It is: a process of reasoning; takes a stance – supported by evidence – and urges people to share the writer’s perspective.
Persuasion is a general term that refers to how a writer influences an audience to adopt a belief or follow a course of action. To persuade an audience, a writer relies on varies styles: appeals based on emotions (pathos), appeals based on logic (logos), and appeals based on character reputation of the writer (ethos).
An argument makes a point! In an argument, a writer connects a series of points so that they lead logically to a conclusion. Its primary purpose is to demonstrate why some alternative arguments are right and while others are wrong. The goal is to get your audience to trust your opinion. Why does your opinion matter?
As always, choosing the right topic is important. Ideally, you should have an intellectual or emotional stake in your topic. Consider your purpose: realize what you expect your argument to accomplish and how you wish your audience to respond. Also consider your audience!
Some ideas: Feminism: Women in the workplace. Global Warning and reducing carbon emissions. Banning smoking. Making school uniforms manditory for all students. Making marriage universal to all genders and all romantic relationships.
Keep in mind that in an argumentative essay, your thesis must take a stance – in other words, it must be debatable. Arguing a statement of fact or an idea that most people accept as self-evident is pointless. Bad Thesis: Drugs should be banned because they are bad. A better thesis: Education is the best way to address the problem of increased drug use among teenagers.
In order to make any type of argument, the writer must have *evidence*. Your readers will be skeptical unless you supply the right information. Not all opinions are convincing so your job is to rely on the experts. Types of evidence include: statistics, reports, interviews, books, articles, etc.
The state of Hawaii is justified in wanting to re-claim their land and become their own country because the U.S. government has abused the land for far too long. Love is the binding factor for marriage, therefore, same-sex couple should have the opportunity to marry; no one, not even the government, can rule against love and all of its faucets.