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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Thesis Statement

❶It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

What is a Thesis?




For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:. This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:. Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable. This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

How to Write a Thesis Statement. A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes: You start out with a thesis statement like this: You change your thesis to look like this: Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this: You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write: You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this: A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand.

Here are two thesis statements: There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement. This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements: My family is an extended family. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

One way to revise the thesis would be to write: The goal of this step is to find a particular narrow subject in your topic which you can make an argument about. For example, take the topic of computers. There are many aspects of computers that can be expanded on such as hardware, software, and programming. However, vague topics like these do not make good theses. But something more narrow, such as the effects of Steve Jobs on the modern computer industry, allows for a much clearer focus.

Know the type, purpose, and audience of the paper. These are usually assigned by the instructor, but even if you get to choose them, you must understand that these will affect your thesis statement considerably. If you are writing a persuasive paper, your purpose will be to prove something to a specific group.

If you are writing a descriptive paper, your purpose will be to describe something to a specific group. Each of these must be expressed in your thesis somehow. Follow a rigid structure. Knowing the basic formulas will not only keep your thesis within the acceptable length but it will also help you see how your entire argument should be organized. Your thesis should contain two parts: A clear topic or subject matter A brief summary of what you will say Another way of looking at a thesis is as a formula, or a pattern, that comfortably holds your ideas: Because [reason s ], [something] [does something].

Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something]. The last example includes a counter-argument, which complicates the thesis but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all counter-arguments against your thesis.

Write down your thesis. You will be able to think about your thesis logically , clearly, and concisely. There are two schools of thought on thesis timing.

Some people say you should not write the paper without a thesis in mind and written down, even if you have to alter it slightly by the end. The other school of thought says that you probably won't know where you're going until you get there, so don't write the thesis until you know what it should be.

Do whatever seems best to you. Analyze your thesis statement once you think you have a final, or working, version. The point is to make sure you avoid making any mistakes that can weaken your thesis. To get a better idea of what to do and what to avoid, consider the following pointers: Never frame your thesis as a question. A thesis is not a list. Keep it concise and brief.

Never mention a new topic that you do not intend to discuss in the paper. Do not write in the first person. Using sentences such as, "I will show Do not be combative. The point of your paper is to convince someone of your position, not turn them off, and the best way to achieve that is to make them want to listen to you.

Express an open-minded tone, finding common ground between different views. Realize that your thesis does not have to be absolute. Consider it a "working thesis" that's subject to change. As you write your paper you may find that your opinion changes or that your direction has veered slightly. So make sure to continuously re-read your thesis, comparing it to your paper and making the appropriate changes so the two match.

Once your paper is finished, go back to your thesis and determine if it needs another revision. You state your thesis at the beginning, usually at the end of the introductory paragraph. You restate your thesis in one or two sentences at the end, typically at the beginning of your conclusion. Not Helpful 7 Helpful It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning.

It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do. The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins.

You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper's focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper. That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is; frankly, it's probably not a good idea for beginning writers.

Avoid announcing the thesis statement as if it were a thesis statement. In other words, avoid using phrases such as "The purpose of this paper is. If necessary, write the thesis statement that way the first time; it might help you determine, in fact, that this is your thesis statement. But when you rewrite your paper, eliminate the bald assertion that this is your thesis statement and write the statement itself without that annoying, unnecessary preface. Here are the first two paragraphs of George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language" Which of these sentences would you say is or are the thesis statement of the essay which is to follow?

Everything that follows in this essay, then, would have to be something that fits under the "umbrella" of that thesis statement. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it.

It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.


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Thesis Statements What this handout is about This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.

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A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay. Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis.

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In composition, a thesis statement (or controlling idea) is a sentence in an essay, report, research paper, or speech that identifies the main idea and/or central purpose of the text. In rhetoric, a claim is similar to a thesis. For students especially, crafting a thesis statement can be a. The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay. [Back to top] How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned. Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore.

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The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement (many narrative essays, for example, contain only an implied thesis statement), the lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot in your essay; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.