Developing Strong Thesis Statements
These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.
Contributors: Stacy Weida, Karl Stolley
Last Edited: 2018-01-31 03:32:44
The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable
An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.
Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:
Pollution is bad for the environment.
This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Further, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good.
Example of a debatable thesis statement:
At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.
This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.
Another example of a debatable thesis statement:
America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars.
In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.
The thesis needs to be narrow
Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Example of a thesis that is too broad:
Drug use is detrimental to society.
There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.
Example of a narrow or focused thesis:
Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence.
In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:
Narrowed debatable thesis 1:
At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.
Narrowed debatable thesis 2:
America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most citizens to contribute to national efforts and care about the outcome.
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.
Qualifiers such as "typically," "generally," "usually," or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.
Types of claims
Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, in other words what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.
Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:
What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal, long-term cycles of climate change.
Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:
The popularity of SUVs in America has caused pollution to increase.
Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:
Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.
Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:
Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption, such as researching renewable energy sources.
Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.
For several employees, withdrawing one's own money from the EPFO had been a tough task. The claim settlement process which earlier took several months, if not years, even required the employee to get the attestation done from the employer.
Not anymore, as the EPFO had been taking steps to reduce the time taken to settle PF claims. Earlier the EPFO had introduced the 'Composite claim form (Aadhaar)', and the need for employer's attestation was done away with.
Of late, the EPFO has introduced several new measures to bring down the claims settlement period and has now enabled the system to aim for the settlement of claims within 5 days.
To get the claim early, one needs to meet certain conditions as set by the EPFO. They are:
" It's possible only if one applies for the claim online here. (https://unifiedportal.epfindia.gov.in/)
" The employee needs to have the UAN.
" The KYC (Aadhaar and bank details) against their UAN should have been seeded
" The present employer should have approved/verified the e-KYC.
Once, logged in, click on 'Manage' and then 'KYC' to input the Aadhaar and bank details in the boxes provided. Once approved by your employer, the online claim facility (after at least two months of leaving the job) can be used to receive the PF funds into one's bank account.
To authenticate the claim process, a one-time password (OTP) is sent to the registered mobile number with Aadhaar database. Once this OTP is entered, submit the 'Composite claim form (Aadhaar)' and the withdrawal process is initiated.
Composite claim form (Aadhaar)
The new Aadhaar linked 'composite claim form' can be used for availing benefits as under EPF Form 19, Form 10C and PF part withdrawals Form 31. One, therefore, needs to fill only one form and submit claims for PF final settlement, the partial claim for meeting housing, marriage, education or medical needs.
Using the has two major advantages - One, a claim can be submitted even without the employer's attestation and secondly, one need not attach or send any documentary evidence to EPFO while claiming partial withdrawals for meeting housing, marriage, education or medical needs.
Viewing PF passbook
To view provident fund passbook, one may access it here. (https://passbook.epfindia.gov.in/MemberPassBook/Login.jsp) with one's UAN and password.
The employees, who are under the exempted establishment i.e. where the provident fund is managed by a trust, have to contact their employer for the passbook. Generally, such exempted firms provide such details on their Intranet portal along with other employee services.
But, before you submit your claim to withdraw PF online, keep an eye on the taxability of the money.
Tax on early withdrawals
The EPF withdrawal is not taxable if one has completed at least five years of continuous service. If one has switched jobs in less than five years but transferred the EPF to the new employer, it will be counted as continuous service. Someone, for instance, works for 1.5 years and then joins another organisation. He transfers his PF balance on to the new employer where he continues to work for 3.5 years. Taken together, it will be five continuous years of service for the employee. Therefore, it's better to transfer your existing PF to your new employer.
Withdrawing the PF balance without completing five continuous years of service has tax implications. The total employer's contribution amount along with the interest earned will get taxable in the year of withdrawal. Also, the amount of deduction claimed under Section 80C on one's own contribution will be added to one's income in the year of withdrawal. In addition, the interest earned on one's own contribution will also be subject to tax.
The government had introduced Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on PF withdrawals in order to discourage premature withdrawals and promote long-term savings. No tax is deducted if the employee withdraws PF after five years. Also, TDS shall not be applicable in the case of PF transfer from one account to another. From June 1, 2016, for TDS, the threshold limit of PF withdrawal has been raised from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. TDS will be applicable at the rate of 10 per cent provided PAN card is submitted.
Currently (2016-17), the EPF interest rate stands at 8.65 percent. In terms of returns from a debt instrument, EPF certainly stands tall. The money is sovereign-backed and the interest earned is tax-free. In fact, it enjoys the Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE) status as contributions are deductible from income. There is hardly any debt product that gives such high return with safety and assurance. Therefore, it's better to transfer your PF account when you switch jobs and avoid the temptation to withdraw the amount.