What is a Thesis?
The thesis should focus on an interesting
and significant issue that engages your
energies and merits your consideration.
Your thesis determines what does and
doesn’t belong in the essay
The thesis helps focus the reader on the
central point and helps you achieve your
Writing an Effective Thesis
An effective thesis has two parts:
– It presents your paper’s limited subject.
– It presents your point of view or attitude about
Education-- Computer programs in
arithmetic can individualize instruction
more effectively than the average
elementary school teacher can.
Transportation-- Although Philadelphia’s
transit system still has problems, it has
become safer and more efficient in the
last two years.
Work– The internship program has positive
consequences for students.
• An effective thesis establishes a tone and
point of view.
For example, you want to say that electronic
technology can never replace a teacher in the
• “Ditch the screens and cutesy iPads and put
the bucks where they count- in teachers.”
• “Education won’t be improved by purchasing
more electronic teaching tools but by
allocating more money to hire and develop
Implied Patterns of Development
• Computer programs in arithmetic can
individualize instruction more effectively than
the average elementary school teacher can.
• compare contrast
• Although Philadelphia’s transit system still has
problems, it has become safer and more
efficient in the last two years.
• The internship program has positive
consequences for students.
• Cause and effect
Include a plan of development
• Baseball’s inflated salaries hurt the fans, the
sport, and most of all, the athletes.
• Many parents have unrealistic expectations
for their children. These parents want their
children to accept their values, follow their
paths, and succeed where they have failed.
Note that the plan of development is
expressed in grammatically parallel
• Don’t write a highly opinionated
–“With characteristic clumsiness, the
state government bumbled their way
through the recent budget crisis.”
–“State legislators had trouble managing
the recent budget crisis effectively.”
• Don’t make an announcement
My essay will discuss whether MCCS
students should be allowed to wear jeans to
Mount Calvary Christian School students
should be allowed to wear jeans to school.
I want to discuss cable television.
Cable TV has not delivered on its promise to
provide an alternative to network
• Don’t make a factual statement
If a fact is used as a thesis, you have no place
to go; a fact doesn’t invite much discussion.
-Many businesses pollute the environment.
-Tax penalties should be levied against
businesses that pollute the environment.
America’s population is growing older.
The aging of the American population will
eventually create a crisis in the delivery of
• Don’t make a broad statement
Avoid stating your thesis in vague, general, or
Nowadays, high school education is often
High school diplomas have been devalued by
Newspapers cater to the taste of the American
The success of USA Today indicates that people
want papers that are easy to read and
Placing the thesis in the essay
• The thesis is often located in the middle or at the
end of the introduction.
• You may choose to delay the thesis if you feel the
background information needs to be provided
before the reader can understand your key pointespecially if the concept is complex.
• If you feel the reader appreciates the direct,
forthright approach, the thesis may be early in
• Somewhere the thesis is reiterated, using fresh
words, in the conclusion.
• Once you start writing your first draft,
some feelings, thoughts, or examples
may emerge that modify or even
contradict your initial thesis. Don’t resist
these ideas. Keep them in mind and
process them to move toward a more
valid and richer view of your subject.