Mastering Argumentative Essay Outline: A Comprehensive Guide

Read Time:
Posted on:
April 8, 2024
Updated on:
June 3, 2024
Share this article
Argumentative essay outline

Are you looking for help to make an argumentative essay outline? Or don’t know which structure you should follow? Worry not!

In this blog, our argumentative essay writers will explain what an argumentative essay outline is, its importance and how to make an outline for argumentative essay. Moreover, we will also discuss the components of an argumentative essay.

 What is an argumentative essay outline?

Before you start making an outline for an argumentative essay, it is crucial to know what it is argumentative essay outline and why it is important.  So, what exactly is an argumentative essay outline?

“An outline for an argumentative essay is a strategy where you defend your opinion on a subject by logic as well as facts. Moreover, it involves doing some research first and then organizing your ideas into a basic structure.”

An outline of an argumentative essay is like a structure that shows how the paper will be organized. It includes a short description of the main argumentative essay parts, which are connected with logical transitions.

By making this plan and checking it, it’s easier to spot mistakes or places where your ideas don’t flow well. Fixing these mistakes helps you get closer to writing a really good essay.

Argumentative Essay Format

Making a good plan for your argumentative essay is very important. In other words, get your ideas in order before you start writing the whole thing. It’s like making a road map for your essay: you make a plan. You can see where you’re going and if you’re missing anything important.  A strong outline for an argumentative essay should include:


In this section add a topic description and thesis statement of your argumentative essay. You should give detailed information for the main points, but the other parts of argumentative essays can be brief for now. Think of a catchy way to grab your readers’ attention, like using a “hook”.

For example, if your essay is about the problems nurses face when they try to provide holistic care, you could start with a strong quote from a nursing leader or a real-life example that shows how important holistic nursing methods are.

Body paragraphs

The next section in your argumentative essay format is body paragraphs. In body paragraphs, you briefly present your main arguments and any opposing views you intend to challenge. You also mention your evidence and references. But make sure to keep it concise because this is just an outline.


Argumentative essay conclusion summarizes your main points and shows how they back up your main idea.

Types of Argumentative Essay Outline

Before you start outlining your argumentative essay, decide which type fits your topic best. Your assignment might specify this, but if it is not mentioned, it’s up to you. Moreover, the design of your argumentative essay relies on your chosen persuasive style. There are three primary types:

  • Classical (Aristotelian)
  • Rogerian
  • Toulmin

Let’s explore each type in detail to understand their differences and when to use them.

Types of Argumentative Essay Outline

Types of Argumentative Essay Outline

Classical Outline

Classical argumentative essay structure is also named Aristotelian because it pays tribute to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. He developed a logical approach to presenting arguments.

For this type, follow a 5-paragraph essay format. Here is a sample argumentative essay outline:

  • Clearly state your thesis from the start.
  • Mention any thesis of opposing.
  • List your arguments and the evidence you have.
  • Address counter arguments with evidence that challenges them.
  • Summarize, showing how your arguments support your thesis.

When to Use Classical Outline

This format works best for open discussions and simple subjects.

 Rogerian Outline

In a Rogerian outline for argumentative essays, you focus more on understanding opposing viewpoints, including their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of just arguing against them, you aim to find common ground.

When to Use Rogerian Outline

This argumentative essay layout is useful when you want to assist both sides find common ground. It’s also good for convincing an audience that doesn’t agree with you, like while questioning the customs or guidelines of a certain group.

Toulmin Outline

When your essay subject requires deep evaluation on diverse stages, employ the Toulmin outline for your argumentative essay. It’s built on six primary parts:

  • Claim – your main statement
  • Grounds – proofs supporting the claim
  • Warrant – the logical connection among the grounds as well as the claim
  • Backings – extra arguments that support the warrant
  • Finalist – how certain your claim is
  • Rebuttal – addressing possible counterarguments.

When to Use Toulmin Outline

This format is great for arguing against existing claims. Moreover, if you are struggling with your argumentative essay outline, verify its essential details twice. Fixing errors early can save you lots of time. For even more help, consider buying persuasive essays from expert writers.

Argumentative Essay Outline Template

Have you chosen your argumentative essay format? If so, you are set to move forward. If you’re still unsure and need more guidance, don’t worry! There are plenty of argumentative outline templates available on this page.

We’ve created detailed outline templates for each of the main types we discussed earlier. You may explore them below.

Classical Outline Template

Using a classical argument essay outline is recommended if your objective is to present your viewpoint on a subject and provide compelling evidence to back it up. It’s the simplest and most common way to organize your arguments, so it works well unless your situation calls for something else. Here’s an argumentative essay outline example.


  • Start with an interesting introduction to grab your audience’s attention.
  • Give a short overview of the problem you’re discussing.
  • Then, state your thesis clearly, with an extra explanation if needed.


Let’s understand this with the help of example


Hook: “Did you know that over 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year?”

Overview: Introduce the issue of plastic pollution and its impact on marine ecosystems.

Thesis Statement: “In light of the devastating consequences of plastic pollution on marine life, urgent action is needed to implement stricter regulations on plastic production and usage.”

Argument #1

Begin with the simplest argument. Explain how it connects to your thesis and give supporting evidence, like Data Set #1, Data Set #2, and so on.

First Argument: Environmental impact

Argument: Plastic pollution endangers marine life and ecosystems.


Data Set #1: Statistics on ocean plastic garbage growth over the past decade.

Data Set #02: Marine species at risk from plastic ingestion or entanglement.

Third data set: Research on plastic pollution’s long-term environmental effects.

Argument #2

Follow the format similar to the previous section (Argument #1).

Second argument: Human Health Issues

Argument: Plastic pollution harms marine life and human health.

As evidenced by Data Set #1: Studies relate plastic pollution to hazardous compounds in seafood.

The second data set: Research on microplastics in contaminated food and water and their health implications.

Data Set #3: Plastic garbage exposure-related health hazards in communities.

 Counterargument #1

Choose the main opposing viewpoint and analyze it briefly:

  • Draw attention to any logical errors or offer proof that the claim is false.
  • Explain how this analysis strengthens your own position.

First counterargument: Economic Considerations

Counterargument: Some argue that tougher plastic production and use rules could hurt the economy.

Rebuttal: Transitioning away from plastic may have short-term economic costs, but the long-term benefits, such as environmental preservation and public health improvement, outweigh them.

Provide evidence of successful programs and regulations in other nations that have decreased plastic pollution without major economic impact.

Counterargument #2

The following sections should be formatted the same way as this one.

Counterargument 2: Personal Responsibility

Counterargument: Critics may say people should solve plastic pollution, not the government.


Refutation: Individual initiatives help, but systemic change is needed to solve the plastic pollution challenge.

Evidence: Studies show how individual behavior change cannot reduce plastic waste without regulations and infrastructure.


  • Summarize your argument without repeating it. Also, demonstrate how it supports your thesis statement (also called peroration).    
  • Then, include final thoughts or a call to action to keep your audience attracted.


In summary:

“Plastic pollution is a significant danger to marine life and human well-being.”

Recommended Action:

“It’s crucial for governments, businesses, and individuals to collaborate and implement effective measures to decrease plastic usage.”

Final Consideration:

“By acting decisively today, we can preserve our oceans and ensure the well-being of generations to come.”

Rogerian Outline Template

It is essential to thoroughly analyze the opposing side’s reasons while attempting to counter a strong argument. Using the Rogerian approach, you could look for common ground and attempt to reach a compromise. To go deeper into opposing ideas, use this argument essay outline.


  • First, talk about the problem and give some background if needed.  For example, “The debate over climate change has been ongoing for years, with strong opinions on both sides.”
  • Then, share your own opinion on it and also talk about the other side’s views. You can focus on the most popular opposing view or one that has similarities with yours. Point out where you agree.

You may state, “While some argue that human activity is the primary cause of climate change, others believe it is a natural phenomenon.”

  • Finally, state your main idea clearly in one sentence.

For example, “This essay will propose a middle-ground climate change strategy that considers human and environmental elements.”

Sum up the other side’s view.

  • Look at the evidence that backs it up.

For instance, “Those who blame natural causes for climate change say solar radiation and volcanic activity are the key culprits.”

  • Think about how strong this view is based on the evidence. See if there are ways to argue against it.

“High solar activity has been linked to rising global temperatures.”

  • Discuss viewpoints, if there are any. Do it the same way you did for the first one.

“Human activities like burning fossil fuels add to greenhouse gas emissions. But natural forces also impact climate variability.”

Recognize the other side’s viewpoint(s).

  • Show that you realize why they think that way.

“Anthropogenic theory supporters point to climate scientists’ unanimity and greenhouse gas concentration increases.”

  • Point out where you agree with them on specific points.

It is clear that deforestation and industrialization have increased carbon dioxide levels, worsening the greenhouse impact.

 Share your own opinion.

  • Your first argument: explain how it supports your main idea and give evidence for it.

First argument: “I think climate change occurs due to both nature and people. Nature, like the sun as well as volcanoes, can make the weather change a little. But people, by burning things like coal and oil, are making it change a lot quicker and stronger.”


  • Your second argument: write it in the same way like the first one. Do the same for all your arguments.

Second argument: “Also, if we find a middle way to deal with climate change, it can work better. This means creating rules to pollute less and use more clean energy like wind as well as sunlight. Doing both can assist us tackle climate change in a smart way.

Recommend locating a middle ground.


  • Focus on what you and the other person both agree on.

Propose common ground: People as well as nature contribute to climate change. If we comprehend this, we can plan for environmental protection and wise community development.” 

Emphasize shared ideas: “Everyone agrees that we should protect the earth for future generations. We all must act now to reduce climate change.”

  • Come up with a solution that contains these shared ideas from both ends.

Offer a solution: Let’s cooperate to reduce pollution and use more renewable energy. We can plan for climate change’s current changes. Thus, we can improve future of everyone.”


  • Provide a synopsis of the compromise and the justifications offered by each side.

Summarize the compromise: “So, to finish up, taking a middle way to deal with climate change helps us think about all the different parts of the problem and come up with good solutions.”

  • Explain how reaching a compromise benefits both parties.

 Emphasize the benefits of compromise: “When we settle on some things and work jointly, everyone wins. By doing this, we can handle climate change in a good and effective way.”

You can uncover more argumentative essay format examples below.

📕Read also: Essay Outline

Template of Toulmin Outline

This template assists you in composing essays when you have to handle difficult arguments that require careful examination. It is called the Toulmin argumentative essay format. Here is an example of how to make an outline for an argumentative essay with the help of this format:


  • Begin with something interesting to appeal to your audience’s attention.
  • Quickly explain what the challenge is about.
  • Clearly state your main thesis or argument.


First, talk about your first piece of evidence and explain why it supports your argument. Then, do the same thing with your second piece of evidence, and so on.

Your Justification #1

Explain why your first reason is vital for your main argument. Then, connect it to the evidence that supports it. Also, mention any restrictions or weaknesses in your argument to be unbiased and open-minded.

Your Justification #2 will be organized similarly.

Examining the Opposing View

  • Opposing Argument #1:
    • Understand their point, looking at why they think that way.
    • Give your response to their argument.
  • Opposing Argument #2 is presented similarly, etc.

Wrapping Up

  • Sum up your key reasons.
  • Recap how you have countered to the rival arguments.
  • Explain why your thesis statement is solid.



Start with a surprise: “Did you know Americans throw away 4.4 pounds of garbage every day?”

Explain the issue concisely: “We’ll discover the pressing need to reduce waste and endorse recycling now.”

Be strong on your key point:

“We must use sustainable techniques in order to reduce waste and protect the environment.”


One strong motivation to reduce waste is the troublesome rate of landfill filling up. The second strong point is that inappropriate garbage disposal causes pollution as well as destroys ecosystems.

Your Reason #1 

Explain why reducing waste is important:

“Dangerous greenhouse gases are released from flooding landfills, causing air pollution and climate change.”

Use the proof: “Studies show that methane emissions from landfills are a meaningful contributor to global warming.”

Address limitations: “Recycling is beneficial but not perfect. We should lower utilization and reuse things to reduce waste.”

Considering the Opposition

Opposition #1: “Some argue that recycling is too pricey as well as ineffective.”

Get it: “It is true that recycling processes can be costly and may not always result in instant advantages.”

Your response: Recycling has long-term environmental and economic benefits that outweigh its short-term expenses. Recycling infrastructure investments support economic growth, employment creation, and environmental protection.”

Wrapping Up


“In conclusion, reducing waste through recycling as well as sustainable practices is crucial for saving our environment and tackling climate change.”

“By addressing concerns about cost and efficiency, we can create a more sustainable waste management system that benefits both people and the planet.”

Clarify thesis strength

“The proof tremendously supports the need for action, building the case for waste reduction and recycling stronger than ever.”

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Here is all the information that you require to create a plan for an argumentative essay. We have compiled a short guide that can assist you to make outline for your essay. When you write your school paper, make sure you follow these steps.

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline

Research your topic Thoroughly

Before outlining your argumentative essay, gather important information about your argumentative essay topic. Make sure you have enough evidence to support your argument and address any counterarguments. Check that your evidence clearly supports your position and doesn’t strengthen the opposing viewpoint.

Choose a Format

Consider the details of your topic to decide which format works best: Classical, Rogerian, or Toulmin. Starting with one format and then switching to another can waste time, especially if you’re on a tight deadline.

Organize it Well.

Use the suggested argumentative essay templates and dedicate a separate paragraph to each argument in your outline. This also goes for your introductory portions. Remember, correct formatting makes your paper easier to read as well as supports your argument.

Keep it Short and Clear.

Keep your outline brief yet easy to understand, covering all the important points and information. Remember, you’re just outlining the essay, not writing the entire text. Plus, being concise saves time.

Review and Fix

Take time to review your outline for your argumentative research essay. Look for any mistakes or missing information. Read it yourself or get someone else to give it a thorough check. If you overlook something important now, it’ll be harder to fix later.

These tips will help you make an argumentative essay outline for both high school as well as college. Moreover, you can find more guidance on how to write an argumentative essay in our guides.

 Final Thoughts

We’ve explained how to make argumentative essay structure and highlighted three main structure types: Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin. Additionally, we’ve listed the essential components of an argumentative essay outline. You can also look at our example of an outline for an argumentative essay. Moreover, with this information, you can write a great persuasive essay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Q1: Write about the basic components of an argumentative essay outline.

Ans. The crucial parts of argumentative essay include the following:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraphs
  • Counter Arguments
  • Conclusion

Q2: What elements make up a strong outline for an argumentative essay?

Ans. A strong outline for an argumentative essay should include

  • A clear and engaging thesis statement about a compelling and controversial issue.
  • Well-supported arguments with logical reasoning and solid evidence.
  • Reliable sources to back up your evidence.
  • Effective rebuttals for counterarguments, highlighting their weaknesses.
  • Logical connections amid all sections of your essay outline.
  • A conclusion that recaps your arguments as well as rebuttals, reinforcing your thesis statement.

Q3: Why is making an argumentative essay outline necessary?

Ans. Creating an outline assists in organizing argument essay structure and arranging key parts like the thesis statement, background, arguments, proofs, and conclusion. Moreover, it acts as a plan for the essay, with logical connections among these elements. Reviewing this draft outline can help identify any problems before writing the complete essay, making the task much simpler.


Picture of Elowen Rose
Elowen Rose
I am Elowen Rose, an expert essay writer. I ensure that each student receives valuable insights for crafting A-grade essays. I work closely with students to make writing easier and more enjoyable for them.

Table of Contents