Overview of a Thesis Statement
Convincing the reader that you have an interesting and logical point of view on a subject demands a strong thesis statement.
Course assignments will often require you to persuade a reader on a subject matter.
In this, you a have to present an academic argument, which should follow a predictable writing pattern.
Such a pattern demands that you:
1. Provide a brief topic introduction
2. State your point of view on the topic
3. Expound on the topic
Stating your point of view is done using an essay thesis statement, which is usually in one sentence.
Writing the thesis statement is one the key steps to writing an essay.
The thesis statement serves as summary of the argument to be advanced in your paper.
What is a Thesis Statement?
As earlier noted, an essay thesis statement entails a summary of an argument in a paper.
It can therefore be defined as:
“A condensation of an argument or analysis”.
The thesis statement encompasses one or two sentences that condense the argument or analysis to follow in a paper.
It appears at the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of the first paragraph.
The rest of the paper, particularly the body collects and organizes evidence to persuade the reader about your logical interpretation of the topic.
In cases where you are required to develop a claim or take a position about a subject, the claim or position should be conveyed in the thesis statement.
When explicitly required to include a thesis statement, you should find one.
Case where a thesis statement should be added include assignments that ask you to take a stand on an issue, interpret, analyze, demonstrate cause and effect, and compare and contrast.
Purpose of a Thesis Statement
The essay thesis statement serves key purposes.
1. Testing your ideas by condensing them to see how logical they are
2. Helping organize and develop the paper’s argument
3. Telling the reader how you intend to interpret the significance of the issue under analysis
4. Providing a road map for the paper by implying what to expect in the rest part of the paper
5. Answering the question asked by interpreting the subject or question
6. Making a claim that might be disputed by the reader
Elements of a Strong Thesis Statement
It is advisable to consult with a colleague or your instructor to help find out how appropriate your thesis statement is.
If not possible, evaluating the presence of important elements could help assess the thesis statement.
Note that a strong thesis statement is defined by several key features.
To identify these features, you should deliberate on the following:
1. Whether you have answered the question
This feature entails ensuring that the argument effectively addresses the focus of the question.
To help realize this, you should go through the question prompt once again after constructing your thesis.
Check and ensure that the prompt is phrased in a question format.
2. Whether you have taken a position that could be challenged
Your thesis statement should be phrased in a manner that it can generate an argument.
It is important to make sure that it does not simply state facts that could not be disputed, or else you will be providing a summary.
3. Whether the thesis statement is specific enough
It is important to ensure that the thesis statement is not even slightly vague.
Vague statements usually do not provide a strong argument.
Words used must be specific in their meaning and interpretation.
4. Whether the thesis statement passes the “So what? test
This involves the ability of the essay thesis statement to clearly express connect the topic under study to the larger issue.
The reader should not be left guessing or wondering what the objective of the paper is.
Instead, there should be a clear relationship that connects to a bigger issue.
5. Whether the essay precisely supports the thesis
The thesis statement should be aligned to the body of the essay.
If it is not, either one of them should be changed.
Notably, the working thesis could be change to align it to new issues found when writing the paper.
Therefore, reread and revise your paper to make sure that it matches the argument advanced by the thesis statement.
6. Whether the thesis statement passes the “how and why?” test
The thesis statement must clearly guide the reader.
It should help the reader understand your position on the topic right from the word go.
After going through the thesis statement, the reader should not ask the questions “how and why?”
How long should a Thesis Statement be?
A thesis statement should be brief and concise.
The intention should be to summarize your position in as little words as possible.
Therefore, as earlier observed, a thesis statement should preferably be one sentence.
In some cases though, it could be two sentences but not more than that.
How to Write a Thesis Statement for Beginners
There are various steps key to constructing your essay thesis statement.
Note that this applies for both cases where a topic has been assigned and where one has not been assigned.
Generating a Thesis Statement where Topic is Assigned
Constructing a thesis statement for papers where the topic has already been assigned is a straightforward process.
Steps involved include:
1. Distilling the assignment into a specific question
This step entail reducing the assignment to a single question.
You should go through the assignment instructions and determine which question would effectively represent the topic/ issue under analysis.
2. Compose an answer to the question
After identifying the question to answer, you should go ahead and compose one or two sentences that answer the question.
The derived answer should be your thesis statement.
Generating a Thesis Statement where Topic is not Assigned
Constructing a thesis statement in cases where the topic for the assignment is not provided is a rigorous process.
It entails finding an answer to a question about the issue you intend to explore.
Generating a thesis statement in this case would require you to do the following:
1. Find a topic that could reasonably be agreed upon
2. Find a topic that can be adequately addressed considering the nature of the assignment
3. Find a topic that covers one main idea
4. Find a topic where you can assert your conclusions about the subject under review
Steps involved in generating this thesis statement are:
1. Brainstorming the topic
This entails exploring the general subjects that could be studied.
You should identify areas related to a field that elicit your interest.
The idea is to find general areas that can produce interesting or controversial topics.
To do so, you should consider areas you studied in your course with arising questions or current issues related to your class lessons.
2. Narrowing the topic
This requires you to reduce the scope of the general subject to a topic that can be effectively covered.
In this, you should narrow the subject by identifying the aspect or specific issue you want to study.
At this point you should raise a subject that is agreeable among reasonable people.
3. Taking a position on the topic
This step involves determining what you want to say about the selected topic.
You should assert your position.
4. Making the statement specific
The step requires you to use specific language to explain what the topic entails.
It could involve using a statistic or fact to express a specific issue.
5. Making an assertion
You should now go ahead and revise the statement to base it on a claim that is clearly supported.
Remember that it should be in the form of a question.
3-point Thesis Statement
A 3-point thesis statement contains three key components that include:
1. A narrowly defined topic
2. A claim
3. Reasons supporting the claim
This is considered the standard thesis statement.
Your essay thesis statements should follow this format.
Examples of a 3-point Thesis Statement
Narrowly defined topic: Social media
Claim: Use among teenage students should be regulated
Reasons supporting claim: Because it can reduce their focus on learning, impair socializing in person, and expose them to unrealistic views about life.
Thesis statement: Social media use among teenage students should be regulated because it can reduce their focus on learning, impair socializing in person, and expose them to unrealistic views about life.