Thesis Statements: Crafting a Claim Backed by Reasoning

Thesis Statements: Crafting a Claim Backed by Reasoning

Overview of Thesis Statements

A clear and well-developed thesis statement is, in many cases, the backbone of most essays and research papers. The thesis statement presents your argument to your reader, making your stance or your position clear. A solid thesis statement can also provide structure for your writing. Even in non-argumentative writing, such as narrative essays, you can still use your thesis statement to express your purpose for writing.

In your thesis statement, you can provide the overarching claims you plan to make, as well as your reasoning for those claims. You can think of the thesis statement as being made up of two parts: the position and the reasoning. The position is the overall point you are making, and the reasoning is the explanation or logic behind that position. When you include both the position and the reasoning, your thesis statement shows your readers how you intend to structure your writing. For more on organization in your writing, see the Stone Writing Center (SWC) handout on this topic.

Argumentative Thesis Statements

When it comes to argumentative thesis statements, these statements are not argumentative for the sake of conflict; rather, you are writing to inform and persuade your readers, advancing their understanding of your topic. It might be helpful to even think of argumentative thesis statements like a road map that guides your writing as a whole. For more on argumentative writing, see the SWC handouts on this topic.

An argumentative thesis statement makes a clear assertion, taking a stance and providing details to support that stance. An effective argumentative thesis statement helps to persuade the reader by providing an outline of the main claims and reasoning for those claims.

Examples of Thesis Statements

Each of these sample thesis statements takes a stance on a subject and states a claim, then provides supporting details to convey the reasoning for the claim/s. The position or claim is in bold, and the reasoning is in italics.

Adults should eat apples more regularly because the fruit has many health benefits including lowering risk for heart disease, improving digestion, and promoting weight loss.

The Stone Writing Center is a convenient learning resource for Del Mar College as it provides a place where students can get help with their writing and offers multiple services for all writers.

Because of the convenience, low prices, and diverse options, people should get rid of cable and join streaming services instead.

Del Mar College is a great option to further one’s education because it offers many different academic programs, has a lower cost than surrounding universities, and provides dual-enrollment courses for high school students.

Because public libraries give citizens access to free books, technological resources, and other helpful learning programs, these institutions deserve more city funding.

To demonstrate the theme that family can be made through friends, The Avengers* movie uses characterization, conflict, and allusion.
*Note: Movie titles, such as The Avengers, are usually italicized.

By providing readers with the main claim or position, as well as the reasoning or explanations for said claim, thesis statements allow you to effectively communicate the overall argument you intend to make in your writing.

Page last updated July 12, 2023.