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How to Write an Excellent Thesis Statement

Regardless of whether you write a short essay or a doctoral thesis, arguably the thesis statement will be the hardest sentence to formulate. This article from guides you through the process of creating a thesis statement.

Correctly state your thesis statement.

A thesis statement conveys to readers the points or arguments you want to make in a document.  This will serve as an action plan, as it tells the reader the direction of your argument or analysis, as well as how you will interpret the importance of the topic.  In the simplest of terms, a thesis statement answers the question “What is this paper about?” Likewise, a thesis statement must have the following characteristics:

  • It is a statement, not a fact or observation.  The facts are used within the document to support your thesis.
  • Take a stand, that is, announce your position on a particular issue.
  • It is the main idea and explains what you intend to talk about.
  • Answer a specific question and explain how you plan to support your argument.
  • It is questionable. Someone must be able to argue with an alternative stanceor, conversely, back up your claims.

Write your thesis the right way.

It is necessary that the thesis statement be identifiable as such. To do this, you need to give it a very particular tone and use specific types of phrases and words. Use words such as “because” or “due” and language that is firm and definitive. Here are some thesis statements that contain good language:

Determine the location of the thesis statement.

Due to the role that thesis statements play, they appear at the beginning of the document, usually at the end of the first paragraph or at some point in the introduction. While most people look for the thesis at the end of the first paragraph, its location can depend on a number of factors such as how long an introduction needs to be before including the thesis or even the length of the document.

Limit the length of a thesis statement to one or two sentences.

 Thesis statements are clear and direct, which will help the reader to identify the topic and direction of the document, as well as your position on the topic.

Choose a topic that is of interest to you.

The topic should be the first step in the writing of the document and the thesis statement because this will determine the direction that the essay will follow. Unfortunately, you will have to skip this step in case you decide the topic.

Analyze the issue.

The goal of this topic is to find a limited point in the topic that you can argue about. For example, suppose the topic is computers. There are many aspects of them that you can talk about, such as hardware, software, and programming. Vague topics like these don’t make for good theses, but if you go for something more limited, like Steve Jobs’s influence on the modern computer industry, you can have a much clearer focus.
Determine the type, purpose and audience of the document.

Generally, these factors are determined by the instructor, but even if you do choose them, you should keep in mind that they will significantly affect the thesis. If you plan to write a persuasive document, your goal will be to demonstrate something to a specific group. On the other hand, if you plan to write a descriptive document, the goal will be to describe something to a specific group. You must express each of these factors in some way in your thesis.

 Follow a rigid structure.

Knowing the basic formulas will not only keep your thesis to an acceptable length, but it will also allow you to see how you should organize the entire argument. The thesis must contain two parts:

  • a clear theme or matter
  • a brief summary of what you will say
  • Another way of looking at a thesis is as a formula or pattern that loosely encompasses your ideas:
  • [Something] [does something] for [some reason (s)].
  • Due to [some reason (s)], [something] [does something].
  • Despite [the evidence to the contrary], [the reasons] show that [something] [does something].

The last example includes a counterargument, which complicates the thesis, but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all the counterarguments in your thesis.  This will allow you to refine your thesis and will also make you consider the arguments that you will need to refute in your paper.

Write your thesis statement.

 Writing a preliminary thesis will put you on the right track and force you to think about it, further develop your ideas and clarify the content of the document. You will be able to think about your thesis in a logical, clear and concise way.

There are two schools of thought concerning the right time to write the thesis. Some people claim that you shouldn’t write your paper without having a thesis in mind and written, even if you may have to modify it a bit in the long run. On the other hand, there are those who say that you probably won’t know where you’re going until you get there, so you shouldn’t write your thesis until you know what it should be. Go for the alternative that seems most suitable for you.

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