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Generates an argument and alludes to the facts that will support the claim.
Is the last sentence in your paper’s introductory paragraph.
A Few Important Notes
Since the thesis statement is the main statement for the entire essay, it should express a complete thought and be a complete sentence.
The thesis statement is asserting an opinion or idea, so it should not be a question.
A thesis statement also contains sub points, or the facts that support the main argument. These sub points will be the topic sentences in each of the “body” paragraphs in the essay.
A thesis statement does NOT simply state a fact nor does it include all of the facts that will be used to prove the argument.
Let’s Take a look Sound Thesis Statement Poor Thesis Statement Exercise is beneficial to all because it helps to increase muscle mass, gives the body more energy, and releases endorphins which help us to stay positive. I like exercise because it is fun. Why should you exercise? Because it’s fun! In this essay I am going to explain why you should exercise. Exercise helps you to keep your weight down and to have more energy and to stay fit so everyone should exercise every day.
THE THESIS FORMULA Your Argument+Your main Points=Your Thesis!
Where to begin! Ask yourself the following questions. What is the purpose of my essay? What is the point I am trying to prove? What are the facts I will use to prove those points? Does my position answer the question/prompt?
The “so what” test A good thesis statement must be specific. In order to help make your thesis as specific as possible, you should give it the “so what” test.” Ask yourself “so what” at the end of each of your main ideas in your thesis. “I like to run.” So what? This is not making an argument or case! “I like to run because it is fun.” Again, so what? How does this relate to your reader? “Running is beneficial because it helps us to stay fit and have more energy.” So what? Again, though this is more specific, you have yet to complete the thought and make it applicable to the reader. “Running is beneficial because it helps us to stay fit and have more energy SO THAT we can live a long and healthy life.”
Three-Part Thesis statements One way to develop your thesis statement is by increasing its specificity in three parts then give an overall application at the end. Example: Geographers use maps as sources. Three-Part Thesis: Geographers use maps, documents, and artifacts as sources to learn more about a place and culture.
Thesis StrategiesThere are several ways to write a thesis. Let’s explore them together! Turn the question into your thesis statement.
Let’s say the prompt is “What events and ideas cause the Civil War?”
How can you turn this question into the first part of your thesis statement?
“The Civil war was caused by fundamental disagreements between the North and the South, the most influential being the size of the federal government and slavery.”
Cause and Effect Thesis
If your essay topic is asking you to discuss the effects of a topic, consider using a cause and effect thesis.
This type of thesis follows the “If/Then” line of thinking.
Let’s say your essay prompt is “How can middle school students learn more about geography?
Cause and Effect Thesis:
If middle school students want to learn more about geography, then they should begin to study maps, globes, and the cultures around the world.
Expository Thesis (Hmm…. Where have we heard this word before? The most common type of essay is an expository essay where you are asked to explain or illustrate something. How can we create the BEST thesis statement for an expository essay? That’s right, turn the question into a thesis statement! Example Essay: Discuss how the setting of a story can impact the plot. Example Thesis The setting of a story impacts the plot by dictating the action, setting the tone in a story, and creating a scene for characters to build upon.
Compare & Contrast Thesis You will often be asked to compare and contrast two topics in your writing. Let’s practice together! Essay Prompt: What are the similarities and differences between inductive and deductive reasoning? Essay Thesis: “While inductive and deductive reasoning both involve drawing conclusions and explaining ideas, deductive reasoning takes a topic from the broad to the specific while inductive reasoning moves from the specific to a more broad approach.”
Problem & Solution Essays Many essays ask you to suggest solutions to a problem after performing research into a topic. Example Essay: Teen alcohol use is a widespread problem and is very dangerous. Please discuss how to prevent teens from using alcohol after researching its negative effects. Thesis Statement: “To prevent teens from using alcohol and making poor choices as a result of intoxication, parents should maintain open lines of communication encourage healthy friendships, and provide positive role models for their teen children.”
Analysis of benefits/Drawbacks You may also be asked to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of something after performing research. Example Essay: Please discuss the positive and negative effects of the Federal Banking System. Example Thesis: “While the Federal Banking system does provide monetary security for investors and accountability, recent bailouts of major national banks have shown that the system comes at a high price, namely high taxes for American citizens. “
Argumentative Thesis Many times you are asked to take a position and state your personal opinion in an essay. HOWEVER, it is not proper to use first person in formal essays. So, how do you state your opinion without stating “I?” You PROVE your points clearly thereby convincing the reader you are right! Example Essay: Do you agree or disagree with the use of capital punishment? Example Thesis: Capital punishment should be used in every state as it is a good deterrent to crime, enacts justice for victims of a crime, and keep criminals off the streets.
Thesis Process Review Ask yourself what type of question is being asked. Identify the type of thesis statement you will write (If/Then, Argumentative, etc.) Turn the subject of the question into your main topic. Write the second part of your thesis based upon the type of question you are being asked. Give your thesis the “so what” test! Revise accordingly. Write your essay!