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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Thesis Statement Examples
The complexity and requirements of a thesis or dissertation can vary according to the university, program or even country you are studying in. Regardless of the these factors, a good thesis statement is essential to ensure that your thesis can stand its ground and enable you to actively pursue your academic endeavors without any hiccups.
Writing a Good Thesis Statement
Examples of thesis statements related to covid-19, example of thesis statements related to education, examples of thesis statements related to healthcare, examples of thesis statements related to employment, examples of thesis statements related to science, examples of thesis statements related to technology, examples of thesis statements related to environment, examples of thesis statements related to social issues, examples of thesis statements related to psychology, examples of thesis statements related to history, using a powerpoint presentation for thesis defense, final words.
What makes a good thesis statement? Simple answer, precision and enough evidence to support your statement. Writing a statement that appears too broad and is merely based on value judgment isn’t going to win you any points. You also need to determine whether your thesis statement is going to be persuasive/argumentative, expository or analytical. Bear in mind that your thesis statement should be easy enough for you to support your research. If you struggle to write your paper, it would most likely be due to a weak statement. Students can get carried away due to the pressure of writing a compelling thesis statement, only to realize they cannot support the statement they have picked with the required evidence to make the argument stick.
Let’s take a look at a few thesis statement examples, with some tips regarding how to go about writing a research paper based on the examples. The following is meant to provide readers with ideas regarding what type of statements can help them with their thesis and how they can back it up with evidence. You might also want to check out our post about how to write an essay to get ideas regarding how to go about writing a quality thesis to support your statement.
Thesis Statement: The rise of online shopping in the wake of COVID-19 might lead to the permanent closure of millions of brick-and-mortar outlets.
The above statement can be deemed analytical, with a need for evidence to support the statement. There have been several research reports, statistics and forecasts on the rise of online shopping retailers like Amazon amidst the crisis. Similarly, many outlets including Microsoft’s retail outlets have closed permanently during the pandemic. There has also been closure of virtually every type of business from across a wide array of industries due to COVID-19, especially the ones that have failed to digitize. You can also make your statement more specific by focusing on closure of retail outlets, eateries, etc.
Note that the above statement does not discuss the closure of businesses but the physical outlets. For example, Microsoft closed its retail outlets but the products can still be bought online or through various other vendors/stores.
Thesis Statement : Because many people might be unwilling to vaccinate in country x due to their reluctance towards a COVID-19 vaccine, the government must ensure that mass awareness campaigns regarding the need to vaccinate starts prior to the launch of the vaccine.
This statement makes a case for the use of vaccination by convincing people to vaccinate as soon as a new vaccine becomes available. This is a persuasive statement, which can be backed by evidence regarding how anti-vaccination drives and misconceptions have in the past led to the spread of disease. For example, misconceptions and resistance towards the polio vaccine has resulted in cases still being reported in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Thesis Statement : As physical libraries become obsolete due to digital devices, the government should fund digital libraries instead of physical ones to ease the economic burden of students required to buy expensive e-books.
The above statement would require the individual writing the paper to make a strong case regarding why physical libraries are more expensive and less efficient to manage as compared to virtual libraries that can help students acquire books without incurring heavy charges for renting or purchasing e-books. You can also make a case for open education resources to help students excel in their studies.
Thesis Statement: The government should digitize libraries and provide increased resources to support digital devices, such as new computers, high-speed internet connectivity for remote devices and online access to books.
The example statement above is an alternative version of the statement which suggests increased digitization of libraries. The research paper can include arguments regarding the changing nature of how people now prefer e-books instead of paperback and how students require high-speed internet to connect to a number of remote devices and make the entire library available online. The thesis statement is referring to the government in your country. It is quite possible that your country does not yet offer one or more of the aforementioned services in government-run libraries and they might be becoming irrelevant.
Thesis Statement: The cost of healthcare services for most people in country X is unbearable due to low average incomes, high prices of essential medicines and lack of government-funded hospitals.
This analytical statement singles out a country and mentions that the majority of people are unable to afford healthcare services due to low average incomes, expensive essential medicines and lack of government-funded hospitals. There are a number of developing countries which suffer from this phenomenon. Some low-income countries even have one hospital per five million people and not even a basic health unit in most parts of the country. Furthermore, medicine prices are heavily impacted by exchange rates and a weak currency is likely to drive up prices for poor countries relying on imported medicine. All the required information such as average income, data on government hospitals and medicine prices can be usually acquired for a country through official sources, as well as independent research. This can help provide enough evidence to back your statement.
Thesis Statement: Increased taxation on cigarettes can help save the government on healthcare-related expenditure which can be used for improving healthcare services in the country.
There are three aspects to cover in this statement. One is the application of taxes and to prove that it will help people move towards smoking cessation or alternatives. This will have to be backed by similar results from other countries. For example, countries like the UK and New Zealand have over the years heavily taxed cigarettes and reduced smoking. The evidence related to this can be used for this statement. The second part deals with the government saving on healthcare expenditure which will require explaining the existing burden on healthcare due to e.g. increase in cigarette-induced cancer and other diseases such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart diseases, etc. Lastly, a case can be made regarding the need for improving healthcare services and how the money from a reduced healthcare burden can help do that.
Thesis Statement: A diverse group of people working on projects related to human development can help improve the planning and efficiency of development programs designed for marginalized communities.
Development sector organizations, especially international non-government organizations often try to account for diversity, where people from different, ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds are hired for executing human development programs. Many times, some people are also hired from other countries to bring their experience to the table.
Thesis Statement: Blue-collar workers whose jobs are vanishing in province X should be retrained for work in green energy to reduce unemployment, improve the environment and local economies.
In recent years, many blue-collar jobs have vanished in many countries due to slowing global demand, global recession, the rise of Chinese manufacturing firms and more recently, COVID-19. This statement can also be limited to a local economy to further narrow its scope. The statement can be backed by evidence related to vanishing of jobs for blue-collar workers, the need for improving the environment, e.g. due to deteriorating air quality, solid waste management challenges, rise of plastic pollution, etc.
The case for reducing unemployment and improvement in local economies can also be made by pointing towards data related to unemployment rates, closure of industries in province x and how green energy initiatives can help cope with environment and socio-economic problems. You can make a case for either using green energy for local consumption or to export electricity to neighboring countries with increasing electricity demands and low capacity.
Thesis Statement: Wind turbines need to be replaced with alternative sources of green energy due to their hazardous effect on human health and wildlife.
The above statement makes a case against wind turbines. While they were hailed as an alternative source of renewable energy in the past, research has suggested that the noise and effects of wind turbines on humans and wildlife can be quite adverse. This includes not only birds dying due to collisions with the turbines but also the noise pollution caused by them. To back such a thesis statement, you will have to not only state facts and research related to the subject but also state viable alternatives and comparisons, proving why they are better than wind turbines.
Thesis Statement: Governments should prioritize climate change adaptation since global warming cannot be reversed.
This is an example of a fairly ambitious thesis statement. It caters towards not only covering climate change but makes a bold statement that global warming cannot be stopped. This topic is subject to much debate, with claims that the carbon in the atmosphere can no longer be reduced. The topic has enough research and data available to make a case. Furthermore, climate change adaptation is a hot topic and many governments around the world are working on their adaptation strategies. However, such a topic can still be quite controversial and undertaking such a thesis can be ambitious, as the counter-arguments can be as strong as the narrative you might present.
Thesis Statement: The integration of blockchain technology in supply chain management can enhance transparency, traceability, and efficiency, reducing the risk of counterfeit products and ensuring product authenticity.
Thesis Statement: The development of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots in customer service has the potential to revolutionize customer interactions, providing personalized assistance and improving overall customer satisfaction.
Thesis Statement: Implementing 5G technology can accelerate the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, enabling seamless connectivity and driving innovation in various industries, such as healthcare, transportation, and smart cities.
Thesis Statement: The transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, is essential for mitigating the impacts of climate change and reducing carbon emissions globally.
Thesis Statement: Sustainable waste management practices, including recycling and waste-to-energy technologies, can significantly reduce waste and create a circular economy.
Thesis Statement: Biodiversity conservation and protecting endangered species are critical for maintaining ecosystem balance and preserving the planet’s natural resources for future generations.
Thesis Statement: Implementing comprehensive gun control measures is necessary to reduce gun violence and enhance public safety in communities.
Thesis Statement: Addressing income inequality through progressive taxation and social welfare programs is crucial for promoting social equity and reducing poverty rates.
Thesis Statement: Promoting gender equality in the workplace, including equal pay and representation in leadership positions, is essential for achieving inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
Thesis Statement: Mindfulness-based interventions can effectively reduce stress and anxiety levels in individuals, improving their overall mental well-being and resilience.
Thesis Statement: Early intervention and access to mental health services for children and adolescents can prevent the development of mental health disorders and improve long-term outcomes.
Thesis Statement: The study of cognitive biases and heuristics provides valuable insights into decision-making processes, leading to a better understanding of human behavior in various contexts.
Thesis Statement: Analyzing primary sources and historical documents can lead to a deeper understanding of historical events, shedding light on the perspectives and motivations of different actors.
Thesis Statement: The study of colonialism and its impact on indigenous cultures can provide insights into the historical roots of present-day social and cultural dynamics.
Thesis Statement: Examining the role of women in historical revolutions can reveal their contributions to social and political change, challenging traditional narratives of male-dominated history.
You might need to present a PowerPoint presentation to defend your thesis. In such a case there are a number of things you can do to make sure that you are able to concisely explain your argument while keeping your audience engaged. You can read all about our tips from this post about thesis presentation .
A good thesis statement is the foundation for your thesis. A weak statement is likely to lead to a roadblock in proving your statement. Your thesis statement should be flexible enough for adjustment, as sometimes a student might need to rewrite a thesis statement for a working thesis. In such a case you can save time and effort by leaving room for flexibility so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a thesis statement examples.
A thesis statement is a concise declaration that encapsulates the main argument or focus of an academic paper or essay. It serves as a roadmap for readers, conveying the purpose and direction of the work. For instance, in an essay about climate change, a thesis statement could be: “The urgent need to mitigate climate change is evident through the alarming rise in global temperatures, the increased frequency of extreme weather events, and the rapid melting of polar ice caps.” This statement clearly outlines the essay’s key points, guiding the reader on what to expect and highlighting the author’s stance.
Are thesis statements used in fictional writing?
Thesis statements, including research papers and persuasive essays, are primarily used in nonfiction writing. In fictional writing, such as narrative essays, authors may use a thesis statement to emphasize the story’s significance or the intended lesson they want readers to take away from the narrative.
Can a thesis statement be two sentences long?
While a thesis statement can be two sentences long, it is often preferred to keep it concise and limit it to one sentence. A single-sentence thesis statement is easier for readers to identify, and placing it at the end of the introductory paragraph allows for a clear and focused presentation of the topic.
Can a thesis statement be too broad or too narrow?
Yes, a thesis statement can be problematic if it is too broad or too narrow. A good thesis statement should strike a balance and have a strong focus. If it is too broad, it becomes challenging to cover all aspects within the scope of the paper. Conversely, if it is too narrow, insufficient research or evidence may support the claims effectively. Aim for a thesis statement that clearly identifies the topic and presents your stance, providing readers with a clear understanding of what to expect in the paper.
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What is a thesis statement? I need some examples, too.
What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement clearly identifies the topic being discussed, includes the points discussed in the paper, and is written for a specific audience. Your thesis statement belongs at the end of your first paragraph, also known as your introduction. Use it to generate interest in your topic and encourage your audience to continue reading.
You can read chapter four of Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Research Papers an eBook in our online collection, click the title to open: "How Do I Write a Thesis Statement?" .
Another option is to think of a thesis statement as one complete sentence that expresses your position .
- Narrows the topic down to a specific focus of an investigation.
- Establishes a direction for the entire paper.
- Points forward to the conclusion.
- Always stated in your introduction. (Usually at the end of the first paragraph).
- Always take a stand and justify further discussion.
A thesis statement is not a statement of fact.
Your readers—especially your instructors—want to read writing that engages them. Consequently, you must write thesis statements that are arguable, not factual. Statements of fact seem easy to write about because, well, they are easy to prove. After all, they’re facts. The problem is that you cannot write engaging papers around statements of fact. Such theses prevent you from demonstrating critical thinking and analytical skills, which you want to show your instructor. If you were to write a paper around the next two statements, your writing would probably be quite dull because you would be restating facts that the general public already knows.
Thesis Statements always take a stand and justify further discussion.
In order to make your writing interesting, you should develop a thesis statement that is arguable. Sometimes you will be writing to persuade others to see things your way and other times you will simply be giving your strong opinion and laying out your case for it.
Take a look at the following examples:
Statement of fact:
Small cars get better fuel mileage than 4x4 pickup trucks.
Arguable thesis statement:
The government should ban 4x4 pickup trucks except for work-related use.
Foul language is common in movies.
The amount of foul language in movies is disproportionate to the amount of foul language in real life.
State ment of fact:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease.
Arguable thesis statement/opening paragraph:
Researchers think the incidence of celiac disease is increasing in the USA not only because of an increase in the ability and awareness to diagnose it, but also because of changes in the agricultural system. In particular, they are looking at the increased use of pesticides, insecticides, and genetically modified wheat as culprits. Some of these theories are more likely to be valid than others.
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25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze
Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement.
Let's take a minute to first understand what makes a solid thesis statement, and what key components you need to write one of your own.
A thesis statement always goes at the beginning of the paper. It will typically be in the first couple of paragraphs of the paper so that it can introduce the body paragraphs, which are the supporting evidence for your thesis statement.
Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can't just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute . An ineffective thesis statement would be, "Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it." This isn't really something that's a debatable topic.
Something that would be more debatable would be, "A puppy's cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness." These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they're really soft and fuzzy.
All cuteness aside, you want to make sure that your thesis statement is not only debatable, but that it also actually thoroughly answers the research question that was posed. You always want to make sure that your evidence is supporting a claim that you made (and not the other way around). This is why it's crucial to read and research about a topic first and come to a conclusion later. If you try to get your research to fit your thesis statement, then it may not work out as neatly as you think. As you learn more, you discover more (and the outcome may not be what you originally thought).
Additionally, your thesis statement shouldn't be too big or too grand. It'll be hard to cover everything in a thesis statement like, "The federal government should act now on climate change." The topic is just too large to actually say something new and meaningful. Instead, a more effective thesis statement might be, "Local governments can combat climate change by providing citizens with larger recycling bins and offering local classes about composting and conservation." This is easier to work with because it's a smaller idea, but you can also discuss the overall topic that you might be interested in, which is climate change.
So, now that we know what makes a good, solid thesis statement, you can start to write your own. If you find that you're getting stuck or you are the type of person who needs to look at examples before you start something, then check out our list of thesis statement examples below.
Thesis statement examples
A quick note that these thesis statements have not been fully researched. These are merely examples to show you what a thesis statement might look like and how you can implement your own ideas into one that you think of independently. As such, you should not use these thesis statements for your own research paper purposes. They are meant to be used as examples only.
- Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
- Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don't forget what they've learned throughout the school year.
- School Uniforms School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
- Populism The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
- Public Libraries Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
- Cyber Bullying With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyber bullying is on the rise. Cyber bullying puts a lot of stress on many teens, and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smart phones, monitor their children's online activity, and report any cyber bullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
- Medical Marijuana for Veterans Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them re-integrate back into civilian life.
- Work-Life Balance Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
- Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age appropriate lessons.
- Whether or Not to Attend University A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and a future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a "gap year" where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
- Studying Abroad Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
- Women's Body Image Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman's body image collectively as a culture.
- Cigarette Tax Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn't deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
- Veganism A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
- University Athletes Should be Compensated University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighborhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
- Women in the Workforce Sheryl Sandberg makes a lot of interesting points in her best-selling book, Lean In , but she only addressed the very privileged working woman and failed to speak to those in lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs.
- Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide should be legal and doctors should have the ability to make sure their patients have the end-of-life care that they want to receive.
- Celebrity and Political Activism Although Taylor Swift's lyrics are indicative of a feminist perspective, she should be more politically active and vocal to use her position of power for the betterment of society.
- The Civil War The insistence from many Southerners that the South seceded from the Union for states' rights versus the fact that they seceded for the purposes of continuing slavery is a harmful myth that still affects race relations today.
- Blue Collar Workers Coal miners and other blue-collar workers whose jobs are slowly disappearing from the workforce should be re-trained in jobs in the technology sector or in renewable energy. A program to re-train these workers would not only improve local economies where jobs have been displaced, but would also lead to lower unemployment nationally.
- Diversity in the Workforce Having a diverse group of people in an office setting leads to richer ideas, more cooperation, and more empathy between people with different skin colors or backgrounds.
- Re-Imagining the Nuclear Family The nuclear family was traditionally defined as one mother, one father, and 2.5 children. This outdated depiction of family life doesn't quite fit with modern society. The definition of normal family life shouldn't be limited to two-parent households.
- Digital Literacy Skills With more information readily available than ever before, it's crucial that students are prepared to examine the material they're reading and determine whether or not it's a good source or if it has misleading information. Teaching students digital literacy and helping them to understand the difference between opinion or propaganda from legitimate, real information is integral.
- Beauty Pageants Beauty pageants are presented with the angle that they empower women. However, putting women in a swimsuit on a stage while simultaneously judging them on how well they answer an impossible question in a short period of time is cruel and purely for the amusement of men. Therefore, we should stop televising beauty pageants.
- Supporting More Women to Run for a Political Position In order to get more women into political positions, more women must run for office. There must be a grassroots effort to educate women on how to run for office, who among them should run, and support for a future candidate for getting started on a political career.
Still stuck? Need some help with your thesis statement?
If you are still uncertain about how to write a thesis statement or what a good thesis statement is, be sure to consult with your teacher or professor to make sure you're on the right track. It's always a good idea to check in and make sure that your thesis statement is making a solid argument and that it can be supported by your research.
After you're done writing, it's important to have someone take a second look at your paper so that you can ensure there are no mistakes or errors. It's difficult to spot your own mistakes, which is why it's always recommended to have someone help you with the revision process, whether that's a teacher, the writing center at school, or a professional editor such as one from ServiceScape .
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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.
Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.
Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?
- to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
- to better organize and develop your argument
- to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument
In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.
How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?
Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned
Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.
Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”
The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.
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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. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.
A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:
- take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
- deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
- express one main idea
- assert your conclusions about a subject
Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.
Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.
You start out with a thesis statement like this:
This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.
Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.
You change your thesis to look like this:
Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.
This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.
Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.
You revise your thesis statement to look like this:
More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.
This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.
Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:
Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.
This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.
Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:
Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.
Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.
How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One
1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..
Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:
There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.
This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.
Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.
This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.
2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.
Your thesis should indicate the point of the 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.
This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.
While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.
This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.
3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.
Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:
Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.
This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:
Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.
This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .
4. A strong thesis statement is specific.
A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:
World hunger has many causes and effects.
This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. 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.
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How to Write a Thesis Statement–Examples
What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the main idea of a paper or an essay. Similar to the statement of the problem in research, it prepares the reader for what is to come and ties together the evidence and examples that are presented and the arguments and claims that are made later.
A good thesis statement can provoke thought, arouse interest, and is always followed up by exactly what it promises—if the focus or direction of your essay changes over time, you should go back to your statement and adapt it as well so that it clearly reflects what you are explaining or discussing.
Where does the thesis statement go in my paper?
Your thesis statement should be placed near the end of your introduction—after you have given the reader some background and before you delve into the specific evidence or arguments that support your statement.
Can you give me a thesis statement template?
Depending on the type of essay you are writing, your thesis statement will look different. The important thing is that your statement is specific and clearly states the main idea you want to get across. In the following, we will discuss different types of statements, show you a simple 4-step process for writing an effective thesis statement, and finish off with some not-so-good and good thesis statement examples.
Table of Contents:
- Types of Thesis Statements
- How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step
- Not-So-Good and Good Thesis Statements
Types of Thesis Statements
Depending on whether your paper is analytical, expository, or argumentative, your statement has a slightly different purpose.
Analytical thesis statements
An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its components, evaluates the pieces, and presents an evaluation of this breakdown to the reader. Such papers can analyze art, music, literature, current or historical events, political ideas, or scientific research. An analytical thesis statement is therefore often the result of such an analysis of, for example, some literary work (“Heathcliff is meant to be seen as a hero rather than a horrible person”) or a process (“the main challenge recruiters face is the balance between selecting the best candidates and hiring them before they are snatched up by competitors”), or even the latest research (“starving yourself will increase your lifespan, according to science”). In the rest of the paper, you then need to explain how you did the analysis that led you to the stated result and how you arrived at your conclusion, by presenting data and evidence.
Expository thesis statements
An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience, such as a historical development, a current phenomenon, or the effect of political intervention. A typical explanatory thesis statement is therefore often a “topic statement” rather than a claim or actual thesis. An expository essay could, for example, explain “where human rights came from and how they changed the world,” or “how students make career choices.” The rest of the paper then needs to present the reader with all the relevant information on the topic, covering all sides and aspects rather than one specific viewpoint.
Argumentative thesis statements
An argumentative paper makes a clear and potentially very subjective claim and follows up with a justification based on evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the author’s claim is true. A thesis statement for such a paper could be that “every student should be required to take a gap year after high school to gain some life experience”, or that “vaccines should be mandatory”. Argumentative thesis statements can be bold, assertive, and one-sided—you have the rest of the paper to convince the reader that you have good reasons to think that way and that maybe they should think like that, too.
How to Write a Thesis Statement Step-by-Step
If you are not quite sure how you get from a topic to a thesis statement, then follow this simple process—but make sure you know what type of essay you are supposed to write and adapt the steps to the kind of statement you need.
First , you will have to select a topic . This might have been done for you already if you are writing an essay as part of a class. If not, then make sure you don’t start too general—narrow the subject down to a specific aspect that you can cover in an essay.
Second , ask yourself a question about your topic, one that you are personally interested in or one that you think your readers might find relevant or interesting. Here, you have to consider whether you are going to explain something to the reader (expository essay) or if you want to put out your own, potentially controversial, opinion and then argue for it in the rest of your (argumentative) essay.
Third , answer the question you raised for yourself, based on the material you have already sifted through and are planning to present to the reader or the opinion you have already formed on the topic. If your opinion changes while working on your essay, which happens quite often, then make sure you come back to this process and adapt your statement.
Fourth and last, reword the answer to your question into a concise statement . You want the reader to know exactly what is coming, and you also want to make it sound as interesting as possible so that they decide to keep reading.
Let’s look at this example process to give you a better idea of how to get from your topic to your statement. Note that this is the development of a thesis statement for an argumentative essay .
- Choose a specific topic: Covid-19 vaccines
Narrow it down to a specific aspect: opposition to Covid-19 vaccines
- Ask a question: Should vaccination against Covid-19 be mandatory?
- Answer the question for yourself, by sorting through the available evidence/arguments:
Yes: vaccination protects other, more vulnerable people; vaccination reduces the spread of the disease; herd immunity will allow societies to go back to normal…
No: vaccines can have side-effects in some people; the vaccines have been developed too fast and there might be unknown risks; the government should stay out of personal decisions on people’s health…
- Form your opinion and reword it into your thesis statement that represents a very short summary of the key points you base your claim on:
While there is some hesitancy around vaccinations against Covid-19, most of the presented arguments revolve around unfounded fears and the individual freedom to make one’s own decisions. Since that freedom is offset by the benefits of mass vaccination, governments should make vaccines mandatory to help societies get back to normal.
This is a good argumentative thesis statement example because it does not just present a fact that everybody knows and agrees on, but a claim that is debatable and needs to be backed up by data and arguments, which you will do in the rest of your essay. You can introduce whatever evidence and arguments you deem necessary in the following—but make sure that all your points lead back to your core claim and support your opinion. This example also answers the question “how long should a thesis statement be?” One or two sentences are generally enough. If your statement is longer, make sure you are not using vague, empty expressions or more words than necessary .
Good and Bad Thesis Statement Examples
Not-so-good thesis statement : Everyone should get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Problem: The statement does not specify why that might be relevant or why people might not want to do it—this is too vague to spark anyone’s interest.
Good : Since the risks of the currently available Covid-19 vaccines are minimal and societal interests outweigh individual freedom, governments should make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.
Not-so-good thesis statement : Binge drinking is bad for your health.
Problem: This is a very broad statement that everyone can agree on and nobody needs to read an article on. You need to specify why anyone would not think that way.
Good : Binge drinking has become a trend among college students. While some argue that it might be better for your health than regular consumption of low amounts of alcohol, science says otherwise.
Not-so-good thesis statement : Learning an instrument can develop a child’s cognitive abilities.
Problem: This is a very weak statement—”can” develop doesn’t tell us whether that is what happens in every child, what kind of effects of music education on cognition we can expect, and whether that has or should have any practical implications.
Good thesis statement : Music education has many surprising benefits on children’s overall development, including effects on language acquisition, coordination, problem-solving, and even social skills.
You could now present all the evidence on the specific effects of music education on children’s specific abilities in the rest of your (expository) essay. You could also turn this into an argumentative essay, by adding your own opinion to your statement:
Good thesis statement : Considering the many surprising benefits that music education has on children’s overall development, every child should be given the opportunity to learn an instrument as part of their public school education.
Not-so-good thesis statement : Outer space exploration is a waste of money.
Problem: While this is a clear statement of your personal opinion that people could potentially disagree with (which is good for an argumentative thesis statement), it lacks context and does not really tell the reader what to expect from your essay.
Good thesis statement : Instead of wasting money on exploring outer space, people like Elon Musk should use their wealth to solve poverty, hunger, global warming, and other issues we are facing on this earth.
Get Professional Thesis Editing Services
Now that you know how to write the perfect thesis statement for your essay, you might be interested in our free grammar checker , the Wordvice AI Proofreader. And after drafting your academic papers, be sure to get proofreading that includes manuscript editing , thesis editing , or dissertation editing services before submitting your work to journals for publication.
We have many more articles for you on all aspects of academic writing , tips and tricks on how to avoid common grammar mistakes , and resources on how to strengthen your writing style in general.
Module 3: Writing Essentials
Thesis statements, learning objectives.
- Identify strong thesis statements
The thesis statement is the key to most academic writing. The purpose of academic writing is to offer your own insights, analyses, and ideas—to show not only that you understand the concepts you’re studying, but also that you have thought about those concepts in your own way and agreed or disagreed, or developed your own unique ideas as a result of your analysis. The thesis statement is the one sentence that encapsulates the result of your thinking, as it offers your main insight or argument in condensed form.
We often use the word “argument” in English courses, but we do not mean it in the traditional sense of a verbal fight with someone else. Instead, you “argue” by taking a position on an issue and supporting it with evidence. Because you’ve taken a position about your topic, someone else may be in a position to disagree (or argue) with the stance you have taken. Think about how a lawyer presents an argument or states their case in a courtroom—similarly, you want to build a case around the main idea of your essay. For example, in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted “The Declaration of Sentiments,” she was thinking about how to convince New York State policymakers to change the laws to allow women to vote. Stanton was making an argument .
Some consider all writing a form of argument—or at least of persuasion. After all, even if you’re writing a letter or an informative essay, you’re implicitly trying to persuade your audience to care about what you’re saying. Your thesis statement represents the main idea—or point—about a topic or issue that you make in an argument. For example, let’s say that your topic is social media. A thesis statement about social media could look like one of the following sentences:
- Social media harms the self-esteem of American pre-teen girls.
- Social media can help connect researchers when they use hashtags to curate their work.
- Social media tools are not tools for social movements, they are marketing tools.
A basic thesis sentence has two main parts:
- Topic: What you’re writing about
- Angle: What your main idea is about that topic, or your claim
Example Thesis Statements
Thesis: A regular exercise regime leads to multiple benefits, both physical and emotional.
Topic: Regular exercise regime
Angle: Leads to multiple benefits
Thesis: Adult college students have different experiences than typical, younger college students.
Topic: Adult college students
Angle: Have different experiences
Thesis: The economics of television have made the viewing experience challenging for many viewers because shows are not offered regularly, similar programming occurs at the same time, and commercials are rampant.
Topic: Television viewing
Angle: Challenging because shows shifted, similar programming, and commercials
When you read all of the thesis statements above, can you see areas where the writer could be more specific with their angle? The more specific you are with your topic and your claims, the more focused your essay will be for your reader.
Identifying the Thesis Statement
You’ll remember that the first step of the reading process, previewing , allows you to get a big-picture view of the document you’re reading. This way, you can begin to understand the structure of the overall text. The most important step of understanding an essay or a book is to find the thesis statement.
A thesis consists of a specific topic and an angle on the topic. All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis. The thesis statement is often found in the introduction, sometimes after an initial “hook” or interesting story; sometimes, however, the thesis is not explicitly stated until the end of an essay. Sometimes it is not stated at all. In those instances, there is an implied thesis statement. You can generally extract the thesis statement by looking for a few key sentences and ideas.
Most readers expect to see the point of your argument (the thesis statement) within the first few paragraphs. This does not mean that it has to be placed there every time. Some writers place it at the very end, slowly building up to it throughout their work, to explain a point after the fact. Others don’t bother with one at all but feel that their thesis is “implied” anyway. Beginning writers, however, should avoid the implied thesis unless certain of the audience. Almost every professor will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction.
Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay. Thesis statements typically share the following characteristics:
- presents the main idea
- is one sentence
- tells the reader what to expect
- summarizes the essay topic
- presents an argument
- is written in the third person (does not include the “I” pronoun)
The following “How to Identify a Thesis Statement” video offers advice for locating a text’s thesis statement. It asks you to write one or two sentences that summarize the text. When you write that summary, without looking at the text itself, you’ve most likely paraphrased the thesis statement.
You can view the transcript for “How to Identify the Thesis Statement” here (download).
Writing a Thesis Statement
Remember your thesis should answer two simple questions: What topic are you writing about, and what is your position, or angle, on the topic?
A thesis statement is a single sentence (or sometimes two) that provides the answers to these questions clearly and concisely. Ask yourself, “What is my paper about, exactly?” Answering this question will help you develop a precise and directed thesis, not only for your reader, but for you as well.
A good thesis statement will:
- Consist of just one interesting idea
- Be specific and written clearly
- Have evidence to support it
A good basic structure for a thesis statement is “they say, I say.” What is the prevailing view, and how does your position differ from it? However, avoid limiting the scope of your writing with an either/or thesis under the assumption that your view must be strictly contrary to their view.
Following are some typical thesis statements:
- Although many readers believe Romeo and Juliet to be a tale about the ill fate of two star-crossed lovers, it can also be read as an allegory concerning a playwright and his audience.
- The “War on Drugs” has not only failed to reduce the frequency of drug-related crimes in America but actually enhanced the popular image of dope peddlers by romanticizing them as desperate rebels fighting for a cause.
- The bulk of modern copyright law was conceived in the age of commercial printing, long before the Internet made it so easy for the public to compose and distribute its own texts. Therefore, these laws should be reviewed and revised to better accommodate modern readers and writers.
- The usual moral justification for capital punishment is that it deters crime by frightening would-be criminals. However, the statistics tell a different story.
- If students really want to improve their writing, they must read often, practice writing, and receive quality feedback from their peers.
- Plato’s dialectical method has much to offer those engaged in online writing, which is far more conversational in nature than print.
Thesis Problems to Avoid
Although you have creative control over your thesis sentence, you still should try to avoid the following problems, not for stylistic reasons, but because they indicate a problem in the thinking that underlies the thesis sentence.
- For example, look at the thesis: Hospice workers need support. This is a thesis sentence; it has a topic (hospice workers) and an angle (need support). But the angle is very broad. When the angle in a thesis sentence is too broad, the writer may not have carefully thought through the specific support for the rest of the writing. A thesis angle that’s too broad makes it easy to fall into the trap of offering information that deviates from that angle.
- Consider this thesis: Hospice workers have a 55% turnover rate compared to the general health care population’s 25% turnover rate. This sentence really isn’t a thesis sentence at all, because there’s no angle idea to support. A narrow statistic, or a narrow statement of fact, doesn’t offer the writer’s own ideas or analysis about a topic. A clearer example of a thesis statement with an angle of development would be the following:
Practice identifying strong thesis statements in the following interactive.
argument : in writing, the argument is the main stance, claim, or position that is supported with evidence
explicit thesis : a clear and direct statement of the writer’s claim
thesis statement : a statement of the topic of the piece of writing and the angle the writer has on that topic
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- Modification, adaptation, and original content. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
- Annotating an Essay or Book. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/orc/what-to-do-while-reading/annotating/annotating-an-essay-or-book/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
- Checklist for a Thesis Statement. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/esl-wow/getting-ready-to-write/developing-a-thesis/esl-checklist-for-a-thesis-statement/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
- Judging Thesis Statements. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/esl-wow/getting-ready-to-write/developing-a-thesis/esl-judging-thesis-statements/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
- Research Writing and Argument. Authored by : Pavel Zemliansky. Located at : https://learn.saylor.org/mod/page/view.php?id=7163 . Project : Methods of Discovery: A Guide to Research Writing. License : CC BY: Attribution
- Parts of a Thesis Sentence and Common Problems. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/writing-process/thesis-sentence/thesis-sentence-angles/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
- Argument in College Writing. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/argument-in-college-writing/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
- How to Identify the Thesis Statement. Authored by : Martha Ann Kennedy. Located at : https://youtu.be/di1cQgc1akg . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License