Writing Tips: Thesis Statements


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15 Thesis Statement Examples to Inspire Your Next Argumentative Essay

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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. “Let’s see if this author can convince me.”

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 .

The Thesis Statement Dissected

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.

thesis statement examples

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.

Bad ExampleDon’t write:

“Eating fast food is bad and should be avoided.”

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?

Good exampleDo write:

“Americans should eliminate the regular consumption of fast food because a fast food diet leads to preventable and expensive health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.”

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”).

thesis statement examplesThis age-old, neon-colored, bangle-wearing, peg-legged wisdom holds true today—in your thesis statement.

Bad Example

Don’t write:

“There are high numbers of homeless people living in Berkeley, California.”

No one can argue for or against this statement. It’s not debatable. It’s just a fact.

An argument over this non-debatable statement would go something like this:

“There are lots of homeless people in Berkeley.”

“Yes, there sure are a bunch of them out there.”

“Yup.”

As you can see, that’s not much of an argument.

Good exampleDo write:

“Homeless people in Berkeley should be given access to services—such as regular food donations, public restrooms, and camping facilities—because it would improve life for all inhabitants of the city.”

Now that’s debatable.

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.

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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 .

Bad ExampleDon’t write:

“Secondhand smoke is bad and can cause heart disease and cancer; therefore, smoking should be outlawed in public places, but outlawing smoking is unfair to smokers so maybe non-smokers can just hold their breath or wear masks around smokers instead.”

A wishy-washy statement like this will make your reader scratch his head in puzzlement. Are you for smoking laws or against them? Yankees or Mets? Mets or Yankees?

Pick a side , and stick with it!

Then stick up for it.

Good exampleDo write:

“Secondhand smoke is just as harmful as smoking and leads to a higher prevalence of cancer and heart disease; therefore, smoking in any public place should be banned.”

Pick a side, and stick with it! Then stick up for it.

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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 .

Bad ExampleDon’t write:

“Humans should relocate to Mars.”

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?

Good exampleDo write:

“It is too late to save earth; therefore, humans should immediately set a date for their relocation to Mars, where they can, with proper planning, avoid issues of famine, war, and global warming.”

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? Go on…”)

thesis statement examples

Looking for even more help understanding the key components of a strong thesis statement? Check out these posts:

  • How to Write a Thesis Statement in 5 Simple Steps
  • How to Turn a Good Thesis Statement Into a Great One
  • How to Make a Thesis Statement the Easy Way (Infographic)
  • How to Write a Compare and Contrast 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.

Stuck On Your Essay?
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15 Thesis Statement Examples

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!

#1. Vaccinations should be mandatory

Inspired by this sample essay on vaccinations .

Vaccinations against diseases such as polio, rubella, and mumps should be mandatory for all U.S. children who wish to attend school as these vaccinations are critical to the control and eradication of deadly infectious diseases.

#2. Government surveillance is harmful

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.

#3. Organ donors should be financially compensated

Inspired by this sample essay on organ donation .

Organ donors should be financially compensated to increase the supply of available organs and, at the same time, to decrease profitable, illegal organ-harvesting activities in the black market.

#4. Schools are too dependent on technology

thesis statement examples

Inspired by this sample essay on technology dependence .

Schools’ dependence on technology has caused students to lose the ability to think independently, leading to a greater prevalence of mood disorders, memory loss, and loneliness.

#5. School officials should fight cyberbullying

Inspired by this sample essay on cyberbullying .

In order to improve the online behavior of students and decrease cyberbullying-related suicide attempts, school officials should have the authority to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying .

#6. The U.S. media should update the depiction of traditional families

Inspired by this sample essay on families .

The U.S. media depicts the traditional family as comprising a mother, father, and children; however, this notion of the traditional family is outdated and can be harmful to children who look to this as the gold standard.

#7. Student loans should be forgiven

Inspired by this sample essay on student loans .

Crippling student debt is stifling the growth of the U.S. economy because it inhibits graduates from being able to spend money on consumer goods and home purchases.

#8. Marijuana should be legalized

Inspired by this sample essay on legalizing marijuana .

Marijuana has numerous medical applications, such as treating symptoms of epilepsy, cancer, and glaucoma. Legalizing the use of marijuana in the United States will greatly benefit the medical sector by giving physicians the ability to prescribe this life-saving drug.

#9. Foreign aid to Africa does not work

Inspired by this sample essay on foreign aid to Africa .

Sending foreign aid to African countries is doing more harm than good because the practice has caused African countries to become vulnerable to inflation, currency fluctuations, corruption, and civil unrest.

#10. China’s one-child policy led to unintended and negative consequences

Inspired by this sample essay on China’s one-child policy .

China’s one-child policy was intended to help control population growth; however, it led to unintended and negative consequences, such as a diminishing labor force, an aging population, the neglect of basic human rights, and an unbalanced gender population.

#11. Advertising to children is beneficial to the economy

thesis statement examples

Inspired by this sample essay on advertising to children .

Though some argue that advertising to children is harmful, it is actually a positive marketing technique that spurs economic growth.

#12. Most teen celebrities should not be role models for children

Inspired by this sample essay on teen celebrities as role models .

Teen celebrities often engage in inappropriate and sometimes illegal activities and thus should not be considered role models for children.

#13. The current welfare system promotes dependency

Inspired by this sample essay about the abuse of welfare .

The welfare system was designed to assist those in need; however, the current system does more harm than good by promoting government dependency.

Stuck On Your Essay?
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Try it now. It’s free!

#14. Schools should start at a later time of day

Inspired by this sample essay about school start times .

Beginning the school day at a later time would stabilize students’ sleep patterns, improve students’ moods, and increase students’ academic success.

#15. Schools should distribute birth control to teens

Inspired by this sample essay about birth control distribution in schools .

Though some argue that distributing condoms to teens means that schools are encouraging sexual behavior, schools should distribute birth control to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Now…Turn Your Thesis Statement Into an Essay

Any one of these thesis statement examples will get you started on the road to writing an awesome argumentative essay, but if none of these thesis statements or topics are working for you, try one of these:

  • 70 Argumentative Essay Topics That Will Put Up a Good Fight
  • 30 Argumentative Essay Ideas That Will Pick a Good Fight

Have a topic and thesis but need to put all of your ideas into essay format ? Try prewriting ,  outlining , or using a graphic organizer to help organize information.

Once your essay is finished, feel free to send it to a  Kibin editor , who can check for grammar errors, sentence structure issues, and of course, the strength of your thesis.

Good luck with your essay!

Stuck On Your Essay?
Try the Thesis Statement Builder
Try it now. It’s free!
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Psst… 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .

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English 3201

Handout: How to Write an Opinion Essay

 

The basic five-paragraph essay structure, which you have
probably used many times by this point, works extremely well for an opinion
essay. It�s a starting point, and when you get to university your profs will expect a more complex approach to essay writing.
If you feel confident about your essay-writing skills, you can certainly branch
out into longer and more complex essays. But this basic five-paragraph outline
is a good starting point, especially if you feel uncertain of your ability.

 

An opinion essay exists to prove your main point � your thesis. This should be clearly stated
in your opening paragraph. Don�t
leave the reader to guess what your position is on the issue � make a clear
stand!

 

Next, develop
your argument in the body of your essay. Each paragraph should contain a single, clear idea that support your point of view. You
can use examples and illustration, cause-and-effect reasoning,
comparison/contrast or other methods of development to support your argument.

 

Research: Any
statements you make that would cause a reader to say, �Wait, how do you know
that�s true?� need to be backed up with documentation from outside sources (�I
saw something on TV about it one time� would not be considered adequate
documentation). Refer to the handout �What is Research?� for further details.

 

Remember that a
paragraph is three to five sentences that develop a single, clear idea.A good paragraph often begins with a topic sentence that sums up your main
idea.

 

        
Paragraph One — The introduction.Here you state the main idea of your entire
essay — the point you are trying to make or prove.This paragraph should include your thesis statement plus three reasons why you believe this
statement to be true.

 

        
Paragraphs Two, Three and Four.These are the body of your essay.Remember back in Paragraph One, you gave
three reasons for your opinion? Three reasons, three body paragraphs.Each of the body paragraphs should take one of your reasons and explain it in
more detail, citing sources where necessary.

 

        
Paragraph Five — The conclusion.Former Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood
once said about giving speeches: "First I tell them what I’m going to tell
them, then I tell them, then I tell them what I told them."That’s how you write an essay.In the conclusion, tell them what you told
them.Sum up your argument by restating
your thesis statement and reminding the reader what your three reasons
were.In an argumentative essay, you can
finish with a "call to action" — tell the reader what you would like
them to do as a result.



Sample Five-Paragraph Essay

Subject: Should
parents have their children vaccinated?

 

 

Title

Author�s
Name

 

 

Paragraph
One
: Introduction

 

Three reasons for my opinion

 

Thesis statement

 

 

 

Paragraph
Two
: Develops the first reason by giving examples

 

Topic Sentence

 

 

Paragraph
Three:

Topic Sentence

 

Develops the second reason, giving facts and
statistics to support the statement.

 

Paragraph
Four:

Topic sentence

 

Develops third reason, giving an example

 

 

 

Paragraph
Five:
Conclusion

Restatement of thesis

Summary of reasons

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Vaccinate Your Kids

sample essay for student
use by Trudy Morgan-Cole

 

Since
Edward Jenner introduced the first successful smallpox vaccine by injecting
an eight-year-old boy with cowpox pus in 1796, vaccines have been an
important part of public health care around the world (�Edward Jenner�). Yet
today, many parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Because vaccines
are widely supported by research, have few side effects, and have proven
successful in halting the spread of disease, I believe it is important
that all parents continue to vaccinate their children.

 

All
major health organizations, including the Centres
for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, recommend vaccination.
The value of vaccination is supported by research from around the world,
and researchers are constantly working to improve the safety and
effectiveness of vaccines
. Epidemiologists, the scientists whose job is
to study the outbreak of disease, all recommend vaccination.

 

Many
parents worry about the safety of vaccines. While side effects do occur,
they are usually minor
, like redness or swelling around the site of an
injection. In Canada, only about one in a million doses of vaccine leads to serious side effects (�Fact and Fiction�). The
most famous study linking vaccines to autism, one which got many parents
worried about vaccination, has been proven false and the doctor who conducted
the study has had his medical license taken away (Triggle).

 

Around
the world, increased vaccination leads to better public health.
Diseases like smallpox and polio which once killed
and disabled millions of people are virtually unknown today thanks to
immunization programs. Yet in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where
the Taliban discourage immunization, rates of polio are on the rise again (Nordland).

 

If
and when you have children, please get them vaccinated. The risks are minimal
and you�ll not only be following the best advice of medical science and
protecting your own child from disease; you�ll be helping in the fight to
eradicate infectious diseases in your community and around the world.

 

Sources Cited

 

�Edward Jenner
(1749-1823),� BBC History: Historic Figures.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/jenner_edward.shtml

 

�Immunization Fact and
Fiction,� Public Health Agency of Canada.
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iyc-vve/fic

 

Nordland, Rod, �After Year of Decline, PolioCases in Afghanistan Triple in a
Year.� The New York Times, Jan. 17,
2012.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/world/asia/after-years-of-decline-polio-cases-in-afghanistan-rise.html

 

Triggle, Nick, �MMR Doctor Struck from Register,� BBC News.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8695267.stm