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How to Create a Thesis Statement for a Persuasive Essay

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The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis too general with three possible revisions more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic:.

Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean. These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible.

Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear:. Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops. Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements.

They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas. Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning. Use your own words in thesis statements; avoid quoting.

Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader. You will lose credibility as a writer if you become only a mouthpiece or a copyist; you will gain credibility by grabbing the reader with your own ideas and words. A well-crafted thesis statement reflects well-crafted ideas. It signals a writer who has intelligence, commitment, and enthusiasm. Center for Writing Studies: Quick Links Home Search Contact. How long does it need to be? In order to write a successful thesis statement: Avoid burying a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph or late in the paper.

Emotional appeals have a place in argumentative writing, but overuse of them may lead a reader to reject your argument. Make sure that your use of emotional appeals is minimal and appropriate. You can also invoke pathos by providing relevant examples that evoke an emotional response in your readers and using figurative language such as metaphors to help your readers understand and sympathize with your point of view. Logos refers to your use of logic, reasoning, and sequencing. This means setting up your argument in a way that uses logic to achieve your desired endpoint or reaction, often through inductive and deductive reasoning.

Develop your tentative thesis. Once you have developed your ideas for your argumentative essay, you should be ready to write a tentative thesis statement. In other words, the tentative thesis statement is not set in stone. Effective thesis statements let readers know what the main focus of a paper is going to be.

For an argumentative essay, the thesis should state an arguable claim. A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. Make sure your thesis is arguable. Your thesis should express a clear position on your topic that can be supported using evidence from your sources. Do not state facts or matters of taste.

For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact. Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste.

There are many possibilities for a counter argument, which makes this topic arguable. Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In addition to having a thesis that is arguable, you should also include some details about why you hold the position. In other words, you should avoid simply saying that something is bad and should be changed and provide a bit of detail about why it is bad and should be changed.

Who would benefit if it was changed? Providing this detail gives readers a good sense of what the rest of the paper will discuss. Your thesis should tell your reader why your argument matters, and for whom. Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your argumentative essay will help you to organize your information more effectively.

You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want. Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper.

For example, part 1 might be your introduction, which could then be broken into three sub-parts: Generate key terms and phrases to help you with your research. As you develop key terms, keep your topic and your position in mind.

For example, some relevant key terms and phrases for a paper on lowering the drinking age to 18 might be: Find appropriate secondary sources for your argumentative essay. In order to find support for your argument, you will need to gather a variety of sources. See your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor if you have questions about what types of sources are appropriate for your assignment.

Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using. These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine.

Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility. Use trustworthy sources only in your argumentative essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author. There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy.

The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject.

For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor. If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.

If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument? If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Noting the publication date is especially important for scientific subjects, since new technologies and techniques have made some earlier findings irrelevant.

If the information that this author presents contradicts one of your trustworthy sources, then it might not be a good source to use in your paper. Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them.

Make sure that you read your sources very carefully and that you stay focused on your topic as you read. Read the sources multiple times if necessary and make sure that you fully understand what each source is about. You should be able to summarize the source in your own words and generate a response to the source.

To be certain that you understand your sources and that you are capable of responding to each of them, try writing a paragraph summary and response after you finish each one. Some people find keeping notecards on their sources to be a helpful way of organizing their ideas about each one. Give yourself plenty of time to read your sources and understand what they are saying. Take notes while you read your sources.

Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them. As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook.

Even accidental plagiarism may result in a failing grade on a paper. Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic.

Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction.

Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your argumentative essay and act as a preview to your essay. Provide background information to help guide your readers. Providing adequate background information or context will help to guide your readers through your essay. Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper.

The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons. Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating.

First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans. Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence—a quotation, statistic, data—that supports this first point.

Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement. Additionally, it inhibits social interaction. The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement.


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Making an Argument-- Every Thesis Deserves Its Day in Court. You are the best (and only!) advocate for your thesis. Your thesis is defenseless without you to prove that its argument holds up under scrutiny. The jury (i.e., your reader) will expect you, as a good lawyer, to provide evidence to prove your thesis.

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What Is An Argumentative Thesis Statement? An argument thesis statement is a logical statement that could be argued. It is developed considering the topic whether it has a point to be argued about or not. What An Argument Thesis IS NOT. It is a misconception if you think every thesis statement is an argumentative thesis statement.

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The thesis statement generally appears after a brief introduction of your topic, often as the last sentence of your first paragraph. The following information will help you write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay. Express an Opinion. When you sit down to write a thesis statement, make sure that you have a clear opinion about your topic. Whether you’re writing an argumentative, informative, or a comparative paper, we have some tips for you on how to write a strong thesis statement.

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Here are even more example argumentative thesis statements. Let’s talk about adding those claims to our argumentative essay outline now. Argumentative Essay Outline Section 2: Developing Your Argument Once you break it down, writing an argumentative essay outline isn’t that daunting. As in any essay, the first paragraph of your argument essay should contain a brief explanation of your topic, some background information, and a thesis statement. In this case, your thesis is a statement of your position on a specific controversial topic.