Putting It Together: Academic Argument Workshop

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Building an argument and developing a thesis do not happen in a single attempt. The process is what we call recursive, which means it is done over and over again until the writer is satisfied with the outcome. This satisfaction comes from many layers of evaluation and revision, so don’t be upset if you feel as though you are starting over after working on an essay for a while. You are not actually starting over, you are revising. It should be an expected part of the process, so don’t let it hold you back or make you feel insecure about your abilities. It is what writers do: revise, revise, revise.

As you apply the knowledge learned from this section, be sure to keep the following principles in mind:

  1. In order to build your own argument, you have to take in lots of information from multiple sources.
  2. To evaluate other author’s arguments, you need to consider their credibility and whether their conclusions are based on solid premises.
  3. To build an argument and develop a thesis, you will need to revisit the readings and your own pre-writing multiple times.
  4. A thesis statement is only a draft when you begin. You can revise and alter it as many times as you need to along the way so that it reflects your main argument and satisfies the criteria of the key features of a thesis statement.

Remember that the main drive of academic argument writing is to convince your reader of something–whether it be an interpretation of something in a novel or a proposal on how to improve elementary education. Your goal is to present the most convincing argument for your audience.


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