How to write an argumentative essay?

If we asked the Bachibac professors what is the primary complexity in teaching literature to our students, most would say that it is the essay that poses the greatest difficulty. And yet, it is a fairly simple communication situation where a speaker expresses an opinion and challenges in various ways his receiver to convince him of something. We may wonder why students are struggling to cope with this ordeal.

In France, argumentation is a disciplinary subject associated with the learning of communication, a common objective at all levels and for all sectors. The argumentative essay is thus present in all the programs, in particular in the high school but also in the University and in some competitions of the Public Service.

Why is the essay considered “difficult” by learners in our country?

On the one hand, the argumentative essay corresponds to a literary tradition that is not at all customary in the teaching of literature in our country; On the other hand, in FLE, the B1 level focuses on the pupil’s ability to give his opinion, to justify himself, but he is not yet able to write a constructed argument, since the argumentative text is reserved for higher levels.

How do we approach it in class with our B1 students, who are not at all familiar with the development of argumentative texts? To answer this question, we will:

• analyze the structure of the external test of the test,
• to study the student’s difficulties in writing the argumentative essay,
• propose activities to tackle it in progress and to improve the written productions of our students,
• analyze the criteria for correcting the external test.