introduction
Another important aspect to consider is that the introduction should not be extended, as this would be starting with the content of the argumentative text. It is best to write the introduction with the initial ideas in about two paragraphs, although this will also be constructed according to the author’s need to present the topic.
Revision of the text
At the end of writing, the text will not be ready, but it will be necessary to make a couple of revisions that will allow us to identify ideas or sections that we can do without in order to contribute to the clarity of the exposition of the information. This revision is also key to subject the text to a general cleaning in which we can eliminate possible flaws in structure and spelling, as well as coherence within the text. Reading aloud is an excellent way to do this.
Implementation of the modifications
After the review and identification of needs, it is time to apply the modifications that are considered necessary and thus verify whether the information provided is sufficient and connects correctly with the arguments and the conclusion, since in fact this section is the most relevant within its content, as well as the justifications in the course of the text. These modifications may be subject to further review, it is not superfluous.
If you want to know more information and learn about other types of text, we invite you to continue browsing our Literature section, where you will find a lot of information about this artistic field.