You may be wondering… The Thesis Statement

What is a thesis statement and how do I write a good one?

First, there are a few things you need to know before you start. A thesis statement is a single statement that is clear, clean, and concise. There are no extraneous ideas or words to be found. It also needs to present your position to your audience. Basically, the thesis statement needs to tell your readers what it is your essay, or paper, is all about.

First, think about what you’re writing about. What needs to be said? What do you need to relay to your reader? Consider creating a question. The answer to your overall question (of the paper assigned) will be your thesis statement.

Make your thesis statement worthy of reading. It needs to be strong and specific. It even helps if it the thesis can be arguable. You want to capture your audience’s attention!

Let’s look at some examples.

Let’s say I want to write about I have been affected by a particular author’s writing, reading stimuli, or text. My thesis statement may start as something like this:

“Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild, has presented to me new ideas and perspectives about the way we see each other and the world around us.”

Here are a few examples from the Purdue OWL site:

“Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.”

“Mark Twain’s success as a writer lies in his use of humor to critique American life.”

Breaking it down to the basics:

The topic needs to be specific. Include:

  • who
  • when
  • how
  • which
  • where
  • why

Then, you should continue with an arguable phrase:

  • does…
  • does not…
  • should…
  • should not…
  • highlights…
  • ignores…
  • explains…

Finally, the significance needs to be explained to the audience.

  • proving that…
  • resulting in…
  • making us doubt…
  • reminding us that…

Example from the above:

“The success of a writer does not lie within her writing craft and skill reminding us that a good story can trump literary composition.”

“Student lunches at school should not be controlled by the government as this is a direct violation of our ability to prove that we can make the right choices.”

Don’t forget! The construction of your thesis statement will depend on the type of writing you are working on. You could be writing a narrative, expository, argumentative, or persuasive essay. Each thesis statement will be slightly different in form. But, the good news is that all thesis statements are created in the same manner.

Happy writing!