How to Write a Good Thesis Statement

 

a thesis statment

The thesis statement serves as the organizing principle of the text and appears in the introductory paragraph. It is not a mere statement of fact. Rather, it is an idea, a claim, or an interpretation, one that others may dispute. 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. Most importantly, a good thesis statement makes a statement. After all, it’s called a thesis statement for a reason! “This is an interesting statement!” you want your reader to think. “Let’s see if this author can convince me.” This blog post will dissect the components of a good thesis statement and give you 15 thesis statement.


Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips // Purdue Writing Lab


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

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 a thesis statment 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 a thesis statment case in writing, a thesis statment. 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.

If your assignment asks you to a thesis statment 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, a thesis statment. 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. 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 a thesis statment as surprising a thesis statment or similaritiesand think about the significance of these relationships.

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. 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 :. Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. You turn on the computer and type out the following:.

This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. How are they the same? How are they different? Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence, a thesis statment, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life.

You write:. Now you have a working thesis! Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason, a thesis statment. As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely, and your working thesis may start to seem too vague. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, and that they just focused on different moral issues, a thesis statment.

You end up revising the working thesis into a final thesis that really captures the argument a thesis statment your paper:.

Compare this to the original weak thesis. This final thesis presents a way of interpreting evidence that illuminates the significance of the question. Keep in mind that this is one of many possible interpretations of the Civil War—it is a thesis statment the one and only right answer to the question. Why is this thesis weak? But the question did not ask you to summarize; it asked you to analyze. First, the question asks you to pick an aspect of the novel that you think is 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.

What does it signify? Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters. After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:. 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. 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 a thesis statment, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. Anson, Chris M. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers.

New York: Longman, Ruszkiewicz, John J. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers, a thesis statment. Lunsford, Andrea A.

The St, a thesis statment. Ramage, John D. Bean, and June Johnson. New York: Pearson, Make a Gift. Thesis Statements.

 

Thesis Statements - The Writing Center

 

a thesis statment

 

Most importantly, a good thesis statement makes a statement. After all, it’s called a thesis statement for a reason! “This is an interesting statement!” you want your reader to think. “Let’s see if this author can convince me.” This blog post will dissect the components of a good thesis statement and give you 15 thesis statement. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper. 4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper. Thesis Statement Examples. Example of an analytical thesis statement. This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for your draft. This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for your draft.