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Guide to Writing Argumentative Essays in Astronomy: Easier Than You May Think

What is an Argumentative Essay in Astronomy?

The main purpose of an argumentative essay lies in searching for articles and investigations concerning the chosen topic. The student should conduct his or her own research in order to collect detailed information and review the facts. Since the essay is argumentative, you should carefully explore literature and surveys with the opposing points of view or different theories in terms of the subject. Such a precise gathering of information is essential for the student to form an opinion and choose a viewpoint while reinforcing it with evidence provided by the research. Moreover, the essay should include an explicit thesis statement and rational argumentation.

Speaking about peculiarities of the argumentative essays in astronomy, the main tip lies in selecting academic sources that deal with the recent astronomical news for the sake of receiving credible data. The student may choose reputable journals such as BBC News, The New York Times, and Nature or web sites of scientific organizations such as NASA, the American Astronomical Society, or the European Southern Observatory. What is more, the level of complexity in the articles may be high, meaning in both the selected subject and specific terminology. In order to embrace as much information as possible, the student may search for additional data published by scientists such as A Brief History of Time written by Steven Hawking. Such actions will result in a better understanding of the topic while demonstrating your knowledge to the professor. Since the student should provide logical reasoning, you will succeed in the former by describing data in his or her own words. For the sake of presenting the argument, the student should paraphrase it in one or two sentences and provide a detailed explanation.

Topics for Argumentative Essays in Astronomy

Although astronomy seems to be complicated if the subject of the research concerns modern inventions and progress such as the launches of Space X spacecrafts, or simple if the investigations address well-known facts such as synchronous rotation of the Moon, there are several themes that are investigated on a regular basis. Therefore, such research always add recent information and attract the attention of scientific organizations.

  • The First Image of the Black Hole;
  • The Death of the Universe: Big Rip, Big Crunch, and Big Freeze;
  • What is a Pulsar? What Is the Difference between a Pulsar and a Star?
  • The Hubble, VLT, and FAST Telescopes;
  • The Landing of Insight on Mars;
  • Space X Launches of the Dragon Spacecraft.

However, astronomy may also include some entertaining subject areas, for instance, theoretical reflections on the fascinating subjects:

  • What if the Earth Stopped Rotating?
  • The Giant Impact Hypothesis;
  • Colonization of Asteroids;
  • The Panspermia Theory.

For example, if you choose the first topic – Nature of the Black Holes, read the articles posted on the official NASA web site. First of all, you may introduce the subject starting with the main characteristics of a black hole. Secondly, you can choose the recent news about the first picture of the black hole and provide the facts such as a telescope, which was used to conduct investigation, the matter that was absorbed by the hole, information about the event horizon, and the processing of the image. The student should add precise information since the essay is argumentative.

Speaking about the topic that considers Mars observations, the recent news provides the audience with data about marsquakes. You may use the web site Science Daily in order to extract detailed information about the above-mentioned phenomena. Moreover, the author compares earthquakes and marsquakes, which fills the article with sound argumentation and supporting facts. If the student chooses the topic about the Moon formation, he or she may consider the giant-impact theory that is described by the NASA scientists and the web site Space.com. In order to learn more about astronomy and make writing easier in the future, the student may read about the most frequently used recent terms such as EHT (Event Horizon Telescope), gravitational lens, marsquake, SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), and heat probe.

Prewriting Tips

Even if you have an interesting topic, the students may often face such an obstacle as how to start writing the essay. First of all, in order to write a sound argumentative essay, you should decide which point of view you prefer to support. Confident position results in structured, sequential, and knowledgeable paper that demonstrates meticulous work. Moreover, professors appreciate it when students express their opinion while reinforcing it with scientific evidence. Conduct considerable investigation that involves contrary perspectives to be able to introduce persuasive facts for the supported point of view, along with the main points stated in the opposite opinion. The student should thoroughly read the articles and restate the main ideas in a subsequent manner. The third tip lies in gathering information about the topic from credible sources. What is more, the student should look through more than one scientific article as it will assist in choosing sound facts and broaden the comprehension of the subject.

Sometimes, the person may face difficulties while reading and processing an immense amount of information. Therefore, some points may seem overly complicated, and the person starts to feel anxious. In order to avoid tension if you are not strong in the topic, choose an easier one. Furthermore, while reviewing the same text more than once, the student increases his or her understanding as it may be troublesome to notice every detail at the first attempt. If you have already chosen the standpoint in which you are convinced, but the ideas and words do not appear in your mind, you may start with making a list of the key points you need to cover in your essay. Writing the thoughts on the paper helps to concentrate and structure the arguments you want to mention. While looking at your written ideas, you can build the sequence in which your essay will provide the most reasonable objectives. For example, while writing about the marsquakes, the student may use the following list:

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?
  • Why detecting marsquakes is important to scientists?
  • How does a marsquake differ from an earthquake?
  • Which robot detected the first marsquake?

Title/Thesis Statement/Body Paragraphs

Since the title influences the decision of the reader whether he or she wants to read the essay or skip it, the student should pay a lot of attention to this issue. An outstanding title for an essay catches attention while summarizing the main subject of the paper. Moreover, it should be distinct from the plenty of other titles among which the reader would search for the fascinating one. The title should be brief but solid while transferring the sense of the essay.

Right: ‘The First Image of the Black Hole’
Wrong: ‘Scientist Presented the First Image of the Black Hole’

A thesis statement is the crucial part of the essay as it summarizes its main points. While defining the primary aim of the paper, the thesis describes the topic concisely and generalizes its central issues. First of all, you should remember that the position of the statement is important as well. While reading the essay, the audience focuses on the introduction as it defines the topic of the research. Therefore, you should explain your purposes and arguments in the preface. The best position for a considerable thesis statement is the last sentence of the introduction. Therefore, the reader will get a general notion of the topic and its details and decide whether he or she is interested in the essay. You may structure the statement using the following words: although, therefore, because, and. Another advice for writing an outstanding thesis consists in combining two main points of the paper in one sentence.

Right: ‘Therefore, the first picture of the black hole confirmed Einstein’s theory about the shadow cast by the abyss and well-known “event horizon” that encircled the hole.’
Wrong: ‘The Black Hole picture presented the “event horizon” – the circle of fire around the hole.’

In order to write consistent and argumentative body paragraphs, the argumentative essay should include a minimum of two arguments stated in the main body. The best way to write reasonable and detailed essay is to describe every argument in a separate paragraph. Such structure simplifies reading, and the audience will obtain a better understanding of the subject. Moreover, the paragraphs in the main body should be logically related to the thesis statement in the introduction. For example, the first paragraph of the body concerning the black hole should provide information about the shadow. The student may also briefly state the core idea of Einstein’s theory to support the evidence. The second paragraph should contain information about the “event horizon” – its form, matter, and interaction with the light. While indicating some numbers, such as the speed of light, the student makes the essay look more solid. One more advice lies in starting the paragraphs with the short summarized argument that is represented and uncovered in the main body. For example, the first paragraph of the body about the black hole may start the following way: ‘The shadow of the black hole was predicted by Albert Einstein in his famous theory of relativity.’

Outline

The outline is the short plan of the essay where the student demonstrates the basis of his work. Such a scheme comprises the following parts:

I. Introduction. In order to write a persuasive introduction, meaning the one which impresses the reader and catches his or her attention, you should explore the most fascinating matters in the topic. The reader will be interested in your investigation if you provide the reason that is essential and engaging enough to attract him or her to the topic of your essay. What is more, you should describe how your essay will assist in searching for the solution of the problem. The reader wants to know if the paper he or she considers provides needed information. For instance, if you are writing about the first image of the black hole, you may explain why this natural phenomenon interests scientists. After that, you may introduce the importance of the research and efforts of the scientific community as the reader should understand the significance of such an achievement as the picture of the black hole).

II. Main body. You should start every new paragraph with the topic sentence that introduces the evidence or fact, which you want to develop in the particular passage.

  • First argument (The shadow of the black hole was predicted by Albert Einstein in his famous theory of relativity).
  • Further development of the topic.

III. Main body.

  • Second argument (The ring of light around the shadow is composed of fire, the matter that surrounds the black hole, and serves as a proof for space-time contortion).
  • Further development of the topic. For example, you may refute the assertion that the image depicts the black hole itself, and add that in order to be more precise, the person should say that it is the image of the black hole’s shadow.

VI. Conclusion (restate the thesis statement and core arguments).

Post-writing Tips

After the most fundamental part of the work had been finished, the student should always proofread the paper. Sometimes, he or she may gain inspiration and write the essay in one breath. However, you cannot control consistency, correctness, and relevance of the sentences perfectly all the time. Everybody makes mistakes, and you may reduce the number of errors by analyzing and proofreading your paper. Therefore, while scrutinizing the essay, the student would correct some inconsistencies and enhance the quality of the paper. The person should check the relevance of the information and its accuracy. The best way to review the essay lies in analyzing if it makes sense for the person who reads the paper for the first time. For example, in topics on astronomy, unfamiliar terminology may seem complicated to the reader. Therefore, the student should explain some notions in his or her own words or paraphrase definitions from the articles.
Considering referencing, the student should know the format of the paper, for example, MLA, and read information about updates in formatting. However, the process may be time-consuming, especially if he or she writes about astronomy. Since the number of sources may be enormous, and the formatting differs for books, journals, and videos, the student may use such sites as BibMe.com or CiteThisForMe.com. He or she should remember that citations must be listed in the alphabetical order.

In conclusion, the student should check the linkage between all the parts of the essay. Since the mistakes have been corrected, and the references have been written on the last page, the student may reread the essay after a short break. Such a pause will assist in refreshing the focus and reviewing the paper from a different perspective.

References
Castelvecchi, D. (2019). Black Hole Pictured for First Time — in Spectacular Detail. Nature. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01155-0.
NASA’s InSight Detects First Likely ‘Quake’ on Mars. (2019). Science Daily. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190424095148.htm.
National Science Foundation Announces New Diamond Achievement Award. (2019). National Science Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=298500&org=NSF&from=news.
Redd, N. (2017). How Was the Moon Formed. Space.com. Retrieved from https://www.space.com/19275-moon-formation.html.
Smith, H. (2018). What Is a Black Hole? NASA. Retrieved from https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-a-black-hole-k4.html.
Soderman. (n.d.). NASA Scientist Jen Heldmann Describes How the Earth’s Moon Was Formed. NASA. Retrieved from https://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/nasa-scientist-jen-heldmann-describes-how-the-earths-moon-was-formed/.
Witze, A. (2019). First ‘Marsquake’ Detected on Red Planet. Nature. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01330-3.