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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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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!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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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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9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning objectives.

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements.
  • Revise your thesis statement.

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision. A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness. A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence. In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe . These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident.

  • Texting while driving
  • The legal drinking age in the United States
  • Steroid use among professional athletes

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness
  • The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye , Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.

Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side.

Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.

A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.

Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.

A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.

Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

Read the following thesis statements. On a separate piece of paper, identify each as weak or strong. For those that are weak, list the reasons why. Then revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis.

  • The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.
  • The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.
  • Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the nineteenth century.
  • In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore.
  • Despite his promises during his campaign, President Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation.
  • Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.
  • My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement , an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people , everything , society , or life , with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard , the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.

Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke . The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (See Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” for more information on the 5WH questions.) By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be , a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis: Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis: The Kansas City legislature cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are . Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis: Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In the first section of Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you determined your purpose for writing and your audience. You then completed a freewriting exercise about an event you recently experienced and chose a general topic to write about. Using that general topic, you then narrowed it down by answering the 5WH questions. After you answered these questions, you chose one of the three methods of prewriting and gathered possible supporting points for your working thesis statement.

Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down your working thesis statement. Identify any weaknesses in this sentence and revise the statement to reflect the elements of a strong thesis statement. Make sure it is specific, precise, arguable, demonstrable, forceful, and confident.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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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 this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Reference management. Clean and simple.

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 .

how to state a clear thesis

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 state a clear thesis

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

how to state a clear thesis

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 for a Research Paper

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

4-minute read

  • 26th July 2023

A strong thesis statement is the foundation of a successful research paper . The thesis gives focus to your ideas, engages readers, and sets the tone for the rest of the paper. You’ve spent substantial time and effort to craft a well-written and effective study , so you want your thesis statement to accurately reflect the impact of your work.

However, writing a thesis is often easier said than done. So if you’ve already got the arguments, the data, and the conclusions, keep scrolling for our straightforward guide on how to write a thesis statement for a research paper.

What Is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is a clear and succinct assertion that presents the main argument or central idea of a research paper or other academic work. You usually find the thesis, which serves as a road map for the entire piece of writing, at the end of the introductory paragraph. The thesis also highlights the importance and relevance of the research topic , explaining why it’s worth studying and what impact it may have.

A good thesis statement also invites critical discussion and debate. Although your statement should provide a compelling argument , it should also inspire readers to engage with your ideas and potentially challenge or explore alternative viewpoints.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should outline the scope and boundaries of the paper and indicate what aspects of the topic you’ll cover. But now that you know what a good thesis statement entails, where should you start? Check out our series of steps below for help on writing an impactful thesis statement that accurately summarizes your research and arguments.

Understand the Purpose of Your Research

Before you can write a thesis statement, you need to understand the purpose and scope of your research. Pinpoint the specific topic or issue you’ll be exploring and the main objective of your paper. You should also familiarize yourself with the existing literature and research related to your topic because these will help you refine your focus and identify gaps in the existing knowledge that your research can address.

Consider the Impact of Your Research

Your thesis statement should answer the question, What is the relevance? – meaning it should tell the reader what the practical implications of your research are, why the research is significant, and what it adds to the broader academic landscape.

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Make a Concise Claim or Argument

Your statement should be clear, specific, and concise, conveying the main point of your research in one or two sentences. It should present a claim or argument that you’ll go on to support and defend in your paper, so avoid purely factual or self-evident statements. Be precise in your wording and tailor your thesis statement to the scope of your research – don’t introduce a new or unrelated topic that you don’t expressly address in your paper. The thesis statement is meant to indicate what the reader can expect to find in your paper, and you must support the thesis with evidence throughout.

Revise and Refine the Statement

Crafting a strong thesis statement may require multiple attempts, so take the time to revise and edit it until you’re satisfied that it meets your requirements.

Example Thesis Statement

Below is an example of a strong thesis statement that clearly emphasizes the main points of a research topic:

In this example, the thesis statement clearly identifies the main topic (technology’s impact on education) and presents a strong argument about technology’s positive effects. The thesis conveys the essential message of the research concisely in one sentence, leaving no doubt about the position of the author and what they’ll address in the paper.

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How to write a thesis statement

Published March 20, 2021. Updated May 1, 2022.

Thesis Statement Definition

A thesis statement is the main claim that you are making in your paper.

Overview of Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is usually one sentence and is located near the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of your introduction paragraph. It tells your readers what stance you take on an issue. Most of the time, when you are writing a paper, you will be responding to a prompt. Analyzing the prompt is essential in making sure your thesis statement actually addresses the question you are trying to answer. The thesis statement needs to directly answer this prompt in a focused and specific way. Some thesis statements also acts as a guide for your paper by telling readers the order in which premises will appear in the paper. This can help the reader be prepared for what you are going to say and to anticipate some of the ideas that you may write about.

Worried about your writing? Submit your paper for a Chegg Writing essay check , or for an Expert Check proofreading . Both can help you find and fix potential writing issues.

Steps in Writing a Strong Thesis Statement

Writing a thesis statement can feel overwhelming at first, but by following these steps, you can make the process less daunting.

Step 1: Analyze the Assignment Prompt

While it seems simple, analyzing the prompt is essential in making sure your thesis statement actually supports the question you are trying to answer. If you are given a prompt by your instructor, read it carefully several times. You may want to underline or circle key action words like “claim” or “analyze” and key terms from your class. Then, try to rewrite it in your own words. Even if it doesn’t sound perfect, putting it your own words will ensure that you really understand what it is asking.

Example assignment prompt: In a well-developed essay, explain how writers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as Enlightenment ideas, sparked the French Revolution.

Rewritten in your own words: Write a clear, well supported essay. This essay will not only be about HOW the French Revolution started, but it will be on ideas and writings (not events), specifically those of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Be sure to include other ideas from the Enlightenment.

At this point you will hopefully have a basic answer to the question presented in the prompt. It is okay if you don’t know exactly how to answer it, but you should jot down a simple answer to help you begin your writing.

Step 2: Do Your Research

A strong thesis statement will be clear and specific, and it will be later supported by evidence from your research. You won’t be able to write a statement like this until you do your research.

The research will look different depending on your task. If you are writing a literary analysis essay, you may need to search the text and identify important plot events, character changes, and quotations. This research may feel a lot like brainstorming. If you are writing an argumentative essay, you may need to find articles and books in the library or in databases.

While researching your topic, keep the assignment prompt and your general answer in mind. Try to see if your research supports your initial idea or if you will need to revise your idea based on the information you find.

Step 3: Narrow Your Focus

Chances are, after you complete your research, you will have more information than you need. Now is the time to look at all of the evidence, data, and sources you collected, and determine what relates specifically to your assignment prompt and your general answer and what does not. If you have irrelevant information, put it to the side and save it in case it becomes relevant later.

Next, try to categorize the research you have into a few distinct groups. If your prompt asks you to compare and contrast, you may sort based on similarities or differences. If your prompt asks you to analyze the character development of a character in a novel, you might create your categories based on changes in that character.

Step 4: Write the “Working Thesis”

Now that you understand the prompt and have completed thorough research, draft a version of your thesis. This statement is often called a “working thesis” because you will likely revise it several times throughout the writing process. Try to be clear and specific, answer the prompt directly, and state a claim you will prove in the rest of your writing.

Revising Your Thesis Statement

After you have written the first draft of your essay, it is time to go back and make sure your thesis statement still matches what you actually wrote about. Reread your thesis statement and the topic sentence of each paragraph. Make sure that all of the topic sentences directly support the thesis and that the thesis statement encompasses the ideas you presented in your body paragraphs. If you find that they don’t perfectly align, you may need to revise your thesis statement to match what you wrote.

Now is also a good time to make sure your thesis statement uses effective language. Make sure you have used active verbs instead of passive and that your tone is professional and academic. If you have words like “very” or “extremely,” you could replace them with stronger and more specific options like “significant” or “acutely.”

Examples of Working Thesis Statements and Thesis Statements

Let’s take a look at a few examples of working thesis statements and thesis statements. For this first example, your assignment prompt asked you to discuss the impact of reading on children. After a bit of research, you may land on the following idea:

It is important for children to read often when they are in early elementary school.

This statement is a good working thesis, but it is not strong enough to be your final draft. It does make a claim, but it is vague and does not provide a roadmap for the reader. It also does not discuss the impact of reading. Why is it important for children to read? What are the benefits of children reading? A stronger thesis statement might say:

Children who read often in early elementary school develop strong vocabularies and improve their reading comprehension skills, increasing their confidence in reading increasingly complex texts.

This revised thesis is more focused, is likely based on research, and helps readers see the key ideas you will discuss in the paper.

Now imagine that your professor has asked you to write an essay on the role of language in George Orwell’s 1984. After you have read through your notes, read the novel, and brainstormed ideas, you may decide on the following working thesis:

Control of language is used as a source of power in 1984.

This working thesis is a good start for your brainstorming and your outline. From here, you would want to consider how language is used as a source of power and why it is used that way. A revised thesis might read:

In George Orwell’s 1984 , the Party manipulates citizens into total submission to the Party’s ideals through Newspeak, propaganda, and altered history.

This thesis statement provides a clear guide to writing. It uses active verbs (e.g., “the Party manipulates”) and clear details of language (e.g., Newspeak, propaganda, altered history) from the novel.

Before you turn in that paper, don’t forget to cite your sources in APA format , MLA format , or a style of your choice.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of a thesis statement is to tell your readers what claim you will be proving in your paper.
  • To write a thesis statement, first analyze your prompt or identify a topic, then do your research, and finally write a “working thesis.”
  • Be sure your thesis is clear, is direct, and makes a claim that you can support throughout your paper.
  • Revise your thesis after you finish your first draft, adding detail to your claim and replacing weaker vocabulary choices with stronger ones.

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how to state a clear thesis

How to Write a Thesis Statement with a Simple Guide

how to state a clear thesis

At the heart of every great piece of writing lies the thesis statement - a compact yet powerful sentence that sets the course for your entire work. Though brief, it's a powerhouse, encapsulating the core message of your essay.

In this article, we'll explain how to create a strong thesis statement, offering expert insights and practical tips to help you master this essential skill. Along the way, we'll illustrate key concepts with clear examples, ensuring you're equipped to tackle your writing challenges head-on. And should you ever find yourself in need of assistance, don't hesitate to reach out - ' Write my thesis ' - we're here to help you succeed.

What Is a Thesis Statement

Let's break down what is a thesis statement in an essay. It's essentially the heart of your academic paper, condensed into a single, powerful sentence. Usually tucked at the end of your introduction, it serves as a guidepost for your readers, giving them a peek into what lies ahead.

Crafting a solid thesis statement isn't just about summarizing your main idea. It's about taking a stand on your chosen topic and setting the tone for your entire piece. Picture it as the hub around which all your arguments and evidence orbit, providing clarity and direction for both you and your readers.

But here's the kicker: a strong thesis statement isn't wishy-washy. It's a bold, specific, and debatable claim that grabs attention and lays the groundwork for what's to come in your paper or essay.

Characteristics of a robust thesis statement:

  • Clearly communicates the main idea of the paper.
  • Focuses sharply on a specific aspect or angle of the topic.
  • Makes a strong, assertive statement rather than posing a question.
  • Succinctly summarizes the core argument of the paper.
  • Provides readers with a clear roadmap of what to expect in the paper.
  • Takes a clear stance or position on the topic.
  • Offers a preview of the supporting arguments that will be explored.
  • Maintains an academic and objective tone throughout.
  • Typically positioned near the conclusion of the introductory paragraph.
  • May adapt or refine as research and analysis progress.
  • Essential for ensuring the strength and effectiveness of the academic paper.

If you're struggling with crafting your thesis, you're not alone. Many students find it challenging. But fear not – if you're ever stuck and thinking, 'Where to pay someone to write my paper ?', – consider reaching out to our expert help for guidance.

Want to Unlock the Power of Thesis Statement Ideas?

Secure your academic success with our custom-crafted thesis statements and elevate your research to the next level!

10 Tips for Writing a Thesis Statement 

Often confused with a topic sentence, which starts a paragraph, the thesis statement shares the role of introducing the main idea that unfolds in the subsequent discussion. Here are the tips that will help your statement capture the essence of your entire paper.

  • Ensure your thesis is clear and to the point, presenting your main argument straightforwardly.
  • Address a particular aspect of the topic for a focused and targeted argument.
  • State your thesis as a clear declaration rather than a question to assert a definite position.
  • Keep it brief, capturing the essence of your argument without unnecessary detail.
  • Provide a preview of the main points or arguments to be explored in your paper.
  • Clearly express your position on the topic, whether supporting, refuting, or analyzing an idea.
  • Maintain a formal and unbiased tone, avoiding emotional language in your thesis.
  • According to the essay format rules, position your thesis near the end of the introduction to set the stage for the discussion.
  • Recognize that your thesis may evolve as you delve deeper into research and analysis, adjusting to new insights.
  • Regularly review and refine your thesis statement to ensure it aligns with the evolving content of your paper.

How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step

Now that we've covered the fundamental tips for how to write a thesis statement let's delve into a step-by-step guide for creating one. If you're interested in hiring a professional to write my personal statement , our help is just one click away.

How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step

Step 1: Topic Selection

When selecting a topic for your thesis statement, it's crucial to choose something that genuinely interests you. This will keep you motivated throughout the research and writing process. Consider the scope of your topic; it should be neither too broad nor too narrow. Ask yourself:

  • What topics within my field of study am I genuinely passionate about?
  • Is the topic manageable within the scope of a thesis, or is it too broad or narrow?
  • How does my chosen topic contribute to the existing knowledge or debates in my field?
  • Are there any recent developments or emerging trends related to this topic that I can explore?

Step 2: Research and Analysis

As you gather information, critically analyze and evaluate each source's credibility, reliability, and relevance to your thesis. Look for patterns, connections, and gaps in the existing literature that you can address in your thesis. Consider these points:

  • What are the key concepts, theories, or arguments related to my topic?
  • What existing research, studies, or literature can I draw upon to support my thesis?
  • Are there any conflicting viewpoints or gaps in the literature that I need to address?
  • How can I critically analyze and evaluate the sources I find to ensure their relevance and credibility?
  • Are there any methodologies or approaches that I can employ to further investigate my topic and gather new insights?

Step 3: Identify a Position

After selecting a topic and conducting thorough research, the next step is to identify a clear position or argument that you will defend in your thesis statement. For example, for a topic on healthcare policy, you could identify a position regarding the effectiveness of a particular healthcare reform initiative supported by evidence from your research. Or, in a literary analysis thesis, you might take a position on the interpretation of a novel's themes or characters, drawing on textual evidence to support your argument. In each case, you might want to consider the following:

  • What evidence or data from my research supports a particular viewpoint on the topic?
  • Are there any counterarguments or alternative perspectives that I need to address in my thesis statement?
  • How does my chosen position contribute to the broader conversation or understanding of the topic within my field of study?
  • Does my thesis statement clearly and concisely communicate my stance on the topic while leaving room for further exploration and argumentation in the thesis?

Step 4: Formulate a Debatable Statement

Once you've identified your position, the next step is to craft a thesis statement that presents this position in a debatable and compelling manner. You might want to avoid vague or broad statements that lack clarity or focus. Also, anticipate potential objections or alternative perspectives to your position.

  • Non-Debatable Statement: Climate change is happening.
  • Debatable Statement: Human activities are the primary drivers of climate change, and urgent action is needed to mitigate its impact.
  • Non-Debatable Statement: Education is important.
  • Debatable Statement: The traditional classroom setting is becoming obsolete in the digital age, challenging the efficacy of traditional teaching methods.

Step 5: Provide Scope and Direction

After formulating a debatable thesis statement, it's essential to provide clarity on the scope and direction of your thesis. This step helps readers understand what to expect and guides your research and writing process.

  • If your thesis statement is about the impact of technology on education, you might specify that your research will focus on the use of educational apps in primary schools.
  • For a thesis on mental health stigma, you could outline that your research will explore the portrayal of mental illness in the media and its influence on public perceptions.
  • If your thesis statement concerns the effectiveness of a specific marketing strategy, you might indicate that your analysis will concentrate on its implementation in a particular industry.

Types of Thesis Statements

Writing a thesis statement can take different forms depending on the essay's purpose. Here are common types according to our custom essay service :

  • Argumentative : Asserts a position on a controversial topic and provides reasons or evidence to support it. Example : 'The government should implement stricter gun control laws to reduce instances of mass shootings and protect public safety.'
  • Analytical : Breaks down a topic into its component parts and evaluates them. Example : 'Through an analysis of symbolism and character development, Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' explores the theme of moral decay in society.'
  • Explanatory : Explains the significance or meaning of a subject. Example : 'The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on society by transforming economies, social structures, and daily life.'
  • Comparative : Compares two or more subjects to highlight similarities or differences. Example : 'Although both cats and dogs make great pets, dogs require more attention and maintenance due to their higher energy levels and need for exercise.'
  • Cause and Effect : Identifies the relationship between actions and outcomes. Example : 'The widespread use of smartphones has led to decreased face-to-face social interaction among young adults, resulting in feelings of loneliness and isolation.'
  • Descriptive : Provides an overview or description of a topic. Example : 'The Gothic architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris exemplifies the intricate craftsmanship and religious symbolism of the medieval era.'
  • Narrative : Tells a story or recounts a sequence of events. Example : 'My journey to overcome adversity and pursue higher education is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.'

Now that you've mastered creating a thesis statement, are you ready to tackle the full academic paper—the thesis? If not, let our thesis writing service take the wheel and steer you clear of any trouble.

Good Thesis Statement Examples

In this section, let’s take a look at ten examples of effective thesis statements across various subjects:

Good Thesis Statement Examples

  • Literature: 'In George Orwell's '1984,' the oppressive surveillance state serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked governmental power.'
  • History: 'The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s marked a significant turning point in American history, challenging systemic racism and paving the way for greater social equality.'
  • Science: 'The theory of evolution by natural selection, proposed by Charles Darwin, remains the most comprehensive explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.'
  • Social Sciences: 'The gender pay gap persists due to a combination of systemic discrimination, occupational segregation, and implicit bias in hiring and promotion practices.'
  • Education: 'Implementing inclusive classroom practices, such as differentiated instruction and universal design for learning, is essential for meeting the diverse needs of students with varying abilities.'
  • Environmental Studies: 'Transitioning to renewable energy sources is crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.'
  • Psychology: 'The prevalence of mental health disorders among adolescents underscores the need for early intervention programs and destigmatization efforts in schools and communities.'
  • Business: 'Corporate social responsibility initiatives not only benefit society and the environment but also contribute to long-term profitability and brand reputation.'
  • Health Sciences: 'Access to affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right, and implementing universal healthcare systems can address disparities in healthcare access and outcomes.'
  • Technology: 'The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence poses ethical dilemmas regarding privacy, job displacement, and the potential for autonomous decision-making by machines.'

In-Text Examples

Now, let’s focus on the role of a thesis statement in guiding your paper's direction. Check out the highlighted statements in the analytical essay example that shape the overall argument.

In the realm of environmental science, the discourse surrounding climate change has become increasingly urgent. As we grapple with the consequences of human activity on the planet, understanding the mechanisms driving climate change and identifying actionable solutions has never been more critical. In the face of mounting evidence pointing to human-induced climate change as a pressing global issue, it is imperative that societies worldwide prioritize the adoption of renewable energy sources and implement stringent environmental policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard the future of our planet.

In recent years, the proliferation of online learning platforms has revolutionized the landscape of education, offering students unprecedented access to resources and opportunities for self-directed learning. Within the domain of mathematics education, these platforms have garnered particular attention for their potential to enhance learning outcomes and facilitate personalized instruction. As traditional classroom settings grapple with challenges such as limited resources and varying student needs, online learning platforms offer a promising alternative for delivering tailored instruction and supporting individualized learning trajectories. By leveraging interactive tutorials, adaptive assessments, and real-time feedback mechanisms, these platforms aim to engage students more effectively and address gaps in understanding.

Your thesis isn't just a statement—it's the engine that drives your essay forward. It keeps your writing focused and engaging, drawing your reader in and keeping them interested. Knowing how to write a good thesis statement gives you the power to express yourself effectively, making your ideas resonate with your audience.

So, let's remember the crucial role a solid thesis plays in making our writing stand out. It's the secret weapon that can take your assignments from good to great.

Need a Perfect Thesis Statement?

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Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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Creating a Clear Thesis Statement

  • Developing Body Paragraphs
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Writers must consider readers' expectations. For example, readers typically expect a written text that is organized and cohesive. One way of helping readers understand the organization and cohesion of ideas within a text is by including a clear thesis statement. Without a clear thesis statement, readers will not know what to expect in a text, they will struggle to follow ideas, and they might feel that the writer is unsure of his/her purpose for writing.

Summarized Explanation

  • End an introduction with a thesis statement.
  • Avoid using first-person perspective in a thesis statement.
  • Create a concise thesis statement that is ideally one sentence long.
  • Include a main statement and at least three key ideas to form the thesis statement.

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Detailed Explanation

For starters, it is important to note that a thesis statement may take different forms depending on the type of text, and sometimes a thesis statement will be subtle. However, most written texts can benefit from a strong, distinct thesis statement at the very end of the introductory section. A thesis statement should ideally be a single sentence that presents a writer’s main statement about a topic along with at least three key ideas that will be used to prove the statement. Furthermore, it is best to avoid first-person perspective (I think, I feel, I believe), which can make the statement sound too informal. Lastly, a thesis statement serves as a road map for a written text, so the order of ideas presented in the thesis statement should be mirrored in the body section of the text.

Examples (all using the same general topic of this writing guide)

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Consider using the Thesis Generator tool as a first step in creating a thesis statement with a main statement and three key ideas.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

Last Updated: February 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,205,182 times.

Whether you’re writing a short essay or a doctoral dissertation, your thesis statement can be one of the trickiest sentences to formulate. Fortunately, there are some basic rules you can follow to ensure your thesis statement is effective and interesting, including that it must be a debatable analytical point, not a general truism.

Crafting Great Thesis Statements

Step 1 Start with a question -- then make the answer your thesis.

  • Thesis: "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education."
  • ' Thesis: "The river comes to symbolize both division and progress, as it separates our characters and country while still providing the best chance for Huck and Jim to get to know one another."
  • Thesis: "Through careful sociological study, we've found that people naturally assume that "morally righteous" people look down on them as "inferior," causing anger and conflict where there generally is none."

Step 2 Tailor your thesis to the type of paper you're writing.

  • Ex. "This dynamic between different generations sparks much of the play’s tension, as age becomes a motive for the violence and unrest that rocks King Lear."
  • Ex. "The explosion of 1800s philosophies like Positivism, Marxism, and Darwinism undermined and refuted Christianity to instead focus on the real, tangible world."
  • Ex. "Without the steady hand and specific decisions of Barack Obama, America would never have recovered from the hole it entered in the early 2000s."

Step 3 Take a specific stance to make your thesis more powerful.

  • "While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions."
  • "The primary problem of the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment."
  • "Hemingway's stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words."

Step 4 Make the argument you've never seen before.

  • "After the third and fourth time you see him beat himself, one finally realizes that Huck Finn is literature's first full-blown sadomasochist."
  • "The advent of internet technology has rendered copyright laws irrelevant -- everyone can and should get writing, movies, art, and music for free."
  • "Though they have served admirably for the past two centuries, recent research shows that America needs to ditch the two-party system, and quickly."

Step 5 Ensure your thesis is provable.

  • "By owning up to the impossible contradictions, embracing them and questioning them, Blake forges his own faith, and is stronger for it. Ultimately, the only way for his poems to have faith is to temporarily lose it."
  • "According to its well-documented beliefs and philosophies, an existential society with no notion of either past or future cannot help but become stagnant."
  • "By reading “Ode to a Nightingale” through a modern deconstructionist lens, we can see how Keats viewed poetry as shifting and subjective, not some rigid form."
  • "The wrong people won the American Revolution." While striking and unique, who is "right" and who is "wrong" is exceptionally hard to prove, and very subjective.
  • "The theory of genetic inheritance is the binding theory of every human interaction." Too complicated and overzealous. The scope of "every human interaction" is just too big
  • "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers is ultimately a cry for help from a clearly depressed author." Unless you interviewed Harding extensively, or had a lot of real-life sources, you have no way of proving what is fact and what is fiction."

Getting it Right

Step 1 State your thesis statement correctly.

  • is an assertion, not a fact or observation. Facts are used within the paper to support your thesis.
  • takes a stand, meaning it announces your position towards a particular topic.
  • is the main idea and explains what you intend to discuss.
  • answers a specific question and explains how you plan to support your argument.
  • is debatable. Someone should be able to argue an alternate position, or conversely, support your claims.

Step 2 Get the sound right.

  • "Because of William the Conqueror's campaign into England, that nation developed the strength and culture it would need to eventually build the British Empire."
  • "Hemingway significantly changed literature by normalizing simplistic writing and frank tone."

Step 3 Know where to place a thesis statement.

Finding the Perfect Thesis

Step 1 Pick a topic that interests you.

  • A clear topic or subject matter
  • A brief summary of what you will say
  • [Something] [does something] because [reason(s)].
  • Because [reason(s)], [something] [does something].
  • Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something].
  • The last example includes a counter-argument, which complicates the thesis but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all counter-arguments against your thesis. Doing so will refine your thesis, and also force you to consider arguments you have to refute in your paper.

Step 5 Write down your thesis.

  • There are two schools of thought on thesis timing. Some people say you should not write the paper without a thesis in mind and written down, even if you have to alter it slightly by the end. The other school of thought says that you probably won't know where you're going until you get there, so don't write the thesis until you know what it should be. Do whatever seems best to you.

Step 6 Analyze your thesis...

  • Never frame your thesis as a question . The job of a thesis is to answer a question, not ask one.
  • A thesis is not a list. If you're trying to answer a specific question, too many variables will send your paper off-focus. Keep it concise and brief.
  • Never mention a new topic that you do not intend to discuss in the paper.
  • Do not write in the first person. Using sentences such as, "I will show...," is generally frowned upon by scholars.
  • Do not be combative. The point of your paper is to convince someone of your position, not turn them off, and the best way to achieve that is to make them want to listen to you. Express an open-minded tone, finding common ground between different views.

Step 7 Realize that your thesis does not have to be absolute.

Sample Thesis and List of Things to Include

how to state a clear thesis

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Think of your thesis as a case a lawyer has to defend. A thesis statement should explain to your readers the case you wish to make and how you will accomplish that. You can also think of your thesis as a contract. Introducing new ideas the reader is not prepared for may be alienating. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • An effective thesis statement controls the entire argument. It determines what you cannot say. If a paragraph does not support your thesis, either omit it or change your thesis. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to state a clear thesis

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/planning-and-organizing/thesis-statements
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-a-thesis

About This Article

Gerald Posner

To write an effective thesis statement, choose a statement that answers a general question about your topic. Check that your thesis is arguable, not factual, and make sure you can back it up your with evidence. For example, your thesis statement could be something like "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education." To learn about writing thesis statements for different types of essays or how to incorporate them into your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Chapter 5: Putting the Pieces Together with a Thesis Statement

5.2 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements
  • Revise your thesis statement

Have you ever known someone who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following the train of thought as the storyteller jumped from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe the person told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. The ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement  to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a  controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your instructor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful, and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities:

Specificity: A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision: A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Arguability: A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Demonstrability: For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness/Assertiveness: A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence: In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.4

H5P: Drafting Thesis StatementsWrite a clear, confident thesis statement for an essay on the following topic:

  • Texting while driving.
  • The legal drinking age in different provinces of Canada.
  • Steroid use among professional athletes.

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the qualities discussed above: specificity, precision, arguability, demonstrability, forcefulness/assertiveness, and confidence.

  • The societal and personal struggles of Floyd in the play Where the Blood Mixes, by Kevin Loring, symbolize the challenge of First Nations people of Canada who lived through segregation and placement into residential schools.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look four pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis.

  • A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay. Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.
  • A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across the country are trying to legislate their puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.
  • A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end. Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.
  • A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad. Weak thesis statement :  The life of Pierre Trudeau was long and accomplished.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.5

H5P: Read the following thesis statements and identify each as weak or strong.

  • “The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.”
  • “The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.”
  • “Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the 19th century.”
  • “In this essay, I will give you a lot of reasons why marijuana should not be legalized in British Columbia.”
  • “Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.”
  • “My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an email. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your email request. While your email will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Writing a Thesis Statement

One legitimate question readers always ask about a piece of writing is “What is the big idea?” (You may even ask this question when you are the reader, critically reading an assignment or another document.) Every nonfiction writing task—from the short essay to the 10-page term paper to the lengthy senior thesis—needs a big idea, or a controlling idea, as the “spine” for the work. The controlling idea is the main idea that you want to present and develop.

The big idea, or controlling idea, you want to present in an essay is expressed in your thesis statement. Remember that a thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states your point of view. The thesis statement is not the topic of the piece of writing but rather what you have to say about that topic and what is important to tell readers.

Look at Table 5.1: Topics and Thesis Statements  for a comparison of topics and thesis statements.

Table 5.1 Topics and Thesis Statements: A Comparison
Topic Thesis Statement
Music piracy The recording industry fears that so-called music piracy will diminish profits and destroy markets, but it cannot be more wrong.
The number of consumer choices available in media gear Everyone wants the newest and the best digital technology, but the choices are extensive, and the specifications are often confusing.
E-books and online newspapers increasing their share of the market E-books and online newspapers will bring an end to print media as we know it.
Online education and the new media Someday, students and teachers will send avatars to their online classrooms.

The first thesis statement you write will be a preliminary thesis statement , or a working thesis statement . You will need it when you begin to outline your assignment as a way to organize it. As you continue to develop the arrangement, you can limit your working thesis statement if it is too broad or expand it if it proves too narrow for what you want to say.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.6

H5P: Working Toward a Working Thesis

We’re going to use that free writing strategy again. This time, try to write for ten minutes, and write down anything you know right now about your newly narrowed thesis statement. Don’t worry about looking material up or whether you’re getting everything exactly right. Instead, just focus on getting words on the screen. This is rough work to help you approach an answer to a question, not the final essay. So just keep writing.

Can you find something in your freewriting that looks like a “controlling idea”? Something that might centre your argument, something you can structure your argument around? We’ll call that your working thesis. Draft a working thesis below.

Collaboration: Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

Revising a Thesis Statement

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember, you begin with a working thesis statement, an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

  • Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.
  • Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.
  • Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.
  • Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.
  • Working thesis: British Columbian schoolteachers are not paid enough.
  • Revised thesis: The legislature of British Columbia cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are. Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Reading the original thesis statement above, readers might wonder why teachers are not paid enough, but the statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask him- or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue. For example, the writer could ask:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results
  • Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.
  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behaviour show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

Self-practice exercise  5.7

H5P:  Polishing the Thesis Statement

A working thesis statement is always a work in progress, and we make it stronger by asking questions of it and challenging the first draft. That’s the next job you have! It takes many revisions to make your work the best it can be, so try not to get frustrated by the process.

  • Copy your working thesis statement for reference here.
  • Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.
  • Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs gives information about the subject, such as a condition or relationship (is, appear, smell, sound), but they do not show any action. The most common linking verb is any forms of the verb to be, a verb that simply states that a situation exists. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.
  • Omit any general claims that are hard to support. Recopy the newly revised thesis below.

Just Asking Questions

Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis. The most straightforward way to do this is to ask yourself the 5WHs again — who, what, where, when, why, and how — and see were you can make your thesis statement more specific. List the questions you have about your own thesis below.

Now do your best to answer those questions.

And finally, revise your thesis in relation to these points and share it below.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revising to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. The techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Writing for Success - 1st Canadian H5P Edition Copyright © 2021 by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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how to state a clear thesis

How to Write a Thesis Statement to Make It Clear

A good thesis statement is the basis for an excellent essay. Without it, your writing won’t have a starting point or clear structure.

Thesis statement definition

A thesis statement is a concise claim (one or two sentences) that reflects the main idea of an essay or research paper and establishes the structure of the main body.

What Is a Thesis Statement

Your main purpose is to make your thesis relevant to the body paragraphs so that they develop the topic in the context of your interpretation.

Functions of the thesis statement

A thesis statement serves as the:

  • Argumentative claim on the topic and your conclusions on the topic.
  • Promise to the reader on what to expect in the subsequent text.
  • Focus on a specific angle of the topic and the circumscription of the paper’s scope.
  • An important part of the paper that is typically placed at the end of the introduction.
  • A golden thread that ties the pieces of the text together and is the focal point of the arguments.

Methods to make a thesis statement from a topic

Whether your professor has given you a specific topic or you have chosen one by yourself, there will be a similar list of methods you can use to formulate a thesis statement.

  • Pass the test by asking “So what?” questions. When reading the topic imagine what questions a prospective reader might ask you. So what is the main point? Who cares? You might explore a topic deeper at a deeper level to clarify or create a relationship to the larger topic.
  • Think how you can convince the reader to agree with your ideas. If you are writing an argumentative essay, your thesis statement must address the main argument that you will develop in the main body.
  • Start with justifying a discussion. A good thesis statement invites the reader to engage with a contradictory viewpoint and build interest to see how you will support your stance.

Thesis statement checklist

As soon as you formulate your thesis statement, take a moment to go through the checklist and ensure your text shines. What are the qualities of a good thesis statement?

  • It answers the question assigned by the professor.
  • It contains a position on the topic and is arguable.
  • It focuses on the ideas you discuss in the body paragraphs.
  • It utilizes specific words and terms that have direct meaning and can’t be misunderstood.
  • It consists of one sentence and is as short as possible without losing the content.
  • It connects with all ideas in the body paragraphs.
  • It has no grammar and spelling errors.

Let’s figure out how to write a strong thesis statement step by step like each essay writer online does.

How to write a thesis statement for an A-level essay: 5 steps

1. Turn your topic into a question.

If you’re not lucky enough and your topic doesn’t sound like a question, you have to transform it. For example, let’s say your topic is on double characters in the novel “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

You can transform this topic into the following question: “What heroes in the novel Crime and Punishment are double characters, and how do they represent different sides of Raskolnikov’s character?”

2. Answer this question.

“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment. ”

That’s a great start. But that’s not it. We haven’t answered the whole question. Let’s try again.

3. Refine your answer.

“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment , and they represent three different sides of Raskilnikov’s nature.”

Much better. That’s already a good thesis statement. But we want to make it perfect, right? Let’s see how we can add more detail.

4. Remember the examples.

“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment , and they represent three different sides of Raskolnikov’s nature: sense of consciousness, destructiveness, and desire to follow progressive ideas.”

With this thesis statement, you give your readers a sense of direction. They’ll know what exactly you’re going to write about.

But we can dig deeper. A list of characters isn’t enough. You have to answer the question, “So what?” What is the role of the double characters? How do they contribute to the plot of the novel?

5. Polish your thesis statement.

“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment , and they represent three different sides of Raskolnikov’s nature: sense of consciousness, destructiveness, and desire to follow progressive ideas; they make possible a better and deeper understanding and analysis of the protagonist.”

That’s our finalized thesis statement for an A-level essay. How do you like it?

You’re welcome to use the same instruction to compose thesis statements for any kind of topic. Now, let us share a few rules that will make your thesis statement even better.

6 rules on how to write a good thesis statement

  • The thesis statement isn’t your topic.

You can’t simply say: “In this essay, I’ll analyze double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment. ” You have to explain to your readers what exactly you’re going to write in your essay.

  • Put your thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph.

A perfect essay introduction consists of three main elements: a hook, transition, and a thesis statement. The hook grabs the attention, and the thesis statement provides information.

  • Your thesis statement should give your readers (and you) direction.

Imagine that your thesis statement is a guiding point for you and your readers. It will help you to stay on track during the writing process, and it will help your readers to follow your thoughts.

  • Link back to your thesis statement.

The research process can be really exciting, and sometimes, it goes far beyond our plans. Look at your thesis statement from time to time not to lose you path.

  • Your thesis statement shouldn’t be a fact, but an OPINION that needs to be proved.

“The beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world” – that’s a fact. You can’t use this sentence as your thesis statement. “The beagle is the best dog breed for apartments” – that’s an opinion. This claim is debatable, and you can use it as your thesis statement.

  • You can change your thesis statement throughout the writing process.

The thesis statement is your compass. But what if you decide to change your final destination? Remember that you can change your thesis statement at any moment. The most important part is that it remains relevant to your text as a whole.

Thesis statement examples

Examples of Good Thesis Statements

Our guide on how to write a thesis statement can serve as a list of hints for you each time you write an essay. One day, your skills will improve, and you won’t need it. Until then, keep it at your fingertips so that you can always take a look.

By the way, on our blog, you can also find a helpful guide on how to write an essay for beginners . We’re sure that it’ll come in handy for composing your essays.

Thesis statement writing help from EssayShark.com

Unfortunately, the thesis statement isn’t the whole essay. If you have difficulties with your custom term paper , apply to our writers. You can place your order at any time. EssayShark is available 24/7!

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how to state a clear thesis

The Law Can't Be a Good Parent, Nor Can It Legislate Good Choices

The Law Can't Be a Good Parent, Nor Can It Legislate Good Choices

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During the graduation season that just passed, a sign at a nearby gas station flashed a message on its digital screen for graduating high school seniors: “Make Good Choices.” Better advice for anyone, whether young or old, would be hard to find.

What’s important about the advice, but also rather obvious, is that it took no legislation to get the message to the graduates. Instead, the gas station’s owner simply has common sense. Good choices are just that, and they’ll overwhelm all sorts of other bad advice, learning, or exposure.

The powerful truth about good choices came to mind while reading a New York Times account of certain parents taking their activism to Washington, and in particular, parents lobbying Congress to pass the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). Reading about these parents, it was difficult to not conclude that they were and are taking the undeniable struggles of parenting to Washington with an eye on having them legislated away. Which says something.

It says that as opposed to the KOSA actually accomplishing anything related to improving child safety, it’s actually parents unwittingly attempting to offload the very real struggles of parenting to lawmakers. Which is a bad choice, and that’s not a political statement. Hopefully readers know why. A law can’t be a parent, and it can’t force wise decisions. Only for it to get more troubling.  

To see why, consider the tragedy endured by one mother in the Times story. She’s described as a “fixture” in Washington given her dogged pursuit of legislation meant to make the online experience safer. What brought her to this point in undeniably awful. Her daughter had been “cyberbullied on Snapchat,” she’d been “raped by a boy she had met online,” and then she died at age 18 after taking “fentanyl-laced drugs bought on Facebook.” To be clear, what happened is tragic.

At the same time, it would be equally tragic and mistaken to blame the internet for what happened. As the adults reading this opinion piece, and who in some instances grew up in the pre-Internet age know very well, bullying is as old as childhood, and realistically adulthood. It did not begin with online communication. Arguably it was worse before online because it was much more person-to-person, and physical.

Horrible things like rape and molestation similarly didn’t begin with the internet. Fallen Angel was a 1981 television film about a child made lonely by her widowed mother’s relationship with a family friend, only for the child to fall under the spell of predator who worked in child pornography. Parents made their kids watch it at the time (including my own) as a way of warning their kids about the sometimes bad intentions of adults.

As for drug use and access, it’s no insight to point out that the internet wasn’t the pathway for drugs finding their way to young people. So while some are no doubt accessing dangerous substances online now, to blame the internet, online communication, or Facebook brings new meaning to non sequitur. The internet doesn’t kill, but drugs can.

Which is why it’s the job of parents, not Congress to keep a close eye on their kids. Yet KOSA to varying degrees shifts child protection to Congress. The Times reports that the law “would require social media, gaming and messaging apps to limit features that could heighten depression or bullying or lead to sexual exploitation.” Which wouldn’t change anything. Think about it.

As is, social media, gaming and messaging apps already have a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of their users since as ad-supported sites for the most part, they wouldn’t have ad buyers if it were known that use of the sites irretrievably damaged the users. Which is yet another reminder that it’s not social media or online activity imperiling young people, rather it’s mistakes, including mistakes borne of faulty parental supervision. There ought to be a law? No.  

Common sense tells us Congress can’t fix what ails us, whether young or old. Only good choices can, and those don’t require legislation.

how to state a clear thesis

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Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning objectives.

  • Understand the elements of a strong, clear thesis statement
  • Revise a thesis statement to make it clearer

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea—the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity . A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision . A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued . A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated . For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness . A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence . In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe. These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness

Ex: The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.

Ex: Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.

Ex: Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.

Ex: J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.

Ex: Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.

Ex: Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.

Ex: In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.

A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.

A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

WRITING AT WORK

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement, an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard, the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.

Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke. The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? are the 5WH questions). By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be, a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis : Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis : The Kansas City legislature cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are. Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis : Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis : Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

• Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.

• A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.

• A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.

• A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.

• A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.

• Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.

• Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement Copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Kepka is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Maryland mother fights to clear daughter's school record in AI cheating case

by CHRIS PAPST | WBFF

Maryland mother fights to clear daughter's school record in AI cheating case (WBFF)

BALTIMORE (WBFF) — The battle continues for a Maryland mother who is fighting to save her daughter’s academic reputation .

Tara Davis, of Anne Arundel County, said her daughter was unfairly accused of using artificial intelligence to cheat on a school assignment, but she’s running out of chances to prove it.

“I want to keep going,” Davis told WBFF . “I want to keep fighting the fight.”

Davis first spoke with WBFF in May. Since then, she hasn’t gotten very far in her effort to clear her daughter’s name.

“I feel like I'm going in circles,” she said.

Davis’s daughter, who WBFF is not naming, attends Broadneck High School in Anne Arundel County. Earlier this year, she was accused by the school system of using artificial intelligence to complete an English assignment. The sophomore denied the allegation but received a zero on the assignment.

The principal found her in violation of the district’s Academic Integrity policy for plagiarism, which now appears on her permanent student record.

“I know there are people out there that are having a similar experience, and their kids have had this happen,” said Davis.

In defense of her daughter, Davis has now filed four appeals with Anne Arundel County Schools. The first appeal went to the Broadneck High School principal who upheld the findings. Subsequent appeals went to the Regional Assistant Superintendent, the Associate Superintendent of School Performance, and most recently the District’s Deputy Superintendent.

All three additional appeals have upheld the original findings. But Davis said the process is unfair because the school system has not given her daughter a chance to explain herself. She said her daughter has never been interviewed for any of the four appeals.

“This matter is extremely important. This policy cannot fall under the plagiarism guidelines category -- it’s an entirely separate animal that is treating good students unfairly. Something has to be done here and it has to be done now," Davis wrote in her most recent appeal to the deputy superintendent.

The deputy superintendent replied saying, Broadneck’s initial investigation was “thorough” in concluding that the “style, syntax, vocabulary and sentence structure were not consistent with previous work submitted.”

The school has offered to remove the Academic Integrity violation from her daughter’s record at the end of senior year, if she has no more violations. But Davis said that may be too late.

“That's not good enough,” she said. “College applications happen long before graduation. So, colleges are going to see that academic dishonesty is on her record.”

Anne Arundel County Public Schools does not have a board-approved policy concerning students using artificial intelligence, which is why Davis’s daughter was disciplined under the broader district policy for academic integrity. Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County Public Schools also do not have board-approved policies concerning AI.

But Carroll County Schools has been addressing the issue. At this month’s school board meeting, the board established AI standards. The district drafted a Syllabus Statement for classroom curriculum that says, in part, “While certain assignments in this course may permit the use of generative AI tools, such use is not allowed unless otherwise stated Intentionally submitting AI generated work as original is considered academic dishonesty."

“We’re preparing our kids for careers and college and for the real world, and these are things that are out in the real world,” said Carroll County Board of Education Member Tara Battaglia during the June 12 board meeting. “It does have a lot of good to it, we just have to make sure we’re using it correctly.”

In punishing Davis’s daughter, Broadneck High School used an AI detection program called GPTZero, which claims with 90% certainty that the paper was written by artificial intelligence.

In the reply to Davis’s fourth appeal, the Deputy Superintendent wrote, “I have reviewed available information which notes that GPTZero is widely used and is reliable.”

But Davis wonders if the “available information” reviewed by the Deputy Superintendent included GPTZero’s own website, which cautions users. The website reads, “This result should not be used to directly punish students.”

Davis now has one more opportunity to clear her daughter’s name. After four failed attempts, she plans to file a fifth and final appeal to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

“I just want her to see that standing up for what you believe in and standing up for what's right, is worth doing,” Davis said of her daughter. “I'd love a positive outcome on the other side of this, so that she can actually see that it is worthwhile, even if it takes time and persistence.”

how to state a clear thesis

Supreme Court presidential immunity ruling shakes up the Biden-Trump conversation

how to state a clear thesis

WASHINGTON - Former President Donald Trump got an important political and legal win . President Joe Biden got a much needed post-debate change of subject .

The Supreme Court's decision on Monday giving Trump limited immunity from prosecution for presidential acts means the presumptive 2024 GOP nominee - already a convicted felon - will not be tried during the campaign on charges that he tried to steal the 2020 election from Biden.

"Now I am free to campaign like anyone else," Trump told Fox News Digital in the immediate aftermath of the landmark 6-3 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Meanwhile, the Biden team - still in damage control over his shaky debate performance last Thursday that has fomented widespread calls for the incumbent Democratic president to get out of the 2024 White House race - reacted to the decision by reviving the basic issue: Trump's role in the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, which followed his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.

"Trump is already running for president as a convicted felon for the very same reason he sat idly by while the mob violently attacked the Capitol," said a Biden campaign statement. "He thinks he’s above the law and is willing to do anything to gain and hold onto power for himself."

Trump moves forward

Legal issues will continue to dog the Trump campaign, but there won't be as many of them thanks to the Supreme Court.

The former president does face a July 11 sentencing date in the hush money case. A judge could sentence him to prison, although he is appealing the verdict and likely won't face a day behind bars.

Trump has also been staring at a potential criminal trial in Washington, D.C., on federal charges that he conspired to try and steal the 2020 election from Biden . But that now looks very unlikely. Trump can always appeal any ruling from the federal district court judge overseeing his case that found his actions - including pressuring state and federal officials to change electoral votes - do not constitute "official acts." That move would likewise further delay a trial, which as of now doesn't even have a start date listed on the court docket.

If Trump wins the presidential election and takes office, he can order the Justice Department to have his federal case dismissed - a move that no doubt would prompt widespread political pushback from Democrats.

Trump will be tried on federal Jan. 6 charges "only if he loses in November, and even then it’ll take probably two years," said Bradley P. Moss, a Washington lawyer who specializes in national security cases.

No more courtrooms for Trump

It stands to reason: No trial, no real damage to Trump's campaign.

"Once he's sentenced in New York, that's the last we'll see of Trump in a courtroom, right?" said Republican strategist Scott Jennings.

Jennings, a CNN commentator, said voters "have already processed January 6 and related issues, and have already taken into account of whether they will do Trump again. So not much, to be honest."

Trump also faces two other possible trials: A Georgia state case that also alleges he conspired to steal the 2020 election, and a Florida federal case involving the mishandling of classified documents .

Pre-trial maneuvering has delayed both of those trials, likely beyond Election Day on Nov. 5.

The Biden campaign: Trump is still responsible for Jan. 6

After a poor debate performance that inspired even some supporters to suggest Biden drop out of the race, the president's campaign sought to use the Supreme Court decision to reframe the debate.

While there won't be a Trump trial before the Election Day, Biden supporters said, the issue remains: the former president fomented an insurrection and still poses a threat to democracy, and voters should hold him accountable.

In its statement, the Biden campaign said Trump "snapped after he lost the 2020 election" and has become more unhinged this time around.

"He’s promising to be a dictator ‘on day one,’ calling for our Constitution to be ‘terminated’ so he can regain power, and promising a 'bloodbath' if he loses," the Biden campaign said.

Is Trump's legal calendar clear?

This isn't the first time this year the Supreme Court has altered the legal/political calendar.

The federal Jan. 6 case was on schedule to start this March, but it got pushed back after the high court decided to review Trump's pre-trial appeal. At that point, prosecutors in New York opted to move forward with the hush money case against Trump.

On May 30, a jury convicted Trump of false reporting of hush money payments to Stormy Daniels , all in an effort to keep voters from learning about his encounter with the adult film actress right before the 2016 presidential election.

There is scant evidence that the New York case has had much of an effect on the Biden-Trump race.

Polls say the race race is virtually tied, although both campaigns are anxiously reviewing new data to asses the impact - if any - on Biden's shaky performance at last week's debate.

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IRS: Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance; Internal Revenue Code Section 280E still applies

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IR-2024-177, June 28, 2024

WASHINGTON — Until a final federal rule is published, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance and is subject to the limitations of Internal Revenue Code.

The law with respect to the schedule or classification of marijuana has not changed. Taxpayers seeking a refund of taxes paid related to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E by filing amended returns are not entitled to a refund or payment.

Although the law has not changed, some taxpayers are filing amended returns. The grounds for filing such claims vary, but these claims are not valid. The IRS is taking steps to address these claims.

Section 280E disallows all deductions or credits for any amount paid or incurred in carrying on any trade or business that consists of illegally trafficking in a Schedule I or II controlled substance within the meaning of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

This applies to businesses that sell marijuana, even if they operate in states that have legalized the sale of marijuana. Section 280E does not, however, prohibit a participant in the marijuana industry from reducing its gross receipts by its properly calculated cost of goods sold to determine its gross income.

On May 21, 2024, the Justice Department published a notice of proposed rulemaking with the Federal Register to initiate a formal rulemaking process to consider rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Until a final rule is published, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance and is subject to the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 280E.

The IRS has an existing set of frequently asked questions and other information related to the cannabis industry on IRS.gov.

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Oklahoma schools are required to teach the Bible, state superintendent says

It was not immediately clear how the Bible would be taught or what instructional standards around it would require.

how to state a clear thesis

Oklahoma’s state superintendent on Thursday mandated that all public schools teach the Bible in a move that he said was meant to impart “historical understanding,” but that critics say blurs the constitutional boundary between church and state.

“The Bible is a necessary historical document to teach our kids about the history of this country, to have a complete understanding of Western civilization, to have an understanding of the basis of our legal system — and is frankly, we’re talking about the Bible, one of the most foundational documents used for the Constitution and the birth of our country,” superintendent Ryan Walters (R) said while announcing the policy .

It was not immediately clear how the Bible would be taught or what instructional standards around it would require. A memo to Oklahoma school districts from Walters’s office said schools “are required to incorporate the Bible, which includes the Ten Commandments,” into curriculum for fifth through 12th grades, effective immediately.

The move comes a week after Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed a law directing all public schools in the state to display the Ten Commandments, religious and ethical directives handed down to the prophet Moses in the Bible. Opponents have sued to stop the statute’s implementation. Like Walters, proponents of the Louisiana effort said having the Ten Commandments in classrooms is necessary in teaching history.

In his memo, Walters wrote that Oklahoma’s mandate “is not merely an educational directive but a crucial step in ensuring our students grasp the core values and historical context of our country.” He said the state’s Education Department may supply teaching materials for the Bible “to ensure uniformity in delivery.”

“Immediate and strict compliance is expected,” the memo said.

Tensions are mounting over the boundary between church and state, and the role religion should play in schools — if any. Days after the Louisiana Ten Commandments mandate, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed state-financed Catholic charter school, saying the first-of-its-kind religious public school violated the state and U.S. constitutions. Meanwhile, more than a dozen states have introduced bills to put chaplains in public schools . And as school voucher programs expand rapidly in Republican-run states, most of the funds — billions in taxpayer dollars — are directed to religious schools.

The efforts are proliferating at a time when the more conservative Supreme Court has expanded the rights of religious people and chipped away at precedent meant to keep the government from endorsing religion.

On Thursday, critics of Oklahoma’s new requirement called the move unconstitutional.

“Requiring a Bible in every classroom does not improve Oklahoma’s ranking of 49th in education ,” Oklahoma state Rep. Mickey Dollens (D) said in a statement, referring to a recent report. “The State Superintendent should focus on educating students, not evangelizing them.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a nonprofit that advocates for the disassociation of religion from government, signaled that it is prepared to fight the directive. The group is also among those challenging Louisiana’s Ten Commandments law.

“Americans United will do everything in our power to stop Christian Nationalists like Ryan Walters from trampling the religious freedom of public school children and their families,” Rachel Laser, president and CEO of the advocacy group, said in a statement. “This nation must recommit to our foundational principle of church-state separation before it’s too late. Public education, religious freedom and democracy are all on the line.”

Walters has been a prominent voice of conservative politics in Oklahoma, and the classrooms under his jurisdiction have been a common battleground. He denounced a teacher for perpetuating a “liberal political agenda” after she helped a student access banned books, and he endorsed disputed videos that teach conservative values in public schools.

Joseph Fishkin, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, said that a moralistic teaching of the Bible in public schools would violate existing First Amendment law. If challenged, though, he said the Supreme Court “has moved recently so far to the right on this specific set of issues, of church and state.”

In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that Maine cannot bar religious schools from receiving public tuition grants , elevating concerns about religious discrimination above constitutional worries about the separation of church and state. That same year, the court ruled in favor of a Washington state football coach who knelt at midfield to pray and was joined by student-athletes, tossing a long-established precedent that determines whether a law violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

This has inspired conservative groups and leaders to test the line, Fishkin said.

“It’s an effort to push against long-established boundaries and see where the court system will overturn the precedents,” he said.

It’s unclear how Oklahoma’s mandate would fare in the courts, if challenged, Fishkin added.

“It’s not like this is some untested question,” but due to the court’s recent shifts, everything is a little uncertain right now, he said.

Michelle Boorstein contributed to this report.

how to state a clear thesis

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VIDEO

  1. Learn How To Write A Strong Thesis Statement

  2. NDSU Three Minute Thesis 2024 Finalist: Kyle Boutin

  3. NDSU Three Minute Thesis 2024 Finalist: Nastaran Shahzadeh

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  5. How to Write a Good Thesis Statement?

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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. 9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

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    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.

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

  8. How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

    A thesis statement is a clear and succinct assertion that presents the main argument or central idea of a research paper or other academic work. You usually find the thesis, which serves as a road map for the entire piece of writing, at the end of the introductory paragraph.

  9. Thesis Statement

    Here are the steps to follow when writing a thesis statement: Identify your topic: Your thesis statement should be based on a clear understanding of your topic. Identify the key concepts, issues, and questions related to your topic. Research: Conduct research to gather information and evidence that supports your argument.

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    Without a clear thesis statement, readers will not know what to expect in a text, they will struggle to follow ideas, and they might feel that the writer is unsure of his/her purpose for writing. Summarized Explanation. End an introduction with a thesis statement. Avoid using first-person perspective in a thesis statement. Create a concise ...

  13. How to Write a Thesis Statement (with Pictures)

    Doing so will refine your thesis, and also force you to consider arguments you have to refute in your paper. 5. Write down your thesis. Writing down a preliminary thesis will get you on the right track and force you to think about it, develop your ideas further, and clarify the content of the paper.

  14. PDF How to Write an Effective Thesis Statement

    Checklist of a Strong Thesis Statement. ü Clear and concise. • R-T sentences (rest of intro can explain hows, whys, and whats in more detail) • Presents summary picture of your main argument. • Avoids hedging ("I hope to show," "I will try to prove," etc.) ü Specific and Arguable. • Avoids broad / unprovable statements.

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    A poorly written thesis statement is clunky, whereas a good one is concise, pithy, and succinct. Clear. All good thesis statements are clear and detailed. Almost by definition, a thesis statement conveys a sense of clarity and purpose in your essay. The best way to be clear when writing your thesis statement is by choosing the brightest words ...

  16. 5.2 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated. A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and supported with evidence. A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.

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    By ensuring these elements are present, a writer can develop a thesis statement that effectively sets the stage for a compelling and well-substantiated paper. How to craft a clear and concise thesis statement. Creating a thesis statement that is both clear and concise is a process that benefits from careful thought and refinement. It is often ...

  19. How to Write a Thesis Statement to Make It Clear

    A thesis statement serves as the: Argumentative claim on the topic and your conclusions on the topic. Promise to the reader on what to expect in the subsequent text. Focus on a specific angle of the topic and the circumscription of the paper's scope. An important part of the paper that is typically placed at the end of the introduction.

  20. The Law Can't Be a Good Parent, Nor Can It Legislate Good Choices

    Which is a bad choice, and that's not a political statement. Hopefully readers know why. A law can't be a parent, and it can't force wise decisions. ... To be clear, what happened is tragic ...

  21. Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps: 1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness. Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

  22. Maryland mother fights to clear daughter's school record in AI ...

    Since then, she hasn't gotten very far in her effort to clear her daughter's name. "I feel like I'm going in circles," she said. Davis's daughter, who WBFF is not naming, attends ...

  23. California senator pulls bill banning Clear from new airports across state

    Democratic State Sen. Josh Newman has withdrawn his bill that would have effectively banned the expedited security screening company Clear from expanding to new airports in California.. The ...

  24. Science of social media's effect on mental health isn't as clear cut as

    "To be clear, a warning label would not, on its own, make social media safe for young people," he wrote. "These harms are not a failure of willpower and parenting; they are the consequence ...

  25. In SCOTUS ruling on immunity Trump gets win, Biden gets subject change

    Trump has also been staring at a potential criminal trial in Washington, D.C., on federal charges that he conspired to try and steal the 2020 election from Biden.But that now looks very unlikely.

  26. IRS: Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance; Internal

    IR-2024-177, June 28, 2024 — Until a final federal rule is published, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance and is subject to the limitations of Internal Revenue Code.

  27. Oklahoma schools are required to teach the Bible, state superintendent

    Days after the Louisiana Ten Commandments mandate, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed state-financed Catholic charter school, saying the first-of-its-kind religious public school ...