Writing a Claim for an Essay: A Student’s Guide

When composing academic assignments, students should learn to formulate concise claims for essays which represent the essence of their argument. So, your natural question at the start of your academic journey would be, “What is a claim in a essay?” We’ve composed this guide to walk you through the process of making claims for an argumentative essay and teach you the fundamentals of arguing your position in academic texts. 

What Is a Claim in an Essay

Now, let’s get into more detail and answer the question worrying many modern students, “What is a claim in an essay?” In a nutshell, a claim is your main idea, position, or argument you’re going to prove throughout the essay’s text. 

In this regard, the discussion of thesis vs. claim also gains prominence. These are two different elements of a written task; to be more precise, a claim is a constituent part of a thesis. Here is an illustration of this difference: 

CLAIM: Standardized testing doesn’t give a full overview of a student’s intelligence level. 

THESIS STATEMENT: Standardized testing should be dropped in US schools because it limits teachers’ evaluation of students’ intelligence levels and hinders access to further education for some student categories. 

As these examples show, a claim is only a statement of your opinion, while a thesis statement includes arguments that you can expand on in the body of your essay to build a solid basis for proving your point. 

Making Claims in Writing 

Mastering the art of writing claims involves building a robust knowledge base on the subject, “What is claim in writing?” It is essential to understand the concept and characteristics of claims, which will help you deal with them in various types of assignments. 

The main aspect of claim composition you should keep in mind is that it is a matter of your personal opinion and standing on a particular issue. However, it is presented in the text as a fact that you can back with solid evidence. This way, you recognize that there is always room for a deviant opinion on the subject, but your opinion deserves greater attention because it is backed by solid scientific facts and figures. 

Second, it is vital to note that claims should open space for debate; otherwise, they would turn into facts, not claims. An example of a fact is: 

  • Water boils at 1000 degrees Celsius. 

This is a law of physics nobody would challenge. But let’s look at another example: 

  • People should consume water preliminarily heated to 1000C because such water doesn’t contain hazardous bacteria. 

This is already a debatable claim, as some people may argue against boiling water or find evidence that proves some bacteria survive the boiling process. This way, the claim (though it sounds credible) gives multiple potential lines of reasoning. 

Types of Writing That Use Claims 

Probably, you won’t grasp how to make a claim in an essay if you don’t understand where this argumentative tool is relevant. In fact, it is not used in all writing without discretion; only specific assignments require making a claim. These include: 

  • Research papers
  • Persuasive and argumentative essays 
  • Persuasive speeches 
  • Memos and policy analyses 
  • Literary critiques and analyses 

In other words, any type of academic assignment that requires you to voice and argue your opinion is a text that needs a claim. 

What Is Evidence in Writing? 

If you’re interested in how to write a claim for an essay, it’s time to get closer to the concept of evidence as the backbone of any claim. In most cases, it won’t be enough to say that your position is right and readers should adopt it. You need to convince them to take your side, which is effectively achieved with the help of supportive evidence. 

You may apply various kinds of evidence when backing up your claims: 

  • Direct observations with the collection of empirical evidence. 
  • Primary data collection via interviews, surveys, or experiments. 
  • Synthesis of available data (secondary data analysis). 
  • Analysis of statistical data and facts. 
  • Reference to expert opinion. 
  • Inferences from past examples. 

Any of these evidence types will do if they comply with your essay’s purpose and the subject of your interest. 

What to Include in a Claim Paragraph? 

As soon as you approach writing a claim in essay projects, it’s important to follow a rigorous academic standard and do everything correctly. Here are the elements your claim paragraph may include: 

  • Statement of a fact. As we’ve pointed out above, you shouldn’t use self-obvious facts. Yet, some facts that still offer room for discussion are fine. 
  • Definition of the studied concept. You may offer a definition of some concept or phenomenon that is still debated among scientists. 
  • A cause-and-effect relationship. You can propose your hypothesis about a causal relationship between certain phenomena. 
  • A claim of value. You may point out the significance or value of some issue, such as the magnitude of the problem or the potential benefits of some policy or action. 
  • Proposal of a solution to a problem. You may formulate a solution to a well-known problem and back it up with evidence. 

Tips on How to Make a Good Claim 

Making a claim in an essay is an art that takes time and requires some practice. The main features of a strong claim are: 

  • Complexity. The claim shouldn’t be self-obvious. For instance, if you say that killing people is bad, it is technically a claim. But does it deserve several pages of academic reasoning? Probably not, as every reasonable person will agree with this statement without further evidential support. 
  • Debatability. A good claim should always give space for potential counterarguments. That’s why claims are argued with the help of evidence and supporting facts; you should convince the readers to take your side because there is the other side. 
  • Research-backed nature. It’s not enough to formulate a claim and say that it is true because you think so. To sound persuasive in academic terms, you should give reliable support from external sources that also think your way and prove that your claim is valid. 
  • Focus on facts. Finally, a claim should be objective and unbiased. This requirement makes your claim academic and helps you avoid opinionated writing. 

Examples of Claims 

If theory is not enough for you to master the art of claim creation, then you probably need essay claim examples. Learning with the help of practical templates is much easier, as you have a blueprint to follow and can hone your writing skills much faster. 

Here are some examples of claims in essays that may illustrate the process in practice: 

  • Everyday walking improves the cardiovascular health of the elderly. 
  • Spending several hours a day in the open air is good for people’s mental well-being. 
  • AI integration in all domains of social life is not as beneficial as it seems. 
  • Healthy nutrition is the best method of illness prevention. 
  • School uniforms are effective tools for nurturing school belonging in children. 

With these guidelines at your fingertips, you’re much better informed about what is a claim in an essay. If you still have questions and can’t give a confident answer to a question, “What is a claim in writing?” you can always turn to our professionals for consultations and writing assistance.

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Margaret Vizenor
Sociology & Literature
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