How to Write a Thesis Statement

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A thesis statement is not simply a statement of fact but contain attitudes and opinions that you expect to go on and justify in your composition. For example, which of the sentences below would serve as a good thesis statement for an essay on the topic Capital punishment is unjust?

(a)Capital punishment is the ultimate punishment for serious crimes. (b)Many countries practise capital punishment.
(c)Capital punishment removes the justification for putting criminals in jails, namely, to give them a chance to reform, and hence, it is unjust.

Only (c) would make a good thesis statement because it expresses opinions and judgements that could be clarified and explained in the rest of the essay.


Persuasive writing presents a viewpoint to a reader and tries to explain and clarify a point of view. It also tries to persuade the reader that the writer’s viewpoint is correct. The thesis statement states the main purpose of the essay and contains the central ideas or opinions that will be explained and justified in the essay. It is usually the opening sentence. When you are planning a persuasive essay, you should think of all the possible arguments for and against the topic you wish to write about. Suppose you have the following topic:

Use of computers should be a compulsory school subject.

How many arguments can you think in favour of this topic? How many can you think of against it? List the positive and negative arguments around this topic. In order to develop the rest of the essay, the different opinions contained in the thesis statement should now be expanded and supported. Each could become the topic sentence of a paragraph. Topic sentences should be supported by further information, details, explanations, and examples. Sometimes your thesis statement may not contain counter-arguments but you can discuss counter-arguments in your essay. Then add a conclusion.

Bailey, S.N. & Richards, J.C....
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