Examples Of Thesis Statements For Persuasive Essays Samples

Writing Thesis Statements for Argumentative Essays

Introduction

University writing often requires students to use persuasion: they need to convince readers of a logical viewpoint on a debatable subject. The thesis statement is usually one sentence in the essay’s introduction that clearly states the writer's opinion and it often appears after some general background information about the issue. The thesis statement acts as a short summary of the writer’s stance in the debate, helping readers understand what will appear in the rest of the paper. Assignments may not state clearly whether a thesis statement is necessary, but if it asks you to take a position on an issue, analyze, interpret, compare and contrast or show cause and effect, you are probably expected to develop a persuasive thesis. (If you are not sure, it is wise to ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement.)

Developing a Thesis

Before you write a thesis statement, it is important to spend time reading academic articles to gather general background information about the issue. You need to evaluate the findings and arguments of different writers and decide which ones you think are the strongest and most convincing, which ones have the most credibility and which ones will help you write persuasively. Reading recent research will help you to decide your position and write a stronger, well-informed argument. Understanding and critically weighing others’ ideas will guide you towards developing a clear, logical and convincing thesis statement.

Thesis Statements: 4 points to remember

1. MAKE IT DEBATABLE

The first important point is that thesis statements must be debatable. (There is no point writing a persuasive argument if everyone already agrees!)

Example of an un-debatable thesis statement:

'Drinking too much alcohol may cause health problems.'

This is weak because it would be very difficult to build a persuasive argument that drinking too much alcohol would not cause health problems: most people (and doctors) already agree that it would.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

'Alcohol should contain warning labels about the possible dangers of over-drinking.'

This is debatable because people can agree or disagree with the proposal. Some might agree that alcohol labels should contain warnings about the dangers of drinking while others may feel that warning labels would be ineffective as they would not stop people from drinking. Therefore, it is a good thesis statement.
The first point to remember then is that thesis statements must provide room for disagreement and debate.

2. MAKE IT SPECIFIC

Thesis statements should be specific, not general. The following thesis statement is too general:

'Drinking alcohol is harmful.'

This statement is too broad and unfocused because it does not specify:

*Who drinking alcohol harms
*What drinking alcohol harms
*What the main reasons are that make drinking alcohol harmful

Asking specific 'Wh' questions can help narrow your focus and make your paper more manageable.

The following thesis statement is more persuasive because it is focused:

'Alcohol consumption may negatively impact university students’ GPA.'

As this statement provides specific answers to the questions above, it significantly narrows the possibilities that the writer can write about and provides a clear focus for the entire argument.

Here are two more examples of focused thesis statements:

'A four-year university programme is better than a three-year one because students have more time for deeper learning.'
'Hong Kong will not become a world class city until it tackles its air pollution problem.'

The second point to remember then is that a thesis statement should be specific.'

3. HAVE ONLY ONE CONTROLLING ARGUMENT

As you can see from the examples above, a good thesis statement has only one controlling (main) argument:

'Alcohol should contain warning labels about the possible dangers of over-drinking.'
'Alcohol consumption may negatively impact amongst university students’ GPA.'
'A four-year university programme is better than a three-year one because students have more time for deeper learning.'
'Hong Kong will not become a world class city until it tackles its air pollution problem.

It is important that your thesis statements also contain only one controlling argument. Supporting details can be discussed in depth later in the essay's body paragraphs that follow the introduction.

4. MAKE IT CLEAR AND CONCISE

As you can see, good thesis statements use clear language and not too many words. It is important that your thesis be clear so that your readers know exactly what your position is. There should be no confusion, such as in the following poor example:

'Many people from around the world have different opinions about whether teenagers under eighteen years of age should be able to get a driving license and drive a vehicle or not and I tend to agree with some of them but not with others.'

This example is poor for a number of reasons. First, it is too long and ‘wordy’ (it uses too many unnecessary words which can be omitted). Second, the opinion of the writer is not clear to the reader. A better example of a thesis would be:

'Teenagers under eighteen years of age should not have driving licenses as most are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of driving.'

This thesis statement is much better as the writer’s position is very clear, and uses a minimal number of words. Clear and concise should be your goal in all writing, but it is especially important when writing a thesis statement.

Summary

Remember! When you include a thesis statement in your introduction that is…

1. debatable
2. specific
3. has only one main argument
4. is clear and concise

…your essay will be focused and your reader will know exactly what to expect in the body paragraphs that follow your introduction. With a little practice, you can write high quality thesis statements that bring focus to all of your argumentative essays.

More information and practice with thesis statements:

http://create.arizona.edu/content/weak-thesis-statements-recognizing-and-fixing-them
http://www.uark.edu/campus-resources/qwrtcntr/resources/handouts/thesis.html
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/
http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/Handouts/How%20to%20Structure%20and%20Organize%20Your%20Paper.pdf

Now do the interactive activities on the right.

Let’s pretend you wrote the following as a working thesis statement for your persuasive essay:

Global climate change has been debated for many years.

Do you think this is a persuasive thesis statement? (HINT: Say “no”!)

  • NO: The thesis statement is a fact. It is not persuasive and not debatable.

If you answered “yes” and felt the thesis was persuasive, or if you answered “no” but couldn’t explain why the thesis isn’t effective, you might want to take time to review the basics of a thesis statement.

If you answered “no” and understand exactly why the above thesis isn’t persuasive, it’s probably a good idea to review thesis statements anyway. (After all, a little review never hurt anyone, right?)

If you just need a brief refresher on the finer points of a thesis statement, here are a few quick facts:

30 Persuasive Thesis Statement Examples

Now that you’ve reviewed thesis statement basics, let’s look at the examples. In this post, I’ve provided 30 persuasive essay topics and corresponding persuasive thesis statement examples.

I’ve also included links to example essays to provide a bit of writing inspiration. (If you’d like to see the information in table format, click the link at the end of this list.)

As you review these topics and persuasive thesis statement examples, keep this in mind: when you’re writing a persuasive essay, your thesis statement should attempt to convince your audience of your point of view.

In other words, it needs to be debatable. So as you write your own thesis statement, consider your stance on the subject and how you might craft a thesis statement that’s appropriate for your own essay.

Now on to those 30 persuasive thesis statement examples I promised!

1. Is a college education necessary?

A college education is not the right choice for everyone, as many students graduate with a large amount of student debt and limited job opportunities.

2. Does Facebook (or other forms of social media) create isolation?

College students who overuse Facebook may have interactive online lives, but in reality, they are more isolated than ever because they are missing out on true face-to-face interaction with their peers.

3. Should guns be permitted on college campuses?

Guns should not be permitted on college campuses due to the increased likelihood of violence and criminal activity.

4. Do kids benefit if everyone on the team receives a trophy?

Handing out trophies to everyone on a team has created a generation of children who feel entitled.

5. Is society too dependent on technology?

Due to increasing over-dependence on technology, many people struggle to think for themselves.

6. Should all high school students be required to complete parenting classes?

In order to both educate teens about life as a parent and to help prevent teenage pregnancy, high school students should be required to complete parenting classes.

7. Does the school day start too early?

Starting the school day at a later time will help increase students’ attentiveness because they will get more sleep and be more alert and focused in class.

8. Should the minimum wage be increased?

With the cost of living continually rising, minimum wage must be raised to help workers out of poverty.

9. Should elementary schools teach cursive handwriting?

Though many elementary schools no longer teach cursive handwriting, it is still an essential form of communication that should be taught in schools.

10. Should childhood vaccinations be mandatory?

Childhood vaccinations should be mandatory, as they are safe, reduce the risk of illness, and protect other people from contagious diseases.

11. Are security cameras an invasion of privacy?

Though security cameras are a necessary and valued part of society, strict regulations need to be mandated in order to maintain citizens’ rights to privacy.

12. Should citizens be allowed to keep exotic pets?

People should not be allowed to keep exotic pets, as it is unhealthy for the animal, dangerous for the owner, and dangerous for the community.

13. Should a relaxed dress code be allowed in the workplace?

A relaxed dress code is not appropriate in many business offices because it creates a relaxed and casual atmosphere that may cause customers to lose confidence in the business.

14. Is it ethical to sentence juveniles as adults?

Adolescents’ brains are not fully developed, and they are not yet capable of making adult decisions; thus, adolescents should not be sentenced as adults.

15. Should corporations be allowed to advertise in schools?

Advertising should not be allowed in public schools as it perpetuates a perceived importance on materialism.

16. Should public transportation be free for all residents of a city?

Free public transportation is a key step in reducing unemployment rates.

17. Is professional football too dangerous for players?

Due to recent discoveries about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the rules of professional football need to change in order to protect players’ health.

18. Should minors be allowed to get tattoos (if they have parental permission)?

Even with parental permission, minors should not be allowed to get tattoos, as minors are likely to later regret the choice as adults.

19. Should fracking be banned?

Due to the environmental damage it causes, fracking should be banned.

20. Should a college education be free for everyone?

Though some argue that free college education will increase graduation rates, in actuality, free tuition will have little impact on the present rates of graduation.

21. Should all violence be banned from children’s programming?

Evidence indicates that children mimic and internalize television programming, and because viewing violence can affect their emotional health, children’s programming should not contain any form of violence.

22. Should the paparazzi be required to give celebrities some amount of privacy?

Though the paparazzi should be allowed to photograph celebrities in public places, they should respect the right of celebrities not to be filmed on private property.

23. Does the US welfare system need to be reformed?

Due to the rampant abuse of welfare benefits by recipients, welfare needs to be reformed to create temporary, rather than permanent, assistance programs for those in need.

24. Should bilingual education be implemented in more schools across the US?

In order to help children learn English yet value their native languages, bilingual education should be implemented in schools across the United States.

25. Should students be required to volunteer in their communities in order to graduate from high school?

Though some students claim they do not have time to volunteer, being a volunteer teaches students compassion, empathy, and the importance of civic engagement, and should be required for high school graduation.

26. Is the fast food industry to blame for childhood obesity?

Though fast food is often high in calories and low in nutritional content, people cannot blame obesity on the fast food industry; individuals must be responsible for their own diets.

27. Can schools prevent cyber bullying?

Even though schools can educate children and regulate technology within the school, children and teens have access to technology outside of the classroom, making it almost impossible for the education system to truly stop cyber bullying.

28. Is an online education as good as a traditional education?

An online education is just as valuable as a traditional education, as online courses include the same content as traditional classes and have the added advantage of teaching students the importance of time management.

29. Should stem cell research be permitted?

Because of the enormous potential to both treat disease and save lives, embryonic stem cell research should not only be permitted but should also receive additional funding.

30. Should pet stores be required to sell rescue animals?

In order to stop the inhumane practices of breeders and reduce overcrowding in animal shelters, pet stores should be required to sell cats and dogs from adoption centers or shelters.

Click here to download this list of persuasive thesis statements as a PDF table.

Time to Write!

You’ve reviewed thesis statements. You’ve reviewed persuasive essays and persuasive essay topics. You’ve even reviewed persuasive thesis statement examples (and maybe even read some additional thesis examples).

Now the only things left are to choose your topic, craft your thesis, and begin prewriting and drafting.

If you need additional thesis statement help before you begin writing, check out these resources:

Remember: Kibin editors are always willing to review your paper (and your thesis statement).

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

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