Here is where you add a detailed, more conclusive area of focus for your paper so that you can eradicate vagueness. The thesis acts as the final idea on which the entirety of your paper will focus. It is the central message that ties the whole paper together into one definitive purpose that prepares readers for what you are arguing. The following are some suggestions to help you shift from a broad subject area to a narrow, focused topic.
Note: In this case, the topic is too large to create a complex thesis statement worthy of a paper. The broader the topic, the more difficulty you will have narrowing your argument enough to affect readers. Note: Here the topic as narrowed down the subject by focusing on women belonging to a specific profession in a particular historical period.
It is thorough enough to discover a thesis statement. Note: This idea does not allow for speculation or disagreement, which gives it an underdeveloped quality. Note: This idea allows for speculation or disagreement, which gives it a strong, developed quality. Note: Unless you have studied OE Northumbrian dialects at length, it perhaps poses too high of a research challenge to pursue. Note: This topic is narrow enough and familiar enough to most college students to purse as a topic.
Determining a research question is a crucial aspect of your writing. In order to stay focused on the assignment, you must form a clear and concise argument. Choose one major idea you want to concentrate on, and expand from there. When your instructor assigns a paper, try and find some angle that makes you inspired to fulfill the assignment to the best of your abilities.
For example, if your history professor assigns you to write about a historical figure who changed the world for the better, write about an individual whose work you can relate to. If you are interested in the supernatural, you could write about Joan of Arc, who became a crusader because of the visions she claimed to have had from God.
Next, ask yourself a series of questions to help form your research question. Once you have developed a series of questions, consider which questions allow you to form an argument that is not too broad that you cannot write a sufficient paper, but not too narrow that it prevents you from crafting an interesting and compelling piece of writing. Decide which question represents this criteria, then you can start researching. Below is a way to develop a thesis statement from the simply worded question that was just brainstormed.
Note: Beginning writers are taught to write theses that list and outline the main points of the paper. As college students, professors might expect more descriptive theses. Doing this will illustrate two points:. They may find themselves questioning their own thoughts about your case. The following are some suggestions to help you scrutinize your working draft of your thesis statement to develop it through further revisions.
Note: Who is this targeting? Being more specific with the targeted audience is going to strengthen your paper. Example: Makeup, clothing, and dieting advertisements endorse American ideals of female beauty and show the public that women should possess full ownership of their bodies and fight the stigma of physical and sexual repression which has been placed upon them.
Note: The thesis is too broad to form a well-constructed argument. Note: The thesis is more focused. Note: Not only does this statement lack specificity and excitement, but it fails to present an idea of what the paper will look like, and how the argument is set up. Note: The thesis points to different aspects of college life that help students ease into adulthood, which shows the reader the points the writer will explore throughout the body of the paper.
When you are asked to write a paper in college, there may not be as many detailed descriptions telling you what subject or argument to write about. Remember, the best way to pick your subject is to write about something that interests you. In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.
Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic. Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. Brainstorm the topic. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Narrow the topic. Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.
This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it.
Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.
More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children. This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague. Use specific language.
You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:. Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion. Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:. Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.
Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights. Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:. This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is 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 merely states an observation.
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.
Here are two more examples of argumentative thesis statements on the same subject. Note that I changed the focus from sociology to archeology and geography, respectively, to illustrate how one subject can be approached through a different lens. The underlined parts are the thesis statements. It is a known fact that archaic civilizations with clearly defined social classes often survived longer than those without. One anomaly is seventh-century XXX. Close analysis of the cultural artifacts of the XXX region reveals that a social system that operates on exploitation, rather than sharing, will always fail.
This lack of inclusion actually leads to a society's downfall. Modern-day sociology scholars have argued that class exploitation ensured the success of archaic civilizations. It is my contention, however, that access to food played an equally important role.
Archaic civilizations that had food-growing opportunities and systems survived better than those that did not, regardless of the existence of class exploitation. The above thesis statement examples are more in line with what you'd be expected to write for doctoral-level work, so don't panic if you're an undergraduate. Just know that no matter the degree you're going for, you'll be expected to forge arguments that go deeper than the obvious or literal level.
Generally, formal writing does not use first- and second-person pronouns, such as "I" and "you. Even then students are usually advised to avoid "you" altogether unless it appears in the hook, and to limit the use of "I" or "my" to just once. This single use of the first person — inserted at a crucial moment in the introduction — can go a long way toward sharpening your argument and establishing the strength of your voice.
You'll see that I didn't use any second-person pronouns i. In this sentence, using the word "my" followed by "however" highlights the fact that my idea is distinct from those of the sociologists mentioned in the first sentence. This single use of the first person — inserted at a crucial moment in the introduction — can go a long way toward sharpening your argument. The use of "my" also signals to the reader that the upcoming clause likely contains something important: the thesis claim.
The final sentence in that paragraph further develops that claim. Perhaps you've been taught that a thesis statement should only be one sentence long, but this doesn't always work well for longer or more complicated research papers. Ultimately, you should use as many words as you need to for your thesis, as long as you avoid sounding repetitive or self-contradictory.
Remember that clarity is key. The more work you do in your introduction, the clearer your thesis will be to you and your reader — and the more focused the rest of your essay will be. In addition to explaining what your essay will be about, a good introduction should answer the question, "How will the essay prove this claim?
Moreover, by providing answers to the "how" question, students often end up augmenting the answer to the "what" question. In other words, they develop their thesis claim — an essential part of a compelling college essay. Excavated military objects, remnants of tapestries and clay pots, and the poetry of the era all demonstrate the clash between exploitation and sharing, with the former leading to loss and the latter leading to success.
This final sentence instructs the reader to expect the essay to focus on military objects first, tapestries and clay remnants second, and literary analysis third. It also clarifies that the student will be using artifacts to prove their stated claim: that this culture believed sharing brings success, whereas exploitation or exclusion brings failure. If the student wanted to start with literary analysis, they should go back to the introduction and make sure that topic is listed first.
Put simply, the sequence of the topics listed in the introduction should match how they're laid out in the body of the essay. One great way to think of this is to think about what you would like the end result of your paper to be and write the thesis statement from that point of view. Writing for clarity may be one of the most difficult things for students, especially in a thesis statement.
But it is critical that the thesis statement is clear because it is what your readers are going to assume the paper is about. You need to be as specific and as clear as possible. A clear thesis statement will take the topic of the paper and boil it down to a persuasive essay with one clear point of view. It is also one sentence long, so it is important that you revise your thesis statement until it clearly sums up the paper. Unless you are going to school for a computer science degree and your papers are technical, avoid using industry-specific jargon in your thesis statement.
A thesis does two things: it announces the issue that your paper is based on and also takes the time to introduce the reader to your position on that issue. In one sentence, your readers will understand the subject at hand and how you perceive, either through research or your own personal experience. Without taking the time to explain your position, your thesis will be incomplete. One way to ensure that your position is clear is to read your thesis statement out loud.
If there is a clear position taken, your thesis statement will read like a persuasive statement. Another way to think about your thesis statement is to decide what position you will take on the subject matter. Are you for or against this issue? Do you have a particular point of view that could enlighten the paper? Think about these questions for a moment, then write out a thesis statement that adds your own perspective into it, then revise until you have a succinct statement that outlines your position in clear and simple terms.
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If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories e. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence. Thank you for your academic support for all my degree.
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Its also true that the higher you climb, the steeper and narrower the path gets. Writing a thesis is the toughest yet the most exciting phase of your academic voyage. At this stage of studies, it has been noted that students are relatively well equipped and prepared for this challenging task. Yet our experience shows that even the smartest students find that difficult to write a high quality thesis. Sometimes, it is rather a matter of time than difficulty as very few students can afford to do a PhD degree without having to work.
A thesis is a paper that is written from an idea controlling the written matter. A thesis statement should be the back bone around which you construct the rest of your thesis paper. The thesis statement declares what you believe and what you intent to prove in the paper. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts. Every word of the paper should support the thesis, and any information that does not directly relate to the thesis appears irrelevant.
This means that if a paper has a weak or no thesis, much of the paper will appear to be irrelevant and unguided. The thesis should be contained in a single sentence that is concise and grammatically correct. This is usually the last sentence of the first paragraph. A good tentative thesis will help you focus your search information to come up with a paper supporting the entire thesis statement.
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