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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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14 Crafting a Thesis Statement
- Craft a thesis statement that is clear, concise, and declarative.
- Narrow your topic based on your thesis statement and consider the ways that your main points will support the thesis.
Crafting a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a short, declarative sentence that states the purpose, intent, or main idea of a speech. A strong, clear thesis statement is very valuable within an introduction because it lays out the basic goal of the entire speech. We strongly believe that it is worthwhile to invest some time in framing and writing a good thesis statement. You may even want to write your thesis statement before you even begin conducting research for your speech. While you may end up rewriting your thesis statement later, having a clear idea of your purpose, intent, or main idea before you start searching for research will help you focus on the most appropriate material. To help us understand thesis statements, we will first explore their basic functions and then discuss how to write a thesis statement.
Basic Functions of a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement helps your audience by letting them know, clearly and concisely, what you are going to talk about. A strong thesis statement will allow your reader to understand the central message of your speech. You will want to be as specific as possible. A thesis statement for informative speaking should be a declarative statement that is clear and concise; it will tell the audience what to expect in your speech. For persuasive speaking, a thesis statement should have a narrow focus and should be arguable, there must be an argument to explore within the speech. The exploration piece will come with research, but we will discuss that in the main points. For now, you will need to consider your specific purpose and how this relates directly to what you want to tell this audience. Remember, no matter if your general purpose is to inform or persuade, your thesis will be a declarative statement that reflects your purpose.
How to Write a Thesis Statement
Now that we’ve looked at why a thesis statement is crucial in a speech, let’s switch gears and talk about how we go about writing a solid thesis statement. A thesis statement is related to the general and specific purposes of a speech.
Once you have chosen your topic and determined your purpose, you will need to make sure your topic is narrow. One of the hardest parts of writing a thesis statement is narrowing a speech from a broad topic to one that can be easily covered during a five- to seven-minute speech. While five to seven minutes may sound like a long time for new public speakers, the time flies by very quickly when you are speaking. You can easily run out of time if your topic is too broad. To ascertain if your topic is narrow enough for a specific time frame, ask yourself three questions.
Is your speech topic a broad overgeneralization of a topic?
Overgeneralization occurs when we classify everyone in a specific group as having a specific characteristic. For example, a speaker’s thesis statement that “all members of the National Council of La Raza are militant” is an overgeneralization of all members of the organization. Furthermore, a speaker would have to correctly demonstrate that all members of the organization are militant for the thesis statement to be proven, which is a very difficult task since the National Council of La Raza consists of millions of Hispanic Americans. A more appropriate thesis related to this topic could be, “Since the creation of the National Council of La Raza [NCLR] in 1968, the NCLR has become increasingly militant in addressing the causes of Hispanics in the United States.”
Is your speech’s topic one clear topic or multiple topics?
A strong thesis statement consists of only a single topic. The following is an example of a thesis statement that contains too many topics: “Medical marijuana, prostitution, and Women’s Equal Rights Amendment should all be legalized in the United States.” Not only are all three fairly broad, but you also have three completely unrelated topics thrown into a single thesis statement. Instead of a thesis statement that has multiple topics, limit yourself to only one topic. Here’s an example of a thesis statement examining only one topic: Ratifying the Women’s Equal Rights Amendment as equal citizens under the United States law would protect women by requiring state and federal law to engage in equitable freedoms among the sexes.
Does the topic have direction?
If your basic topic is too broad, you will never have a solid thesis statement or a coherent speech. For example, if you start off with the topic “Barack Obama is a role model for everyone,” what do you mean by this statement? Do you think President Obama is a role model because of his dedication to civic service? Do you think he’s a role model because he’s a good basketball player? Do you think he’s a good role model because he’s an excellent public speaker? When your topic is too broad, almost anything can become part of the topic. This ultimately leads to a lack of direction and coherence within the speech itself. To make a cleaner topic, a speaker needs to narrow her or his topic to one specific area. For example, you may want to examine why President Obama is a good public speaker.
Put Your Topic into a Declarative Sentence
You wrote your general and specific purpose. Use this information to guide your thesis statement. If you wrote a clear purpose, it will be easy to turn this into a declarative statement.
General purpose: To inform
Specific purpose: To inform my audience about the lyricism of former President Barack Obama’s presentation skills.
Your thesis statement needs to be a declarative statement. This means it needs to actually state something. If a speaker says, “I am going to talk to you about the effects of social media,” this tells you nothing about the speech content. Are the effects positive? Are they negative? Are they both? We don’t know. This sentence is an announcement, not a thesis statement. A declarative statement clearly states the message of your speech.
For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Or you could state, “Socal media has both positive and negative effects on users.”
Adding your Argument, Viewpoint, or Opinion
If your topic is informative, your job is to make sure that the thesis statement is nonargumentative and focuses on facts. For example, in the preceding thesis statement, we have a couple of opinion-oriented terms that should be avoided for informative speeches: “unique sense,” “well-developed,” and “power.” All three of these terms are laced with an individual’s opinion, which is fine for a persuasive speech but not for an informative speech. For informative speeches, the goal of a thesis statement is to explain what the speech will be informing the audience about, not attempting to add the speaker’s opinion about the speech’s topic. For an informative speech, you could rewrite the thesis statement to read, “Barack Obama’s use of lyricism in his speech, ‘A World That Stands as One,’ delivered July 2008 in Berlin demonstrates exceptional use of rhetorical strategies.
On the other hand, if your topic is persuasive, you want to make sure that your argument, viewpoint, or opinion is clearly indicated within the thesis statement. If you are going to argue that Barack Obama is a great speaker, then you should set up this argument within your thesis statement.
For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Once you have a clear topic sentence, you can start tweaking the thesis statement to help set up the purpose of your speech.
Once you have written a first draft of your thesis statement, you’re probably going to end up revising your thesis statement a number of times prior to delivering your actual speech. A thesis statement is something that is constantly tweaked until the speech is given. As your speech develops, often your thesis will need to be rewritten to whatever direction the speech itself has taken. We often start with a speech going in one direction, and find out through our research that we should have gone in a different direction. When you think you finally have a thesis statement that is good to go for your speech, take a second and make sure it adheres to the criteria shown below.
Preview of Speech
The preview, as stated in the introduction portion of our readings, reminds us that we will need to let the audience know what the main points in our speech will be. You will want to follow the thesis with the preview of your speech. Your preview will allow the audience to follow your main points in a sequential manner. Spoiler alert: The preview when stated out loud will remind you of main point 1, main point 2, and main point 3 (etc. if you have more or less main points). It is a built in memory card!
For Future Reference | How to organize this in an outline |
Attention Getter: Background information: Credibility: Thesis: Preview:
Introductions are foundational to an effective public speech.
- A thesis statement is instrumental to a speech that is well-developed and supported.
- Be sure that you are spending enough time brainstorming strong attention getters and considering your audience’s goal(s) for the introduction.
- A strong thesis will allow you to follow a roadmap throughout the rest of your speech: it is worth spending the extra time to ensure you have a strong thesis statement.
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Creating a Thesis
Let’s Get This Paper Rolling!
After you have brainstormed and you have some main ideas of what you would like to write in your essay, you can begin thinking about writing a thesis statement.
What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is a complete sentence that contains one main idea. It is often a point , or idea, you want to argue or support in an essay. A thesis statement that contains subpoints also helps a reader know how the essay will be organized.
The thesis statement explains to a reader the main idea of the essay, and the writer’s opinion on that idea.
The thesis statement comes at the end of the introductory paragraph. This sentence tells the reader that he/she can expect to read in the rest of the essay.
Basics of the Thesis Statement
- A thesis statement is usually one sentence.
- It is placed in the introductory paragraph of an essay- the last sentence.
- A thesis statement is a claim/fact that could be argued.
- The essay will contain evidence and opinions that support the argument.
- It contains sub-points or sub-topics (reasons)
avoid using the first person (I believe, In my opinion, etc.)
- has your opinion
Do Not State the Obvious
In thesis statements, you should avoid using statements like, “This essay will discuss…” or “I am going to write about…”. Try to write a thesis statement that captures your reader’s attention without announcing your main topic and stating the obvious. Look at the example below.
In this essay, I am going to discuss the effects of long-term drug abuse.
Long-term drug use can have disastrous effects on one’s marriage, career, and health.
Subtopics or Subpoints
The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the state.
No subtopics are named in this thesis statement.
The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the ability of the state to provide housing, electricity, and jobs for all residents.
A Thesis Statement States an Opinion or Attitude
Good thesis statements often express a writer’s opinion or attitude on a particular topic. This makes the thesis statement more specific and requires the writer to explain or prove his/her opinion in the essay. Look at the examples below.
Cancun is a popular vacation spot in Mexico.
Cancun is one of the best vacation spots in Mexico because of its comfortable climate, beautiful beaches, and proximity to some well-known archeological sites.
This would not be considered a good thesis statement, because it is only expressing a fact. It does not reflect the writer’s opinion or attitude on Cancun. This thesis statement does not give the writer very much to explain or prove in his/her essay.
This thesis statement is much better because it expresses how the writer feels about Cancun. This thesis statement requires the writer to explain how and why going to Cancun is a good choice for visitors.
Really it is the Main Idea in a Complete Sentence
Since the thesis statement is the main statement for the entire essay, it should express a complete thought and be a complete sentence. The thesis statement is asserting an opinion or idea, so it should not be a question. Look at the examples below to see how they can be made into thesis statements.
The sport of cross-country running.
This is not a complete sentence.
The sport of cross-country running has allowed me to get in better shape, be disciplined, and meet some interesting people.
Test Your Thesis Statement- Antithesis
Generating a Antithesis statement will help you:
1) test how “debatable” your working thesis actually is.
2) consider ways of addressing the anticipated objections to your thesis.
3) revise your working thesis into a stronger position.
Working thesis statement:
School uniforms should not be required.
Antithesis statement (or the opposite):
School uniforms should be required.
** Ask yourself why your topic should and should not occur. This will demand more of an explanation from you, making your writing stronger!
- America is well known across the globe for its diversity. People from all over the world migrate to the United States just to be a part of this international society. It is common knowledge that equality and individualism are a part of America’s famous history. This fact is something that most Americans take pride in; however, the individuality of a future America may be at risk due to the education system. A rule that would require students to wear uniforms to school is threatening student individuality. School uniforms should not be required because they discourage individuality, they do not teach students to make responsible decisions , and uniforms teach children that in order to get along everyone must conform to the same standards .
Subpoints in the thesis or nearby help the reader know how the essay will be organized
The thesis statement contains the main idea that controls the content of the essay.
- states the main idea of the essay in a complete sentence, not in a question.
- it is at the end of an introduction.
- states an opinion or attitude on a topic.
- does not just state the topic, by itself.
- lists subtopics/subpoints.
1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement.
2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.
Although most people believe otherwise, bats are harmless and highly beneficial.
Hate speech should be eliminated for many reasons.
In each of the following slides tell whether the sentence is well written or not well written thesis statement.
- Rap music is the best music ever.
- Although many people find rap music offensive, it has had a positive impact on today’s youth.
- Community service projects include building shelter for the homeless, serving meals to the hungry, providing transportation for the sick, distributing clothes, and a large number of other helpful activities.
- Students should help others who are less fortunate.
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- How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .
Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.
You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:
- Start with a question
- Write your initial answer
- Develop your answer
- Refine your thesis statement
Table of contents
What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.
A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.
The best thesis statements are:
- Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
- Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
- Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.
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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.
You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.
You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?
For example, you might ask:
After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .
Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.
In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.
The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.
In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.
The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.
A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:
- Why you hold this position
- What they’ll learn from your essay
- The key points of your argument or narrative
The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.
These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.
Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:
- In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
- In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :
- Ask a question about your topic .
- Write your initial answer.
- Develop your answer by including reasons.
- Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.
The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .
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The Thesis Statement.
Published by Ezra Burns Modified over 8 years ago
Presentation on theme: "The Thesis Statement."— Presentation transcript:
Part I: The Thesis Statement Part II: Nuts and Bolts
Argumentative Thesis Statements For use with Stepping Stone Argumentative Research Project.
Writing Reminder THESIS STATEMENTS.
Developing Your Thesis Statement
Thesis Statement ► What is a thesis statement? tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is.
What is a thesis statement? The MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE in your paper!
TOPIC RESEARCH THESIS. It tells the reader how you will interpret the subject It tells the reader what to expect. It directly answers the question.
Subject + opinion= thesis. Tells the reader how you will interpret the subject in discussion A road map for the paper; tells the reader what to expect.
SURVEY OF LITERATURE. tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper;
A thesis is A promise to the reader…
WRITING INTRODUCTIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND THESIS STATEMENTS Changing the Terror…
Thesis Statements. Analytical Thesis Statement An analytical paper breaks down a text(s) into its component parts, evaluates the data, and presents this.
Writing a Thesis Statement
Thesis Statements (Or as I like to say, “What’s your point?”)
Thesis Statements What is a thesis statement? How do thesis statements work in your writing? How can you discover or refine one for your draft? This presentation.
(Or as I like to say, “What’s your point?”)
Writing the Thesis Statement What is it? for most student work, it's a one- or two- sentence statement that explicitly outlines the purpose or point.
Writing Information 101 Paragraphs A paragraph is a group of sentences that presents a main idea and related details to a reader. A paragraph is a group.
Duane Theobald Something to Consider… Have you seen something like this before? Does it make sense?
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