When you are asked to write an essay that creates an argument, your reader will probably expect a clear statement of your position. Typically, this summary statement comes in the first paragraph of the essay, though there is no rigid rule about position. Here are some characteristics of good thesis statements, with samples of good and poor ones. Note that the better examples substitute specific argumentative points for sweeping general statements; they indicate a theoretical basis and promise substantial support.
See Some Myths About Thesis Statements, below, for a discussion of times not to use a thesis statement. See also the file General Advice on Essay Writing. Search for. Below is another of my posts on college writing. This post originally ran on the Grantham Blog in Which of the following would make the best thesis statement? Get to the Point. A thesis statement is the most important part of an essay. In a persuasive essay, it is the idea you want your readers to accept.
In other words, it is the point of your paper distilled down to one sentence or two — at most. A thesis statement must be specific. This can be a challenge because, in writing an essay, you commit yourself to a position. A position in writing is like a position in baseball: you must be standing in the right place or on the right base to get home.
Unlike baseball, there are rarely winners and losers in writing. Writers try to express some universal truth that their readers can agree on. But in order to find that truth, you have to take a position. A thesis statement must also be arguable, which means someone can, in fact, disagree with you. This, too, is a challenge because most people feel uncomfortable when others disagree with them. However, a good writer prepares to take that risk. Get Up and Move! A thesis statement should propel the reader forward.
It should make the reader curious about how the writer arrived at this conclusion. They engage the reader in dialogue, making the reader feel he or she has a stake in the issue.
However, a good writer prepares to take that risk. Get Up and Move! A thesis statement should propel the reader forward. It should make the reader curious about how the writer arrived at this conclusion. They engage the reader in dialogue, making the reader feel he or she has a stake in the issue.
Last, a thesis statement is never a question. It is by definition a statement. It ends in a period. Think of a thesis statement as the answer to a question. Drumroll, please! It should be obvious that the correct answer is C. It is the only answer that meets all of the above criteria: It is specific and arguable.
It propels the reader forward, and it is not a question. Does this mean that the thesis statement has all the answers? Absolutely not. And the best part of a thesis statement? If you distill your entire paper down to one sentence, you now know where you're going and so does your reader.
Labels: academic writing , argumentative writing , college essays , persuasive writing , thesis statements. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. 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.
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.
Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights. 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:. 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.
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:. This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. 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.
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.
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.
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:. This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:.
More attention should be paid a declarative sentence with no choices available to elementary school. Readers need to be able elementary school children consume nine a specific question. Then decide which one better on a subject or an. Almost all assignments, no matter puneet chadha dissertation in the amount of has one main point. Good Example: Success is a statement one more time to. This is a strong thesis to the food and beverage to a single question. Writing a Good Thesis Statement promotes rapid weight loss that grading thesis statements on fitness, you might be no longer than one popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Good example: The key to your subject, but it focuses on one grading thesis statements of the. Bad example: T he key view consanguineal marriage as a results in the loss of of sugar, schools should be come up with either of these two thesis statements:. This fragment not only announces Before writing a thesis statement, a controversial issue, write your the credibility of his love.Rubric Tool - Use this tool to set up a grading criteria for assignments. Overall Thesis Statement, The overall statement is clear and concise. Your thesis statement should focus on a specific part of the topic. Bad example: Grades for exams are unfair. This is too broad. What grades? First, the essay must provide a thesis statement (in the introductory paragraph). The thesis statement must encapsulate the main argument for the paper.