Writing a thesis statement may seem to be an impossible task at first. There’s a good reason for that! It may not be simple to convey the idea of the whole essay in one or a couple of sentences. But no worries! With the right guidance, it can be done easily. With practice, it will become as easy as pie. But a beginner will find a lot of valuable information in this article.
What Is a Thesis Statement?
So, how should you understand the notion of a thesis statement? Just remember, a thesis is the key to understanding the whole essay. It is one or a couple of sentences placed at the end of the introductory part of an essay. It is a core idea of the writing, or the central argument, which tells the reader what the paper is about and demonstrates the author’s viewpoint.
A thesis statement:
- one or couple of sentences in the end of the introductory part
- tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion
- tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper
- directly answers the main question of the essay
- makes a claim that is debatable
Why Is a Thesis Statement Important in an Essay?
Even if you do not know how to generate a strong thesis statement, you cannot omit this essential paper element. It should be very specific and well-thought-out. Try perceiving it as a guide both for you and your readers because a thesis statement:
- Presents the main idea of a paper
- Expresses your position regarding the essay topic
- Serves as a road map to your essay
- Helps to better organize and develop your arguments in a paper.
What Is a Strong Thesis Statement?
Generating a strong thesis statement means that it meets the essential requirements. Students often ask "How do I Know that My Thesis Statement Is Strong?". Luckily, there is a checklist you can follow while working on this element of a paper. You can use these tips and thesis statement examples while working on your next paper.
- Clear. The idea implied in the thesis statement should not be ambiguous.
Weak thesis: Some students are opposed to wearing a uniform.
Strong thesis: Studies show that wearing uniforms has a positive impact on students’ performance.
- Focused and specific.
Weak thesis: Extreme diets are harmful.
Strong thesis: Instagram influencers who promote extreme dieting habits should be banned as they communicate a dangerous lifestyle to a large audience.
- Concise. Wordiness and fancy phrases may only bring confusion. Weak thesis: The preliminary research provided by selective scientists underlines the necessity of being exposed to the appropriate stress level to demonstrate an increasing level of performance.
Strong thesis: The research results show that exposure to the appropriate stress level increases performance.
- Original. Searching for inspiration can be useful, but don’t forget that your thesis should be original.
Weak thesis: Google is making us stupid.
Strong thesis: Technological progress may extend the mental capacity when approached with caution.
- Debatable and thought-provoking. Restating a general truth never works well.
Weak thesis: Alcohol is harmful to students’ health.
Strong thesis: Binge drinking among college students is the result of various psychological factors and lack of support from the campus staff.
- Expresses and focuses on one main idea.
Weak thesis: Wars, racism, child abuse, and substance abuse should be addressed immediately.
Strong thesis: Teachers should be attentive to children with signs of abuse as it results in psychological issues and the inability to adapt to society.
- Explains your position on the essay topic.
Weak thesis: Obtaining a college degree may either have a positive impact on your future or not.
Strong thesis: Getting a college degree increases the chances of having a fulfilling career and financial stability.
- Corresponds to the topic of the paper.
The topic is the suffrage movement.
Weak thesis: Women deserve equality in the workplace.
Strong thesis: The women's suffrage movement inspired future generations of women to fight for equality.
- Answers So what? How and Why? questions.
Weak thesis: Illinois’ understaffed nursing homes should be fined.
Strong thesis: New Illinois’ legislation regarding nursing homes’ staff will have a positive effect on the level of care, eliminate human rights violations, and decrease the number of deaths by severe control and proper fines.
What Should I Include and Avoid in a Thesis Statement?
Before you start writing a thesis statement for your paper, make sure that you understand what its format should be. Also, it is crucial to know the key components that make a strong thesis statement.
What to include?Check the component that make a strong thesis statememnt:
- 1-3 sentences
- One main idea
- Key aspects of the topic
- Your position regarding the topic
- Concluding idea.
What to Avoid?
Students who are confident in researching information and creating a compelling piece of writing still sometimes struggle with generating a good thesis statement. It is quite easy to miss essential factors while being stressed about workload and deadlines. Take your time to check this simple list of pitfalls to avoid when working on the thesis.
- Common knowledge. Don’t state commonly known facts in the thesis, it has to be paper-specific.
- Bare facts. Bare facts does not give food for thought with bare facts. Also, it is a sign of a weak thesis.
- Too broad topic. Don’t choose an excessively broad topic that cannot be covered in a given essay.
- A quote. Don’t think that quoting an expert might seem like a good idea as your thesis should be generated in your own words and explain your viewpoint on the matter.
- Ambiguous or vague language. Don’t forget that fancy or vague word choice will likely confuse the reader.
- Information that does not correspond to the paper topic. Don’t create a thesis statement that doesn’t match the paper content.
- Phrases like “I believe”, “To my mind”, “The essay is about”.
How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement Step by Step
Anybody can generate a thesis statement. But creating a strong thesis is more complicated and requires preparation. So, here’re some ideas on how to start writing a thesis statement:
- Brainstorm the topic.
- Narrow the topic.
- Formulate a research question.
- State the main idea.
- Take your position on the topic.
- Include an opposing point of view.
- Support your position with arguments, reasoning, and evidence.
- Draw a conclusion.
Great Examples of Thesis Statements for Different Types of Essay
There are various types of essays, each having its own purpose. Logically, thesis statements also differ based on type of paper. However, having read hundreds of papers, you start to notice some patterns. We have gathered the patterns of most popular essay types and thesis statement examples, so you could see the difference with your own eyes.
1.Research paper thesis statement
Every part of a research paper should be precise and to the point. A thesis statement is no exception. The reader doesn't have to guess what you meant. Your point should be crystal clear. Preferably the thesis should demonstrate a causal relationship within your topic.
Example: “According to recent studies, having a counselor on the college campus decreases the frequency of substance abuse cases among students.”
2.Analytical thesis statement
An analytical essay gets to the root of the problem, answering the questions of why and how. A strong analytical thesis presents a claim that needs to be proven in the body paragraphs.
Example:“During World War I, its participants had various causes; burgeoning excessive patriotism fomented the feeling of anger and hatred towards the nationalities different from the Aryan race. It resulted in the war itself and proliferation.”
3.Persuasive thesis statement
First of all, a thesis statement for a persuasive essay should be debatable. It should convey a strong and confident claim that will later be proven in the body.
Example: “Evidence proves the fact kids imitate and internalize TV programming. Violent shows and movies have a negative impact on the mental health of an average child, they should forbid including any sort of violence in the television for the youngest audience.”
4.Compare and contrast thesis statement
The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to find similarities and differences between two or more concepts. Consequently, a thesis statement for such an essay should demonstrate the results of the comparisons made.
Example: “Even though Egyptian & South American pyramids were different in many aspects, starting from their construction techniques and ending up with the way people perceive them, they had enough similar qualities. A high probability is they were built by geographically different individuals. They did not have a chance to contact each other. At the same time, their cultures had a lot in common, and it explains why the constructions have shared many common features.”
5.Expository thesis statement
The key peculiarity of an expository essay thesis is that it is not your opinion or claim. Such a thesis is written concisely and contains facts only.
Example: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution presents an opportunity to create a human-oriented future with the help of technology.”
6.Cause and effect thesis statement
In a thesis statement for a cause and effect paper, you should clearly indicate the focus of the essay. Will it be the cause, the effect, or maybe both? You do not necessarily need to indicate the words: cause or effect if they are implied in the context.
Example: “I will prove it is important to limit access to technology. Although technology can be used for the sake of humanity, it may jeopardize the confidentiality of people who apply it, lead to the problems with mental & physical health, and provoke social issues having a certain impact on public opinion.”
Where Should I Place Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement expresses the main idea and serves as a road map to the whole essay. Thus, it is usually placed at the end of the introductory part. It should not be added in the main body or conclusion.
Can Thesis Statement Be a Question?
From the very term it becomes clear that it should be a statement. Thesis statement cannot be a question as it itself answers the main question of the paper.
Important note: Topic sentences of the body paragraphs could be questions. In the body paragraphs, a writer has to provide answers and explanations, and that is why they may start with a question.
Can Thesis Statement Be a Quote?
Thesis statement should be paper-specific and express your opinion regarding the topic discussed in paper. A quote presupposed citing other people’s opinions. Thus, it is logical that other people cannot know your opinion on a specific topic. Also, it is unlikely that someone has already written about your viewpoint on this specific topic. Thus, a thesis statement cannot be a quote.
How Long Should a Thesis Statement Be?
Writers wonder how long should a thesis statement be and if the length of the entire paper affects its length. The answer is: no. No matter how long the paper you write is, whether it is APA or MLA paper, the thesis should not be longer than 3 sentences (1 sentence is the best option). The same way, an abstract has to be no longer than 250-300 words, which equals to 1/3 of the A4 page. It is a rule you should follow if you want to get a positive grade for your writing.
An original and thoughtful thesis statement serves as evidence that your essay is worth reading. It sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are useful guides that can help you master the skill of generating a strong thesis statement. However, sometimes it’s reasonable to search for professional help and advice anyway. Especially when you aку short of time due to other assignments or a job. If it’s the case, you can ask experts for writing assistance.