Skip Nav

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Thesis Statement

❶A thesis is not a list.

Language & Lit

How to Cite


A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good. In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion the best type of sandwich , which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. Just as there are two different types of thesis statements informative and persuasive , there are two basic styles you can use.

The first style uses a list of two or more points. This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments. In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay. In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer.

Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile.

Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use. One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point: Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template: When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.

A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause the opinion and a dependent clause the reasons. You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long. A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay.

This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences. You should address a single issue in great detail so that your points can be fully supported in the body of the paper. Make the argument you've never seen before. The best theses find a novel, exciting way to approach the topic.

They're fresh and dynamic, which makes your essay fresh and dynamic. Ensure your thesis is provable. Do not come up with your thesis and then look it up later. The thesis is the end point of your research, not the beginning. You need to use a thesis you can actually back up with evidence.

Ultimately, the only way for his poems to have faith is to temporarily lose it. The scope of "every human interaction" is just too big "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers is ultimately a cry for help from a clearly depressed author. State your thesis statement correctly.

Someone should be able to argue an alternate position , or conversely, support your claims. Get the sound right. You want your thesis statement to be identifiable as a thesis statement. You do this by taking a very particular tone and using specific kinds of phrasing and words. Use words like "because" and language which is firm and definitive. Example thesis statements with good statement language include: Know where to place a thesis statement.

Because of the role thesis statements play, they appear at the beginning of the paper, usually at the end of the first paragraph [5] or somewhere in the introduction.

Although 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 lengthy of an introduction you need before you can introduce your thesis or the length of your paper.

Limit a thesis statement to one or two sentences in length. Pick a topic that interests you. This must be the first step in writing your paper and your thesis statement because all direction of the paper will depend on what topic you are writing about. Unfortunately, you must ignore this step if the topic is decided for you. The goal of this step is to find a particular narrow subject in your topic which you can make an argument about. For example, take the topic of computers.

There are many aspects of computers that can be expanded on such as hardware, software, and programming. However, vague topics like these do not make good theses. But something more narrow, such as the effects of Steve Jobs on the modern computer industry, allows for a much clearer focus. Know the type, purpose, and audience of the paper. These are usually assigned by the instructor, but even if you get to choose them, you must understand that these will affect your thesis statement considerably.

If you are writing a persuasive paper, your purpose will be to prove something to a specific group. If you are writing a descriptive paper, your purpose will be to describe something to a specific group.

Each of these must be expressed in your thesis somehow. Follow a rigid structure. Knowing the basic formulas will not only keep your thesis within the acceptable length but it will also help you see how your entire argument should be organized. Your thesis should contain two parts: A clear topic or subject matter A brief summary of what you will say Another way of looking at a thesis is as a formula, or a pattern, that comfortably holds your ideas: Because [reason s ], [something] [does something].

Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something]. The last example includes a counter-argument, which complicates the thesis but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all counter-arguments against your thesis. Write down your thesis. You will be able to think about your thesis logically , clearly, and concisely.

There are two schools of thought on thesis timing. Some people say you should not write the paper without a thesis in mind and written down, even if you have to alter it slightly by the end.

The other school of thought says that you probably won't know where you're going until you get there, so don't write the thesis until you know what it should be. Do whatever seems best to you. Analyze your thesis statement once you think you have a final, or working, version. The point is to make sure you avoid making any mistakes that can weaken your thesis.

To get a better idea of what to do and what to avoid, consider the following pointers: Never frame your thesis as a question. A thesis is not a list. Keep it concise and brief.

Never mention a new topic that you do not intend to discuss in the paper. Do not write in the first person. Using sentences such as, "I will show Do not be combative. The point of your paper is to convince someone of your position, not turn them off, and the best way to achieve that is to make them want to listen to you. Express an open-minded tone, finding common ground between different views.

Realize that your thesis does not have to be absolute. Consider it a "working thesis" that's subject to change. As you write your paper you may find that your opinion changes or that your direction has veered slightly.

So make sure to continuously re-read your thesis, comparing it to your paper and making the appropriate changes so the two match. Once your paper is finished, go back to your thesis and determine if it needs another revision. You state your thesis at the beginning, usually at the end of the introductory paragraph. You restate your thesis in one or two sentences at the end, typically at the beginning of your conclusion.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

A strong thesis statement is key to writing a persuasive essay. The thesis statement presents your topic to the reader, provides your opinion on that topic and summarizes the argument you’ll make in the paper by offering evidence for your opinion.

Privacy FAQs

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. 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. As you write the essay, you will.

About Our Ads

The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons. Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating. 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.

Cookie Info

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. How to Write a Thesis Statement What is a Thesis Statement? Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence .