Course Content
Chapter 3: Writing Mechanics Help
Chapter 12: Teaching Writing
Chapter 23: Teaching Reading
College English Composition: Help and Review
About Lesson

The Importance of a Thesis

So, you are hoping to write a persuasive essay, one that attempts to convince your audience that they should agree with you on a particular topic or theme. One of the things that is going to make or break your essay is the thesis statement. Essentially, a thesis statement summarizes the primary argument of your essay and foreshadows the major points you are going to make. It also grabs your readers’ attention and provides them with built-in motivation to continue reading your work. Usually, thesis statements are placed near the beginning of a work, often at the end of an introductory paragraph or lead-in of some sort. Toward the end of the essay, you may choose to rephrase your thesis as a way of leaving your readers with something to think about as they move away from your essay.

In persuasive writing, the thesis statement is particularly important because it encapsulates precisely what you are hoping to persuade your readers of. A reader should be able to move away from the thesis statement with a clear understanding of your major argument. This lesson provides you with some examples of what a persuasive thesis might look like. Obviously, your statement will reflect your particular style as well as the nature of the topic you are writing about, but these examples can function as templates for persuasive thesis statements.

Persuasive Thesis Statement Examples

Baseball is the most exciting, invigorating, and captivating sport.

A thesis statement like this one is particularly good for an essay in which you are trying to persuade your readers of the merits of one thing, whether it is a sport, a food, a movie, an animal, or something else entirely. You are not arguing against an opposition, simply for what you believe in. This thesis statement also sets the stage for an organizational structure oriented around the three major adjectives in the thesis.

Because of the needs of adolescents and their families, the high school start time in our community should be pushed back by one hour.

This kind of thesis statement is obviously oriented toward persuading readers of a specific viewpoint in relation to an issue with which they are at least somewhat familiar. The thesis statement articulates a generalized version of the main reasoning behind the argument, establishing an expectation that this thinking will be delineated in the essay. The thesis statement is clear and specific without getting into unnecessary detail.

If you are looking for a charity to donate to, look no further than Save the Trees!

This sort of thesis statement may sound less scholarly and more like an advertisement. It is oriented toward convincing readers to take specific and immediate action on a particular topic. The rest of the essay following a thesis statement like this one would offer three to five reasons why this particular charity is great. This sort of thesis statement is perfect for writing that hopes to achieve a specific, immediate, and measurable goal.

Children should exercise because it is good for their physical well-being, boosts their energy level, and promotes a positive relationship to their bodies.

This thesis statement demonstrates the importance of a positive framework to begin a piece of writing. The same argument could be made in reverse: Children who do not exercise are unhealthy, for example, or children should not sit around all the time. However, orienting persuasive writing toward what should happen or what readers should encourage or do makes a more compelling and appealing argument, as well as one less likely to alienate readers.

In this essay, I will argue that all teenagers should read J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Sometimes, it is helpful to state outright what your essay will be about. Choosing to write your thesis statement this way can be helpful for improving the clarity of the argument. No one will have any cause to doubt what you are writing about, and all readers will be able to pinpoint your direction and purpose. Further, stating your goal outright can be a nice way to achieve an organization in which you do not deviate from working toward your overall purpose. All subsequent writing will point back to the thesis and what it promises to do.

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