Outline for an Argumentative Essay: Structure, Tips & Examples


The outline for an argumentative essay is a structured plan that outlines the key points, arguments and evidence that will be presented in an argumentative essay.

It serves as a roadmap for the writer and helps ensure all necessary information is included and presented logically and coherently.

Before we delve any further, here is an argumentative essay definition.

What is an argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a written composition that presents a clear and concise argument on a particular topic.

This essay aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer’s perspective on the discussed issue. The argument is supported by evidence, facts, and examples that are presented in a logical and organized manner.

The writer must also consider and address counterarguments, providing additional evidence to strengthen their argument.

The argumentative essay is a common assignment in many academic settings, as it helps to develop critical thinking skills and communicate an argument effectively.

Choosing a relevant, interesting, debatable topic and conducting thorough research before writing the essay is important.

Creating an outline is a crucial step in the writing process, as it helps to organize the writer’s thoughts and evidence and ensures that the essay is structured and well-supported.

Outline for an argumentative essay: is it important?

The importance of creating an outline for an argumentative essay cannot be overstated. An outline helps to ensure that the argument is well-organized and presented logically and concisely.

Some of the key benefits of creating an outline include the following:

  • Clarity and Focus: A good outline for an argumentative essay helps the writer to focus their argument and ensures that they present their ideas clearly and concisely. The outline acts as a roadmap, guiding the writer through the writing process and keeping them on track.
  • Evidence and Support: An outline allows the writer to organize their evidence and support logically and effectively. This helps to strengthen the argument and ensures that the essay is well-supported.
  • Organization and Structure: An outline helps to ensure that the essay has a clear structure and organization. It provides a clear introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, which helps the reader to understand and follow the argument.
  • Time Management: Creating an outline helps writer manage their time effectively and ensures they do not waste time on irrelevant information or arguments. The outline acts as a guide, helping the writer to focus on the most important points and evidence.

How to create an argumentative essay outline

Step 1: Choose a Topic

  • Identify relevant and debatable topics such as the plastic bag ban, gun control, animal testing, etc.
  • Research to gather information and facts to support your argument.
  • Determine your position on the topic and make sure it is clear and concise.

Step 2: Develop a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement is the main argument of your essay.
  • It should be clear, concise and debatable.
  • For example, if your topic is a plastic bag ban, your thesis statement could be “The use of plastic bags should be banned in all grocery stores to reduce environmental pollution.”

Step 3: Organize Your Thoughts and Evidence

  • Make a list of the main points that support your thesis statement.
  • Provide evidence to support each point, such as statistics, expert opinions, examples and facts.
  • Ensure that the evidence is relevant and supports your argument.

Step 4: Create the Outline


  • Start with a background on the topic.
  • Introduce your thesis statement.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Present your first main point and provide evidence to support it.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Present your second main point and provide evidence to support it.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Present your third main point and provide evidence to support it.


  • Restate your thesis statement.
  • Summarize your main points.
  • Provide a final thought or suggestion.

Step 5: Fill in the Outline

Outline for an argumentative essay sample

I. Introduction

A. Background information on plastic bags

B. Thesis statement: The use of plastic bags should be banned in all grocery stores to reduce environmental pollution.

II. Body Paragraph 1

A. The impact of plastic bags on the environment

1. Littering of plastic bags

2. Harm to wildlife

B. Evidence to support the point

1. Statistics on plastic bag litter

2. Studies on the impact of plastic bags on wildlife

III. Body Paragraph 2

A. Alternatives to plastic bags

1. Reusable bags

2. Biodegradable bags

B. Evidence to support the point

1. Examples of cities that have banned plastic bags

2. The success of reusable bags in reducing plastic waste

IV. Body Paragraph 3

A. Arguments against banning plastic bags

1. Convenience of plastic bags

2. Job loss in the plastic bag industry

B. Evidence to support the point

1. Surveys on consumer preferences for plastic bags

2. Reports on the impact of plastic bag bans on the plastic bag industry

V. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis statement

B. Summarize main points

C. Final thoughts and suggestions on reducing plastic waste.



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