A clear, organized outline is an important first step when writing an effective argumentative nursing essay. The outline lays out your reasoning and evidence logically before you begin writing the full essay. This helps ensure a proper flow of ideas and a strong argument. Here’s an in-depth look at creating a detailed argumentative nursing essay outline.

How is an argumentative essay structured?

An argumentative essay presents a controversial issue in the field of nursing, takes a clear stance on the topic, and argues persuasively for that position using logic, evidence, and critical analysis. The essay should have a solid internal structure that methodically builds the argument. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay structure:

  • Introduction – Presents background context of the nursing issue or problem. Ends with a clear thesis statement expressing the writer’s position on the topic.
  • Opposing perspectives – Fairly summarizes one or more perspectives that differ from the writer’s stance, providing insight into other sides of the debate.
  • The writer’s perspective – Elaborates on the writer’s thesis and reasoning. Supports their position with factual evidence and authoritative references.
  • Rebuttals – Systematically argues against and disproves the opposing perspectives, pointing out flaws in logic or lack of evidence.
  • Conclusion – Restates the thesis in different words and summarizes key points made to persuade readers to agree with the writer’s argument.

How to create an argumentative nursing essay outline

Creating an outline provides the structure and flow for the essay. Here are three common models for structuring an argumentative nursing essay outline:

Classical (Aristotelian) Outline

The classical format contains five key sections:

  1. Introduction – Opening hook, background context, and clear thesis statement.
  2. First opposing perspective with rebuttal – Fair summary of an opposing view and effective refutation of its claims.
  3. Second opposing perspective with rebuttal – Another opposing view and rebuttal.
  4. The writer’s perspective with claims – Elaboration on the writer’s thesis and reasoning with supporting evidence for their claims.
  5. Conclusion – Restatement of thesis and summary of key points arguing for the writer’s perspective.

This straightforward structure presents differing sides of the issue before arguing for the writer’s stance. It works well for “pro vs. con” type nursing topics.

Rogerian Outline

The Rogerian model focuses more on discovering common ground between opposing sides:

  1. Introduction – Present the topic and context
  2. Opposing perspective – Describe objectively the perspective you disagree with, showing you understand it.
  3. Common ground statements – Areas where you agree with the opposing side or share some views. It shows you consider their viewpoint.
  4. Writer’s perspective and claims – Elaborate your thesis and give reasoned claims supporting your position.
  5. Proposed compromises/solutions – Offer suggestions or solutions that could resolve the issue by compromising or integrating viewpoints. This demonstrates empathy.
  6. Conclusion – Restate key common grounds and solutions that satisfy different perspectives.

This approach emphasizes reconciliation and addressing conflicting opinions sensitively. It is useful for controversial nursing topics.

Toulmin Outline

The Toulmin method relies on logic and reasoned arguments. The outline follows this structure:

  1. Introduction with a thesis statement – Introduce a topic and make your claim.
  2. Claim 1 + Evidence + Warrant – Make a claim supporting your thesis. Give evidence backing it. Provide reasoning explaining the relevance of the evidence to the claim.
  3. Claim 2 + Evidence + Warrant – Second claim with evidence and warrant.
  4. Claim 3 + Evidence + Warrant – Third key claim, evidence, and warrant.
  5. Opposing claims + rebuttals – Acknowledge claims against your thesis. Methodically rebut them.
  6. Conclusion – Recap thesis and main claims made.

This format logically structures reasoned arguments and empirical evidence to support the thesis and rebut counterclaims.

Classical Argumentative Nursing Essay Outline Template

Here is a template for structuring an argumentative nursing essay using the classical model:

I. Introduction

  • Interesting hook grabbing the reader’s attention
  • Relevant background information on the nursing issue/problem
  • The thesis statement presents the writer’s position on the issue

II. First Opposing Perspective with Rebuttal

  • Objectively summarize an opposing perspective
  • Present evidence against it
  • Logically rebut and refute the claims made

III. Second Opposing Perspective with Rebuttal

  • Fairly outline a second major opposing view
  • Refute key points with counter-evidence
  • Show flaws in assumptions or reasoning

IV. My Perspective and Main Claims

  • Elaborate on the reasoning behind the writer’s perspective
  • Present 3 claims supporting the thesis with evidence for each:
    • Claim 1:
    • Evidence:
    • Claim 2:
    • Evidence:
    • Claim 3:
    • Evidence:

V. Conclusion

  • Restate thesis in new words
  • Recap major points made in the essay
  • Wrap up with an impactful final statement

Rogerian Argumentative Nursing Essay Outline Template

Here is an outline template following the Rogerian model:

I. Introduction

  • Present nursing issue/controversy
  • Provide necessary context

II. Opposing Perspective

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a perspective that opposes the writer’s view

III. Common Ground Statements

  • Areas of agreement between the writer’s view and opposing perspective
  • Shared concerns, values, or views on the nursing problem

IV. My Perspective and Claims

  • The thesis clearly states the writer’s position
  • Claims supporting the thesis with evidence

V. Proposed Compromises/Solutions

  • Suggestions for resolving issues by addressing different perspectives
  • Potential compromises and integrative solutions

VI. Conclusion

  • Restate the desire to find a resolution
  • Recap key common grounds and proposed compromises

Toulmin Argumentative Nursing Essay Outline Template

The Toulmin outline organizes claims, evidence, and logical reasoning:

I. Introduction with Thesis Statement

II. Claim 1 – Evidence – Warrant justifying the relevance of the evidence to claim

III. Claim 2 – Evidence – Warrant

IV. Claim 3
– Evidence – Warrant

V. Opposing Claims – Methodically rebut each with counter-evidence

VI. Conclusion – Restate thesis – Summarize reasoning and main claims

What are some common ways to organize an argumentative nursing essay outline?

As shown above, the Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin models are useful for planning argumentative nursing essay outlines. Consider the assignment requirements and your goals in selecting an appropriate outline approach. 

The Classical method works well for straightforward “pro vs con” topics—Rogerian suits nuanced debates with potential compromise. Toulmin relies on logic and evidence. An organized, detailed outline provides a strong framework and flow for logically building your argument.

Final Thoughts on Argumentative Nursing Essay Outlines

The outline lays the groundwork for an effective argumentative nursing essay. Carefully planning the structure and main points allows you to build your argument before writing the full essay. Use the templates and models discussed as guides to draft your own outline. 

Ensure to include all key elements – an introduction, perspectives for and against your stance, your claims with supporting evidence, rebuttals, and a conclusion. Referring back to your outline during the writing process helps maintain a clear, logical flow in persuasively arguing your perspective on the nursing issue.

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