Finding your way into an issue is no easy task. Once you have developed your topic idea, you have to decide how you’re going to approach your issue with your given audience at the time you are writing. You have to think critically about making good decisions as a writer, balancing your own needs with the needs of your audience. Essentially, writing an effective argument is about seeing outside of your own experiences and imagining how others might view your issue. This is definitely a form of critical thinking and gives you good practice at becoming the kind of writer who can be successful in any given writing situation.
But before you begin planning your Pulitzer acceptance speech, it might be helpful to see an example or two of how an effective writer might find an argument from a broad topic or issue.
Click on the activity below to see how two students each worked with a topic idea. In the interaction, you’ll see how each student started with a broad topic, considered audience knowledge, and worked to narrow a topic into a specific argumentative angle.