Composing A Solid Argumentative Research Paper In The APA Style: Tips & Tricks

Putting together a quality research paper can be tricky if you don’t have experience with this style of writing. However, learning just a few simple insights into what makes for a good argumentative research paper can help propel your grades and make the writing experience much more manageable.

  • First and foremost, you will want to familiarize yourself with the basic standards that APA formatting employs. This aspect of paper compositions is often an afterthought. But strong citation knowledge will not only make your paper’s arguments appear more credible, it will also show the reader that you are taking the paper and the content seriously. When first starting out, learning how to cite journal articles and books properly will probably be sufficient, and there are a number of websites where formatting can be learned.
  • An argumentative paper will require the use of outside sources. These sources, generally written by subject matter experts or those with extensive knowledge of the topic should be consulted in order to develop a strong foundational knowledge. This information will help you to start thinking about your own opinions on the subject matter and will help you to start crafting a solid argument. In addition, a few good, well-cited sources will provide you with lists of sources that the authors have used to develop their own arguments. These lists can be invaluable to finding more sources to strengthen your paper further. Find them on the Works Cited or References pages.
  • Once you have decided on the kind of argument that you would like to make, be sure to consider what kind of opposing viewpoints exist that could be formulated to weaken your argument. Although your reader will not be directly questioning you as they might during a presentation or speech, a weak argument where the opposing viewpoints are overwhelming will cause the reader to question your credibility. If the opposition seems too strong, it may be worth either utilizing more sources and persuasive writing to strengthen your own point or to consider a different take.
  • Finally, be sure to review your paper, both for spelling and grammatical accuracy, as well as to ensure that your APA citations are formatted correctly. Ask a friend to read your paper and to be honest on whether they find your argument to be a convincing one. If not, you should ask for suggestions that would strengthen your work. If they are convinced, you’re ready to submit and start crafting your next argumentative paper!

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