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How to write an argument letter

Updated April 17, 2017

The purpose of an argument letter is to persuade the reader to agree with a specific point of view. Normally the subject matter of an argumentative letter is controversial, so the letter writer should use rational wording to bolster the emotional appeal. A well written argumentative letter is composed in a specific format, takes a solid position on the issue in question and uses cogent language. Prewriting the letter will help you organise your thoughts and check your facts before writing the final draft.

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  1. Format the argument letter as a business communication letter so it will receive the consideration it deserves. The appearance of your letter forms an impression in the mind of the reader about you and the subject matter of the letter. Argument letters are meant to communicate a point forcefully, so type the letter in full-block form and print it on stationery paper; full-block form means all text is justified at the left margin.

  2. Start at the top of the page and type the heading, dateline, address, reference line and salutation for the argument letter. The reference line specifically indicates who the argument letter is addressed to; for example, a "personal and confidential" reference line is typed in initial capitals and underlined with the inside address underneath it. The salutation should be formally worded "Dear" with the full name of the person placed after it.

  3. Compose the opening paragraph of the argument letter by first stating the reason for the letter. The first paragraph also will state your position and how you want the issue rectified. The first paragraph should be five to seven concise sentences.

  4. Start the second paragraph of the letter by diffusing certain concerns the reader may have about accepting your point of view; list some objections the reader may have to your position and rebut them. Once you ascertain your reader's viewpoint, you have a better chance of getting his or her cooperation. Include evidential examples about your point of view and why your judgment can be trusted.

  5. Conclude your argument letter by affirming your position and convincing the reader that your letter is an attempt to establish amity. An effective argument letter assures the reader you are sensitive to his or her interests and you desire him or her to be receptive to your position as well. Include a few logical reasons for maintaining your position and why your way of solving the matter is reasonable and effective.

  6. Tip

    Watch the tone of your letter. Argument letters have a tendency to sound belligerent; you want to persuade the reader to see your point of view without offending.

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