Examples of An Argumentative Essay and How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Title: The Plastic Bag Predicament: To Ban or Not to Ban?


The proliferation of plastic bags in our society has ignited a heated debate: should the use of plastic bags be banned altogether? On one side, proponents argue that banning plastic bags is a crucial step in reducing environmental damage and promoting sustainability. On the other, opponents contend that such a ban infringes on individual freedoms and fails to address the root causes of pollution. In this essay, we will examine both perspectives and ultimately argue that a well-considered ban on plastic bags is the responsible course of action for the betterment of our environment and future generations.


Argument 1: Environmental Impact

Supporters of the ban argue that plastic bags have a devastating impact on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States each year, the majority of which end up in landfills or as litter in our oceans and streets. These bags take hundreds of years to decompose, leaching harmful chemicals into the soil and water, endangering wildlife, and contributing to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.

Argument 2: Alternative Solutions

Opponents contend that banning plastic bags is a superficial solution to a complex issue. They argue that instead of an outright ban, we should focus on improving recycling and waste management infrastructure. They point out that plastic bags are often reused for various purposes, such as lining trash cans or picking up pet waste, and a ban would inconvenience consumers without providing viable alternatives.

Argument 3: Economic Impact

Some opponents of the ban also raise concerns about the economic consequences. The plastic bag industry provides jobs and generates revenue, and a ban could lead to job losses and increased costs for businesses. They argue that efforts should be directed toward more sustainable alternatives while protecting the livelihoods of those involved in the industry.

Counterargument 1: Individual Freedoms

While proponents acknowledge the environmental concerns, opponents argue that a plastic bag ban infringes on individual freedoms. They assert that consumers should have the right to make their own choices, and banning plastic bags represents government overreach.

Counterargument 2: Addressing Root Causes

Opponents also contend that focusing solely on plastic bags ignores more significant contributors to environmental degradation, such as industrial pollution and emissions. They argue that resources should be directed toward addressing these larger issues rather than imposing a ban on plastic bags.


In conclusion, the debate over whether to ban plastic bags is complex, with valid arguments on both sides. However, a careful examination of the evidence reveals that the environmental impact of plastic bags is undeniable. With plastic pollution threatening ecosystems and wildlife, it is incumbent upon us to take responsible action. While concerns about individual freedoms and economic impact are valid, they should not overshadow the urgent need for change. Implementing a well-considered ban on plastic bags, coupled with promoting sustainable alternatives, represents a significant step toward a cleaner and more environmentally responsible future. As consumers and citizens, we must prioritize the well-being of our planet and future generations over convenience and short-term economic considerations.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Step 1: Choose a Controversial Topic

The first step in crafting an argumentative essay is selecting a topic that sparks debate or controversy. Ensure your topic is specific and well-defined. For our example essay, let's choose the topic: "Should standardized testing be eliminated in schools?"

Step 2: Conduct Thorough Research

Before you start writing, gather credible sources and conduct thorough research on your chosen topic. You need to have a solid understanding of both sides of the argument. In the case of standardized testing, you would research arguments both for and against it, using sources like academic journals, books, and reputable websites.

Step 3: Develop a Clear Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the backbone of your argumentative essay. It should present your stance on the topic and provide a roadmap for your reader. For our example, a thesis statement might be: "Standardized testing should be eliminated in schools because it stifles creativity, increases stress in students, and does not accurately measure their abilities."

Step 4: Outline Your Essay

Create an outline that organizes your essay into clear sections: introduction, body paragraphs (usually three or more), and a conclusion. Each section should have a specific purpose and flow logically from one to the next.

Step 5: Write the Introduction

The introduction should grab your reader's attention, provide background information on the topic, and present your thesis statement. Consider starting with a compelling statistic or an anecdote related to standardized testing to engage your audience.

Step 6: Craft Strong Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis statement. Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence, followed by evidence and examples to back up your claim. Be sure to cite your sources properly.

For example:

Body Paragraph 1 (Creativity): Standardized testing relies on rigid formats that discourage creative thinking. According to a study by [Author], schools that emphasize standardized testing have seen a decline in creative problem-solving abilities among students.

Body Paragraph 2 (Stress): The pressure of performing well on standardized tests can lead to increased stress and anxiety in students. Data from [Source] shows a significant rise in stress-related incidents during standardized testing periods.

Body Paragraph 3 (Accuracy): Standardized tests are not an accurate measure of a student's abilities. Research by [Researcher] indicates that students who perform poorly on these tests often excel in other areas not covered by standardized assessments.

Step 7: Address Counterarguments

Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and refute them in your essay. This demonstrates that you've considered different perspectives and strengthens your argument.

Step 8: Write the Conclusion

Summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement in the conclusion. End with a strong closing statement that reinforces your position.

Step 9: Revise and Proofread

Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammatical errors. Ensure that your arguments are well-supported by evidence and that your essay flows logically.

Step 10: Provide Citations

Finally, make sure to provide proper citations for all the sources you used in your essay. Follow the citation style required by your instructor or institution (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago).

Example Argumentative Essay:

Title: "Eliminating Standardized Testing: A Path to Better Education"

[Start the essay with the introduction you developed earlier.]

[Include body paragraphs with topic sentences, evidence, and examples, as discussed in Step 6.]

[Conclude the essay as per Step 8, summarizing key points and reiterating your thesis statement.]


Writing an argumentative essay can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the example provided, you can craft a well-structured and persuasive argumentative essay on any controversial topic. Remember to thoroughly research your subject, acknowledge counterarguments, and provide credible evidence to support your claims. With practice and dedication, you can become a proficient argumentative essay writer, capable of presenting compelling arguments on a variety of issues.