The thesis statement is typically located at the end of your opening paragraph. (The opening paragraph serves to set the context for the thesis.)
How do I know if I have a solid tentative thesis?
What does a thesis look like? 2 Simple equations: Specific topic + Attitude/Angle/Argument = Thesis ( or 3 Ts: Topic + ’Tude = Thesis) What you plan to argue + How you plan to argue it = Your thesis
Interesting contrasts or comparisons or patterns emerging in the information
Something about the topic that surprises you
Ideas that make you wonder why?
Priorities you can weigh
Something an “expert” says that makes you respond, “No way! That can’t be right!” or “Yes, absolutely. I agree!”
1. Does the thesis inspire a reasonable reader to ask, “How?” or “Why?” 2. Would a reasonable reader NOT respond with “Duh!” or “So what?” or “Gee, no kidding!” or “Who cares?” 3. Does the thesis avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as “all” or “none” or “every”? 4. Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences (the subtopics needed to prove the thesis)? 5. Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project? If you cannot answer “YES” to these questions, what changes must you make in order for your thesis to pass these tests? Try these five tests on your own tentative thesis:
Are these good thesis statements? (Use the five tests to decide.)
1. Terrorism should not happen.
2. The causes of the Civil War were economic, social, and political.
3. The Simpsons represents the greatest animated show in the history of television.
4. The Simpsons treats the issues of ethnicity, family dynamics, and social issues effectively.
5. Often dismissed because it is animated, The Simpsons treats the issue of ethnicity more powerfully than did the critically praised All In The Family .
Now you are ready! Go forth and do powerful, thoughtful research! Remember, you are not alone. Check frequently with your teacher-librarian and classroom teacher for guidance!