From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

Supporting Arguments in College Essays

Crafting a strong argument is a crucial aspect of writing a successful college essay. However, an argument alone is not enough to persuade your audience. To effectively convince your reader of your position, you need to provide strong support for your argument. Support refers to the general backing that you provide for your argument and can come in many forms, including evidence, research, examples, and personal experiences. But how do you know what type of support to use and how to use it effectively? In this post, we will explore the art of supporting arguments in college essays and provide you with some tips and strategies to help you make your case effectively.

Supporting an argument is one of the most critical elements of writing a college essay. Without effective support, your essay can come across as unfounded or simply your opinion, which can diminish its impact on the reader. The key to successful support is using a variety of primary and secondary sources to bolster your argument.

Primary sources are original documents or firsthand accounts, such as interviews, diaries, letters, literary texts, or artworks that provide direct evidence for your argument. Secondary sources, on the other hand, are works that interpret, analyze, or comment on primary sources. Examples of secondary sources include books, articles, and essays written by scholars or experts in the field.

When using primary sources, evaluate their credibility, relevance, and accuracy. Make sure the source is reputable and unbiased, and that it directly supports your argument. Additionally, be mindful of how you incorporate primary sources into your essay. Direct quotations can be powerful, but they should be used sparingly and only when they serve a specific purpose. Paraphrasing or summarizing a primary source can be just as effective and more seamless in your writing.

Secondary sources can provide valuable context and analysis for your argument, but again, be sure to choose sources that are reputable and relevant. When using secondary sources, cite them properly and integrate them smoothly into your writing. Be sure to accurately represent the author’s ideas and arguments, and to clearly show how they support your own argument.

Ultimately, effective support requires a balance of primary and secondary sources, as well as thoughtful and deliberate integration into your writing. By using a variety of sources and carefully considering their relevance and credibility, you can strengthen your argument and create a more compelling essay.

 note: For more on supporting your argument, see “Use Strong Evidence and Examples” for specific types of support, and “The Power of Research: Enhancing Your College Essays” for how to find and cite strong sources.

Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 08-27-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬