Thesis A thesis is one or two sentences that states what your essay is about. The thesis is not the same as the topic. The thesis makes a specific point. For example: The current TV rating system does little to help parents make wise programming choices for their children. Topic: The current TV rating system Central Point: It does little to help parents decide what their kids should watch.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 1. State your topic & your central point about the topic. Thesis: Many students work while attending school, but this is unhealthy. Topic: Students who work Central Point: It is unhealthy for students to work
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 2. State your central point clearly. Rather than indicate that you have a point, state it. Unclear: Although there are pros and cons to the issue, I’ve decided how I feel about affirmative action. Better: Although there are pros and cons to the issue, I’m convinced that affirmative action laws do more harm than good.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 3. Limit your thesis to one topic and one central point. A thesis with more than one topic or point will require too long of a paper, and may cause the reader too become lost.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 4. Avoid broad statements. A thesis that is too broad will yield a vague, superficial paper with no substance. Too Broad: The role of women has changed in the last 60 years. Better: The leadership role of women in politics has changed in the last 60 years. Why: To discuss all the changes in 60 years would be too long.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 5. Express your central point in specific words. You want your reader to have a clear understanding of your central point. 6. Avoid factual statements. They leave you with nothing to say.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 7. Avoid writing a formal announcement. Avoid announcements such as “This paper will show”, “As I will prove”, or “the following will explain”. An announcement is considered poor style.
Qualities of an Effective Thesis 8. Avoid expressions such as “In my opinion”, “I believe”, “It seems to me”, & “I think”. Since you are writing the thesis, it is already clear that you are expressing what you think. 9. Preview the main ideas your essay. Knowing your ideas in advance will help you organize your essay, achieve your writing purpose, and assist your reader.
Review Your Thesis Re-read your writing. Can you identify one, clear, specific thesis statement? Ask a friend to read your essay. Afterwards, ask them to state your thesis. Double-check that the body of the essay supports the stated thesis.