Developing your thesis statement is critical as it tells a reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. Such a statement is also called an “argument,” a “main idea,” or a “controlling idea.” A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should “telegraph” how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay

A standard place for your thesis is at the end of the introductory paragraph. A thesis is an interpretation of a subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel that others might dispute. A strong thesis not only grabs the interest of your reader, who now wants to see you support your unique interpretation, it also provides a focus for your argument, one to which every part of your paper refers in the development of your position.

A thesis keeps the writer centered on the matter at hand and reduces the risk of intellectual wandering. Likewise, a thesis provides the reader with a “road map,” clearly laying out the intellectual route ahead. A thesis statement avoids the first person (“I believe,” “In my opinion”).

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1.6 Discussion of Readings: Developing Your Thesis Statement

Instructions for Developing Your Thesis Statement

The following readings were provided as sources for your standard argument essay.  For this assignment, you should post your potential thesis statement and support it with one or two examples (quotation or paraphrase) from the readings.  After you have posted your thesis statement, you should respond to at least two of your peers with helpful statements that contribute to the development of their argumentative thesis.

Step 1 – Read the following information about thesis statements: Effective Thesis StatementsLinks to an external site.

Of special note in this reading is the following information:

An effective thesis statement fulfills the following criteria

  • Substantial– Your thesis should be a claim for which it is easy to answer every reader’s question: “So what?”
  • Supportable – A thesis must be a claim that you can prove with the evidence or reasons at hand (e.g., evidence from your texts or from your research) (English).

Note: You might consider using this format for your thesis statement:  A bachelor’s degree is/is not worth the risks because….

Step 2 – Read the following articles. Remember that you should use three to five of these articles as sources for your Standard Argument Essay.

A College Degree Remains a Good Investment but Debt is an Issue.

A College Degree is not a Smart Investment for Everyone.

Strengthening our Economy Through College For All.

Millennial College Students Have Legitimate Grievances.

Student Loans Promote Poor Decision-Making and Prolong Adolescence.

There Are Economic Benefits from Obtaining a College Degree.

A Certificate, Then a Degree: Certificate-First Programs Can Help Tackle America’s College-Completion Crisis.

“Only Connect…” The Goals of a Liberal Education.

Step 3. Post your potential thesis statement. Remember that your essay will defend your response to the following question:

 “Based on the provided readings, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree worth the risks?” 

Your specific, position-driven, one-sentence answer to that question should become your thesis.

Step 4. Respond to at least two peers with helpful statements that contribute to the development of their argumentative thesis (a statement of claim and reasons)

DUE DATE: Primary Discussion Form Post Thesis Statement and TWO Replies Friday, 08/25, 10 p.m.


  • Select More Options (three vertical dots) to review the grading rubric criteria

Module Objectives

  1. 1.2 Identify opposing viewpoints in an essay.
  2. 1.4 Formulate an argumentative thesis.

Works Cited

English Composition I: Rhetorical Methods–Based – Quillbot.