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ENGL 1101: Argumentative Essay   Tags: english, laface  

Last Updated: May 30, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Writing Resources Print Page

Working Thesis

Developing a Working Thesis: follow this outline in helping you to get started writing the essay.


1.  State your general subject. (your position on the required topic based on freewrite of your choosing)

2.  State your narrowed and restricted topic. (your position on ... because....)

3.  List at least three questions you hope to answer in your paper.




4.  List at least four subtopics you paper could explore.





5.  Write your tentative thesis in a complete declarative sentence.

6.  List the sources you will use to support your thesis.  (Wikipedia not allowed.) Remember, sources are not required for this essay!





Thesis Statement

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement


1.Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience (this is NOT the assignment).
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text which does not fall under these three categories (ex. a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific--it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples


Example of an analytical thesis statement:

An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

  • explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • explain the challenge facing admissions counselors


Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement (not this assignment):

The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

  • explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers


Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

  • present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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Dr. Betty LaFace
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Bainbridge State College
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