Argumentative Thesis Overview

Are you ready to review what you have learned about argumentative thesis statements? The video below will help with that. Be sure the volume on your computer is turned up as you review information on building a strong thesis statement for your argumentative essay.

Video Transcript

Argumentative Thesis Statements in Review

A writing process presentation brought to you by the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab

What is a thesis statement?

Think of a thesis statement as a road map for your essay. 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. Essentially, in your thesis, you take a clear stand on your issue.
Sometimes, professors will require an outline of reasons in your thesis, but this is not always the case.

How is an argumentative thesis statement different?

An argumentative thesis stands out from other types of thesis statements because it takes a stand on an issue, is your opinion (though you probably shouldn’t say “in my opinion”), and has at least a little controversy. In other words, people have to be able to disagree with your thesis.

Here is an example: If you said “Destroying the environment is bad,” most people would not disagree with that. You would have to find a more specific—and controversial—angle to have a strong argumentative thesis statement.

Want some examples?

Here’s an example of a weak thesis: Hurting people on Black Friday to get good deals is wrong.

Here’s an example of a stronger thesis: Because of the dangers associated with Black Friday crowds, retailers need to stop offering “extreme deals” on Black Friday and close their doors instead.

Here’s another weak thesis: Wasting water is a bad habit.

Here’s a stronger version of that same thesis: In order to protect one of our most precious resources, water, Americans need to practice water conservation in every aspect of their lives.

Argumentative Thesis Quick Tips

  • Make sure your thesis encompasses the main idea of your essay.
  • Present your opinion in your thesis, but you don’t have to say “in my opinion.”
  • Find an angle that some in your audience could disagree with. It makes for a boring essay if everyone agrees.
  • Be as specific as you can be in your thesis without being so specific that you can’t develop your ideas in the body of your essay.
  • And, remember, get feedback on your thesis from your professor and classmates!

Grumble... Applaud... Please give us your feedback!