Guide to Writing an Argumentative Essay in Criminal Law: All You Need to Know

Writing guide
Posted on August 20, 2019

What is an Argumentative Essay in Criminal Law?

An argumentative essay can be described as an essay that aims to present and discuss different perspectives regarding a specific issue. As a rule, a paper contains several proved arguments and a counterargument. The writer should present his or her viewpoints explicitly by considering only a particular side of the problem as a compelling one. There is a need to present evidence and proofs that are used to support the claim and explain it. Accordingly, the writer needs to conduct an in-depth analysis, evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic concisely. With regard to an argumentative essay in criminal law, it involves different concepts, including criminal punishment, procedure, or sentencing. An insightful argumentative essay explains logical arguments and reviews the strong and weak sides of the presented problem.

Choosing a Topic for an Argumentative Essay in Criminal Law

First of all, you need to remember that choosing a topic for an argumentative essay in criminal law is one of the primary steps of writing a paper. Criminal law includes a wide variety of themes that can be selected for an essay. It is important to remember that there are some historical and socio-cultural peculiarities of the laws in different countries that should be taken into consideration before the selection of topic. The theme should be interesting both for the audience and the writer. Consequently, the subjects that are not widely discussed will be interesting for you to research, and they can attract readers’ attention. In such a case, you have an opportunity to present an analytical approach to the issue. The list of examples can help you to choose a compelling topic for an argumentative essay in criminal law.

  • The Role of Peaceful Protests in the Development of a Community;
  • Effectiveness of Laws Against Cybercrime;
  • The Influence of Sociology on Crime Prevention;
  • The Theory of Broken Windows: The Impact of the Environment on Crime Rates;
  • The Effect of Social Media on Crime Investigation;
  • Preconditions of Domestic Violence;
  • The Effect of Wrongful Convictions on Criminal Justice;
  • Elimination of Slavery and Human Trafficking with the Help of Criminal Law;
  • The Effective Policies for Reducing Criminal Rate;
  • The Role of Experimental Criminology in the Criminal Justice System.

Pre-Writing Tips

The first step of the pre-writing process is the selection of a relevant issue for discussion. You can ask the professor for clarification in order to eliminate the vagueness of the task and make it more specific. It would be beneficial to choose the topic related to criminal law that is interesting for you. In such a case, it will be easier to provide a reasonable perspective of the problem and persuade the audience. Accordingly, you will have an opportunity to use your background knowledge to write an excellent argumentative essay. In addition, there is a need to remember that the arguments should be based on precise data, studies, and facts. The author needs to support the main ideas of the essay with the help of up-to-date references. At the same time, a persuasive argumentative essay should not contain irrelevant details and too general information. Consequently, it is essential to choose a narrow and specific topic in criminal law in order to write a strong paper.

Another critical point is that the writer should perform in-depth research in order to find the necessary information. Before writing an essay, you need to analyze published materials, including criminal laws, articles, and surveys. As a result, you will find out more about the topicality of the problem. The obtained knowledge will assist in presenting different sides of the issue objectively and thoroughly. Additionally, you will be able to form and support your position regarding the matter. The writer also should be ready to learn advanced information on the subject even if he or she has some background knowledge. Gathering information from different credible sources will broaden the audience’s understanding of the issue and help to make a profound presentation of the problem. Accordingly, there is a need to find and analyze the data from relevant sources before writing an argumentative essay.

Writing a short outline of the essay is also a crucial part of the pre-writing process. After the research of the topic, an overview will help to organize the ideas in a logical order. A compelling outline should include such parts of an argumentative essay as an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Additionally, the writer needs to write a thesis statement in the introduction part. Writing down the main ideas in the form of an outline would be helpful in terms of presenting the information consistently and logically.

Structure of an Argumentative Essay in Criminal Law

You need to keep in mind that the structure of an argumentative essay in criminal law, generally, follows a typical structure of an academic essay. The title of the work should be clear and understandable in order to attract readers’ attention. An argumentative essay consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Accordingly, the introduction explains the relevance of the issue and provides specific background. Additionally, a thesis statement is the last sentence of the first paragraph that presents the central argument of an essay. As a rule, an argumentative essay includes three body paragraphs that discuss background information, supporting evidence, and counterargument. The writer can expand the structure due to the necessity to cover the topic adequately. However, there is a need to remember that the paper should contain argumentation of the position and discussion of the counter-side. A conclusion, which is the last part of an essay, summarizes discussed ideas and findings. Additionally, it is essential to repeat the thesis statement at the end of the work.


An argumentative essay in criminal law starts with an introduction that captures readers’ attention. Additionally, it provides general background knowledge on the chosen topic. The writer should present the topicality of the problem convincingly and concisely. Additionally, it is useful to include relevant background information in the introduction. The last sentence of the paragraph is a thesis statement that comprises the critical ideas of the writer’s argumentation. Moreover, the thesis presents a persuasive argument that supports the writer’s objective position. However, it does not reflect the author’s personal opinion on the subject of the work. You can find the examples of effective and non-effective thesis statements below:

Incorrect: ‘Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways’.

This statement does not explain the author’s claim profoundly. It is too general, so it cannot describe the topic explicitly.

Correct: ‘The risk quotient analysis indicates that self-driving cars should be banned due to the high level of autonomous vehicles accidents in the USA’.

Such a thesis statement effectively presents the writer’s central message. The readers can understand the topicality of the issue.

Body Paragraphs

An argumentative essay aims to discuss both sides of the selected issue in order to be coherent. The writer should keep in mind that a persuasive argumentative essay has a logical and clear structure. Accordingly, there are, as a rule, three body paragraphs with background information, arguments, and a counterargument. Each of the paragraphs should start with a topic sentence that presents its central claim. Furthermore, there is a need to dedicate one paragraph for one idea in order to make it concise. You need to state each point of the thesis statement in the topic sentences of the body paragraphs. An effective essay should comprise different viewpoints of the problem. However, it is essential to pay attention to a conflicting perspective of the issue and refute them with persuasive argumentation.

The ideas in the body paragraphs should be supported with the evidence from outside resources, including criminal cases, articles, and research. The usage of relevant and up-to-date sources will make the paper more convincing. As a result, a persuasive argumentative essay needs to include the supporting details that follow the thesis statement of the paper.

The body paragraphs prove and support the proposed arguments. The writer presents several reasons why the audience should accept his or her position. Accordingly, the writer should include supporting details that will convince the audience. The in-text citations and quotes from relevant sources will assist you in substantiating the claims. Additionally, there is a need to include explanation and interpretation of the used citations. Do not forget that the paragraph should be written logically in order to support the main argument profoundly. One paragraph should be dedicated to the discussion of one case. Consequently, two paragraphs of the body part should discuss central writer’s claims. It is crucial to provide the audience with the reasons why they should consider your position.

With regard to the last paragraph of the body part, it should be noted that it discusses the counterargument of the issue. The presentation of the opposite viewpoint helps to make the essay more unbiased and professional. However, it is important to refute the opposing opinion reasonably. The writer should explain the reliability of his or her arguments in comparison to the counterargument.


The last part of an argumentative essay is a conclusion that summarizes the main ideas of the paper. In addition, there is a need to restate a thesis statement in different words in order to demonstrate the audience the value of the findings in the last part of the work. Nevertheless, a conclusion cannot present any new information or supporting details that were not mentioned in the body part. Accordingly, the writer should not include citations in the conclusion part. The last sentence of the paragraph can underline the significance of the findings and results of the work. In addition, it would be beneficial to discuss further research that can be conducted according to the outcome of the paper.

Post-Writing Tips

Having written an essay does not mean that the essay is finished. Firstly, it is important to check whether the work meets all the requirements provided by the instructor. The presented ideas and arguments should be clear, consistent, and supported by relevant sources. It would be beneficial to include the definition of the implied terms, laws, and concepts. The persuasive tone of the work will attract the readers and draw their attention to the topic. Additionally, there is a need to check the structure of the essay that should include an introduction, a body part, and a conclusion. The thesis statement should state the main idea of the essay in a clear and persuasive way. Accordingly, each paragraph of the body part should reflect the thesis in its topic sentence and supporting details. At the same time, do not forget to restate the thesis statement in the conclusion part.

The writer needs to reread the work to correct grammar, vocabulary, and stylistics error. Editing and proofreading are effective techniques that help you to make the essay more consistent and coherent. Moreover, it is crucial to check whether the language of the paper corresponds to your academic level. A free of errors argumentative essay can transmit the author’s main claims. The writer should also check the essay for common mistakes including repetitions, use of personal pronouns or contractions. In addition, you can ask peers for an objective review of the essay. It can help to check grammar, vocabulary, and content of the essay once again objectively. Transitional words, like additionally, however, as a result, or moreover, may help the writer to present the ideas in a logical order. In addition, there is a need to check the accuracy of paper format. You can check the peculiarities of paper formats on the website Purdue Owl.

Finally, the last step of writing a strong criminal law essay is to consider all the notes and make a final version of the work. If you take into account the tips on writing an essay, then the work will receive the highest mark.

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