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Differences Between Expository and Argumentative Essays, pt.2

Writing a Paper

In the first part of our article, we got familiarized with two common types of writings and their definitions; this part will mainly focus on differences between these essay types and some useful tips on how to write fantastic papers.

How to Differ?

An argument doesn't only mean two people shouting on one another - it's having different points of view and opinions on different things. In simple words, we can say that an argumentative essay differs from expository one the same way opinions differ from facts. In an expository essay, you don't write your own beliefs or thoughts concerning the problem, you concentrate on neutral explanation what the issue is how it works. In an argumentative essay, on the contrary, it's your opinion that should matter the most. You should put all your efforts on defending your claim on the issue that has at least two reasonable sides. Expository essay topics are better to be chosen in such a way that no one could argue with you about it. For example, about any past event from your life. Your reasons for why it was important to you cannot be argued. Nobody can debate with you about why you feel the way you do concerning the past events from your life. Thus, such topics suit perfectly for expository essays writing. But in argumentative essay, you should defend each of your statements by valid evidence. Here are some questions you may consider while developing an argument in your essay:

  • Is your topic good or bad, is it useful or not, is it helpful or helpless, should it be done or not, etc.?
  • What is your side regarding the topic? How many experts are on the same side as you?
  • What are the examples you can provide?
  • Why should people be concerned about this issue?
  • How does it affect you and why is it so important?
  • How can you refute the opposite point of view?
  • Which solution can you offer?

Let's check it in the example. Here is the thesis we will look through:

Modern songs' lyrics contain a lot of violence

You can listen to different modern songs, especially hip hop, and will surely find many that really contain violent references. Thus, the chosen issue is a factual statement and not debatable. There is very little to discuss here and there is no argumentative point to consider. Your readers might not see the point of your writing if you choose the topic like this, so you'd better do some improvements. Check these two different viewpoints concerning the same issue:

Since a lot of modern songs contain violent references, listening to such music can be very harmful to children.

Even though a lot of modern songs sometimes contain a hint of violence, it's the author's demonstration of actual events and is the best way to stop violence in certain places by exposing it to a wide audience.

The point of these two examples is to take a factual statement and make it debatable by expressing different points of view on the same topic.

So, in the course of last articles you know how to distinguish discursive, persuasive, expository and argumentative essays. Hope it comes handy to you some day; later we will come up with more definitions.

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