As per expert essay writers, the most annoying part of writing an essay is figuring out the claim or the primary argument in the opening paragraph. The claim is the one that controls, structures and asserts your entire discussion in the essay. Your essay might seem weak, vague, and unfocused without a strong, persuasive claim.
All in all, the claim provides a unifying theme for the rest of the essay.
It is important to construct a clear and original claim no matter what type of essay you are writing. It’s a common myth among students that the central claim should be stated in a single sentence or so. But, a compact claim often takes more syntactical space than that. You may require several sentences to convey the central claim accurately.
There are no strict rules when it comes to writing a strong claim. But, there are strategies you can follow to develop a strong claim in your essay.
Draft a working claim
Okay, the first step is to draft a working claim- a rough outline of how you want the claim to look. So, start with brainstorming the questions that surround your chosen topic.
- Does the essay prompt provide any cue about the claim?
- What do you think is interesting enough to form a claim about the topic?
- Are there any controversies you can contribute to?
These questions will help you come up with a central, overriding question and answer. And that is exactly what you need to draft a working claim.
For example, let’s say your essay topic is:
College students should have complete freedom to pick their own courses.
What is it that interests or intrigues you about this topic? You may support it, or you may go against it. Form the rough draft of your claim based on your point of view. Let’s assume you are vouching for this topic. So, your claim would look like this:
College students should have complete freedom to pick their own courses because it’s their career. They would choose something they love or are passionate about.
Now focus on the relationship between the outcome you are interested in and the steps that would lead to that outcome. Can you justify the outcome throughout the essay without being redundant? If yes, then you can proceed with this working claim to the next steps.
However, don’t panic if you aren’t still ready with a working claim. Just express the pieces of your claim in bullet points. Find a central argument from those points that can give you a unifying idea to write an entire essay.
Evaluate the claim
Now that you are ready with a working claim, it’s time for you to evaluate its efficacy. After all, a claim is considered string only if it helps you construct an impactful essay. So, how to know if your claim is strong enough?
Well, look for the following elements in your working claim:
Your claims should be contestable no matter what your topic is. If your readers think that there is nothing to disagree with about this claim, they might consider your essay boring. You don’t want that. Do you? You must acknowledge and refute the counterarguments related to your claim to strengthen it.
Example of a poor claim:
College students should have the freedom to choose their courses in college because it’s their career. Yes, they may make some mistakes after the first taste of real independence. But, who cares?
Example of a better claim:
College students should have the freedom to choose their courses in college because it’s their career. Yes, they may make some mistakes after the first taste of real independence. That is why they have adults to guide them in the right direction. But, the adults shouldn’t impose their decisions upon the kids. There’s certainly room for disagreement in this claim, and that’s what makes it an interesting topic for discussion.
You can never make a claim that has zero evidence for its backup. It should always have sufficient pieces of evidence for support. Your professors will understand the difference between critical, thoughtful pieces of evidence and baseless contortions of evidence that you may have used to support an unreasonable claim.
You should never ever write broad claims in your essay since they are almost impossible to support within a limited word count. Focused claims, on the other hand, let you include specific information throughout the essay.
Example of a broad claim:
North Carolina apple farmers are responding to the current economic situation by finding new ways to generate income.
Example of a focused claim:
Hurricanes caused significant crop posses over the past decade. Thus, apple farmers in North Carolina are increasingly relying on Agrotourism to generate reliable supplemental income.
A strong claim shouldn’t just describe a situation. Rather, it is supposed to offer an interpretation of evidence related to the topic. Sounds confusing?
Examples of a poor claim:
“The United States is a federal system that divides governmental powers between national and state authorities.
Example of a strong claim:
The division of government authority in the US federal system gives rise to unnecessary competition between the state and national jurisdictions. The division is nothing but an obstacle to the effectiveness of public policies at both levels of government.
In the latter example, you can clearly see how it offers an interpretation. The claim highlights a relationship between the US federal system (cause) and less effective public policies (outcome.)
Your claim should add value to the overall context of your essay. See if it adds anything meaningful to the current dialogue revolving around your topic. Conduct thorough research about the topic to find out what more you can add to make the discussion valuable for the readers.
An ideal claim should consist of all the elements mentioned above. Nobody says that writing a claim is an easy feat. So, you can get online essay help whenever you get stuck in this process.
Revise the claim
By now, you must have your claim ready. So, it’s time for revision. Make sure the evidence that you use in the body of your essay supports the working claim. You should see if there is any scope for making a claim more precise and specific. Have you discussed the counterarguments that might undermine your claim?
Finally, check if the claim conveys exactly what you wanted it to convey to your readers. You can even ask someone else to read the essay and check the relevance of your claim.
You may have worked hard to gather valuable pieces of information to write a strong and impressive essay. But, nothing would matter unless you have developed a strong, precise claim for the essay. Claims should be direct, clear, and provocative. You can’t be vague or indecisive while writing the claim.
Take a clear and specific stand and write your essay based on that. Do you have plenty of good ideas related to your topic to write the essay? In that case, pick the idea that interests you the most and form the claim based on it. Good Luck.
Clara Smith is a content creator at a reputed firm in the United States. She also provides Dissertation Writing Services at AllEssaywriter.com. Clara loves to spend time with his family in her free time.