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Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement Examples, How to Write, Tips

persuasive speech thesis statement examples

What is a Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement? – Definition

What is a good thesis statement example for a persuasive speech, 100 persuasive speech thesis statement examples.

  • Mandatory vaccinations are crucial for public health.
  • Vegetarianism can significantly reduce global environmental damage.
  • Schools should abolish standardized tests.
  • Solar energy is the future of global power.
  • Animal testing for cosmetics should be banned worldwide.
  • Online education can be more effective than traditional classroom settings.
  • Ban on single-use plastics is essential for marine conservation.
  • Euthanasia should be legalized under specific circumstances.
  • Governments should regulate social media to combat fake news.
  • Higher education should be free for all citizens.
  • Workplace dress codes are outdated and unnecessary.
  • Young adults should be mandated to take a gap year before college.
  • Juvenile offenders should never be treated as adults in the legal system.
  • Artificial intelligence poses more risks than benefits.
  • GMOs are safe and beneficial for global food security.
  • Children under 16 shouldn’t have access to smartphones.
  • Censorship in media does more harm than good.
  • Parents should be held accountable for their children’s cyberbullying actions.
  • Organic farming is essential for future food sustainability.
  • Space exploration is a waste of money that could be better spent on Earth’s problems.
  • Pro athletes deserve their high salaries due to their unique skills and market demand.
  • The death penalty is an outdated form of punishment.
  • Video games don’t lead to violent behavior in youths.
  • Mandatory voting would strengthen democracies.
  • Physical education in schools is essential for youth health.
  • Corporal punishment is detrimental to children’s well-being.
  • Taxing sugary drinks can decrease obesity rates.
  • All countries should adopt a universal basic income.
  • Modern zoos are ethical and beneficial for wildlife conservation.
  • Children’s exposure to screen time should be limited for cognitive development.
  • Countries should prioritize refugees over other immigrants.
  • Binge-watching TV shows can lead to psychological issues.
  • Public transport should be free to reduce traffic congestion.
  • Companies should be taxed more for carbon emissions.
  • Homeschooling can provide a more personalized education than traditional schools.
  • Medical marijuana should be legalized worldwide.
  • Advertising to children should be strictly regulated.
  • Fast fashion is detrimental to both the environment and society.
  • Child actors are often exploited and laws should protect them more rigorously.
  • Cybersecurity education should be a mandatory part of school curriculums.
  • Celebrity endorsements in politics do more harm than good.
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms promote inclusivity and should be standardized.
  • Self-driving cars are the solution to urban traffic woes.
  • The gig economy undermines workers’ rights.
  • Print books are superior to e-books for cognitive absorption.
  • Intermittent fasting has more benefits than traditional dieting.
  • Capitalism needs significant reforms to address modern challenges.
  • Professional networks are more beneficial than academic degrees in today’s job market.
  • Pets should be adopted from shelters instead of being purchased from breeders.
  • Drone deliveries are the future of e-commerce.
  • Modern architecture should prioritize sustainability over aesthetics.
  • Mental health days should be a standard employment benefit.
  • Religious institutions should pay taxes.
  • Athletes caught doping should face lifetime bans.
  • All public places should offer free Wi-Fi.
  • Parenting classes should be mandatory for expectant parents.
  • Soft skills are more important than hard skills in today’s workforce.
  • College athletes should be paid for their efforts.
  • Digital currency will replace traditional money.
  • Forest conservation is more important than urban expansion.
  • Remote work improves employee productivity and well-being.
  • Traditional college is becoming obsolete.
  • Public figures have a right to personal privacy.
  • Extreme adventure sports should have stricter regulations.
  • Recycling should be legally mandatory for households.
  • Local tourism is more sustainable than international travel.
  • Artificial sweeteners do more harm than natural sugars.
  • Digital detoxes are essential for mental health.
  • Nuclear energy is a necessary alternative in the climate change battle.
  • Fossil fuels need to be phased out within the next decade.
  • The pay gap is a pervasive issue that needs addressing.
  • Mandatory military service strengthens nations.
  • Multilingual education from a young age has cognitive and cultural benefits.
  • Cultural appropriation in fashion and art should be discouraged.
  • Childhood vaccination should not be optional.
  • Public speaking skills should be a mandatory part of the school curriculum.
  • Reality TV promotes negative stereotypes and should be reformed.
  • The 4-day workweek improves overall quality of life.
  • Bottled water is an environmental and economic disaster.
  • Governments should fund scientific research over military endeavors.
  • Telemedicine is as effective as in-person consultations.
  • The arts are just as important as sciences in education.
  • Elitism in Ivy League schools undermines the education system.
  • Human cloning has more ethical concerns than benefits.
  • Paternity leave should be equal to maternity leave.
  • Junk food advertising should be banned during children’s television programming.
  • Sustainable living should be a core part of school education.
  • Immigration policies should be more compassionate.
  • Philanthropy by billionaires isn’t a solution to systemic societal issues.
  • Traditional media is losing its credibility.
  • Fast food chains should be accountable for the obesity epidemic.
  • Urban gardens are essential for community well-being.
  • Virtual reality can revolutionize education.
  • Tabloid journalism threatens democratic processes.
  • Every city should have green rooftops.
  • Adventure travel is more than a trend; it’s a learning experience.
  • Plastics in cosmetics harm both the environment and consumers.
  • Youth activism is reshaping global politics.
  • The universal right to internet access should be a fundamental human right.
  • The rise of influencer culture negatively impacts societal values.

Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement Examples for College

  • Implementing mental health services in colleges is crucial to support student well-being.
  • Every college should offer free online course alternatives to reduce student costs.
  • Limiting textbook prices will make higher education more accessible.
  • Extracurricular activities are just as vital as academics in shaping a student’s character.
  • Campus security measures should be increased to ensure student safety.
  • Colleges should foster an environment that promotes free speech and open dialogue.
  • The fraternity and sorority system requires an overhaul to combat systemic issues.
  • Online courses can be more tailored and efficient than traditional classroom lectures.
  • Mandatory internships should be integrated into every college curriculum.
  • College tuition fees should be proportional to post-graduate income levels.

Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement Examples on Pollution

  • Air pollution’s long-term health impacts make it a silent global crisis.
  • Ocean plastic pollution threatens not only marine life but human survival.
  • Urbanization without proper waste management systems exacerbates land pollution.
  • Implementing stricter emission standards can significantly reduce vehicular pollution.
  • Industrial water pollution is the leading cause of freshwater habitat loss.
  • Noise pollution in urban areas has unrecognized psychological implications.
  • Electronic waste is the new environmental crisis of the digital age.
  • Encouraging sustainable agriculture can mitigate soil pollution.
  • Light pollution affects human circadian rhythms and needs to be addressed.
  • The cosmetic industry must be held accountable for microplastic pollution.

Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement Examples for Introduction

  • Today’s consumerist society threatens the planet’s finite resources.
  • Advancements in technology are eroding genuine human connections.
  • Our dietary choices have profound implications for our health and environment.
  • Childhood education shapes a nation’s future more than any policy.
  • The rise of digital currencies can revolutionize the global financial system.
  • The media landscape shapes public perception more than factual events.
  • Combating climate change is not a choice but a necessity.
  • The fashion industry’s practices are at odds with ethical consumerism.
  • Urban planning and green spaces directly impact societal well-being.
  • The future of transportation lies in sustainable energy sources.

Persuasive Speech Thesis Statement Examples for Conclusion

  • Confronting gender biases isn’t a niche issue but central to societal progress.
  • Without collective action, endangered species face an irreversible fate.
  • Privacy in the digital age is not a luxury, but a fundamental right.
  • Without conscious effort, traditional cultures risk fading into oblivion.
  • Sustainable living isn’t a trend but the only way forward.
  • Local businesses are the backbone of a thriving community.
  • Without reforms, the healthcare system will collapse under its weight.
  • The arts, often underfunded, are essential for holistic human development.
  • Youth engagement in politics can reshape outdated policies.
  • Technology, without ethical boundaries, poses a threat to human autonomy.

How do you start a thesis statement for a persuasive speech?

  • Identify Your Topic : Understand the topic you’ll be addressing. This might seem obvious, but having a clear topic in mind ensures your thesis remains focused.
  • Understand Your Audience : Tailor your thesis statement to appeal to the audience’s values, beliefs, and interests.
  • State Your Position Clearly : A persuasive speech thesis statement must make a claim or express an opinion that you will support and develop throughout the speech.
  • Make It Arguable : Ensure your thesis presents a viewpoint someone might challenge. It should not be a plain statement of fact.
  • Keep It Concise : An effective thesis is concise and direct, avoiding vague words or overly complex sentence structures.
  • Start with a Strong Word : Words like “must,” “should,” “ought to,” can make your thesis more forceful.

How do you write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay? – Step by Step Guide

Tips for writing a persuasive speech thesis statement.

  • Be Clear and Direct : Avoid ambiguity. Your audience should immediately understand your stance.
  • Stay Focused : Your thesis should address one main idea or argument. Avoid trying to tackle too many issues at once.
  • Back It Up : While the thesis itself is a statement, always ensure you have evidence to support your claim in the body of your speech.
  • Avoid Neutral Language : Use strong, definitive language to convey your position.
  • Test Your Thesis : Before finalizing, ask yourself if someone could oppose your thesis. If the answer is no, it might not be argumentative enough.
  • Position It Properly : Typically, the thesis statement should be among the first things your audience hears, so they understand the context and direction of your speech.
  • Stay Authentic : While it’s essential to be persuasive, ensure your thesis aligns with your beliefs and knowledge. Authenticity can make your argument more convincing.

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14 Crafting a Thesis Statement

Learning Objectives

  • Craft a thesis statement that is clear, concise, and declarative.
  • Narrow your topic based on your thesis statement and consider the ways that your main points will support the thesis.

Crafting a Thesis Statement

A  thesis statement  is a short, declarative sentence that states the purpose, intent, or main idea of a speech. A strong, clear thesis statement is very valuable within an introduction because it lays out the basic goal of the entire speech. We strongly believe that it is worthwhile to invest some time in framing and writing a good thesis statement. You may even want to write your thesis statement before you even begin conducting research for your speech. While you may end up rewriting your thesis statement later, having a clear idea of your purpose, intent, or main idea before you start searching for research will help you focus on the most appropriate material. To help us understand thesis statements, we will first explore their basic functions and then discuss how to write a thesis statement.

Basic Functions of a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement helps your audience by letting them know, clearly and concisely, what you are going to talk about. A strong thesis statement will allow your reader to understand the central message of your speech. You will want to be as specific as possible. A thesis statement for informative speaking should be a declarative statement that is clear and concise; it will tell the audience what to expect in your speech. For persuasive speaking, a thesis statement should have a narrow focus and should be arguable, there must be an argument to explore within the speech. The exploration piece will come with research, but we will discuss that in the main points. For now, you will need to consider your specific purpose and how this relates directly to what you want to tell this audience. Remember, no matter if your general purpose is to inform or persuade, your thesis will be a declarative statement that reflects your purpose.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Now that we’ve looked at why a thesis statement is crucial in a speech, let’s switch gears and talk about how we go about writing a solid thesis statement. A thesis statement is related to the general and specific purposes of a speech.

Once you have chosen your topic and determined your purpose, you will need to make sure your topic is narrow. One of the hardest parts of writing a thesis statement is narrowing a speech from a broad topic to one that can be easily covered during a five- to seven-minute speech. While five to seven minutes may sound like a long time for new public speakers, the time flies by very quickly when you are speaking. You can easily run out of time if your topic is too broad. To ascertain if your topic is narrow enough for a specific time frame, ask yourself three questions.

Is your speech topic a broad overgeneralization of a topic?

Overgeneralization occurs when we classify everyone in a specific group as having a specific characteristic. For example, a speaker’s thesis statement that “all members of the National Council of La Raza are militant” is an overgeneralization of all members of the organization. Furthermore, a speaker would have to correctly demonstrate that all members of the organization are militant for the thesis statement to be proven, which is a very difficult task since the National Council of La Raza consists of millions of Hispanic Americans. A more appropriate thesis related to this topic could be, “Since the creation of the National Council of La Raza [NCLR] in 1968, the NCLR has become increasingly militant in addressing the causes of Hispanics in the United States.”

Is your speech’s topic one clear topic or multiple topics?

A strong thesis statement consists of only a single topic. The following is an example of a thesis statement that contains too many topics: “Medical marijuana, prostitution, and Women’s Equal Rights Amendment should all be legalized in the United States.” Not only are all three fairly broad, but you also have three completely unrelated topics thrown into a single thesis statement. Instead of a thesis statement that has multiple topics, limit yourself to only one topic. Here’s an example of a thesis statement examining only one topic: Ratifying the Women’s Equal Rights Amendment as equal citizens under the United States law would protect women by requiring state and federal law to engage in equitable freedoms among the sexes.

Does the topic have direction?

If your basic topic is too broad, you will never have a solid thesis statement or a coherent speech. For example, if you start off with the topic “Barack Obama is a role model for everyone,” what do you mean by this statement? Do you think President Obama is a role model because of his dedication to civic service? Do you think he’s a role model because he’s a good basketball player? Do you think he’s a good role model because he’s an excellent public speaker? When your topic is too broad, almost anything can become part of the topic. This ultimately leads to a lack of direction and coherence within the speech itself. To make a cleaner topic, a speaker needs to narrow her or his topic to one specific area. For example, you may want to examine why President Obama is a good public speaker.

Put Your Topic into a Declarative Sentence

You wrote your general and specific purpose. Use this information to guide your thesis statement. If you wrote a clear purpose, it will be easy to turn this into a declarative statement.

General purpose: To inform

Specific purpose: To inform my audience about the lyricism of former President Barack Obama’s presentation skills.

Your thesis statement needs to be a declarative statement. This means it needs to actually state something. If a speaker says, “I am going to talk to you about the effects of social media,” this tells you nothing about the speech content. Are the effects positive? Are they negative? Are they both? We don’t know. This sentence is an announcement, not a thesis statement. A declarative statement clearly states the message of your speech.

For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Or you could state, “Socal media has both positive and negative effects on users.”

Adding your Argument, Viewpoint, or Opinion

If your topic is informative, your job is to make sure that the thesis statement is nonargumentative and focuses on facts. For example, in the preceding thesis statement, we have a couple of opinion-oriented terms that should be avoided for informative speeches: “unique sense,” “well-developed,” and “power.” All three of these terms are laced with an individual’s opinion, which is fine for a persuasive speech but not for an informative speech. For informative speeches, the goal of a thesis statement is to explain what the speech will be informing the audience about, not attempting to add the speaker’s opinion about the speech’s topic. For an informative speech, you could rewrite the thesis statement to read, “Barack Obama’s use of lyricism in his speech, ‘A World That Stands as One,’ delivered July 2008 in Berlin demonstrates exceptional use of rhetorical strategies. 

On the other hand, if your topic is persuasive, you want to make sure that your argument, viewpoint, or opinion is clearly indicated within the thesis statement. If you are going to argue that Barack Obama is a great speaker, then you should set up this argument within your thesis statement.

For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Once you have a clear topic sentence, you can start tweaking the thesis statement to help set up the purpose of your speech.

Thesis Checklist

Once you have written a first draft of your thesis statement, you’re probably going to end up revising your thesis statement a number of times prior to delivering your actual speech. A thesis statement is something that is constantly tweaked until the speech is given. As your speech develops, often your thesis will need to be rewritten to whatever direction the speech itself has taken. We often start with a speech going in one direction, and find out through our research that we should have gone in a different direction. When you think you finally have a thesis statement that is good to go for your speech, take a second and make sure it adheres to the criteria shown below.

Thesis checklist questions.

Preview of Speech

The preview, as stated in the introduction portion of our readings, reminds us that we will need to let the audience know what the main points in our speech will be. You will want to follow the thesis with the preview of your speech. Your preview will allow the audience to follow your main points in a sequential manner. Spoiler alert: The preview when stated out loud will remind you of main point 1, main point 2, and main point 3 (etc. if you have more or less main points). It is a built in memory card!

For Future Reference | How to organize this in an outline |


Attention Getter: Background information: Credibility: Thesis: Preview:

Key Takeaways

Introductions are foundational to an effective public speech.

  • A thesis statement is instrumental to a speech that is well-developed and supported.
  • Be sure that you are spending enough time brainstorming strong attention getters and considering your audience’s goal(s) for the introduction.
  • A strong thesis will allow you to follow a roadmap throughout the rest of your speech: it is worth spending the extra time to ensure you have a strong thesis statement.

Stand up, Speak out  by University of Minnesota is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Persuasive Speech Topics & Thesis Statements

Choose and research your topic before trying to form your thesis statement.

The topic and thesis statement of a persuasive speech are both key parts of the speech. The topic is what defines the speech's content, while the thesis statement defines its argument. It is therefore crucial that these both be well thought out and, of course, related to one another. It is also important to separate the topic from the thesis statement -- while they are related, they are not interchangeable.

Explore this article

  • Serious Topics
  • Thesis Statements for Serious Topics
  • Lighthearted Topics
  • Thesis Statements for Lighthearted Topics

1 Serious Topics

Some persuasive speech topics are serious in nature; different opinions on them can make the difference between life and death for certain populations. These include terrorism, climate change, foreign intervention, poverty, taxes and a variety of other issues that tend both to inspire debate and to affect large numbers of people on a day-to-day basis.

2 Thesis Statements for Serious Topics

It is not possible to write a persuasive speech just on "taxes" or "foreign intervention," because there is no contestable issue in these titles -- rather, these things simply exist. The thesis statement is what makes the speech persuasive. A speech on taxes, then, might open with the thesis statement, "Taxes need to be raised if we are to help our most vulnerable citizens," or "Taxes need to be lowered if we want to encourage economic growth and effectively distribute wealth." These arguments both present a clear point of view that needs to be defended in the speech.

3 Lighthearted Topics

A variety of topics that affect people on a day-to-day basis are not a matter of life and death. People may relate to these topics more readily than the serious topics, but they will also probably not be as divided or passionate about them. A more lighthearted persuasive speech topic might be something like "small monitors," "mismatched shirts and shoes" or "the snooze button."

4 Thesis Statements for Lighthearted Topics

The thesis statements for these lighthearted topics should follow the same mindset as the topics themselves. So the declarations "Small monitors should be eradicated for the sake of our vision and sanity" and "Mismatched outfits don't matter" are all excellent thesis statements because they put forth a clear argument that needs to be backed up with evidence throughout the speech.

  • 1 Best Persuasive Speech Topics: Fun Persuasive Speech Topics

About the Author

Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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How to Create a Thesis Statement for a Persuasive Essay

A strong thesis statement is key to writing a persuasive essay. The thesis statement presents your topic to the reader, provides your opinion on that topic and summarizes the argument you’ll make in the paper by offering evidence for your opinion. A good thesis statement should capture all of these essential details in just one or two sentences. The thesis statement generally appears after a brief introduction of your topic, often as the last sentence of your first paragraph. The following information will help you write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay.

Express an Opinion

When you sit down to write a thesis statement, make sure that you have a clear opinion about your topic. That’s because a thesis statement must include a claim that others might dispute. Your thesis summarizes the argument you’ll be making in your paper, so you want to make sure that your point of view is clear and debatable. An easy way to test your thesis is to ask yourself whether your reader could challenge or oppose your thesis statement. If your thesis simply states facts that someone couldn’t disagree with, you may simply be summarizing an issue rather than presenting a clear point of view.

Be Specific

A strong thesis statement is focused and specific. The reader should know exactly what you’re going to argue and why. “Online education is a great choice for students” is a weak thesis because it’s not specific or focused enough. A stronger thesis would be, “Online classes are a better choice than traditional classroom learning because they’re more flexible for students and teachers, they're less expensive and they let students works at their own pace.”

Include Evidence

It’s important to include evidence in your thesis statement to help support your opinion. Doing so tells readers that you understand the topic and have performed some research, which gives you more credibility as a persuasive writer. It also creates a road map for readers, so they know what evidence you’ll discuss with more detail in the paper. For example, if your thesis is, “Companies should not test their products on animals because it’s inhumane and unethical, and it doesn’t always lead to accurate results,” the reader knows right away what your opinion is and what evidence you'll provide to support that opinion in your paper.

Pass the "How and Why" Test

Your thesis statement should answer one or both of two key questions: “how” and “why.” For example, if you think that online learning is more effective for students than traditional instruction, then your thesis should tell readers how or why it’s more effective. If a reader can't determine the "how" or "why" from your thesis statement, your thesis might be too open-ended, and you may need to revise it to be more specific or to clarify your point of view.

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Thesis Statements
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  • Odyssey: From Paragraph to Essay; William J. Kelly and Deborah L. Lawton.

Amy Mahoney has been a writer for more than 15 years. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines including “The Boston Globe,” “Reader’s Digest” and the “Miami Herald.” She holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.

Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.

Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused. Since a thesis is so important, it’s probably a good idea to look at some tips on how to put together a strong one.

Guide Overview

What is a “thesis statement” anyway.

  • 2 categories of thesis statements: informative and persuasive
  • 2 styles of thesis statements
  • Formula for a strong argumentative thesis
  • The qualities of a solid thesis statement (video)

You may have heard of something called a “thesis.” It’s what seniors commonly refer to as their final paper before graduation. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That type of thesis is a long, well-written paper that takes years to piece together.

Instead, we’re talking about a single sentence that ties together the main idea of any argument . In the context of student essays, it’s a statement that summarizes your topic and declares your position on it. This sentence can tell a reader whether your essay is something they want to read.

2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive

Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay.

For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.

To make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments.

This thesis showed the reader the topic (a type of sandwich) and the direction the essay will take (describing how the sandwich is made).

Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.

In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.

2 Styles of Thesis Statements

Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.

The first style uses a list of two or more points . This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments.

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the richest works of the 20th century because it offers an escape from reality, teaches readers to have faith even when they don’t understand, and contains a host of vibrant characters.

In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. 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.

Good vs. evil is the main theme of Lewis’s Narnia series, as is made clear through the struggles the main characters face in each book.

In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. The broader scope of this thesis allows me to write about each of the series’ seven novels. 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. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:

___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:

___________________ is true because of _____________________.

Students usually end up using different terminology than simply “because,” but having a template is always helpful to get the creative juices flowing.

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.

Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.

Position: A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences.

Strength: Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.

Example of weak thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.

Most people would agree that PB&J is one of the easiest sandwiches in the American lunch repertoire.

Example of a stronger thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.

This is more arguable because there are plenty of folks who might think a PB&J is messy or slimy rather than fun.

Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay. However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think.

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