The argumentative essay text has as main characteristics the presentation of a reasoning, the defense of a point of view or the questioning of a certain reality. The author uses arguments, facts, and data, which will help to justify the ideas he will develop. The three basic characteristics of a dissertation text are:
- Presentation of the point of view
- Discussion of arguments
- Critical review of the text
- The difference of this model for a narrative text, for example, is that the narrative text describes a story, containing some important elements like characters, place, time (interval in which the facts occurred), plot (facts that motivated the writing). The dissertation text, on the other hand, aims to defend a point of view using arguments.
An argumentative essay writing can be written in the third person plural (objective) or first person singular (subjective), we will see examples of each one of them:
In the objective dissertation, the author does not identify with the reader, since the arguments are exposed in an impersonal way. This, in fact, gives the text an air of impartiality, although it is known that it is the author’s view that is being discussed. This procedure makes the reader more easily accept the ideas exposed in the text.
In the subjective text, the author shows through the use of the first person singular (eu), evidencing that the arguments are the result of the personal opinion of the writer (not that the objective text is not, after all, the influence of the ideas of the author are also present in the latter case).
Let’s show two examples, the first is an excerpt from an objective text and the second is an excerpt from a subjective text. Notice the difference between the two:
1) “There are different types of ruins. But they are always the result of a demolition or deconstruction of buildings. There is a first type that symbolizes a past time that evolved and was leaving ruins due to the changes of the tastes and the wealth of the owners. “
2) “I’m not the type to be impressed by rumors, but I can not remain indifferent to the latest developments in Brazil’s public scenario. All this movement around the cases of corruption that devastate the nation made me think about the importance of ethics in social relations at all levels. I do not want to be convinced that such an important moral value is being banished from society, replaced by the right to guarantee personal privilege at any cost. “
We can clearly notice the difference in the use of the third and the first person.
In practice, writing in the first person (I / us) gives rise to sentences like:
- “We need to be aware of the importance of caring for the environment”
- “I had good teachers, but not every student has this privilege.”
The same sentences above written in the third person plural would be:
- “We must be aware of the importance of caring for the environment”
“Some students have good teachers, but not everyone has this privilege.”
Note that when you write in the third person plural, you never use conjugated verbs in person (using “I” or “we”). Phrases are always impersonal.
These two ways of writing are accepted, but it is very important that you choose and keep the same style from start to finish! If you chose objective writing, do not use the subjective writing and vice versa.
It is very common to mix both, the vast majority of candidates mix these two styles throughout the text and are penalized in the note for this. Stay tuned to this detail. Whenever you write a sentence, remember which style you have chosen and be faithful to it until the end!
The most recommended is that you choose the third person plural because this way of writing is more informal and easier to follow with fidelity. The objective text also has the advantage of giving an “authority” aspect to the arguments.
When one opts for the subjective text, one has the impression that everything is only in agreement with the author’s opinion, whereas in the objective one has the impression that the opinion belongs to everyone. This is what strengthens the objective character.
We also recommend that you practice your writing using the same style to get used to. This will help you not to mix things up later. Then start practicing right now the objective text to arrive on the day of sharp proof and not to put mixed subjective traits.
The Argumentation of the Dissertation Text
An argumentative text, as we have already mentioned, is one in which we defend an idea, opinion or point of view, trying to make the reader believe in it. To achieve this goal, we use the arguments.
The word ARGUMENTO has a curious origin: it comes from the Latin ARGUMENTUM; means: to shine, to illuminate.
It is easy to find the arguments of a text, since it is enough to identify the thesis (main idea), then ask the question “why”? For example: the author is against the death penalty (thesis). Because … (arguments).
A good essay text should be based mainly on a good argumentation (hence the name: argumentative essay). For this to happen, it is necessary to organize the ideas that will be exposed. We will show below the most common types of arguments that can be used in an essay:
Types of arguments
- Argument of Authority: It is one that relies on the knowledge of a specialist in the area. It is a way of bringing to the text the weight and credibility of the authority cited. For example: “As Bertrand Russell says, it is not the possession of material goods that most seduces men, but the prestige derived from it.”
- Argument of consensus: Some statements do not require the demonstration of a specialist to prove the content argued. In this case, we need not cite a source of trust. For example: “Investment in Education is indispensable for the economic development of the country”. Note that this statement does not need a theoretical basis, since it is a global consensus.
- Evidence from experience or observation: This type of argumentation is based on documentation with data that prove or confirm its truthfulness. For example: “Chance can give rise to great scientific discoveries. Alexander Flemming, who grew bacteria, happened to notice that the fungi in the jar killed the bacteria that were there. From the research with these fungi, he came to penicillin. ” Note that, in this case, the argument that validated the statement “Chance can give rise to great discoveries” was the documentation of Flemming’s experience.
- The logical reasoning: The argument in this case is based on operations of logical reasoning, such as the implications of cause and effect, consequence and cause, etc. For example: “By admitting that human life is man’s most precious asset, the death penalty can not be accepted, since there is always the possibility of a legal error which, in this case, would be irreparable.” Note that the idea that the reader tried to pass was: You can not accept the death penalty. For this, it was mentioned the case of human failure in the sentence, which allowed that such a conclusion was reached.
Any of these types of arguments are valid in the construction of an argumentative text.
As a nomenclature, many vestibular tests and contests use the name “dissertation text”, “argumentative text” or “argumentative essay text”, but all refer to the same pattern of text that we mentioned in this article.
For more details on how to do a dissertation, with step-by-step lessons, exercises, and examples of essay writing, we suggest you get to know our writing book.