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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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

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How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

Basics of thesis statements.

The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper. Specific means the thesis deals with a narrow and focused topic, appropriate to the paper's length. Arguable means that a scholar in your field could disagree (or perhaps already has!).

Strong thesis statements address specific intellectual questions, have clear positions, and use a structure that reflects the overall structure of the paper. Read on to learn more about constructing a strong thesis statement.

Being Specific

This thesis statement has no specific argument:

Needs Improvement: In this essay, I will examine two scholarly articles to find similarities and differences.

This statement is concise, but it is neither specific nor arguable—a reader might wonder, "Which scholarly articles? What is the topic of this paper? What field is the author writing in?" Additionally, the purpose of the paper—to "examine…to find similarities and differences" is not of a scholarly level. Identifying similarities and differences is a good first step, but strong academic argument goes further, analyzing what those similarities and differences might mean or imply.

Better: In this essay, I will argue that Bowler's (2003) autocratic management style, when coupled with Smith's (2007) theory of social cognition, can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover.

The new revision here is still concise, as well as specific and arguable.  We can see that it is specific because the writer is mentioning (a) concrete ideas and (b) exact authors.  We can also gather the field (business) and the topic (management and employee turnover). The statement is arguable because the student goes beyond merely comparing; he or she draws conclusions from that comparison ("can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover").

Making a Unique Argument

This thesis draft repeats the language of the writing prompt without making a unique argument:

Needs Improvement: The purpose of this essay is to monitor, assess, and evaluate an educational program for its strengths and weaknesses. Then, I will provide suggestions for improvement.

You can see here that the student has simply stated the paper's assignment, without articulating specifically how he or she will address it. The student can correct this error simply by phrasing the thesis statement as a specific answer to the assignment prompt.

Better: Through a series of student interviews, I found that Kennedy High School's antibullying program was ineffective. In order to address issues of conflict between students, I argue that Kennedy High School should embrace policies outlined by the California Department of Education (2010).

Words like "ineffective" and "argue" show here that the student has clearly thought through the assignment and analyzed the material; he or she is putting forth a specific and debatable position. The concrete information ("student interviews," "antibullying") further prepares the reader for the body of the paper and demonstrates how the student has addressed the assignment prompt without just restating that language.

Creating a Debate

This thesis statement includes only obvious fact or plot summary instead of argument:

Needs Improvement: Leadership is an important quality in nurse educators.

A good strategy to determine if your thesis statement is too broad (and therefore, not arguable) is to ask yourself, "Would a scholar in my field disagree with this point?" Here, we can see easily that no scholar is likely to argue that leadership is an unimportant quality in nurse educators.  The student needs to come up with a more arguable claim, and probably a narrower one; remember that a short paper needs a more focused topic than a dissertation.

Better: Roderick's (2009) theory of participatory leadership  is particularly appropriate to nurse educators working within the emergency medicine field, where students benefit most from collegial and kinesthetic learning.

Here, the student has identified a particular type of leadership ("participatory leadership"), narrowing the topic, and has made an arguable claim (this type of leadership is "appropriate" to a specific type of nurse educator). Conceivably, a scholar in the nursing field might disagree with this approach. The student's paper can now proceed, providing specific pieces of evidence to support the arguable central claim.

Choosing the Right Words

This thesis statement uses large or scholarly-sounding words that have no real substance:

Needs Improvement: Scholars should work to seize metacognitive outcomes by harnessing discipline-based networks to empower collaborative infrastructures.

There are many words in this sentence that may be buzzwords in the student's field or key terms taken from other texts, but together they do not communicate a clear, specific meaning. Sometimes students think scholarly writing means constructing complex sentences using special language, but actually it's usually a stronger choice to write clear, simple sentences. When in doubt, remember that your ideas should be complex, not your sentence structure.

Better: Ecologists should work to educate the U.S. public on conservation methods by making use of local and national green organizations to create a widespread communication plan.

Notice in the revision that the field is now clear (ecology), and the language has been made much more field-specific ("conservation methods," "green organizations"), so the reader is able to see concretely the ideas the student is communicating.

Leaving Room for Discussion

This thesis statement is not capable of development or advancement in the paper:

Needs Improvement: There are always alternatives to illegal drug use.

This sample thesis statement makes a claim, but it is not a claim that will sustain extended discussion. This claim is the type of claim that might be appropriate for the conclusion of a paper, but in the beginning of the paper, the student is left with nowhere to go. What further points can be made? If there are "always alternatives" to the problem the student is identifying, then why bother developing a paper around that claim? Ideally, a thesis statement should be complex enough to explore over the length of the entire paper.

Better: The most effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction may be a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy, as argued by Baker (2008), Smith (2009), and Xavier (2011).

In the revised thesis, you can see the student make a specific, debatable claim that has the potential to generate several pages' worth of discussion. When drafting a thesis statement, think about the questions your thesis statement will generate: What follow-up inquiries might a reader have? In the first example, there are almost no additional questions implied, but the revised example allows for a good deal more exploration.

Thesis Mad Libs

If you are having trouble getting started, try using the models below to generate a rough model of a thesis statement! These models are intended for drafting purposes only and should not appear in your final work.

  • In this essay, I argue ____, using ______ to assert _____.
  • While scholars have often argued ______, I argue______, because_______.
  • Through an analysis of ______, I argue ______, which is important because_______.

Words to Avoid and to Embrace

When drafting your thesis statement, avoid words like explore, investigate, learn, compile, summarize , and explain to describe the main purpose of your paper. These words imply a paper that summarizes or "reports," rather than synthesizing and analyzing.

Instead of the terms above, try words like argue, critique, question , and interrogate . These more analytical words may help you begin strongly, by articulating a specific, critical, scholarly position.

Read Kayla's blog post for tips on taking a stand in a well-crafted thesis statement.

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While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

a thesis is a general sentence with a

What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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9.1 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:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people , everything , society , or life , with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

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.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard , the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

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.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke . The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (See Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” for more information on the 5WH questions.) By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be , a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis: Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis: The Kansas City legislature 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. 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

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis: Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

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.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Thesis and Purpose Statements

Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements.

In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.

A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.

As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.

Thesis statements

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.

Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . . Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

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. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.

Purpose statements

A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.

Common beginnings include:

“This paper examines . . .,” “The aim of this paper is to . . .,” and “The purpose of this essay is to . . .”

A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.

A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.

A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.

This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.

Sample purpose and thesis statements

The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).

The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile’s agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.

For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.

a thesis is a general sentence with a

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 Your Paper

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Developing a Thesis Statement

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting 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

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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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.

How to Write an Explanatory Essay

How to Write an Explanatory Essay

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Published: May 24, 2024

A study from the English Language Teaching Educational Journal found that students encounter difficulty in organizing thoughts, generating ideas, and understanding writing processes when writing essays [1]. These are all key components of putting together a good explanatory essay. If this sounds like you, then don’t worry.

With the right approach, you can seamlessly combine all these components. This guide will give you a simple step-by-step strategy for writing an explanatory essay. It’ll also give you handy writing tips and tool suggestions, like utilizing artificial intelligence.

With this guide, you’ll be able to write an explanatory essay with confidence.

1. Develop a strong thesis statement

Crafting a strong thesis statement is the cornerstone of any well-written explanatory essay. It sets the stage for what your essay will cover and clarifies the main point you’re going to explain. Here’s how to create a thesis:

  • Find the main idea : Start by pinpointing the key concept or question you want to explain. Develop a clear purpose for the essay. This will guide your research and writing process for your explanatory paper. Use other reputable explanatory essay examples to guide your ideas. This may involve exploring other explanatory essay topics within the same field.
  • Be specific : A vague thesis can confuse readers. So, make sure your statement is clear. If you’re explaining a complex process, break it down to its key points. After that, break it into a clear, concise statement that’s easy to understand.
  • Reflect objectivity : Explanatory essays educate and inform. They do not argue a point. So, your thesis should take an unbiased stance on the topic. It should present the facts as they are, not as you interpret them.
  • Use tools like the Smodin Writer : Smodin Writer does all the heavy lifting by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. With it, you can generate an essay with a thesis statement. How, you ask? Through its dedicated thesis generator . It can create a statement that’s both strong and relevant. Plus, it can pull in all the most interesting information based on your topic to further enrich your thesis statement.

Make your thesis clear, informative, and neutral. This sets a strong foundation for an effective explanatory essay. Next, let’s look at how to gather the information you’ll need to support this thesis effectively.

2. Research and gather information

You need to conduct thorough research that will back your thesis with credible sources and relevant evidence. This will make your explanatory essay both informative and persuasive. Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting effective research:

  • Start with a plan: Put together an explanatory essay outline that includes the information you need to support your thesis. The plan should list the best sources, like academic journals, books, reputable websites, or scholarly articles.
  • Use credible sources: They ensure the accuracy of your essay. Libraries, academic databases, and certified websites are excellent places to find trustworthy information.
  • Seek detailed information: Look for the most current sources that explain your topic well and provide unique insights related to or opposing your thesis statement. This depth is crucial for explaining complex ideas clearly and thoroughly in your explanatory papers. Pay attention to the explanatory essay structure to guide your topic of choice (more on this later).
  • Gather relevant evidence: Collect data, stats, and examples. They should directly support your main points. Make sure this evidence is directly related to your topic and enhances your narrative.
  • Employ digital tools: Tools like Smodin’s Research Assistant can accelerate your research process. Smodin’s tools can help you find detailed information quickly, ensuring that the data you use is up-to-date and relevant.
  • Document your sources: As you conduct research, keep a meticulous record of where your information comes from. This practice will help you make an accurate bibliography. It can save you time when you need to refer back to details or verify facts. Again, this is something that’s covered thanks to Smodin’s Citation Machine.
  • Evaluate your findings: Critically assess the information you collect. Ensure it provides a balanced view and covers the necessary aspects of your topic to give a comprehensive overview of your essay.

By following these steps, you can gather a rich pool of information that provides a strong backbone for your explanatory essay. Now, you can start structuring your findings into well-organized body paragraphs.

3. Structure body paragraphs

Once you’ve gathered relevant evidence through thorough research, it’s time to organize it. You should put it into well-structured body paragraphs that follow a logical flow. Here’s how to structure each body paragraph for a strong explanatory essay:

  • Decide how many paragraphs to use : It will depend on your topic’s complexity and the needed detail. Typically, three to five paragraphs are suitable, but longer essays may require more. An explanatory essay example on your topic of choice will be helpful.
  • Start with a topic sentence : Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. This sentence will act as a roadmap for the paragraph, giving the reader a sense of what to expect.
  • Provide supporting evidence : After the topic sentence, share the evidence from your research. Ensure the evidence is relevant and directly supports the paragraph’s topic sentence.
  • Give a detailed explanation : Follow the evidence with an analysis or explanation that ties it back to the thesis statement. This step is crucial for maintaining logical flow throughout your body paragraphs.
  • Use linking words : They connect body paragraphs smoothly, ensuring the reader can follow your argument.
  • End each body paragraph with a closing sentence : It should sum up the point and move to the next idea.

Following this structure will help your body paragraphs support your thesis. These paragraphs will also offer a clear, detailed explanation of your essay topic. Strong body paragraphs are essential to maintain objectivity in your writing.

4. Maintain objectivity

An explanatory essay aims to inform and educate, which makes maintaining objectivity crucial. Staying neutral lets readers form their own opinions based on facts. This ensures the writing is both reliable and informative. Here’s how to maintain objectivity:

  • Avoid personal opinions: Your goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Refrain from injecting your personal opinion or biases. Instead, stick to presenting factual information that supports the thesis.
  • Use relevant evidence: As mentioned, ground your arguments with relevant evidence from credible sources. Back up your main points with data and use research findings and verified details. This will make the explanatory article trustworthy.
  • Provide a balanced view: In cases with multiple perspectives, offer a balanced view. Cover each side fairly. Even if one view prevails in consensus, acknowledging others gives readers a broader understanding.
  • Adopt neutral language: Be careful with word choice and tone. Neutral language implies words that don’t encourage or illustrate bias. This helps avoid emotionally charged phrases and keeps the writing objective.
  • Cite sources accurately: Proper citation of sources provides accountability for the evidence presented. This transparency builds credibility and shows you’ve conducted research thoroughly. It’s also worth noting that different intuitions have different citation styles like APA and Chicago, which is important to note before starting your essay.
  • Review for biases: After drafting your essay, review it with an eye for biases. Ensure no part leans too much on one viewpoint. And, don’t dismiss an opposing perspective without cause.

Maintaining objectivity enhances the clarity and reliability of explanatory writing. Let’s now focus on crafting an introduction and conclusion that bookend your work effectively.

5. Craft an effective introduction and conclusion

A good introduction and a strong conclusion frame your explanatory essay. They give context at the start and reinforce the main points at the end. Here’s how to craft an effective introduction and conclusion.

In the introduction:

  • Hook your reader in the introduction : Use an interesting fact, a compelling quote, or a surprising statistic.
  • Provide background information : Be brief and offer only the essential context the reader needs to fully understand the topic. This should give the audience a foundational understanding before diving deeper into your main points.
  • Include the thesis statement : Clearly state your thesis near the end of the introduction. This statement will outline the essay’s direction and give readers a preview of the body paragraphs.

In the conclusion:

  • Summarize the key points : Start your explanatory essay conclusion with a summary. It should cover the main points from the body paragraphs. This summary should help readers recall and reinforce the information they’ve just read.
  • Restate the thesis : Repeat your thesis again but in a new way. Explain how the evidence from the body paragraphs supported or clarified it.
  • Provide a conclusion : End the essay with a statement that wraps up the argument. This statement should resonate with the reader. It should leave them with an impression that stresses the topic’s importance.

An effective introduction and conclusion give the essay structure and coherence. They guide readers from start to finish. The next step is revising and editing your entire essay for clarity and precision.

6. Revise and check clarity

Revising and editing are key in writing. They make sure your essay is clear, joined, and polished. Here’s how to refine your writing using an explanatory essay checklist and proven academic writing techniques:

  • Take a break: Before diving into revisions, step away from your essay for a few hours or even a day. This break will help you return with fresh eyes, making it easier to spot errors or inconsistencies.
  • Follow an essay checklist: Create or use a checklist to ensure your essay has all the needed parts. It needs a strong intro with a clear thesis, well-structured body paragraphs, good sources, and a short conclusion. Check that your arguments follow a logical flow and that all relevant evidence is directly linked to your thesis statement.
  • Check for clarity and conciseness: Academic writing needs clarity. So, make sure each paragraph and sentence conveys your point. Don’t use unnecessary jargon or overly complex language. Keep sentences concise while maintaining detailed explanations of your main points.
  • Verify facts and citations: Make sure all facts, data, and quotes in the essay are accurate. Also, check that they are cited in the required academic style (e.g. MLA, APA). Improper citations can undermine the credibility of your writing.
  • Review the grammar and style: Look for common grammar mistakes, punctuation errors, and awkward phrasing. Reading the essay aloud can help catch odd sentence structures or confusing wording.
  • Seek feedback: Share your essay with a peer or use online tools to get constructive criticism. A second perspective can highlight issues you might have missed.

These editing steps will help you produce a polished essay that clearly explains your main points and holds up to academic scrutiny.

Explanatory Essay Format

Understanding the explanatory essay format is key to a well-structured and logical paper. Here’s a basic breakdown of the format for an explanatory essay:

Introduction paragraph

  • Begin with an interesting sentence to capture the reader’s attention.
  • Give a short intro. It should set the topic and outline the essay’s purpose.
  • Present a clear thesis statement summarizing the main idea of the entire essay.

Body paragraphs

  • Organize the body paragraphs around logical subtopics related to the essay topic.
  • Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that aligns with the thesis.
  • Show evidence from good sources. Also, give key details for each main point.
  • Incorporate a robust concluding statement per paragraph that drives home your point and links to the ideas in the next paragraph/section.
  • Summarize the key points.
  • Provide a final statement that reinforces the main idea without introducing new information.
  • Craft a concluding statement that leaves your teacher or professor with a lasting impression.

Following this essay outline ensures that your paper has a clear flow. This makes it easy for readers to understand and follow your argument.

Write Better Explanatory Essays With Smodin

Explanatory essays can be overwhelming. Presenting a solid argument, keeping your professor or teacher interested, and remembering conventions like citations can be a real headache.

But, a strong thesis and thorough research make them easier. Well-structured body paragraphs also help deliver a clear, insightful essay that maintains objectivity. Just remember to revise and check for accuracy!

AI-powered platforms like Smodin simplify and enhance the process of writing explanatory essays.

Smodin’s tools help craft clear and well-structured essays that meet any of your academic standards. With Smodin’s advanced research capabilities, you can gather detailed and relevant information quickly. This will save you time and improve your work.

  • Plagiarism Checker : Ensure your essay maintains originality with Smodin’s plagiarism detection tool. This feature helps maintain academic integrity by checking your work against vast databases.
  • Auto Citation : Cite your sources accurately without the hassle. Smodin’s auto-citation tool ensures your references are in the right format and meet your academic institution’s rules.
  • Text Shortener : If your explanatory essay is too long, use Smodin’s AI writer as an essay shortener. It will help you cut your content without losing key details. This helps keep your essay clear and relevant.
  • Text Rewriter : Helps paraphrase existing content, ensuring uniqueness and a fresh perspective.
  • Summarizer : The Summarizer boils down long articles into short summaries. They are perfect for making an efficient outline or conclusion.

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May 22, 2024

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Can disease-detecting dogs help save South Dakota's bighorn sheep?

by Addison Dehaven, South Dakota State University

Can disease-detecting dogs help save South Dakota's bighorn sheep?

In summer 2021, Badlands National Park was home to a healthy and growing population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, with approximately 300 total among the three herds. Then in August, Paul Roghair, lead biological science technician for the park, came across a dead sheep. In September, he found a dead ram. Roghair had a sinking feeling about what might be afoot.

"I thought, 'Oh no, we might have a situation,'" Roghair said.

Early testing revealed a worst-case scenario: The sheep had contracted a deadly, pneumonia-causing bacteria—Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae—that nearly wiped out a herd located in Custer State Park in the early 2000s.

Pneumonia quickly spread throughout the rest of the three herds, and wildlife officials began to notice bighorns coughing regularly. Within three months, 50% of the radio-collared sheep were dead.

"We were finding sheep everywhere," Roghair, a 2006 South Dakota State University wildlife and fisheries sciences graduate, said. "We lost a lot of them."

Three years later, with nearly 85% of the population lost, about 50 bighorns remain in the park. While there is no vaccine or treatment for Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, researchers in SDSU's Department of Natural Resource Management have joined a collaborative, National Park Service-funded project among the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority to find solutions in slowing the current problem and preventing future outbreaks.

Tumultuous history in South Dakota

Prior to European settlement, Audubon's bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis auduboni) were common in the Badlands and Black Hills regions of South Dakota. But, by 1887, bighorns had all but been "cleared out" of the state and now, Audubon's are an extinct subspecies. Unregulated hunting and domestic livestock grazing are believed to be the primary culprits in their demise.

In 1922, Peter Norbeck, South Dakota's ninth governor and a three-term U.S. senator, obtained eight Rocky Mountain bighorns (Ovis canadensis canadensis) from Alberta, Canada, which were released into Custer State Park. This was the first of many translocation and repopulation efforts for bighorn sheep in South Dakota.

Their tumultuous history has been marked by periods of growth and die-offs. Take, for example, Norbeck's herd. It flourished in Custer State Park up until the 1950s, when the population suddenly went into a decline and, eventually, was completely lost due to "unknown reasons."

In 1964, Badlands National Park received its first translocation herd of bighorn sheep, when 22 bighorns were relocated from Pike's Peak, Colorado. The park received a second herd from Wheeler Peak, New Mexico, in 2004.

Other herds in the Black Hills have also seen periods of growth, followed by periods of decline and, in some cases, total population loss. Almost all these deaths can be chalked up to accidents (usually vehicular) or Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae outbreaks within herds.

In the United States, there are approximately 80,000 Bighorn sheep.

Can disease-detecting dogs help save South Dakota's bighorn sheep?

Current situation

So what happened in this latest die-off? How did the bighorns become infected?

According to William Severud, assistant professor in SDSU's Department of Natural Resource Management, it is suspected that a ram, or group of young rams, interacted with a domestic sheep unit north of the park.

"What happened was that some of the sheep left the park and comingled with domestic sheep," Severud said. "That's where they likely came in contact with the disease. They brought it back to the park and passed it around to the rest of the herd. A lot of them died outright."

Domestic sheep (and goats) are carriers of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and are seemingly unaffected by the bacterium. But for wild sheep, pneumonia is a death sentence, with mortality rates hovering between 50% and 80% for infected bighorns.

For bighorns that do survive an infection, the future is lonely. Outbreaks within a population subsequently cause low lamb recruitment, meaning herds have difficulty repopulating.

"The survivors of the pneumonia either clear the bacteria or they become chronic carriers of it," Severud explained. "The bacterium still lives in their nasal cavity . When the lambs are born in the spring, they have some immunity from their mother's milk, but after about six weeks, that goes away and basically all the lambs die. So, it not only eliminates 50% of the herd, it also suppresses reproduction for survival."

With no treatment available, one of the ways in which wildlife managers prevent further die-off is to test animals in the herd for the disease. If a positive test is revealed through a nasal swab, the animal will be retested twice more. Three straight positive tests mean the animal is a chronic carrier and is shedding the bacterium, causing other sheep to become infected.

"Removing animals that test positive is one of the only ways to combat this right now," Severud explained.

Training dogs

Since joining on the bighorn recovery project, Severud and his graduate research assistants have made multiple trips to the Badlands for testing and tagging bighorns. One of the current challenges with testing is the cost of capturing and restraining the animals, along with the lag time for getting test results.

Capturing bighorns is done through "helicopter net gunning," which utilizes highly trained pilots and wildlife biologists to capture and restrain the animals for testing. After swabbing the animals' nasal cavities, they ship the specimens to a testing facility in Washington State. Under ideal conditions, results will be available in two weeks.

Can disease-detecting dogs help save South Dakota's bighorn sheep?

This capture and testing process is the most efficient method to test and detect disease in bighorns; however, researchers are looking for a more efficient way to test and detect for disease.

Severud and one of his graduate assistants, Michele Lovara, are exploring if trained dogs could be the answer. Previously, dogs have been used to detect a variety of human diseases, including cancer, and the researchers believe they can be trained in a similar way to detect pneumonia in bighorns.

"There's a few different ways to test and detect pneumonia," Severud said. "We are interested in this dog method because that would preclude us from having to swab them and sending them the DNA off to the lab and waiting for results."

Lovara, a master's student at SDSU, is involved with the world's leading conservation dog organization, Working Dogs for Conservation. For the past few months, she has been training the dogs, primarily shelter dogs, to detect bacteria from the swab.

"We are looking at the nasal swabs, but we are also looking at scat because if we can look at scat, we don't have to do the captures at all," Lovara said. "We could do this completely non-invasively, and that would be ideal."

To test their idea, they first trained the dogs to detect bacteria through domestic sheep's scat. The dogs are making accurate detections at a 93% rate. For wild scats, they are making accurate detections at an 80% rate.

"In the lab, they are doing decently well at detection, and next year, we are hoping to test the dogs in the field," Lovara said. "This summer, we will test them in the field with the nasal swabs."

If the dogs can make accurate detections, it would allow wildlife officials to remove infected bighorns from the rest of the herd in a much more efficient and timely manner.

"The issue is some of the animals do get the disease and they are fine. We don't want to remove an animal that has the genetics to get over this disease," Lovara said. "The question becomes, which ones do you remove?"

While removing infected sheep from the herd is one way to combat outbreaks, how can they be prevented in the first place?

The best way to combat the disease is keeping livestock and wild sheep separate," Severud said.

Another collaborative project that one of Severud's graduate students is involved with is understanding the movements of individual bighorns and entire herds. Since a large majority of the sheep are collared, the researchers can track their movement in and outside the park.

Previously, an SDSU graduate student, Austin Wieseler, evaluated the population within Badlands National Park for his master's thesis. During field research in 2018, Wieseler identified five domestic goat and sheep populations within 10 miles of the park 's boundaries.

"As the population continues to have high survival and growth, disease exposure from contact with livestock appears to be the greatest risk to the population in the future," Wieseler prophetically wrote in spring 2021.

Wild animals are exceedingly difficult to contain and eventually, the sheep comingled with their domestic cousins. To prevent a similar situation in the future, Lovara suspects that dogs could be utilized to keep the groups separate.

"Can we use livestock guardian dogs to stop the disease from spreading?" Lovara said. "That's the preventative measure that we have also been working on."

The issue is that livestock guardian dogs will often only protect their sheep from predators, and according to domestic producers in the area, dogs currently don't see bighorns as predators and will let them commingle with the other sheep. However, anecdotal evidence has shown that if producers chase bighorns away from their herds, guardian dogs will mimic their owner's behavior.

"We think it could be a pretty easy training fix," Lovara said.

Future outlook

While the situation is bleak within Badlands National Park, according to Roghair, there is room for optimism. Fewer bighorns are testing positive, meaning the outbreak is starting to subside.

"We need to clear out the disease from the herds which will help with lamb recruitment," Roghair said. "Then we can get back to a growing and healthy population."

The Badlands are also ideal ground for bighorns as the population—prior to the outbreak—was healthy and thriving. Roghair believes they can again thrive once they get back to a disease-free population.

"We're not out of the woods yet," Roghair said. "But we are making steps in the right direction."

Provided by South Dakota State University

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If Trump is found guilty, will Americans still be able to vote for him? Experts weigh in

a thesis is a general sentence with a

According to U.S. law experts, yes, former President Donald Trump can appear on the ballot even if found guilty in the current criminal hush money trial in New York—or the other criminal cases still pending.

The latest on Trump trial: Trump trial breaking news: Trump lawyer Todd Blanche to Michael Cohen: 'That was a lie!'

USA TODAY spoke with law experts, including Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Paul Campos, Professor of Law at Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver Martin Katz, and Election Law Professor at the University of Colorado Doug Spencer. Each expert concluded that the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law do not prohibit a convicted criminal from becoming president.

Katz explained that the U.S. Constitution sets out a list of qualifications to become president: the person must be 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years.

"So, a person can meet the qualifications on the Constitutional list even if they are a convicted felon.  And the Constitutional list tends to be seen as exclusive," Katz said in an email to USA TODAY.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

Can states create requirements for presidential candidates?

Katz stated that if someone meets the qualifications on the Constitutional list, it is not likely that states could impose additional requirements to get on the ballot for President, such as not having a felony conviction, since the election is at a federal level.

In fact, the 1994 U.S. Supreme Court Case U.S. Term Limits versus Thornton decided that states cannot impose additional restrictions, such as term limits, on their representatives in the federal government beyond those provided by the Constitution.

Campos and Spencer also mentioned a specific case during World War I, in which a man named Eugene Debs ran for president despite his jail sentence.

"Socialist Eugene Debs was imprisoned at the time for publicly opposing the U.S. involvement in World War I, and he didn't win, but he got a couple million votes," Campos said. "It's one of those curious things. Can you hold office while in prison? Well, while it might pose logistical problems, there aren't any laws stopping anyone."

How will the hush money trial affect voting this year?

While, yes, there are no laws keeping someone convicted of a crime from appearing on the 2024 General Election ballot, Spencer asks voters, "Do you really want a felon running your country?"

Whether or not Trump is convicted in his current trial, he is still the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. And if the Republican National Convention chooses him as expected, voters will see his name on their Nov. 4 election ballots.

"If he's found guilty, voters in the country should take that into account when they make their vote. Voters should choose law-abiding citizens to run the country," Spencer said.

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Judge cites error, will reopen sentencing hearing for man who attacked Paul Pelosi

The man convicted of attempting to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacking her husband with a hammer was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison. Jurors previously found David DePape guilty last November.

FILE – David DePape is seen, Dec. 13, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. A federal judge will re-open the sentencing hearing for DePape, who broke into Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer after she failed to allow him to speak during his court appearance last week. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE – David DePape is seen, Dec. 13, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. A federal judge will re-open the sentencing hearing for DePape, who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer after she failed to allow him to speak during his court appearance last week. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

  • Copy Link copied

FILE - Paul Pelosi attends a portrait unveiling ceremony for his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 14, 2022. A federal judge will re-open the sentencing hearing for David DePape, who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer after she failed to allow him to speak during his court appearance last week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body-camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant David DePape during a brutal attack in the couple’s San Francisco home, on Oct. 28, 2022. A federal judge will re-open the sentencing hearing for DePape, who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer after she failed to allow him to speak during his court appearance last week. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge will reopen the sentencing hearing for the man who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer after the judge failed to allow him to speak during his court appearance last week.

On Friday, District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley sentenced David DePape to 20 years for attempting to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and 30 years for the Oct. 28, 2022 assault on Paul Pelosi, the maximum for both counts. The sentences would run simultaneously. DePape also was given credit for the 18 months he has been in custody.

But in a court filing over the weekend, Corley said that it was a “clear error” on her part not to allow DePape a chance to make a statement before being sentenced as required by law. She scheduled a new hearing for May 28.

Neither prosecutors nor DePape’s defense attorneys pointed out Corley’s oversight during Friday’s hearing. “Nonetheless, it was the Court’s responsibility to personally ask Mr. DePape if he wanted to speak,” Corley wrote.

Hours after Corley handed down the sentence, prosecutors filed a motion noting that the court failed to offer DePape an opportunity “to speak or present any information to mitigate the sentence” as required by federal rule. They asked the court to reopen the sentencing hearing to allow him that option, saying the court has 14 days to correct a sentence resulting from error.

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body-camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant David DePape during a brutal attack in the couple's San Francisco home, on Oct. 28, 2022. DePape convicted of attempting to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacking her husband with a hammer is set to be sentenced in federal court Friday, May 17, 2024. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

DePape’s defense, however, said they opposed bringing their client back to court, according to the prosecutor’s filing.

DePape’s defense attorneys appealed the verdict shortly after Friday’s sentencing. Corley gave them until Wednesday to respond to her order to re-open the sentencing hearing.

A jury found DePape, 44, guilty in November of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year prison term.

The attack on Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and sent shockwaves through the political world . He suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.

Ahead of the sentencing, one of DePape’s attorneys, Angela Chuang, told the judge to consider the prison terms being given to those who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“The five most serious sentences for people who were convicted of seditious conspiracy, of literally conspiring to overthrow the government, range from 15 to 22 years,” Chuang said.

Corley said the Jan. 6 analogy didn’t adequately reflect the seriousness of breaking into an elected official’s private home. The home attack may have a chilling effect on people seeking office in the future, she said, adding that she believed DePape still poses a danger to society.

“I’ve seen nothing that suggests that if given the opportunity, he would not act again upon his baseless beliefs,” she said.

DePape admitted during trial that he broke into the Pelosis’ home on Oct. 28, 2022, intending to hold the speaker hostage and get her to admit to corruption. “If she lied, I would break her kneecaps,” he said. Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time.

DePape also admitted to bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer when police showed up, saying his plan to end what he viewed as government corruption was unraveling.

At trial, DePape, a Canadian who moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, testified that he believed news outlets repeatedly lied about former President Donald Trump. In rants posted on a blog and online forum that were taken down after his arrest, DePape echoed the baseless, right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory that claims a cabal of devil-worshipping pedophiles runs the U.S. government.

Corley said DePape is being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be deported upon completing his sentence.

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  3. How to Write a Thesis Statement (Beginner)

  4. How to Write a STRONG Thesis Statement

  5. How to Write a Thesis Statement in Two Minutes

  6. Writing an Effective Thesis Statement

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  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    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 ...

  2. 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. Is generally located near the end ...

  3. 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.

  4. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One 1. A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand. Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

  5. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  6. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  7. Developing A Thesis

    A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. Steps in Constructing a Thesis. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

  8. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper.

  9. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  10. The Writing Center

    For the reader, the thesis statement: Serves as a "map" to guide the reader through the paper. In the same way the thesis helps you organize your paper, the thesis helps organize the reader's thinking. Once a solid thesis is presented, the reader will understand that all of the evidence presented is in service of proving the thesis.

  11. How to write a thesis statement + Examples

    Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph. ... In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project.

  12. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. Analytical Thesis Statement: Analyzing an Issue. Expository Thesis Statement: Explaining a Topic.

  13. How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

    Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing. Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and ...

  14. What is a thesis

    A thesis is an in-depth research study that identifies a particular topic of inquiry and presents a clear argument or perspective about that topic using evidence and logic. Writing a thesis showcases your ability of critical thinking, gathering evidence, and making a compelling argument. Integral to these competencies is thorough research ...

  15. PDF Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

    •A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph that signals to the reader what the para- graph's main idea will be. •Topic sentences should: » relate back to the argument of the thesis; » concisely summarize the key idea of the paragraph; » can even contain key words from the thesis statement. ToPic SenTenceS and comPrehen Sion

  16. 9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    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.

  17. Thesis and Purpose Statements

    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. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire ...

  18. PDF Tutorial #26: Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

    5. A troublesome thesis is a fragment; a good thesis statement is expressed in a complete sentence. Example: How life is in New York after September 11th. Better: After September 11th, the city of New York tends to have more cases of post-traumatic disorder than other areas of the United States and rightfully so.

  19. General Statement Vs. Thesis Statement

    General Statement Vs. Thesis Statement. A thesis statement is a succinct statement of the arguments you'll be making in a paper and is a critical component of any well-written work. A general statement, by contrast, is any declarative sentence providing supporting information or transitioning to a new topic. While both sentence structures play ...

  20. Strong Thesis Statements

    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.

  21. Introduction and thesis statement Flashcards

    Introduction and thesis statement. thesis statement. Click the card to flip 👆. This is located in the introductory paragraph, most often at the end. It tells the reader what your essay will be about (states the main idea). It often clarifies what the body paragraphs will be about. It is one to two sentences in length.

  22. How to Write an Explanatory Essay

    With this guide, you'll be able to write an explanatory essay with confidence. 1. Develop a strong thesis statement. Crafting a strong thesis statement is the cornerstone of any well-written explanatory essay. It sets the stage for what your essay will cover and clarifies the main point you're going to explain.

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  26. Press Release

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