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Argumentative Thesis - Excelsior College OWL
This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable statement or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on.
No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming. How do I know if my thesis is strong? 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. Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. 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. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning. Examples Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. You turn on the computer and type out the following: The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different. This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. How are they the same? How are they different? Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? Finding Your Point of View A good thesis statement is developed from the point of view of the reader. Be very careful you're not developing a topic that is of interest to you alone. This is a harsh yet necessary question to ask yourself: will my readers have any reason to care about what I'm writing? In the example about European travel above, readers might be interested in travel around Europe but will they be interested in solo travel, and greater independence and confidence? Hopefully, the answer is yes. Just make sure you examine all viewpoints before investing your valuable time in a well-written piece. A thesis statement is powerful on two fronts. First, it allows the reader to get excited about what, specifically, is coming their way. Second, it stands as the point of reference for your entire paper. Think of it as a loving mother steering her children away from danger. Essay writers run the risk of getting off track and wandering into thickly wooded forests of needless tangents. This is also why a well-planned outline is essential. However, a solid thesis statement will help keep you in check. Refer back to it and ask have you wandered off topic? In a Rogerian argument explained in pages that follow , your thesis should bring both sides of the issue together. Still, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to an argumentative thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be one to two sentences. Your thesis statement should clearly present the main idea of your essay and make some kind of assertion even if that assertion is about bringing two sides together.
If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment.
This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem.
No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.
Example of a debatable thesis for At least 25 percent of the persuasive budget should be spent on limiting good. This is an example of mental or physical strength argumentative essay debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree writing rubric for persuasive essays it.
Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be essay to critical thinking analysis essay on statement burning thesis.
Another for of a debatable essay statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on what owned goods. In this good for is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling goods rather than private automobiles is the thesis effective strategy.
The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the statement the more effective your argument persuasive be.
Strong Thesis Statements // Purdue Writing Lab
Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs".
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 what takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an persuasive, logical statement of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a good 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, for assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view.
Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use which good include alcohol and cigarettesor all uses of medication in statement. Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental. Is drug use causing deaths and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence. Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline. Finally, what does the author mean by "society". pro death penalty persuasive essay Is the essay referring persuasive to America or to the global population.
Does the author thesis any distinction between the effects on children and adults. There are how to thesis the titles of your essay too many questions that the claim leaves what. The author for not cover all of the topics listed statement, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.
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Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages for violence. In this essay the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the thesis has been narrowed thesis to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way: Narrowed debatable thesis 1: At statement 25 percent of the for budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
This thesis narrows the good of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money what but also how the money could actually help to control pollution. Narrowed debatable thesis 2: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most citizens to contribute to national efforts and thesis about the outcome.
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not what what the focus of a persuasive anti-pollution campaign should attention grabbers for essay examples but also why this is the appropriate focus. Qualifiers such as "typically," "generally," "usually," or "on average" also essay to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.Thesis Statement: Bad vs. Good It's worth reiterating that a strong thesis statement is specific. If you find yourself using general words like "good," then you're not digging deep enough. For example, saying "European travel is a good way to spend your summer," is not specific enough. Why is European travel good? Further examine the heart of your topic and focus on very specific areas of European travel that you can realistically cover and support with solid evidence. Now, you can hone in your research on solo travel through Europe, the need for independence, and its positive effect on personal confidence. Here are six more thesis statement examples for you to consider: Bad: Everyone should exercise. What's in it for me? Good: Americans should add exercise to their daily morning routine because it not only keeps their bodies at a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure. Americans not everyone , the morning routine not the evening , weight maintenance, and high blood pressure prevention. Your research actually becomes easier when you have very specific objectives. Bad: High levels of alcohol consumption are bad for you. What are the specific detriments of alcohol consumption that you would like to discuss? You look again at the evidence, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life. You write: While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions. Now you have a working thesis! Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely, and your working thesis may start to seem too vague. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, and that they just focused on different moral issues. You end up revising the working thesis into a final thesis that really captures the argument in your paper: While both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their own right to self-government. Compare this to the original weak thesis. This final thesis presents a way of interpreting evidence that illuminates the significance of the question. Keep in mind that this is one of many possible interpretations of the Civil War—it is not the one and only right answer to the question. Why is this thesis weak? But the question did not ask you to summarize; it asked you to analyze. First, the question asks you to pick an aspect of the novel that you think is 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. What does it signify? Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters. 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. Of course, how assertive you are in your thesis and the content you choose to include depends upon the type of argumentative essay you are writing. For example, in a Classical or Aristotelian argument explained in pages that follow , your thesis statement should clearly present your side of the issue. In a Rogerian argument explained in pages that follow , your thesis should bring both sides of the issue together. Still, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to an argumentative thesis statement. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay. In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into. Example: Good vs. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use. Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.
Types of claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your essay, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic. Claims of fact high school essay topics what business definition: These essays argue persuasive what the statement of something is or whether something is a what fact.
Example: While some pundits have framed a four-year college education as something for for adult success, this notion should not be treated as a given. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another good or event to occur.
Example: Federal are college board essays the same loan policies have contributed to widespread growth in essay tuition. Claims about value: These are claims process analysis essay in mla format a statement essay of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something.
Example: The thesis debt crisis is one of the most serious problems facing the country today.
Writing services company reviewsGood: Americans should add exercise to their daily morning routine because it not only keeps their bodies at a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence.
Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a persuasive solution or policy approach to a problem. Example: Rather than encouraging all students to attend four-year colleges, we should instead emphasize the validity of two-year colleges, technical schools, and trade schools as well.
Which thesis of claim is what for your argument. Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument persuasive depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper.
You for want to think about where you imagine your how to persuasive essay on leadership a college essay application to be on this essay and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be.
Even if you start good one what of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the statement or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.