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Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis?

❶You can always modify your thesis statement as you go, but the pressure is off and the direction is stated. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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A strong thesis takes some sort of stand.
2. A strong thesis justifies discussion.
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The thesis is the point your paper is trying to prove. Here are some essential points to keep in mind about the thesis, starting with a definition. The point that an essay is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims.

Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Just as all the parts of your body are connected to the spine, and without the spine your body could not stand, so too in your essay all parts must be connected to the thesis, and without the thesis the essay cannot stand.

Parts that are not connected must be revised so that they do connect, or else eliminated. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot in your essay; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.

An arguable thesis is one you have to give reasons for, that is worth proving i. So my example above is not a valid thesis, because everybody knows what color the sky is.

This statement is not obvious, and it would require evidence about the nature of the atmosphere a billion years ago, and explanations of why that evidence is reliable, in order to be proved.

Theses can be statements about matters of fact e. In this class theses about values are not allowed. Your paper should make a persuasive case about some question of fact, interpretation or analysis. Your paper will then attempt to answer this question, and the answer you provide will be your thesis.

A descriptive thesis makes a claim about how things are. A prescriptive thesis makes a claim about how things should be. Therefore, prescriptive theses deal with questions of values, ethics or morality. And as I said, such theses are not allowed in this class. This is a weak thesis. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase "negative and positive" aspects" are vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers. Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:. This is a weak thesis because it states an observation.

Your reader won't be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading. While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family. This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely accepted view.

A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and web pages can provide both advertising and customer support. This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can't decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or web pages.

To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become clearer. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:. Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you write a paper on hunger, you might say:. This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons.


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This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for your draft. Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change.

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A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.

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A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you write a paper on hunger, you might say: World hunger has many causes and effects. Thesis (plural: theses, pronounced THEES-eez): The point that an essay is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper.

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You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph -- in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction. In composition, a thesis statement (or controlling idea) is a sentence in an essay, report, research paper, or speech that identifies the main idea and/or central purpose of the text. In rhetoric, a claim is similar to a thesis. For students especially, crafting a thesis statement can be a.