The heart of the matter
Any thesis is a succinct statement to inform any reader
about what a piece of non-fiction prose is going to precisely examine and
how that is a significant contribution to our knowledge.
Often a thesis is obscure, hidden or uncovered only later in an essay.
Unless there is a reason for that approach, beginning writers should put
the point of the essay at the very start of their exposition as a guide
to both them in writing a work and readers of that work.
People look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of
the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation
as a thesis statement.
Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?
to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
to better organize and develop your argument
to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument
In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think
of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.
University tutorial service suggestion.
What is a thesis?
A thesis statement declares what you believe and what you intend to prove.
A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research
project and a simple retelling of facts.
A good tentative thesis will help you focus your search for information.
But don't rush! You must do a lot of background reading before you know
enough about a subject to identify key or essential questions. You may not
know how you stand on an issue until you have examined the evidence. You
will likely begin your research with a working, preliminary or tentative
thesis which you will continue to refine until you are certain of where
the evidence leads.
school approach to writing.
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 which does not fall under these three categories
(ex. 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
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.
writing and rhetorical assistance from Purdue University.
UNC says that a thesis statement
should be a convincing description of the paper.
This handout describes what a thesis statement is,
how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or
refine one for your draft.
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 somewhere in your 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.
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Your paper should
have a declaration of intent, purpose or reason for writing that answers
the question-- "so what?" This is usually a statement fashioned
by you saying publicly that this work is a result of your original and creative
imagination and based on some method or means of determining
what is accurate about the information you are conveying.
This pronouncement is usually based on the best of your
knowledge. It does not however mean that the works of others will not be
included in your paper. You are also obliged to declare that you have duly
acknowledged the source and cited properly all borrowed materials.
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