Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is the sentence that states the main idea of a writing assignment and helps control the ideas within the paper. It is not merely a topic. It often reflects an opinion or judgment that a writer has made about a reading or personal experience. For instance: Tocqueville believed that the domestic role most women held in America was the role that gave them the most power, an idea that many would hotly dispute today.
What Makes a Strong Thesis Statement?
- A strong thesis statement gives direction to the paper and limits what you need to write about. It also functions to inform your readers of what you will discuss in the body of the paper. All paragraphs of the essay should explain, support, or argue with your thesis.
- A strong thesis statement requires proof; it is not merely a statement of fact. You should support your thesis statement with detailed supporting evidence will interest your readers and motivate them to continue reading the paper.
- Sometimes it is useful to mention your supporting points in your thesis. An example of this could be: John Updike’s Trust Me is a valuable novel for a college syllabus because it allows the reader to become familiar with his writing and provides themes that are easily connected to other works. In the body of your paper, you could write a paragraph or two about each supporting idea. If you write a thesis statement like this it will often help you to keep control of your ideas.
Where Does the Thesis Statement Go?
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. If you place the thesis statement at the beginning, your reader may forget or be confused about the main idea by the time he/she reaches the end of the introduction. Remember, a good introduction conceptualizes and anticipates the thesis statement.
Tips for Writing/Drafting Thesis Statements
- Know the topic. The topic should be something you know or can learn about. It is difficult to write a thesis statement, let alone a paper, on a topic that you know nothing about. Reflecting on personal experience and/or researching will help you know more information about your topic.
- Limit your topic. Based on what you know and the required length of your final paper, limit your topic to a specific area. A broad scope will generally require a longer paper, while a narrow scope will be sufficiently proven by a shorter paper.
- Brainstorm. If you are having trouble beginning your paper or writing your thesis, take a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind about your topic. Did you discover any new ideas or connections? Can you separate any of the things you jotted down into categories? Do you notice any themes? Think about using ideas generated during this process to shape your thesis statement and your paper.
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Importance of a Thesis Statement
Starting college can be extremely scary with all of the new concepts being thrown at you. It is a whole new way of living and the work can be very different. Writing is crucial to many college classes. Unlike high school level writing, college level writing can be a bit more thorough. Professors tend to look for key elements in your essays. One of the most essential parts to any essay is the thesis statement. Learning how to form a thesis statement is very important. A thesis statement is an imperative trait to form a strong essay. Normally one or two sentences, a thesis unifies and provides direction for a piece of writing.
There are two main reasons why thesis statements are so important for an essay.
- First, the writer develops a thesis to create a focus on an essay’s main idea. It is important for the writer to be able to write the main idea in a few sentences to create a clear idea for the paper. Not only does the thesis guide the reader, but also the writer. The thesis provides direction to help the writer keep their paper organized.
- Second, having a well-crafted thesis statement helps the reader understand the main idea of the essay. The thesis statement sets the reader up for the rest of the essay. Usually at the end of the introduction paragraph, the thesis leads into the body paragraph, which provides evidence and ideas to back up the thesis. The thesis statement is important because it tells the audience what they will be reading about.
Because thesis statements are essential in any essay, it is important for writers to understand what makes up a solid thesis. As the basis of an essay, a thesis must support three things: audience, purpose, and content. This basically just means answer who, why, and what in your thesis. Who are you writing this thesis for? Be sure to identify the audience to clarify who your paper is for. Why are you writing this thesis? Establish a purpose to ensure that the reader knows the direction of your paper. What will be included in this thesis? Determine the key points of your essay and include them in your thesis.
Here is a comparison to help you understand the importance: The role of a thesis statement is like the role of the sun in the solar system. Just as the planets orbit the sun in the solar system, the different parts of an essay orbit the thesis statement. The planets feed off of the sun, just like the body paragraphs and conclusion feed off of the thesis.
Your audience should be able to easily find the thesis in your essay. The thesis statement should be clear and concise so the reader can identify it and efficiently understand the meaning of the paper. If someone can’t find the thesis in your essay, go back and make sure that you created a meaningful and well-understood thesis.
All styles of writing are different, but a strong thesis is something that they all share.