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How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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good thesis statement formula

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

good thesis statement formula

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

Vappingo

How to Write a Thesis Statement That Your Professor Will Love

If you’re wondering how to write a thesis statement without getting into a complete muddle, check out our incredibly simple thesis statement template to craft an amazing thesis statement. Simply fill in the blanks, and you’re done.

Fill in the blank thesis statement formula

When it comes to perfecting the dark art of thesis statements, there’s good news and bad news:

The bad news: Your thesis statement may well be the single, most important sentence in your essay, so you can’t mess it up.

The good news: It’s actually really, really easy to write a great thesis statement without wasting too many brain cells.

Luckily, despite what you may have been told, writing a thesis statement is actually incredibly easy. You can read more here: thesis statement help .

And we’re about to share a simple trick that will help you nail your statement every single time.

But before we get to the only thesis statement you’ll ever need, let’s take a look at the basics so you can better understand: is this a thesis statement ?

What is a Thesis Statement?

  • A single sentence located at the end of your introduction.
  • Tells the reader what your opinion is and what the paper is going to prove.
  • Directs your reader to the main pieces of evidence you will explore.

If you want to learn more, check out Purdue’s guide to thesis statements .

You may also wish to check out our guide to rewriting your thesis .

If you’re ready to get started on crafting the perfect statement, read on.

Alternatively, if you want to get a little help from AI, take a look at our free thesis statement generator .

Thesis Statements That Suck

Announcing something.

I’m going to describe Shakespeare’s love life. This essay will examine the life of a politician.

What’s so wrong?

These thesis statements provide the reader with an idea about what the essay, dissertation or thesis will discuss, but don’t actually put anything on the line. There’s nothing at stake, no specific issue to be resolved and absolutely nothing to make the reader want to learn more. Many of the theses and essays we come across as part of our student proofreading services contain this basic mistake.

Stating the obvious

Shakespeare wrote a lot about love. Politicians work long hours.

If very few people are actually likely to disagree with the issues you discuss in your essay, what’s the point in wasting your time analyzing them? Your thesis statement needs to make a claim that someone may disagree with. You will then spend your essay arguing why your claim is true. Check out our guide to writing argumentative essays for more deets.

Asking a question

Did Shakespeare ever get married? Why are politicians paid so much?

What’s so wrong?

To write a good thesis, you need to ensure your thesis statement clearly states your position and the purpose of the essay as opposed to simply posing a question. The questions above are weak and do not give your reader any idea about what you intend to prove in your paper.

So, now we know what a poor statement looks like, how do you write a fabulous one?

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The Only Thesis Statement Template You Will Ever Need

Simply fill in the blanks of this thesis statement template in relation to the topic of your essay and what you intend to prove, and you’re done.

By examining <claim one>, <claim two> and <claim three> it is clear that <opinion>.

See it in action:

By examining politicians’ long working hours, depth of responsibility, and the important role they play in the social and economic wellbeing of the country, it is clear that they are not overpaid.

We’re done.

Yep. It really is that easy.

And to make your life even easier, we’ve crammed all this great info into a free printable PDF. Print the poster out and refer to it when you’re in the process of crafting your next thesis statement.

Don’t forget to proofread your thesis statement!

Download this Fill-in-the-Blank  Formula  by clicking on the image below.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Thesis statement formula poster: how to write a thesis statement

You can place our thesis statement template on your webpage free of charge. Simply copy and paste the code below.

<a href=”https://www.vappingo.com/word-blog/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement/”><img src=”https://www.vappingo.com/word-blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Thesis-statement-poster.jpg” alt=”How to write a thesis statement”/></a>[Infographic provided by <a href=”https://www.vappingo.com”><em>proofreading</em></a>]

Get instant access to professional essay editors who can transform your grades. Students throughout the world use Vappingo to transform their academic documents and make themselves understood.

Thesis Statement Checklist

Still not sure if your thesis statement is fantastic enough? Use our thesis statement checklist to make sure you have written a good thesis:

A simple to follow thesis statement checklist with five handy prompts

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good thesis statement formula

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

good thesis statement formula

What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.

Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused. Since a thesis is so important, it’s probably a good idea to look at some tips on how to put together a strong one.

Guide Overview

What is a “thesis statement” anyway.

  • 2 categories of thesis statements: informative and persuasive
  • 2 styles of thesis statements
  • Formula for a strong argumentative thesis
  • The qualities of a solid thesis statement (video)

You may have heard of something called a “thesis.” It’s what seniors commonly refer to as their final paper before graduation. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That type of thesis is a long, well-written paper that takes years to piece together.

Instead, we’re talking about a single sentence that ties together the main idea of any argument . In the context of student essays, it’s a statement that summarizes your topic and declares your position on it. This sentence can tell a reader whether your essay is something they want to read.

2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive

Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay.

For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.

To make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments.

This thesis showed the reader the topic (a type of sandwich) and the direction the essay will take (describing how the sandwich is made).

Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.

In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.

2 Styles of Thesis Statements

Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.

The first style uses a list of two or more points . This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments.

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the richest works of the 20th century because it offers an escape from reality, teaches readers to have faith even when they don’t understand, and contains a host of vibrant characters.

In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay.

In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into.

Good vs. evil is the main theme of Lewis’s Narnia series, as is made clear through the struggles the main characters face in each book.

In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. The broader scope of this thesis allows me to write about each of the series’ seven novels. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.

Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis

One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:

___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:

___________________ is true because of _____________________.

Students usually end up using different terminology than simply “because,” but having a template is always helpful to get the creative juices flowing.

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.

Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.

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. 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.

Strength: 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.

Example of weak thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.

Most people would agree that PB&J is one of the easiest sandwiches in the American lunch repertoire.

Example of a stronger thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.

This is more arguable because there are plenty of folks who might think a PB&J is messy or slimy rather than fun.

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.

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How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

good thesis statement formula

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.

Introduction

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

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 will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

[ Back to top ]

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

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 adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. 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. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

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.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

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.

Use specific language . 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.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. 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.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

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:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

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.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

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:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

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.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

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Formulating a Thesis

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Introduction

In an argumentative paper, your thesis statement expresses what it is that you want to prove and, ultimately, what you will support with the main arguments in your body paragraphs. Any good thesis statement will:

  • have a clearly established topic ,
  • make a claim that answers a question about that topic,
  • have a reason that supports the claim, and
  • be specific .

The general model of your thesis statement will look something like this:

 
 

       (is)                    (because)

 

 

Deciding on a Topic

Ideally, you should write about something that you care about or at least that you have an opinion about. But let’s be honest, we don’t find interest in every subject we come across. If you find yourself in this situation, pick a topic that is controversial ; that people don’t see eye to eye on. Picking a topic like this means that you will grab the reader’s attention and establish a clear sense of direction.

Formulating the Question

For argumentative papers, your thesis statement should be an assertive proposition; somebody should be able to either agree or disagree with it. One way to ensure that you’ll come out with an assertive thesis statement is to ask yourself a “yes” or “no” question about your topic.

Answering the Question

Now that you’ve formulated the question, you have to take a side. If you already feel strongly about something, run with it. If you don’t feel particularly compelled to either side of an argument, don’t worry. You should take some comfort knowing that because there is often times a lot of grey area, there are a lot of interesting points that can be made for either side. If you run into this problem, take a chance and see where it takes you . After answering “yes” or “no” you need to shape your response into a claim and then support it with a reason .

Specificity

Teachers will tell you that your thesis statement needs to be specific but this is a very subjective and sometimes unhelpful instruction. And so because it’s not altogether easy to define, perhaps the better question is, “How do I make my thesis specific?” To a large extent, making your thesis specific will depend upon how much reading and studying you’ve done on the topic. The more you read and understand the subject matter, the more precise and detailed questions you’ll be capable of asking.

Nonetheless, it’s important that you consult your professor or a tutor on this. Sometimes, we may feel that our subject is adequately narrow but a second set of eyes will help to sheer away some of the excess. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help and don’t be afraid of rejecting your old ideas for new ones. In the end, you’ll find that working in dialogue with others can really improve your writing skills.

Let’s say you’re taking a psychology class and you decide to write on the subject of Freud. Let’s go through the steps.

  • Decide on a topic – Freud as an individual, of course, is much too broad of a topic and not controversial so maybe we could pick one of his ideas, like his theory of the unconscious .
  • Formulate a question – Freud’s theory about the unconscious is a subject of great controversy in the field of psychology. Many believe that the idea of repression tied up with the notion of the unconscious fails to account for mental illness as Freud thought it did. Thus, the unconscious’s relation to mental illness is something we can formulate into a question: Does the unconscious adequately account for mental illness?
  • Answer the Question – In our research, we may find ultimately that we agree with Freud’s detractors. Some would say that Freud’s theory doesn’t adequately account for mental illness because it fails to take into account that some conditions are not caused by repression of the unconscious but by chemical imbalances in the brain. So ultimately, we will answer “no,” to our question. And, as stated above, when we answer the question, we don’t want to return with just a “yes” or “no” but to provide the sense in which we’re disagreeing (i.e. Freud’s theory fails in accounting for mental illness) and then providing a reason (i.e. because it fails to account for biologically based mental illnesses). Put all together: No, Freud’s theory fails in accounting for mental illness because it doesn’t account for conditions that have a biological basis.

Now we have all the raw materials for our thesis statement. If I use the structure at the beginning and piece everything together (topic, claim, reason), I get the following:

Freud’s theory of the unconscious is inadequate in accounting for mental illness because it fails to account for conditions that are of a strictly biological origin.

Now, we have a thesis! Of course, you don’t have to stop there. You may find in more reading and studying that you want to make your statement even more specific. Writing is a process and one that isn’t always linear (in fact, it rarely is). This means that you’ll probably go back to redefine your thesis statement a few times and that’s okay! Best of luck!

Examples Often times, it’s difficult to take abstract directions and strategies such as those listed above and apply them to your specific subject area. For that reason, we’ve provided a series of sample thesis statements showing how these strategies can be applied at a more specific level.

Art History Panofsky and his followers’ interpretation of van Eyck’s double portrait is a misunderstanding of the overall artistic intent of the piece. The painting is not a celebration of the sacrament of marriage but rather that of an alliance between two rich and important Italian merchant families with all the financial and social benefits that might be expected to accrue therefrom. (Edwin Hall)

Film Ridley Scott’s film  Blade Runner  cannot be labeled science fiction because the designation fails to consider the full scope of the film’s structure and style as postmodern film noir. (Online)

History The Russian Revolution of 1917 cannot be labeled an authentic Marxist revolution. Despite widespread worker discontent, the organization of the revolution by Lenin’s “vanguard” was premature, foregoing the development of working class consciousness, an essential step in Marx’s overthrow of the bourgeoisie.

Philosophy Immanuel Kant’s idea of the categorical imperative is inadequate as an ethical theory insofar as it only accounts for an individual’s intentions behind their actions, not the lived consequences of the actions themselves.

Theology The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Employment Division v. Smith is a dangerous precedent in the state’s attitude toward religious practice. In denying the defendants their unemployment benefits by virtue of their ceremonial ingestion of peyote, they emaciate the value of religious freedom, strictly confining it to the private sphere. (Thomas Powers)

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After reading the above information on outlining, attempt the writing activity below for further practice. 

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Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

What Is The Formula For A Thesis Statement & 10 Standout Examples?

Declan Gessel

May 13, 2024

laptop with a blank notebook - Formula For A Thesis Statement

Crafting a solid thesis statement is essential when composing an academic paper. It provides a roadmap for the reader and helps maintain focus throughout the essay. The formula for a thesis statement should be selected carefully and woven into the essay's introduction. Knowing how to write an essay will help you develop a strong and effective thesis statement. This blog post will discuss how to craft a thesis statement that is both informative and engaging. Through some simple steps, you can develop a thesis that will grab your reader's attention and keep them engaged in your essay.

Table of Contents

What exactly is a thesis statement, key elements of a strong thesis statement, how to choose the right formula for a thesis statement, 10 standout thesis statement examples, weak thesis statements: examples and how to fix them, write smarter with jotbot — start writing for free today.

person brainstorming ideas for Formula For A Thesis Statement

Have you ever started writing an essay and felt lost halfway through? A strong essay, much like a building, needs a solid foundation. This foundation is your thesis statement, a single sentence that acts as the roadmap for your entire argument. Before diving into the specifics of what makes a great thesis statement, let's take a quick step back and look at the bigger picture: the essay itself. 

Defining a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a single sentence that summarizes the main argument of your essay. It serves as a roadmap for your reader, outlining the key points you will discuss. In addition to this, a solid thesis statement tells your reader what to expect in your essay. It previews the key points you'll explore and provides a guiding light through your arguments.

Finding the Thesis Statement

A thesis statement will find its place at the conclusion of your introduction. This placement serves two purposes: it introduces your reader to the main point you'll be exploring throughout the essay , giving them context for the information to come.It acts as a roadmap, outlining the key points you'll discuss and the direction your argument will take. In essence, a thesis statement sets the stage for the rest of your essay.

Related Reading

• Argumentative Essay • Essay Format • Expository Essay • Essay Outline • How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay • Transition Sentences • Narrative Essay • Rhetorical Analysis Essay • Persuasive Essay

woman working hard - Formula For A Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement indicates the approach or method of analysis that will be used in the essay. For example, stating that the essay will analyze the topic through a cause-and-effect approach, comparison/contrast, or argumentation gives the reader a clear idea of what to expect.

Mentioning Key Points to be Covered

The thesis statement should provide a preview of the main points that will be discussed in the essay. This way, the reader knows what to anticipate and the structure of the essay becomes clear from the start.

Considering Audience Expectations

A strong thesis statement should be tailored to meet the expectations of the audience. It should give the reader a sense of what they can learn from the essay, making it more engaging and likely to hold their interest throughout. By considering the needs and expectations of the audience, the writer can ensure that the thesis statement will resonate with readers.

• Words To Start A Paragraph • Essay Structure • Types Of Essays • How To Write A Narrative Essay • Synthesis Essay • Descriptive Essay • How To Start Off An Essay • How To Write An Analytical Essay • Write Me A Paragraph • How To Write A Synthesis Essay

chai on a study desk - Formula For A Thesis Statement

When writing an essay, using a formula to craft your thesis statement can be invaluable for creating a solid base for your argument. A formula offers a clear layout for constructing an effective thesis statement, guiding you through the process step by step. This structured approach ensures that your thesis statement meets essential criteria, such as focus, clarity, argumentative nature, and specificity.

Key Elements of a Formula for a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement should focus on a specific area of the topic, providing clarity to the reader about the main argument of the essay . It should also be argumentative, presenting a claim that can be debated or argued. Specificity in a thesis statement is crucial; it should be concise and directly address the main topic. A formula helps ensure your thesis statement meets these key elements, guiding you to create a strong statement that sets the tone for your essay.

Benefits of Using a Formula for Your Thesis Statement

A formula not only provides a structured approach to crafting your thesis statement but also aids in maintaining a clear and cohesive direction for your essay. By following a formula, you can ensure that your thesis statement is well-defined, making it easier for the reader to understand your argument. This approach can save you time and effort by streamlining the essay-writing process and improving the overall quality of your work.

Adapting Your Writing Approach with the Thesis Statement

While a formula provides a solid foundation, crafting an impactful thesis statement often requires some flexibility. Different essay types and audiences may call for slightly different approaches to your thesis statement. For instance, in an argumentative essay, your thesis statement should clearly state your position on the issue. In an analytical essay, the thesis should present the main point of analysis. In a compare/contrast essay, the thesis should highlight key similarities or differences. It's essential to understand the requirements of your specific essay type to tailor your thesis statement effectively.

Considering Different Essay Types Affects Your Thesis Statement

The type of essay you are writing significantly influences the structure and content of your thesis statement. For an argumentative essay, your thesis should clearly state your position on the issue. In an analytical essay, the thesis should present the main point of analysis. In contrast, a compare/contrast essay's thesis should highlight key similarities or differences. Always ensure your thesis statement aligns with the essay's type to effectively convey your argument to the reader.

Tailoring Your Thesis to Different Audiences

Considering your audience's needs and expectations is essential when crafting your thesis statement. Tailoring your thesis statement to your audience can enhance clarity and engagement. For an academic audience, a formal and analytical approach might be suitable. On the other hand, for a general audience, a clearer and more accessible approach might be preferable. Understanding your audience helps you create a thesis statement that resonates with readers, making your argument more persuasive and engaging. Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

person in bed working on Formula For A Thesis Statement

1. The impact of video games on violence

While video games can provide entertainment and cognitive benefits, excessive violent video game exposure can contribute to aggressive behavior in young people. (Focuses on a debatable claim and mentions specific age group)

2. The effectiveness of social media advertising

Although social media advertising offers targeted reach to potential customers, its effectiveness depends heavily on creating engaging and relevant content. (Highlights a key advantage and a crucial factor for success)

3. The benefits of learning a second language

Mastering a second language not only unlocks new cultural experiences but also enhances cognitive skills and improves job prospects. (Mentions multiple benefits)

4. The importance of recycling in a sustainable future

To achieve a more sustainable future, widespread adoption of effective recycling programs is crucial for reducing waste and conserving resources. (Focuses on a specific solution)

5. The historical significance of the printing press

The invention of the printing press revolutionized communication and knowledge dissemination, playing a pivotal role in shaping the course of history. (Connects the invention to its broader impact)

6. The influence of nature on creativity

Spending time immersed in nature can spark creative thinking and enhance problem-solving abilities. (Highlights a specific benefit of spending time in nature)

7. The pros and cons of online learning

While online learning platforms offer flexibility and accessibility, they can also present challenges in terms of student engagement and fostering a sense of community. (Highlights both positive and negative aspects)

8. The evolving role of artificial intelligence in society

Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming various industries, presenting both exciting opportunities and potential challenges that require careful consideration. (Focuses on the multifaceted impact of AI)

9. The importance of a healthy work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for preventing burnout, improving productivity, and promoting overall well-being. (Highlights the benefits of a balanced approach)

10. The power of storytelling in education

Storytelling can be a powerful tool in education, engaging students, enhancing their understanding of complex concepts, and fostering a love for learning. (Focuses on a specific educational strategy and its benefits)

Importance of Crafting Strong Thesis Statements

These examples showcase different approaches to crafting strong thesis statements for essays. Each thesis statement has a distinct focus, whether it's a debatable claim, mentioning specific benefits, or emphasizing solutions. 

Regardless of the approach, all these thesis statements share key elements such as clarity, specificity, and focus, guiding your essay effectively. Crafting a powerful thesis statement is crucial in aligning the direction of your essay and providing a clear roadmap for both you as the writer and your readers.

man brainstorming ideas for Formula For A Thesis Statement

First, they're too broad

A thesis statement shouldn't be a general statement about the topic. 

For Example: "Social media is important." (This is too broad and doesn't provide a specific argument)

Another common weakness in thesis statements is that it is unclear

The reader shouldn't be left guessing what the main point is. 

Another Example: "There are both positive and negative effects of social media." (This lacks clarity on the specific focus) A thesis statement shouldn't present a fact, but instead, a debatable claim. 

Example: "Social media allows people to connect with friends and family." (This is a fact, not a debatable claim) A thesis statement shouldn't be completely separate from the points you'll discuss. 

Example: "I'm going to write about social media." (This doesn't offer an argument or specific direction)

Improving Weak Thesis Statements: Examples and How to Fix Them

The impact of social media on teenagers.

Weak Thesis

Social media can be a useful tool. (Too broad and lacks a specific argument) 

While social media platforms offer valuable communication tools, their excessive use can negatively impact the development of social skills in teenagers. (Focuses on a debatable claim and mentions a specific age group)

The role of technology in education. 

Technology is changing the way we learn. (Unclear and lacks specifics)

How to fix it

Interactive learning platforms can enhance student engagement and knowledge retention in science classrooms, but they should not replace traditional teacher-led instruction entirely. (Provides a specific approach and mentions limitations)

Tips for Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

Keep your thesis statement concise and to the point. A thesis statement usually appears near the end of the introduction to provide a roadmap of what's to come. 

The Importance of Revising Your Thesis Statement

Ensuring that your thesis statement is clear and focused is essential to guide the reader through your essay effectively. By revising and improving it, you set yourself up for a strong, well-structured paper that will effectively communicate your main point. Overcome these common weaknesses in thesis statements and watch your essays improve drastically.

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Table of Contents

Collaboration, information literacy, writing process, formulating a thesis.

  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 by Andrea Scott

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 2.32.39 PM

You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means.

Let’s look at some examples. Imagine you’re writing about John Hughes’s film  Sixteen Candles  (1984).

You take a first pass at writing a thesis:

Sixteen Candles  is a romantic comedy about high school cliques.

Is this a strong thesis statement? Not yet, but it’s a good start. You’ve focused on a topic–high school cliques–which is a smart move because you’ve settled on one of many possible angles. But the claim is weak because it’s not yet arguable. Intelligent people would generally agree with this statement—so there’s no real “news” for your reader.  You want your thesis to say something surprising and debatable.   If your thesis doesn’t go beyond summarizing your source, it’s not arguable.

The key words in the thesis statement are “romantic comedy” and “high school cliques.” One way to sharpen the claim is to start asking questions .

For example, how does the film represent high school cliques in a surprising or complex way?  How does the film reinforce stereotypes about high school groups and how does it undermine them? Or why does the film challenge our expectations about romantic comedies by focusing on high school cliques? If you can answer one of those questions (or others of your own), you’ll have a strong thesis.

Tip : Asking “how” or “why” questions will help you refine your thesis, making it more arguable and interesting to your readers.

Take 2. You revise the thesis. Is it strong now?

Sixteen Candles is a romantic comedy criticizing the divisiveness created by high school cliques.

You’re getting closer. You’re starting to take a stance by arguing that the film identifies “divisiveness” as a problem and criticizes it, but your readers will want to know how this plays out and why it’s important. Right now, the thesis still sounds bland – not risky enough to be genuinely contentious.

Tip : Keep raising questions that test your ideas. And ask yourself the “so what” question. Why is your thesis interesting or important?

Take 3. Let’s try again. How about this version?

Although the film Sixteen Candles appears to reinforce stereotypes about high school cliques, it undermines them in important ways, questioning its viewers’ assumptions about what’s normal.

Bingo! This thesis statement is pretty strong. It challenges an obvious interpretation of the movie (that it just reinforces stereotypes), offering a new and more complex reading in its place. We also have a sense of why this argument is important. The film’s larger goal, we learn, is to question what we think we understand about normalcy.

What’s a Strong Thesis?

As we’ve just seen, a strong thesis statement crystallizes your paper’s argument and, most importantly, argues a debatable point .

This means two things. It goes beyond merely summarizing or describing to stake out an interpretation or position that’s not obvious, and others could challenge for good reasons. It’s also arguable in the literal sense that it can be argued , or supported through a thoughtful analysis of your sources. If your argument lacks evidence, readers will think your thesis statement is an opinion or belief as opposed to an argument.

Exercises for Drafting an Arguable Thesis

A good thesis will be focused on your object of study (as opposed to making a big claim about the world) and will introduce the key words guiding your analysis. To get started, you might experiment with some of these “mad libs.” They’re thinking exercises that will help propel you toward an arguable thesis.

By examining __________________ [topic/approach], we can see _____________________[thesis—the claim that’s surprising], which is important because ___________________________.

“ By examining Sixteen Candles through the lens of Georg Simmel’s writings on fashion, we can see that the protagonist’s interest in fashion as an expression of her conflicted desire to be seen as both unique and accepted by the group. This is important because the film offers its viewers a glimpse into the ambivalent yearnings of middle class youth in the 1980s.

Although readers might assume _________________ [the commonplace idea you’re challenging], I argue that _________________________ [your surprising claim].

Although viewers might assume the romantic comedy Sixteen Candles is merely entertaining, I believe its message is political. The film uses the romance between Samantha, a middle-class sophomore, and Jake, an affluent senior, to reinforce the fantasy that anyone can become wealthy and successful with enough cunning and persistence.

Still Having Trouble? Let’s Back Up…

It helps to understand why readers value the arguable thesis. What larger purpose does it serve? Your readers will bring a set of expectations to your essay. The better you can anticipate the expectations of your readers, the better you’ll be able to persuade them to entertain seeing things your way.

Academic readers (and readers more generally) read to learn something new. They want to see the writer challenge commonplaces—either everyday assumptions about your object of study or truisms in the scholarly literature. In other words, academic readers want to be surprised so that their thinking shifts or at least becomes more complex by the time they finish reading your essay. Good essays problematize what we think we know and offer an alternative explanation in its place. They leave their reader with a fresh perspective on a problem.

We all bring important past experiences and beliefs to our interpretations of texts, objects, and problems. You can harness these observational powers to engage critically with what you are studying. The key is to be alert to what strikes you as strange, problematic, paradoxical, or puzzling about your object of study. If you can articulate this and a claim in response, you’re well on your way to formulating an arguable thesis in your introduction.

How do I set up a “problem” and an arguable thesis in response?

All good writing has a purpose or motive for existing. Your thesis is your surprising response to this problem or motive. This is why it seldom makes sense to start a writing project by articulating the thesis. The first step is to articulate the question or problem your paper addresses.

Here are some possible ways to introduce a conceptual problem in your paper’s introduction.

1. Challenge a commonplace interpretation (or your own first impressions).

How are readers likely to interpret this source or issue? What might intelligent readers think at first glance? (Or, if you’ve been given secondary sources or have been asked to conduct research to locate secondary sources, what do other writers or scholars assume is true or important about your primary source or issue?)

What does this commonplace interpretation leave out, overlook, or under-emphasize?

2. Help your reader see the complexity of your topic. 

Identify and describe for your reader a paradox, puzzle, or contradiction in your primary source(s).

What larger questions does this paradox or contradiction raise for you and your readers?

3. If your assignment asks you to do research, piggyback off another scholar’s reserach.

Summarize for your reader another scholar’s argument about your topic, primary source, or case study and tell your reader why this claim is interesting.

Now explain how you will extend this scholar’s argument to explore an issue or case study that the scholar doesn’t address fully.

4. If your assignment asks you to do research, identify a gap in another scholar’s or a group of scholars’ research.

Summarize for your reader another scholar’s argument about your topic, primary source, or case study and tell your reader why this claim is interesting. Or, summarize how scholars in the field tend to approach your topic.

Next, explain what important aspect this scholarly representation misses or distorts. Introduce your particular approach to your topic and its value.

5. If your assignment asks you to do research, bring in a new lens for investigating your case study or problem.

Summarize for your reader how a scholar or group of scholars has approached your topic.

Introduce a theoretical source (possibly from another discipline) and explain how it helps you address this issue from a new and productive angle.

Testing Your Thesis

You can test your thesis statement’s arguability by asking the following questions:

If so, try some of the exercises above to articulate your paper’s conceptual problem or question.

If not, return to your sources and practice the exercises above.

If it’s about the world, revise it so that it focuses on your primary source or case study. Remember you need solid evidence to support your thesis.

“Formulating a Thesis” was written by Andrea Scott, Princeton University

Acknowledgements

I’d like to thank my current and former colleagues in the Princeton Writing Program for helping me think through and test ways of teaching the arguable thesis. Special thanks go to Kerry Walk, Amanda Irwin Wilkins, Judy Swan, and Keith Shaw. A shout-out to Mark Gaipa as well, whose cartoons on teaching source use remain a program favorite .

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Simplified formula for writing a strong thesis statement with examples.

By Evans Sep 26 2021

I love writing. I have always loved writing. I am the kind of person who actually enjoys writing essays. Crazy, right? However, I realized that my professors had a problem with my writing. Every time I submitted a paper, I got a correction for the wrong thesis statement. One of my professors was incredibly frustrated that I was not getting it. He made me spend a detention period coming up with a thesis statement formula (I didn’t know there’s a formula!). It took me a while, but in the end, I got it right and went back to getting A+ on my essays. Maybe you are like me. You keep wondering what you have to do to crack this “impossible” task. Lucky for you, you do not have to struggle as I did. Do you know why? I have some formulae for you to follow in coming up with a strong thesis statement .

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Parts of a thesis statement

A strong thesis statement helps readers know what your paper is all about even before they read it. It also allows you remain grounded while working on that paper. In a way, it serves as a blueprint, reminding you of what your paper needs and what it does not need. A strong thesis will make your paper flow easily, resulting in that enviable top grade. So what are these parts of a thesis statement?

·          The main idea of the essay

·          Why do you support that idea

·          Rebuttal (not compulsory)

In short, a thesis statement must have a subject of the paper, your stand, reasons for your stand, and a counterargument.

Descriptive thesis statement formula

A good thesis statement for a descriptive paper  is supposed to provide a summary of the entire paper. Its formula looks like this:

P=R, S, E, & U

P=descriptive paper

E=expression

U=understanding

Example of a descriptive thesis statement

This paper will discuss whether men should be allowed to have a say in the abortion debate since both sides have compelling arguments.

A descriptive essay does not take one side. Rather, it seeks to inform the reader of the arguments made by the two sides.

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good thesis statement formula

Argumentative thesis statement formula

An argumentative paper needs you to pick a side and explain why you have chosen that particular position. It is an essay that is meant to do more than inform. It is meant to convince the readers of your position on the matter.

Example of an argumentative thesis statement

Using the same subject we used for the descriptive paper:

P=C, because of 1, 2, 3

P=argumentative paper

1, 2, 3= reasons for your position

Though abortion is something that concerns the two parents, the male partner should be allowed to have his say on the issue. While it’s true that the woman is the one to carry and bear the child, the male partner has the right to weigh in the debate since he helped create the child. If the two are in a committed relationship, the man should be consulted since both parents have a role to play in the future of the child, whether planned for or not.

Process essay

You might be wondering, does a process essay need a thesis statement? The answer is yes! Sorry to burst your bubble, but every essay requires a thesis statement. A process essay is the kind of essay that requires you to give a step-by-step direction to something.

Process thesis statement formula

P=the subject, 1, 2, 3 (how it works)

For example,

You can easily make a chocolate cake using Oreo cookies, milk, and cream only without an oven.

That statement has the subject (cake), ingredients (Oreo cookies, milk, and cream), and how to do it (with no oven).

Other thesis statement formulae

If perhaps you find these algebraic formulae confusing, there are other formulae that you can use.

The basic formula

(Someone) has failed to (do something) because of (reasons).

It is crucial to begin with simple thesis statements before you can launch out to more complex ones. Remember that the professor is not impressed with complexity. What will give you marks is getting it right, not making it complicated.

Different essay types will require you to adjust your thesis statement accordingly. The most important thing to remember is that your thesis statement must have the main idea, support for that idea, and counterargument (if any). Whatever essay you are required to work on, play with those three things, and you will be safe.

Do you still feel not ready to write a killer thesis statement?

It is funny how one or two sentences torment you and take much of your time. An excellent thesis statement does not just happen. You need to make it happen. If you are still unsure, do not torment yourself. We have a group of writers who know how to come up with an excellent thesis statement. Why don’t you let us take care of it? Please note, it is also equally important to restate your thesis statement in the conclusion to make your paper excellent. Read the article below to learn how to do so

How to restate a thesis: Simplified Guide

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Thesis Statement: Formula, How-to Guide, & 18 Mind-blowing Examples [UPD 2024]

The picture contains a thesis statement definition.

Stuck with a thesis statement? We’ve got you. We’ve been there. Almost any paper requires writing a thesis statement. It isn’t as easy as one might think. Our goal is to help you and many other students and professionals. We’ve prepared for you a unique set of thesis statement rules. After reading this article, you will get the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of a thesis statement?
  • How long is a thesis statement?
  • Where is a thesis statement located?
  • How can a thesis statement be improved?
  • What is a working thesis statement?
  • Can a thesis statement be a question?
  • How to write a successful thesis statement?
  • 📝 The Basics

🖊️ Thesis Statement Parts

  • 💡 Step-by-Step Guide
  • 🔑 Thesis Formula
  • ✔️ 18 Examples: Bad & Better

🔗 References

📝 thesis statement: the basics, what is the purpose of a thesis statement.

The mission of any thesis statement is pretty simple – to sum up your paper’s most essential points. These include a question or problem, several supporting arguments, and the conclusion that you’ve come to. A good thesis statement guides the reader through your work. It also gives a general impression of the paper structure.

How Long is a Thesis Statement Supposed to Be?

Not too short, not too long. Usually, it includes two well-structured sentences, which cover all the necessary points. Although sometimes you may have 3-4 established sentences, it depends on the type of work you are doing. It would help if you found a perfect balance between being not too obvious and not too exposing.

Where is a Thesis Statement Located?

We usually find thesis statements closer to the end of the introduction. However, sometimes a thesis statement consists of several sentences. This happens in monumental works such as dissertations. In this situation, it might take even an entire paragraph, but it’s not a common case.

What is a Working Thesis Statement?

A working thesis statement helps the reader understand what question the author is asking. It also explains why that problem is worth talking about and what answer the writer has found for the query.

It also follows the SODA rule:

S : Is your thesis statement specific ?

O : Does it discuss one crucial topic ?

D : Is it possible to discuss the problem ?

A : Is your thesis statement assertive ?

The thesis statement formula consists of 3 most essential parts:

  • The subject of the article.
  • The opinion which you support.
  • An outline of reasons for your opinion.

If your goal is to compose a good, structured thesis statement, you can’t miss any of these three parts. Sometimes it may be puzzling to understand what every one of the mentioned parts of a thesis statement has to be about. Let’s look into it in more detail.

  • The subject of the paper you are writing has to be limited and meet your instructor’s requirements. It usually broaches a problem, engaging enough for the reader to continue diving into your paper.
  • The opinion you support is supposed to be precise . The goal here is to avoid ambiguous wordings, or the statement might sound weak. This part of the statement aims to give the reader an answer to the question about the subject. An accurate opinion is vital for the reader’s understanding of the goal of your paper.
  • An outline of reasons helps to show the bigger picture of your work before you go into detail. It is always good for the reader to know what grounds you have for the article’s question.

These are essential parts of a thesis statement, which you need to include to make the thesis statement formula work.

💡 How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step

You already know a lot about thesis statements, but we bet you want to get a short thesis statement formula. We are here to help!

The picture contains a list of steps for writing a thesis statement.

Step #1: Formulate a Question

Perhaps you already have a question in your assignment. Or maybe you still need to formulate a question based on a subject you will talk about. Anyway, building a question, it’s better to consider what you want to find out about your topic.

Step #2: Answer your Question

When you finish your research, it is time to compose a suggested answer to your question. The answer is usually straightforward, but it guides both the writer and the reader through the research process.

If your work is argumentative, it is crucial to pick and support one side of the argument.

Step #3: Develop your Thesis

And for the final step, you need to explain how you have come up with this answer. You should try to convince the reader to agree with you on your point.

As you continue working on your research and begin writing your paper, the results will get specified.

As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed. The thesis statement you get as a final version should clearly state your position. It should also review your overall argument.

We are sure that it is necessary to know how to write a thesis statement step-by-step. But it is not all you need to get a working thesis statement. Based on the type of paper you are working on, you should differentiate between various thesis statements.

Argumentative Thesis Statement

While writing an argumentative essay, it is better to focus on expressing your position on the question. The goal here is to persuade the reader that you make a good point, and you also have enough evidence for it.

Strong thesis statement example is: The U.S. government should invest in international educational programs. As it is the world’s most forceful economy, it can take such programs as Erasmus on a new level of funding. This could include improving students’ living and learning conditions worldwide. 

Take a look at some other argumentative thesis statement examples in the essays below:

  • School Uniform: Arguments For and Against .
  • Abortion: Supporting and Opposing Arguments .
  • Arms Control: Arguments For and Against .
  • Feminist Ethics, Theories, and Arguments .
  • Importance of a Teacher in Child Development .
  • Importance of Information Security in Business .
  • Importance of Gun Control .
  • The Existence of God and Ontological Arguments .
  • Social Media Marketing: Importance, Benefits, and Usage .
  • Importance of Social Responsibility .

Expository Thesis Statement

If your paper is expository, your purpose will be to clarify your question or the process stages. You don’t need to state your opinion on this kind of writing, although you still have to raise an important issue. It is also helpful to outline the key elements that you will discuss in your article.

Example: The invention of penicillin in the 20th century reformed modern medicine forever. It opened the way for saving the lives of many people and the discovery of other antibiotics.

You’ll find more expository thesis statement examples in the essays below:

  • The Concept of Hero Definition .
  • Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Definition .
  • Political Realism: Definition, Approaches, Criticism .
  • The Concept of Project Management .
  • Expressionism: Term Definition .
  • Folk Music Definition and Development .
  • Intra-Personal Communication Definition .
  • The Holy Spirit: Conceptualization and Definition .
  • Visual Music: The Concept of ‘Visual Music’ and Historical Excurse .
  • Concepts of Green Supply Chain Management .

Analytical Thesis Statement

Sometimes your paper suggests analyzing a text . To do that, you need to focus on one aspect that you will discuss. You also need to write about the vision it gives the readers into the text’s meaning.

Sample Thesis Statement: Jane Austen changes the narration perspective to describe the difference between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth as the novel progresses. The story begins with a contradiction between the two characters, but the similarities become more evident closer to the end.

Check out the list of essays below to explore more analytical thesis statement examples:

  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost: Critical Analysis .
  • Hamlet: Character Analysis .
  • Folklore Genres and Analysis .
  • Articles by Goodyear and Callinan Analysis .
  • Analysis of Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost .
  • The Social Network: Film Analysis .
  • “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty: Analysis .
  • Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” Analysis .
  • Literary Analysis of “Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman .
  • Erik Erikson’s Theory Analysis .

🔑 Thesis Statement: Formula of Success

Trust us, writing a persuasive and well-established thesis statement is not that difficult. You just need to follow several simple rules. Your thesis statement must be:

  • Debatable We have already discussed that while writing an argumentative essay, it is essential to express your perspective. But what about the other side of the argument? Your thesis should be debatable. It means that it should set up a discussion and let the readers agree or disagree with you. If the hypothesis you are stating is generally true, you have no grounds to convince the audience.
Non-debatable Thesis Debatable Thesis
There are no grounds for the discussion. It is an argumentative thesis that the audience can agree or disagree with.
  • Narrow The extent of your research sometimes may look astonishing, but it doesn’t mean that your thesis should be as broad. If you want to make your writing effective, you need to limit your thesis. Remember that your point has to be supported by evidence. It means that the more extensive your thesis is, the more proof you will need to include in your paper.
Too Broad Thesis Narrowed Thesis
It is unclear what people and why they disagree, what policies we are talking about. Now we clearly understand who, where, and why they disagree, but we also have the basis for the discussion.
  • Assertive The idea of any thesis statement is to make an assertion. In other words, it states a position rather than an observation. If you say that humans are 60% water, you just name a fact and don’t make a statement. It is crucial that the audience can discuss your work, but you stick with your opinion in this discussion. You have to take a stand and claim your point in a clear and concise, debatable way.
Thesis Statement to Avoid Suitable Thesis
This thesis statement clarifies that you are not entirely sure whether reading affects children’s abilities. Here you can see that the author is confident in his thesis and can argue it.
  • Concise Make sure that your thesis statement isn’t long or wordy. It should be short and balanced. However, the aim will be to make your point clearly in 1-3 sentences. Don’t forget about your arguments and conclusion.
Long and Wordy Thesis Concise Thesis
The thesis is too long and wordy, so it is easy to lose the main idea. The thesis is clear and easy to follow.
  • Coherent When writing a thesis statement, remember that multiple elements of one point should add up to one coherent whole. It would be best if you concentrated on expressing one particular idea. You can demonstrate different but logically connected aspects. It is necessary to support with evidence and arguments everything you say in the paper.

✔️ 18 Thesis Statement Examples: Bad & Better

A bad thesisA better thesisWhy is the second one better?
1 to their daily evening routine because it keeps their minds sharp and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s specific and debatable.
2 It is narrow, debates a particular position, and brings arguments.
3 It’s more assertive and supported by several arguments. It is also debatable.
4 It’s more specific. It’s also more assertive and gives arguments.
5 It is narrow and coherent. It’s also more assertive and provides reasons.
6 It is detailed and specific. It’s also distinctive and provides evidence.
7 It specifies not only the focus of national policy but also the result that these measures might have.
8 The topic of drugs is narrowed, and the detriment has been specified to gang conflicts.
9 It contains a position and evidence on the issue.
10 It is debatable and assertive but, at the same time, coherent.
11 It is narrow, assertive, and gives reasons for the statement.
12 It doesn’t only state a fact, but it debates an existing problem and provides proof for the position. It is also assertive and concise.
13 It’s debatable. There’s room for disagreement. An argument for the position of the author is expressed.
14 The thesis is debatable and argumentative. There’s room for disagreement.
15 The thesis is disputable, and it also helps the reader to predict the structure of the paper.
16 This is a good argumentative thesis, which has a point and supporting arguments.
17 It contains arguments that support the point.
18 It is debatable and coherent. It also gives the basis for the argument.

We don’t know what your paper is about, but we know for sure that its thesis statement is now debatable, narrow, and coherent.

Leave your comments down below if this article saved your day or just helped you write your first thesis statement.

  • How to Write a Thesis Statement – Indiana University Bloomington
  • Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements – Purdue University
  • Thesis Statements – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Developing a Thesis – Harvard University
  • Developing a Thesis Statement – University of Wisconsin
  • Basics of Thesis Statements – Walden University
  • Thesis Generator – The University of Arizona
  • Thesis Statements – The University of Cansas
  • Thesis Statements – GMU.edu
  • Thesis Statements – University of Illinois
  • Writing Effective Thesis Statements – Pacific Lutheran University
  • Write a Strong Thesis Statement! – Evansville.edu
  • Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement – Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Thesis Statement – St. Louis Community College
  • Thesis Statements – UWC

IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement: Fill-in-the-Blank Formula

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  2. How To Write A Thesis Statement (with Useful Steps and Tips) • 7ESL

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  3. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

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  4. Thesis Statement: Formula, How-to Guide, & 18 Mind-blowing Examples. Q

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  5. How to Do a Thesis Statement

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  6. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

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VIDEO

  1. STEPS FOR WRITING GOOD THESIS STATEMENT

  2. Finding and Writing Thesis Statements

  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD THESIS EXAMINERS

  4. Good Thesis Leads to Great Essay

  5. How to Write a Thesis Statement?

  6. A Good Thesis Statement Organizes Your Essay

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  2. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  3. How to Write a Thesis Statement: Fill-in-the-Blank Formula

    When it comes to perfecting the dark art of thesis statements, there's good news and bad news: The bad news: Your thesis statement may well be the single, most important sentence in your essay, so you can't mess it up. The good news: It's actually really, really easy to write a great thesis statement without wasting too many brain cells.

  4. How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

    Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing. Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and ...

  5. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  6. How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

    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. Strength: 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 ...

  7. How to write a thesis statement + Examples

    It is a brief statement of your paper's main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile. No credit card needed. Get 30 days free. You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the ...

  8. Thesis Statements

    A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.

  9. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One 1. A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand. 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:

  10. Developing A Thesis

    Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction. A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction.

  11. Thesis Formulation

    In an argumentative paper, your thesis statement expresses what it is that you want to prove and, ultimately, what you will support with the main arguments in your body paragraphs. Any good thesis statement will: have a clearly established topic, make a claim that answers a question about that topic, have a reason that supports the claim, and ...

  12. PDF What is a thesis statement? Topic Claim [Topic + Claim because So What?

    What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is the core of most academic essays. It is a focused statement that summarizes the main point/argument of your essay and provides the reader with the purpose of your writing. As academic writers, our goal is to present our argument to readers in a clear, original, and specific way. There are three ...

  13. Strong Thesis Statements

    This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

  14. What Is The Formula For A Thesis Statement & 10 Standout Examples

    A thesis statement should focus on a specific area of the topic, providing clarity to the reader about the main argument of the essay. It should also be argumentative, presenting a claim that can be debated or argued. Specificity in a thesis statement is crucial; it should be concise and directly address the main topic.

  15. Formulating a Thesis

    You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means. Let's look at some examples. Imagine you're writing about John Hughes's film Sixteen Candles (1984). You take a first pass at writing a thesis: Sixteen Candles is a romantic comedy about ...

  16. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. An argumentative thesis states the topic of your paper, your position on the topic, and the reasons you have for taking that position.

  17. How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper in 2024: Steps and

    Having a specific research question in mind can help researchers formulate a strong, sound thesis statement to address this question. 2. Construct a statement that directly addresses the research question. Once the research question has been identified, preliminary research on the topic can begin.

  18. Simplified Formula for writing a strong thesis statement with examples

    Process thesis statement formula. P=the subject, 1, 2, 3 (how it works) For example, You can easily make a chocolate cake using Oreo cookies, milk, and cream only without an oven. That statement has the subject (cake), ingredients (Oreo cookies, milk, and cream), and how to do it (with no oven).

  19. Thesis Statement: Formula, How-to Guide, & 18 Mind-blowing Examples

    The mission of any thesis statement is pretty simple - to sum up your paper's most essential points. These include a question or problem, several supporting arguments, and the conclusion that you've come to. A good thesis statement guides the reader through your work. It also gives a general impression of the paper structure.

  20. Thesis Generator

    Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. After the topic sentence, include any evidence in this body paragraph, such as a quotation, statistic, or data point, that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader ...

  21. DBQ Thesis Formula (With AP World & APUSH Thesis Examples!)

    If you're taking AP World History or AP United States History and feel unsure about how to approach the DBQ thesis, you've come to the right place! In this post, you'll learn about a DBQ thesis formula that you can use to: A) consistently earn the thesis point and