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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

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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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what are the characteristics of thesis statement

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!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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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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Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

what are the characteristics of thesis statement

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

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

Introduction

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is a sentence (sometimes more than one sentence) in the introduction that tells the reader the following information:

  • What the topic of the paper is
  • How the writer intends to discuss that topic
  •  It gives a blueprint for how the essay will be structured
  •  How the writer intends to prove or demonstrate his or her main points.

Think of your paper as a human body, and your thesis statement as the spinal cord. Without it, there is no structure.

For you as the writer, the thesis statement:

Develops through the interrelationship of thinking, reading, and writing;

Limits your research by providing you with one controlling main idea that intrigues you;

Narrows your writing to one specific claim that you can develop or prove;

Organizes your ideas so you know the important points you want to make in your paper; and

Clarifies your writing by keeping you on target to fulfill your proposed purpose.

For your readers, the thesis statement:

 Identifies the main point and sub-points of your essay clearly and quickly;

Functions as a road map so your readers can easily follow your ideas; and

Gives satisfaction at the conclusion of the paper when your readers discover you have fulfilled your promise by proving or developing your main point.

Characteristics of Effective Thesis Statements

An effective thesis statement must be  factual and narrow.

An effective thesis statement prepares readers for facts and details, but it cannot itself be a fact. It must always be an inference that demands proof or further development. These proofs come from the literature. 

UNT Dallas campus has two buildings.

Not factual enough: The UNT Dallas campus is the perfect size.

Just Right:  While some might see small universities as a disadvantage, the small campus of UNT Dallas holds many advantages for students, including a close-knit campus community, smaller class sizes, and better support from professors.

2. Narrow Topic

A good thesis should be narrow, and not too broad or too vague. If the topic is too broad, you won’t be able to cover the entire topic in your paper.  If it’s too narrow, you might not be able to find research, and your paper probably won’t be long enough. 

Too Broad: College students have a lot of responsibilities.

Too Narrow: Student workers in the Learning Commons at UNT Dallas have many responsibilities in their course work and tutoring. 

Just Right: College students who are financially independent have many responsibilities as they must maintain good grades, pay living expenses, and balance work and school.

Remember, a thesis statement is not: 

  • Instead , you should argue, based on facts and literature, why or why not NASA should receive more funding.  
  • Ask yourself--can I find anything in literature to prove this point, or is this MY opinion? 
  • Instead, you should argue why or why not people like chocolate OR why or why not chocolate is healthy for you based on facts and literature findings. 
  • Similar to the subjective opinion, ask yourself is this statement is based on facts and literature findings or if this is YOUR opinion. Although it is ok to have your own opinion, professors usually do not like to read articles about beliefs (students have been writing about these for years and years). 
  • Instead, you could discuss theories about politics or religions and use literature to prove or disprove those theories.
  • This is too factual (the Himalayas WERE formed from a collision of tectonic plates), and there is nothing to discuss because this IS a fact in itself. 
  • Instead, you could compare and contrast the tectonic plate formation of different mountains. 

Examples of Thesis Statements

A thesis statement f or a 5 paragraph essay conta ins three parts:.

1. A Topic: the main idea of the essay

2. The Controlling Idea: what you want to say about the topic

3. The subtopics: usually 3 examples/reasons you will discuss in your paper

Here is an example  of a thesis statement.

Ex: Regularly visiting the Writing Center at UNT Dallas will help you become the best writer on the planet because it offers superhero tutors, current technology, and fantastic handouts.

The main topic explores the idea that regularly vsiting the writing center will help you become the best writer on the planet, and the subtopics further expand this opinion with three distinct examples: 1) tutors, 2) technology, and 3) the handouts.

Outline Example

The paper should be organized around the subtopics.  For example, for the thesis written above, the writer would write one body paragraph about the tutors, one about technology, and one about the handouts. 

Here is a sample essay outline based on this thesis:

  • Introduce the topic of tutoring
  • Thesis (last sentence of intro): Regularly visiting the Writing Center at UNT Dallas will help you become the best writer on the planet because it offers superhero tutors, current technology, and fantastic handouts.
  • topic sentence
  • Restate thesis
  • Concluding remarks

For further assistance with the structure, see our handouts on Introductions and Conclusions and Topic Sentences.

A thesis statement for a LONG ESSAY contains two parts: A Topic: the main idea of the essay The Controlling Idea: what you want to say about the topic 

Throughout the paper, your thesis promises your readers that you will prove specific facts or develop certain ideas ; therefore, every paragraph, sentence, and word in your paper must relate to this controlling idea.

Here are some examples of thesis statements.

  • Baseball, once a national pastime and even an addiction, has lost its popularity because of the new interest in more violent sports.
  • Since the space program has yet to provide the American people with any substantial, practical returns, it is a waste of money and should be dissolved.
  • To stop the alarming rise in the number of violent crimes committed every year, our courts must hand out tougher sentences.
  • Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills.
  • Hemingway's war stories helped to create a new prose style.
  • Bronte utilizes light and fire to symbolize the emotional expressions of the characters.

Here is a suggested outline for a long essay and how that would look in terms of your thesis statement, topic, and controlling ideas:

  • Introduce the novel Jane Eyre and the topic of symbolism
  • Thesis (last sentence of intro): Bronte utilizes light and fire to symbolize the emotional expressions of the characters.
  • textual examples and elaboration
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Thesis Characteristics

Whenever you are writing to explain something to your reader or to persuade your reader to agree with your opinion, there should be one complete sentence that expresses the main idea of your paper. That sentence is often called the thesis, or thesis statement. (Some other names it goes by are "the main idea" and "the controlling idea.") Based on everything you've read, and thought, and brainstormed, the thesis is not just your topic, but what you're saying about your topic. Another way to look at it is, once you've come up with the central question, or organizing question, of your essay, the thesis is an answer to that question. Remember, though, while you are still writing your paper, to consider what you have to be a "working thesis," one that may still be "adjusted." As you continue to write, read, and think about your topic, see if your working thesis still represents your opinion.

Handy reminders about the thesis (on this page): 

  • Where to put it
  • Put it as a statement
  • Don't go overboard
  • Focus further
  • Choose the right shape

Where to Put the Thesis

The thesis usually comes within the introductory paragraph, which prepares the reader to listen to your ideas, and before the body of the paper, which develops the thesis with reasons, explanations, and evidence or examples. In fact, if you examine a well-written thesis, you will find hidden in it the questions your reader will expect you to answer in the body. For example, if your thesis is "Cannibalism, if practiced tastefully, can be acceptable in extreme circumstances," the body of your essay will develop this idea by explaining HOW it can be practiced tastefully, WHY it would be acceptable, and WHAT you would consider extreme circumstances.

Put the Thesis as a Statement

Make sure your thesis is in the form of a statement, not a question. "Can we save the Amazon rain forest?" is an ear-catching question that might be useful in the introduction, but it doesn't express an opinion or perspective as the following statements do:

  • "We can save the Amazon rain forest by limiting tourist presence, boycotting goods made by companies that deplete the forest's resources, and generally educating people about the need to preserve the rain forest in order to preserve the earth's ecological systems."
  • "We cannot save the Amazon rain forest since the companies that deplete its resources in their manufacturing are so widely-spread throughout the world, so politically powerful in their respective countries, and so wealthy that they are able to fight the opposition fully."

Don't go Overboard!

Make sure your thesis expresses your true opinion and not an exaggerated version of it. Don't say "Computers are wonderful" or "Computers are terrible" if what you really believe is "Computers do more good than harm" or "Computers do more harm than good." Why commit yourself to an extreme opinion that you don't really believe in, and then look like you're contradicting yourself later on?

Focus Further

Make sure your thesis covers exactly the topic you want to talk about, no more and no less. "Drugs should not be legalized" is too large a thesis if all you want to talk about is marijuana. "Boxing should be outlawed" is too small a thesis if you also want to discuss wrestling and football. Bite off as much as you can chew thoroughly--then chew it!

Choose the Right Shape

Shape your thesis to fit the question you wish to answer. A thesis can come in many forms, including the following:

  • Simply stating an opinion: "Langston Hughes was a master stylist."
  • Indicating categories or reasons: "Langston Hughes was a master stylist because of his vivid imagery, surprising metaphors, and effective alliteration."
  • Showing two aspects of a topic and emphasizing one (in this sample, the 2nd topic in the sentence is emphasized): "While Langston Hughes was a master stylist, as a critic he had several blind spots."

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Writing Studio

How do i write a thesis statement.

This page is Part 1 of a two-part handout that continues with our Thesis Statement Checklist .

What is a Thesis Statement?

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: See p. 1 of How Do I Write a Thesis Statement Return to Writing Studio Handouts

A thesis statement is a very specific argument that guides your paper. Generally, a thesis statement consists of two parts :

  • A clearly identifiable topic or subject matter
  • A succinct summary of what you have to say about that topic

For your reader, a thesis functions like the case a lawyer has to make to the judge and jury in a courtroom. An effective thesis statement explains to your reader the case you are going to make and how you are going to make it.

For you as the author, your thesis can also help you to stay focused as a writer and determine what information you do (and don’t) need to include in your analysis.

Traditionally, the thesis statement is found near the end of your introduction , though this may change depending on the assignment and context. Don’t be afraid to draft a thesis statement that is more than one sentence.

A Note on Writing Process

You do not need a perfect thesis statement before you draft the rest of the paper. In fact, you will likely need to modify your thesis once you have a complete draft to make sure that your draft and your thesis match one another. If your argument evolves in productive ways as you write, your thesis should, too.

Honing and tweaking a thesis statement during the revision process is ultimately more important than having it exact and precise during the drafting process.

Characteristics of a WEAK thesis statement

  • Vague: Raises an interesting topic or question but doesn’t specify an argument
  • Offers plot summary, statement of fact, or obvious truths instead of an argument
  • Offers opinion or conjecture rather than an argument (cannot be proven with textual evidence)
  • Is too broad or too complex for the length of the paper
  • Uses meaningful-sounding words, but doesn’t actually say anything of substance

Disclaimer: This is not a complete list! You can probably think of many more characteristics of a weak thesis statement.

Characteristics of a STRONG thesis statement

  • Answers a specific question
  • Takes a distinct position on the topic
  • Is debatable (a reasonable person could argue an alternative position)
  • Appropriately focused for the page length of the assignment
  • Allows your reader to anticipate the organization of your argument

Having trouble drafting a thesis? Try filling in the blanks in these template statements:

  • In this paper, I argue that _____, because/by _____.
  • While critics argue _____, I argue _____, because _____.
  • By looking at _____, I argue that _____, which is important because _____.
  • The text, _____, defines _____ as _____, in order to argue _____.

Disclaimer: These are only models. They’ll be useful to help you to get started, but you’ll have to do quite a bit of tweaking before your thesis is ready for your paper.

For more on thesis statements, check out part 2: Our Thesis Statement Checklist .

Last revised: 07/15/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 5/2021

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Thesis Statement – Examples, Writing Guide

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Thesis Statement

Thesis Statement

Definition:

Thesis statement is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of an essay, research paper, or any other written work.

It is usually located at the end of the introductory paragraph and provides a roadmap for the reader, indicating what the paper will be about and what the author’s position or argument is. The thesis statement should be clear, specific, and debatable, so that the reader knows what to expect and can evaluate the validity of the argument.

Structure of Thesis Statement

The structure of a thesis statement typically consists of two main parts: the topic and the argument or claim.

  • Topic : The topic is the subject or issue that the paper will be addressing. It should be clear and specific, and should provide a context for the argument or claim that follows.
  • Argument or claim: The argument or claim is the main point or position that the writer is taking on the topic. It should be clear and concise, and should be debatable or arguable, meaning that it can be supported with evidence and analysis.

For example, a thesis statement for an essay on the impact of social media on mental health could be:

“The excessive use of social media has a negative impact on individuals’ mental health as it leads to increased feelings of anxiety and depression, a distorted self-image, and a decline in face-to-face communication skills.”

In this example, the topic is the impact of social media on mental health, and the argument is that excessive social media use has negative effects on mental health, which will be supported by evidence throughout the essay.

How to Write Thesis Statement

Here are the steps to follow when writing a thesis statement:

  • Identify your topic: Your thesis statement should be based on a clear understanding of your topic. Identify the key concepts, issues, and questions related to your topic.
  • Research : Conduct research to gather information and evidence that supports your argument. Use reputable sources, such as academic journals, books, and websites.
  • Brainstorm : Use brainstorming techniques to generate ideas and develop your argument. Consider different perspectives and opinions on your topic.
  • Create a working thesis : Write a working thesis statement that expresses your argument or position on the topic. This statement should be concise and clear, and it should provide a roadmap for your paper.
  • Refine your thesis : Revise your working thesis as you continue to research and develop your argument. Make sure your thesis is specific, debatable, and well-supported by evidence.
  • Check for coherence : Ensure that your thesis statement is coherent with the rest of your paper. Make sure that your supporting arguments and evidence align with your thesis.
  • Revisit your thesis statement : After completing your paper, revisit your thesis statement to ensure that it accurately reflects the content and scope of your work.

How to Start a Thesis Statement

Here are some steps you can follow to start a thesis statement:

  • Choose your topic: Start by selecting a topic that you are interested in and that is relevant to your assignment or research question.
  • Narrow your focus : Once you have your topic, narrow it down to a specific aspect or angle that you will be exploring in your paper.
  • Conduct research : Conduct some research on your topic to gather information and form an understanding of the existing knowledge on the subject.
  • I dentify your main argument : Based on your research, identify the main argument or point you want to make in your paper.
  • Write a draft thesis statement : Using the main argument you identified, draft a preliminary thesis statement that clearly expresses your point of view.
  • Refine your thesis statement : Revise and refine your thesis statement to make sure it is clear, specific, and strong. Make sure that your thesis statement is supported by evidence and relevant to your topic.

Where is the Thesis Statement Located

In academic writing, the thesis statement is usually located in the introduction paragraph of an essay or research paper. It serves as a concise summary of the main point or argument that the writer will be making in the rest of the paper. The thesis statement is typically located towards the end of the introduction and may consist of one or two sentences.

How Long Should A Thesis Statement Be

Thesis Statement Should be between 1-2 sentences and no more than 25-30 words. It should be clear, concise, and focused on the main point or argument of the paper. A good thesis statement should not be too broad or too narrow but should strike a balance between these two extremes. It should also be supported by evidence and analysis throughout the paper.

For example, if you are writing a five-paragraph essay, your thesis statement should be one sentence that summarizes the main point of the essay. If you are writing a research paper, your thesis statement may be two or three sentences long, as it may require more explanation and support.

Thesis Statement Examples

Here are a few examples of thesis statements:

  • For an argumentative essay: “The use of smartphones in classrooms should be banned, as it distracts students from learning and hinders their academic performance.”
  • For a literary analysis essay: “In George Orwell’s 1984, the use of propaganda and censorship is a powerful tool used by the government to maintain control over the citizens.”
  • For a research paper: “The impact of social media on mental health is a growing concern, and this study aims to explore the relationship between social media use and depression in young adults.”
  • For a compare and contrast essay : “Although both American and British English are forms of the English language, they differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and spelling.”
  • For an expository essay: “The importance of regular exercise for overall health and well-being cannot be overstated, as it reduces the risk of chronic diseases, improves mood and cognitive function, and enhances physical fitness.”
  • For a persuasive essay: “The government should invest in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, as they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.”
  • For a history research paper: “The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a pivotal moment in American history that paved the way for greater racial equality and social justice.”
  • For a literary comparison essay: “In The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, the theme of the American Dream is portrayed differently, with one exposing its emptiness and the other showing its destructive power.”
  • For a science experiment report: “The hypothesis that increasing the amount of sunlight a plant receives will result in greater growth is supported by the results of this experiment.”
  • For an analysis of a social issue : “The gender pay gap in the United States is a pervasive problem that is perpetuated by systemic discrimination and unequal access to education and opportunities.”

Good Thesis Statements Examples

Some Good Thesis Statements Examples are as follows:

  • “The legalization of marijuana for medical use has proven to be a beneficial alternative to traditional pain management techniques, with numerous studies demonstrating its efficacy and safety.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and provides specific information about the benefits of medical marijuana and the evidence supporting its use.

  • “The rise of social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and interact with each other, with both positive and negative effects on our relationships and mental health.”

This thesis statement provides a clear argument and focus for the essay, exploring the impact of social media on communication and mental health.

  • “The portrayal of women in advertising perpetuates harmful stereotypes and reinforces gender inequality, contributing to a larger societal issue of sexism and misogyny.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, analyzing the negative effects of advertising on women and the larger societal issue of gender inequality.

  • “The implementation of renewable energy sources is crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change and transitioning to a more sustainable future.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, emphasizing the importance of renewable energy sources in addressing climate change and promoting sustainability.

  • “The American Dream is an illusion that perpetuates social and economic inequality, as it is based on the false notion of equal opportunity for all.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, critiquing the concept of the American Dream and its perpetuation of inequality.

Bad Thesis Statements Examples

Some Bad Thesis Statements Examples are as follows:

  • “In this essay, I will talk about my favorite hobby.”

This thesis statement is too vague and does not give any specific information about the writer’s favorite hobby or what the essay will be about.

  • “This paper will explore the benefits and drawbacks of social media.”

This thesis statement is too general and does not provide a clear argument or focus for the essay.

  • “The world is a beautiful place.”

This thesis statement is an opinion and does not provide any specific information or argument that can be discussed or analyzed in an essay.

  • “The impact of climate change is bad.”

This thesis statement is too broad and does not provide any specific information about the impacts of climate change or the focus of the essay.

  • “I am going to write about the history of the United States.”

This thesis statement is too general and does not provide a specific focus or argument for the essay.

Applications of Thesis Statement

A thesis statement has several important applications in academic writing, including:

  • Guides the reader: A thesis statement serves as a roadmap for the reader, telling them what to expect from the rest of the paper and helping them to understand the main argument or focus of the essay or research paper.
  • Focuses the writer: Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.
  • Organizes the paper: A thesis statement provides a framework for organizing the paper, helping the writer to develop a logical and coherent argument that supports their main claim.
  • Evaluates sources: A clear thesis statement helps the writer to evaluate sources and information, determining which information is relevant and which is not.
  • Helps with revision: A strong thesis statement can help the writer to revise their paper, as they can use it as a reference point to ensure that every paragraph and piece of evidence supports their main argument or claim.

Purpose of Thesis Statement

The purpose of a thesis statement is to:

  • Identify the main focus or argument of the essay or research paper: A thesis statement is typically a one or two-sentence statement that identifies the main argument or claim of the paper. It should be clear, specific, and debatable, and should guide the reader on what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • Provide direction and guidance to the reader: A thesis statement helps the reader to understand the main focus of the paper and what the writer is trying to convey. It also provides a roadmap for the reader to follow, making it easier for them to understand the structure and organization of the paper.
  • Focus the writer and help with organization: Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information. Additionally, a clear thesis statement provides a framework for organizing the paper, helping the writer to develop a logical and coherent argument that supports their main claim.
  • Provide a basis for evaluation and analysis: A clear thesis statement helps the writer to evaluate sources and information, determining which information is relevant and which is not. It also provides a basis for analyzing and evaluating the evidence presented in the paper, helping the writer to determine whether or not it supports their main argument or claim.

When to Write Thesis Statement

A thesis statement should be written early in the writing process, ideally before any significant research or drafting has taken place. This is because the thesis statement serves as the foundation for the rest of the paper, providing a clear and concise summary of the paper’s main argument or claim. By identifying the main argument or claim early in the writing process, the writer can stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.

However, it is important to note that the thesis statement is not necessarily set in stone and may need to be revised as the paper is developed. As the writer conducts research and develops their argument, they may find that their original thesis statement needs to be modified or refined. Therefore, it is important to revisit and revise the thesis statement throughout the writing process to ensure that it accurately reflects the main argument or claim of the paper.

Characteristics of Thesis Statement

Some of the key characteristics of a strong thesis statement include:

  • Clarity : A thesis statement should be clear and easy to understand, clearly conveying the main argument or claim of the paper.
  • Specificity : A thesis statement should be specific and focused, addressing a single idea or topic rather than being overly broad or general.
  • Debatable : A thesis statement should be debatable, meaning that there should be room for disagreement or debate. It should not be a statement of fact or a summary of the paper, but rather a statement that can be supported with evidence and analysis.
  • Coherent : A thesis statement should be coherent, meaning that it should be logical and consistent with the rest of the paper. It should not contradict other parts of the paper or be confusing or ambiguous.
  • Relevant : A thesis statement should be relevant to the topic of the paper and should address the main question or problem being investigated.
  • Arguable : A thesis statement should present an argument that can be supported with evidence and analysis, rather than simply stating an opinion or belief.

Advantages of Thesis Statement

There are several advantages of having a strong thesis statement in academic writing, including:

  • Focuses the writer : Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.
  • Establishes credibility: A strong thesis statement establishes the writer’s credibility and expertise on the topic, as it demonstrates their understanding of the issue and their ability to make a persuasive argument.
  • Engages the reader: A well-crafted thesis statement can engage the reader and encourage them to continue reading the paper, as it presents a clear and interesting argument that is worth exploring.

Limitations of Thesis Statement

While a strong thesis statement is an essential component of academic writing, there are also some limitations to consider, including:

  • Can be restrictive: A thesis statement can be restrictive if it is too narrow or specific, limiting the writer’s ability to explore related topics or ideas. It is important to strike a balance between a focused thesis statement and one that allows for some flexibility and exploration.
  • Can oversimplify complex topics: A thesis statement can oversimplify complex topics, presenting them as black and white issues rather than acknowledging their complexity and nuance. It is important to be aware of the limitations of a thesis statement and to acknowledge the complexities of the topic being addressed.
  • Can limit creativity: A thesis statement can limit creativity and experimentation in writing, as the writer may feel constrained by the need to support their main argument or claim. It is important to balance the need for a clear and focused thesis statement with the desire for creativity and exploration in the writing process.
  • May require revision: A thesis statement may require revision as the writer conducts research and develops their argument, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. It is important to be flexible and open to revising the thesis statement as needed to ensure that it accurately reflects the main argument or claim of the paper.

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Module 4: Putting Your Source Material to Work

Developing a strong, clear thesis statement, learning objectives.

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements.
  • Revise your thesis statement.

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision. A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness. A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence. In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe . These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident.

  • Texting while driving
  • The legal drinking age in the United States
  • Steroid use among professional athletes

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness
  • The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye , Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

  • A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay. Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.
  • A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.
  • A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end. Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.
  • A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad. Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

Read the following thesis statements. On a separate piece of paper, identify each as weak or strong. For those that are weak, list the reasons why. Then revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis.

  • The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.
  • The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.
  • Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the nineteenth century.
  • In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore.
  • Despite his promises during his campaign, President Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation.
  • Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.
  • My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement , an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are . Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In the first section of Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?”, you determined your purpose for writing and your audience. You then completed a freewriting exercise about an event you recently experienced and chose a general topic to write about. Using that general topic, you then narrowed it down by answering the 5WH questions. After you answered these questions, you chose one of the three methods of prewriting and gathered possible supporting points for your working thesis statement.

Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down your working thesis statement. Identify any weaknesses in this sentence and revise the statement to reflect the elements of a strong thesis statement. Make sure it is specific, precise, arguable, demonstrable, forceful, and confident.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.
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Using Thesis Statements

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When you are asked to write an essay that creates an argument, your reader will probably expect a clear statement of your position. Typically, this summary statement comes in the first paragraph of the essay, though there is no rigid rule about position. Here are some characteristics of good thesis statements, with samples of good and poor ones. Note that the better examples substitute specific argumentative points for sweeping general statements; they indicate a theoretical basis and promise substantial support. (See Some Myths About Thesis Statements, below, for a discussion of times not to use a thesis statement. See also the file General Advice on Essay Writing .)

1. It makes a definite and limited assertion that needs to be explained and supported by further discussion:

2. it shows the emphasis and indicates the methodology of your argument:, 3. it shows awareness of difficulties and disagreements:, some myths about thesis statements.

  • Every paper requires one . Assignments that ask you to write personal responses or to explore a subject don’t want you to seem to pre-judge the issues. Essays of literary interpretation often want you to be aware of many effects rather than seeming to box yourself into one view of the text.
  • A thesis statement must come at the end of the first paragraph. This is a natural position for a statement of focus, but it’s not the only one. Some theses can be stated in the opening sentences of an essay; others need a paragraph or two of introduction; others can’t be fully formulated until the end.
  • A thesis statement must be one sentence in length, no matter how many clauses it contains . Clear writing is more important than rules like these. Use two or three sentences if you need them. A complex argument may require a whole tightly-knit paragraph to make its initial statement of position.
  • You can’t start writing an essay until you have a perfect thesis statement . It may be advisable to draft a hypothesis or tentative thesis statement near the start of a big project, but changing and refining a thesis is a main task of thinking your way through your ideas as you write a paper. And some essay projects need to explore the question in depth without being locked in before they can provide even a tentative answer.
  • A thesis statement must give three points of support . It should indicate that the essay will explain and give evidence for its assertion, but points don’t need to come in any specific number.

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Chapter 5: Putting the Pieces Together with a Thesis Statement

5.2 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements
  • Revise your thesis statement

Have you ever known someone who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following the train of thought as the storyteller jumped from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe the person told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. The ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement  to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a  controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your instructor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful, and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities:

Specificity: A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision: A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Arguability: A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Demonstrability: For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness/Assertiveness: A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence: In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.4

H5P: Drafting Thesis StatementsWrite a clear, confident thesis statement for an essay on the following topic:

  • Texting while driving.
  • The legal drinking age in different provinces of Canada.
  • Steroid use among professional athletes.

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the qualities discussed above: specificity, precision, arguability, demonstrability, forcefulness/assertiveness, and confidence.

  • The societal and personal struggles of Floyd in the play Where the Blood Mixes, by Kevin Loring, symbolize the challenge of First Nations people of Canada who lived through segregation and placement into residential schools.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look four pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis.

  • A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay. Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.
  • A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across the country are trying to legislate their puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.
  • A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end. Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.
  • A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad. Weak thesis statement :  The life of Pierre Trudeau was long and accomplished.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.5

H5P: Read the following thesis statements and identify each as weak or strong.

  • “The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.”
  • “The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.”
  • “Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the 19th century.”
  • “In this essay, I will give you a lot of reasons why marijuana should not be legalized in British Columbia.”
  • “Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.”
  • “My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an email. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your email request. While your email will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Writing a Thesis Statement

One legitimate question readers always ask about a piece of writing is “What is the big idea?” (You may even ask this question when you are the reader, critically reading an assignment or another document.) Every nonfiction writing task—from the short essay to the 10-page term paper to the lengthy senior thesis—needs a big idea, or a controlling idea, as the “spine” for the work. The controlling idea is the main idea that you want to present and develop.

The big idea, or controlling idea, you want to present in an essay is expressed in your thesis statement. Remember that a thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states your point of view. The thesis statement is not the topic of the piece of writing but rather what you have to say about that topic and what is important to tell readers.

Look at Table 5.1: Topics and Thesis Statements  for a comparison of topics and thesis statements.

The first thesis statement you write will be a preliminary thesis statement , or a working thesis statement . You will need it when you begin to outline your assignment as a way to organize it. As you continue to develop the arrangement, you can limit your working thesis statement if it is too broad or expand it if it proves too narrow for what you want to say.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.6

H5P: Working Toward a Working Thesis

We’re going to use that free writing strategy again. This time, try to write for ten minutes, and write down anything you know right now about your newly narrowed thesis statement. Don’t worry about looking material up or whether you’re getting everything exactly right. Instead, just focus on getting words on the screen. This is rough work to help you approach an answer to a question, not the final essay. So just keep writing.

Can you find something in your freewriting that looks like a “controlling idea”? Something that might centre your argument, something you can structure your argument around? We’ll call that your working thesis. Draft a working thesis below.

Collaboration: Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

Revising a Thesis Statement

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember, you begin with a working thesis statement, an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

  • Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.
  • Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.
  • Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.
  • Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.
  • Working thesis: British Columbian schoolteachers are not paid enough.
  • Revised thesis: The legislature of British Columbia cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are. Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Reading the original thesis statement above, readers might wonder why teachers are not paid enough, but the statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask him- or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue. For example, the writer could ask:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results
  • Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.
  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behaviour show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

Self-practice exercise  5.7

H5P:  Polishing the Thesis Statement

A working thesis statement is always a work in progress, and we make it stronger by asking questions of it and challenging the first draft. That’s the next job you have! It takes many revisions to make your work the best it can be, so try not to get frustrated by the process.

  • Copy your working thesis statement for reference here.
  • Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.
  • Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs gives information about the subject, such as a condition or relationship (is, appear, smell, sound), but they do not show any action. The most common linking verb is any forms of the verb to be, a verb that simply states that a situation exists. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.
  • Omit any general claims that are hard to support. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.

Just Asking Questions

Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis. The most straightforward way to do this is to ask yourself the 5WHs again — who, what, where, when, why, and how — and see were you can make your thesis statement more specific. List the questions you have about your own thesis below.

Now do your best to answer those questions.

And finally, revise your thesis in relation to these points and share it below.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revising to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. The techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Writing for Success - 1st Canadian H5P Edition by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Chapter 6: The Writing Process and Pre-Writing

Elements of a Thesis Statement

When writing an essay, you must focus on a main idea . This idea will stem from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your instructor has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or answer with a yes or no: you will need to form an opinion and then articulate it into a controlling idea – the main idea you will build your thesis on.

A thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. When an instructor presents you with a topic, ask, “What do you want to say about it?” Asking and answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is specific.

A thesis is typically one sentence long and appears near the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points related to a main idea: you will work to prove these points in the body of your paper. Thus, the thesis forecasts the content of the essay and how you will organize your information. A thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather helps to dissect it.

A strong thesis statement

Click on the items below to understand the qualities of a strong thesis statement.

Activities: Check Your Understanding

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Other than the activities, content for this page was adapted (with editorial changes) from:

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Unit 4: Fundamentals of Academic Essay Writing

23 Writing a Thesis Statement

Preview Questions:

  • What is a thesis statement? How does a thesis statement help you when writing an essay?
  • What are some characteristics of a good thesis statement?
  • What are some common problems with thesis statements?
  • Is it OK to change your thesis statement as you develop your essay?

A thesis statement is usually one sentence long (though you may see longer thesis statements in ESL 118). Think of a thesis statement as a type of “map” which tells the reader where your essay will “go” and what the reader can expect.

Characteristics of an effective thesis statement

  • It includes the topic and focus. The thesis statement answers your research question.
  • It includes an overview of your supporting points. These points are logically connected to your focus.
  • It is not too long or too short; it provides sufficient information.
  • A good thesis statement is written in formal, academic style, with appropriate and correct vocabulary and grammar. A good thesis statement is clear.

1 Topic and Focus

The thesis statement is a concise answer to your Research Question. It states the topic of your essay and expresses the focus.

  • topic:   social media addiction
  • focus:   why young people become addicted (causes)
  • thesis:  Young people become addicted to social media because their brain chemistry puts them at risk for addiction, they need personal validation, and they are afraid of being left out.

2 Overview of Supporting Points

Your thesis statement should include a list of your supporting points. This overview shows the reader what you will write about and how those ideas will be organized. The example below illustrates the relationship between the rough outline , supporting points, and thesis statement.

  • research question: What are the effects of smart phone addiction?
  • focus: Effects
  • Back and neck pain
  • Shorter attention span
  • Damage to eyesight from blue light
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Source of anxiety and stress
  • thesis statement: Smart phone addiction can lead to an increase in anxiety and stress, a decrease in attention span, and physical problems like back and neck pain.

Notice that the writer did not use all five “answers” to their research question, but instead selected the three most important points. In addition, the writer has ordered the points so that there is a logical flow from what the reader perceives to be the most important point to less important point.

3 Provides sufficient information

Express the supporting points as single words or short phrases, but avoid expressing the supporting points as full sentences.

4 Uses academic style

In academic writing, a thesis statement is expressed using formal, academic writing style. Refer to Writing Academic Tips as a reminder of what this means.

5 Uses precise vocabulary

An effective thesis statement will use accurate, appropriate vocabulary. Choose the correct vocabulary to express your focus by consulting a dictionary and thesaurus. Use a corpus for checking collocations (like Skell Sketch Engine ).

6 Supporting points are grammatically parallel

The supporting points should be grammatically parallel. This means each point should be expressed using the same grammatical structure. See the examples below:

  • Notice how each supporting point is expressed as a noun phrase.
  • Notice how each supporting point is expressed as a verb + ing phrase.
  • Notice how each supporting point is expressed as a short clause.

7 Should express a logical relationship among points whenever possible

When there are connections between points, determine the type of relationship between your points (e.g. cause-effect, sequence). Then include language to demonstrate the connections to your reader.

  • To this extent, the most critical challenges that international students face include experiencing culture shock in and out of the classroom, overcoming language barriers in their daily life,  and dealing with stress and anxiety.

In the revision, the writer expresses a cause – effec t relationship:

  • To this extent, the most critical challenges that international students face include experiencing culture shock in and out of the classroom and overcoming language barriers in their daily life,  consequently leading to stress and anxiety. 
  • Therefore, U.S. colleges have strived to accommodate international students by offering professional and peer advising and mentoring, providing ample academic and activity resources,  and helping students meet new academic culture expectations.

In the revision, the writer expresses a cause – effect relationship:

  • Therefore, U.S. colleges have strived to accommodate international students by offering professional and peer advising and mentoring, along with ample academic and activity resources,  ultimately helping students meet new academic culture expectations. 

Example 3: This writer has expressed a process along with a cause-effect relationship:

  • Universities should combine synchronous and asynchronous techniques to optimize students’ online learning that offers accessible, interactive, and flexible education while keeping up with technology.

Example 4: This writer has expressed a cause – effec t relationship:

  • Universities should blend synchronous and asynchronous learning, for the purpose of combining their advantages to offer greater flexibility and efficiency in student learning, ultimately leading to improved learning effectiveness.

Example 5: This writer has expressed a cause – effec t relationship:

  • Online classes in higher education institutions should combine different modes of studying and be more affordable, both of which make education increasingly accessible and inclusive for students worldwide.

Problems with thesis statements

Keep the criteria above in mind to avoid these problems:

  • A lack of focus
  • A lack of supporting points
  • Supporting points are not logically connected to the focus
  • Contains too much information
  • Use inappropriate, imprecise, or ungrammatical language
  • Supporting points are not expressed using parallel (similar) grammar

A collocation consists of 2 or more words that are often used together. For example, we say,  "bake a cake," not "cook a cake." "Bake" and "cake" collocate; that is, they "go together."

Academic Writing I Copyright © by UW-Madison ESL Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Writing Resources

Features of a successful thesis.

This handout is available for download in DOCX format and PDF format .

  • A thesis must consist of a claim. Questions are not claims; nor are simple descriptions. A thesis is not a topic or theme, either. It is a contention —something to be argued.
  • A thesis should not be obviously true or false. If a claim is obviously true, there is no need to argue for it; and if is it obviously false, there is no reason to argue for it, either. Rather, the claim should be plausible, but in need of argument and evidence to establish its veracity.
  • A thesis should not be overly abstract or general. It must be specific enough to be arguable, that is, specific enough to support with the evidence available to you.
  • A thesis should be original. It should not merely recapitulate another writer’s argument. However, this does not mean that a thesis cannot be based on or influenced by the arguments of other writers.
  • There must be evidence available to support the claim made in the thesis.
  • The claim must be of an appropriate scope such that it can be adequately argued within the length of the paper.
  • A thesis should be clear. Remove as much ambiguity as possible from your thesis statement, and define any technical or ambiguous terms (e.g., “Durkheim-Boas tradition,” “reductionism”) that appear in your thesis or essay.
  • A thesis should be concise. Generally, a thesis will be contained within a single sentence, although sometimes more complex theses are developed over two or three sentences.
  • A thesis should be obvious to your reader. Often, a thesis statement begins with a phrase like “I will argue…,” “In this essay I will contend…,” etc. Theses are often stated in the first paragraph or in introductory paragraphs.

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ELCOMBLUS

Characteristics of an Effective Thesis Statement

Now that you have learned how to formulate a thesis statement , how will you know if your thesis statement is strong? Below are the characteristics of an effective thesis statement:

  • Responds to the assignment by following instructions.  Going back to the instructions can assure you that your thesis statement is relevant and addresses what your teacher has prescribed. It can also refocus your argument if needed.
  • Expresses the main idea in one to two sentences.  A thesis statement should be comprehensive yet concise because you will be spending the rest of the paper proving your point.
  • Focuses on a specific issue.  Your thesis statement should be sufficiently narrowed based on the boundaries of the assignment, and should only discuss one or a few related issues so that your paper remains focused and you do not ramble or leave some parts undeveloped.
  • States a stand on the topic.  A thesis statement must reveal your attitude toward the topic. Your attitude will show how you intend to interpret or discuss the issue, and this is what differentiates you from other writers who may be writing about the same topic. Your attitude also is what helps you elaborate on a topic, because there is only so much that can be said about something factual.
  • Says something meaningful by answering the questions: “So what?” “How?” “Why?”.  A good thesis statement shows why the reader should care about your work. The significance of your paper is clear to the reader if your thesis statement is able to answer the question, “So what?” Next, your thesis statement should be able to substantiate your claims by providing the reader evidence, or an idea of how you intend to support your stand. This is usually answerable by addressing “how” and “why.”
  • Previews the rest of the essay by being placed in the introduction.  A thesis statement is usually placed in the introduction so that the reader knows what to expect in reading your essay.
  • Reflects a tone and point-of-view appropriate to the identified purpose and audience.  Your thesis statement should consider the writing situation you find yourself in. This requires thinking about why you are writing and who you are writing for. Does the way your thesis statement is written, reflect these concerns adequately? 

You can make your thesis statements more effective if you keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Avoid making overly-opinionated stands.  While a thesis statement needs to reveal your attitude toward the topic, be careful not to go to the extremes and write a thesis statement with an exaggerated claim. This is because you need to prove your thesis statement first, and avoid imposing your opinion on the reader, lest you affect their disposition toward you. For example, instead of saying, “The officers of the Reserve Officers Training Corps are merciless slave drivers who abuse their fellow students,” you might say, “The officers of the Reserve Officers Training Corps should exercise more responsibility toward their authority by being sensitive to how they lead their fellow students.” The way this statement is worded makes the same point without coming on too strongly.
  • Avoid making announcements.  Sometimes, it is easier just to tell your reader what you intend to write about. You might say, “In this essay, I will be discussing the benefits of joining the Reserve Officers Training Corps.”The problem with this statement is that it does not specify what those benefits are or what your attitude toward the subject is.
  • Avoid stating only facts.  As previously mentioned, your thesis statement must reveal your attitude toward the topic. This is what allows your topic to be developed. if you rely only on facts in your thesis statements, you will not have much room for discussion, because facts are generally not as debatable as opinions. Your thesis statement must contain a position that your readers can oppose. Thus, a thesis statement like ‘The Reserve Officers Training Corps is a program that prepares students to serve in the military” does not invite much debate from a reader because that statement is generally accepted.

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Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement

Erin schreiner.

Compose an effective thesis to state your point.

A well-written thesis statement establishes the central focus of a paper. By reading the thesis statement, readers should be able to determine what the author of the paper will aim to prove throughout the essay. By composing an engaging and effective thesis, writers can create a compelling beginning to their paper that both draws readers in and creates excitement about the paper content.

Explore this article

  • Argumentative
  • Alludes to Supports
  • Encompassing of Paper Content

1 Argumentative

All thesis statements should be argumentative in nature, reports the University of Houston. Do not begin your essay with a factual statement, such as, “The sky is blue,” because this statement is irrefutable and, therefore, not something you can effectively argue.

Effective thesis statements indicate specifically what the essay will be about. Do not make an overly broad statement in your thesis, such as, “Animal cruelty is bad.” Instead, compose a statement that is direct and to the point, such as, “Animal cruelty has an impact on all humans.” By composing a specific thesis statement, you increase the likelihood that you can effectively prove your argument.

When you begin your essay with a thesis statement that attracts interest, you engage your audience and entice them to keep reading. Your thesis statement should be as provocative as possible, given your topic. Along with the rest of your introductory paragraph, your thesis serves as a hook, pulling your audience into your piece.

4 Alludes to Supports

Although you do not want to go into specifics regarding your supports until your body paragraphs, you should make allusions to these supports in your thesis. For example, if you are going to argue that students should be taught basic sex education in elementary school and your body paragraphs include information about the proven effectiveness of such programs and what these programs should include, you could compose a thesis statement that says, “While some feel that elementary students are too young to receive basic sex education, programs aimed at young learners can be beneficial if properly organized.”

5 Encompassing of Paper Content

You should not discuss anything in your paper that is not stated, or at least hinted at, in your thesis. This statement should encompass all of the topics you will explore within the essay as a whole, even if it only broadly hints at these points. If your thesis states that your paper will be about the importance of student participation in sports, you should not discuss the rules of soccer in your paper, as this discussion is not directly germane to the thesis you laid out.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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Thesis Statements: How to Identify and Write Them

Thesis Statements: How to Identify and Write Them

Students read about and watch videos about how to identify and write thesis statements. 

Then, students complete two exercises where they identify and write thesis statements. 

*Conditions of Use: While the content on each page is licensed under an  Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike  license, some pages contain content and/or references with other types of licenses or copyrights. Please look at the bottom of each page to view this information. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of these readings and exercises, students will be able to: 

  • define the term thesis statement
  • read about two recommended thesis statement models 
  • practice identifying thesis statements in other texts
  • write your own effective thesis statements

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  • The untitled image of a detective by Peggy_Marco is licensed under Pixabay . 

What is a thesis statement?

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.

Please take a look at this video which explains the basic definition of a thesis statement further (we will be building upon these ideas through the rest of the readings and exercises): 

Attributions: 

  • The content about thesis statements has been modified from English Composition 1 by Lumen Learning and Audrey Fisch et al. and appears under an  Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. 
  • The video "Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements" by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab appears under a YouTube license . 

The Two-Story Model (basic)

First, we will cover the two-story thesis statement model. This is the most basic model, but that doesn't mean it's bad or that you shouldn't use it. If you have a hard time with thesis statements or if you just want to keep things simple, this model is perfect for you. Think of it like a two-story building with two layers. 

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

Examples: 

When you read all of the thesis statement examples, 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.

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

Please watch how Dr. Cielle Amundson demonstrates the two-story thesis statement model in this video:

  • The video "Thesis Statement Definition" by  Dr. Cielle Amundson  appears under a YouTube license . 

The Three-Story Model (advanced)

Now, it's time to challenge yourself. The three-story model is like a building with three stories. Adding multiple levels to your thesis statement makes it more specific and sophisticated. Though you'll be trying your hand with this model in the activity later on, throughout our course, you are free to choose either the two-story or three-story thesis statement model. Still, it's good to know what the three-story model entails. 

A thesis statement can have three parts: 

  • Relevance : Why your argument is meaningful

Conceptualizing the Three-Story Model: 

A helpful metaphor based on this passage by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.:

There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason, generalize using the labor of fact collectors as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict—their best illumination comes from above the skylight.

One-story theses state inarguable facts. Two-story theses bring in an arguable (interpretive or analytical) point. Three-story theses nest that point within its larger, compelling implications. 

The biggest benefit of the three-story metaphor is that it describes a process for building a thesis. To build the first story, you first have to get familiar with the complex, relevant facts surrounding the problem or question. You have to be able to describe the situation thoroughly and accurately. Then, with that first story built, you can layer on the second story by formulating the insightful, arguable point that animates the analysis. That’s often the most effortful part: brainstorming, elaborating and comparing alternative ideas, finalizing your point. With that specified, you can frame up the third story by articulating why the point you make matters beyond its particular topic or case.

Though the three-story thesis statement model appears a little bit differently in this video, you can still see how it follows the patterns mentioned within this section: 

  • The content about thesis statements has been modified from Writing in College by Amy Guptill from Milne Publishing and appears under an  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. 
  • The video "How to Write a STRONG Thesis Statement" by Scribbr  appears under a YouTube license . 

Identifying Thesis Statements

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.

Pinpointing a 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.

Shared Characteristics of Thesis Statements:

  • present the main idea
  • are one sentence
  • tell the reader what to expect
  • summarize the essay topic
  • present an argument
  • are 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).

Try it! 

Try to check your thesis statement identification skills with this interactive exercise from the Excelsior University Online Writing Lab. 

  • The video "How to Identidy the Thesis Statement" by  Martha Ann Kennedy  appears under a YouTube license . 
  • The "Judging Thesis Statements" exercise from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab appears under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. 

Writing Your Own Thesis Statements

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.

Key Elements of an Effective Thesis Statement: 

  • A good thesis is non-obvious. High school teachers needed to make sure that you and all your classmates mastered the basic form of the academic essay. Thus, they were mostly concerned that you had a clear and consistent thesis, even if it was something obvious like “sustainability is important.” A thesis statement like that has a wide-enough scope to incorporate several supporting points and concurring evidence, enabling the writer to demonstrate his or her mastery of the five-paragraph form. Good enough! When they can, high school teachers nudge students to develop arguments that are less obvious and more engaging. College instructors, though, fully expect you to produce something more developed.
  • A good thesis is arguable . In everyday life, “arguable” is often used as a synonym for “doubtful.” For a thesis, though, “arguable” means that it’s worth arguing: it’s something with which a reasonable person might disagree. This arguability criterion dovetails with the non-obvious one: it shows that the author has deeply explored a problem and arrived at an argument that legitimately needs 3, 5, 10, or 20 pages to explain and justify. In that way, a good thesis sets an ambitious agenda for a paper. A thesis like “sustainability is important” isn’t at all difficult to argue for, and the reader would have little intrinsic motivation to read the rest of the paper. However, an arguable thesis like “sustainability policies will inevitably fail if they do not incorporate social justice,” brings up some healthy skepticism. Thus, the arguable thesis makes the reader want to keep reading.
  • A good thesis is well specified. Some student writers fear that they’re giving away the game if they specify their thesis up front; they think that a purposefully vague thesis might be more intriguing to the reader. However, consider movie trailers: they always include the most exciting and poignant moments from the film to attract an audience. In academic papers, too, a well specified thesis indicates that the author has thought rigorously about an issue and done thorough research, which makes the reader want to keep reading. Don’t just say that a particular policy is effective or fair; say what makes it is so. If you want to argue that a particular claim is dubious or incomplete, say why in your thesis.
  • A good thesis includes implications. Suppose your assignment is to write a paper about some aspect of the history of linen production and trade, a topic that may seem exceedingly arcane. And suppose you have constructed a well supported and creative argument that linen was so widely traded in the ancient Mediterranean that it actually served as a kind of currency. 2  That’s a strong, insightful, arguable, well specified thesis. But which of these thesis statements do you find more engaging?

How Can You Write Your Thesis Statements?

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.

  • focus on one, interesting idea
  • choose the two-story or three-story model
  • be as specific as possible
  • write clearly
  • have evidence to support it (for later on)

Thesis Statement Examples: 

  • 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.

You can gather more thesis statement tips and tricks from this video titled "How to Create a Thesis Statement" from the Florida SouthWestern State College Academic Support Centers: 

  • The video "How to Create a Thesis Statement" by the Florida SouthWestern State College Academic Support Centers appears under a YouTube license . 

Additional, Optional Resources

stack of books

If you feel like you might need more support with thesis statements, please check out these helpful resources for some extra, optional instruction: 

  • "Checklist for a Thesis Statement"  from the  Excelsior University Online Writing Lab  which appears under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. 
  • "Developing Your Thesis" from Hamiliton College which appears under a copyright. 
  • "Parts of a Thesis Sentence and Common Problems"  from the  Excelsior University Online Writing Lab  which appears under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
  • "Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements" from the Purdue University Writing Lab which appears under a copyright. 
  • "Writing Thesis Statements & Hypotheses" by Hope Matis from Clarkson University which appears under a copyright. 
  • The content about these resources has been modified from English Composition 1 by Lumen Learning and Audrey Fisch et al. and appears under an  Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. 
  • The content about these resources has been modified from Writing in College by Amy Guptill from Milne Publishing and appears under an  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. 
  • The untitled image of the books by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under Pixabay . 

Exercise #1: Identify Thesis Statements

Throughout the readings, we have been learning what an effective thesis statement is and what it is not. Before we even get to writing our own thesis statements, let's look for real-world examples. It's your turn to locate and identify thesis statements!

map with an X indicating a location

Objectives/Goals

By completeting this exercise students will be able to: 

  • identify the main ideas within a text 
  • summarize the main ideas within a text
  • choose one sentence from the text which you believe is the thesis statement
  • argue why you believe that's the true thesis statement of the text

Instructions

  • Any print or online text (probably something around a page in length) will be fine for this exercise. 
  • If you have trouble finding a text, I recommend looking at this collection from  88 Open Essays – A Reader for Students of Composition & Rhetoric  by Sarah Wangler and Tina Ulrich. 
  • Write the title of the text that you selected and the full name(s) of the author (this is called the full citation). 
  • Provide a hyperlink for that text. 
  • Write one paragraph (5+ sentences) summarizing the main points of the text. 
  • Write one more argumentative paragraph (5+ sentences) where you discuss which sentence (make sure it appears within quotation marks, but don't worry about in-text citations for now) you think is the author's thesis statement and why. 

Submitting the Assignment

You will be submitting Exercise #1: Identify Thesis Statements within Canvas in our weekly module. 

Please check the assignment page for deadlines and Canvas Guides to help you in case you have trouble submitting your document. 

  • "88 Open Essays - A Reader for Students of Composition & Rhetoric" by Sarah Wangler and Tina Ulrich from LibreTexts appears under an  Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. 

Exercise #2: Write Your Own Thesis Statements

Now that you've had some practice with locating and identifying thesis statements, you are ready to write some practice thesis statements yourself. 

writing supplies/tools

  • write a two-story thesis statement 
  • write a three-story thesis statement
  • reflect on your thesis statement skills
  • Using the same text from Exercise #1, write a two-story thesis statement in response to that text. 
  • Using the same text from Exercise #1, write a three-story thesis statement in response to that text. 
  • Is it easy for you to identify thesis statements in other texts? Why or why not?
  • What methods do you use to identify/locate thesis statements?
  • In the past, how have you felt when you needed to write a thesis statement?
  • How did you feel about writing your own thesis statements in Exercise #2?
  • Which thesis statement writing strategies were the most beneficial to you? Why?
  • What challenges did you face when you were writing you thesis statement for Exercise #2?

You will be submitting Exercise #2: Write Your Own Thesis Statements within Canvas in our weekly module. 

  • The untitled image of the writing supplies by ptra  is licensed under Pixabay . 

Version History

A Good Thesis Statement: Its Main Characteristics and Principles of Developing

what are the characteristics of thesis statement

Let us not waste your time talking about the significance of a good thesis statement. We just want to tell you that every reader is looking for it once he/she takes your paper and starts reading it.

If the reader cannot find a good thesis statement or finds it but it is ineffective, most probably he/she will quit reading further. This is why we suggest you learn some golden rules of making a good thesis statement right now!

A good thesis statement does the following:

  • states what you are going to prove or believe in;
  • distinguishes a well thought-over paper from a mere retelling of facts and events;
  • helps you stay focused throughout the writing process.

The main characteristics of a good thesis statement

A good thesis statement should meet the following requirements:

  • It should be clear and focused;
  • It should be arguable;
  • It should reflect your position on a topic.

Things to avoid in a good thesis statement

There are two things that should be avoided in a good thesis statement:

  • Vague language, e.g. “issues”, “it seems”;
  • The first person, e.g. “in my opinion”, “I suppose”.

How to make a good thesis statement

There are several questions that you should ask yourself if you want to make a good thesis statement:

  • Will the reader ask questions like “Why?”, “How?”
  • Can the reader ask “So what?” or “Who cares?”
  • Can an expert say something like “No way”?
  • Is it clear to the reader what major points you are going to make?

So, writing a thesis statement is not easy. However, it plays such an important role, thus, deserves your time and efforts.

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What Is Thesis:...

What Is Thesis: Its Characteristics & Structure

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What is a Thesis?

A unique research topic, hypothesis, or argument is presented in a thesis, which is a lengthy, formal piece of academic writing. It usually represents the conclusion of the research and scholarship of a student's work in a specific field of study. It is written by students pursuing higher education, such as a master's or doctorate.

A thesis is a substantial academic accomplishment and a requirement for graduate study. It necessitates thorough organisation, investigation, and writing, and it demonstrates a student's capacity for intellectual inquiry and contribution to the academic community. For more information on how to plan your academic journey, visit Yocket .

Characteristics of a Thesis

Key characteristics of a thesis include:

  • Original Research : A thesis necessitates either original research or a study of already published material. The chosen field should benefit from this research's new information or insights.
  • Structured Format : A thesis has a set format that may contain an introduction, literature review, methodology, data analysis, discussion of the findings, and a conclusion.
  • Academic Rigour : Theses must meet rigorous academic standards and exhibit critical thinking, research prowess, and in-depth knowledge of the subject.
  • Citations and references : A thesis must include accurate citations and references to all relevant sources. Every source utilised in the study needs to be cited using a particular citation format, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.
  • Defence : As part of many academic programmes, students must present a verbal defence of their thesis to a panel of faculty members. Students present their research, reply to inquiries, and show their subject-matter mastery throughout the defence.
  • Contributions to information : A well-written thesis should add to the corpus of information already available on the topic. It needs to fill a research hole, refute accepted beliefs, or provide workable answers to a dilemma.

Writing a Thesis

Three steps to writing a thesis statement are:  

Think About the Greatest Essay Topic Possible

  • Choose a subject that you are ardent about. If you're sincerely interested in something, even if you don't know much about it, it will be simpler to learn about it while writing. 
  • If you don't focus on a certain area, your work will be too general and maybe too long. Just be careful not to be too particular, or you won't have anything to write about. Try to strike a balance. 
  • Make sure there are enough reliable, powerful sources available before you start your investigation. You don't want to run out of references in the middle. 

Make a Question Out of Your Subject, Then Respond to It

It's not always simple to sum up your entire argument in a single line, much less one that is well-written and concise. Here is a fast method to get you going: 

Start by framing your subject as a question. For instance, if you wish to write about Mahatma Gandhi's legacy, consider the following: "What influences did Gandhi has on society after his death?" 

Write down the response if you already know it; this will serve as a solid foundation for your thesis statement. Do some preliminary research to learn the answer if you don't already know it; you may utilise the information you acquire as sources and proof in your essay's body paragraphs. 

Boost the Polish

Keep in mind the fundamental characteristics of thesis statements that we outlined above: clear language, a balance of particular but not overly exact facts, and a mention of subtopics. Move the supporting details to the next phase if you find it difficult to include everything in the first one. Only the essentials should be included in the thesis statement. 

If you're unsure, have a buddy read your thesis statement and then ask them what they believe your paper is going to be about. Your thesis statement has succeeded if you provide a correct response. 

The challenging part is next—writing the remainder! Even if the majority of the writing is still to be done, at least you have established your main idea. Follow our essay-writing guidelines and allow your ideas to flow while you plan out your supporting argument. Visit Yocket to brush up on your writing skills! 

How to Structure a Thesis?

Theses generally have an introduction, literature review, methods part, results section, discussion section, and conclusion section in both the hard sciences and the social sciences. Each of these is discussed in its own separate part or chapter. You might wish to include an appendix in some circumstances.

Your thesis's first page includes all important identifying information, such as:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date

Acknowledgements

Typically, the acknowledgements portion is optional. Its major purpose is to provide you a chance to express your gratitude to everyone who supported you throughout the writing of your thesis, including your supervisors, friends, and family. Prefaces are optional, although usually just one of the two is written, not both.

A concise description of your thesis is called an abstract. It should contain succinct summaries of your research's aims, methodology, results, and conclusions and is typically no more than 300 words. Even though it may appear brief, it serves as a first impression of your thesis and presents your work to your audience.

Table of Contents

All of your sections, together with their respective page numbers and subheadings, if applicable, are included in the table of contents. This makes it easier for your reader to read your work.

All of your thesis' important sections should be listed in the table of contents. Don't forget to read the appendices, in particular. Microsoft Word makes it simple to create an automated table if you utilise heading styles.

Introduction

The topic, goal, and significance of your thesis are established in the introduction, along with the reader's expectations. This ought to:

  • Provide any background information your reader would need to understand your study topic.
  • Define the scope of your study and describe any prior research on the subject. Place your work in the context of a larger issue or debate.
  • What research questions do you have?
  • Briefly describe the rest of your work's process.

Review of the Literature

A literature study aids you in developing a thorough grasp of all previous scholarly work on your subject, covering:

  • Choosing pertinent sources
  • Selecting reliable sources for your information
  • Analysing each of your sources critically
  • Establishing links across sources, taking into account any recurring themes, trends, disputes, or gaps

Methodology

Your methodology chapter outlines your research process for the reader. It should be stated logically and with clarity to make it simple for the reader to evaluate the merits of your claim. Additionally, your methods section ought to persuade the reader that your approach was the most effective way to address the research topic.

Conclusion of the thesis

Your key research topic should be succinctly addressed in your thesis conclusion. It should emphasise how exactly your study has advanced your subject and leave the reader with a crystal-clear knowledge of your main point.

Final Thoughts

A thesis is an important part of intellectual research and discovery, not merely a necessary academic obligation. The core of a thesis, its various kinds, and its crucial function in the realm of scholarly study have all been revealed to us along this voyage.

A student's capacity to explore, evaluate, and advance knowledge in their subject is demonstrated by their thesis, which can be a master's thesis, a doctorate dissertation, or any research effort in between. It's a process that needs commitment, skepticism, and unshakable resolve. Are you ready to embark on your own journey of scholarly inquiry? It's a path that demands commitment and unwavering resolve. Let's take the first step with Yocket premium .

Frequently Asked Questions about What is Thesis

1. What is a thesis for Masters?

An academic research paper that calls for more investigation than an undergraduate thesis or term paper is a master's thesis. Students are required to show competency, literacy, and topic knowledge, and it is distinguished by a higher quality of writing. Normally, it takes two or three years to finish.

2. Do all Master’s students write a thesis?

For the majority of master's degrees, thesis completion is a requirement for graduation. Even though an undergraduate thesis is often shorter and less in-depth than a master's degree thesis, some bachelor's degree programmes mandate that students write one.

3. Can I do a PhD without a Master’s thesis?

After completing a non-thesis master's degree, you are still able to pursue a PhD. Contrary to common opinion, there are more routes to doctorate study and the academic world beyond the thesis master's degree. Despite a few exceptions, you can register in many Ph.D. programmes after earning a master's without a thesis.

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Table of Contents

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

  • Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic.
  • Ability to be argued.
  • Ability to be demonstrated.
  • Forcefulness.
  • Confidence.

Can you have 2 thesis statements?

Where does a Thesis Statement go? Your thesis should be stated somewhere in the opening paragraphs of your paper, most often as the last sentence of the introduction. Often, a thesis will be one sentence, but for complex subjects, you may find it more effective to break the thesis statement into two sentences.

Can a thesis statement be a question?

Is a thesis statement a question? A thesis statement is not a question. A statement has to be debatable and prove itself using reasoning and evidence.

What is the purpose of thesis statement?

A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic. A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction.

What is an introduction and thesis statement?

Your introduction also needs to adequately explain the topic and organization of your paper. Your thesis statement. identifies the purpose of your paper. It also helps focus the reader on your central point. An effective thesis establishes a tone and a point of view for a given purpose and audience.

What is another name for thesis statement?

What is another word for thesis?

Is thesis and introduction the same?

Answer. What is a thesis statement? Your thesis statement belongs at the end of your first paragraph, also known as your introduction.

What’s the difference between thesis and introduction?

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.

Can a thesis statement be three sentences?

A thesis statement must come at the end of the first paragraph. A thesis statement must be one sentence in length, no matter how many clauses it contains. Clear writing is more important than rules like these. Use two or three sentences if you need them.

Where is your thesis statement?

A thesis statement is usually at the end of an introductory paragraph. The sentences that precede the sentence will introduce it, and the sentences that follow will support and explain it. Just as a topic sentence introduces and organizes a paragraph, a thesis statement helps readers recognize what is to follow.

What does a thesis statement require?

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.

What is meant by thesis statement?

Definition: The thesis statement is a one or two sentence encapsulation of your paper’s main point, main idea, or main message. Your paper’s thesis statement will be addressed and defended in the body paragraphs and the conclusion.

What is not a thesis statement?

The non-thesis thesis. It is different from a topic sentence in that a thesis statement is not neutral. It announces, in addition to the topic, the argument you want to make or the point you want to prove. This is your own opinion that you intend to back up.

What is another word for topic?

Is a thesis a claim?

In a thesis statement, the author is making a specific claim or assertion about a topic that can be debated or challenged. This claim will be developed, supported, and explained in the body of the paper by means of examples and evidence.

What are the strategies in writing a thesis statement?

Tips for Writing/Drafting Thesis Statements

  • Know the topic. The topic should be something you know or can learn about.
  • Limit your topic. Based on what you know and the required length of your final paper, limit your topic to a specific area.
  • Brainstorm.

Is my thesis statement good?

A good thesis statement acknowledges that there is always another side to the argument. So, include an opposing viewpoint (a counterargument) to your opinion. Basically, write down what a person who disagrees with your position might say about your topic.

What is the synonyms of thesis statement?

In this page you can discover 44 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for thesis, like: dialectic, reality, proof, premise, theory, argument, master’s essay, postulate, opinion, dissertation and essay.

What is an example of topic?

Every topic sentence will have a topic and a controlling idea. The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take. Here are some examples: The topic is “pollution in ABC Town is the worst in the world” and the controlling idea is “many reasons.”

What is the purpose of a thesis statement?

What are the two types of thesis statement.

1. There are two major types of thesis statements: explanatory and argumentative. The explanatory thesis announces the subject to the reader; it never declares a stance which needs an argument to defend. These explanatory theses are evident in expository essays and research essays.

Where should a thesis statement appear?

The thesis statement is located in the introductory paragraph, almost always at the end of that paragraph. It usually consists of a single sentence. the writer’s opinion or claim about that topic; i.e., it provides a specific focus for the reader.

What is an example of an ineffective thesis statement?

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.

What is an example of a strong thesis statement?

Example: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good. In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance.

How do you use a thesis in a sentence?

Thesis in a Sentence 🔉

  • The student’s experiments helped her formulate a thesis to share with her professor and classmates.
  • During the next two weeks, students will be asked to defend their thesis statements in class.
  • The lab results prove the scientist’s thesis on energy conversion.

What does antithesis mean?

1a : the direct opposite Her temperament is the very antithesis of mine. b(1) : the rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences (as in “action, not words” or “they promised freedom and provided slavery”)

How many sentences is a thesis statement?

one sentence

How do we know if a thesis statement is strong or weak?

A strong thesis states one main idea. If the paper has more than one main idea the reader might be confused about the paper’s subject. *This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Facebook pages.

How do you write to what extent do you agree or disagree?

I mostly/partly agree/disagree… Introduction: State the points that you agree with and the points that you disagree with. Body paragraph 1: State why you agree with some of the points. Body paragraph 2: State why you disagree with some of the points. Conclusion: Restate your view.

What is the opposite of a thesis?

An antithesis is the complete opposite of something. An antithesis wouldn’t exist without a thesis because it works as a comparison.

What is a thesis statement in a research paper examples?

A thesis statement is one sentence that expresses the main idea of a research paper or essay, such as an expository essay or argumentative essay. It makes a claim, directly answering a question.

What is a weak thesis statement?

A weak thesis statement is often too broad or ambiguous, making it difficult for the reader to understand your position. Attempting to argue more than one point of view also weakens a thesis. For example, “The border should be eliminated or expanded” is a weak thesis statement.

What does topic mean?

argument, reason

Which of the following is the best synonym for the word thesis?

SYNONYMS FOR thesis 1 theory, contention, proposal.

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write 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.

  2. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Thesis statements for argumentative and expository essays should use strong and decisive language; don't be wishy-washy or uncertain.

  3. Strong Thesis Statements

    Developing Strong Thesis Statements The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on.

  4. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper.

  5. Thesis Statements

    A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.

  6. Characteristics of a Strong Thesis

    Strong thesis sentences have angles that are arguable, well-specified, and supportable. Not all topics and angles lend themselves to implications. However, if you've chosen a topic and created an angle that allows you to put your claims into a broader context, that additional context and its implications can create additional interest in an essay.

  7. Thesis Statements

    Characteristics of Effective Thesis Statements An effective thesis statement must be factual and narrow. 1. Facts An effective thesis statement prepares readers for facts and details, but it cannot itself be a fact. It must always be an inference that demands proof or further development. These proofs come from the literature.

  8. Thesis Characteristics

    Thesis Characteristics Whenever you are writing to explain something to your reader or to persuade your reader to agree with your opinion, there should be one complete sentence that expresses the main idea of your paper. That sentence is often called the thesis, or thesis statement.

  9. How Do I Write a Thesis Statement?

    Characteristics of a STRONG thesis statement Answers a specific question Takes a distinct position on the topic Is debatable (a reasonable person could argue an alternative position) Appropriately focused for the page length of the assignment Allows your reader to anticipate the organization of your argument Having trouble drafting a thesis?

  10. Thesis Statement

    Some of the key characteristics of a strong thesis statement include: Clarity: A thesis statement should be clear and easy to understand, clearly conveying the main argument or claim of the paper. Specificity: A thesis statement should be specific and focused, addressing a single idea or topic rather than being overly broad or general.

  11. Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities. Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic.

  12. Using Thesis Statements

    Here are some characteristics of good thesis statements, with samples of good and poor ones. Note that the better examples substitute specific argumentative points for sweeping general statements; they indicate a theoretical basis and promise substantial support. (See Some Myths About Thesis Statements, below, for a discussion of times not to ...

  13. PDF Essay Planning: How to Develop a Working Thesis Statement

    examine why thesis statements are crucial to a paper. For a Reader Thesis statements act as a roadmap that drive readers from one paragraph to another. Having a thesis statement gives the reader a "notice" on points that will be discussed in the paper. Moreover, having a thesis statement gives the reader a reason to continue reading. Without a

  14. 5.2 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities: Specificity: A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health ...

  15. Elements of a Thesis Statement

    It is specific and focuses on one to three points related to a main idea: you will work to prove these points in the body of your paper. Thus, the thesis forecasts the content of the essay and how you will organize your information. A thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather helps to dissect it. A strong thesis statement

  16. Writing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement is usually one sentence long (though you may see longer thesis statements in ESL 118). Think of a thesis statement as a type of "map" which tells the reader where your essay will "go" and what the reader can expect. Characteristics of an effective thesis statement. It includes the topic and focus. The thesis statement ...

  17. Features of A Successful Thesis

    To be arguable: There must be evidence available to support the claim made in the thesis. The claim must be of an appropriate scope such that it can be adequately argued within the length of the paper. A thesis should be clear.

  18. Characteristics of an Effective Thesis Statement

    Below are the characteristics of an effective thesis statement: Responds to the assignment by following instructions. Going back to the instructions can assure you that your thesis statement is relevant and addresses what your teacher has prescribed. It can also refocus your argument if needed. Expresses the main idea in one to two sentences.

  19. Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement

    Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement ERIN SCHREINER CLASS A well-written thesis statement establishes the central focus of a paper. By reading the thesis statement, readers should be able to determine what the author of the paper will aim to prove throughout the essay.

  20. Thesis Statements: How to Identify and Write Them

    Shared Characteristics of Thesis Statements: present the main idea; are one sentence; tell the reader what to expect; summarize the essay topic; present an argument; are 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 ...

  21. A Good Thesis Statement: Its Main Characteristics and Principles of

    The main characteristics of a good thesis statement A good thesis statement should meet the following requirements: It should be clear and focused; It should be arguable; It should reflect your position on a topic. Things to avoid in a good thesis statement There are two things that should be avoided in a good thesis statement:

  22. What Is Thesis: Its Characteristics & Structure

    Key characteristics of a thesis include: Original Research: A thesis necessitates either original research or a study of already published material. The chosen field should benefit from this research's new information or insights.

  23. What are the characteristics of thesis statement?

    - Digglicious.com What are the characteristics of thesis statement? Dec 18, 2021 Alissa Bradley Lifehacks What are the characteristics of thesis statement? What are the characteristics of thesis statement? Can you have 2 thesis statements? Can a thesis statement be a question? What is the purpose of thesis statement?