The persuasive essay presents a unique challenge if you’re a college student struggling with writing. For the first time in your academic career, you may be required to show your mastery of a concept by coming up with a strongly worded thesis statement and then defending it with facts and backup material to prove your point. If this type of academic essay gives you the cold sweats, here’s a quick review of the power of a solid thesis statement.
When writing an essay like this, using logic to cleanly and clearly express your point of view makes for a powerful paper. This is a traditional format of academic writing that will become very familiar during most students’ college careers. If you’re lost with regard to thesis statements and aren’t sure where to begin, let’s start by clearly defining what a thesis statement is so that you can use one effectively in your upcoming essay.
What is a Thesis Statement?
Your thesis statement is a sentence that presents your argument to the audience. In this case, your audience is your professor and anyone else reading your essay. Use the rest of your paper (the body of your essay) to defend your thesis and support your statement with facts and other information.
The goals are to:
- Engage the reader with an interesting thesis
- Select a thesis that can be either proven or disproven using facts and supporting information
- Present a persuasive argument
- Persuade readers to ascribe to your school of thought
Evaluating Your Thesis Statement and Your Essay
When crafting a persuasive essay, you should be sure that your essay answers the question reflected in your thesis statement. This type of academic writing requires specificity and should create feelings of either identification or opposition from the reader. When you read your first draft, be sure you consider these points and evaluate whether or not your thesis statement and the body of your essay clearly convince the reader to your point.
Is Your Thesis Statement Persuasive?
Sometimes the best way to be sure that you’ve selected a good thesis statement on which you can base the rest of your assignment is to get a neutral party’s opinion. You may want to enlist your roommate or a trusted classmate and ask him or her to evaluate your thesis statement before you set out writing the rest of your essay. There’s no sense in moving forward with a weak thesis statement. That’s why this is a good point in your process to invite a friend to help you assess whether you are laying the bricks of your academic writing on a weak thesis statement foundation.