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How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement for Your Paper

Aug 07, 2018

For those who want to know how to write a thesis statement, we have compiled this how-to with mainly one objective in view: to help you master your writing skills and find detailed answers regarding writing your thesis statement. First things first: what makes writing a thesis statement so challenging? Why is a thesis statement important? Being an integral part of the introductory section, a thesis statement is an effective tool for putting forth the main idea of your paper clearly. An academic essay is a well-structured piece of writing controlled by the main idea. It is written with the attempt either to affirm the concept as true or to verify it. The main idea is generally grasped from the thesis statement.

Let’s say, the topic is “Diversity in a workplace.” Now, in your thesis statement, you may bring out an opinion that diversity in a workplace is counterproductive for the company’s performance. You may refine your concept with another sentence or two clarifying your opinion. It may explain what you mean by “counterproductive” or on which aspects of productivity it has a negative impact. Yet, avoid giving biased viewpoints. You should strictly sidestep subjective assertions of any kind in the academic circles altogether. Your thesis statement is the opinion you should enforce. Support your arguments by the evidence you have found as a part of the study.

The main body of the text is where you thematize that evidence. In the premises part, you should explain why the topic is important in the first place and why you as the author suggest this particular thesis statement. Use the answer to that question to identify the topic. Then you go on to write the main body of the text. The central part of the paper should also be built around your thesis statement. Or, to be more precise, it is where you support it. It is also essential that you refer to it in each of your body paragraphs. You should clearly emphasize and point your argument back to what you said you were going to prove with the thesis statement. Ultimately, you will likely want your thesis statement to tie together the arguments stated in the main part of your essay (these arguments prove your thesis statement to be correct).

There is another important tip for you to consider when working on your thesis statement. You should select the right place for your thesis statement to be at. Typically, it goes at the end of your introductory paragraph, which is usually the first one in your paper. If you are working on a complex assignment with several opening paragraphs, placing the thesis sentence near the beginning of your paper is what you should go for. Whereas the first paragraph may be entirely focused on general information related to the subject, you should place your thesis statement toward the beginning of the second introductory paragraph. It should by no means be introduced in any of your paper’s body paragraphs.

Now, that we understand what a thesis statement is and where it should be located, let’s delve into the subject and take a look at what an effective thesis statement is made of.

Tips for creating an effective thesis statement

In fact, writing an effective thesis statement is a challenge even for those students who have no problems doing academic assignments on their own. But what is the secret behind a solid thesis sentence? What is an effective thesis statement? Go on reading to learn simple yet practical tips for writing a good thesis statement.

In fact, a solid thesis statement should avoid any biased viewpoints. Misleading, subjective or deceptive statements like “I don’t like Jazz” or, for instance, “Jazz is bad” are generally prohibited. Such statements cannot be proved with reason, that’s why you should avoid them. Well, you don’t like Jazz, so what? A credible thesis statement should be readily demonstrative, and provable by evidence.

For instance, in a thesis statement for a history essay, you could pass an opinion that Josef Stalin had orchestrated the beginning of the Second World War on the Soviet territory. Still, you are expected to back this statement up. If there’s no factual evidence to a statement, you should not go for it at all because it hardly seems credible or provable.

Another example of a thesis sentence, which comprises the subjective components of the believability is “Stalin was wrong.” Be it right or wrong, it is always in the eye of the beholder, whereas trustworthiness and expertise is quite a different beast. That is why you cannot say that someone is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. To persuade your readers, you should draw upon verified facts. Yet, the vigor of your argument will also depend upon how plausible your interpretations of those facts are.

Another factor you should consider in this context is how tightly your thesis statement is focused on the topic. In the first place, make sure your subject is closely related to the topic. Pay extra attention to how and what you do around them and make sure that the thesis statement is precise and short. Digest, do not get into details. So, speaking of a completely adequate thesis sentence, consider this one: “Washing your hands is an effective method to prevent illnesses and reduce the spread of infections.” However, you would negate the effectiveness of your thesis by going into more detail: “Washing your hands is an effective method to prevent illnesses and reduce the spread of infections because the majority of bacteria are washed away with water, and even more are removed with soap.” You should back up this statement by supporting arguments and figures in the next paragraphs. Generally speaking, you should stick to the point and state a case. You don’t mention how you are going to prove something or why it is one way or another.

Thesis Statements Writing FAQ and More Tips!

Indeed, there are more tips and examples for writing thesis statements we would like to share with you. Check these frequently asked questions regarding thesis statements we are asked by our readers and the answers that we have prepared:

What should a thesis avoid?

A good thesis should give a wide berth to any biased viewpoints and unreasonable wordiness.

What should you write in a well-crafted thesis statement and what should you omit?

A good thesis statement should be restricted to a (generally) one-sentence summary of the main point of your paper.

Can a thesis statement be a fact?

By no means. A fact requires no proving whatsoever, and thus we cannot dedicate an entire paper to it. Yes, we could name or state it, but it requires no argumentation. On the contrary, a fact can be an argument in support of your thesis statement.

Can a thesis statement be longer than one sentence?

In some cases, it can be longer. But unless necessary, you should keep your thesis statement short – no longer than just one sentence.

Can a thesis statement be written as a question?

No, it can’t be a question. The very word “statement” excludes such an option.

Is a thesis statement only one sentence?

In the majority of cases, it is. But there are particular situations when you have to extend it to two or even more sentences if your paper’s main idea cannot be covered by only one.

Do thesis statements have to be argumentative?

It depends on your paper’s type. If you need to argue a position or persuade somebody, you should make your thesis statement argumentative.

What should a thesis statement contain?

It should provide your viewpoint, and identify the purpose of your paper clearly. But, don’t forget that it also depends on the type of writing.

How to start a good thesis statement?

In fact, there is no start to take. You just get right to the point and avoid vagueness. It has neither introductory part nor summary, so concise it is.

What are the types of thesis statements?

Structure-wise, there are direct and indirect thesis statements. An indirect thesis statement is a bare statement bereft of any argumentation, whereas a direct thesis statement should very briefly identify the proving system, through which you are going to make out your case.

An example of a direct thesis statement:The four major qualities that a student has to possess to succeed in studying are advanced time management skills, an inquisitive mind, out-of-the-box thinking, and resilience.

An example of an indirect thesis statement:Nowadays, to be a successful student, you have to possess specific qualities; otherwise, the chances to fail at studying increase manifold.

But, when it comes to different paper styles, three more thesis statement types can be defined: expository, argumentative and analytical.

When you analyze something, you usually try to get to the bottom line and answer such questions as “why” and “how.” Hence, your thesis statement would also answer those questions. The most common mistake here is making your thesis statement too broad.

Bad analytical thesis statement:Environmental situation is worsening each day.”

Good analytical thesis statement:The level of air pollution in Shanghai threatens to reach dangerous levels by 2020 because of the continuous increase of petrol-powered vehicles in the city.”

The expository (also called explanatory) type’s primary goal is to acquaint the reader with something. When working on your thesis statement, be sure to include every part of the topic you want to focus on.

Bad expository thesis statement:Fixed-wing aircraft were invented because they wanted to travel to farther locations, change the methods of warfare and experience the flight.”

Good expository thesis statement:The invention of fixed-wing aircraft changed the world, allowing people to traverse long distances in a short period.”

And lastly, we have the argumentative writing. Here, you usually want to convince the reader (by using evidence and facts) that the position you’re taking or a claim is valid. The thesis statement tells what your opinion is and what proof you use.

Bad expository thesis statement:Basic Income Guarantee is a good program.”

Good expository thesis statement:The government should consider implementing basic income because of its potential to reduce poverty, establish gender equality, increase employment rate, and ensure overall economic growth.”

Recognizing a Poor Thesis Statement

Let us have a look at a weak thesis statement to understand what went wrong and why. Here are a few examples of bad thesis statements:

  • John is wrong;
  • Summer is a bad season;
  • I won’t go to Spain this month;
  • I hate skiing.

“But why is this sentence not a thesis statement?” – Some of our readers would ask such a question regarding one of these statements. Well, all these statements are impossible to prove right or wrong because, in fact, it is a mere set of beliefs. They contain opinions, guesses, and emotions. You cannot nail down or knock the bottom out of these arguments by factual evidence or logic. Thus, they cannot serve as thesis statements. There is nothing left to say after you make such a statement. “John is wrong.” Well, so what? What can we add? Swear and roar frightfully at most? To cut a long story short, nick down that a thesis statement is not a judgment or a personal opinion with no evidence to back it up.

Examples of poor thesis statements:

Too frantic:In case vegans are careless with what they eat, they might put their health at risk.”

Fixed:There are vegan diets that are healthy; however, they must ensure that those include all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.”

Too generalized:A lot of museums have improved visiting experience over the last decade.”

Add more specificity:Increasingly, museums and galleries are implementing virtual and augmented reality technologies to improve the visiting experience.”

Too one-sided:The nuclear weapons are one of the worst things people have invented.”

More focused:While many believe that nuclear weapons are tools of war deterring, I think its sole existence is threatening humanity with extinction.”

What Makes Up a Good Thesis Statement?

Well, a good thesis statement is a brief, down to the point statement you should back up by arguments and evidence. A thesis statement should be arguable. There are very few set-in-stone rules as to how to write a well-crafted thesis statement. Yet, there are certain elements to omit. It should be much easier for you to come up with a good one after you take a look at a few examples of thesis statements down below!

5 Thesis Statement Examples One Should Keep in Mind

To help you get an even clearer outlook, here are five thesis statement examples:

  • Mixed secondary education is more effective than single-sex education;
  • War is counterproductive from the economic point of view;
  • War is good for the economic development of the countries involved;
  • Daily jogging is an effective method of preventing arthritis;
  • There is a clear correlation between smoking and the reproductive health of both men and women.

Where to Find Thesis Statement Help

On every campus, there are students, however, for whom writing is a nightmare. Despite thinking it all out well and proper, they can’t come up with a well-crafted thesis sentence. And that’s where we turn in to make all the difference! No more hellish nights when you are looking for thesis statement help. Our experts are happy to offer you their assistance. Feel free to contact us in a way that is most comfortable for you and rest assured. We’ll take a load off your mind almost instantly!

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Home > Blog Posts >How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

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  • By Sally Baggett
  • Under Blog Posts

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.

Idea word bubble What is a “thesis statement” anyway?

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.

write strong thesis statement 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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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.

Thesis statement styles  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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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 strong thesis statement 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.

Checklist 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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Sally Baggett

About The Author

Sally Baggett

Sally B. is a college instructor, writing tutor, proofreader, and writer. Writing is her life. She holds a master’s in literature, teaching basic writing at the college level and tutoring in writing at all levels. She also is a literature instructor, inspiring students to love what they read so that writing about it is more fun. She enjoys cooking with her family and assisting others in achieving their dreams.

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How to Write a Good Thesis Statement

How to Write a Good Thesis Statement

How to Write a Good Thesis Statement

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The value that a good thesis statement holds in any type of writing is irrefutable. Whether you’re writing an argumentative, persuasive or comparison paper, speech or research paper; you will need to have a thesis statement. You can have a section within your paper specifically dedicated to the thesis statement, or if it is a short paper that you’re writing, that is, with fewer paragraphs – you can have a list of two or more points.

A thesis statement is meant to serve two primary purposes:

Guide the writer:

  • Makes your paper have a certain structure and a point to pass across
  • Create a hook to hang your sentences on: it’s what draws your readers
  • Establish the focus and clearly bring out your main points

Blueprint for your reader:

  • Engages readers to the main arguments
  • Draws and keeps them focused on the main points
  • Serves as a ‘map’ for reading through the paper

So, how does one go about writing a strong thesis statement? It is a process that requires one to fully have a comprehension of what a thesis is, the two types, qualities, and strategies to developing a good thesis statement.

What is a Thesis Statement?

So, what is a thesis statement? You have often come across students, especially seniors, talking about a ‘thesis’ – this is entirely different from a thesis statement. A thesis also commonly referred to a dissertation, is a long essay paper containing personal research written by a college student in the quest to getting a degree. A thesis statement, on the other hand, is a claim, fact or argument that you intend to approve or disapprove in your essay.

Writing a good thesis statement all boils down to thoroughly understanding the type of ‘claim’ that you’re trying to assert to your readers. The type of claim dictates the focus and direction your paper will take.

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Types of Claims for Thesis Statements

Cause and Effect

The thesis statement is argumentative highlighting how a particular person, or event has caused certain things to transpire.

Example:

Prolonged smoking can lead to lung cancer

Fact or Definition

The thesis statement attempts to bring out the meaning to something or in other scenarios reaffirm or contradict a stated fact.

Example:

Life forms exist outside earth

Policies or Solutions

The thesis statement, in this case, argues for or against certain policy or solution approaches in solving problems.

Example:

GMOs are the solution to the existing food shortages globally

Claims about Value

The thesis statement highlights whether a particular thing has value or otherwise. It also shows how we have rated or categorized certain issues or things.

Example:

Global warming is a serious and worldwide problem

Types of Thesis Statements

The nature of the essay you are writing has a significant effect on the thesis statement that you’ll use. Just as there are different kinds of essays so are there thesis statements. We have three categories of essays: expository, analytical and argumentative.

The thesis statement will take the form of the essay. However, certain pieces cannot be categorized into either of the three, but still, the approach to writing the thesis statement is the same. The following are some types of thesis statements:

Persuasive Thesis Statement

A persuasive thesis statement is a compelling thesis statement, which can also be termed as being argumentative, strives to show your readers an accurate claim which you back with evidence. For a majority of essays, be they policy, compare and contrast , narrative or argumentative, the thesis statement is often persuasive. It is so because your piece gives an opinion or claim and an explanation on why.

Example:

Swimming is the best form of exercise because it allows you to exercise all your body muscles and it’s fun.

The goal of the essay is to show readers why swimming is an excellent form of exercise. My opinion will be ‘best form of exercise,’ I have then gone ahead and justified my opinion with a couple of reasons ‘exercise all your body muscles, and it is fun.’

Informative Thesis Statement

Expository or informative essays have an informative kind of thesis statement. Your thesis statement explains or informs and guides your reader to the conclusion that you’ve made with regards to a particular event, issue or individual.

Example

To exercise all body muscles at once, you can take up swimming as a form of exercise.

The subject of your essay is ‘exercising body muscles,’ the focus your essay will take – ‘showing your audience how swimming can be the best exercise to take up.’

Analytical Thesis Statement

An analytical paper is more focused on research. It breakdowns issues or ideas, giving a more detailed explanation and evaluation to your audience.

Example:

An analysis of global warming effects and the challenges facing a reduction of greenhouse gases emission.

The paper will give an analysis of the effects of global warming and the challenges facing those trying to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which is among the leading causes of global warming.

Creating a Good Thesis Statement

Coming up with a thesis statement is a process that requires much thought. You cannot have a thesis statement just by reading the essay topic. Before settling on a particular line of thinking or argument, you need to have evidence to back it up. Therefore, you will need to collect the necessary information, identify existing relationships if there are any, and see the significance of the information that forms the basis of your argument. This process will help you develop a “working thesis.” ‘Working’ because as you proceed with your paper, you are likely to make adjustments to it.

Qualities of a Good Thesis Statement

Specific

A thesis statement is not too general but rather narrowed down such that it leads to a particular line of thinking. You will also be keen to limit your thesis statement to what can be accomplished within the essay. Being general will make your essay not have much relevant or important information. Being specific allows a writer to give valuable information.

Original

Originality is a key issue when it comes to writing. In fact, it is an offense to reproduce someone else’s work. For students, it can negatively impact on their academic performance and in some cases get them suspended from school. A strong thesis statement is one that you develop on your own. A good thesis statement is one that avoids the use of formula statements and generic arguments.

Clarity

Your thesis statement needs to be clear such that anyone reading your paper can quickly see it. You need to avoid any misunderstandings, which implies that you cannot assume that your reader will automatically understand your sentence. This means that if there are any words that need defining, ensure that you do so. Therefore, be very clear avoiding any vagueness while stating your thesis statement.

States Your Position

A thesis statement as defined, is an opinion or stance that you will be taking. Therefore, this means that any good thesis statement does not just introduce the topic but lets your reader see the position or claim that you’re making in relation to that subject. Your position should not be general but specific; it also shouldn’t be a universal or self-evident argument. Give your readers a reason to read your paper!

The Position of Your Thesis Statement

Place your thesis statement at the beginning of your paper. Not specifically in the first paragraph, it could be in the second paragraph of your article if you are writing a long paper. Importantly, let it be evident such that anyone reading your paper can clearly see your argument. Placing it at the beginning of your paper gives it a sense of direction.

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Strategies for Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

Hint 1: Using a Formula to derive a thesis statement

A formula statement is an option to use while developing your thesis statement. However it’s not specific enough and will require adjustments as you proceed with writing

Example of templates

Even though majority of readers ______ have argued that ______, detailed examination shows that ______.

___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Hint 2: Have a sentence that recaps the main points of the essay

Hint 3: If your paper entails answering a question, then turn your question to an assertion and validate your arguments.

Hint 4: Developing a thesis statement is a thinking process that takes time. After thoroughly understanding the subject of your essay, list down the most important point and eventually what you have is an organizational plan, which shows you what the thesis statement can be.

Conclusion

A thesis statement is a crucial part of your paper, and therefore it is very important that you get it right. A good thesis statement gives your paper a sense of direction that will not only make it easy for you to write it but also a blueprint for your readers. To write a good thesis statement, it is vital that you have a thorough understanding of certain aspects that include the subject of your essay, what a thesis statement is and the different types. There are different approaches that one can take as shown by the different strategies. Have a specific, original, and precise thesis statement that will not leave your readers wondering what your objective or argument in the paper was.

When in doubt, you can always seek the help of your supervisor or tutor. Having a strong thesis statement takes effort and skill, you need all the assist you can get if you’ve not mastered how to develop one.

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