Chapter Two: The Five-Step Dialectical Essay Format

An Overview of the Five Steps

A Summary of the Steps

Step One: An Overview of Your Essay: The Introductory Paragraph

            State your thesis clearly using a standard thesis indicator such as “I will argue that…”

Step Two: Getting Off the Ground: Interpretation of the Target Claim

            Identify the target of your investigation, using the words, “primary reason (for believing x) is that…” followed by the target itself.

Step Three: The First Strike: The Possible Criticism

            In your topic sentence, make it clear that you are presenting a possible criticism. Make is a strong criticism, and make it clear which sentence from Step Two is being targeted. Use the wording, “A critic might challenge the claim that…” followed by the target claim itself.

Step Four: Hitting Back: A Response to the Criticism

            In your topic sentence of this paragraph, make it clear that you are responding to Step Three and highlight which statement you are targeting. The first sentence of the paragraph should say, “One might, in response, argue against the claim that…” and follow it with the premise from Step Three to which you are responding.

Step Five: Wrapping Things Up: Your Conclusion

            In the final paragraph, show why one side of the argument is stronger than the other. This can be done by affirming or rejecting the claim.

a) If you are rejecting the reply in Step Four, then the first statement of the paragraph should read, “But the claim that” and “is not convincing” and a sentence from the previous step.

b) If you are affirming the reply in Step Four, then the first statement of the paragraph should read, “The claim that” and “is not convincing” and a sentence from the previous step.

            In this step, also make sure that your thesis statement (from Step One) is repeated. Do so by using the indicator “so” and your thesis itself.

(II) A Summary of the Two Models of the Dialectical Essay:

Model One:

The Juror’s Model

Model Two: The Debater’s Model

Step One

State your Thesis

State your Thesis

Step Two

Present the Primary Argument(s) of One of the two Opposing sides

Present your Argument(s) for  your own view on the issue of the issue

Step Three

Present a criticism from the Other side (against the arg. in step Two).

Present a criticism against your  own Argument(s)

Step Four

Present a plausible response from the first side to the criticism

Present your own best response

Step Five

Present Your Own View of which Side has the stronger argument.

Explain further why your view is compelling. (don’t just repeat what you say in Step Four.


Next Page
Chapter Three: Sample Essays - Sample Essay 1
Previous Page
Chapter Two: The Five-Step Dialectical Essay Format - Step Five
Free Features
  • free Outline $5
  • free Unlimited Amendments $30
  • free Title Page $5
  • free Bibliography $15
  • free Formatting $10
Total savings: $65
Why Choose Us?
  • 10+ years of experience in the custom writing market
  • Satisfied and returning customers
  • A wide range of services
  • 6-hour delivery available
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 100% privacy guaranteed
  • A professional team of experienced paper writers
  • Only custom-written papers
  • Free amendments upon request
  • Constant access to your paper's writer
  • Free extras by request
We accept
weaccept weaccept