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Writing a thesis statement is a skill in itself, not something you can gloss over and expect young writers to understand. As part of a unit on persuasion, or to analyze rhetorical strategies used in informational texts, start here to break down the components and purpose of a thesis statement. The class practices writing thesis statements given a specific topic and a specific stand to take. Spend a class period on this before you get them started on drafting the introduction to a persuasive essay.