How to Write a Pros and Cons Essay


(Updated on May 28, 2019 by Michelle Williams)

When completing a pros and cons essay, your goal is to provide the reader with an impartial paper that provides the positive and the negative information about a particular subject.  Therefore, in order to get started on a pros and cons essay, you'll first need to brainstorm all of the pros and cons you can think of for the topic you'll be writing about.

When you brainstorm, you simply write down all of the thoughts that come to your mind.  These thoughts may be in a random order, though you may wish to maintain separate lists of the pros and cons.  This way, you'll be a bit more organized when the brainstorming session is complete.  When brainstorming these ideas, try to think of a con to go with each pro you come up with and try to develop a pro for each con.  Although there may not always be a counterpoint to a pro or a con, using this method can sometimes make it easier to come up with several pros and cons to discuss.

How to Write a Pros and Cons EssayOnce you have developed a list of the pros and the cons regarding the subject you're writing about, you can begin to write your rough draft paper.  The first paragraph of your rough draft should be an introduction.  In your introduction, you should make it clear that you'll be discussing the pros and cons of the subject that you'll be discussing.  This sentence will be your thesis statement.  In addition to your thesis statement, you might include a brief overview of the pros and cons you'll be discussing.

In the subsequent paragraphs, you'll go on to describe the pros and cons as they relate to the topic you're writing about.  The limitations that have been put on your document length will determine how detailed you'll be in these paragraphs.  If space allows, however, you should write at least one paragraph discussing the pros and another paragraph discussing the cons.

To wrap up your pros and cons essays, you'll need to provide the reader with your opinion.  As you state your opinion, you should provide your reasoning for making this choice.  For example, if you're writing about the pros and cons of owning a dog, your conclusion might include a sentence such as "I believe that the benefits of owning a dog far outweigh the cons.  Although dog ownership is a big responsibility and can be costly at times, the love and companionship you get from a dog is far more valuable."

After completing the rough draft of your document, you should then reread what you have completed and check for grammatical errors and punctuation errors.  You should also make sure that the report followed a logical order and makes sense throughout.  Before writing your final draft, let the rough draft sit for a few days and then read it again.  Often, after being a way from a paper for a few days, you can better see the mistakes that you have made.

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