What Is a Claim in Essay Writing?

Every student has heard about claims in essay writing. Many people, however, often use the terms “claim” and “thesis statement” interchangeably. On the one hand, any thesis statement is a claim statement. On the other hand, the term “claim” can only be used when talking about argumentative thesis statements that are debatable. Besides, the thesis statement is the central, most important claim in any essay. When writing your essay, you can also include many other sub-claims.

In this article, we will consider claims in essay writing in more detail and provide you with some tips on how to write proper claims.

So What a Claim Is?

A claim argues in favor of a certain opinion, persuades the audience to agree with it, proves it, or simply suggests something to an audience that might not agree with you initially. Argumentative claims are made when discussing subjects that imply different opinions that may contradict each other. For example, you can argue for or against the death penalty, gun control, abortions, etc.

There are many social and political issues that are associated with heated arguments. However, academic argumentative claims are different. For example, when writing academic papers, you cannot make a claim simply because it is your personal opinion. If you think that a certain opinion is right because it looks obvious to you, you think that it’s morally correct, or it has been traditionally considered correct, you cannot make such a claim in academic writing.

When writing essays and other academic papers, all your claims should be supported by evidence. They should be detailed and specific to avoid any misunderstandings. To present successful claims, you should present evidence from reputable sources or results of your own research. Depending on the subject of your paper, you may also be able to support your claims with quotes from interviews.

You should also keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply express your support for a certain statement. Your claims should also help your readers understand why they should care about the topic of your essay, in the first place, suggest possible solutions, or explain the background of the issue. In other words, your claims should be based on facts, and your opinions should be perfectly relevant.

How To Write a Claim: A Step By Step Guide

Choose and Research Your Topic

First of all, you should choose a topic for your paper, if you don’t have a topic assigned to you. You should make sure that your claim will be well-focused so you need to narrow down the general topic and think of what aspects of the subject look especially interesting to you. For example, if your general topic is global warming, you can focus on the problem of fossil fuels because global warming, in general, is  too broad a topic to address in an essay.

Once you’ve figured out what your claim will focus on, you can start looking for relevant sources. While researching your topic, make notes so that you can quickly find the necessary information when developing your claim. Make sure that all pieces of evidence are relevant and clearly connected to your claims.

Determine the Goal of Your Paper

You may choose different wording and even different types of thesis statements depending on the goal of your paper. When writing argumentative essays, you should be able to convince your readers to change their opinion. You may come up with more or less persuasive claims, but you should also make sure that your claims are based on solid research. Always combine opinions with relevant facts.

Choose a Unique Approach

The best way to make your claim interesting for readers is to approach your topic in a unique way. While doing your research, you may find many sources that discuss your subject from different viewpoints. Of course, you may agree with an opinion that has already been expressed by someone else, but even in this case, you should try to approach the subject in a unique way. A distinct argument will make your essay more attractive, authentic, and interesting.

Think of What You Can Prove

Make sure that you can prove your claims. If some claim will look very impressive but you won’t be able to support it properly, don’t include it in your essay. That’s why it’s so important to make notes while researching the subject: you should know what information will be relevant and useful in each particular situation. Start writing when you’re prepared to support your claims.

We also recommend that you don’t build your claims around whether or not a certain point is right or wrong. If you’re mentioning somebody else, you shouldn’t express your judgment about this person unless you can actually meet them. The main reason is that you must be able to support all of your claims. Besides, avoid coming up with overcomplicated theories, and don’t write on subjects you have little to no knowledge about.

Write Claims Properly

When writing a thesis statement, which is the main claim the entire essay is based on, you have an opportunity to zero in on the purpose of the essay and its key ideas. We recommend that you write a claim that will help your readers quickly understand what your essay is about and what they should expect. You may help them understand your position and how you’re going to prove it.

Although your claim should be persuasive, you should also keep in mind that it’s not a fact but an opinion supported by facts. For instance, in academic papers, a thesis statement may describe your hypothesis, which may or may not be correct. Moreover, you shouldn’t use an obviously correct claim because your entire essay should support it so you should have something to write about.


A claim is a very important element in essays and other academic papers. Your ability to write strong claims to a large extent determines the success of your papers. Therefore, you should make sure that all your claims are supported by evidence and relevant. Make sure to prepare before writing your claims and follow our tips to write claims that will strengthen your position and impress your readers.

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1 comment
  • I wish I could find this article earlier! I spent at least one hour reading about how to properly write a claim in an argumentative essay, and this one helped me a lot. THANK YOU!