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How to Write a Thesis Statement

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

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These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible. Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear:.

Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops. Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas.

Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning. Use your own words in thesis statements; avoid quoting. Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader.

You will lose credibility as a writer if you become only a mouthpiece or a copyist; you will gain credibility by grabbing the reader with your own ideas and words. A well-crafted thesis statement reflects well-crafted ideas. It signals a writer who has intelligence, commitment, and enthusiasm.

Center for Writing Studies: Quick Links Home Search Contact. How long does it need to be? In order to write a successful thesis statement: Avoid burying a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph or late in the paper.

Be as clear and as specific as possible; avoid vague words. Are there two large statements connected loosely by a coordinating conjunction i. Would a subordinating conjunction help i. Or do the two statements imply a fuzzy unfocused thesis?

If so, settle on one single focus and then proceed with further development. Is your thesis statement too general? Compare this original thesis too general with three possible revisions more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic: There are serious objections to today's horror movies.

Because modern cinematic techniques have allowed filmmakers to get more graphic, horror flicks have desensitized young American viewers to violence. The pornographic violence in "bloodbath" slasher movies degrades both men and women. Today's slasher movies fail to deliver the emotional catharsis that s horror films did. Is your thesis statement clear? In order to be as clear as possible in your writing: Unless you're writing a technical report, avoid technical language. Always avoid jargon, unless you are confident your audience will be familiar with it.

Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear: Although the timber wolf is a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated.

Although the timber wolf is actually a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold-blooded killer. If you are writing a descriptive paper, your purpose will be to describe something to a specific group. Each of these must be expressed in your thesis somehow.

Follow a rigid structure. Knowing the basic formulas will not only keep your thesis within the acceptable length but it will also help you see how your entire argument should be organized. Your thesis should contain two parts: A clear topic or subject matter A brief summary of what you will say Another way of looking at a thesis is as a formula, or a pattern, that comfortably holds your ideas: Because [reason s ], [something] [does something]. Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something].

The last example includes a counter-argument, which complicates the thesis but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all counter-arguments against your thesis. Write down your thesis. You will be able to think about your thesis logically , clearly, and concisely.

There are two schools of thought on thesis timing. Some people say you should not write the paper without a thesis in mind and written down, even if you have to alter it slightly by the end.

The other school of thought says that you probably won't know where you're going until you get there, so don't write the thesis until you know what it should be. Do whatever seems best to you. Analyze your thesis statement once you think you have a final, or working, version. The point is to make sure you avoid making any mistakes that can weaken your thesis.

To get a better idea of what to do and what to avoid, consider the following pointers: Never frame your thesis as a question. A thesis is not a list. Keep it concise and brief. Never mention a new topic that you do not intend to discuss in the paper.

Do not write in the first person. Using sentences such as, "I will show Do not be combative. The point of your paper is to convince someone of your position, not turn them off, and the best way to achieve that is to make them want to listen to you.

Express an open-minded tone, finding common ground between different views. Realize that your thesis does not have to be absolute. Consider it a "working thesis" that's subject to change. As you write your paper you may find that your opinion changes or that your direction has veered slightly. So make sure to continuously re-read your thesis, comparing it to your paper and making the appropriate changes so the two match. Once your paper is finished, go back to your thesis and determine if it needs another revision.

You state your thesis at the beginning, usually at the end of the introductory paragraph. You restate your thesis in one or two sentences at the end, typically at the beginning of your conclusion. Not Helpful 7 Helpful Would this be a good thesis?

No, that is not a complete sentence and you're not supplying a purpose. Why are you doing those things or why are those things important? Not Helpful 10 Helpful Would this be a good thesis: The consumption of alcohol has negative effects by altering the neurotransmitters, behavior and the developing brain?

Make it a little more broad because you don't want to give your evidence before you can put it into context. Not Helpful 21 Helpful Just start writing about the topic, and once you've gotten a paragraph or two, just write a summary statement of what you've written.

You can always modify your thesis statement as you go, but the pressure is off and the direction is stated. Not Helpful 18 Helpful How to write a thesis statement if the topic is "My Dream Career of being a doctor"? If the dream came true, the thesis statement "although, passing through struggles the dream to serve the nation in a noble uniform of doctor is now the reality. Not Helpful 12 Helpful Would "The globalisation impacts negatively on the local culture" be a good thesis statement?

This is not descriptive enough. Work in a little more detail to lengthen it. Not Helpful 9 Helpful Would this be a good thesis statement? Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. How do I build a thesis title regarding increased revenue collections? Research the topic, write down some bullet points and notes on the main evidence. Then, from all the information, write a broad thesis statement. Not Helpful 17 Helpful What would the thesis statement for this title be: Small businesses should have websites to help with their business promotion.

Not Helpful 25 Helpful What would be my thesis if my selected topic is on why climate change is so difficult to deal with? That's up to you.

You are supposed to research and come up with a reason why you think climate change is difficult to deal with. Not Helpful 8 Helpful 8.


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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. 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.

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Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write. Main Idea: The second thesis has an argument: Eleanor Roosevelt "recreated" the position of First Lady, and a three-part structure with which .

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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. 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.

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Developing A Thesis 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. You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph -- in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction. Tip: In order to write a successful thesis statement.