What Is a Claim in an Essay? Read This Before Writing

What is a claim in an essay?

In this article, you’ll find the essay claim definition, characteristics, types, and examples. Let’s learn where to use claims and how to write them.

Get ready for up-to-date and practical information only!

What Is a Claim in Writing?

A claim is the core argument defining an essay’s goal and direction. (1) It’s assertive, debatable, and supported by evidence. Also, it is complex, specific, and detailed.

Also known as a thesis, a claim is a little different from statements and opinions. Keep reading to reveal the nuances.

Claims vs. statements vs. opinions

Arguable claimDescriptive statementOpinion
– Debatable
– Supported by evidence
– Answering the “So what?” question
– No criticism, investigation, or analysis
– Support and argument aren’t necessary
– Not going beyond the info from a core text
– More opinion than academic reasoning
– No need for evidence
– Stating support, not necessarily the reason behind the support

Where to use claims

To answer the “What is claim in writing?”, it’s critical to understand that this definition isn’t only for high school or college essays. Below are the types of writing with claims:

  1. Argumentative articles. Consider a controversial issue, proving it with evidence throughout your paper.
  2. Literary analysis. Build a claim about a book, and use evidence from it to support your claim.
  3. Research papers. Present a hypothesis and provide evidence to confirm or refute it.
  4. Speeches. State a claim and persuade the audience that you’re right.
  5. Persuasive essays and memos. State a thesis and use fact-based evidence to back it up..

What can you use as evidence in essays?

  • Statistics
  • Facts and other data from relevant and respectful resources (no Wikipedia or other sources like this)
  • Primary research
  • Secondary research (science magazines’ articles, literature reviews, etc.)
  • Personal observation
  • Expert quotes (opinions)
  • Info from expert interviews

How to Write a Claim in Essays


Two points to consider when making a claim in a college paper:

First, remember that a claim may have counterarguments. You’ll need to respond to them to make your argument stronger. Use transition words like “despite,” “yet,” “although,” and others to show those counterclaims.

Second, good claims are more complex than simple “I’m right” statements. Be ready to explain your claim, answering the “So what?” question.

And now, to details:

Types of claims in an essay (2)

FactYour position on:

– What happened?
– Does it exist?
DefinitionYour position on:

– What is it?
– How does its usual meaning change in different contexts?
ValueYour position on:

– Is it good or bad?
– Who thinks so?
– What criteria should I use to evaluate it?
CauseYour position on:

– Why did it happen?
– What are the effects?
– What will be the results on a long-term basis?
ComparisonYour position on:

– What can we learn by this comparison?
– How can we understand one thing by looking at another?
PolicyYour position on:

– What should we do?
– How can we solve this problem?
– What should be future policy?

Writing a claim: Details to consider

What makes a good claim? Three characteristics (3):

  1. It’s assertive. (You have a strong position about a topic.)
  2. It’s specific. (Your assertion is as precise as possible.)
  3. It’s provable. (You can prove your position with evidence.)

When writing a claim, avoid generalizations, questions, and cliches. Also, don’t state the obvious.


  • Poor claim: Pollution is bad for the environment.
  • Good claim: At least 25% of the federal budget should be spent upgrading businesses to clean technologies and researching renewable energy sources to control or cut pollution.

How to start a claim in an essay?

Answer the essay prompt. Use an active voice when writing a claim for readers to understand your point. Here is the basic formula:

[Subject] + [proposed action] + because [argument]

When writing, avoid:

How long should a claim be in an essay?

1-2 sentences. A claim is your essay’s thesis: Write it in the first paragraph (intro), presenting a topic and your position about it.

Examples of Claims

Below are a few claim examples depending on the type. I asked our expert writers to provide some for you to better understand how to write it.

Feel free to use them for inspiration, or don’t hesitate to “steal” if they appear relevant to your essay topic. Also, remember that you can always ask our writers to assist with a claim for your papers.

Essay claim (type):Example of a claim:
Fact“Though student demonstrations may be less evident than they were in the 1960s, students are more politically active than ever.”
Definition“By examining what it means to ‘network,’ it’s clear that social networking sites encourage not networking but something else entirely.”
Value“Video games are a valuable addition to modern education.”
Cause“By seeking to replicate the experience of reading physical books, new hardware and software actually will lead to an appreciation of printed and bound texts for years to come.”
Comparison“The varied policies of the US and British education systems reveal a difference in values.”
Policy“Sex education should be part of the public school curriculum.”

Final Words

Now that you know what is a claim in an essay, I hope you don’t find it super challenging to write anymore. It’s like writing a thesis statement; make it assertive, specific, and provable.

If you still have questions or doubts, ask Writing-Help writers for support. They’ll help you build an A-worthy claim for an essay.


  1. https://www.pvcc.edu/files/making_a_claim.pdf
  2. https://lsa.umich.edu/content/dam/sweetland-assets/sweetland-documents/teachingresources/TeachingArgumentation/Supplement2_%20SixCommonTypesofClaim.pdf 
  3. https://students.tippie.uiowa.edu/sites/students.tippie.uiowa.edu/files/2022-05/effective_claims.pdf