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.
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.
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.
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- What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples
What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples
Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.
A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.
Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .
You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.
Download Word template Download Google Docs template
Table of contents
Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.
You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.
- 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 complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
- In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
- In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:
- Your discipline
- Your theoretical approach
Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.
In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section , results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .
We’ve compiled a list of thesis examples to help you get started.
- Example thesis #1: “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
- Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.
- Example thesis #3: “An Introduction to Higher-Order Frames in Communication: How Controversial Organizations Maintain Legitimacy Over Time” by Kees Smeets
The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:
- Your full title
- Your full name
- Your department
- Your institution and degree program
- Your submission date.
Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.
Read more about title pages
The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.
Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces
An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.
Read more about abstracts
A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.
Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.
Read more about tables of contents
While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.
Read more about lists of figures and tables
If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.
Read more about lists of abbreviations
Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.
Read more about glossaries
An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:
- Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
- Define the scope of your work
- Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
- State your research question(s)
- Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed
In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.
Read more about introductions
A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:
- Selecting relevant sources
- Determining the credibility of your sources
- Critically evaluating each of your sources
- Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps
A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:
- Addressing a gap in the literature
- Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
- Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
- Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
- Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate
Read more about literature reviews
Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.
Read more about theoretical frameworks
Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.
A methodology section should generally include:
- Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
- Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
- Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
- Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
- The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
- A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods
Read more about methodology sections
Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.
Your results section should:
- State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
- Explain how each result relates to the research question
- Determine whether the hypothesis was supported
Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.
Read more about results sections
Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.
For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.
Read more about discussion sections
Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.
Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.
Read more about conclusions
In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.
Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.
Create APA citations Create MLA citations
In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.
Read more about appendices
Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!
Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.
Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.
After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.
If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .
If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.
When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.
Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:
- Plan to attend graduate school soon
- Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
- Are considering a career in research
- Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience
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- thesis statement
a short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence.
Origin of thesis statement
Words nearby thesis statement.
- short end of the stick, the
- The show must go on
- thesis play
- Sketch Book, The
- Skin of Our Teeth, The
- sky's the limit, the
- Snows of Kilimanjaro, The
- The Social Contract
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
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Writing Tutorial Services
How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.
Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.
Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?
- to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
- to better organize and develop your argument
- to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument
In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.
How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?
Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned
Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.
Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”
The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.
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How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned
Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.
A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:
- take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
- deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
- express one main idea
- assert your conclusions about a subject
Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.
Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.
You start out with a thesis statement like this:
This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.
Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.
You change your thesis to look like this:
Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.
This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.
Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.
You revise your thesis statement to look like this:
More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.
This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.
Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:
Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.
This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.
Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:
Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.
Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.
How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One
1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..
Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:
There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.
This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.
Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.
This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.
2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.
Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:
My family is an extended family.
This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.
While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.
This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.
3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.
Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:
Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.
This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:
Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.
This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .
4. A strong thesis statement is specific.
A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:
World hunger has many causes and effects.
This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:
Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.
This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.
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Developing A Thesis
Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."
An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)
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. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)
Once you have a working thesis, write it down. There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.
Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction. A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.
Anticipate the counterarguments. Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)
This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.
Some Caveats and Some Examples
A thesis is never a question. Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.
A thesis is never a list. "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.
A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational. An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.
An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim. "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."
A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible. Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."
Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University
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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement
How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement
A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.
Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused. Since a thesis is so important, it’s probably a good idea to look at some tips on how to put together a strong one.
What is a “thesis statement” anyway.
- 2 categories of thesis statements: informative and persuasive
- 2 styles of thesis statements
- Formula for a strong argumentative thesis
- The qualities of a solid thesis statement (video)
You may have heard of something called a “thesis.” It’s what seniors commonly refer to as their final paper before graduation. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That type of thesis is a long, well-written paper that takes years to piece together.
Instead, we’re talking about a single sentence that ties together the main idea of any argument . In the context of student essays, it’s a statement that summarizes your topic and declares your position on it. This sentence can tell a reader whether your essay is something they want to read.
2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive
Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay.
For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.
To make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments.
This thesis showed the reader the topic (a type of sandwich) and the direction the essay will take (describing how the sandwich is made).
Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.
In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.
2 Styles of Thesis Statements
Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.
The first style uses a list of two or more points . This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments.
C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the richest works of the 20th century because it offers an escape from reality, teaches readers to have faith even when they don’t understand, and contains a host of vibrant characters.
In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay.
In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into.
Good vs. evil is the main theme of Lewis’s Narnia series, as is made clear through the struggles the main characters face in each book.
In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. The broader scope of this thesis allows me to write about each of the series’ seven novels. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.
Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis
One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:
___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.
Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:
___________________ is true because of _____________________.
Students usually end up using different terminology than simply “because,” but having a template is always helpful to get the creative juices flowing.
The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement
When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.
Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.
Position: A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences.
Strength: Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.
Example of weak thesis:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.
Most people would agree that PB&J is one of the easiest sandwiches in the American lunch repertoire.
Example of a stronger thesis:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.
This is more arguable because there are plenty of folks who might think a PB&J is messy or slimy rather than fun.
Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay. However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think.
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Developing Strong Thesis Statements
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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.
The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable
An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.
Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:
This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.
Example of a debatable thesis statement:
This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.
Another example of a debatable thesis statement:
In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.
The thesis needs to be narrow
Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Example of a thesis that is too broad:
There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.
Example of a narrow or focused thesis:
In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:
Narrowed debatable thesis 1:
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.
Narrowed debatable thesis 2:
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.
Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.
Types of claims
Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.
Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:
Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:
Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:
Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:
Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.
How to write a thesis statement for an essay
Writing great thesis statements is something that literary scholars and philosophy majors do instinctively, but is something many other students struggle with. This guide will show you how to write a thesis statement for any paper assignment, from an essay, research paper, to a dissertation.
Don’t worry: the more complicated and long-winded your subject is, the easier it will be to turn into a great thesis statement. All you need is some patience and the willingness to work hard on your argumentative writing skills. If you pay attention and put in the time, we guarantee that by the end of this guide you’ll be able to write powerful thesis statements without even breaking a sweat!
A proper introduction always tells readers what they’re about to read! So before we get down to business, we have to warn you that this article is going to be rather long and wordy. If you’re pressed for time, feel free to check out our thesis statement examples listed at the end of this article.
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What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement can be defined as a sentence or group of sentences that presents the main point or argument of an essay. It is usually placed at the beginning of the essay, and it provides a focus for the writer’s thoughts. The thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should be supported by evidence from the text.
So what is a thesis statement in an essay? In essay writing, a thesis statement is a sentence that presents an argument. It is the main point of your essay and, as such, it appears at the end of the first paragraph and serves as a “road map” for the rest of your paper. Here is a example:
Although some people may think that personal growth can be achieved through hard work and careful planning, I believe that true self-knowledge comes from life’s unexpected challenges.
I believe that true self-knowledge comes from life’s unexpected challenges.
This statement tells us what we are going to be discussing in this essay. In fact, everything mentioned after this statement should be used to support its truthfulness.
The thesis does not necessarily need to be debatable; rather, it must simply relate to your central idea—the subject that you are writing about. You can write about many different things, but there must be one central idea to which all your ideas relate.
How do you determine what your thesis should be?
Your thesis results from an understanding of the assignment and careful planning. It represents a claim that you want to support with evidence. The following questions may help in determining an effective statement:
- What is the purpose of my paper?
- Why am I interested in this topic? (Be specific.)
- How can I demonstrate my knowledge or skill on this subject? (This may be different than the first question; think of it as “What is my plan for demonstrating…”
- Who will be reading my paper and what do I want them to think or do as a result?
All of these questions should be answered before you can craft a successful thesis statement for your essay.
Once you have a strong, debatable thesis statement, everything in your paper should support it. This means that your evidence must be relevant and organized in a way that makes sense.
Your essay must also be well-written and formatted correctly. If your thesis is weak or if your evidence is not properly organized, your paper will likely be unsuccessful.
The best way to ensure success is to plan ahead, write effectively, and revise diligently.
Thesis statements are important because they provide a roadmap for your readers. They let your readers know what to expect from your essay, and they help you stay on topic.
How do I write a thesis statement?
A thesis statement can be defined as a sentence or group of sentences that presents the main point or argument of an essay. It is usually placed at the beginning of the essay, and it provides a focus for the writer’s thoughts.
The thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should be supported by evidence from the text.
So what is a thesis statement in an essay? In essay writing, a thesis statement is a sentence that presents the main point of an essay. It is usually placed at the beginning of the essay, and it provides a focus for the writer’s thoughts.
Thesis statements can take many different forms, but they all serve the same purpose. In some cases, the thesis statement will be a single sentence. In others, it may be a paragraph or even a series of paragraphs. The important thing to remember is that the thesis statement should summarize the main point of the essay.
So how do you create a strong thesis statement?
There are several things to consider when writing a thesis statement:
Tip #1: First, make sure that your thesis statement is clear and concise. It should be easy for the reader to understand what the essay is about.
Tip #2: Second, make sure that your thesis statement is narrow enough to merit an entire essay, but broad enough so that the reader is not confused.
Tip #3: Finally, remember that there are different kinds of essays. For example, descriptive essays describe people or places in detail; compare and contrast essays show how items are similar or different; cause-and effect essays explain why something happened; argumentative essays attempt to persuade readers to agree with a particular point of view.
So what should be included in the thesis statement?
The answer depends on what kind of essay you are writing. Some basic guidelines can help you write an effective thesis statement for any type of essay:
- In a descriptive essay, the thesis statement should describe the person, place, or thing that is being described.
- In a compare and contrast essay, the thesis statement should identify the similarities and differences between two items.
- In a cause-effect essay, the thesis statement should explain how one event caused another event to happen.
- In an argumentative essay, the thesis statement should state the position of the writer on a particular issue.
Once you have a strong thesis statement, it will be easier to write the rest of your essay. Remember to always support your arguments with evidence from the text!
How can you create a strong thesis statement?
A strong thesis statement should be able to answer all of the following questions:
- What is this essay about?
- What are some supporting facts or reasons?
In order to create a strong thesis statement, the writer needs to think critically about what they want their essay to convey. In other words, it is important for the writer to have a clear idea of what they want to say before they begin writing. Once they have a good understanding of their argument, they can then craft a thesis statement that will be strong and concise.
Can a thesis statement be changed when writing an essay?
Yes, a thesis statement can be changed if the writer discovers new information or if their argument changes. If the writer finds new evidence to support their old claim, they may want to rethink their thesis statement. A good thesis statement should remain relevant even if the information changes or evolves.
How does a thesis statement compare with an essay’s topic sentence?
Although the two are very similar, there is one key difference between them: a thesis statement presents the main argument of the essay, while a topic sentence introduces that argument.
For example, consider this prompt for an English assignment: “Should schools ban junk food?”
If someone were writing about this prompt and their opinion was that junk food shouldn’t be banned from all schools, then they might write a strong thesis statement that says: “ Junk food should not be banned from all schools because it is a source of nutrition for many students .”
This statement would introduce the main argument of the essay, and it would be supported by evidence from the text.
In contrast, a topic sentence might say something like: “ Many students rely on junk food for their daily calorie intake. ” This sentence would introduce the argument but wouldn’t serve as the thesis statement.
A thesis statement is important because it provides focus for the writer’s thoughts and helps to organize an essay. It should be clear and concise, and it should be supported by evidence from the text. A thesis statement can be changed if new information or arguments are discovered, and it should remain relevant even if the information changes or evolves. Although similar, a thesis statement differs from a topic sentence in that a thesis statement presents the main argument of the essay, while a topic sentence introduces that argument.
Interesting thesis statement examples
Now that you know what a thesis statement is and how to create one, let’s take a look at some examples. The following statements are all strong thesis statements for academic essays:
- The United States should adopt a policy of isolationism.
- Schools should ban junk food from campus.
- The media has a negative impact on society.
- Guns should be banned in the United States.
- The death penalty should be abolished in the United States.
- Illegitimate children should be given the same rights as legitimate children.
- Children should not be exposed to violence on television.
- I feel that a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester.
- The government of South Africa’s new laws are not effective in ending apartheid.
- All students should be required to complete an internship before they graduate from high school or college.”
Now let’s take a look at some example thesis statements and make revisions:
Thesis statement example 1: “This essay is about the United States’ policy toward Cuba.”
This thesis statement is not clear because it does not answer any key questions: What is this essay about? What are some supporting facts or reasons? If someone wrote this thesis statement, then they would need to revise it so that it provides focus for their argument.
A strong thesis statement for this prompt might be: “The United States should end the embargo against Cuba.” Although it is not very specific, it directly answers the prompt and tells readers what kind of essay to expect.
Thesis statement example 2: “This essay will discuss the primary causes of World War I.”
This thesis statement is too broad because it does not answer any key questions: What are some supporting facts or reasons? If someone wrote this thesis statement, then they would need to revise it so that it provides focus for their argument. A strong thesis statement for this prompt might be: “One of the main causes of World War I was militaristic and aggressive foreign policies adopted by European nations before 1914.” This thesis statement specifies why those policies were a problem and provides readers with a specific focus for the essay.
Thesis statement example 3: “Illegal immigrants should be deported.”
This thesis statement is too simplistic and it does not provide any supporting evidence. A strong thesis statement for this prompt might be: “Illegal immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes should be deported, but those who are contributing members of society should be allowed to stay.” This thesis statement takes a nuanced position on the issue and provides readers with reasons why that position is supported. It also leaves room for further argument and discussion.
Now it’s your turn! Try writing a strong thesis statement for one of the following essay writing prompts:
- Should school cafeterias only serve healthy food?
- Is technology making us smarter or dumber?
- What impact do video games have on children?
- Do parents have a responsibility to monitor their children’s media consumption?
- Should the United States end the embargo against Cuba?
What is the purpose of a thesis statement?
The purpose of a thesis statement is to give your reader a “roadmap” for the paper. It tells your reader what the paper is about. It also tells them how you will be writing it and gives them a better idea of what to expect.
What does a thesis statement do?
A thesis statement explains or clarifies an idea, and usually follows the introduction paragraph (which introduces your topic). If two or more ideas are being compared or contrasted, then there should be at least two different thesis statements in your work. This helps the reader understand your points of view on a certain issue without “getting lost” in a confusing landscape of information. A good thesis statement should help everyone understand exactly what point you are trying to make, but still leave room for exploration later on in the piece when finding supporting evidence from other directions becomes necessary.
What are the different types of thesis statements?
There are three different types of thesis statements: analytical , argumentative , and informative .
- An analytical thesis statement breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts. It presents the facts so that the reader can come to their own conclusions.
- An argumentative thesis statement takes a stand on an issue. It presents the writer’s opinion and argues for it using evidence from reliable sources.
- An informative thesis statement provides information about a certain topic. It is not opinion-based and does not argue for a particular point of view.
How do I choose which type of thesis statement to use?
The type of thesis statement you should use depends on your assignment instructions and on what you will be presenting to the reader. If you are writing an informational paper, your thesis statement will be “informative.” If you are writing a persuasive essay (i.e., one that presents a point of view and argues for it), then your thesis statement is likely to be argumentative. However, if you will present evidence from many sources in order to make your case, then your thesis statement may also be “analytical” because it gives the reader information about what they will expect to read.
What is a good thesis statement for an academic essay?
There is no single answer to this question as the best thesis statement for an academic essay will vary depending on the topic and purpose of the assignment. However, there are some general characteristics that all good academic essay thesis statements share. These are the characteristics of a good thesis statement for an academic essay writing assignment:
- Debatable – A good thesis statement should be something that can be argued for or against. It should not be a fact that is not up for debate.
- Clear and Concise – The thesis statement should be clear and concise. Avoid lengthy descriptions or fluff words.
- One main idea – A good thesis statement expresses a single main idea that is backed up by the supporting evidence in the body of the essay. It should not be a collection of related ideas strung together to form a point.
- No rambling – The thesis statement should not ramble on about multiple topics because your professor will award points based on what you write in the body, not the introduction! Keep it focused and relevant to get better grades for your assignment!
Now you know what is a thesis statement in writing and how to create a good thesis statement while writing essays for college assignments.
A List of 50+ Sample Thesis Statements Examples:
Here is a list of 50+ sample thesis statements examples that you can use while learning how to create perfect thesis for your essay writing help needs.
- The American dream is still an achievable goal for anybody who is willing to work hard enough for it.
- Racism continues to be a problem in the United States, even though people like to believe that it doesn’t exist anymore.
- The role of men and women in society has changed dramatically over the past century and there is still more progress to be made.
- War can and has changed the world in many ways, not all of them positive.
- The idea that we cannot control our own destiny is terrifying and it’s something that everybody should consider when they think about the future.
- Many people like to think of history as a series of events that could not be changed or altered in any way, but this is simply untrue.
- There are currently major social issues around the world which no one person could ever hope to address alone; working together with others who care about the same things will be the key to making lasting change happen.
- The United States is supposed to be a country where everyone lives free from persecution and unfair treatment by virtue of their race, color, or creed, but this is not always the case.
- The media plays a huge role in our lives and it’s important to be aware of the way that it can be manipulated.
- Our world is changing faster than ever before and we need to find new ways to deal with the challenges that come along with it.
- Patriotism can be a good thing, but it can also lead to dangerous and destructive behavior.
- We need to find ways to reconnect with nature if we want to save our planet from destruction.
- The teenage years are a time of great upheaval and change – for both the individual and society as a whole.
- We should never forget about the importance of having a sense of humor in our lives.
- Modern technology has made it possible for us to communicate with each other on a global scale, but we still need to find better ways to resolve our differences and prevent future conflicts from arising.
- It is important that we stop and reflect on the past if we want to make progress as individuals and as a society.
- If you really want something, you absolutely will NOT give up until you get it (even if somebody tells you that what you’re trying to do isn’t possible).
- The most rewarding things in life are always worth waiting for – no matter how long it takes.
- Humans have an amazing capacity to adapt and overcome the obstacles that are placed in their way.
- The history of humanity can be divided into distinct eras, each with its own unique characteristics and ways of life.
- It’s important to always try new things – even if they don’t turn out how you expected them to.
- There is no better investment than an investment in yourself – your education, your development, and your future.
- We all spend so much time trying to create something unique but it’s impossible for anyone who has ever existed on this planet not to have had some influence on our lives somehow.
- Human beings are capable of great acts of kindness towards one another; we just need more examples of people acting selflessly and putting other people’s needs before their own.
- Getting older and more mature is all about seeing things from a different perspective and not taking anything for granted anymore.
- Technology has given us access to unlimited information; we just need to be willing to learn how to use it properly.
- Our world is full of questions that no one person could ever answer alone – as such, it’s important that we take the time to listen and share our knowledge with those around us.
- We live in a world which has been shaped by past events; we should never take them for granted or forget where we came from.
- There are many ways in which the environment can benefit everyone if we know how to take advantage of them.
- The most important thing to remember when dealing with someone else is that you can’t expect them to see things from your perspective – so the only way to have a productive conversation is to learn how to listen properly.
- Our world has been shaped by thousands of years of human history; it’s important that we take the time to understand our past if we want ours to be a better future.
- Anyone can make a difference in this world no matter who they are or where they come from, but it takes real commitment and dedication towards making things right for everyone around you.
- No one person can do everything on their own, so working together as part of a community will make the biggest difference of all.
- Conflicts are inevitable in life, but they are also necessary for us to grow stronger and wiser as individuals, communities, countries, and entire continents.
- There is no greater achievement than fighting through your fears and achieving your dreams.
- The choices that you make today will determine what kind of future you will have tomorrow – so don’t ignore them or take them for granted.
- We all need time to relax after a long day’s work if we want to be prepared to face tomorrow’s challenges head on.
- Humans have always had an instinctive desire to explore new lands; it’s just part of who we are as a species.
- There are many things in life that can make us feel like we’re wasting our time, but the truth is that every experience makes us wiser and more experienced for the next challenge.
- We should all take some time to learn about history if we want to know what mistakes not to repeat again.
- Our lives will always be defined by the choices that we make; it’s important that we learn from our past mistakes so that they don’t keep repeating themselves.
- One of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself is an education; it opens doors to opportunities which would otherwise stay locked forever.
- There are no shortcuts to achieving your goals – only hard work and dedication will set you on the right path.
- We owe it to future generations to protect our planet and take care of its resources; we only have one Earth, and we need to make sure that it lasts for as long as possible.
- We are all capable of greatness if we set our minds to it – so don’t be afraid to try something new, because you never know where it might lead you.
- It’s never too late to learn and grow; in fact, the older we get, the more wisdom we tend to accumulate.
- Life is full of surprises, both good and bad – but we can only appreciate the good ones if we’re willing to accept the bad ones too.
- We should always be willing to lend a helping hand to those who need it, because that’s what makes us human.
- No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes – but it’s the way we learn from them that counts.
- Our world is constantly changing, and we need to be prepared for anything that comes our way – so never stop learning and expanding your horizons.
As you can see from the 50 sample thesis statements above, there are many ways to create a thesis statement for your essay assignment. You just need to find a topic that you’re passionate about and start writing!
- Purdue Online Writing Lab
- Thesis Statements – UNC Writing Center
- Thesis Statements – The Writing Center (pdf)
- Thesis Statements – Writing a Paper – Academic Guides
- Thesis Statements – Columbia College
- How to Write a Thesis Statement – Indiana.edu
- Thesis and Purpose Statements – The Writing Center
- Developing a Thesis Statement – The Writing Center
- Thesis Statement: OWL: WS: ULC: UNCW
- Thesis Generator | UAGC Writing Center
- Write a strong thesis statement! – University of Evansville
- Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement – Gustavus Adolphus College
- Developing A Thesis | – Harvard Writing Center
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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.
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.
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.
Writing Process and Structure
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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
Developing Strategic Transitions
Revising Your Paper
Revising an Argumentative Paper
Revision Strategies for Longer Projects
Finishing Your Paper
Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist
How to Proofread your Paper
Collaborative and Group Writing
Thesis: Definition and Examples in Composition
Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms
- An Introduction to Punctuation
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
A thesis ( THEE-ses ) is the main (or controlling) idea of an essay , report , speech , or research paper , sometimes written as a single declarative sentence known as a thesis statement . A thesis may be implied rather than stated directly. Plural: theses . It's also known as a thesis statement, thesis sentence, controlling idea.
In the classical rhetorical exercises known as the progymnasmata , the thesis is an exercise that requires a student to argue a case for one side or the other.
Etymology From the Greek, "to put"
Examples and Observations (Definition #1)
- "My thesis is simple: in the next century mankind must harness the nuclear genie if our energy needs are to be met and our security preserved." (John B. Ritch, "Nuclear Green," Prospect Magazine , March 1999)
- "We watch baseball: it's what we have always imagined life should be like. We play softball. It's sloppy--the way life really is." (from the introduction to Watching Baseball, Playing Softball)
- "Through Mansfield's skillful handling of point of view, characterization, and plot development, Miss Brill comes across as a convincing character who evokes our sympathy." (thesis statement in Miss Brill's Fragile Fantasy )
- "Suppose there were no critics to tell us how to react to a picture, a play, or a new composition of music. Suppose we wandered innocent as the dawn into an art exhibition of unsigned paintings. By what standards, by what values would we decide whether they were good or bad, talented or untalented, success or failures? How can we ever know that what we think is right?" (Marya Mannes, "How Do You Know It's Good?")
- "I think people are disturbed by the discovery that no longer is a small town autonomous--it is a creature of the state and of the Federal Government. We have accepted money for our schools, our libraries, our hospitals, our winter roads. Now we face the inevitable consequence: the benefactor wants to call the turns." (E.B. White, "Letter from the East")
- "It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost." (Gore Vidal, "Drugs")
- The Two Parts of an Effective Thesis "An effective thesis is generally composed of two parts: a topic and the writer's attitude or opinion about or reaction to that topic." (William J. Kelly, Strategy and Structure . Allyn and Bacon, 1996)
- Drafting and Revising a Thesis "It's a good idea to formulate a thesis early in the writing process , perhaps by jotting it on scratch paper, by putting it at the head of a rough outline , or by attempting to write an introductory paragraph that includes the thesis. Your tentative thesis will probably be less graceful than the thesis you include in the final version of your essay. Here, for example, is one student's early effort: Although they both play percussion instruments, drummers and percussionists are very different. The thesis that appeared in the final draft of the student's paper was more polished: Two types of musicians play percussion instruments--drummers and percussionists--and they are as different as Quiet Riot and the New York Philharmonic. Don't worry too soon about the exact wording of your thesis, however, because your main point may change as you refine your ideas." (Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook , 6th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002)
- A Good Thesis - "A good thesis tells the audience exactly what you want them to know, understand, and remember when your speech is done. Write it as a simple, declarative sentence (or two) that restates the speech purpose and states the main points that support the purpose. Although you may formulate a thesis statement early in the speech development process, you may revise and reword it as you research your topic.' (Sherwyn P. Morreale, Brian H. Spitzberg, and J. Kevin Barge, Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, and Skills , 2nd ed. Thomson Higher Education, 2007) - "An effective thesis statement singles out some aspect of a subject for attention and clearly defines your approach to it." (David Blakesley and Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen, Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age . Wadsworth, 2011)
Examples and Observations (Definition #2)
" Thesis . This advanced exercise [one of the progymnasmata] asks the student to write an answer to a 'general question' ( quaestio infina )--that is, a question not involving individuals. . . . Quintilian . . . notes that a general question can be made into a persuasive subject if names are added (II.4.25). That is, a Thesis would pose a general question such as 'Should a man marry?' or 'Should one fortify a city?' (A Special Question on the other hand would be 'Should Marcus marry Livia?' or 'Should Athens spend money to build a defensive wall?')" (James J. Murphy, A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to Modern America , 2nd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001)
- How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
- Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
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- Definition and Examples of Body Paragraphs in Composition
- An Introduction to Academic Writing
- Revising a Paper
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- The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
- The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right
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What is a thesis statement?
Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper. It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant. Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue. Then, spend the rest of your paper--each body paragraph--fulfilling that promise.
Your thesis should be between one and three sentences long and is placed at the end of your introduction. Just because the thesis comes towards the beginning of your paper does not mean you can write it first and then forget about it. View your thesis as a work in progress while you write your paper. Once you are satisfied with the overall argument your paper makes, go back to your thesis and see if it captures what you have argued. If it does not, then revise it. Crafting a good thesis is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process, so do not expect to perfect it on the first few tries. Successful writers revise their thesis statements again and again.
A successful thesis statement:
- makes an historical argument
- takes a position that requires defending
- is historically specific
- is focused and precise
- answers the question, "so what?"
How to write a thesis statement:
Suppose you are taking an early American history class and your professor has distributed the following essay prompt:
"Historians have debated the American Revolution's effect on women. Some argue that the Revolution had a positive effect because it increased women's authority in the family. Others argue that it had a negative effect because it excluded women from politics. Still others argue that the Revolution changed very little for women, as they remained ensconced in the home. Write a paper in which you pose your own answer to the question of whether the American Revolution had a positive, negative, or limited effect on women."
Using this prompt, we will look at both weak and strong thesis statements to see how successful thesis statements work.
1. A successful thesis statement makes an historical argument. It does not announce the topic of your paper or simply restate the paper prompt.
Weak Thesis: The Revolution had little effect on women because they remained ensconced in the home.
While this thesis does take a position, it is problematic because it simply restates the prompt. It needs to be more specific about how the Revolution had a limited effect on women and why it mattered that women remained in the home.
Revised Thesis: The Revolution wrought little political change in the lives of women because they did not gain the right to vote or run for office. Instead, women remained firmly in the home, just as they had before the war, making their day-to-day lives look much the same.
This revision is an improvement over the first attempt because it states what standards the writer is using to measure change (the right to vote and run for office) and it shows why women remaining in the home serves as evidence of limited change (because their day-to-day lives looked the same before and after the war). However, it still relies too heavily on the information given in the prompt, simply saying that women remained in the home. It needs to make an argument about some element of the war's limited effect on women. This thesis requires further revision.
Strong Thesis: While the Revolution presented women unprecedented opportunities to participate in protest movements and manage their family's farms and businesses, it ultimately did not offer lasting political change, excluding women from the right to vote and serve in office.
This is a stronger thesis because it complicates the information in the prompt. The writer admits that the Revolution gave women important new opportunities, but argues that, in the end, it led to no substantial change. This thesis recognizes the complexity of the issue, conceding that the Revolution had both positive and negative effects for women, but that the latter outweighed the former. Remember that it will take several rounds of revision to craft a strong thesis, so keep revising until your thesis articulates a thoughtful and compelling argument.
2. A succesful thesis statement takes a position that requires defending. Your argument should not be an obvious or irrefutable assertion. Rather, make a claim that requires supporting evidence.
Weak Thesis: The Revolutionary War caused great upheaval in the lives of American women.
Few would argue with the idea that war brings upheaval. Your thesis needs to be debatable: it needs to make a claim against which someone could argue. Your job throughout the paper is to provide evidence in support of your own case. Here is a revised version:
Strong Thesis: The Revolution caused particular upheaval in the lives of women. With men away at war, women took on full responsibility for running households, farms, and businesses. As a result of their increased involvement during the war, many women were reluctant to give up their new-found responsibilities after the fighting ended.
This is a stronger thesis because it says exactly what kind of upheaval the war wrought, and it makes a debatable claim. For example, a counterargument might be that most women were eager to return to the way life was before the war and thus did not try to usurp men's role on the home front. Or, someone could argue that women were already active in running households, farms, and businesses before the war, and thus the war did not mark a significant departure. Any compelling thesis will have counterarguments. Writers try to show that their arguments are stronger than the counterarguments that could be leveled against them.
3. A successful thesis statement is historically specific. It does not make a broad claim about "American society" or "humankind," but is grounded in a particular historical moment.
Weak Thesis: The Revolution had a negative impact on women because of the prevailing problem of sexism.
Sexism is a vague word that can mean different things in different times and places. In order to answer the question and make a compelling argument, this thesis needs to explain exactly what attitudes toward women were in early America, and how those attitudes negatively affected women in the Revolutionary period.
Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a negative impact on women because of the belief that women lacked the rational faculties of men. In a nation that was to be guided by reasonable republican citizens, women were imagined to have no place in politics and were thus firmly relegated to the home.
This thesis is stronger because it narrows in on one particular and historically specific attitude towards women: the assumption that women had less ability to reason than men. While such attitudes toward women have a long history, this thesis must locate it in a very specific historical moment, to show exactly how it worked in revolutionary America.
4. A successful thesis statement is focused and precise. You need to be able to support it within the bounds of your paper.
Weak Thesis: The Revolution led to social, political, and economic change for women.
This thesis addresses too large of a topic for an undergraduate paper. The terms "social," "political," and "economic" are too broad and vague for the writer to analyze them thoroughly in a limited number of pages. The thesis might focus on one of those concepts, or it might narrow the emphasis to some specific features of social, political, and economic change.
Strong Thesis: The Revolution paved the way for important political changes for women. As "Republican Mothers," women contributed to the polity by raising future citizens and nurturing virtuous husbands. Consequently, women played a far more important role in the new nation's politics than they had under British rule.
This thesis is stronger because it is more narrow, and thus allows the writer to offer more in-depth analysis. It states what kind of change women expected (political), how they experienced that change (through Republican Motherhood), and what the effects were (indirect access to the polity of the new nation).
5. A successful thesis statement answers the question, "so what?" It explains to your reader why your argument is historically significant. It is not a list of ideas you will cover in your paper; it explains why your ideas matter.
Weak Thesis: The Revolution had a positive effect on women because it ushered in improvements in female education, legal standing, and economic opportunity.
This thesis is off to a strong start, but it needs to go one step further by telling the reader why changes in these three areas mattered. How did the lives of women improve because of developments in education, law, and economics? What were women able to do with these advantages? Obviously the rest of the paper will answer these questions, but the thesis statement needs to give some indication of why these particular changes mattered.
Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a positive impact on women because it ushered in improvements in female education, legal standing, and economic opportunity. Progress in these three areas gave women the tools they needed to carve out lives beyond the home, laying the foundation for the cohesive feminist movement that would emerge in the mid-nineteenth century.
This is a stronger thesis because it goes beyond offering a list of changes for women, suggesting why improvements in education, the law, and economics mattered. It outlines the historical significance of these changes: they helped women build a cohesive feminist movement in the nineteenth century.
When revising your thesis, check it against the following guidelines:
1. Does my thesis make an historical argument ?
2. Does my thesis take a position that requires defending?
3. Is my thesis historically specific ?
4. Is my thesis focused and precise ?
5. Does my thesis answer the question, "so what?"
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Essay Writing Guide
Writing A Thesis Statement
Learn How to Write a Thesis Statement With Examples
Published on: May 1, 2019
Last updated on: Mar 16, 2023
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A thesis statement is the core element that expresses the main idea of an essay or any other paper. The first thing you need to handle in essay writing is writing a compelling thesis statement.
Almost all kinds of essays and research papers require a thesis statement which can also be considered the answer to your research question.
Since a thesis statement is a must, it is probably a good idea to go through this guide for writing a strong thesis statement for academic papers.
After going through our step by step guide of writing a thesis statement, you will be sorted for good.
What is a Thesis Statement?
The thesis statement identifies the main topic you are discussing in your essay, and it should be clear enough not to confuse readers.
Your thesis statement should be short and easy to understand. Use it as an invitation for your audience, so they'll want to keep reading.
The main purpose of writing a thesis statement is to:
- Helps you communicate the viewpoint that you have discussed in the paper.
- Narrowing down the topic to a certain focal point of the main investigation.
The best way to make your writing interesting is by developing an argument that will persuade others and prove yourself right.
There will be times when your main goal will be to persuade the reader where you will need an argumentative thesis. Then there will be times when you just want to give a strong opinion in your research paper.
How Long is a Thesis Statement?
The preferred length for a thesis statement is 1-2 sentences. Ideally, it should be in between 30-40 words.
The thesis statement is usually stated at the end of the essay introduction, just before the body paragraph.
Remember that a thesis statement is never a statement of fact. It is an important element that helps the readers understand what you discuss in your piece of writing. Therefore, you need to make sure that you create an arguable statement and not factual.
The reason why people choose to write about statements of facts is that they are easier to prove. When one chooses to talk about facts, it refrains them to show their analytical and critical thinking skills, which the instructor wants to see.
Thesis Statement vs Topic Sentence
The below table shows the differences between the thesis statement and the topic sentence.
How to Start a Thesis Statement?
Writing a thesis is an integral part of your essay outline . Here is a quick guide for learning how to start writing a thesis statement for an essay or research paper.
First, you need to formulate a research question that you want to answer. You can also figure out the question from the assignment prompt.
Do some initial research and formulate a convincing answer to your research question. At this stage, it should guide the research and writing process.
For example, if you want to write an argumentative paper, your answer should choose aside. In an argumentative thesis statement, you need to make a claim and state your position on the topic.
As you continue your research, the answer to this question will change as more sources and evidence come up. Keep refining what you are saying for your paper to make sense coherence-wise, so readers can understand everything from beginning until the end.
How to Write a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is a sentence that concisely describes your argumentative point of view. The five steps below will help you write a perfect one.
Your topic is what makes your paper unique. It should summarize the subject of your work in one or two sentences and help you stand out from other writers who may be tackling similar topics around this time.
A good way to persuade your readers is by giving them the main idea in one sentence. Try not to make it too long, because sometimes people get bored and leave without reading.
One of the most important things for your statement is to present a well-researched and logical argument. Your reasoning should be clear, concise, and evidence-based, with logical facts that support it.
To have a well-written thesis statement, you must include an opposing viewpoint. This counterargument should be written in response and addressed directly towards those who disagree with your opinion on the topic.
Thesis Statement Template
Thesis Statement Examples
The following are examples of interesting and creative thesis statements that will help you understand the concept better.
Example No. 1
This first example thesis statement will be about the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood.
“Not just empty stories for children, fairy tales reflect on the psychology of youngsters.”
As you can see in the example, the statement is not obvious, yet it beautifully delivers the paper’s essence.
Example No. 2
This next thesis statement is about a paper discussing the importance of saving whales.
“Due to our planet’s health being dependent on biological diversity, we need to save the whales.”
The thesis statement delivers the message while not being general. Saving whales is something that the audience has read about before, but this statement stirs up a bit by involving the planet’s health.
Example No. 3
This example will talk about the best government for Kenya.
“If the government decides to take over the industrial sector of Kenya, the industries will become more efficient.”
You see how well-executed this statement is. It delivers the message without being vague.
Example No. 4
Now, let’s make things a little different by giving you a longer example.
This statement is about the reasons behind the increase in celiac disease in the United States.
“Researchers are in the fact that the incidence of celiac disease is rising in the United States not only due to the rise in the awareness and ability to diagnose it but also due to the changes in the agriculture systems.”
You can see how this statement is longer yet not boring and generic.
These thesis statement examples will help you craft a strong thesis statement for a perfect start to an essay.
Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement
Writing a good thesis statement is important when writing any type of paper or essay. But it's even more crucial if you're trying to convince the readers of your point of view.
Here are some expert tips that can help you learn how to write a good thesis statement for an essay or any kind of other paper.
A weak thesis fails to be specific and makes the reader confused. For a strong thesis statement, try to settle for one main focus and then develop further.
There is no doubt that clarity is essential to writing a strong thesis statement. Do not lose the meaning and essence of the paper by throwing vague fancy words at the readers.
Unless you write about a technical topic, don’t use technical language. Also, avoid using jargon unless you are sure that your audience will understand what you are trying to communicate.
A good thesis statement tells the reader about the side or position you will be taking regarding the issue at hand. So, it is important to examine the topic in detail, focus on specific areas you want to cover, and support it with evidence.
Don’t be generic; take risks and surprise your reader. They have already gone through the basic ideas that have been discussed a million times. Get original and say something of your own.
Hopefully, the above guide and examples will help you create a strong thesis for your paper.
There is no doubt that a strong thesis statement is one of the most important features of every paper. Be it a 500-word essay or any other research paper, all need to write a good thesis statement to tell the audience what it is all about.
It is not just the direction of the paper that is reflected by the statement. However, it also helps the reader understand your viewpoint and get your opinion.
If you still wondering who can you pay to write my paper, you can contact us. Get the guidance that you need.
MyPerfectWords.com will write a perfect thesis statement to help you improve your grades.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 parts of a thesis statement.
A thesis statement has three parts: a limited subject, an opinion about that subject and the blueprint of reasons supporting your position.
What are common mistakes students make when writing a thesis statement?
Students usually make the following mistakes when writing their thesis statements.
- Use unclear sentences and phrases.
- An obvious statement that does not relate to the rest of the text.
- Incorrect language choices/misused words.
What are the qualities of a good thesis statement?
Here are some qualities of a good thesis statement.
- Ability to be argued
How do you know if a thesis statement is strong or weak?
A weak thesis will often leave the reader confused. A strong one should have the main focus and then go on to further detail or development to be understandable.
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What is a Thesis Statement?
Writing the thesis statement is one of the most important things when it is about thesis writing. But what is a thesis statement? How to write a thesis statement? What is the thesis statement example? If you are stumbling with your thesis writing, you are at the right place.
Today's article explains the concept of a thesis statement. A thesis statement is basically a one-sentence statement that puts the main idea of a thesis in a nutshell while explaining the purpose of the research. Ultimately, a thesis statement is the foundation of your dissertation essay upon which you construct the building of a thesis.
However, if this foundation is not strong enough, the building will be shaky. It's tricky to write a perfect thesis statement if you are a newbie. That's why researching properly before writing a thesis statement is recommended. Let's understand this concept.
Starting with the definition, a thesis statement is a single sentence that describes how the writer is going to interpret the subject matter under discussion. In a single sentence, it explains what a reader should expect from the succeeding discussion. The rest of the write-up gives arguments, opinions, supporting ideas, and logic for the thesis statement.
The importance of a thesis statement can be analyzed from the fact that it carries a certain number of marks in academic writing. Not only failing to mention it but also writing a weak thesis statement leads to the deduction of marks. To avoid any kind of risk, we must learn how to write it and make it concise, clear, and eye-catching. It may be difficult to write because summing a whole essay into a single statement is not an easy task. But as a proverb says.
How to Write a Thesis statement?
Now the question pops up, Which steps do we need to take to make a thesis statement strong? A study conducted by Research prospect states that out of 5, every 3 students lack proficiency in writing skills, which is a great number. Trying not to be among those three, let's learn how to write a thesis statement in 5 easy steps. First, we need to know that a good thesis statement is simple, concise, and adherent to the rest of the paper.
Step 1: Select the essay style:
This is the most important step as the type of thesis statement pursued varies surely with the type of essay you choose. Depending on the content, there are two types of essays. So, here are two further questions! What is a thesis statement from the perspective of an expository style essay, and how do write a thesis statement for expository essays? And what is thesis statement from the perspective of a persuasive style essay, and how to write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay?
While Focusing on the title of the topic, we need to answer the question in the title while writing the thesis statement. If it’s not a question, we shall assume the question in our minds. While keeping that question in mind, the answer to the question must support our argument in the rest of the paper (in the case of an argumentative essay).
This type of essay demands an argument of the writer, his personal opinion and support for a particular point of view. The thesis statement for such an essay must either give the opinion of the writer or clearly define which side of the argument the writer supports and the reason for it.
The next part of your thesis statement will give a logical reason for "why" or "how" you support a certain side of the argument.
It usually occurs at the concluding line of the introductory paragraph but can also be located at the beginning of an introductory paragraph or even middle.
In order to stay on track and avoid shifting your focus from the core idea of the essay, keep visiting your thesis statement while writing the essay.
A thesis statement is usually 1 or 2 sentences long. Too many lengthy statements are avoided to avoid the reader getting frustrated.
Finally, evaluate the thesis statement of this article. It's an expository one as it provides factual information and not the writer’s personal opinion or argument. It starts with the first basic step i.e answering the question of the title. Then gives a logical answer for "how".
The next part of the statement includes the summary of the rest of the information. Observing practically, it can be evaluated that the article contains no information other than the one, mentioned in the article.
Make a Thesis Statement via Mind-mapping
Mind maps are a visual articulation of your thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It helps you to contextualize your vision and draw inspiration from it to guide your direction of writing and craft the language and terminologies that will best express your vein of thought.
Mind mapping can work wonderfully to guide you in choosing an appropriate thesis statement for your essay. Mind-maps help develop an understanding of the text that you are trying to write. A visual map of ideas whether hand-drawn or done through computer software is a fun way of putting together all your ideas and assertions in one easy-to-read format.
This mapping of ideas will orient you towards the central theme or element of the essay that is crucial for you to highlight. This central idea is what needs to be communicated to the reader and therefore will determine the content and form of your thesis statement.
Here, you can choose EdrawMind to create your mind maps.
A thesis statement is an important part of writing that must be written while following the rules. It is an eye-catching part for the reader and the impression for the rest of the work depends on this as it occurs at the starting point. Substituting the statement with the proverb, "First impression is the last impression", a writer must stick to the thesis statement in whole writing.
Definition of thesis statement.
A thesis statement is a statement that occurs at the end of the introduction , after the background information on the topic. The thesis statement is connected with the background information through a transition , which could be a full sentence , or a simple transition word, such as therefore, because, but etc.
The thesis statement is called the “heart of the essay .” The idea of an essay without a thesis statement is akin to a body without its heart. It also is called the “central point” or the “core” of an essay. It is comprised of evidences that the writer uses to elaborate on his topic further. Each of these evidences is then elaborated and discussed in the body paragraphs .
If there are three body paragraphs, the thesis statement must have three evidences, and should it have more than three body paragraphs, may be additional evidences. In argumentative essays, three evidences support the topic, while the fourth evidence is against it. The same is the case of persuasive essays. This applies to five-paragraph essays, but in case of a longer essay, the thesis statement could make use of more than one sentence.
There is a slight controversy over the placement of a thesis statement. Some writers and professors argue that it could be placed in the first paragraph at the end, while others feel that, in longer essays, it is not possible to give background information in just one paragraph. As background information takes two or three paragraphs, the thesis statement is kept slightly larger, having two or three sentences, and is placed at the end of the second or third paragraph. However, in a five-paragraph essay, the thesis statement is always placed at the end of the introduction, after the background information.
Qualities of a Good Thesis Statement
- It must have evidences.
- It should be interesting.
- It should be limited.
- It should be manageable.
- It should be researchable.
Difference Between a Thesis Statement and Topic
Sometimes students confuse a thesis statement with a topic, mistaking the thesis statement as the very topic of the essay they are going to read. However, it must be kept in mind that a thesis statement is not a topic, but a brief explanation of the topic in a way that sets the direction of the essay. It predicts the path the essay will take, and tells readers how the essay is going to be organized, and what each part contains.
The topic, however, is a general idea of the essay. It is a specific topic, which has been organized by the thesis statement. The thesis statement in turn elaborates evidences to support to the topic.
Examples of Good and Bad Thesis Statements
- Bad Thesis Statement – “Social media is proving a good marketing tool.”
- Good Thesis Statement – “Social media is proving to be, not only a better marketing tool, but also a source of advertisement for short and medium enterprises intending to expand their consumer base.”
Examples of Thesis Statements in Literature
Example #1: dream on (by mark krikorian in national review online ).
“The core principal behind this amnesty proposal is that it is amid at those who have grown up here and are, psychologically and emotionally, Americans.”
This is the first sentence of the second paragraph. The second sentence further elaborates this thesis. It is placed in the second paragraph because the first paragraph introduces the controversial DREAM Act. As the writer is going to argue against the bill, he has stated his argument as to why he is going to oppose it. This is a very compact thesis statement with various implicit counter arguments.
Example #2: Editorial (by The Washington Post)
“There is no doubt that the attacks profoundly affected our country’s policy, politics, economics, society and even collective psychology. Moreover, in addition to sharing the immediate experience of September 9/11, Americans have dealt with its consequences in the years since.”
This is the best thesis statement with clear evidences in it. It is not as complicated as other thesis statements usually are.
Example #3: I Have a Dream (by Martin Luther King)
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Rights’ of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’.”
This is one of the best examples of long thesis statements. It highlights what Martin Luther King is going to speak about. It comes after three paragraphs of background information.
Function of Thesis Statement
A good thesis statement is the heart of an essay. It gives a gist of the thoughts a writer expresses in his essay. It determines the shape of the essay, predicts its content, and foreshadows its events. It narrates the whole story in just one sentence, provided the essay is a short one. Without a thesis statement, an essay is just a written piece, not an organized and well-connected essay
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How To Write An Essay
What Is A Thesis Statement
What is a Thesis Statement, and How is it Written? - Know Here
Published on: Nov 20, 2020
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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You ever wondered how important it is to write a perfect thesis statement for your essay or research paper? Well, it is as important as water is to the human body.
Getting the right thesis statement for your academic writing is everything. If the statement is correct, the whole essay will fall into place.
Take every step to ensure that your statement is perfect and appealing. Continue reading the blog to learn how to write a good thesis statement for your assignments.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is a sentence that communicates the key idea of an essay or a research paper. It is mandatory in essays such as argumentative essays , expository essays , analytical essays , etc.
It explicitly expresses the topic under discussion and is written for some specifically targeted readers. This statement is a part of your essay introduction and is used to build interest in the readers.
In other words, it describes your position in the essay. The purpose of a thesis statement is:
- It narrows downs the topic into a specific focus of research
- It sets a direction for the entire paper.
- It leads up to a conclusion.
- It is always to be presented on the topic.
- It is a stand that a writer takes and justifies the further argument.
It is not a typical statement with facts. However, it should be arguable and not factual. The reason behind it is that the factual statement can easily be proved.
It is impossible to write interesting essays and papers about facts. The purpose of writing is to show its instructor analytical and critical thinking skills, which is only possible by creating an argument.
Another characteristic is it always takes the side and stands and justifies the further argument in your work.
Thesis Statement and Topic Sentence
Apart from other elements of your research papers and essays, the two most common are a thesis statement and topic sentences. Students often confuse the two sentences, but in reality, they are remarkably different from each other.
As stated before, a thesis statement is the document's major argument on which the whole content is based. On the other hand, a topic sentence is an opening sentence of a paragraph that includes an idea that is to be discussed in that specific paragraph.
All the topic sentences in the body paragraphs collectively support the major statement.
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Types of Thesis Statements
Typically, differentiated on the explicitness of the statement, there are two types for your thesis statement. The types are:
- Direct Thesis Statement
- Indirect Thesis Statement
A type of statement provided gives the reader a clue about what a writer is going to discuss in his essay or paper. Let us discuss these two types in detail.
Direct Thesis Statement A direct thesis statement is a statement that explicitly indicates what your essay will discuss and talk about.
For Example: âPlastic bags are a major cause of cancer these daysâ. In this statement, it is pretty clear what your reasoning will be about. All of the information presented will support this argument.
Indirect Thesis Statement Unlike the direct thesis statement, the indirect statement doesn't explicitly indicate the idea that is going to be presented in the essay.
For Example: âPlastic bags cause major fatal disease. The disease will be discussed further in the essayâ . In this, the disease is not obvious, and people will have to read the essay to know about it..
Writing a Thesis Statement: Four Steps to Crafting an Effective Thesis
Following is a list of all the steps of writing a thesis statement!
Step 1: Start with a Question
The first step in developing a strong thesis statement is to start with a compelling question related to your essay topic. This question should be thought-provoking and invite further exploration. For example:
Question: How does social media impact mental health?
Step 2: Write Your Initial Answer
After pondering the question, formulate an initial answer or opinion that captures your stance on the topic. This initial answer will serve as the foundation for your thesis statement. Remember, it can be simple and subject to refinement later. For example:
Initial Answer: Social media has a negative impact on mental health.
Step 3: Develop Your Answer
Now it's time to delve deeper into your answer and develop a more nuanced understanding of your position. Conduct research, gather evidence, and analyze different perspectives to support your thesis statement.
This step will help you form the key arguments or points that will be explored in your essay. For example:
Developed Answer: The excessive use of social media has been linked to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem among users. Additionally, the constant exposure to unrealistic standards of beauty and comparison with others' curated lives on social media platforms contributes to negative mental health outcomes.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
In the final step, refine your thesis statement to make it clear, concise, and compelling. This refined statement should not only reflect your position but also provide a preview of the main points or arguments that will be discussed in your essay.
Consider the broader context and potential counterarguments to strengthen your thesis statement. For example:
Refined Thesis Statement: The excessive use of social media has a detrimental impact on mental health, leading to increased anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem. Furthermore, the pervasive culture of comparison and the unrealistic portrayal of lives on social media platforms contribute to these negative outcomes.
By following these four steps, you can create a strong and effective thesis that guides your essay and engages the reader. Remember to ensure your thesis statement is concise and coherent, setting the stage for a well-supported and focused essay.
The thesis statement of different essay types is written differently as the purpose of the essay differs. A thesis statement of some common essay types are written in the following way
- Argumentative Thesis Statement - The argumentative paper includes the main argument that a writer proves. In some cases, depending on the topic, there is more than one thesis statement.
- Analytical Thesis Statement - In an analytical essay highlights the in-depth analysis of a selected issue. In the introduction paragraph, tell your readers what your analysis is going to be about and how it will be done.
- Expository Thesis Statement - An expository thesis statement performs an explanatory function and describes an idea about the topic. In this, you simply explain to the reader what your main idea is.
The statements for research papers are written in the same manner. No matter what writing type is, an essay, or college research, it should clearly present the main argument and subject of your writing.
Instructors believe that a strong statement is the most important element of the document. It is specific and direct and points towards the conclusion. Do not make a weak thesis statement as it will simultaneously weaken the whole introduction and body paragraphs of an essay.
4. Thesis Statement Examples
In order to make you clear of the concept, we have gathered some thesis statement examples for your better understanding. Learn how statements for a research paper and essay are drafted to make your content impactful
Thesis Statement Examples for Research Papers
- Cyberbullying is the major cause of stress and anxiety among teenagers at this time. The common use of smartphones and social media has made children be part of this vicious crime of cyberbullying.
- More women should run for political office to get empowered. On a grassroots level, this can be done by educating women and telling them the need and importance of their power.
- It is important for teachers to tell students the difference between illegitimate and authentic news as digital literacy is growing, which is spreading misleading and deceiving information.
- Companies and corporations should lay extra emphasis on the rights and comfort of their employees to make the best out of them and making it easier for them to maintain a balance in their work and social life.
- Although teaching about a good and bad touch to students at school is helpful, parents should teach their children the meaning of consent in the early years of a childâs age.
Thesis Statement Examples for Essays
- Cultural diversity in the workplace leads to richer ideas for the betterment of the company, more cooperation, and empathy between different racial groups.
- Taylor Swift, being extremely influential, should run for political office to empower women as she has feminist perspectives, which are quite obvious from the lyrics she writes.
- Mercy killing should be legal as it is good to take people out of undue pain and struggle towards life when they know they will not survive.
- Fashion magazines are evolving and bringing forward diverse groups, but it has yet to break the stereotype of thin bodies as healthy images.
- Library culture is dying, and the state should preserve it as they are the best resource for communication.
Tips For Writing Thesis Statements
The thesis statement should be the central idea of your paper. It's not just any old sentence or phrase - it has to summarize what you will argue. Thus, readers can follow every step of its reasoning as well as understand why this point matters more than others.
Below are some tips you should follow for writing a strong thesis statement.
- Before you start writing your paper, you should choose a topic you are interested in or know about. It is much easier to write about a topic you are interested in and have researched than to write about something you know nothing about.
- You need to focus on your topic so that you can write a good paper on the subject. If your topic is too broad, you will need more time to write about it. But if your topic is narrower, you can prove it with less writing.
- Brainstorm the ideas and choose the good ones. Thus, you can easily create a great thesis statement.
- Donât write your point of view in the thesis statement.
In order to write a good statement, make sure you follow all the steps mentioned above to make your essay and research paper effective.
High school and college students who write an essay or do research for the first time have confusion and questions in their minds. If you are not sure of what to provide in your assignment, it is always advised to get a professionalâs help.
CollegeEssay.org provides assistance for all your academic assignment types. If you have trouble drafting any college essay type or research paper, get help from qualified writers from our expert essay writing service .
Simply connect with our expert writer ai by placing an order at the most reasonable price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 parts of a thesis statement.
The three parts of a thesis statement are:
- Limited subject
- Precise opinion
- Blueprint of reasons
What are the three qualities of a good thesis statement?
The three qualities of a good thesis statement are:
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.
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