Controversial Thesis Statement

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Setting out to prove the validity of your point of view as your paper develops marks the difference between stating an opinion and presenting an argument.

Although the thesis statement’s purpose is different from that of the guiding idea, the two are similar in some very important ways.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow.

We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

If it isn't stated, identify which of the characteristics discussed above that it violates.

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject.

Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like "because," "since," "so," "although," "unless," and "however." A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic.

For example, if you write a paper on hunger, you might say: This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons.

For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate.

Here are two thesis statements: This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand.


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