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Thesis Statements and Persuasive Writing

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If you're taking Freshman Composition, Freshman English, English 101, or any of a number of first year college writing courses, you will need to know how to put together a strong thesis. However, what is a thesis, and why is it so important? Moreover, what should be included in a thesis?

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Solution Summary

This solution is aimed toward every first year college writing student who is frustrated about thesis statements and wonders what role they have in a persuasive paper. This solution should help you know a little more about thesis statements, why we use them in persuasive writing, and what you should include in your thesis statement.

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Now, here's the $64,000,000 question: Why do I need a thesis for a persuasive paper?

Well, the answer is simple: Because your reader needs to know what you are trying to convince him/her to believe or do--and why it's in his/her best interests to agree with you. When you have a discussion with someone who disagrees with you about something, you don't keep that person in the dark about what you're trying to get him/her to believe, do you? It's the same in writing. Your reader may not be directly in front of you asking questions or objecting to what you are saying, but that reader still needs to know where you are going and why you think your reader should tag along with you.

Accordingly, you want your paper to begin with a thesis that does two things: (1) states your position and (2) states why you think your reader should agree with your position. Doing these two things will give your reader a road map that he or she can follow throughout the rest of the paper, and it will also help you, as a writer, to have a good idea of where you are going as well.

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