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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Thesis Statement

❶The opening paragraph serves to set the context for the thesis.

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The structure of a thesis statement depends upon the nature of controlling essay type. In simple terms, first a thesis statement will have a main topic sentence formed from questioning it, then the writer's statement regarding the topic sentence, and finally ends with the specific supporting points detailing the writer's statement for justifying its relation with the topic sentence.

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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. 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.


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Thesis Statements What this handout is about This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.

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In composition, a thesis statement (or controlling idea) is a sentence in an essay, report, research paper, or speech that identifies the main idea and/or central purpose of the text. In rhetoric, a claim is similar to a thesis.

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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. The good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details. Analytical Essay Thesis Statements In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece.

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A good practice is to put the thesis statement at the end of your introduction so you can use it to lead into the body of your paper. This allows you, as the writer, to lead up to the thesis statement instead of diving directly into the topic. A thesis statement declares what you believe and what you intend to prove. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts. A good tentative thesis will help you focus your search for information.