Prior to writing a paper, read the points below about developing a thesis (also called an argument, opinion, or claim). If further help is needed with understanding a thesis, refer to Chapters 1, 4, 17, and pp. 98-102 of Everything’s an Argument. The thesis (argument, opinion, or claim) is the main point of the essay or research paper. It is the primary argument upon which the entire essay or research paper will focus.