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.
A well-constructed thesis serves as a lighthouse for your readers, offering them a guiding light in the stormy sea of claims and evidence that make up your argumentative essay.
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 will give you 10 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.
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.
Don’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?
Do write, “Americans should eliminate the regular consumption of fast food because the 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. (Because, as we all know, inhabitants of the faraway planet Doublepatty 5 require the starches and fats inherent in fast food to survive).
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”). This age-old, neon-colored, bangle-wearing, peg-legged wisdom holds true today—in your thesis statement.
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.”
As you can see, that’s not much of an argument.
Do 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.”
Opponents could 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!”).
3. A good argumentative thesis picks a side.
I went into a lot of detail about the importance of picking sides in my post The Secrets of a Strong Argumentative Essay. 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.
Don’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.
Do write, “Secondhand smoke is just as harmful as smoking and leads to a higher prevalence of cancer and heart disease. What’s worse, people who inhale secondhand smoke are doing so without consent. For this reason, smoking in any public place should be banned.”
4. A good thesis makes claims that will be supported later in the paper.
As I explained in my blog 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.
Don’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?
Do write, “It is too late to save earth; therefore, humans should immediately set a date for their relocation to Mars where, with proper planning, they can 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…”)
Now that you understand the four main components of a good thesis statement, let me give you more thesis statement examples.
10 Thesis Statement ExamplesFinally, I’ve come up with 10 debatable, supportable, and focused thesis statements for you to learn from. Feel free to copy these and customize them for use in your own argumentative essays.
There are a couple of things to be aware of about the following examples:
- I have not done the research needed to support these claims. So some of the claims may not be useable once you dig into them.
- 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. Why Vaccinations Should Be Mandatory
Inspired by this sample essay on vaccinations.
Today, nearly 40% of American parents refuse to vaccinate their children due to a variety of unfounded fears. Vaccinations against diseases such as polio, rubella, and mumps, should be mandatory, without exception, for all children of the U.S. who wish to attend school. 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 do more harm than good 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. For these reasons, programs such as PRISM operated by the NSA should be discontinued.
#3 Financial Compensation for Organ Donors
Inspired by this sample essay on organ donation.
People who sign up for organ donation freely give their hearts and other organs, but this free system limits the number of available donors and makes it difficult for recipients to access lifesaving transplants. Thus, organ donors should be financially compensated to produce more available organs and, at the same time, to decrease profitable, illegal organ harvesting activities in the black market.
#4. Our School Is Too Dependent on Technology
Inspired by this sample essay on technology dependence.
Our school’s dependence on technology has caused students to lose the ability to think independently. This dependence has caused a greater prevalence of mood disorders, memory loss, and loneliness. Educators should combat these issues by requiring students to participate in regular technology detoxes.
#5 School Officials’ Should Fight Cyberbullying
Inspired by this sample essay on cyberbullying.
Bullying has extended far beyond school and into cyberspace. Even though these acts of aggression take place outside of school boundaries, school officials should have the authority to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying without fear of reprisal. Doing so will help improve the online behavior of students and decrease incidences of cyberbully-related suicide attempts.
#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 being comprised of 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. The U.S. media should, therefore, expand and redefine the definition of the traditional American family to include divorced and remarried parents, extended families living together, and families with same-gender parents. This will increase the overall sense of happiness and well-being among children whose families don’t necessarily fit the mold.
#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. To alleviate this, lenders should be required to forgive student loans in cases where students are unable to repay their debts. Doing so would benefit the growth of the economy by increasing tax revenues, unfreezing credit markets, and creating jobs.
#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 U.S. will greatly benefit the medical sector by giving physicians access to this lifesaving 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, and it should be discontinued; the practice has caused African countries to become vulnerable to inflation, currency fluctuations, corruption, and civil unrest.
#10 China’s One-Child Policy Should Be Reversed
Inspired by this sample essay on China’s one-child policy.
China’s one-child policy was intended to help control population growth. Instead, it has 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. To improve China’s situation, the policy should be reversed.
Any one of these thesis statement examples will get you started on the road to writing an awesome argumentative essay. Once your essay is finished, feel free to send it to a Kibin editor who can check it for grammar, sentence structure, and the strength of your thesis.
Good luck with your essay!
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Involving oneself in sports is far more than just an engaging and healthy hobby. As research shows, an active participation in sports has a positive influence on a teenager’s social life, self-esteem, and even academic performance (Sitkowski, 2008). There is no doubt that sports are beneficial for boys and girls, women and men. However, it is perplexing that some 40 years ago, women and girls were close to being virtually deprived of the opportunity to play sports in universities, colleges, high schools and junior high schools. It was not until 1972, when Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment Act was passed, that women received equal rights to participate in sports at all educational institutions.
What does this mean for us today? Does it mean that every woman has the right to play any type of sport? Well, not quite. But it certainly means that every person, notwithstanding their gender, has an equal opportunity to try out for any team, or play a sport that an institution offers. Should there be a distinction between sports for women and sports for men? There are significant objections to this idea, as personal preferences, individual physical abilities, and infrastructural facilities of the community in which one resides that should be at the center of reasoning in regard to which sport is chosen over another.
From a physiological perspective, both male and female players are equally able to play all sports. There are fewer and fewer Olympic Games sports that are still strictly men-only or women-only. Women can box or take part in car racing, just like men can do synchronized swimming or rhythmic gymnastics. If some kind of sport is more popular among female or male players, this does not imply that the other gender cannot perform in the sport. Furthermore, according to law, if there is no female baseball team in a high school, a girl can try out for the boys’ team, even though a boy cannot do the same for a girls’ team since boys are the over-represented sex in sports (Collor, Sports Genders in the US). The main point here is that trends and public opinion on different sports tend to change over time, and the general momentum is towards making all sports equally available to both sexes, since there are no objective reasons to consider any sport to be gender-specific.
Supporting a social stereotype that boys, in comparison to girls, are more interested in sports is simply propagating an absolute myth. There is not one single research study that validates this idea (Regal, Lack of Research Claims in Gender Sports). The fact is that girls are just as interested in sports as boys are at an early age, on the whole. But because of social influences, traditional values, and peer pressure, girls eventually become more sedentary in their activities and games. As a result, in time, girls become accustomed to more calm pastimes and are less willing to play active sports. Other factors that greatly influence a girl’s choice of leisure are upbringing and their parents’ example, as well as the opportunities present in the local community. As a rule, the more developed a community is, both economically and socially, the less difference is seen statistically in gender division in sports.
At the same time, it would be wrong to argue that female and male motivation for sports, and their physical abilities, is absolutely the same. There is a reason why female and male championships, tournaments, and sports associations are run separately. A female tennis player would have a small chance of beating a male tennis player of the same rank, simply because men can generally hit the ball with more force than women can. It has nothing to do with training and effort—it is purely the nature of our bodies, and ignoring it would be a terrible mistake (Hiden, Gender Debates). Another side of the coin is motivation. As research has shown, females, in general, are more naturally motivated by self-improvement and goals related to team success, while men are more attracted to the idea of winning a challenge, or a competition more than anything else. Once again, not more than general statistical facts and aspects that may differ on a personal level. But these are points that need to be acknowledged when talking about the differences in male and female athletics and the way girls and boys should be coached.
Engaging in sports is an important benefit that no human being should be deprived of in a modern society, whether based on racial, age, or gender characteristics of the person. Sports allow youth to believe in themselves, widen their circle of friends and acquaintances, as well as introduce them to an activity they might be willing to later make their profession or lifetime hobby. Discriminating against boys or girls accessing the wide variety of sporting activities would be completely unjust. The only objective reasons to choose one sport over another are personal preferences, individual physical abilities, and infrastructural facilities of the community in which one resides.
Sitkowski, L. (2008). The Effects of Participation in Athletics on Academic Performance Among High School Sophomores and Juniors. Lynchburg, Va.: Liberty University.
Stewart, C. (2008) Should Boys & Girls Be Coached the Same Way? Becoming a Better Coach. Available at: http://www.coachesinfo.com/
Collor, Richard. (2007) Sports Genders in the US. Lenguin Press.
Regal, Ella. (2012) Lack of Research Claims in Gender Sports. Dadalas Publishing.
Hiden, Eleanor. (2009) Gender Debates. The New York Host.
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