Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.
The thesis statement should do more than merely announce the topic; it must reveal what position you will take in relation to that topic, how you plan to analyze/evaluate the subject or the issue. In short, instead of merely stating a general fact or resorting to a simplistic pro/con statement, you must decide what it is you have to say.
It tells the reader what to expect in the rest of the essay
An answer to a question posed to you (in an assignment)
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement should be a single, declarative statement.
It should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
Writing a Good Thesis
Narrow your subject from a general subject to a limited subject
To analyze (cause/effect,
To explain a process
To offer a solution to a problem
PRACTICE: Narrow these general subjects down to one or more limited subjects.
Weak: In this paper, I will talk about childhood obesity.
Better: If we are going to reduce the rate of childhood obesity, schools and parents must work together to encourage children to be more active, teach them to make better decisions about their nutrition, and reduce the amount of processed foods they consume.
Weak: The subject of this paper is why students should go to college.
Better: Students should go to college not only because they will find better job opportunities but also because a college education will improve their quality of life and help build their communities.
Weak: Insects are fascinating creatures.
Better: Strength, organization, and communication make the ant one of nature's most successful insects.
Weak: Technology has changed our lives.
Better: Modern technology makes it easier to stay in touch with old friends and make new friends, keep up with current events, and find information we need.
Weak: I like my apartment.
Better: The available space, the newer appliances, and the included utilities in the rent make my new apartment an improvement over the last.
Just make sure that your research is top-notch, and that you have facts to support your side of the statement.
► A healthy breakfast is said to be an important meal of the day, because it gives the person all the essential nutrients that the body requires, and also help the body in facing the challenges of the day.
► As children love to indulge in fast foods and spend their time in front of the television or by playing video games, obesity has become a common health problem for them.
► Introducing sex education in middle school is very important as many cases of teenage pregnancy have been reported in the past few years.
► Though people argue that examinations cause stress and tension in students, they are important in evaluating the student's knowledge.
You will complete them in the book and tear out the pages to turn in.
Two Parts of a Thesis Statement
Reveals the topic (Managing stress in college)
Presents the writer's attitude, opinion, or idea about that topic (students should eat a well-balanced diet and exercise, get enough sleep, and build free time into their schedules to hang out with friends.)
In order to manage stress in college, students should eat a well-balanced diet and exercise, get enough sleep, and build free time into their schedules to hang out with friends.
The main idea of the essay
A map for you, the writer, to follow as you organize, draft, revise
A roadmap for the essay.
Scott, Assistant Professor
Following the first version of this document prepared by the author in 1987, students andinstructors alike have reported considerable gains in writing performance by students with respect to expository essays done out-of-class, research papers, and one-hour essayexaminations.
When you are asked to write an essay that creates an argument, your reader will probably expect a clear statement of your position. Typically, this summary statement comes in the first paragraph of the essay, though there is no rigid rule about position. Here are some characteristics of good thesis statements, with samples of good and poor ones. Note that the better examples substitute specific argumentative points for sweeping general statements; they indicate a theoretical basis and promise substantial support. (See Some Myths About Thesis Statements, below, for a discussion of times not to use a thesis statement. See also the file .)
This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.
These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area.
This revised document reflects further thinking and refinement by the author with the note that instructors quite naturally will choose to emphasize certain strategies and approaches over others, but even more important the fact that nothing improves writing more than consistency and practice.Very little has changed in the development of the essay, nomatter whether one is writing a research paper, a film review oran argumentative essay.
Where there are advocates ofprocess writing (i.e., the Creating Stage where ideas aredeveloped, the First Draft or Shaping Stage where those ideasare placed into rough form, and a Completing Stage where allrevisions and rewriting is done), the author here speaks ofspecific strategies centered around gaining and holding theattention of the audience.
Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface.
The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis (too general) with three possible revisions (more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic):