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How to Write a Thesis Statement

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❶Not all essays persuade, and not all essays teach. First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement


Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy. This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: 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.

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. Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.

Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay. However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think.

We also have guides to help anyone make APA citations for books, websites, and other sources. Informative and Persuasive Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.

Example of weak thesis: Example of a stronger thesis: Writing is her life. She holds a master's in literature, teaching basic writing at the college level and tutoring in writing at all levels.

She also is a literature instructor, inspiring students to love what they read so that writing about it is more fun. She enjoys cooking with her family and assisting others in achieving their dreams. 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 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:


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If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you .

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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. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.

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A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes: take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree deal with a subject that can be .