Writing an argument – example, structure& outline

Discussions are not only a popular topic for school lessons, but are also always needed in broader contexts, such as at university. But how do you write a convincing argument?? What kinds of arguments are there, how to find them, and how best to arrange them?
Before starting to look for arguments, it is necessary to consider the general structure. There are three patterns to this:

  1. The linear argument
  2. The dialectical argument.
  3. The text-bound discussion.

Particularly in German classes, certain topics come back again and again. It is therefore worthwhile to make a collection on these topics already. Typical topics for discussion are:

Here on the right in the sidebar we have an even longer list with further topics and arguments.

The structure

In order to write an argument correctly, one must first create a Thesis formulate. This thesis is then discussed with as many different argument supports. In the end, the individual arguments are summarized once again. With this Summary can be used to confirm or refute the thesis.
Schematically, then, any discussion can be viewed as follows:

Thesis 1: Argument 1, Argument 2, ..

Proposition 2: Argument 1, Argument 2, ..

Each argument, in turn, can be broken down into three parts: First, the thesis justifies, then an Proof given and finally a further Explanation or an Example.


Thesis: I think that school uniforms should be introduced in Germany.


Justification: If there are school uniforms, students with less wealthy parents will no longer be bullied for lack of brand name clothes.

Proof: A study has shown that students are often bullied because of their appearance.

Example: There was already one such case in the parallel class.
Statement: Students with less wealthy parents can often only afford cheaper clothes, but not the expensive brands. However, expensive brands are very important to many young people. They laugh at other students who cannot afford such clothing. When all students wear school uniforms, it is no longer possible to infer the wealth of the parents from the clothes they wear.

Different types of arguments

  • Factual argument: Here the thesis is supported with pure facts. For example, factual arguments like to cite research results or statistics.
  • Value argument: In a value argument one refers to socially accepted values and norms. An example of this would be an argument based on the right of freedom of expression.
  • Expert argumentSimilar to the factual argument, this argument is based on facts. However, here directly an expert or. Whose opinion is quoted.
  • Logic Argument: For a logic argument, you transfer logical reasoning. For example, if a role model misbehaves, the followers of the role model will misbehave in the same way.
  • Indirect argumentAn indirect argument refers to a counter-argument to the formulated thesis. You invalidate this argument by lowering its credibility.
  • Quantity argument: A quantity argument appeals to the reader’s emotions, for example, by emphasizing the suffering of animals for slaughter. However, it is considered unobjective and therefore should not be used.

Can you now write the perfect argument?

Then test your knowledge on our quiz on the topic: Discussion Write!

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