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How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

how to write an argument thesis statement

Writing Process and Structure

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Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

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How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.

Introduction

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How do i write a thesis statement.

This page is Part 1 of a two-part handout that continues with our Thesis Statement Checklist .

What is a Thesis Statement?

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: See p. 1 of How Do I Write a Thesis Statement Return to Writing Studio Handouts

A thesis statement is a very specific argument that guides your paper. Generally, a thesis statement consists of two parts :

  • A clearly identifiable topic or subject matter
  • A succinct summary of what you have to say about that topic

For your reader, a thesis functions like the case a lawyer has to make to the judge and jury in a courtroom. An effective thesis statement explains to your reader the case you are going to make and how you are going to make it.

For you as the author, your thesis can also help you to stay focused as a writer and determine what information you do (and don’t) need to include in your analysis.

Traditionally, the thesis statement is found near the end of your introduction , though this may change depending on the assignment and context. Don’t be afraid to draft a thesis statement that is more than one sentence.

A Note on Writing Process

You do not need a perfect thesis statement before you draft the rest of the paper. In fact, you will likely need to modify your thesis once you have a complete draft to make sure that your draft and your thesis match one another. If your argument evolves in productive ways as you write, your thesis should, too.

Honing and tweaking a thesis statement during the revision process is ultimately more important than having it exact and precise during the drafting process.

Characteristics of a WEAK thesis statement

  • Vague: Raises an interesting topic or question but doesn’t specify an argument
  • Offers plot summary, statement of fact, or obvious truths instead of an argument
  • Offers opinion or conjecture rather than an argument (cannot be proven with textual evidence)
  • Is too broad or too complex for the length of the paper
  • Uses meaningful-sounding words, but doesn’t actually say anything of substance

Disclaimer: This is not a complete list! You can probably think of many more characteristics of a weak thesis statement.

Characteristics of a STRONG thesis statement

  • Answers a specific question
  • Takes a distinct position on the topic
  • Is debatable (a reasonable person could argue an alternative position)
  • Appropriately focused for the page length of the assignment
  • Allows your reader to anticipate the organization of your argument

Having trouble drafting a thesis? Try filling in the blanks in these template statements:

  • In this paper, I argue that _____, because/by _____.
  • While critics argue _____, I argue _____, because _____.
  • By looking at _____, I argue that _____, which is important because _____.
  • The text, _____, defines _____ as _____, in order to argue _____.

Disclaimer: These are only models. They’ll be useful to help you to get started, but you’ll have to do quite a bit of tweaking before your thesis is ready for your paper.

For more on thesis statements, check out part 2: Our Thesis Statement Checklist .

Last revised: 07/15/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 5/2021

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Writing a paper: thesis statements, basics of thesis statements.

The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper. Specific means the thesis deals with a narrow and focused topic, appropriate to the paper's length. Arguable means that a scholar in your field could disagree (or perhaps already has!).

Strong thesis statements address specific intellectual questions, have clear positions, and use a structure that reflects the overall structure of the paper. Read on to learn more about constructing a strong thesis statement.

Being Specific

This thesis statement has no specific argument:

Needs Improvement: In this essay, I will examine two scholarly articles to find similarities and differences.

This statement is concise, but it is neither specific nor arguable—a reader might wonder, "Which scholarly articles? What is the topic of this paper? What field is the author writing in?" Additionally, the purpose of the paper—to "examine…to find similarities and differences" is not of a scholarly level. Identifying similarities and differences is a good first step, but strong academic argument goes further, analyzing what those similarities and differences might mean or imply.

Better: In this essay, I will argue that Bowler's (2003) autocratic management style, when coupled with Smith's (2007) theory of social cognition, can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover.

The new revision here is still concise, as well as specific and arguable.  We can see that it is specific because the writer is mentioning (a) concrete ideas and (b) exact authors.  We can also gather the field (business) and the topic (management and employee turnover). The statement is arguable because the student goes beyond merely comparing; he or she draws conclusions from that comparison ("can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover").

Making a Unique Argument

This thesis draft repeats the language of the writing prompt without making a unique argument:

Needs Improvement: The purpose of this essay is to monitor, assess, and evaluate an educational program for its strengths and weaknesses. Then, I will provide suggestions for improvement.

You can see here that the student has simply stated the paper's assignment, without articulating specifically how he or she will address it. The student can correct this error simply by phrasing the thesis statement as a specific answer to the assignment prompt.

Better: Through a series of student interviews, I found that Kennedy High School's antibullying program was ineffective. In order to address issues of conflict between students, I argue that Kennedy High School should embrace policies outlined by the California Department of Education (2010).

Words like "ineffective" and "argue" show here that the student has clearly thought through the assignment and analyzed the material; he or she is putting forth a specific and debatable position. The concrete information ("student interviews," "antibullying") further prepares the reader for the body of the paper and demonstrates how the student has addressed the assignment prompt without just restating that language.

Creating a Debate

This thesis statement includes only obvious fact or plot summary instead of argument:

Needs Improvement: Leadership is an important quality in nurse educators.

A good strategy to determine if your thesis statement is too broad (and therefore, not arguable) is to ask yourself, "Would a scholar in my field disagree with this point?" Here, we can see easily that no scholar is likely to argue that leadership is an unimportant quality in nurse educators.  The student needs to come up with a more arguable claim, and probably a narrower one; remember that a short paper needs a more focused topic than a dissertation.

Better: Roderick's (2009) theory of participatory leadership  is particularly appropriate to nurse educators working within the emergency medicine field, where students benefit most from collegial and kinesthetic learning.

Here, the student has identified a particular type of leadership ("participatory leadership"), narrowing the topic, and has made an arguable claim (this type of leadership is "appropriate" to a specific type of nurse educator). Conceivably, a scholar in the nursing field might disagree with this approach. The student's paper can now proceed, providing specific pieces of evidence to support the arguable central claim.

Choosing the Right Words

This thesis statement uses large or scholarly-sounding words that have no real substance:

Needs Improvement: Scholars should work to seize metacognitive outcomes by harnessing discipline-based networks to empower collaborative infrastructures.

There are many words in this sentence that may be buzzwords in the student's field or key terms taken from other texts, but together they do not communicate a clear, specific meaning. Sometimes students think scholarly writing means constructing complex sentences using special language, but actually it's usually a stronger choice to write clear, simple sentences. When in doubt, remember that your ideas should be complex, not your sentence structure.

Better: Ecologists should work to educate the U.S. public on conservation methods by making use of local and national green organizations to create a widespread communication plan.

Notice in the revision that the field is now clear (ecology), and the language has been made much more field-specific ("conservation methods," "green organizations"), so the reader is able to see concretely the ideas the student is communicating.

Leaving Room for Discussion

This thesis statement is not capable of development or advancement in the paper:

Needs Improvement: There are always alternatives to illegal drug use.

This sample thesis statement makes a claim, but it is not a claim that will sustain extended discussion. This claim is the type of claim that might be appropriate for the conclusion of a paper, but in the beginning of the paper, the student is left with nowhere to go. What further points can be made? If there are "always alternatives" to the problem the student is identifying, then why bother developing a paper around that claim? Ideally, a thesis statement should be complex enough to explore over the length of the entire paper.

Better: The most effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction may be a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy, as argued by Baker (2008), Smith (2009), and Xavier (2011).

In the revised thesis, you can see the student make a specific, debatable claim that has the potential to generate several pages' worth of discussion. When drafting a thesis statement, think about the questions your thesis statement will generate: What follow-up inquiries might a reader have? In the first example, there are almost no additional questions implied, but the revised example allows for a good deal more exploration.

Thesis Mad Libs

If you are having trouble getting started, try using the models below to generate a rough model of a thesis statement! These models are intended for drafting purposes only and should not appear in your final work.

  • In this essay, I argue ____, using ______ to assert _____.
  • While scholars have often argued ______, I argue______, because_______.
  • Through an analysis of ______, I argue ______, which is important because_______.

Words to Avoid and to Embrace

When drafting your thesis statement, avoid words like explore, investigate, learn, compile, summarize , and explain to describe the main purpose of your paper. These words imply a paper that summarizes or "reports," rather than synthesizing and analyzing.

Instead of the terms above, try words like argue, critique, question , and interrogate . These more analytical words may help you begin strongly, by articulating a specific, critical, scholarly position.

Read Kayla's blog post for tips on taking a stand in a well-crafted thesis statement.

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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Other frequently assigned papers, explore more of umgc.

  • Online Guide to Writing

Writing Arguments

Steps to Writing an Argument

State your thesis or proposition.

THESIS word by wood alphabets with many random letters around

In argument, the  thesis  is also called a proposition. Your proposition should do the following:

define your argument’s scope by stating its situation or context; and

make clear what assertion you are going to debate. 

You may “hook” your readers by stating your argument as a question. Because many questions lack a point of view, however, be sure a question leads to a proposition, and that your proposition makes a claim that is open to debate. Your proposition should state something that your readers feel uncertain about and about which you find arguments for both sides of the issue.

Sometimes students have an opinion they intend to address and support. Then, after reviewing information on the topic, they decide that they have to modify or change their opinion. This is all part of the writing process. When you do research, you may find new information or evidence that changes your argument. Your proposition can be modified during the draft stage.

To help you get started at this stage,  brainstorm  and  freewrite  about what you already know about the topic. Asking—and answering—the following questions can get you started on your assignment.

Why is this issue important to me? Why do I want to write about it?

What do I already know about this topic? What do I need to learn about this topic?

Where can I find more information on this subject?

Am I concerned more with the causes of this issue, the effects of this issue, or both?

What other related issues should I examine so that I can address the topic thoroughly?

Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783 This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License . © 2022 UMGC. All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity of information located at external sites.

Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing

Chapter 1: College Writing

How Does College Writing Differ from Workplace Writing?

What Is College Writing?

Why So Much Emphasis on Writing?

Chapter 2: The Writing Process

Doing Exploratory Research

Getting from Notes to Your Draft

Introduction

Prewriting - Techniques to Get Started - Mining Your Intuition

Prewriting: Targeting Your Audience

Prewriting: Techniques to Get Started

Prewriting: Understanding Your Assignment

Rewriting: Being Your Own Critic

Rewriting: Creating a Revision Strategy

Rewriting: Getting Feedback

Rewriting: The Final Draft

Techniques to Get Started - Outlining

Techniques to Get Started - Using Systematic Techniques

Thesis Statement and Controlling Idea

Writing: Getting from Notes to Your Draft - Freewriting

Writing: Getting from Notes to Your Draft - Summarizing Your Ideas

Writing: Outlining What You Will Write

Chapter 3: Thinking Strategies

A Word About Style, Voice, and Tone

A Word About Style, Voice, and Tone: Style Through Vocabulary and Diction

Critical Strategies and Writing

Critical Strategies and Writing: Analysis

Critical Strategies and Writing: Evaluation

Critical Strategies and Writing: Persuasion

Critical Strategies and Writing: Synthesis

Developing a Paper Using Strategies

Kinds of Assignments You Will Write

Patterns for Presenting Information

Patterns for Presenting Information: Critiques

Patterns for Presenting Information: Discussing Raw Data

Patterns for Presenting Information: General-to-Specific Pattern

Patterns for Presenting Information: Problem-Cause-Solution Pattern

Patterns for Presenting Information: Specific-to-General Pattern

Patterns for Presenting Information: Summaries and Abstracts

Supporting with Research and Examples

Writing Essay Examinations

Writing Essay Examinations: Make Your Answer Relevant and Complete

Writing Essay Examinations: Organize Thinking Before Writing

Writing Essay Examinations: Read and Understand the Question

Chapter 4: The Research Process

Planning and Writing a Research Paper

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Ask a Research Question

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Cite Sources

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Collect Evidence

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Decide Your Point of View, or Role, for Your Research

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Draw Conclusions

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Find a Topic and Get an Overview

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Manage Your Resources

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Outline

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Survey the Literature

Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Work Your Sources into Your Research Writing

Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Human Resources

Research Resources: What Are Research Resources?

Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found?

Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Electronic Resources

Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Print Resources

Structuring the Research Paper: Formal Research Structure

Structuring the Research Paper: Informal Research Structure

The Nature of Research

The Research Assignment: How Should Research Sources Be Evaluated?

The Research Assignment: When Is Research Needed?

The Research Assignment: Why Perform Research?

Chapter 5: Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

Giving Credit to Sources

Giving Credit to Sources: Copyright Laws

Giving Credit to Sources: Documentation

Giving Credit to Sources: Style Guides

Integrating Sources

Practicing Academic Integrity

Practicing Academic Integrity: Keeping Accurate Records

Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material

Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Paraphrasing Your Source

Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Quoting Your Source

Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Summarizing Your Sources

Types of Documentation

Types of Documentation: Bibliographies and Source Lists

Types of Documentation: Citing World Wide Web Sources

Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations

Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - APA Style

Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - CSE/CBE Style

Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - Chicago Style

Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - MLA Style

Types of Documentation: Note Citations

Chapter 6: Using Library Resources

Finding Library Resources

Chapter 7: Assessing Your Writing

How Is Writing Graded?

How Is Writing Graded?: A General Assessment Tool

The Draft Stage

The Draft Stage: The First Draft

The Draft Stage: The Revision Process and the Final Draft

The Draft Stage: Using Feedback

The Research Stage

Using Assessment to Improve Your Writing

Chapter 8: Other Frequently Assigned Papers

Reviews and Reaction Papers: Article and Book Reviews

Reviews and Reaction Papers: Reaction Papers

Writing Arguments: Adapting the Argument Structure

Writing Arguments: Purposes of Argument

Writing Arguments: References to Consult for Writing Arguments

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Anticipate Active Opposition

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Determine Your Organization

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Develop Your Argument

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Introduce Your Argument

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - State Your Thesis or Proposition

Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Write Your Conclusion

Writing Arguments: Types of Argument

Appendix A: Books to Help Improve Your Writing

Dictionaries

General Style Manuals

Researching on the Internet

Special Style Manuals

Writing Handbooks

Appendix B: Collaborative Writing and Peer Reviewing

Collaborative Writing: Assignments to Accompany the Group Project

Collaborative Writing: Informal Progress Report

Collaborative Writing: Issues to Resolve

Collaborative Writing: Methodology

Collaborative Writing: Peer Evaluation

Collaborative Writing: Tasks of Collaborative Writing Group Members

Collaborative Writing: Writing Plan

General Introduction

Peer Reviewing

Appendix C: Developing an Improvement Plan

Working with Your Instructor’s Comments and Grades

Appendix D: Writing Plan and Project Schedule

Devising a Writing Project Plan and Schedule

Reviewing Your Plan with Others

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Module 9: Academic Argument

Argumentative thesis statements, learning objective.

  • Recognize an argumentative thesis

A strong, argumentative thesis statement should take a stance about an issue. It should explain the basics of your argument and help your reader to know what to expect in your essay.

This video reviews the necessary components of a thesis statement and walks through some examples.

You can view the transcript for “Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements” here (opens in new window) .

Key Features of Argumentative Thesis Statements

Below are some of the key features of an argumentative thesis statement. An argumentative thesis is debatable, assertive, reasonable, evidence-based, and focused.

An argumentative thesis must make a claim about which reasonable people can disagree. Statements of fact or areas of general agreement cannot be argumentative theses because few people disagree about them. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • Junk food is bad for your health.

This is not a debatable thesis. Most people would agree that junk food is bad for your health. Also what kind of junk food? Is there a way to make this thesis a bit more specific? A debatable thesis might be:

  • Because junk food is bad for your health, the size of sodas offered at fast-food restaurants should be regulated by the federal government.

Reasonable people could agree or disagree with the statement. With this thesis statement, there is a more specific type of junk food (sodas), and there is call-to-action (federal regulation).

An argumentative thesis takes a position, asserting the writer’s stance. Questions, vague statements, or quotations from others are not argumentative theses because they do not assert the writer’s viewpoint. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • Federal immigration law is a tough issue for American citizens.

This is not an arguable thesis because it does not assert a position. Start by asking questions about how to make this statement more specific. Which laws? What is the “tough issue” and why is it difficult? Take a look at this revision.

  •   Federal immigration enforcement law needs to be overhauled because it puts undue financial constraints on state and local government agencies.

This is an argumentative thesis because it asserts a position that immigration enforcement law needs to be changed. The “undue financial restraints” gives the writer a position to explore more.

An argumentative thesis must make a claim that is logical and possible. Claims that are outrageous or impossible are not argumentative theses. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • City council members are dishonest and should be thrown in jail.

This is not an argumentative thesis. City council members’ ineffectiveness is not a reason to send them to jail unless they have broken the law. A more useful question is to ask why are they dishonest? What can they do to improve?

  • City council members should not be allowed to receive cash incentives from local business leaders.

This is an arguable thesis because it is possible and reasonable to set ethical practices for business leaders.

Evidence-Based

An argumentative thesis must be able to be supported by evidence. Claims that presuppose value systems, morals, or religious beliefs cannot be supported with evidence and therefore are not argumentative theses. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • Individuals convicted of murder have committed a sin and they do not deserve additional correctional facility funding.

This is not an argumentative thesis because its support rests on religious beliefs or values rather than evidence. Let’s dig a bit deeper to think about what specifically you can address as a writer and why it is important to your argument. Let’s take a look at this revision:

  • Rehabilitation programs for individuals serving life sentences should be funded because these programs reduce violence within prisons.

This is an argumentative thesis because evidence such as case studies and statistics can be used to support it. The subject is a bit more specific (individuals serving life sentences) and the claim can be supported with research (programs that reduce violence within prisons).

An argumentative thesis must be focused and narrow. A focused, narrow claim is clearer, more able to be supported with evidence, and more persuasive than a broad, general claim. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • The federal government should overhaul the U.S. tax code.

This is not an effective argumentative thesis because it is too general (Which part of the government? Which tax codes? What sections of those tax codes?). This is more of a book-length project and it would require an overwhelming amount of evidence to be fully supported. Let’s take a look at a revision:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives should vote to repeal the federal estate tax because the revenue generated by that tax is negligible.

This is an effective argumentative thesis because it identifies a specific actor and action and can be fully supported with evidence about the amount of revenue the estate tax generates. By starting with a too broad focus, you can ask questions to create a more specific thesis statement.

In the practice exercises below, see if you can recognize and evaluate argumentative thesis statements. Keep in mind that a sound argumentative thesis should be debatable, assertive, reasonable, evidence-based, and focused. If you choose the incorrect response, read why it is not an argumentative thesis.

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  • Argumentative Thesis Statements. Provided by : University of Mississippi. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Argumentative Thesis Activity. Provided by : Excelsior College. Located at : http://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/argumentative-thesis/argumentative-thesis-activity/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements. Provided by : OWLPurdue. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKXkemYldmw . License : Other . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

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9.4: Argumentative Thesis Statements

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Learning Objective

  • Recognize an argumentative thesis

A strong, argumentative thesis statement should take a stance about an issue. It should explain the basics of your argument and help your reader to know what to expect in your essay.

This video reviews the necessary components of a thesis statement and walks through some examples.

You can view the transcript for “Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements” here (opens in new window) .

Key Features of Argumentative Thesis Statements

Below are some of the key features of an argumentative thesis statement. An argumentative thesis is debatable, assertive, reasonable, evidence-based, and focused.

An argumentative thesis must make a claim about which reasonable people can disagree. Statements of fact or areas of general agreement cannot be argumentative theses because few people disagree about them. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • BAD: Junk food is bad for your health.

This is not a debatable thesis. Most people would agree that junk food is bad for your health. A debatable thesis would be:

  • GOOD: Because junk food is bad for your health, the size of sodas offered at fast-food restaurants should be regulated by the federal government.

Reasonable people could agree or disagree with the statement.

An argumentative thesis takes a position, asserting the writer’s stance. Questions, vague statements, or quotations from others are not argumentative theses because they do not assert the writer’s viewpoint. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • BAD: Federal immigration law is a tough issue about which many people disagree.

This is not an arguable thesis because it does not assert a position.

  • GOOD: Federal immigration enforcement law needs to be overhauled because it puts undue constraints on state and local police.

This is an argumentative thesis because it asserts a position that immigration enforcement law needs to be changed.

An argumentative thesis must make a claim that is logical and possible. Claims that are outrageous or impossible are not argumentative theses. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • BAD: City council members are dishonest and should be thrown in jail.

This is not an argumentative thesis. City council members’ ineffectiveness is not a reason to send them to jail.

  • GOOD: City council members should be term-limited to prevent one group or party from maintaining control indefinitely.

This is an arguable thesis because term limits are possible, and shared political control is a reasonable goal.

Evidence-Based

An argumentative thesis must be able to be supported by evidence. Claims that presuppose value systems, morals, or religious beliefs cannot be supported with evidence and therefore are not argumentative theses. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • BAD: Individuals convicted of murder will go to hell when they die.

This is not an argumentative thesis because its support rests on religious beliefs or values rather than evidence.

  • GOOD: Rehabilitation programs for individuals serving life sentences should be funded because these programs reduce violence within prisons.

This is an argumentative thesis because evidence such as case studies and statistics can be used to support it.

An argumentative thesis must be focused and narrow. A focused, narrow claim is clearer, more able to be supported with evidence, and more persuasive than a broad, general claim. Let’s take a look at an example:

  • BAD: The federal government should overhaul the U.S. tax code.

This is not an effective argumentative thesis because it is too general (What part of the government? Which tax codes? What sections of those tax codes?) and would require an overwhelming amount of evidence to be fully supported.

  • GOOD: The U.S. House of Representatives should vote to repeal the federal estate tax because the revenue generated by that tax is negligible.

This is an effective argumentative thesis because it identifies a specific actor and action and can be fully supported with evidence about the amount of revenue the estate tax generates.

In the practice exercises below, you will use this information from your reading to see if you can recognize and evaluate argumentative thesis statements. Keep in mind that a sound argumentative thesis should be debatable, assertive, reasonable, evidence-based, and focused.

https://assessments.lumenlearning.co...sessments/5173

https://assessments.lumenlearning.co...sessments/7008

Contributors and Attributions

  • Argumentative Thesis Statements. Provided by : University of Mississippi. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Argumentative Thesis Activity. Provided by : Excelsior College. Located at : http://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/argumentative-thesis/argumentative-thesis-activity/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements. Provided by : OWLPurdue. Located at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKXkemYldmw . License : Other . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument

Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Your instructors will often call this your "thesis"– your position on a subject.

What is an Argument?

An argument takes a stand on an issue. It seeks to persuade an audience of a point of view in much the same way that a lawyer argues a case in a court of law. It is NOT a description or a summary.

  • This is an argument: "This paper argues that the movie JFK is inaccurate in its portrayal of President Kennedy."
  • This is not an argument: "In this paper, I will describe the portrayal of President Kennedy that is shown in the movie JFK."

What is a Thesis?

A thesis statement is a sentence in which you state an argument about a topic and then describe, briefly, how you will prove your argument.

  • This is an argument, but not yet a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy."
  • This is a thesis: "The movie ‘JFK’ inaccurately portrays President Kennedy because of the way it ignores Kennedy’s youth, his relationship with his father, and the findings of the Warren Commission."

A thesis makes a specific statement to the reader about what you will be trying to argue. Your thesis can be a few sentences long, but should not be longer than a paragraph. Do not begin to state evidence or use examples in your thesis paragraph.

A Thesis Helps You and Your Reader

Your blueprint for writing:

  • Helps you determine your focus and clarify your ideas.
  • Provides a "hook" on which you can "hang" your topic sentences.
  • Can (and should) be revised as you further refine your evidence and arguments. New evidence often requires you to change your thesis.
  • Gives your paper a unified structure and point.

Your reader’s blueprint for reading:

  • Serves as a "map" to follow through your paper.
  • Keeps the reader focused on your argument.
  • Signals to the reader your main points.
  • Engages the reader in your argument.

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis

  • Find a Focus: Choose a thesis that explores an aspect of your topic that is important to you, or that allows you to say something new about your topic. For example, if your paper topic asks you to analyze women’s domestic labor during the early nineteenth century, you might decide to focus on the products they made from scratch at home.
  • Look for Pattern: After determining a general focus, go back and look more closely at your evidence. As you re-examine your evidence and identify patterns, you will develop your argument and some conclusions. For example, you might find that as industrialization increased, women made fewer textiles at home, but retained their butter and soap making tasks.

Strategies for Developing a Thesis Statement

Idea 1. If your paper assignment asks you to answer a specific question, turn the question into an assertion and give reasons for your opinion.

Assignment: How did domestic labor change between 1820 and 1860? Why were the changes in their work important for the growth of the United States?

Beginning thesis: Between 1820 and 1860 women's domestic labor changed as women stopped producing home-made fabric, although they continued to sew their families' clothes, as well as to produce butter and soap. With the cash women earned from the sale of their butter and soap they purchased ready-made cloth, which in turn, helped increase industrial production in the United States before the Civil War.

Idea 2. Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main Idea: Women's labor in their homes during the first half of the nineteenth century contributed to the growth of the national economy.

Idea 3. Spend time "mulling over" your topic. Make a list of the ideas you want to include in the essay, then think about how to group them under several different headings. Often, you will see an organizational plan emerge from the sorting process.

Idea 4. Use a formula to develop a working thesis statement (which you will need to revise later). Here are a few examples:

  • Although most readers of ______ have argued that ______, closer examination shows that ______.
  • ______ uses ______ and ______ to prove that ______.
  • Phenomenon X is a result of the combination of ______, ______, and ______.

These formulas share two characteristics all thesis statements should have: they state an argument and they reveal how you will make that argument. They are not specific enough, however, and require more work.

As you work on your essay, your ideas will change and so will your thesis. Here are examples of weak and strong thesis statements.

  • Unspecific thesis: "Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong leader as First Lady."  This thesis lacks an argument. Why was Eleanor Roosevelt a strong leader?
  • Specific thesis: "Eleanor Roosevelt recreated the role of the First Lady by her active political leadership in the Democratic Party, by lobbying for national legislation, and by fostering women’s leadership in the Democratic Party."  The second thesis has an argument: Eleanor Roosevelt "recreated" the position of First Lady, and a three-part structure with which to demonstrate just how she remade the job.
  • Unspecific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced difficulty when they attempted to enter the legal profession."  No historian could argue with this general statement and uninteresting thesis.
  • Specific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced misogynist attacks from male lawyers when they attempted to enter the legal profession because male lawyers wanted to keep women out of judgeships."  This thesis statement asserts that French male lawyers attacked French women lawyers because they feared women as judges, an intriguing and controversial point.

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. To prove thesis statements on historical topics, what evidence can an able young lawyer use?

  • Primary sources: letters, diaries, government documents, an organization’s meeting minutes, newspapers.
  • Secondary sources: articles and books from your class that explain and interpret the historical event or person you are writing about, lecture notes, films or documentaries.

How can you use this evidence?

  • Make sure the examples you select from your available evidence address your thesis.
  • Use evidence that your reader will believe is credible. This means sifting and sorting your sources, looking for the clearest and fairest. Be sure to identify the biases and shortcomings of each piece of evidence for your reader.
  • Use evidence to avoid generalizations. If you assert that all women have been oppressed, what evidence can you use to support this? Using evidence works to check over-general statements.
  • Use evidence to address an opposing point of view. How do your sources give examples that refute another historian’s interpretation?

Remember -- if in doubt, talk to your instructor.

Thanks to the web page of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Writing Center for information used on this page. See writing.wisc.edu/handbook for further information.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement for An Argumentative Essay

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by  Antony W

September 18, 2023

thesis statement in argumentative essay

This is the only guide you will ever need to read to write a thesis statement for an argumentative essay. 

So it’s important to read it carefully and implement what you learn right away. 

For many students, writing a perfect statement for an argument can be a complete nightmare.

However, once you learn and know how to approach this part of the assignment from the eyes of a professor, you’ll have an easy time doing the work.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a thesis statement for any type of an argument . You’ll find the tips shared in this article useful even if you’ve never written an essay before.

What’s a Thesis Statement In An Argumentative Essay?

Usually one or two sentences long, and written near the end of an introduction , a thesis statement gives a summary of the central message of your argument.

Since everything else that you write in the body paragraphs of an argument will relate back to the central theme in the thesis, you should write your summary in such a way that guarantees utmost clarity of the subject in question.

In other words, a good thesis for your argumentative essay should be:

  • Concise : Don’t use more words when you shouldn’t and don’t make the statement shorter if it needs more information. If you can make your points clear in a few ones, don’t hesitate to do so. One or two sentences should be enough.
  • Coherent : Even if your thesis statement touches on different aspect of the main topic, you need to make sure they add up to express a single idea.
  • Contentious : A thesis statement with facts or opinion is downright a failed essay. Your audience may not really share your subjective opinion. And if they already know a particular fact, it won’t add any value if you include it in the initial thesis. Focus instead on a claim that requires objective analysis and evidence for defense. In the case of an argumentative essay, the thesis should open room for debate. 

 If your thesis statement can meet these criteria, it will get your instructor (audience) reading the rest of the essay just to understand your thoughts on the topic and why you’ve taken the position in question.

When Should I Write The Thesis Statement?

Some students write their initial thesis after writing the essay and that’s okay.

However, this approach isn’t suitable for all students as it can be quite challenging to adapt. 

More often than not, a thesis statement written after completing the essay may either collide with the arguments you present or not reflect the statement in its entirety.

The most reasonable approach is to write your initial thesis before you start writing your argumentative essay .

So write your essay’s topic, determine what you’d like to say about it, and come up with a clear thesis that will give you a clear direction and structure for the essay.

How to Start a Thesis Statement for Argumentative Essay

Now that you know the right time to write a thesis statement for your argument, let’s look at how you can come up with a working thesis without sweating on the job.

Ask a Question and Write a Relevant Answer

Check the essay prompt to see if it already has a question asked. If it doesn’t, form one yourself.

The question you ask should reflect your interest in examining both sides of an argument. Therefore, asking yourself a question is a great first step to coming up with a working thesis for the assignment.

Next, try to come up with a relevant answer to the question.

You may have to do some initial research to come up with a good answer. But if the topic is something you’re already familiar with, only a few minutes of research should be enough to give you a tentative answer. 

What Makes a Good Thesis Statement for an Argumentative Essay?

A good thesis statement for an argumentative essay should be clear, concise, and descriptive.

Consider taking a very strong position within the thesis so that it’s easy for you to convince your audience that your arguments are not only evidence-based but also packed with objective reasoning they can’t easily refute. 

Simply taking a position won’t be enough. Your statement must tell your target reader why you hold a given position in the first place.

To make your claim even more convincing, summarize the main points that you’ll discuss and expand on in the body paragraphs of the assignment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should i place the thesis statement an argumentative essay.

Your thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction.

It should be a sentence long, but you can go to a maximum of two sentences if you have more relevant thoughts to share.

How many words should my thesis statement be?

As far as the word limit for the argumentative essay goes, try to keep your thesis statement as short as 30 to words per sentence.

So if you’re going to have 2 sentences for this, the thesis should be between 60 and 80 words long.

Related Reading

  • Can You Put a Thesis Statement at the End of an Essay?

Get Writing Help for Your Argumentative Essay

Writing a thesis statement for your argumentative essay should be easy after reading this guide. But it may not be so for the whole essay.

So if you need help with coming up a killer argumentative essay, get in touch with us. Our writers will work around the clock to help you complete the work in time.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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50 Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement Examples

argumentative essay thesis statement

A thesis statement in an argumentative essay needs to present a point of view . The biggest mistake you can make is to provide a thesis statement that doesn’t demonstrate what your argument will be. So, your thesis statement should set a clear argument, perspective, or position in relation to a debate. Check out the examples below.

Thesis Statements for Argumentative Essays

1. mandatory school uniforms.

school uniforms and dress codes, explained below

For: “School uniforms should be mandatory as they promote equality and reduce distractions, fostering a better learning environment.”

Against: “Mandatory school uniforms infringe on students’ freedom of expression and fail to address the root causes of bullying and social stratification.”

Read More: School Uniform Pros and Cons

2. School Should Start Later

moral panic definition examples

For: “Schools should start later in the morning to align with adolescents’ natural sleep cycles, resulting in improved mental health, increased academic performance, and better overall student well-being.”

Against: “Starting school later in the morning disrupts family routines, poses logistical challenges for after-school activities and transportation, and fails to prepare students for the traditional workday schedule.”

Read More: School Should Start Later Arguments | School Should Start Earlier Arguments

3. College Athletes Should be Paid

pros and cons of paying college athletes, explained below

For: “College athletes should be compensated for their contributions to the multi-billion dollar collegiate sports industry, as their commitment and efforts generate significant revenue and marketing value for their institutions.”

Against: “Paying college athletes undermines the spirit of amateurism in collegiate sports, complicates the primary focus on education, and poses significant financial and regulatory challenges for universities.”

Read More: Why College Athletes Should be Paid

4. Homework should be Banned

homework pros and cons

For: “Excessive homework can lead to student burnout, reduce family time, and is not always effective in enhancing learning.”

Against: “Homework is essential for reinforcing learning, fostering independent study skills, and preparing students for academic challenges.”

Read More: 21 Reasons Homework Should be Banned

5. Nature is More Important than Nurture

nature vs nurture examples and definition

For: “Genetic predispositions play a more critical role in shaping an individual than environmental factors, highlighting the importance of nature in personal development.”

Against: “Environmental factors and upbringing have a more significant impact on an individual’s development than genetic factors, emphasizing the role of nurture.”

Read More: Nature vs Nurture

6. The American Dream is Unattainable

American Dream Examples Definition

For: “The American Dream is an outdated and unachievable concept for many, masked by systemic inequalities and economic barriers.”

Against: “The American Dream is still a relevant and attainable goal, symbolizing hope, opportunity, and hard work in a land of limitless potential.”

Read More: Examples of the American Dream

7. Social Media is Good for Society

social media examples and definition

For: “Social media is a vital tool for modern communication, fostering global connectivity and democratizing information dissemination.”

Against: “Social media platforms contribute to mental health issues, spread misinformation, and erode quality face-to-face interactions.”

Read More: Social Media Pros and Cons

8. Globalization has been Bad for Society

types of globalization, explained below

For: “Globalization leads to the exploitation of developing countries, loss of cultural identity, and increased income inequality.”

Against: “Globalization is beneficial, driving economic growth, cultural exchange, and technological advancement on a global scale.”

Read More: Globalization Pros and Cons

9. Urbanization has been Good for Society

urbanization example and definition

For: “Urbanization is a positive force for economic development and cultural diversity, offering improved opportunities and lifestyles.”

Against: “Rapid urbanization leads to environmental degradation, overpopulation, and heightened social inequalities.”

Read More: Urbanization Examples

10. Immigration is Good for Society

immigration pros and cons, explained below

For: “Immigration enriches the social and economic fabric of the host country, bringing diversity and innovation.”

Against: “Uncontrolled immigration can strain public resources, disrupt local job markets, and lead to cultural clashes.”

Read More: Immigration Pros and Cons

11. Cultural Identity must be Preserved

cultural identity examples and definition, explained below

For: “Maintaining cultural identity is essential to preserve historical heritage and promote diversity in a globalized world.”

Against: “Excessive emphasis on cultural identity can lead to isolationism and hinder integration and mutual understanding in multicultural societies.”

Read More: Cultural Identity Examples

12. Technology is Essential for Social Progress

technology examples and definition explained below

For: “The advancement of technology is crucial for societal progress, improving efficiency, healthcare, and global communication.”

Against: “Over-dependence on technology leads to privacy concerns, job displacement, and a disconnection from the natural world.”

13. Capitalism is the Best Economic System

capitalism examples and definition

For: “Capitalism drives innovation, economic growth, and personal freedom, outperforming socialist systems in efficiency and prosperity.”

Against: “Capitalism creates vast inequalities and exploits workers and the environment, necessitating a shift towards socialist principles for a fairer society.”

14. Socialism is the Best Economic System

socialism definition examples pros cons, explained below

For: “Socialism promotes social welfare and equality, ensuring basic needs are met for all citizens, unlike the inequalities perpetuated by capitalism.”

Against: “Socialism stifles individual initiative and economic growth, often leading to governmental overreach and inefficiency.”

Read More: Socialism Pros and Cons

15. Pseudoscience has no Value to Society

pseudoscience examples and definition, explained below

For: “Pseudoscience is harmful as it misleads people, often resulting in health risks and the rejection of scientifically proven facts.”

Against: “Pseudoscience, while not scientifically validated, can offer alternative perspectives and comfort to individuals where mainstream science has limitations.”

Read More: Pseudoscience Examples

16. Free Will is Real

free will examples and definition, explained below

For: “Individuals possess free will, enabling them to make autonomous choices that shape their lives and moral character, independent of genetic or environmental determinism.”

Against: “The concept of free will is an illusion, with human behavior being the result of genetic and environmental influences beyond personal control.”

Read More: Free Will Examples

17. Gender Roles are Outdated

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

For: “Rigid gender roles are outdated and limit individual freedom, perpetuating inequality and stereotyping.”

Against: “Traditional gender roles provide structure and clarity to societal functions and personal relationships.”

Read More: Gender Roles Examples

18. Work-Life Ballance is Essential for a Good Life

work-life balance examples and definition, explained below

For: “Achieving a work-life balance is essential for mental health, productivity, and personal fulfillment.”

Against: “The pursuit of work-life balance can lead to decreased professional ambition and economic growth, particularly in highly competitive industries.”

Read More: Work-Life Balance Examples

19. Universal Healthcare

universal healthcare pros and cons

For: “Universal healthcare is a fundamental human right, ensuring equitable access to medical services for all individuals.”

Against: “Universal healthcare can be inefficient and costly, potentially leading to lower quality of care and longer wait times.”

Read More: Universal Healthcare Pros and Cons

20. Raising the Minimum Wage

raising minimum wage pros and cons

For: “Raising the minimum wage is necessary to provide a living wage, reduce poverty, and stimulate economic growth.”

Against: “Increasing the minimum wage can lead to higher unemployment and negatively impact small businesses.”

Read More: Raising the Minimum Wage Pros and Cons

21. Charter Schools are Better than Public Schools

charter schools vs public schools, explained below

For: “Charter schools provide valuable alternatives to traditional public schools, often offering innovative educational approaches and higher standards.”

Against: “Charter schools can drain resources from public schools and lack the same level of accountability and inclusivity.”

Read More: Charter Schools vs Public Schools

22. The Internet has had a Net Positive Effect

internet pros and cons

For: “The internet is a transformative tool for education, communication, and business, making information more accessible than ever before.”

Against: “The internet can be a platform for misinformation, privacy breaches, and unhealthy social comparison, negatively impacting society.”

Read Also: Pros and Cons of the Internet

23. Affirmative Action is Fair and Just

affirmative action example and definition, explained below

For: “Affirmative action is necessary to correct historical injustices and promote diversity in education and the workplace.”

Against: “Affirmative action can lead to reverse discrimination and undermine meritocracy, potentially harming those it aims to help.”

Read More: Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action

24. Soft Skills are the Most Important Workforce Skills

soft skills examples and definition, explained below

For: “Soft skills like communication and empathy are crucial in the modern workforce, contributing to a collaborative and adaptable work environment.”

Against: “Overemphasis on soft skills can neglect technical proficiency and practical skills that are essential in many professional fields.”

Read More: Examples of Soft Skills

25. Freedom of the Press has gone Too Far

freedom of the press example and definition, explained below

For: “Unregulated freedom of the press can lead to the spread of misinformation and biased reporting, influencing public opinion unfairly.”

Against: “Freedom of the press is essential for a democratic society, ensuring transparency and accountability in governance.”

Read More: Free Press Examples

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 30 Globalization Pros and Cons
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how to write an argument thesis statement

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  2. Strong Thesis Statements

    An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

  3. Argumentative Thesis

    Argumentative Thesis As explained in Research, not all essays will require an explicitly stated thesis, but most argumentative essays will. Instead of implying your thesis or main idea, in an argumentative essay, you'll most likely be required to write out your thesis statement for your audience.

  4. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience. An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.

  5. Developing a Thesis Statement

    Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper.

  6. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    How to Write a Thesis Statement What is a Thesis Statement? Almost all of us—even if we don't do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement. Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  7. Argumentative Thesis Statements

    An argumentative thesis must be focused and narrow. A focused, narrow claim is clearer, more able to be supported with evidence, and more persuasive than a broad, general claim. Example The federal government should overhaul the U.S. tax code is not an effective argumentative thesis because it is too general (What part of the government?

  8. Thesis Statements

    directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. makes a claim that others might dispute.

  9. How Do I Write a Thesis Statement?

    A thesis statement is a very specific argument that guides your paper. Generally, a thesis statement consists of two parts: A clearly identifiable topic or subject matter. A succinct summary of what you have to say about that topic. For your reader, a thesis functions like the case a lawyer has to make to the judge and jury in a courtroom.

  10. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Thesis statements for argumentative and expository essays should use strong and decisive language; don't be wishy-washy or uncertain.

  11. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper.

  12. Thesis

    HOME / WRITING RESOURCES / STRATEGIES FOR ESSAY WRITING / Thesis Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim.

  13. Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument

    Steps to Writing an Argument State Your Thesis or Proposition In argument, the thesis is also called a proposition. Your proposition should do the following: define your argument's scope by stating its situation or context; and make clear what assertion you are going to debate. You may "hook" your readers by stating your argument as a question.

  14. Argumentative Thesis Statements

    An argumentative thesis is debatable, assertive, reasonable, evidence-based, and focused. Debatable An argumentative thesis must make a claim about which reasonable people can disagree. Statements of fact or areas of general agreement cannot be argumentative theses because few people disagree about them. Let's take a look at an example:

  15. PDF Thesis Statements Defining, Developing, and Evaluating

    paper's argument, setting the tone, substance, and direction of the writing in the reader's mind. When composing a thesis statement, it is essential not to merely state the topic or

  16. Thesis Generator

    For Writing an Argumentative Thesis Follow the steps below to formulate an argumentative thesis statement. All boxes must contain text. To learn how to write other kinds of thesis statements, please see our Writing a Thesis page. Sample Outline Based on Your Thesis:

  17. PDF Harvard WrITINg ProJeCT BrIeF gUIde SerIeS A Brief Guide to the

    mer home a thesis. (If the essay is complex or long, its structure may be briefly announced or hinted at after the thesis, in a road-map or plan sentence—or even in the thesis statement itself, if you're clever enough.) 7. Stitching: words that tie together the parts of an argument, most commonly (a) by using transition (link-

  18. 9.4: Argumentative Thesis Statements

    Debatable. An argumentative thesis must make a claim about which reasonable people can disagree. Statements of fact or areas of general agreement cannot be argumentative theses because few people disagree about them. Let's take a look at an example: BAD: Junk food is bad for your health. This is not a debatable thesis.

  19. Argumentative Thesis Overview

    Writers use thesis statements to let an audience know the main point of an essay. An argumentative thesis clearly presents the main claim or argument being made. It makes a clear assertion! So what makes up a thesis statement? A strong argumentative thesis statement always makes the topic clear and makes a clear assertion about that topic ...

  20. Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument

    A thesis statement is a sentence in which you state an argument about a topic and then describe, briefly, how you will prove your argument. This is an argument, but not yet a thesis: "The movie 'JFK' inaccurately portrays President Kennedy."

  21. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    argument by showing them how your points fit together to support your thesis. The number of paragraphs in your essay should be determined by the number of steps you need to take to build your argument. To write strong paragraphs, try to focus each paragraph on one main point—and begin a new paragraph when you are moving to a new point or example.

  22. 12 Argumentative Thesis Statement Examples

    These argumentative thesis statement examples are meant to serve as possible inspiration-don't use them verbatim. That would be plagiarism, and besides, it would rob the world of your unique thoughts about the issues at hand. Look at each example and note what they have in common-each states a clear position on a given issue and then ...

  23. How to Write a Thesis Statement for An Argumentative Essay

    by Antony W September 18, 2023 This is the only guide you will ever need to read to write a thesis statement for an argumentative essay. So it's important to read it carefully and implement what you learn right away. For many students, writing a perfect statement for an argument can be a complete nightmare.

  24. 50 Argumentative Essay Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

    A thesis statement in an argumentative essay needs to present a point of view. The biggest mistake you can make is to provide a thesis statement that doesn't demonstrate what your argument will be. So, your thesis statement should set a clear argument, perspective, or position in relation to a debate. Check out the examples below.

  25. Thesis Statement Generator

    Generates a strong, concise, and argumentative thesis statement based on a given prompt. HyperWrite's Thesis Statement Generator is an AI-driven tool that creates a strong, concise, and argumentative thesis statement based on your provided prompt. Powered by advanced AI models, this tool ensures your thesis statement clearly responds to the prompt and sets the direction for the rest of your paper.

  26. Sanjna Arora on Instagram: "Introduction is very important in your

    0 likes, 0 comments - pro_langue on November 9, 2023: "Introduction is very important in your essay because this is where the examiner starts reading yo..."