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Writing a strong persuasive essay -- how to write the thesis words; tips, tricks, and techniques

Updated on February 27, 2014

The quintessential thesis has certain qualities

Please read the hub before this one,, to see where we left off. Also, after you are done reading, check out the links to pertinent articles on some technical aspects of good prose. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Impressive persuasive essays start with impressive theses. A good thesis will adhere to principles. Those principles are encapsulated in the picture here.


Beginner writers often fail to take heed that it's just one proposition that is supposed to stamp the paper. In confusion, they tend to confuse the reader with various scenarios and sometimes it is hard to distinguish the key proposal. This is unacceptable.

Take great lengths to ensurethat you arguing from an informed side of an issue that you have presented in one assertion that's backed by solid evidence and that leads to a call for action. Get specific. One way to aid this task is to scrutinize your thesis for ambiguity. Choose more than you can handle and you will bury yourself in a chunk of the subject that you couldn't bite off, or even worse, you'll be scrambling to drill into a subject with asides that waste your time and your precious words.

Although most victimized people will not err by advocating something that everyone already agrees with and to which there is no opposition, they will likely falter by choosing a thesis statement that is peculiar, uninteresting, or hard to understand in secondary details and other respects. Make sure that you have chosen something worthwhile, so your reader can see that it is relevant, before even thinking about choosing a position that is contestable or rebuttable. If it is not relevant, it is useless. It's pretty controversial to choose this thesis of our making for this example:

Overpopulation threatens to deplete resources; therefore, individuals who are not productive members of society should be gunned down.

This is not a shabby thesis to think up offhand; because it contains some good aspects. It is not on point because it is not plausible. Although t's just an extreme example, there are many ways to choose one equally as unpalatable by choosing obscure or outlandish parts for the thesis -- parts that are difficult to comprehend or questionable for other considerations.

All great theses delineate a position and entrench the exact territory that symbolizes their unique undertakings.

Less obvious characteristics that shape the thesis's nature

The first part in this series briefly touches on some less obvious characteristics of a meticulous thesis. One of those key notes that we will expand on is preempting your opponent/reader's objections, thereby acknowledging the special points with context and providing the way for your thesis to mold against these contradictions, until it is reasonably well defined. Another important pitfall that one wants to avoid is adopting too much of a personal tone, much less using vocabulary words and phrases that entail the first person reference point (such as my, I, the way it seems through experience). Vague wording/vocabulary is anathema to a well-constructed thesis, and incidentally, a casual approach is more likely to run into feeble qualifications (for example, it appears, in all probability, somewhat, and so on).

Strong Words

Logical components clarify and strengthen the thesis

A strong understanding of informal and formal logic together with the associated fallacies, dramatically eases the burden of forming a good thesis, and every thesis is an elaboration on an argument.

Moving on, it helps to have these words in your thesis statement.

Therefore, because, since, hence, consequently, cause, result, increase, decrease, due to, as a result, ergo, declined, risen, change, reduced, improved, less, more, faster, slower, efficient, optimal, benefits, however, necessitates, response, decision, research, studies, statistics, evidence, facts, trends, patterns, most, urgency, a majority, critical, importance, action, concurrent, related, unrelated, correlated, disparate, similar, identical, opposed, previous, later, after, in accordance, corresponding, affirming, contradicts, demonstrates, improves, worsens, mandatory, obligatory, compulsory, thereby, therein, therewith, when, where, as, so, to, likelihood, probability, frequency, norm, popular opinion, banned, allowed, enacted, enabled, destroyed, weakened, strengthened, resolution, in spite, despite, although, outweigh, considerations, proportional, appropriate, adequate, shortfall, surplus, deficit, profit, loss, negative, positive, desirable, undesirable, indeterminate, risks, factors, advancements, elimination, plausible, possible, empirical, theorem, time, resources, limitations, constraints, objectives, purpose, impracticable, impossible, unprecedented, stronger, higher, lower, bigger, smaller, heavier, lighter, higher risk, lower risk, cost, expense, net effect, unseen, untested, based on, following from, etc. In this way, resultant, subsequently, correspondingly, in measure, for the reasons, to this end, in keeping with, in line with, pursuant to, excluded, including, precludes, prevents, speeds up, slows down, quicker, accurate, inaccurate, precise, imprecise, more powerful, less powerful, durability, errors, frequency, first, second, unanimous, final, penultimate, preceding, succeeding, simultaneous


These words are in no particular order, but they have a common property. The words are not subject to interpretation. As basic as words such as more and less seem, they are categorical; more can only take on values in a range, and less can only take on values imposed by the comparison to an established parameter. This is a great start, although it is still broad enough to support many valid and invalid arguments, and factual and counter-factual assumptions. Anyway, provided time, it is possible to brainstorm almost every word that might be used in a thesis sentence. To be perfectly clear, with enough thought, one can draw a list of words that have at least a couple in common with the overwhelming majority of theses. The point is not that one. The point is to surprise and generate interest. It's no mystery that people prize practical utility in varying degrees, so the response might be "oh wow! I could pick words and select an arrangement that builds the model for a snappy thesis. And understandably so, it is easy to sculpt a set structure and then borrow words as needed to fill the points of contact, junctions that form the larger skeletal structure.

Many of the words I listed are transition words. They are the words that catalyze the synthesis of the independent ideas that represent some different elements; these elements and others are agglomerated to prepare the ground, say, for a passage to be very coherent.

Smooth transitions link the sentences together as links in one chain -- and shiny metal is smooth whereas decrepit metal is flaky and dull.Try to imagine corroded or broken links and envision the way the rusted chain hangs; there is not enough tightness and tension holding the links together, so it droops when held. Chains with solid links sway as if each chain was one chain. Broken or defective links can be brutal. One chain becomes five pieces of a chain, and a chain with poor, half-severed links is no longer a single chain waiting to happen. These analogies can be useful.

But, what do logical transitions look like in practice? Let's see the paragraph before this. The first sentence is a compound sentence with parallel construction. The second sentence refers to something about the first. The third sentence combines "these elements", and "others" to make ground on a second premise and conclusion.

Quantitative factors are analogous to words that indicate relative time, space, intensity, etc.

Anyone can make observations using clear cut wording. The little bit of work consists of avoiding fallacious and speculative claims.

You have to appreciate how important it is to work from one point to the next point swiftly, but purposefully.

In fairness, the thesis statement is not always cut sharp from granite. But, for a persuasive or argumentative essay, the discussion up until now has been appropriate, if not exact. Let us look at the thesis statement itself now:

Teenagers should lose their privilege to drive, until adulthood, for drug and alcohol related infractions while being a passenger or driver, given that the risk of crashes is highest among the teen age group.

This statement includes a little too much verbiage and inopportune detail. It should be simpler and clearer.

The continuing rise in income inequality trend will lead to large scale social upheaval in the United States, within our lifetime.

It's a specific. It is germane. It is debatable. It is delimited to a degree.

It would require collation of evidence and arguments to support not only the assertion, but also to support a timeframe.

We interrupt these messages for a brief pause



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    • Sullen91 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic Region, US

      Thanks. That's a welcome compliment from a writer of your own caliber.

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 

      8 years ago

      Your writing is of such an extraordinarily high quality that reading every word of this article became my pleasure.


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