Can You Start an Argumentative Essay With a Question?

February 16, 2023

can you start an argumentative essay with a question

A well-written argumentative essay is one that’s interesting enough to read from the beginning to the end. To grab the attention of the target reader, you must start the essay by stating your main points in the form of an arguable hook. But can you start an argumentative essay with a question?

You can’t start an argumentative essay with a question. While rhetorical questions are powerful for producing an effect or making a statement, they aren’t effective for starting an argument. Rather than asking a question in the essay, start with a rhetorical statement.

Rhetorical statements are far reaching in argumentative writing. Ideally, they give readers something to think about, which can push them to develop the urge to keep reading past the introduction.

Key Takeaways

  • Your argument’s introduction must be interesting enough to invite a reader to read the entire essay.
  • It’s inappropriate to start an argumentative essay with a question because readers are looking for answers.
  • Instead of asking a question in the introduction, use a rhetorical statement instead.  Such a statement gives your target something to think about as they read the essay.

Is It Right to Start an Essay With a Question?

To answer this question, you must first understand the purpose of an argumentative essay.

From an academic standpoint, an argumentative essay requires you to develop an argument in response to question. Therefore, responding to a question with an additional question doesn’t inform the essay in any way.

If you start the essay with a question, you shift the burden of answering the question to the reader, which can be annoying and equally distracting.

Understand that readers are looking for answers. It’s your responsibility to convince them that you can answer the question.

We understand how significant rhetorical questions are in writing. If anything, they may help you come to grips with an argumentative essay topic. However, they don’t have a place in argumentative essay writing.

The best way to handle a question is to convert it into a complete statement or an indirect question. By doing so, you make it easy for yourself to give answers without making your readers feel like they should contribute to you argument.

Are Rhetorical Statements Good for an Argumentative Essay?

Rhetorical statements are good for argumentative essays because:

1. They Capture Readers’ Attention

Because rhetorical statements give readers something to think about, they might as well develop an urge to read the rest of the essay to learn what you have to say.

Also, it helps to ask an indirect question in the place of what would otherwise be a boring opening statement.

2. They Evoke Emotions 

Your professor is going to review and grade dozens of argumentative essays. If you want yours to stand out, you must make its introduction interesting to read.

Rhetorical statements are a good fit here because they can easily evoke emotion and draw your audience’s attention to read the essay. 

The Right Way to Introduce an Argumentative Essay

The golden rule for introducing an argumentative essay is to start with a strong opening.

In our experience, essays that start with bold hooks always win. These essays have the information that easily grab readers’ attention, not to mention compel them to read the rest of the essay.

With that said, here are four great ways to start an argumentative essay: 

1. Tell a Story

Many people love stories. They’ll listen to or read more if the anecdote is something they can identify with. So if possible, start your argument with a short story.

Be careful with anecdotal hooks, though. The story you share must have a direct connection with the topic you’re exploring. If the story doesn’t fit, the essay won’t make sense, and your readers may lose interest in your work.

It’s up to you to decide the kind of story you’d like to tell. The story can major on a factual event that happened within the constraints of time and place, a personal experience, or just a figment of your imagination.

In addition to keeping the story short, concise, and interesting, you must demonstrate how relevant the story is to your argument.

2. Use a Quotation Hook

Many students often wonder whether it’s academically sound to start an essay with a quote.

From what we understand, it’s fine to start an argumentative essay with a quote provided you do so with caution.

  • You cannot make up a quotation. It has to come from a credible academic source.
  • There must be an explanation of the significance and relevance of the quote to your argumentative essay.

One common issue with quotes is that readers may not understand what they mean. So unless you give an explanation within the context of your argument, a quote will not add value to your writing.

3. Share Statistics

You can start an argument with statistics because they raise eyeballs and increase curiosity. Stats can be anything, ranging from number to decimals to percentages and anything in between.

Be cautious with this option. Your data must come from a credible source and the statistics must relate to the topic of the assignment.

Also, you must show the correlation of the stats to the topic so that readers can understand what you’re trying to communicate.

4. Open with a Statement Hook

Consider a statement hook if you want the easy option. Just make sure the statement is good enough to capture your readers’ attention.

You’re welcome to ask an indirect question, but you must give an answer to the question because you don’t want to annoy your readers in any way.

Do You Need Essay Writing Help?

Writing an argumentative essay may not be hard, but it’s undeniably challenging and involving. So if you don’t have the time to write the essay our team is here to help.

You can hire an argumentative essay writer here. We offer custom writing service, which means you don’t ever have to worry about plagiarism. Also, you will get your paper delivered to you on time.

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About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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