Have you ever watched a great film trailer and thought, “I have to see that movie! A good trailer gives you the basic premise of the movie, shows you the highlights, and encourages you to want to see more. A good thesis statement will accomplish the same thing. It gives readers an idea of the most important points of an essay, shows the highlights, and makes them want to read more. It will also help keep you, the writer, from getting lost in a convoluted and directionless argument. Most importantly, a good thesis statement makes a statement. After all, it’s called a thesis statement for a reason! “This is an interesting statement! ” you want your reader to think. This blog post will dissect the components of a good thesis statement and give you 15 thesis statement examples that you can use to inspire your next argumentative essay. Before I give you a blanket list of thesis statement examples, let’s run through what makes for a good thesis statement.
I’ve distilled it down to four main components. 1. A good argumentative thesis is focused and not too broad. It’s important to stay focused! Don’t try to argue an overly broad topic in your essay, or you’re going to feel confused and unsure about your direction and purpose. This statement is too general and would be nearly impossible for you to defend. It leaves a lot of big questions to answer. Is all fast food bad? Why is it bad? Who should avoid it? Why should anyone care? In this example, I’ve narrowed my argument to the health consequences related to a diet of fast food. I’ve also chosen to focus on Americans rather than everyone in the universe. 2. A good argumentative thesis is centered on a debatable topic. Back in the ‘80s, teens loved to say “that’s debatable” about claims they didn’t agree with (such as “you should clean your room” and “you shouldn’t go to that movie”). This age-old, neon-colored, bangle-wearing, peg-legged wisdom holds true today—in your thesis statement.
No one can argue for or against this statement. It’s not debatable. It’s just a fact. As you can see, that’s not much of an argument. Opponents could also easily argue that homeless people in Berkeley already receive adequate services (“just look at all those luxurious sidewalks!”) or perhaps that they shouldn’t be entitled to services at all (“get a job, ya lazy loafers!”). Interested in picking up a few more tips about debating issues and perfecting the art of persuasion? Read How to Write a Persuasive Essay That’s Convincing. 3. A good argumentative thesis picks a side. Picking a side is pretty much the whole entire point of an argumentative essay. Just as you can’t root for both the Yankees and the Mets, you can’t argue both sides of a topic in your thesis statement. Learn more about the importance of picking sides by reading the post The Secrets of a Strong Argumentative Essay.
A wishy-washy statement like this will make your reader scratch his head in puzzlement. Are you for smoking laws or against them? Pick a side, and stick with it! Then stick up for it. 4. A good thesis makes claims that will be supported later in the paper. As I explained in the post How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline, your claims make up a critical part of building the roadmap to your argument. It’s important to first include a summary of your claims in your thesis statement. During the course of your essay, you will back each of your claims with well-researched evidence. This statement doesn’t include any supporting claims. Why should humans move to Mars? What are the benefits of moving to a planet without oxygen or trees? This statement includes some thought-provoking claims. The reader will wonder how the author plans to defend them. “Famine, war, and global warming can be easily avoided on Mars?
Looking for even more help understanding the key components of a strong thesis statement? Now that you have a better understanding of the all things thesis statement, here are 15 more thesis statement examples to inspire your next argumentative essay. Below are 15 debatable, supportable, and focused thesis statements for you to learn from. Feel free to customize them for use in your own argumentative essay. As you read the following examples, be careful not to use these thesis statements word-for-word. I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble if your teacher did a copy/find Google maneuver on you! Inspired by this sample essay on vaccinations. Vaccinations against diseases such as polio, rubella, and mumps should be mandatory for all U.S. Inspired by this sample essay on government surveillance. Government surveillance programs, such as PRISM, should be banned because they invade civil liberties, lead innocent people to suffer unfair punishments, and ultimately fail to protect the citizens that they are designed to safeguard. Inspired by this sample essay on organ donation.