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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

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❶You 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.

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Anyone can look at a timeline and figure out that the War of came before the Civil War. This alternative version may not be historically correct, but it could definitely make a strong thesis statement if it were properly supported:.

The War of set into motion the main events that caused the Civil War. This example would be a strong thesis statement, because it is not obvious at first glance that the War of necessarily led to the Civil War at all. Therefore, this statement is not obvious and could merit a paper to be written about it. Sometimes you might find that your thesis statement is unclear. The judicial system needs to have power over Congress in order to do its job.

What does this statement mean? In which way does it need to have power over Congress? What is the job that judicial system cannot carry out without this power? The following statement clarifies the statement:. In order for the judicial system to judge whether a law is constitutional, it must have the power to overturn a temporary law of Congress. Take a look at this thesis statement:. People need to stay healthy for several important reasons.

Could you write a paper on this? Now take a look at a better example, which is much more specific:. Students must get sufficient sleep at night in order to succeed in school. This example is far too specific. Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message.

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. This thesis showed the reader the topic a type of sandwich and the direction the essay will take describing how the sandwich is made. 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. 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. 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. 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. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning.

I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.

How to Write a Thesis Statement: The Good and The Bad

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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. For students especially, crafting a thesis statement can be a.

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This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement.

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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. Examples of a good thesis sentence includes a summary of the writer's arguments about the subject of the written piece. A good thesis sentence answers a question that the body of the paper answers and explains in greater detail. The sentence should provide the reader with an overview of what the.

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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. A thesis statement should meet the following criteria: Be composed of a sentence or two towards the beginning of your paper (most likely in the first paragraph) Mention the main topic of your paper Explain what the rest of your paper will be about Make a statement that is not obvious (i.e., someone else may disagree with it before reading your.