How do I write a strong thesis?

Answer

The thesis or thesis statement of an essay is the main point that you want to get across. Thus, what composes a good thesis will vary depending on the type of essay you are writing. Always consider your target audience, the writing assignment sheet, and your professor's instructions. However, there are some common benchmarks for every thesis.

1. The thesis is most commonly found in the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. 

2. The thesis should contain a clear stance, theme, takeaway, or idea that sums up the main point of the essay.

3. The thesis very often contains three parts that support the main point. These are reasons or evidence that will be expanded later in the essay.  

4. You can think of the thesis as an elevator pitch. If you only had thirty seconds to tell someone the main point and supporting points for your essay, what would you say? 

Note: These are guidelines for writing thesis statements for college essays. In non-college essays, these guidelines may be bent or broken.

For argumentative or analytical essays, you can use the CASE acronym. This means that the thesis statement should be Clear. It can't be ambiguous or indirect. It should also be Arguable--meaning it can't be a fact or something that everyone agrees on. A thesis statement should also be Specific. Avoid generalities when writing a thesis statement. Be as specific as possible. Lastly, a thesis statement should have good Evidence listed in the thesis. The evidence should be valid (not made up) and relevant to your main point or stance. 

Below are examples of thesis statements in several types of essays:

Literary essay

Thesis: In The Giver, the theme of societal control limiting individual experience is expressed through the colorlessness of the society, Jonah's distance from his friends, and the cruelty enacted on those who don't fit into the society. 

Argumentative essay

Thesis: School uniforms are bad for kids because they limit freedom of expression, destroy creativity, and can harm children's self esteem. 

Informational essay

Thesis: This analysis of bullying behavior from 1st grade to 9th grade demonstrates that physical bullying decreases with age, social bullying increases with age, and bullying remains a serious challenge to learning in grade schools. 

Analytical Essay

Thesis: Health should be looked at wholistically because mental health, physical health, and social health can interact and impact other aspects of health. 

 

Find more resources for thesis statements below:

Owl Purdue Writing Lab: Creating a Thesis Statement

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html

UNC Writing Center: Thesis Statements

https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/

Vanderbilt Writing Studio: How Do I Write a Thesis Statement?

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/writing/resources/handouts/write-a-thesis-statement/

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFp1uGTXo4Q

 

  • Last Updated Apr 23, 2024
  • Views 4
  • Answered By Timothy Connors

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