How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince readers of a particular position on a topic. Because of its reliance on structure and planning, the first step in writing one is often drafting a solid argumentative essay outline.
Of course, drafting an argumentative essay outline can be just as daunting as actually writing one. Choosing topics is one thing, but organizing your thesis , research, reasoning, and conclusion is a whole other endeavor—and that’s all before beginning the first draft!
So in this quick guide, we explain how to make an effective argumentative essay outline, covering all three major formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin. We’ll also include argumentative essay outline examples and templates to help you understand what works.
Communicate with confidence. Grammarly helps you communicate effectively Write with Grammarly
How is an argumentative essay structured?
An argumentative essay uses facts, data, and logical reasoning to substantiate a specific stance on any given topic. They are typically structured to “build an argument,” with a clear thesis statement , unambiguous conclusion, and as much evidential support as needed.
While all seven types of essays follow the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, argumentative essays tend to be more complex to fit all the necessary components of a convincing argument. For example, you may want to dissect opposing points of view to strengthen your own argument, but where would you put that section? Before your argument? After? Intermingled throughout the essay with each new piece of evidence?
There’s no one right way to structure an argumentative essay; it depends on your topic, opposing viewpoints, and the readers, among other things. In fact, to accommodate different types of argumentative essay styles, three methods have emerged as the go-to formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin, explained below.
No matter the format or topic, a strong argumentative essay outline makes it easier to organize your thoughts and present your case in the best possible way. So before you get down to the actual essay writing , take a little time to prepare what you want to say in an outline.
How to create an argumentative essay outline
Knowing how to write an outline is just half the battle. Because an argumentative essay outline requires extra structure and organization, it often requires more extensive planning than the standard essay outline . After all, the goal is to present the best argument for your topic, so you need to make sure each section is in the optimal place.
As mentioned, there are three main options for how to structure an argumentative essay. Before we dive into the details, let’s look at an overview of each so you can decide which one best fits your essay.
When to use it: straightforward and direct arguments
The most forthright approach, the Classical or Aristotelian format is closest to traditional essay structures. It follows a simple layout: explain your argument, explain your opposition’s argument, and then present your evidence, all the while relying on credibility ( ethos ), emotion ( pathos ), and reasoning ( logos ) to influence the reader.
When to use it: both sides make valid arguments; your readers are sympathetic to the opposing position
The Rogerian format gives ample respect to opposing stances, making it a great “middle-ground” approach for representing both sides. This method is ideal if your thesis is a compromise between conflicting positions or an attempt to unify them.
Likewise, this format is best if you’re writing for readers who are already biased toward an opposing position, such as if you’re arguing against societal norms.
When to use it: complicated arguments with multiple facets; rebuttals and counterarguments
The Toulmin method is a deep analysis of a single argument. Given its methodical and detailed nature, it works best for breaking down a complicated thesis into digestible portions.
The Toulmin method is rather nitpicky in a very systematic way. That makes it an ideal format if your essay is a rebuttal or counterargument to another essay—you’re able to dissect and disprove your opposition point by point while offering a more reasonable alternative.
Classical argumentative essay outline template
Aristotle had a gift for explaining things clearly and logically, and the Aristotelian argumentative essay structure leans into that. Also known as Classical or Classic, the Aristotelian format is the most straightforward: the writer presents their argument first and then refutes the opposing argument.
Let’s look at the details in this argumentative essay outline example for the Classical or Aristotelian format.
A. Open with a hook, something to keep the reader interested enough to read until the conclusion (known as exordium ) B. Give any background information or context necessary to understand the topic (known as narratio ) C. Provide a thesis statement explaining your stance and why you feel that way (known as proposito and partitio )
II. First reason
A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio )
2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on
B. Summarize your first reason again and tie it together with evidential support
III. Second reason, etc.
A. Continue to list your reasons in the same format as the first. List your reasons from least to most controversial
IV. First opposing point of view
A. Explain the reasoning of the opposing side. Point out their defenses and evidence—what would they say if they were writing the essay? 1. Point out weaknesses and inconsistencies in their argument
2. Refute their points with evidential support (known as refutatio )
3. Reinforce your position as the more reasonable position
V. Second opposing point of view, etc.
A. Continue to present and refute opposing points of view in the same format as the first
A. Reiterate your position and thesis statement, drawing on your strongest evidential support and rebuttals of opposing points (known as peroratio ) B. Wrap everything up with a thought-provoking ending or call to action (a suggestion you want the reader to take)
Rogerian argumentative essay outline template
Of all formats, Rogerian gives the most attention to opposing arguments. Its goal is to create a middle ground between two arguments, pointing out the validity of each and finding a way to unify them as one. If positions on a particular topic are too polarized or unable to coexist, this format won’t work.
Let’s take a closer look at the Rogerian argumentative essay outline example below and notice the concessions for opposing points of view.
A. State the problem that needs to be solved and any context necessary for understanding it B. Explain the ideal solutions from your position as well as the ideal solutions from opposing positions (and point out any overlap) C. Make your thesis statement
II. Summarize the opposing position
A. Summarize the opposition’s point of view respectfully; consider their defense and reasoning 1. Present evidential support for the opposing position
2. Comment on or refute their support
B. Follow the same format for additional opposing points of view
III. Validate the opposing position
A. Show that you understand and/or sympathize with the opposing position 1. Explain the context and reasoning behind your opposition’s perspective
2. Elaborate on the evidence and data from opposing positions
B. Affirm the areas in which you agree with the opposition
IV. Present your position
A. Summarize your first reason for holding your position 1. Present your first piece of evidential support
2. Present your second piece of evidential support, and so on
B. Summarize your second reason for holding your position, and so on
V. Bring both sides together (compromise)
A. Consider which aspects from each argument are most reasonable B. Propose a compromise that combines the best elements from each position
A. Reaffirm your respect for the opposing point of view B. Reiterate the areas in which the opposition can benefit from your argument and vice versa C. Summarize the earlier compromise and, if possible, end on a positive note
Toulmin argumentative essay outline template
Stephen Toulmin’s original purpose was to analyze the nature of arguments, but the application of his teachings has evolved into an argumentative essay format, especially for challenging existing arguments. It focuses on the six elements that make up a good argument: claim (thesis), grounds (data and reasons), warrants, backings, qualifiers, and rebuttals.
The argumentative essay outline example below shows the recommended order in which to put these elements:
A. Open with a hook, if you can, to garner interest B. Explain the topic and its necessary context C. Make your thesis statement
II. Present the grounds (hard evidence) to validate your thesis
A. Present your first evidential support of data or logical reasons B. Present your second evidential support of data or logical reasons, and so on
III. Explain your first warrant (justification for your thesis)
A. Explain how the warrant relates back to your thesis B. Provide backing to support your warrant (could be more evidence or data or just logical reasoning) C. List any qualifiers that undermine or limit your warrant—the idea is to acknowledge any weaknesses in your own argument
IV. Explain your second warrant, and so on
A. Continue to explain your individual warrants as above
V. Discuss opposition
A. Explain the first opposing point of view 1. Discuss the opposition fairly and transparently
2. Explain your rebuttal to defend your thesis
B. Explain the second opposing point of view, and so on
A. Connect all your warrants and data together B. Reiterate the opposing position and your rebuttals C. Draw a conclusion to make your final claim and reaffirm your thesis
Argumentative essay FAQs
What is an argumentative essay?
An argumentative essay is a short, nonfiction piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince the reader of a certain point of view.
Argumentative essays typically include an explanation of the writer’s position (thesis), evidence supporting that thesis, opposing points of view, and rebuttals against that opposition. The order in which these sections are presented, however, depends on the format.
What are some common ways to organize an argumentative essay outline?
The most straightforward approach to an argumentative essay outline is to first present your position, including the evidence and reasoning to back it up, and then address the opposing points of view. However, the more complex the topic, the more layers must be added to the outline.
8 Effective Strategies to Write Argumentative Essays
In a bustling university town, there lived a student named Alex. Popular for creativity and wit, one challenge seemed insurmountable for Alex– the dreaded argumentative essay!
One gloomy afternoon, as the rain tapped against the window pane, Alex sat at his cluttered desk, staring at a blank document on the computer screen. The assignment loomed large: a 350-600-word argumentative essay on a topic of their choice . With a sigh, he decided to seek help of mentor, Professor Mitchell, who was known for his passion for writing.
Entering Professor Mitchell’s office was like stepping into a treasure of knowledge. Bookshelves lined every wall, faint aroma of old manuscripts in the air and sticky notes over the wall. Alex took a deep breath and knocked on his door.
“Ah, Alex,” Professor Mitchell greeted with a warm smile. “What brings you here today?”
Alex confessed his struggles with the argumentative essay. After hearing his concerns, Professor Mitchell said, “Ah, the argumentative essay! Don’t worry, Let’s take a look at it together.” As he guided Alex to the corner shelf, Alex asked,
Table of Contents
“What is an Argumentative Essay?”
The professor replied, “An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that presents a clear argument or a firm position on a contentious issue. Unlike other forms of essays, such as descriptive or narrative essays, these essays require you to take a stance, present evidence, and convince your audience of the validity of your viewpoint with supporting evidence. A well-crafted argumentative essay relies on concrete facts and supporting evidence rather than merely expressing the author’s personal opinions . Furthermore, these essays demand comprehensive research on the chosen topic and typically follows a structured format consisting of three primary sections: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.”
He continued, “Argumentative essays are written in a wide range of subject areas, reflecting their applicability across disciplines. They are written in different subject areas like literature and philosophy, history, science and technology, political science, psychology, economics and so on.
“When is an Argumentative Essay Written?”
The professor answered, “Argumentative essays are often assigned in academic settings, but they can also be written for various other purposes, such as editorials, opinion pieces, or blog posts. Some situations to write argumentative essays include:
1. Academic assignments
In school or college, teachers may assign argumentative essays as part of coursework. It help students to develop critical thinking and persuasive writing skills .
2. Debates and discussions
Argumentative essays can serve as the basis for debates or discussions in academic or competitive settings. Moreover, they provide a structured way to present and defend your viewpoint.
3. Opinion pieces
Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often feature opinion pieces that present an argument on a current issue or topic to influence public opinion.
4. Policy proposals
In government and policy-related fields, argumentative essays are used to propose and defend specific policy changes or solutions to societal problems.
5. Persuasive speeches
Before delivering a persuasive speech, it’s common to prepare an argumentative essay as a foundation for your presentation.
Regardless of the context, an argumentative essay should present a clear thesis statement , provide evidence and reasoning to support your position, address counterarguments, and conclude with a compelling summary of your main points. The goal is to persuade readers or listeners to accept your viewpoint or at least consider it seriously.”
Handing over a book, the professor continued, “Take a look on the elements or structure of an argumentative essay.”
Elements of an Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay comprises five essential components:
Claim in argumentative writing is the central argument or viewpoint that the writer aims to establish and defend throughout the essay. A claim must assert your position on an issue and must be arguable. It can guide the entire argument.
Evidence must consist of factual information, data, examples, or expert opinions that support the claim. Also, it lends credibility by strengthening the writer’s position.
Presenting a counterclaim demonstrates fairness and awareness of alternative perspectives.
After presenting the counterclaim, the writer refutes it by offering counterarguments or providing evidence that weakens the opposing viewpoint. It shows that the writer has considered multiple perspectives and is prepared to defend their position.
The format of an argumentative essay typically follows the structure to ensure clarity and effectiveness in presenting an argument.
How to Write An Argumentative Essay
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an argumentative essay:
- Begin with a compelling sentence or question to grab the reader’s attention.
- Provide context for the issue, including relevant facts, statistics, or historical background.
- Provide a concise thesis statement to present your position on the topic.
2. Body Paragraphs (usually three or more)
- Start each paragraph with a clear and focused topic sentence that relates to your thesis statement.
- Furthermore, provide evidence and explain the facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, and quotations from credible sources that supports your thesis.
- Use transition sentences to smoothly move from one point to the next.
3. Counterargument and Rebuttal
- Acknowledge opposing viewpoints or potential objections to your argument.
- Also, address these counterarguments with evidence and explain why they do not weaken your position.
- Restate your thesis statement and summarize the key points you’ve made in the body of the essay.
- Leave the reader with a final thought, call to action, or broader implication related to the topic.
5. Citations and References
- Properly cite all the sources you use in your essay using a consistent citation style.
- Also, include a bibliography or works cited at the end of your essay.
6. Formatting and Style
- Follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or institution.
- Use a professional and academic tone in your writing and edit your essay to avoid content, spelling and grammar mistakes .
Remember that the specific requirements for formatting an argumentative essay may vary depending on your instructor’s guidelines or the citation style you’re using (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Always check the assignment instructions or style guide for any additional requirements or variations in formatting.
Prof. Mitchell continued, “An argumentative essay can adopt various approaches when dealing with opposing perspectives. It may offer a balanced presentation of both sides, providing equal weight to each, or it may advocate more strongly for one side while still acknowledging the existence of opposing views.” As Alex listened carefully to the Professor’s thoughts, his eyes fell on a page with examples of argumentative essay.
Example of an Argumentative Essay
Alex picked the book and read the example. It helped him to understand the concept. Furthermore, he could now connect better to the elements and steps of the essay which Prof. Mitchell had mentioned earlier. Aren’t you keen to know how an argumentative essay should be like? Here is an example of a well-crafted argumentative essay , which was read by Alex. After Alex finished reading the example, the professor turned the page and continued, “Check this page to know the importance of writing an argumentative essay in developing skills of an individual.”
Importance of an Argumentative Essay
After understanding the benefits, Alex was convinced by the ability of the argumentative essays in advocating one’s beliefs and favor the author’s position. Alex asked,
“How are argumentative essays different from the other types?”
Prof. Mitchell answered, “Argumentative essays differ from other types of essays primarily in their purpose, structure, and approach in presenting information. Unlike expository essays, argumentative essays persuade the reader to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action on a controversial issue. Furthermore, they differ from descriptive essays by not focusing vividly on describing a topic. Also, they are less engaging through storytelling as compared to the narrative essays.
Alex said, “Given the direct and persuasive nature of argumentative essays, can you suggest some strategies to write an effective argumentative essay?
Turning the pages of the book, Prof. Mitchell replied, “Sure! You can check this infographic to get some tips for writing an argumentative essay.”
Effective Strategies to Write an Argumentative Essay
As days turned into weeks, Alex diligently worked on his essay. He researched, gathered evidence, and refined his thesis. It was a long and challenging journey, filled with countless drafts and revisions.
Finally, the day arrived when Alex submitted their essay. As he clicked the “Submit” button, a sense of accomplishment washed over him. He realized that the argumentative essay, while challenging, had improved his critical thinking and transformed him into a more confident writer. Furthermore, Alex received feedback from his professor, a mix of praise and constructive criticism. It was a humbling experience, a reminder that every journey has its obstacles and opportunities for growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
An argumentative essay can be written as follows- 1. Choose a Topic 2. Research and Collect Evidences 3. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement 4. Outline Your Essay- Introduction, Body Paragraphs and Conclusion 5. Revise and Edit 6. Format and Cite Sources 7. Final Review
One must choose a clear, concise and specific statement as a claim. It must be debatable and establish your position. Avoid using ambiguous or unclear while making a claim. To strengthen your claim, address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. Additionally, use persuasive language and rhetoric to make your claim more compelling
Starting an argument essay effectively is crucial to engage your readers and establish the context for your argument. Here’s how you can start an argument essay are: 1. Begin With an Engaging Hook 2. Provide Background Information 3. Present Your Thesis Statement 4. Briefly Outline Your Main 5. Establish Your Credibility
The key features of an argumentative essay are: 1. Clear and Specific Thesis Statement 2. Credible Evidence 3. Counterarguments 4. Structured Body Paragraph 5. Logical Flow 6. Use of Persuasive Techniques 7. Formal Language
An argumentative essay typically consists of the following main parts or sections: 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Counterargument and Rebuttal 4. Conclusion 5. References (if applicable)
The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a particular viewpoint or position on a controversial or debatable topic. In other words, the primary goal of an argumentative essay is to convince the audience that the author's argument or thesis statement is valid, logical, and well-supported by evidence and reasoning.
Rate this article Cancel Reply
Your email address will not be published.
Enago Academy's Most Popular
- Career Corner
Unlocking the Power of Networking in Academic Conferences
Embarking on your first academic conference experience? Fear not, we got you covered! Academic conferences…
- Reporting Research
Research Recommendations – Guiding policy-makers for evidence-based decision making
Research recommendations play a crucial role in guiding scholars and researchers toward fruitful avenues of…
- Promoting Research
Concept Papers in Research: Deciphering the blueprint of brilliance
Concept papers hold significant importance as a precursor to a full-fledged research proposal in academia…
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Language & Grammar
Language as a Bridge, Not a Barrier: ESL researchers’ path to successful research and publishing
The landscape of academic research has witnessed a remarkable shift in recent years with the…
- AI in Academia
Disclosing the Use of Generative AI: Best practices for authors in manuscript preparation
The rapid proliferation of generative and other AI-based tools in research writing has ignited an…
Language as a Bridge, Not a Barrier: ESL researchers’ path to successful…
How to Design Effective Research Questionnaires for Robust Findings
Punctuate With Precision: Learn how to correctly use the em dash and en dash
Sign-up to read more
Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:
- 2000+ blog articles
- 50+ Webinars
- 10+ Expert podcasts
- 50+ Infographics
- 10+ Checklists
- Research Guides
We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.
I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:
According to you, how can one ensure ethical compliance in research and academia?
The Ultimate Guide On Argumentative Essay
Composing an argumentative essay requires thorough preparation and planning. You might be writing essays your whole life; however, with this kind of paper, you need to prove that your claims are correct while applying strong evidence. So, let's find out what elements you need to incorporate to create a perfect argumentative essay. Then, let our write my essay service professionals show you how to write an argumentative essay step by step.
What Is An Argumentative Essay
Let's first address the elephant in the room - 'what is an argumentative essay?'. An argumentative essay definition is a common academic assignment requiring a student to discuss a controversial view or idea. Such an essay differs from expository and analytical pieces because it requires its author to take a stance and prove that their point of view is correct. It is not a piece of cake as a person needs to apply critical thinking skills, use persuasive techniques, and be able to refute opposing opinions to create a successful essay.
Types of Arguments
Traditionally, we distinguish three types of arguments: the Toulmin argument, the Rogerian argument, and the Aristotelian argument. They help to organize an essay and persuade a reader in the veracity of your words.
- The Toulmin argument
This argument type is based on the statement of opinion, which is grounded on solid facts and data from reliable sources. The author should link their claims to the grounds and provide additional support. It allows introducing an opposing thought and providing a counter-argument, using a 'rebuttal.'
- The Rogerian argument
The Rogerian argument allows recognizing the existence of opposing opinions before you introduce your own claim. This type of argument aims to find a compromise between the two sides. Thus, the author should work towards a balanced view discussing any controversial issue.
- The Aristotelian argument
Using the Aristotelian argument, you should express your claim and convince the reader that it is true. First, introduce the problem and take a stance. Then, mention the opposing opinion and prove it is wrong, providing undeniable evidence. Again, ethos, pathos, and logos can serve as persuasion tools.
The Elements of Argumentative Essays
Here are the elements of argumentative essays from an argumentative essay writer :
- Clear and concise language
- Arguable argumentative essays topics
- Thorough research of a controversial issue
- The organized structure of an argumentative essay
- Persuasive techniques
- Logical argument
- Effective transitions between paragraphs
- Strong evidence and reason
Argumentative Essay Format
Proper structure is the foundation of a successful paper. You need to understand the argumentative essay structure before formulating your arguments. So, how to organize a good argumentative essay? Our paper writing service writers recommend starting with a compelling introduction, adding 3-4 purposeful body paragraphs, and creating a reasonable conclusion. Take a close look at the argumentative essay format.
Argumentative Essay Topics
If you are wondering what the main key to writing a brilliant argumentative essay is, it's worth saying that overall success depends on many factors. From the sources you find how to structure your work, the choice of words and plagiarism score - every tiny detail matters when the professor starts grading your paper. But it all starts with the choice of a topic.
Your argumentative essay topic is the key to success. And while this is a vital step on your way to a perfectly written essay, there is no need to sugarcoat it - choosing good argumentative topics can be rather hard.
Good argumentative essay topics should be debatable, relevant, relatable, and compelling. Also, argument topics should not be too broad or, on the contrary, too narrow but have to give you enough scope for research and developing your ideas in a short essay. And, most importantly, it has to be interesting to you because only this way can you handle the task well and without a hassle.
If you've been looking for worthy argument essay topics, below you will find a list of 50 great argumentative essay ideas to spark your creativity and inspiration!
- Is social media addiction real?
- Does technology make us smarter or dumber?
- The danger of cell phones.
- Should online content be censored?
- Kids should not use technology
- Will virtual money replace real money?
- Pros and cons of technology in households.
- Do social networks make us feel lonely?
- Can people continue developing without technology?
- Are paper books better than e-books?
- Do all religions worship the same God?
- The role of the church in the modern society.
- Should religion be taught at schools?
- Religion vs. Science.
- Why do people lose faith?
- The change of religion as a sin.
- Is God a well-thought-out myth or reality?
- The purpose of religion.
- Can one have faith but ignore the church?
- The issue of atheism.
- Are wars politically advantageous?
- Presidential vs. Parliamentary state structure.
- Are revolutions a good thing?
- The problem of corruption.
- What are the advantages and drawbacks of democracy?
- Stricter gun control is a necessity.
- Is American foreign policy effective?
- The political party I support (why?).
- Should there be a wall on the US border?
- The importance of having nuclear weapons for countries.
Education Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should schools stop giving homework?
- The pros and cons of uniforms.
- Is cheating a problem today?
- The points for the elimination of standardized testing.
- Is the standard grading system already outdated?
- Students should grade teachers too.
- Are textbooks a thing of the past?
- Pros and cons of tech classrooms.
- Is higher education still a thing today?
- Single-sex vs. mixed classrooms.
- Should everyone know history?
- Pros and cons of colonialism.
- How did WWII create new professions?
- Reasons for the Mexican-American war.
- How did minority civil rights change through US history?
- The role of wars in global progress.
- What led to the expansion of women’s rights?
- Major triggers for global conflicts.
- Why did slavery exist?
- The results of the American Civil War.
Argumentative Essay Outline
Just like other 5-paragraph essays, an argumentative essay outline should have an introduction, body paragraphs (for arguments and counter-arguments), and a conclusion. You should carefully organize and structure your persuasive essay. It will help the reader to understand your point. Your argument and reasoning must be evident and clear.
If you feel intimidated by a blank page and do not know how to start an argumentative essay introduction, pause and think about your argument. First, you should clearly understand what you are going to write about. Determine why you are interested in the topic and why it is relevant to society in general.
The introductory paragraph does not have to be long. You need only 3-5 sentences to introduce the topic. Start with a hook that will catch the reader's attention. You may use a quotation, provide statistics, or address the audience directly by asking a question.
- Nelson Mandela once said, ' the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.'
- The Inter-Parliamentary Union reports that only 17% of government ministers are female.
- Are people morally obliged to save the planet?
Then, provide general information about the topic and outline the context within which you will discuss it. Finally, create a thoughtful thesis statement as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
A thesis statement is one of the most important elements of an argumentative essay. It should be formulated to make it arguable, allowing the reader to support it or disagree. A thesis statement reflects the main claim of the paper. It should be precise and give the reader a hint about the author's position and findings. For an argumentative essay, you can either state your main point or mention the opposing view and refute it immediately. Remember that each body paragraph should support your argumentative essay thesis statement and provide claims with adequate reasoning.
Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs
A typical body of an argumentative essay usually includes 3-4 paragraphs. Each must focus on one particular claim connected with the thesis statement. Make sure you provide your reasoning for each idea. You can use proven facts, statistical data, examples, and professional quotations to make your argument look trustworthy.
Each paragraph of the main body requires the following format:
- Topic sentence with a claim that backs up the thesis statement
- Evidence 1 that supports the first sentence with reasoning
- Evidence 2 that supports the first sentence with reasoning
- Evidence 3 that supports the first sentence with reasoning
- Concluding sentence
However, the last body paragraph has a slightly different format. Here you should address the claims of your opponents and prove them wrong. It allows you to discuss the problem from various perspectives and make your writing look more reliable to the reader. This paragraph includes the following:
- Opposing view with its description
- Refutation of the opponents' claims
Conclusion of Argumentative Essay Outline
A good concluding paragraph will reinforce your arguments. Ideally, it should summarize your claims and motivate the audience to research the topic further. Do not add any new information; restate your argument so that your audience knows what is most important in your writing. It would be a good idea to appeal to your readers' emotions and include your personal experience.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay?
You must be wondering: what are the steps in writing an argumentative essay if you study in one of the top colleges for astrophysics ? The writing process can be generally divided into six smaller chunks of work. Let us look at them more closely.
Come Up with an Idea
To find a suitable topic for your argumentative essay, you should find a controversial issue you care about. Then, you can practice brainstorming to gather your thoughts about it. It would be a good idea to create a mind map, diagram, or list the ideas that come up in your mind. Then, when they are written down, it will be easy to sort them and form claims on their basis. Besides, you can use such preparation to create an argumentative essay outline.
You need to find solid evidence to ensure that your viewpoint is correct and to persuade the audience of the credibility of your words. Research the topic of your choice and choose the facts, statistics, and quotes you can potentially use in the paper. Focus only on reliable sources, such as books, scholarly journals, websites of governmental organizations, etc. You need to find a piece of evidence to support each claim you make and then comment on it.
Plan and Organize
It is necessary to create an outline of a 5 paragraph essay to make it organized and well-structured. You should use the basic structure we mentioned before as a template and insert your claims and pieces of evidence in it. The plan does not have to be detailed. You just need to write short phrases that will put everything in order. This outline will guide you during the next step, the actual writing process.
Start Writing an Argumentative Essay
This step is the most responsible one as you need to put together all the information you have found and formulate your argument. Start with an introductory paragraph and think carefully about the thesis statement. It is the basis of your paper, as all the claims from the body must support your thesis statement.
Do not forget to work on transitions between sentences. The argumentative essay must be smooth to allow you to persuade the audience. The smooth flow of the text, its logical structure, and the use of persuasive techniques will help you get the grade you want.
Remember that you can always order essay from our service if you would like to avoid writing an essay yourself.
When you are through the writing stage, you need to rest to go back to your argumentative essay with a fresh mind. Read your paper and correct grammar and style mistakes. Do not neglect this stage as, in most cases, the initial draft is imperfect and requires improvements. Your teacher can lower your grade even for spelling and punctuation mistakes. All your efforts will be in vain if you do not proofread the paper.
Even though all the hard work is done by this stage, submitting an argumentative essay may still be intimidating. However, you should not be afraid to get your work graded. It is a great chance to grow as a writer and develop your skills. We are sure that the result will be outstanding if you follow your assignment instructions and our guidelines.
Argumentative Essay Example
Look through this example of an argumentative essay. It is formatted according to the APA style guidelines, but when writing your paper, you should use the citation style required by your teacher: MLA, Harvard, etc.
Higher Education Increases the Chances of Employment
Today the necessity of higher education becomes controversial. Some people refuse to acquire a college degree. They claim it to be an old-fashioned way of learning that only imposes outdated norms, standards, and decision-making patterns on students. On the contrary, there are those who believe that higher education is essential for better employment opportunities as it gives excellent preparation for the future job. Nevertheless, although college education undergoes some critique, it is still useful for building a successful career, seeking employment, and improving promotion chances.
First, university education increases the chances of being successfully employed. Organizations are often looking for people with a formal degree to be sure that these candidates have sufficient knowledge and qualifications for the job. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2019), students with a bachelor’s degree demonstrate the highest employment rate, which constitutes 86%, in comparison with non-graduates. An academic degree makes people more sustainable as a part of the labor market. In addition, it becomes a decisive factor for occupying certain jobs, for example, at a hospital or research institution. Therefore, higher education enhances employment chances.
Second, higher education allows students to have more opportunities for personal development, which is useful for improving future promotion chances. According to Kopzhassarova et al. (2016), the curriculum of most educational institutions is built with a focus on independent learning that enhances critical thinking skills. This helps students to learn how to analyze, structure, and interpret information. Moreover, they can become more responsible and improve personal discipline. Thus, education allows students to develop the skills necessary for promotion.
Finally, college and university graduates are more likely to get the desired job and eventually earn more. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019) claims, the salaries of people with a formal degree tend to be higher than those of non-graduates. Most organizations set higher education as a requirement for their vacancies. This means that employers value people with qualifications and recognize the importance of education. Thus, graduating from a college or university gives a significant advantage for employment and potentially higher salaries.
Naturally, some people doubt the necessity of higher education. They believe that young people gain experience and soft skills easier through practice. What is more, college or university education is expensive and sometimes not effective. It does not provide enough practice and soft skills training. However, a solid knowledge base students get at educational institutions is undeniable. It allows them to grow as professionals and become competent experts in their subject area. Besides, they can still get practice as most educational programs allow students to participate in the actual working process during internships. Thus, higher education can get the necessary experience in addition to theoretical knowledge.
To sum up, higher education provides a solid competitive advantage in the long term. It multiplies employment chances for graduates and allows them to earn more. Although universities may not always provide students with all the skills, a diploma is still valued by most employers. Therefore, acquiring higher education is the right way to successful employment.
Kopzhassarova, U., Akbayeva, G., Eskazinova, Z., Belgibayeva, G., & Tazhikeyeva, A. (2016). Enhancement of students’ independent learning through their critical thinking skills development. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 11 (18),11585-11585.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Employment rates of college graduates . https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=561
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, September 4). Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment . https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm
Argumentative essays can be rather challenging as you need to present your argument and prove it is the correct viewpoint. It requires critical thinking skills and basic knowledge of argument types. Additionally, the format of an argumentative essay is tricky since in addition to supporting your assertions, you must refute the opposing views. All of these aspects can be successfully handled with the help of proper preparation, an organized writing process, and attentive proofreading.
With these argumentative essay writing tips, you can be confident while submitting your paper from now on. However, if you need help with your argumentative essay examples, feel free to contact EssayService. In addition, you can find a qualified writer on our argumentative essay writing service to assist you in crafting or editing your paper. This way, you will get the grade you want without extra effort.
She was flawless! first time using a website like this, I've ordered article review and i totally adored it! grammar punctuation, content - everything was on point
This writer is my go to, because whenever I need someone who I can trust my task to - I hire Joy. She wrote almost every paper for me for the last 2 years
Term paper done up to a highest standard, no revisions, perfect communication. 10s across the board!!!!!!!
I send him instructions and that's it. my paper was done 10 hours later, no stupid questions, he nailed it.
Sometimes I wonder if Michael is secretly a professor because he literally knows everything. HE DID SO WELL THAT MY PROF SHOWED MY PAPER AS AN EXAMPLE. unbelievable, many thanks
You Might Also Like
New Posts to Your Inbox!
Stay in touch
- Essay Guides
- Main Academic Essays
- Argumentative Essay Outline: Writing Steps & Examples
- Speech Topics
- Basics of Essay Writing
- Essay Topics
- Other Essays
- Research Paper Topics
- Basics of Research Paper Writing
- Chicago/ Turabian
- Data & Statistics
- Admission Writing Tips
- Admission Advice
- Other Guides
- Student Life
- Studying Tips
- Understanding Plagiarism
- Academic Writing Tips
- Basics of Dissertation & Thesis Writing
- Research Paper Guides
- Formatting Guides
- Basics of Research Process
- Admission Guides
- Dissertation & Thesis Guides
Argumentative Essay Outline: Writing Steps & Examples
Table of contents
Use our free Readability checker
An argumentative essay outline is a roadmap for the writer to organize their thoughts, research, and arguments in a clear and logical way. It helps to stay focused on the topic and effectively present arguments. Creating an outline before writing an argumentative essay allows students to identify the key points and evidence that should back up ideas.
Struggling with an argumentative essay outline? Stuck at the beginning or not sure which format to take? It’s okay, you’ll find some explanations and pieces of advice here, as well as an argument outline template you could use. We’ve collected everything you need to know before composing an outline for your top-notch argumentative paper. This page contains information about:
- The notion of outline and why it is important
- Specifics of sketching an essay where you defend your position
- Argument essay layout
- Several useful tips and examples.
Ready to receive some help with your work? Let’s get you prepared to write an excellent essay!
What Is an Argumentative Essay Outline?
Before starting to work on an argumentative paper outline, it is important to understand its definition and purpose. So, what is the outline for an argumentative essay? Outline for an argumentative essay involves defending one’s position on a certain topic by using logic and factual evidence. It requires doing preliminary research and presenting your findings in sketch form. An argumentative essay outline forms the essay’s basic structure and contains its main elements, briefly described and connected together using logical transitions. Once you finish and review this short version, it will be much easier to spot mistakes and logical gaps. After correcting them, you’ll be one step away from writing a high-quality essay.
Argumentative Essay Outline Format
Setting a correct format for argumentative essay outline is important, as it ensures that the entire composition will be properly organized. This is where you create the logical structure, which can be checked for gaps and mistakes before writing the complete text. A simple argumentative essay outline should be composed like this:
- Introduction This part contains your main topic description and your thesis statement. The latter should be provided fully, while the other descriptions can be sketchy at this stage. Try using some kind of a ‘hook’ to engage your readers.
- Body paragraphs It is where you briefly introduce your arguments, as well as counterarguments you aim to refute. Mention your evidence and include your sources, but don’t be too wordy, as this is just a sketch for now.
- Conclusion It should briefly summarize the argumentation and how it supports your thesis.
More examples of an argumentative essay structure outline are available in our downloadable materials.
Learn more: How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction
Types of an Argumentative Essay Outline
Before learning how to write an outline for an argumentative essay, you must figure out which type is best for your specific topic. This information might be specified in your assignment, otherwise, it is up to you. The layout of an argumentative essay you’re writing depends on the persuasive approach you’ve chosen. There are three main types:
- Classical, also known as Aristotelian
Now let's talk about each argument essay outline type in detail. We’ll show you what the differences between them are and when it is better to choose one or another.
Classical Argumentative Essay Outline
Let’s start with the classical argument outline. It is also named Aristotelian, honoring the memory of the ancient Greek philosopher who perfected the logical method of presenting argumentation. The general structure should follow a 5 paragraph essay format . Here is how you should compose your outline of an argumentative essay when using this structure type:
- Explain your thesis, making it clear
- Mention the opposing thesis if there is one
- List your arguments, referring to evidence you have collected
- Mention counterarguments, providing evidence that contradicts them
- Summarize it, showing that your thesis has been proven by your arguments.
This type is used for direct discussions and straightforward topics.
Rogerian Argumentative Essay Outline
In a Rogerian outline for an argumentative essay, you are expected to pay more attention to the opposing viewpoints, considering the strong and weak sides of both. In this case, the paper focuses not on refuting antagonistic argumentation but rather on finding some middle ground. This argumentative essay layout can be used when you’re aiming to help two opposing sides reach a mutual agreement at a certain point. Another situation when you should consider such an approach is when addressing an audience hostile to your viewpoint – for example, when arguing against the rules or habits of a specific group.
Toulmin Argumentative Essay Outline
When your topic needs some complicated analysis on different levels, use the Toulmin outline of an argumentative essay. This model is based on six main elements:
- Claim – your central statement
- Grounds – evidence backing the claim
- Warrant – logical connection between the grounds and the claim
- Backings – additional arguments strengthening the warrant
- Qualifier – the measure of certainty in the claim
- Rebuttal – refutes possible counterarguments to the claim.
This format of argumentative essay outline should be used for refuting existing argumentation against your own claim. If you are struggling with outlining your argumentative essay, re-check its main points. Correcting mistakes early on saves hundreds of working hours. To save even more, consider to buy college essays from professional academic writers.
Argumentative Essay Outline Template
Have you picked your paper format? If yes, you should be ready to proceed. Need an argumentative outline template? If you still hesitate and search for extra hints, it's fine – there are plenty of them on this page! We’ve prepared a comprehensive argument essay outline template for each of the main types described in the previous section. You can find them below.
Classical Argumentative Essay Outline Template
If your task is to simply present your point of view on a certain subject and back it up with solid facts, you need a classical argument essay outline. This is the most common and straightforward type of structuring your argumentation, so it can be freely used unless your situation requires a different approach. Here is our outline for argumentative essay example:
- Intriguing description or some wordplay to ‘hook’ your audience
- Brief context of the problem
- Your full thesis statement together with an extra explanation if necessary
- Data set #1
- Data set #2, etc.
- Your argument #2: Formatted the same way as the previous one
- Point out its logical flaws or provide the evidence that refutes it (or refutatio).
- Briefly mention how this analysis results in reinforcing your own position.
- Counterargument #2: This and further ones should be formatted in exactly the same way
- Summarize your argumentation without repeating it and show how it supports your thesis (this part is also known as peroratio).
- Add some final notes or a call to action to engage your audience.
Rogerian Argumentative Essay Outline Template
When attempting to counter a formidable position, you need to pay great attention to opposing claims. You might want to find some common ground and reach an agreement with the opposing side, and that is what the Rogerian type is meant for. Follow this argument essay template for conducting an extra analysis of conflicting viewpoints:
- Describe the problem and add brief context if necessary.
- Explain your own viewpoint on it as well as opposing stances. You might pick the most well-known of them or the one which shares enough common ground with your position if that helps. Highlight this common ground.
- Give your thesis statement in a full sentence.
- Explore the evidence which supports it.
- Analyze the strength of this position, given the quality of evidence. See if it can be refuted.
- Mention other positions, if any. Follow the same format as used for the first one.
- Explain that you understand the opposing position and the reasons behind it.
- Highlight specific details or areas where you have common ground with the opponent.
- Your argument #1: explain how it is related to your thesis and provide the supporting evidence.
- Your argument #1: present it in the same format as the 1st one. The same goes for all other arguments.
- Point out the elements of both positions which you and your opponent could agree upon.
- Develop a compromising solution that would encompass these agreeable elements from both sides.
- Summarize the compromise and the arguments from both sides which back it.
- Explain how both sides could benefit from agreeing upon this common ground position.
Check below for more argumentative essay outline examples.
Toulmin Argumentative Essay Outline Template
This argument template for an essay will be useful in case of facing complicated argumentation, which should be properly analyzed. The Toulmin format outline argumentative essay example is here:
- Come up with something interesting to ‘hook’ your audience.
- Provide a brief context of the problem.
- Give your full thesis statement.
- Evidence #1, including the logical connection between it and your claim
- Evidence #2, formatted in the same way, etc.
- Briefly show how it supports your thesis.
- Show which of your evidence elements backs this warrant.
- Provide qualifiers for your argumentation: be open and show its weak sides.
- Your warrant #2, formatted in the same way, etc.
- Analyze their claim, evaluating its warrants and qualifiers.
- Provide your rebuttal.
- Opposing viewpoint #2, formatted in the same way, etc.
- Briefly summarize your warrants.
- Summarize the opposing viewpoints, mentioning how you have refuted them.
- Show that your thesis is supported better.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline Step-By-Step
Let’s put together all the tips on how to write an argumentative essay outline . This section contains a quick guide that could serve as your argumentative essay planning sheet. Make sure to follow this recommended course when composing an academic paper:
- Think it through Making an argumentative writing outline efficient and persuasive requires good knowledge of the selected topic. So, choose one you are familiar with. You must be able to explain your position well and defend it successfully. And don’t pick an easy one. It should be interesting enough for your audience to get engaged.
- Do your research Gather key information about your problem before writing an argumentative essay outline. Check if you have enough evidence to back your claim and refute possible counterarguments. Verify that it clearly shows what you actually need and doesn’t prove an opposing position.
- Pick a format Given the specifics of the chosen problem, find out which approach will suit you best: Classical, Rogerian, or Toulmin. If you start creating your argumentative essay outline in one format and then realize that you need to switch to another, you might lose a lot of time. Too risky for those who have tight deadlines!
- Structure it properly Follow the recommended templates and put every argument outline into a separate paragraph. The same applies to introductory sections. Remember that proper formatting increases your essay’s readability and thus serves your cause.
- Keep it concise Make it brief but understandable, ensuring that all key points and data are mentioned. Remember that you just need to outline an argumentative essay, not write the full text. Besides, writing briefly saves you some precious time.
- Review and correct Spend some time going through your argumentative research essay outline and check carefully for errors or gaps. Read it to yourself or ask someone else to give it as much critique as possible. If you miss something important now, it will be more difficult to find and correct this mistake later.
These tips should be enough for creating an argumentative essay outline for high school and college. You can check how to write an argumentative essay in one of our guides. But also check the samples we've collected for you – maybe you’ll get some extra ideas for your own work.
Argumentative Essay Outline Examples
Searching for a real argumentative outline example? We’ve collected several outlines for essays addressing popular questions. Check them out, and hopefully, you’ll draw some inspiration from them, which will help you with your own work. Just don’t copy any of that content, as it would mean plagiarism. Don’t forget about the downloadable argumentative essay outline sample. Scroll down, and you’ll find it. Death Penalty Argument Outline Example
Sample Outline for Argumentative Essay on Abortion
Argument Essay Outline Example on Human Trafficking
Sample of Argumentative Essay Outline on Gender Equality
Argumentative Essay Outline Example on Bullying
Browse StudyCrumb’s Blog to find complete argumentative essay examples formatted accordingly.
Argumentative Paper Outline Checklist
Here’s also a brief list of what should be written in an outline for an argument:
Bottom Line on Argumentative Essay Outline
We have shown in detail how to outline an argumentative essay and what are main structure types you could use for it, namely:
We have also listed what should an outline for an argumentative essay include, particularly:
- Introduction with context and a ‘hook’
- Thesis statement
- Arguments with supporting evidence
- Counterarguments with their rebuttal
An argumentative writing template has also been provided. We believe that this information will help you complete an excellent paper on any argumentative essay topic . If you are still unsure about your writing skills, StudyCrumb got you covered. Remember this phrase — " write an argumentative essay for me ." It's a secret pass to tell our Support reps. Say it, and the magic will happen.
Our professional writing service will help you with any kind of essay. Just contact us and get any paper written properly.
FAQ About Argumentative Essay Outline
1. why is it important to create an argumentative essay outline.
Writing an argument essay outline helps to form its layout and properly place the main elements: thesis, background, arguments, evidence, and conclusion. It serves as an argumentative essay plan with logical transitions between the key elements. Now you can read this draft version again and spot any inconsistencies before composing the full-text version. That is a much easier task.
3. What should be included in the outline for an argument?
Your argument outline needs to include the following:
- Analysis of certain aspects of the problem which you could use to clearly maintain your point
- Logic and reasoning to defend your position using your debate skills
- Solid evidence retrieved from credible sources to back your claim
- Visible connection to your thesis and your other arguments, otherwise, your audience might have an issue with understanding your essay.
2. What should include a strong outline for an argumentative essay?
A strong outline for an argumentative essay should include:
- Strong thesis, preferably about an interesting and controversial problem
- Proper arguments backed by logic and solid evidence
- Credible sources you can obtain the evidence from
- Proper rebuttal for counterarguments, pointing at their weak sides
- Logical connection between all parts of your outline
- Conclusion, which summarizes all arguments and rebuttals, showing that your thesis is maintained.
Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.
You may also like
- checkbox My thesis statement is full and clear.
- checkbox I provided the necessary context of the selected problem.
- checkbox I considered the ‘hook’ in order to engage your audience.
- checkbox Main arguments that support the thesis are logically connected to each other.
- checkbox I selected solid evidence backing the arguments.
- checkbox I planned the main counterarguments , together with their rebuttal based on facts and logic.
- checkbox My conclusion is going to summarize the strength of my position compared to opposing ones.
- checkbox My argument writing template includes a strong call to action and gives some food for thought.
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- EDIT Edit this Article
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes Hot
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Education and Communications
- College University and Postgraduate
- Academic Writing
How to Create an Outline for an Argumentative Paper
Last Updated: May 11, 2023
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been viewed 228,241 times.
Having difficulty starting that argumentative paper? Creating an outline can be a useful strategy for organizing your thoughts. An outline will provide you with an overview of the order and logic that an effective argument must follow.
Creating the Outline and Proper Labeling
- Label subheadings with capitalized letters (A, B, C, etc.). Secondary subheadings begin with lowercase numerals (i., ii., iii., etc.) and tertiary subheadings begin with lowercase letters (a., b., c., etc.).
- The very first sentence can be anything from a question or an observation, as long as it gets the reader’s attention. The following sentences must then narrow the topic down to a very specific point: the thesis.
- As you narrow the topic down, you must of course mention the primary text which your paper is concerned with. If necessary, you may also mention a secondary source that you feel is important to your central argument.
- In a standard 5 paragraph essay, you will have 3 body paragraphs to develop your argument. Each body paragraph must explore a distinct idea that supports your thesis and include evidence from the text and or secondary sources.
- For a fully developed argumentative essay, you may include counter-arguments to your thesis and subsequent refutations.
- Do not simply restate the thesis. Your conclusion should return to the thesis with a deeper understanding as a result of the arguments and evidence of the body paragraphs.
- An effective thesis should attempt to elicit a strong response from the reader. A reader should not finish the introductory paragraph and think, “So what?”
- Be prepared to change your thesis as often as possible. As you generate new ideas and make new logical connections, the scope of your paper will likely change and as a result so should your thesis.
- A sound argumentative essay will have a hierarchy of ideas that follows a logical progression. When grouping your ideas, keep in mind how each group relates to the others.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Maintain a sense of continuity in your headings and subheadings. If you begin your first heading with a verb do the same for subsequent ones. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Be very mindful of your sources. Keep track of all the quotations that you will be using with book tabs and highlights. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- Remember that the outline is primarily an organizational tool. When writing your essay you will often develop new ideas that are not in the outline. Allow yourself to explore these new ideas if you feel that it will enhance the strength of your argument. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
About This Article
- Send fan mail to authors
Did this article help you?
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Get all the best how-tos!
Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter