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How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022 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, 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.
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.
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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.
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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How to Write a Thesis Statement in Four Easy Steps
Everyone knows that a good thesis statement is clear, specific, and focused. It draws the reader’s attention to your topic and announces your perspective on the topic.
But while teachers often tell you what to put in your thesis statement, they don’t always tell you how to write a thesis statement. The four steps below will show you how to write thesis statements quickly and effectively.
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How to Write a Thesis Statement in 4 Steps
Learn what a thesis statement is, why thesis statements are important to your essay, and how to write a thesis statement in four easy steps!
It’s no secret that a solid thesis statement is an essential part of any essay. If your writing doesn’t have a defined thesis, nothing else will matter. The thesis statement is the first element of your paper that you’ll be judged on. If your thesis is not clear and straightforward, you’ll lose your reader. So, let’s talk about how to write the perfect thesis statement in four simple steps. But first, let’s start from the beginning.
What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is one or two sentences at the beginning of your essay that tells your reader the main idea of your paper and maps out the supporting details of that main idea. The thesis statement will focus your writing, and it will help readers link the subtopics of your essay to your central focus.
In short, the thesis statement is one to two sentences that communicates the main idea, argument or central point of your essay. There are different types of essays, but each one will need a thesis statement. Let’s go over a few different types of essays.
Three Types of Essays
What is an analytical essay .
In an analytical essay, the author is analyzing a topic breaking it down into its component parts. In an analytical essay, you might dissect another author’s argument about a subject. You can also use an analytical essay to write about a book, movie, or other lengthy text.
What is an expository essay?
In an expository essay, the author will explain their topic. They will elaborate on a subject or investigate an issue. You’ll also see the term expository essay used as a blanket term to describe all types of essays. Another name for an expository essay is an explanatory essay.
So, expository can be a general term and may describe an analytical or argumentative essay. A thesis statement for an expository essay will be much like an analytical essay. You could answer a question and lay out the reasons for an outcome with a ‘because’ statement.
What is an argumentative essay?
In an argumentative essay, the writer is taking a stance and defending their opinion. They are making an argument about the topic of the essay. In an argumentative essay, you’ll be evaluating and presenting data that reinforces your opinion.
In these essays, the term position statement is sometimes used to mean the thesis statement. If you hear a person use the term position statement, they’re talking about the thesis statement. To write your thesis or position statement, you’ll state your opinion and preview the details you will use to back it up.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the four steps you can use to write a perfect thesis statement that will fit the needs of any of these essay types.
4 Steps to Writing the Perfect Thesis Statement
Step 1: ask a question about your research subject. .
This question will guide your research and will lead you to a central idea for your essay.
The first step in writing a thesis statement is investigating the subject of your essay. Whether that’s a text, like a book or a movie, or science topic like volcanos. The point of an essay is to relay some information to your reader. You need to decide what this information will be. The best place to start is with a question about your topic, something that genuinely interests you. Having a research question will make your research a lot easier and your writing clearer.
Let’s go back to the example of volcanos. You don’t want to write an essay that focuses on just volcanoes because that’s too broad a subject. In writing, broad means boring. You’ll want to start drilling down on the topic and asking more specific questions.
Maybe you want to know why volcanoes erupt. But, that question is still too broad a topic for most essays. You’ll need to ask narrower questions like why do people build cities close to volcanoes? Or, what is the chance of another eruption on the scale of Mt. Saint Helens, in the US? These questions will narrow the scope of your research and ease the writing process.
Step 2: Formulate the Main Idea of your essay.
The answer to your research question is your main idea or thesis.
You may find that your original research question changes as you look into your topic, and that’s fine. Nothing is set in stone until you start the writing process. Once you start writing, though, you don’t want to change the direction of your paper.
Write out this thesis, and you’re half done with your thesis statement!
Step 3: Develop your Supporting Details
Identify the facts that support, or prove, your main idea.
This isn’t to say, decide on your main idea and go out looking for data to prove it. This is working backward and will lead you to make a false assumption through confirmation bias. The concept of confirmation bias is that if you start with an idea you want to prove, then you’ll only look for information that confirms your view. When you do find data that disproves it, you’ll likely ignore it.
You should already have supporting details once you develop your main idea. The supporting details are the data that led you to your main idea. You should also look for information that disproves your main idea. Be honest, and let your research guide you to a conclusion. Never start with your conclusion in mind.
Once you’ve reached your conclusion, collect the most substantial data points that led you to that main idea, the answer to your research question.
Step 4: Combine your Main Idea with your Supporting Details into one statement
Clearly state your main idea and preview your supporting details in one or two sentences.
The job of your thesis statement is to layout, for the reader, your thesis or main idea early in your essay. You need to state your main idea as clearly as possible. You also need to preview the supporting details that will make up the body of your essay. Depending on the length and complexity of your article and main idea, you may need more than one sentence to accomplish this.
We can take the above example of my analytical essay on Pride and Prejudice to examine how to formulate a thesis statement. Through reading the book, I decided there was a theme of communication. By drilling down on that topic, I discovered that each character had possessed a flawed way of communicating, which led to most of the conflict in the novel.
The following sentence is a thesis statement developed from that conclusion:
In her work, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen explores the theme of effective communication. ⇠ Main Idea Through various characters’ means of expression, she demonstrates how the lack of communication skills can lead to a breakdown of romantic, friendly, and familial bonds. ⇠ Supporting Details
Thesis Statement Checklist
A thesis statement should…
- Be clear and concise
- In the intro paragraph(s) of your essay
- Not be too broad
- Be An opinion not a fact
- Preview your supporting details
- Answer your research question
A Formula for Thesis Statements
While there’s no single way to write a thesis statement, here’s a simplified way to help guide your thinking:
State your Main Idea + Preview your Supporting Details = Thesis Statement
Examples of Thesis Statements
The following are examples of thesis statements pulled from the article 25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing A Breeze by J.Birdwell Branson. You can read the full list here. As you read each of these examples, identify the main idea and the supporting details in each one.
“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 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.”
“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.”
Check out the twenty-one more great examples at Servicescape.com
Write your own Thesis Statement using our Controlling Idea Writing Exercise
Read more about Thesis Statements:
The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing
“Whether you’re composing a letter, writing a school thesis, or starting a novel, this resource offers expert advice on how to think more creatively, how to conjure up ideas from scratch, and how to express those ideas clearly and elegantly… Some features include:
• How to use journals to store ideas and explore potential topics • Examples of style and technique from such masters of form as Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, E.B. White, and Annie Dillard • Advice on using outlines to shape your material—and drafts and revisions to refine them • Selecting the proper words to convey both information and point of view • A useful appendix on punctuation, ranging from commas to underlining and capitalization”
Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements – Purdue University
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How To Write a Good Thesis Statement in Five Steps
Writing a thesis statement can be intimidating, sure, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Below, we’ll go over five steps that can help you write an effective thesis statement.
Quick Summary on Writing a Thesis Statement
- A thesis statement encapsulates the main idea or point of your entire text in one effective, assertive, and clear-cut sentence.
- The five steps to writing your thesis statement are:
What Is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is a sentence found at the end of the introduction paragraph (usually the last sentence) that briefly yet thoroughly explains the main idea or point of the rest of your text. Writing a good thesis statement is essential because it helps your readers understand your objective from the start—there’s no guessing game. An effective thesis statement also has the power to draw readers in by showing why your topic is worth reading (and writing) about.
How To Write an Effective Thesis Statement
1. choose a topic..
Before writing a good thesis statement, you’ll have to decide what you’re writing about. This step requires a lot of thought because you want to pick a topic that you’re passionate about, but that can also resonate with a wide audience.
2. Set your objective.
Next, ask yourself what your goal is. This is in line with deciding what type of text you’ll be writing—expository, persuasive, narrative, etc. It’s always crucial to believe in what you’re writing. This might be tricky, especially if the topic was chosen for you, but you can always try to find an angle that you can wholeheartedly support.
3. Encapsulate the main point of your text in as few words as possible.
Now it’s time to write the thesis statement . Remember, a thesis statement sums up the point of your entire text. It works as a sort of guide for your readers, so they know what to expect. Ask yourself, “How can I capture the main essence of my writing into one sentence?” And keep this in mind while you’re writing it: An effective thesis statement explains what you’re writing about and asserts your perspective on it.
4. Check for spelling and grammar errors.
You’ve probably heard that you’re not supposed to edit as you write, which is true in many cases. But because the thesis statement sets the tone for the rest of your writing, you may not want one riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Check for mistakes in your thesis statement before continuing writing. If you want additional help, you can always use LanguageTool as your writing assistant, so all you have to focus on is writing. This multilingual text editor can do the checking for you to ensure flawless text.
5. Revise your thesis if need be.
The writing process can be enlightening. Sometimes your perspective on something may shift as you gain a new understanding while writing about it. It’s no problem if this happens, just make sure your thesis statement matches the rest of your writing.
Writing a Thesis Statement
Here’s an example of a well-written thesis statement:
Having a pet not only helps you feel a sense of companionship, but they also offer a plethora of physical and mental health benefits, which I’ll be discussing in detail.
- Remember: When brainstorming your thesis statement, ask yourself, “What are you writing about, and what’s your take on it?”
- That’s the question your thesis statement should answer throughout your writing, and should be reiterated in the conclusion .
- Thesis statements are important, so make sure you set enough time aside to write a powerful one.
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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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Research Paper: A step-by-step guide: 3. Thesis Statement & Outline
- 1. Getting Started
- 2. Topic Ideas
- 3. Thesis Statement & Outline
- 4. Appropriate Sources
- 5. Search Techniques
- 6. Taking Notes & Documenting Sources
- 7. Evaluating Sources
- 8. Citations & Plagiarism
- 9. Writing Your Research Paper
About Thesis Statements
Qualities of a thesis statement.
- state the subject matter and main ideas of a paper.
- appear in the first paragraph and announces what you will discuss in your paper.
- define the scope and focus of your essay, and tells your reader what to expect.
- are not a simple factual statement. It is an assertion that states your claims and that you can prove with evidence.
- should be the product of research and your own critical thinking.
- can be very helpful in constructing an outline for your essay; for each point you make, ask yourself whether it is relevant to the thesis.
Steps you can use to create a thesis statement
1. Start out with the main topic and focus of your essay.
youth gangs + prevention and intervention programs
2. Make a claim or argument in one sentence. It can be helpful to start with a question which you then turn into an argument
Can prevention and intervention programs stop youth gang activities? How? ►►► "Prevention and intervention programs can stop youth gang activities by giving teens something else to do."
3. Revise the sentence by using specific terms.
"Early prevention programs in schools are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement by giving teens good activities that offer a path to success."
4. Further revise the sentence to cover the scope of your essay and make a strong statement.
"Among various prevention and intervention efforts that have been made to deal with the rapid growth of youth gangs, early school-based prevention programs are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement, which they do by giving teens meaningful activities that offer pathways to achievement and success."
5. Keep your thesis statement flexible and revise it as needed. In the process of researching and writing, you may find new information or refine your understanding of the topic.
You can view this short video for more tips on how to write a clear thesis statement.
An outline is the skeleton of your essay, in which you list the arguments and subtopics in a logical order. A good outline is an important element in writing a good paper. An outline helps to target your research areas, keep you within the scope without going off-track, and it can also help to keep your argument in good order when writing the essay. Once your outline is in good shape, it is much easier to write your paper; you've already done most of the thinking, so you just need to fill in the outline with a paragraph for each point.
To write an outline: The most common way to write an outline is the list format. List all the major topics and subtopics with the key points that support them. Put similar topics and points together and arrange them in a logical order. Include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
A list outline should arrange the main points or arguments in a hierarchical structure indicated by Roman numerals for main ideas (I, II, III...), capital letters for subtopics (A, B, C...), Arabic numerals for details (1,2,3...), and lower-case letters for fine details if needed (a,b,c...). This helps keep things organized.
Here is a shortened example of an outline:
Introduction: background and thesis statement
I. First topic
1. Supporting evidence 2. Supporting evidence
II. Second Topic
III. Third Topic
I. Summarize the main points of your paper II. Restate your thesis in different words III. Make a strong final statement
You can see examples of a few different kinds of outlines and get more help at the Purdue OWL .
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- Next: 4. Appropriate Sources >>
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How to Write a Thesis Statement
Last Updated: January 13, 2023 References
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Whether you’re writing a short essay or a doctoral dissertation, your thesis statement can be one of the trickiest sentences to formulate. Fortunately, there are some basic rules you can follow to ensure your thesis statement is effective and interesting, including that it must be a debatable analytical point, not a general truism.
Crafting Great Thesis Statements
- Thesis: "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education."
- ' Thesis: "The river comes to symbolize both division and progress, as it separates our characters and country while still providing the best chance for Huck and Jim to get to know one another."
- Thesis: "Through careful sociological study, we've found that people naturally assume that "morally righteous" people look down on them as "inferior," causing anger and conflict where there generally is none."
- Ex. "This dynamic between different generations sparks much of the play’s tension, as age becomes a motive for the violence and unrest that rocks King Lear."
- Ex. "The explosion of 1800's philosophies like Positivism, Marxism, and Darwinism undermined and refuted Christianity to instead focus on the real, tangible world."
- Ex. "Without the steady hand and specific decisions of Barack Obama, America would never have recovered from the hole it entered in the early 2000's."
- "While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions."
- "The primary problem of the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment."
- "Hemingway's stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words."
- "After the third and fourth time you see him beat himself, one finally realizes that Huck Finn is literature's first full-blown sadomasochist."
- "The advent of internet technology has rendered copyright laws irrelevant -- everyone can and should get writing, movies, art, and music for free."
- "Though they have served admirably for the past two centuries, recent research shows that America needs to ditch the two-party system, and quickly."
- "By owning up to the impossible contradictions, embracing them and questioning them, Blake forges his own faith, and is stronger for it. Ultimately, the only way for his poems to have faith is to temporarily lose it."
- "According to its well-documented beliefs and philosophies, an existential society with no notion of either past or future cannot help but become stagnant."
- "By reading “Ode to a Nightingale” through a modern deconstructionist lens, we can see how Keats viewed poetry as shifting and subjective, not some rigid form."
- "The wrong people won the American Revolution." While striking and unique, who is "right" and who is "wrong" is exceptionally hard to prove, and very subjective.
- "The theory of genetic inheritance is the binding theory of every human interaction." Too complicated and overzealous. The scope of "every human interaction" is just too big
- "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers is ultimately a cry for help from a clearly depressed author." Unless you interviewed Harding extensively, or had a lot of real-life sources, you have no way of proving what is fact and what is fiction."
Getting it Right
- is an assertion, not a fact or observation. Facts are used within the paper to support your thesis.
- takes a stand, meaning it announces your position towards a particular topic.
- is the main idea and explains what you intend to discuss.
- answers a specific question and explains how you plan to support your argument.
- is debatable. Someone should be able to argue an alternate position, or conversely, support your claims.
- "Because of William the Conqueror's campaign into England, that nation developed the strength and culture it would need to eventually build the British Empire."
- "Hemingway significantly changed literature by normalizing simplistic writing and frank tone."
Finding the Perfect Thesis
- A clear topic or subject matter
- A brief summary of what you will say
- [Something] [does something] because [reason(s)].
- 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. Doing so will refine your thesis, and also force you to consider arguments you have to refute in your paper.
- 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.
- Never frame your thesis as a question . The job of a thesis is to answer a question, not ask one.
- A thesis is not a list. If you're trying to answer a specific question, too many variables will send your paper off-focus. 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...," is generally frowned upon by scholars.
- 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.
Sample Thesis and List of Things to Include
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- An effective thesis statement controls the entire argument. It determines what you cannot say. If a paragraph does not support your thesis, either omit it or change your thesis. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Think of your thesis as a case a lawyer has to defend. A thesis statement should explain to your readers the case you wish to make and how you will accomplish that. You can also think of your thesis as a contract. Introducing new ideas the reader is not prepared for may be alienating. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
- ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/planning-and-organizing/thesis-statements
- ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-a-thesis
- ↑ https://brooklyn.sjcny.libguides.com/ThesisStatements
About This Article
To write an effective thesis statement, choose a statement that answers a general question about your topic. Check that your thesis is arguable, not factual, and make sure you can back it up your with evidence. For example, your thesis statement could be something like "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education." To learn about writing thesis statements for different types of essays or how to incorporate them into your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How To Create A Superior Thesis Statement In 5 Easy Steps
by Suzanne Davis | Mar 5, 2018 | Writing Organization , Writing Process | 3 comments
The thesis statement is the glue that holds your essay together.
And you need to create a first-rate thesis statement if you want that glue to be strong. However, writing an excellent thesis statement is challenging. But, once you get it right you’re on your way to writing a solid academic essay or paper. An effective thesis statement will make it easier to write your academic essay because you’ll know what to include.
Yet, if the thesis statement for your essay is weak, then a reader won’t know what you’re proving, disproving, or showing in your essay. Even worse, without a good thesis statement, you might not know what you’re trying to do in your essay.
You don’t want to feel lost or confused about your writing. So in this post, you’ll learn 5 steps to creating a solid thesis statement that will guide you in writing your essay.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement includes 2 things: 1) Your main topic and 2) Your opinion or point of view(POV) about that topic. It’s important because it tells your reader what your essay is about and how you will prove or explain your topic. A thesis statement is a roadmap guiding you through your essay.
Here is the framework for writing an academic essay or paper:
- Introduction: Hook (A sentence that grabs people’s attention), Background Information (about the issue or topic), and a thesis statement.
- Body: Main ideas and e vidence supporting your thesis statement
- Conclusion: Summary of the thesis statement and the significance or importance of it
Every part of an academic essay connects to your thesis statement. So, a good thesis statement is crucial to writing an essay.
But what makes your thesis statement work well? The thesis statement is:
- Interesting to you (don’t underestimate how important it is to be interested in your topic)
- Not too general or vague
- Covers a narrow or specific part of your topic
- Makes a claim about your topic (remember a thesis statement has a POV)
- Has evidence or proof to back it up
If your thesis statement meets these 5 criteria, then you’ll have a powerful thesis statement for an academic essay or paper.
Thesis Statement Example for an Academic Essay or Paper
So, what does an effective thesis statement for an essay or paper look like? Here is an example of the topic “Using Wikipedia for Academic Research.”
This topic interests me because there are some students who want to quote facts and ideas from Wikipedia. But there are also teachers who do not want students to use Wikipedia as part of their research. As an academic writing tutor, I know both sides of this topic.
Here are 2 ideas I have about using Wikipedia in academic research:
- It’s not good to cite Wikipedia articles in an essay or academic paper because the articles can be written and edited by anyone. The author of a Wikipedia article might not be a reliable source.
- But, Wikipedia articles can be helpful because they give an overview of a topic. Also, they have a bibliography at the end that can be used to find credible sources of information.
I’ve combined my topic with my opinion based on these ideas into a sentence. “Students should not cite Wikipedia articles in academic essays because it’s difficult to know if the authors of the articles are trustworthy, but students can use Wikipedia to find reliable sources of information.”
In this thesis statement, I would focus on why Wikipedia articles shouldn’t be in academic essays. I would also write about how Wikipedia can help people find sources of information. Notice that this thesis statement isn’t too general, it’s specific, and it makes a claim. It’s also a thesis statement I can support with evidence.
So how do you create an effective thesis statement?
How to Create a Superior Thesis Statement
There are 5 easy steps to creating a thesis statement for your academic essay or paper.
#1 Select the Main Topic You want to pick a topic that fits the type of essay or paper you’re assigned. You also want a topic that is specific and interesting to you. If you pick a topic that bores you it’s harder to focus and put all the effort you need into writing your paper.
You also want to select a topic that has research about it. No matter how exciting your topic is, if there isn’t any research or evidence you can write about, the content of your essay will be weak.
#2 Ask Questions Ask yourself, “What do I think about the topic?” “And Why do I think that?”
Brainstorm your thoughts. You could do this by listing ideas, using a mind map, or freewriting on your topic for 10 minutes or more. Don’t stop asking yourself questions until you have enough information to form an opinion.
#3 Decide on Your Opinion Look at all your ideas. If it’s an argumentative paper analyze different sides of an issue. Then determine your opinion or point of view (POV) about your essay topic.
#4 Write a sentence that connects your main topic to your point of view. This sentence is the thesis statement. Make sure it shows your point of view and perspective.
#5 Check your thesis statement and ask yourself: Is it interesting to you (and your reader)? Is it specific? Or is it too general? Does your thesis statement make a claim? Can you support your thesis statement with evidence?
Imagine how hard it is to write an academic essay or paper when you have no idea what to write. Maybe you don’t have to imagine it because you’ve experienced it. The way out of that situation is by writing a strong thesis statement. So, follow the 5 steps here and practice writing thesis statements on various subjects. It will help you create excellent thesis statements for every type of academic writing you need to do.
And if you’re writing a thesis statement for an argumentative essay or paper, Grab a copy of my free guide, “How to Write a Powerful Argumentative Thesis Statement.” It will help you develop strong thesis statements any time you need one.
Note: This is an updated version of the blog post, “How to Develop a Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps.” From July 13 th , 2017
You have taken a complicated idea and made it so simple to understand. Thank you for taking the time to write this post and share it with the world.
Thank you so much. I hope it is helpful to you.
A very clear and concise step-by-step approach to generating a thesis statement. This can be a real stumbling block for many students, so having a guide is so valuable. Nice job!
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Step 1: Start with a question · Step 2: Write your initial answer · Step 3: Develop your answer · Step 4: Refine your thesis statement.
Everyone knows that a good thesis statement is clear, specific, and focused. It draws the reader's attention to your topic and announces your perspective on the
4 Steps to Writing the Perfect Thesis Statement · Step 1: Ask a question about your research subject. · Step 2: Formulate the Main Idea of your
How To Write an Effective Thesis Statement · 1. Choose a topic. · 2. Set your objective. · 3. Encapsulate the main point of your text in as few words as possible.
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned · take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree · deal with a subject that can be
Steps to Developing a Thesis Statement · 1. Start with a research question. · 2. Construct a statement that directly addresses the research
Steps you can use to create a thesis statement · 1. Start out with the main topic and focus of your essay. · 2. Make a claim or argument in one
Steps 1-4 will help you build a solid thesis, but if you want to bump it up to the next level, you can do two more steps: tell how your view
Getting it Right · is an assertion, not a fact or observation. · takes a stand, meaning it announces your position towards a particular topic. · is the main idea
What is a Thesis Statement? · Introduction: Hook (A sentence that grabs people's attention), Background Information (about the issue or topic)