Argumentative Essay Language

The following checklist is targeted at undergraduate students who find that they are able to construct in their minds strong and sophisticated arguments that bring together compelling and original ideas, but are unable in their writing to express these arguments and ideas clearly, accurately and effectively. The force of their arguments is thus severely diminished and they end up with poor grades that do not reflect the quality of their thinking. This is not to say that ‘writing’ itself should be thought of simply as a neutral medium to convey already complete arguments and ideas—the writing process fundamentally constitutes the formation of our thoughts. For practical purposes, though, it may be wise to try to isolate ‘problem areas’ in order to deal with them more systematically. Improvement will take time, but it can be speeded up with self-conscious practice and experimentation. Here are some of the areas to look out for when writing and editing typical argumentative essays:

Standard English
  • No grammatical errors (e.g. incomplete or awkwardly structured sentences, dangling modifiers, problems with subject-verb agreement, punctuation mistakes)
  • No misused words -> Always check the dictionary
  • No jargon or slang (meaningful only to a very specialised or local audience), unless:
    • You explain what they mean
    • You have good analytical or dramatic reasons for using them
  • No typographical errors, e.g.: - Cut-and-Paste’ mistakes
    • Spelling mistakes -> Use the spelling checker on your word-processor
  • Effective choice of words -> Avoid ambiguity: Be specific and exact
  • Effective placement of words in sentences to eliminate ambiguity
  • Sentences are not cluttered with repetitive words, redundancies and inflated phrases
    • Avoid clumsy sentences that confuse and irritate readers
  • Systematic paragraphs convey ideas clearly, logically and purposefully
  • Consistent use of verb tenses
  • Consistent use of first-person, second-person and third-person pronouns to maintain the point of view appropriate to the contexts
  • Consistent use of spelling, grammar and style conventions (e.g. British/American/Australian English, single/double quotations marks)
  • Sufficiently formal as appropriate to an academic essay
  • No clichés and colloquialisms, unless you have good analytical or dramatic reasons for using them
Personal Style/Voice
  • No mimicking of lofty and pretentious styles or use of ‘big’ and excessive words in the vain attempt to impress readers
  • A consistent style that you are comfortable with, because it reflects your own individual voice
  • A variety of sentence structures used to avoid monotony
  • The writing is not dull and lifeless, but elegant, clever, witty, energetic, etc.
  • No sexist, stereotypical, or offensive language
Sense of Audience
  • Your interest in the topic is conveyed to your readers
    • You must convince readers that they should also be interested in what you have to say
    • It always helps to imagine yourself as the reader
  • Actively engages the reader, e.g.:
    • Well-paced writing: Short sentences to emphasise a point, long and complex sentences to slow down readers, etc.
    • Suitably dramatic moments: Delaying information to make conclusions more satisfying, etc.
Formal Requirements
  • Falls within the prescribed word limit
  • Complies with the prescribed format (e.g. fonts, margins, line spacing, justification, section headings)
  • Consistent adherence to the prescribed style of documentation (e.g. APA, Harvard, MLA)


A List Of Thought-Provoking Argumentative Essay Topics About Language

When you are tasked with creating an argumentative essay that focuses on language your first job should be to refine the broad topic of "language" and from it select a topic that you are much more interested in.

When you are searching for argumentative essay topics that revolve around language, you have many options at your disposal. The realm of language and linguistics is very bright and that means that you have the freedom to select from a wide variety of options.

It is important that the topic you select be something you actually care about. The more interested you are in the subject any more passionate you are about it, the more that will show through in the work that you produce.

If you are unsure as to what potential ideas are best suited for this style of writing consider the list below.

  • You might consider arguing that the use of text messages and computers has ruins the modern language
  • You can explore how Languages change over time and whether that is good or bad for society
  • You can explore how language was used in different battles or difficult situations to capitalize on the emotions of the general public and whether this is ethical or not
  • Review how the use of text messages has created a subculture within language, another set of language that could potentially become normal
  • Explore the world of Nero linguistic programming and how companies and politicians higher people to determine which words will be most effective for their target audience and whether this should be considered unethical
  • Review how language can be physical or verbal And whether verbal communication is more effective at displaying feelings or whether physical, otherwise known as nonverbal, is a more effective communication method for portraying emotions
  • Explore the ways in which people can communicate even if they don't speak the same language
  • Review the developmental benefits that learning a second language at a young age has
  • Explore how learning languages works within the brain and articulate why students should be required to learn second languages in school

If this has not proven helpful the other things you can do include reviewing class notes, books, lectures, and other material covered within the span of the classroom for potential ideas. You can also use brainstorming methods to find something that is most appealing to you.

One thought on “Argumentative Essay Language

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *