The whole idea behind making statements in writing is to provide logical, evidence-based arguments for the statements that you are making. It is a way to introduce the basic idea behind your starting point, and form that idea in such a way that makes it seem like an argument.
In rhetoric and argumentation, an assertion is a defensible statement–an idea–that the rhetor (speaker or writer) is asking an audience to accept. A claim is inherently contested, but used as the main point in order to make an argument or show proof.
With the aid of a claim, a person may state a specific position about a contentious matter in order to establish that it is a logically valid idea. In the context of writing essays, a claim can most concisely be defined as a disputed statement–which a writer then defends using supporting evidence and rhetoric. A claim refers to a debatable claim or argument within your paper that is supported by evidence or facts.
In academic writing, a claim is typically the primary idea, usually called the claim or the thesis, supported by evidence supporting that main idea. In fact, making an argument–expressing ones view on a topic and supporting it with evidence–is usually a goal in academic writing. For an academic statement to merit space in your essay, it must be complicated, controversial, supported by research, and focused on facts.
In most college essays, you are going to have to make a statement and rely on evidence to back it up, and your ability to do so well will set your essay apart from the essays of students who treat assignments as merely an accumulation of facts and details. For an argumentative paper, for instance, you will have to write something that has the power to change the readers mind. When writing essays, whether or not a statement you are making is true is not the primary reason a reader wants to read the essay.
No reader is going to assume the claim you are making is true, or even have some small amount of faith in it, without having gone through the evidence presented for the claim. The evidence is not going to completely convince everybody that the claim you are putting forward is true, but it is going to help each reader come to their own conclusion. You may frequently use more than one kind of evidence in your essay, but be sure to give readers evidence relevant to each of your claims in every section.
Make sure that you include only one claim if you have done research supporting it in the main body of the paper. You may want to use several types of claims to build up potential arguments about the topics you choose to explore. I have included the classifications on my blog, as knowing what types of claims are out there will definitely motivate you to write more controversial claims.
No matter what the type of claims, usually you will be mixing a lot of types of evidence to that claim in order to write a logical argument, including facts, case studies, reasons, private interviews, etc., as appropriate. While each of your claims will introduce arguments, not every claim will use the same approaches to these arguments. You are using the claims that you are making to construct a stronger final product, one that shows that you have considered all aspects of your arguments, and can support them with evidence and logic.
It is not necessary to present claims without solid evidence and arguments to support them. Claims require support from reliable evidence, as not everybody is going to agree on the facts that they are making.
A claim of fact makes a statement about something which can be proven or disproven by evidence. Whereas claims are highly opinion-based, while statements simply state something is true, evidence is used to really prove a claim (or statement) is true.
If you were told to write an essay claim, you might get confused by the differences between a claim, a counterclaim, and a thesis statement. Together, the thesis, claim, and a few well-placed counterclaims form the strands of your narrative, leading to a cohesive and exciting-to-read essay. Before articulating that all-important thesis statement, you should be aware of what claims are, and how you can make yours better.
Your thesis should come at the end of your introduction, so your statement can act as the road map for the rest of your essay. You are sure to make subsidiary claims throughout the rest of the essay, but your primary thesis states the primary position that you are making. Answer your question (it is your position) and provide your reasons (not your particular evidence, but general reasons), and you have got yourself a good, solid main claim. Consider your conclusion or assertions and your premises for the argument, and imagine someone denying each.
Once you have made a statement, you will want to see if you can engage your readers by making a compelling or provocative claim that will actually make them think. A good, sensible statement will get you a nice debate-worthy essay, whereas a counter-intuitive claim will not hold up by itself, nor convince readers. All essays include a controversial argument that the writer wants the reader to agree with or disagree with, and to write a good essay, you need to make a valid argument in support of your claim. While the general thrust of your argument might be that climate change is bad, claims are specific arguments that comprise your argument (e.g., widespread droughts would increase terrorism).
In my attempt to distinguish between the various types of thesis statements, I am calling arguments, disputable thesis statements, claims. A primary claim is the thesis of an essay, whereas subsidiary claims support the ideas in the primary claim. A rhetorical production, such as a speech or an essay, is usually composed of a single central claim, with much of the content comprising multiple supporting arguments to this central claim. If the claim is your primary argument, then your sub-claims are smaller arguments that serve to support it.