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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

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❶Research the topic, write down some bullet points and notes on the main evidence. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

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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. 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.

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. 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. The goal of this step is to find a particular narrow subject in your topic which you can make an argument about. For example, take the topic of computers.

There are many aspects of computers that can be expanded on such as hardware, software, and programming. However, vague topics like these do not make good theses. But something more narrow, such as the effects of Steve Jobs on the modern computer industry, allows for a much clearer focus.

Know the type, purpose, and audience of the paper. These are usually assigned by the instructor, but even if you get to choose them, you must understand that these will affect your thesis statement considerably. If you are writing a persuasive paper, your purpose will be to prove something to a specific group.

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 The argument s you make in your paper should reflect this main idea.

The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement. A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused.

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. Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible. Normally you will continue to refine your thesis as you revise your argument s , so your thesis will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a better sense of where your argument is taking you.

Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface. The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis.

Compare this original thesis too general with three possible revisions more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic:. Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean.

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.


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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.

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Tip: 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.

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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. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. 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.

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