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Student Hacks: How to Write a Powerful Argumentative Essay About The Harmful Effects of Smoking

Student Hacks: How to Write a Powerful Argumentative Essay About The Harmful Effects of Smoking

Students write dozens of essays during their years in college, and this task chases them regardless of the degree they get and the course they have. Whether in Literature or Accounting, you’ll write essays to sharpen critical thinking and analytical skills, demonstrate your knowledge of the course material to educators, organize, and better memorize it.

Argumentative essays are among the trickiest papers you’ll need to craft.

Seemingly easy to write, they hide several nuances in content and structure; some students forget or ignore those details, though they are critical for a paper’s success. One of those details is choosing a proper topic for an argumentative essay. The trick is to write about something debatable, having at least two viewpoints, each with solid arguments and a right to exist. An argumentative essay about smoking is an excellent example of such topics.

Let’s take it to examine the structure and content an argumentative essay should have to impress readers and get you a high grade.

How to write a powerful argumentative essay about smoking

Argumentative essays are academic papers where a student presents points with evidence on both sides of a topic. This detail is essential: Whatever side of the issue you support, you need to include counterarguments in your essay for readers to decide on the side they choose.

Thus, when writing an essay about the harmful effects of smoking, you add a paragraph with counterarguments your opponents have on the issue. The purpose is not to persuade readers that you are right; it is to give them arguments on all sides but to use convincing arguments and evidence as to why your point is more accurate.

So, if you want to write a powerful argumentative essay, ensure you follow these five steps:

Learn what the laws and regulations say on the topic.

First, please research and find out what laws and regulations your country (or the one you write about) has regarding smoking. If it allows smoking in congested areas, you can use this as an ethical issue for smokers to think about their influence on nonsmokers nearby. If the law forbids smoking in public and prescribes specific areas for it, learn the punishment smokers face if breaking this law.

This info will help you choose arguments for your essay about smoking. Also, you can use those documents as references to support your points or provide the background for your thesis.

Consider all sides of the issue.

As said, you can’t limit your essay with the only argument a la “smoking is bad.” Research the topic from different perspectives:

You write about why it harms a smoker’s health, providing facts, statistics, and other solid evidence. But you can also tell about how cigarettes influence nonsmokers in public areas where they have to breathe smoke. Also, it’s worth mentioning the smoking effects unrelated to health: the tobacco industry’s impact on the environment, how cigarette production may increase food insecurity, and others.

All these arguments empower your essay and help convince readers that your position is correct.

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Ensure you include the opposite point of view.

The harmful effects of smoking are many, so you’ll have enough arguments and evidence to prove it in your essay. Yet, you also need a paragraph with counterarguments for readers to see the flip side of the coin. It can be the information on the economic consequences of smoking: taxes from cigarette sales, thousands of people with jobs in the industry, etc.

When writing about opposing viewpoints, ensure you support them with evidence from credible sources. Also, think of what you have to “beat” them: Is there anything downplaying their importance in the face of your arguments? For example, you could compare the economic consequences of taxes from cigarette sales with those of smoking-related diseases.

Use a proper structure for your argumentative essay.

For an argumentative essay to succeed, it should be concise, coherent, and logically organized. State a strong thesis in your introduction, make your points flow in body paragraphs (one paragraph = one argument with evidence), and craft a convincing conclusion for readers.

Here’s a proper structure for argumentative essay:

  • Introduction: One paragraph with a hook to grab readers’ interest, a topic background, and a thesis statement
  • Body: 2-3 paragraphs with arguments and evidence to support your thesis and one paragraph with counterarguments
  • Conclusion: One paragraph summarizing your points, restating your thesis again, and providing a final remark for readers to think about

Finish it with a powerful conclusion.

A concluding paragraph is critical for your essay’s success: It’s your last chance to emphasize the importance of the topic and your arguments and leave readers with food for thought. Here’s how to write a conclusion:

Admit that the opposite viewpoint may be partly true; restate your thesis and summarize your arguments; tell the audience what to do after reading your essay. For example, you can ask them a thought-provoking question in the final sentence of your paper.


While argumentative essay writing is challenging for many, this “devil” stops being so scary when you know its details. Choose a debatable topic, provide strong arguments with evidence, use a logical structure for your essay (remember about a convincing conclusion!) — and you’ll win.

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