Developing an Implied Thesis Statement and Topic Sentences 

LESSON Different types of writing require different types of thesis statements A brief statement that identifies a writer's thoughts, opinions, or conclusions about a topic. Thesis statements bring unity to a piece of writing, giving it a focus and a purpose. You can use three questions to help form a thesis statement: What is my topic? What am I trying to say about that topic? Why is this important to me or my reader? . Most academic essays A formal writing that the author composes using research, a strong thesis, and supporting details in order to advance an idea or demonstrate understanding of a topic. require the writer to include a stated thesis statement A thesis statement that has been explicitly written in an article, essay, or other reading. while other pieces, such as personal narratives A story or account of events that is written or told. , allow the writer to use an implied thesis statement An indirect overall argument, idea, or belief that a writer uses as the basis of an essay or dissertation but is never stated directly in the writing. , one that is not directly stated but one that the reader can infer To reach a conclusion based on context and your own knowledge. from reading. Both types of thesis statements tell the reader the author A person who wrote a text. 's topic The subject of a reading. and purpose The reason the writer is writing about a topic. It is what the writer wants the reader to know, feel, or do after reading the work. for writing about it.

Both an implied and stated thesis in an academic essay may sound like this: Preparing a weekly schedule helps students to be successful because it allows them to structure their class and work schedules, plan ahead for busy periods, and build in some free time for themselves . Both types of thesis statements provide direction for the remainder of the essay. The difference is that as a stated thesis, the statement actually appears in the introduction The first paragraph of an essay. It must engage the reader, set the tone, provide background information, and present the thesis. of the essay. An implied thesis statement, on the other hand, does not appear in the essay at all.

The introductory paragraph The first paragraph of an essay. It must engage the reader, set the tone, provide background information, and present the thesis. written for a narrative using the above thesis as an implied thesis statement may sound like this:

My first week in college taught me many things about my new, busy schedule. I got caught up in socializing and missed a few important assignments. I also thought I could work more at my part-time job like I had during high school. I soon learned, however, that I needed to schedule my activities better in order to be successful.

An opening paragraph A selection of a writing that is made up of sentences formed around one main point. Paragraphs are set apart by a new line and sometimes indentation. like this one in a narrative does not come out and state the author's exact thesis. It does, however, provide similar direction for the reader, resulting in an implied thesis.

A narrative is a story that has a purpose for being told. In other words, when a writer chooses a topic for a narrative, he or she must have a reason for writing about it. For example, if you wanted to write about a significant event in your life by telling a story about how you got your first job, you would need to think about your audience reading the narrative and ask yourself, "What do I want my readers to take away from this story?"

Using a variety of starting strategies such as brainstorming A prewriting technique where the author lists multiple ideas as he or she thinks of them, not considering one more than another until all ideas are captured. The objective is to create one great idea, or many ideas, on which to base a writing. , listing ideas, freewriting A prewriting technique where the author begins writing without regard to spelling or grammar about ideas, topics, or even characters, descriptions of events, and settings. Often the writer will freewrite for a set period of time. The objective is to develop a storyline through the writing process itself. , clustering A prewriting technique where the author creates an informal visual layout of possible ideas, grouping them together. The objective is to create visual clusters of information on which to base a writing. , or webbing A prewriting technique where the author creates an informal visual layout of possible ideas and then draws lines to connect them into a type of "web." The objective is to see connections between events and characters. can help you to begin thinking about a topic. Then, you can ask yourself questions about your topic using the five "Ws and the H – who, what, where, when, why, and how" to gather more ideas to write about. From there, you can begin the writing process by writing one paragraph about your topic, including a clear topic sentence A group of words, phrases, or clauses that expresses a complete thought. A complete sentence has these characteristics: a capitalized first word, a subject and a predicate, and end punctuation, such as a period (.), question mark (?), or exclamation mark (!). . That paragraph should reveal the main points The most important idea in a paragraph. Main points support the main idea of a reading. you would like to expand on in multiple paragraphs. The topic sentence in the paragraph can be used as your implied thesis statement for a narrative essay.

To write an implied thesis statement in response to a narrative prompt Instructions for a writing assignment given by an instructor. , follow these steps:

Step 1: Brainstorm.

Brainstorm possible ideas from your life experience that could potentially answer or respond to the prompt.

Step 2: Choose a topic and write a paragraph.

Choose one of the topics and write a brief paragraph explaining how that particular topic applies to the prompt.

Step 3: Write an implied thesis statement.

Using the topic sentence of the paragraph as a guide, write an implied thesis statement that explains why the details of the paragraph are important.

Step 4: Develop the topic sentences.

Begin outlining A preliminary plan for a piece of a writing, often in the form of a list. It should include a topic, audience, purpose, thesis statement, and main and supporting points. the essay by developing topic sentences A sentence that contains the controlling idea for an entire paragraph and is typically the first sentence of the paragraph. from the supporting details in the paragraph. This ensures that the implied thesis works as the guiding idea for the narrative.

There are many approaches to writing a narrative essay, but using the steps above can help you respond effectively to a typical narrative prompt in a college class.

Sometimes it works better for writers to write an implied thesis statement instead of a stated one because of the nature of the content The text in a writing that includes facts, thoughts, and ideas. The information that forms the body of the work. . For example, a report including large amounts of data that seeks to persuade the reader to draw a certain conclusion would be more likely to include a stated thesis. However, a narrative essay that explains certain events in a person's life is more likely to include an implied thesis statement because the writer wants to engage the reader in a different way. College students are often asked to write narrative essays to make connections between their personal experiences and the content they are studying, and an implied thesis statement helps to organize narratives in the same way a stated thesis statement organizes other essays.

Let's examine the process of developing a narrative essay that includes an implied thesis statement.

Prompt from instructor:  Write about an important life lesson you have learned.

First, create a list of possible narrative essay topics from the prompt given by the instructor.

  • A little kindness goes a long way.
  • Being patient can bring rewards.
  • I am a role model in everything I do.

Next, choose one of the ideas related to a life lesson to be your topic.

Topic: How I learned to be a role model in everything I do.

Now, begin to create the implied thesis using this topic. To do this, write a short paragraph describing how you will tell this narrative and what you learned or are trying to explain to the reader.

Narrative: I will tell the story of when I worked at the daycare center last summer. When I worked as a childcare assistant, I learned the children were watching me and would mimic my actions. This taught me to be careful of what I said and did because I learned that children act like those around them.

Now, write the implied thesis statement: "My experience at the daycare center taught me to always be a good role model because children are always watching."

From here, develop topic sentences that support the implied thesis statement for the paragraphs of the essay.

  • Paragraph 1, Introduction, Topic Sentence:

"I learned many lessons when I worked at the community daycare center."

  • Paragraph 2, Topic Sentence:

"My first day on the job was the most important of them all."

  • Paragraph 3, Topic Sentence:

"Little Johnny taught me what it meant to be a bad role model for children."

  • Paragraph 4, Topic Sentence:

"I changed my actions and saw immediate results with the children."

  • Paragraph 5, Conclusion, Topic Sentence:

"I’ve worked at the daycare center for three summers now and continue to learn lessons from the children each year."

From here, a draft of the narrative essay can be created using the topic sentences.

Now, follow the process to choose a topic, write an implied thesis statement, and develop topic sentences that support the implied thesis statement for a potential narrative essay.

List three potential narrative topics from the following prompt:

Write about an important life lesson that you have learned.

Potential narrative topics

  • Learning how to benefit from your failures creates success.

Patience leads to perfection.

  • Real happiness comes not from things, but from giving and receiving love.

Step 2: Choose a topic and write a paragraph . 

From the list created in Step 1, choose one as your topic.

Write a three- to four-sentence paragraph about the topic.

I learned how to play the piano, but it took many years to develop this skill. I had to be patient to sit down and practice daily. I also had to be patient with myself to realize I would learn how to play the piano in time. Only through repeated practice can a person really perfect a talent. Therefore, patience is essential to perfection.

From the short paragraph above, write an implied thesis statement.

Implied Thesis Statement

I have learned that when developing a skill, patience leads to practice, and practice leads to perfection.

Develop topic sentences that would be used in a narrative essay to support the implied thesis statement.

Paragraph 1, Introduction, Topic Sentence

It took many years for me to learn how to play the piano when I was young. 

Paragraph 2, Topic Sentence

I had to be patient and practice every day, even when there seemed to be better things to do.

Paragraph 3, Topic Sentence

I also had to be patient with myself because I wanted to learn faster and become a modern-day Beethoven.

Paragraph 4, Conclusion, Topic Sentence

Repeated practice is how all perfection is achieved, even the perfection of genius.

How can an implied thesis statement be just as effective as a stated thesis? 

Sample Answer

Like a stated thesis, an implied thesis will include the topic and purpose of the piece of writing and will help the writer structure his or her supporting details.

Why do implied thesis statements work well in a narrative essay?

Narratives are about something personal that is happening to the writer. Sometimes it is more effective for a writer to draw the reader into the narrative. Doing so can create a stronger connection between the writer and the passage and can help the reader find the meaning by becoming personally connected with the piece.

Copyright ©2022 The NROC Project

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

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 this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Logo for Maricopa Open Digital Press

12 Essay Features: Read Me!

Things you should already know.

Here are a few key highlights that you have already read about, or should have.  To make sure you have a solid foundation, you should review this chapter before every essay. You do not need to complete the activities in this chapter, they are meant as a refresher.

It’s  important to remember that there are certain features that all of these styles or methods have in common:

  • A clear  thesis statement  usually provided at the beginning of the essay
  • Clear and logical  transitions
  • Focused  body paragraphs  with evidence and support
  • Appropriate  format and style  if you use source material
  • A  conclusion  that expands upon your thesis and summarizes evidence
  • Clear writing that follows standard conventions for things like  grammar ,  punctuation , and spelling.

Stating Your Thesis

Most traditional research essays will require some kind of explicitly stated thesis. This means you should state your thesis clearly and directly for your readers. A  thesis  is a statement of purpose, one to two sentences long, about your research, that is often presented at the beginning of your essay to prepare your audience for the content of your whole research paper. Your thesis is often presented at the end of your introductory paragraph or paragraphs.

Your thesis statement should state your topic and, in a persuasive research essay, state your assertion about that topic. You should avoid simply “announcing” your thesis and should work to make it engaging. A good thesis will answer the “so what?” question your audience might have about your research paper. A good thesis statement will tell your readers what your research paper will be about and, specifically, why it is important.

You should avoid thesis statements that simply announce your purpose. For example, in a research paper on health care reform, you should avoid a thesis statement like this:

Instead, a good thesis statement on health care reform in the United States would be more specific and make a point that will help establish a clear purpose and focus for your essay. It might look something like this:

Implying Your Thesis

the hands of a couple forming a heart

If you’re unsure about whether you should use an explicit thesis or simply maintain a clear focus without an explicit thesis, be sure to ask your instructor. In English 101, you should use an explicit thesis statement to make it clear you know how to use one.

Placement of Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is usually the last sentence of the first paragraph of a paper.  It is also customary to restate the main idea of your paper in the conclusion so that the paper leaves a clear impression on the reader.

Topic Sentences

So, thesis statements tell us the goals of the entire writing assignment and topic sentences tell us the goal of a particular paragraph.  Essentially, the CEO is the thesis statement and the topic sentences are the managers.  Let’s use a quick cheeseburger method to see how topic sentences work:

an implied thesis

Linking Paragraphs: Transitions

Transitions are words or phrases that indicate linkages in ideas. When writing, you need to lead your readers from one idea to the next, showing how those ideas are logically linked. Transition words and phrases help you keep your paragraphs and groups of paragraphs logically connected for a reader. Writers often check their transitions during the revising stage of the writing process.

Here are some example transition words to help as you transition both within paragraphs and from one paragraph to the next.

Paragraphing: MEAL Plan

When it’s time to draft your essay and bring your content together for your audience, you will be working to build strong paragraphs. Your paragraphs in a research paper will focus on presenting the information you found in your source material and commenting on or analyzing that information.  It’s not enough to simply present the information in your body paragraphs and move on. You want to give that information a purpose and connect it to your main idea or thesis statement.

Duke University coined a term called the “MEAL Plan” that provides an effective structure for paragraphs in an academic research paper. Select the pluses to learn what each letter stands for.

Here are the same terms with examples:

MLA Formatting: The Basics

Papers constructed according to MLA guidelines should adhere to the following elements:

  • Double-space all of the text of your paper, and use a clear font, such as Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font.
  • Use one-inch margins on all sides, and indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.
  • List your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. This is your  heading . There is no cover page.
  • Type a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, a space, and then a page number. Pages should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • Provide in-text citations for all quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information in your paper.
  • Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper that gives full bibliographic information for each item cited in your paper.
  • If you use endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page
  • Your Works Cited page at the end of your project should line up with the in-text citations in the body of your essay.

If you need more information, check the chapter on MLA Style.

Conclusions

A satisfying conclusion allows your reader to finish your paper with a clear understanding of the points you made and possibly even a new perspective on the topic.

Any single paper might have a number of conclusions, but as the writer, you must consider who the reader is and the conclusion you want them to reach. For example, is your reader relatively new to your topic? If so, you may want to restate your main points for emphasis as a way of starting the conclusion. (Don’t literally use the same sentence(s) as in your introduction but come up with a comparable way of restating your thesis.) You’ll want to smoothly conclude by showing the judgment you have reached is, in fact, reasonable.

Just restating your thesis isn’t enough. Ideally, you have just taken your reader through a strong, clear argument in which you have provided evidence for your perspective. You want to conclude by  pointing out the importance or worthiness of your topic and argument. You could describe how the world would be different, or people’s lives changed if they ascribed to your perspective, plan, or idea.

You might also  point out the limitations  of the present understanding of your topic, suggest or  recommend future action , study, or research that needs to be done.

If you have written a persuasive paper, hopefully, your readers will be convinced by what you have had to say!

20 Most Common Grammar Errors

The link below will take you outside of our book.

Grammar

Thanks to some excellent research from Andrea Lunsford and her colleagues, every few years, we get a list of the “ 20 Most Common Errors ” beginning writers in the United States make. Every few years, Lunsford and her team of researchers examine thousands of student essays and survey hundreds of writing teachers in order to give us this list.

The good news is that most of the errors on this list are mistakes that we make when we are tired, in a hurry, and just not being good editors. So, they are easy fixes.

Once you finish reading through the 20 most common errors, you can come back here to complete the activity.

After completing this activity, you may download or print a completion report that summarizes your results.

Punctuation

Meme - Punctuation Matters! Some people find inspiration in cooking their families and their dogs. vs. Some people find inspiration in cooking, their families, and their dogs.

Maybe you have heard the story about how punctuation saves lives. Clearly, there is a difference between

In addition to saving lives, using punctuation properly will help your writing be clean and clear and help you build your credibility as a writer.

The following link will provide you with an overview of the basic rules regarding punctuation and will give you a chance to practice using the information you have learned.

Putting It All Together

It is time to write your essay  Keep this list of things to remember handy and put that paper together.  You got this!

Bitmoji Image

ATTRIBUTIONS

  • Content Adapted from Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL). (2020).  Excelsior College. Retrieved from https://owl.excelsior.edu/ licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International License .
  • Original Content by Christine Jones. (2021). Licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International License .

English 101: Journey Into Open Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, August 15). How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to write topic sentences | 4 steps, examples & purpose, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples, what is your plagiarism score.

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons
  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

2.5: Identifying Thesis Statements

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 5269

Learning Objectives

  • Identify explicit thesis statements in texts
  • Identify implicit thesis statements in texts
  • Identify strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts

Being able to identify the purpose and thesis of a text, as you’re reading it, takes practice. This section will offer you that practice.

One fun strategy for developing a deeper understanding the material you’re reading is to make a visual “map” of the ideas. Mind maps, whether hand-drawn or done through computer programs, can be fun to make, and help put all the ideas of an essay you’re reading in one easy-to-read format.

Your understanding of what the “central” element of the mind map is might change as you read and re-read. Developing the central idea of your mind map is a great way to help you determine the reading’s thesis.

The center is a yellow star-shaped human form, labeled Dave. Primary lines leading away from it include "free," "Aranya," and "Anger." Color-coded lines lead to phrases that are difficult to see clearly.

Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\) - Hand-drawn Mind Map

Locating Explicit and Implicit Thesis Statements

In academic writing, the thesis is often explicit : it is included as a sentence as part of the text. It might be near the beginning of the work, but not always–some types of academic writing leave the thesis until the conclusion.

Journalism and reporting also rely on explicit thesis statements that appear very early in the piece–the first paragraph or even the first sentence.

Works of literature, on the other hand, usually do not contain a specific sentence that sums up the core concept of the writing. However, readers should finish the piece with a good understanding of what the work was trying to convey. This is what’s called an implicit thesis statement: the primary point of the reading is conveyed indirectly, in multiple locations throughout the work. (In literature, this is also referred to as the theme of the work.)

Academic writing sometimes relies on implicit thesis statements, as well.

This video offers excellent guidance in identifying the thesis statement of a work, no matter if it’s explicit or implicit.

Topic Sentences

We’ve learned that a thesis statement conveys the primary message of an entire piece of text. Now, let’s look at the next level of important sentences in a piece of text: topic sentences in each paragraph.

A useful metaphor would be to think of the thesis statement of a text as a general: it controls all the major decisions of the writing. There is only one thesis statement in a text. Topic sentences, in this relationship, serve as captains: they organize and sub-divide the overall goals of a writing into individual components. Each paragraph will have a topic sentence.

Graphic labeled Parts of a Paragraph. It shows a hamburger separated into different layers. From the top down, they are labeled "topic sentence (top bun)"; "supporting details (tomatoes, lettuce, and meat)"; "colourful vocabulary (mustard, ketchup, and relish)"; "concluding sentence (bottom bun)."

Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)

It might be helpful to think of a topic sentence as working in two directions simultaneously. It relates the paragraph to the essay’s thesis, and thereby acts as a signpost for the argument of the paper as a whole, but it also defines the scope of the paragraph itself. For example, consider the following topic sentence:

Many characters in Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun have one particular dream in which they are following, though the character Walter pursues his most aggressively.

If this sentence controls the paragraph that follows, then all sentences in the paragraph must relate in some way to Walter and the pursuit of his dream.

Topic sentences often act like tiny thesis statements. Like a thesis statement, a topic sentence makes a claim of some sort. As the thesis statement is the unifying force in the essay, so the topic sentence must be the unifying force in the paragraph. Further, as is the case with the thesis statement, when the topic sentence makes a claim, the paragraph which follows must expand, describe, or prove it in some way. Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to support it.

The topic sentence is often, though not always, the first sentence of a paragraph.

Module 2: Critical Reading

Identifying thesis statements, introduction, learning objectives.

  • identify explicit thesis statements in texts
  • identify implicit thesis statements in texts
  • identify strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts

Being able to identify the purpose and thesis of a text, as you’re reading it, takes practice. This section will offer you that practice.

One fun strategy for developing a deeper understanding the material you’re reading is to make a visual “map” of the ideas. Mind maps, whether hand-drawn or done through computer programs, can be fun to make, and help put all the ideas of an essay you’re reading in one easy-to-read format.

Your understanding of what the “central” element of the mind map is might change as you read and re-read. Developing the central idea of your mind map is a great way to help you determine the reading’s thesis.

The center is a yellow star-shaped human form, labeled Dave. Primary lines leading away from it include "free," "Aranya," and "Anger." Color-coded lines lead to phrases that are difficult to see clearly.

Hand-drawn Mind Map

Locating Explicit and Implicit Thesis Statements

In academic writing, the thesis is often explicit : it is included as a sentence as part of the text. It might be near the beginning of the work, but not always–some types of academic writing leave the thesis until the conclusion.

Journalism and reporting also rely on explicit thesis statements that appear very early in the piece–the first paragraph or even the first sentence.

Works of literature, on the other hand, usually do not contain a specific sentence that sums up the core concept of the writing. However, readers should finish the piece with a good understanding of what the work was trying to convey. This is what’s called an implicit thesis statement: the primary point of the reading is conveyed indirectly, in multiple locations throughout the work. (In literature, this is also referred to as the theme of the work.)

Academic writing sometimes relies on implicit thesis statements, as well.

This video offers excellent guidance in identifying the thesis statement of a work, no matter if it’s explicit or implicit.

Topic Sentences

We’ve learned that a thesis statement conveys the primary message of an entire piece of text. Now, let’s look at the next level of important sentences in a piece of text: topic sentences in each paragraph.

A useful metaphor would be to think of the thesis statement of a text as a general: it controls all the major decisions of the writing. There is only one thesis statement in a text. Topic sentences, in this relationship, serve as captains: they organize and sub-divide the overall goals of a writing into individual components. Each paragraph will have a topic sentence.

Graphic labeled Parts of a Paragraph. It shows a hamburger separated into different layers. From the top down, they are labeled "topic sentence (top bun)"; "supporting details (tomatoes, lettuce, and meat)"; "colourful vocabulary (mustard, ketchup, and relish)"; "concluding sentence (bottom bun)."

It might be helpful to think of a topic sentence as working in two directions simultaneously. It relates the paragraph to the essay’s thesis, and thereby acts as a signpost for the argument of the paper as a whole, but it also defines the scope of the paragraph itself. For example, consider the following topic sentence:

Many characters in Lorraine Hansberry’s play  A Raisin in the Sun have one particular dream in which they are following, though the character Walter pursues his most aggressively.

If this sentence controls the paragraph that follows, then all sentences in the paragraph must relate in some way to Walter and the pursuit of his dream.

Topic sentences often act like tiny thesis statements. Like a thesis statement, a topic sentence makes a claim of some sort. As the thesis statement is the unifying force in the essay, so the topic sentence must be the unifying force in the paragraph. Further, as is the case with the thesis statement, when the topic sentence makes a claim, the paragraph which follows must expand, describe, or prove it in some way. Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to support it.

The topic sentence is often, though not always, the first sentence of a paragraph.

  • Outcome: Thesis. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Revision and Adaptation of Topic Sentences. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Image of hand-drawn mind map. Authored by : Aranya. Located at : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guru_Mindmap.jpg . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Topic Sentences. Authored by : Ms. Beardslee. Located at : http://msbeardslee.wikispaces.com/Topic+Sentences?showComments=1 . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Image of Parts of a Paragraph. Authored by : Enokson. Located at : https://flic.kr/p/ak9H3v . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • How to Identify the Thesis Statement. Authored by : Martha Ann Kennedy. Located at : https://youtu.be/di1cQgc1akg . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

IMAGES

  1. Implied thesis statement. how to identify a thesis statement. 2022-10-21

    an implied thesis

  2. Implied Thesis Statement Example: A Guide to Writing Implicitly-Stated

    an implied thesis

  3. Implied thesis

    an implied thesis

  4. Implied thesis

    an implied thesis

  5. PPT

    an implied thesis

  6. Implied thesis statement. how to identify a thesis statement. 2022-10-21

    an implied thesis

VIDEO

  1. 💯How I did write A+ Thesis 📚

  2. The Thesis

  3. anti thesis of hustle culture #makeup #eyeliner #makeuptutorial #grwm

  4. Thesis Update

  5. How to write a strong thesis statement

  6. thesis statement rap

COMMENTS

  1. Implying Your Thesis

    With an implied thesis, your point is never stated directly, but your paper does have a clear focus or point. Even if you're not stating your thesis directly, you should keep your implied thesis in mind as you write. All papers require a specific focus, and a good research paper will maintain that focus throughout.

  2. Writing an Effective Thesis Statement

    Implied: An implied thesis is not directly stated, but rather suggested through the writer's ideas and supporting points. Nonetheless, it should still be obvious to the reader. For example, There are a number of serious problems facing Africa today which require attention. Parts of a thesis: Thesis statement = Claim + Supporting Points

  3. NROC Developmental English Foundations

    To write an implied thesis statement in response to a narrative prompt, follow these steps: Step 1: Brainstorm. Brainstorm possible ideas from your life experience that could potentially answer or respond to the prompt. Step 2: Choose a topic and write a paragraph.

  4. PDF A Brief Guide to the Elements of the Academic Essay

    or implied—that connects your evidence to your thesis, that determines how it is relevant evidence for that thesis, how a claim follows or can be inferred from the evidence. This includes the unstated beliefs or assump-tions that your argument makes about life, history, literature, reasoning, etc., which you don't argue for

  5. 5.2: Explicit Versus Implicit Thesis Statements

    Arguments then, can be explicit and implicit, or implied. Explicit arguments contain noticeable and definable thesis statements and lots of specific proofs. Implicit arguments, on the other hand, work by weaving together facts and narratives, logic and emotion, personal experiences and statistics. Unlike explicit arguments, implicit ones do not ...

  6. PDF Writing a Strong Thesis Statement

    An implied thesis is not directly stated, but rather suggested through the writer's ideas and supporting points. Nonetheless, it should still provide an obvious focus for the reader. Example: There are several serious problems facing Africa today that require attention.

  7. PDF Developing Your Thesis/Claim

    1. A good thesis sentence will make a claim. This doesn't mean that you have to reduce an idea to an "either/or" proposition and then take a stand. Rather, you need to develop an interesting perspective that you can support and defend. This perspective must be more than an observation. "America is violent" is an observation.

  8. Identifying the Thesis Statement

    In those instances, there is an implied thesis statement, in which you can generally extract the thesis statement by looking for a few key sentences and ideas. According to author Pavel Zemliansky, Arguments then, can be explicit and implicit, or implied.

  9. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    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.

  10. 3.3: Thesis Statements

    Beginning writers, however, should avoid the implied thesis unless certain of the audience. Almost every professor will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction. Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay, but thesis statements typically share the following characteristics: ...

  11. Essay Features: Read Me!

    With an implied thesis, your point is never stated directly, but your paper does have a clear focus or point. Even if you're not stating your thesis directly, you should keep your implied thesis in mind as you write. All papers require a specific focus, and a good research paper will maintain that focus throughout. ...

  12. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  13. PDF The Implied Thesis

    Writers use an implied thesis when they want the reader to come to his or her own conclusions about the matter at hand. However, just because the writer doesn't declare the thesis doesn't mean that she was working without one. Good writers will have their thesis clearly stated - either in their own minds, or in their notes for the paper.

  14. Making Inferences

    Watch It. Some thesis statements are explicit—stated directly in the text itself.Others are implicit—implied by the content but not written in one distinct sentence.The following video describes these terms and introduces the excellent idea of the reading voice and the thinking voice that strong readers use as they work through a text.

  15. PDF Thesis Handout

    Implied thesis statements are used for narrative writing or when the writer wants the reader to come to his or her own conclusion. thesis statement is not a question. thesis statement is not an announcement. thesis statement is not a fact or an observation. Example outline with mapping thesis:

  16. PDF DEVELOPING YOUR THESIS

    essay is coherent and makes a point. In these cases, the writers have used an implied thesis. Writers use an implied thesis when they want the reader to come to his or her own conclusions about the matter at hand. Good writers will have their thesis clearly stated - either in their own minds, or in their notes for the paper.

  17. Annotating an Essay or Book

    All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis, so it's really important to identify the thesis as you read. 2:15: There are two kinds of thesis statements: stated thesis and implied thesis. 2:21: Often the author makes his or her thesis explicit by stating it directly in the text. 2:28: This is called a stated thesis. 2:31

  18. Introduction to College Composition

    Arguments then, can be explicit and implicit, or implied. Explicit arguments contain noticeable and definable thesis statements and lots of specific proofs. Implicit arguments, on the other hand, work by weaving together facts and narratives, logic and emotion, personal experiences and statistics. Unlike explicit arguments, implicit ones do not ...

  19. Implied Main Idea

    Lesson Summary Frequently Asked Questions How do you identify stated and implied main ideas? To identify the main idea of a passage, readers must determine the primary argument or point of the...

  20. Thesis Statements

    Beginning writers, however, should avoid the implied thesis unless certain of the audience. Almost every professor will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction. Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay. Thesis statements typically share the following characteristics: presents the main idea

  21. Explicit Versus Implicit Thesis Statements

    Arguments then, can be explicit and implicit, or implied. Explicit arguments contain noticeable and definable thesis statements and lots of specific proofs. Implicit arguments, on the other hand, work by weaving together facts and narratives, logic and emotion, personal experiences and statistics. Unlike explicit arguments, implicit ones do not ...

  22. English Composition I: Rhetorical Methods-Based

    A thesis statement tells a reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. Such a statement is also called an "argument," a "main idea," or a "controlling idea.". 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 ...

  23. 2.5: Identifying Thesis Statements

    Each paragraph will have a topic sentence. Figure 2.5.2 2.5. 2. It might be helpful to think of a topic sentence as working in two directions simultaneously. It relates the paragraph to the essay's thesis, and thereby acts as a signpost for the argument of the paper as a whole, but it also defines the scope of the paragraph itself.

  24. Identifying Thesis Statements

    Locating Explicit and Implicit Thesis Statements. In academic writing, the thesis is often explicit: it is included as a sentence as part of the text. It might be near the beginning of the work, but not always-some types of academic writing leave the thesis until the conclusion. Journalism and reporting also rely on explicit thesis statements ...