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Constructing a Claim

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Suzanne Troiani

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of Constructing a Claim

Constructing a Claim
What is a Claim?
How to Write a Good Claim
It is an arguable statement or assertion
It presents your opinions or thoughts on a subject or an issue.
It is essential to your argument. You CANNOT have an effective argument with out a claim.
A strong opinion stated clearly.
A subject and an opinion.
Unbiased research!
What do I need to create a claim?
What makes a good claim?


A claim is the result of a lengthy thinking process.

Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, learn about your topic, consider all sides of the argument, and decide your own opinion.

Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working claim,” an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way.

You will probably write several trial claims: writing is a process, so is writing a claim
It is short and simple. It should be no longer than one sentence, especially for a paper this length.

Good Example: Success is a result of doing the right things consistently.

Bad Example: In a world full of success gurus and books about success, it becomes ever so much more important to delineate the one trait that ultimately determines success: doing the right things consistently.
A good claim is limited to one main idea.

Good example: The key to successful dieting is focusing on a specific goal.

Bad example: The key to successful dieting is focusing on a specific goal, which is also the key to successfully running a business and coaching a football team.
A good claim is a declarative sentence without qualifiers (might, maybe, perhaps, etc.):

Good example: Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound make him the league's most valuable player.

Bad example: Does Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound make him the league's most valuable player?
Bad Example: Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound just might make him the league's most valuable player.
Do Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminish the credibility of his love for Juliet?

Good example: Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminish the credibility of his love for Juliet.
Bad example: This essay examines whether or not Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminishes his love for Juliet.

Have you tried to argue both sides of the case? It is important to acknowledge the other side and address the other position. That does not, however, excuse you from choosing a side.

Good example: Juliet was not the first woman to capture Romeo's fancy; she was, however, the one who affected him the most.
Bad example: Romeo loved Juliet with all his heart, but he loved Rosaline too; it could be argued they were both his favorite.

Have you prejudged the issue by using loaded language? Immature writers manipulate readers through emotionally-charged language.
Bad example: Immature, whiny, male-pig Romeo, a male harlot, ruined precious Juliet whom he loved no more than Rosaline.
Evaluating a Claim
Topic = school uniforms

Opinion = uniforms are an effective tool

Evidence = uniforms reduce bullying, increase student confidence, and improve scores

Claim: Both schools and students will benefit from the implementation of school uniforms because they reduce bullying, increase student confidence, and improve scores.


Topic = the driving age in SC

Opinion = needs to be increased to 18

Research = less accidents because drivers are more mature, more educated, and more focused


Thesis Statement Challenge:

Write a thesis statement for your essay.

Within your research groups, choose which thesis statement you think is the best.

On Monday we will # the thesis statements and fill out a tournament bracket. Thesis statements will go head to head in competition.

We will read two thesis statements, discuss the effectiveness of each, and choose a winner. The winning thesis statement moves on to the next round.
Repeat the evaluation of thesis statements through the bracket until we have an ultimate winner.
The winning research group will be granted extra credit!!
Topic = students’ plans after high school graduation

Opinion = should take a year off

Research = pursuing community service projects before entering college increases maturity and global awareness
Topic = use of electronic devices in school

Opinion = allow anytime except for teacher lecture/direct instruction

Research = students score higher, read more pages, and comprehend better while listening to music
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