How to Write an Argumentative Research Paper

Writing an argumentative research paper is very straightforward in practice, but difficult to get started when you step back and look at all that needs to be done. Even with the core steps laid down, the vagueness will make it seem more difficult than it is:

  • Establish side
  • Research
  • Write

That’s incredibly vague, isn’t it? When the steps are more laid out with every part and whatnot, it will seem overwhelming, but you’re able to handle this kind of paper. As with any essay there are some steps are universal—particularly researching and writing.

Establish Side

You’ll want to pick a side in the debate for your argumentative research paper. Whether it is assigned to you or you pick it yourself, this is the foundation of your paper. It helps more if you actual support the point of view you’re assigned by your instructor. If you don’t, it’s best to just phone it in as best as you can. The reason for this is that it’s simply easier to write when your true opinion on the matter. Whether you support or don’t support a policy or approve of or disapprove of something, if it’s legitimately how you feel about it, the words will come more naturally in the course of writing and with research.


Research is something that will need to be done even if you feel you know exactly what you’re talking about and you know all the facts. Research will help in whittling a broad subject or topic to something more manageable as well as give you information to support your point.

Write the Paper

This is the heavy lifting of the paper, of course. You’ll just need to structure your thoughts, format the paper prior to starting or post format, and handle the bibliography and citations. Flow will be important to take care of as well. You don’t want a heavy, bogged down paper and you want everything to flow seamlessly from one point to the next.

Also important in this phase of your paper is making sure you have both a strong introduction and a strong closing statement. Your introduction should give the reader a preview of what’s to come in your research paper and the closing statement should be a review of what the paper covered.

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