Is the following a strong argumentative thesis statement: Georg learns how to navigate and endure his brutal new reality through the intensity of those traumatic concentration camp experiences, which force him to realize his inevitable fate as a Jew and reshapes his character dramatically.

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There are several techniques that can help a writer evaluate the effectiveness of any portion of their work. For an argumentative essay, the writer’s goal is to persuade the reader that their position is valid. It often helps to think of the reader whom you are trying to persuade. Will this reader be able to grasp quickly what your point is? And will they be able to determine easily, after reading the evidence you present in the body of the essay, if you substantiated your point?

All of the elements in the sample sentence that you offer are relevant to Fatelessness. As a sentence, however, this statement has a large number of components, and not all of them seem to be closely related to each other. One way to proceed would be to break up the sentence into several shorter ones, with each of them making a single point. For example, starting at the beginning, “Georg learns how to navigate … reality” is an argument in itself. What does “navigate reality” mean? Because “reality” is an abstraction, it would be difficult to find evidence to support this type of claim. Another component to break out would be “Georg learns how to … endure … traumatic … experiences.” Here, the emphasis would be on “experiences,” which is more concrete than “reality.” You could identify specific experiences within the camp that the author pinpoints as traumatic.

The second part of the statement seems to constitute a separate argument: “George … realize[s] his … fate as a Jew.” Again, this seems abstract. The reader is not likely to grasp quickly what you mean by “fate.”

Overall, a practical method of proceeding will be to identify one main point that you think expresses the central issue the author has tried to communicate, and focus on that. The other components, if they continue to seem significant, can be used to identify the evidence you will use to support the thesis.

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