Defining the Thesis Statement What is a thesis statement? Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message. The argument s you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement.
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The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable 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. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. This thesis statement is not debatable.
First, the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Further, 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 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. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use which might include alcohol and cigarettesor all uses of medication in general?
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"?
Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open.
The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence.
In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down 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:Developing A Thesis Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument.
You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Few sentences in your paper will vex you as much as the thesis sentence.
And with good reason: the thesis sentence is typically that one sentence in the paper with the potential to assert, control, and structure the entire argument.
Without a strong, thoughtful thesis or claim, a . To write your thesis statement, all you have to do is turn the question and answer around. You've already given the answer, now just put it in a sentence (or a couple of .
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 . How to Write a Philosophy Paper Develop a Thesis Search this Guide Search. How to Write a Philosophy Paper: Develop a Thesis. Step by step guide to writing a philosophy paper.
thesis--offering support for the thesis and reasons why criticism of the thesis may not be valid--it's crucial that you develop a strong thesis. A strong thesis will.
Developing a Research Thesis A research thesis has most of the same thesis characteristics as a thesis for a non-research essay.
The difference lies in the fact that you gather information and evidence from appropriate, valid sources to support your perspective on a topic or stand on an issue.