Research Papers


Your Thesis Should Be Debateable

Your thesis should be debatable.

To test whether your thesis is debatable, try forming the antithesis (the opposite of your thesis).


Nuclear power is good for the environment.


Nuclear power is bad for the environment.

Both these statements are debatable, and hence either one would make a fine thesis statement. In contrast, consider the following statements:

What is there to debate? Can you really imagine anyone taking an opposing point of view? Would someone really stand up and shout: "No, you're wrong! A serving of salmon does not contain about 40 grams of protein!"

Probably not. And that's why these statements are weak. Neither would make a good thesis.

Always keep this mind: An argumentative research paper presents one side of an argument. It cannot simply be:

Shaping Your Thesis into a Debatable Topic

Some of the most debatable topics include:

Consider, for example, the topic of gun violence.

Which of the following would make the best thesis?

All of these statements are good—except for the first one. (The first one is a fact that's hard to argue.)

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.