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Center for Writing and Academic Achievement: Thesis Statements/Arguments

A general guide to common questions about writing and grammar

Thesis Statement-Definition

A thesis statement succinctly summarizes the main point of an essay. It is usally the last sentence of the introductory paragraph, and must be both focused and debateable.

For instance, "There were many Spanish and Portuguese reforms during the 18th century" would not be a suitable thesis statement.  

However, "Although the individual Spanish and Portuguese reforms during the 18th century largely failed to re-establish control over the colonies, they only partially contributed to the independence movement rather than entirely caused it" would be a stronger choice.

For more information about thesis statements, watch one of the videos featured on this page, click on one of the helpful links, or come chat with a writing tutor!

Helpful Links

Thesis Statements-Explanation

Counter-Arguments-Explanation

Counter-Argument - Definition

When writing an essay, it is important to consider possible criticism of your argument, or the "counter-argument." It is crucial to address the counter-argument in your paper by acknowledging its existence and explaining why the claims are false, or admitting its truth but showing why your point is stronger.

For more information about how to construct a counter-argument and where to place it, watch the video featured on this page, click on one of the helpful links, or chat with a writing tutor about it!

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