The assignment: write a dialectic essay on the topic of your choice, it should be about 2 double-spaced typed pages (600 words maximum). Follow the structure and clearly label each section of your essay.
As far as you know, academic essays can be different. Being a student, your task is to understand the difference between all essay types clearly. So, when you are asked to write a dialectic essay, there are several nuances you should keep in mind.
Dialectic essay is a sort of argumentative dialogue or debate, where a writer should make a thesis and use different arguments and counterarguments to prove this thesis’ verity.
Why do you need it?
If your teacher gives an assignment to write a dialectic essay, it means he wants to check your ability to clarify your thoughts on some particular subject. Dialectic essays help you present a subject from different sides, taking into account all positive and negative aspects, and making a conclusion based on them.
Such a task is given to teach you see all arguments for and against some thesis, and it helps you explore a subject in depth. Thanks to dialectic essays, you will understand that even opposite points of view on your thesis have their merits too.
What is the structure of a dialectic essay?
The structure of dialectic essays reminds a basic 5-paragraph essay: it consists of an introduction, where you present your argumentative thesis, a body of 3 parts, and a conclusion. So, let’s take a look at each part of dialectic essay and try to explain how to organize it properly.
Introduction (a thesis itself)
An introduction of your dialectic essay should present a thesis itself. If your assignment is to choose a topic yourself, just try to come up with a thesis that has two possible interpretations at least. As far as you understand, you will have to present opposite arguments, that is why your topic should be controversial and debatable for your dialectic essay to become good written.
Do not make your introduction too long, and do not divide it into several paragraphs. The introduction of your dialectic essay takes just one paragraph to state a thesis itself.
The first paragraph of your essay’s body presents your single argument for the thesis. Give some reasons for the thesis, and try to make them quite obvious for a reader to agree with them. Do not forget about the fact, that this very paragraph should support the thesis by all means.
Here you should respond to the argument given in the previous section and provide an objection to it. Pay attention to the fact, that this objection should not show the thesis as a false, but rather a previous argument as a false. Give some reasons, why the argument for the thesis can’t be accepted as monopoly on the truth, making your essay a kind of debate where two people express opposite points of view on the same topic.
The third paragraph of your dialectic essay’s body should be a response to the objection. But do not give the same arguments you had in the very first paragraph! This section should be a response to the specific objection given in the second paragraph (as in a debate actually). You do not need to present a new argument for the thesis here: your task is criticizing section two.
As a rule, the only true argument of your debate is the one given in the first paragraph of a dialectic essay. Other two paragraphs serve to demonstrate the fact you understand the thesis in depth, and you see its all possible interpretations.
The purpose of conclusion is to support your original thesis or state a new thesis, a kind of your arguments and counterarguments’ combination. The point is, you should not change your initial thesis completely: it should be a kind of its modification supported by more ideas, but not its complete reversal.
Here is a sample of dialectic essay for you to understand its structure and nature better:
Three Opposing Viewpoints on Abortion
by Amy Geiger
So, what is the result?
After you’ve got an assignment to write a dialectic essay, your actions are the following:
- Choose a controversial and debatable topic, and set this thesis in the introduction of your essay.
- Think about all possible pros and cons of the thesis, organize all your ideas clearly to come up with both arguments and counterarguments.
- Provide 3 sections (paragraphs) of your essay, each of which will be a response to a previous one and will object it.
- Come up with a conclusion, that will support your thesis and your initial argument.
- Keep in mind the fact, that your counterarguments should not object the thesis itself, but arguments given in previous sections of your dialectic essay.