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What's a good thesis statement for a gun control argumentative essay?

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Many people ask eNotes contributors questions about how to write a thesis sentence or a thesis statement. But it is impossible to give you a helpful answer without knowing what your own thoughts and feelings are about the subject.

In order to come up with a good thesis statement, you should first forget about the statement and write about your personal opinions. Are you in favor of gun control? Or do you oppose gun control? Are you in favor of some limited gun control, such as control of AK47s? What sort of control, if any? Isn't there enough gun control now? What would be the benefits of more gun control? What would be the harmful effects of, say, taking guns away from everybody? What is the problem with guns? How would you cope with the American Rifle Association? Who would enact the gun control, if you favor it?

After you have done some thinking about your own--your very own--feelings and opinions and reading on this highly controversial subject, then you would be in a better position to form your thesis statement. It should be fairly modest. You can't cure all the world's problems with one short article or essay or term paper.

If you try following my suggestion and then formulate a thesis statement, you would be welcome to submit that statement to eNotes for criticism. I especially recommend that you spend some time writing about your own thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc., before you try to formulate a thesis statement. The thesis statement is the idea you are trying to sell the reader. You have to know what it is you are trying to sell him.

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What is a good thesis statement if you're writing an argumentative paper about gun control, and you were on the side for guns?  

This is a good question.  Let's start with what makes a thesis good. 

A good thesis has two qualities. First, a good thesis must be debatable.  You should have no problem with this, because gun control is a huge issue and people are on both sides of the debate.  Second, a good thesis has to have good supporting points.  In other words, ask yourself why people should be allowed to have guns.  The better your reasons are, the better your thesis will be. 

Another element that makes a thesis strong is when you acknowledge the opposing view.  If you know the opposing argument better than they do and it is not a caricature, then you will make strides in convincing your reader. 

Based on these points, here is one example. 

I am opposed to guns as I can see very little good coming from owning them, but I believe that people should have the decision to own guns, as it is their right. 

This thesis will ingratiate you to those who want to ban guns.  In this way, you might be able to persuade them that liberty is more important than the hatred for guns. 


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