find thesis statement
The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper. It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning. It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s essay The Crisis of American Masculinity. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do.
The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins. You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper’s focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper. That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is; frankly, it’s probably not a good idea for beginning writers.
Academic writing sometimes relies on implicit thesis statements, as well.
This video offers excellent guidance in identifying the thesis statement of a work, no matter if it’s explicit or implicit.
Often all you need to identify the thesis of an article is the abstractthe brief summary, usually just a short paragraph, provided with the listing of many articles in most databases. This explains the main idea of the article and states what point it is trying to prove.
However, an abstract is not always provided. In those cases, you may need to read the first few paragraphs to get the gist of the article. This is typically where the author will lay out the argument and, again, state the point that they are trying to prove. In more difficult cases it may be necessary to read the conclusion as well, since this is often where they sum up the argument one last time. Sometimes its clearer in the conclusion than in the introduction.
Re-read the essay if you felt like the thesis statement provides more clarity to what you have already read. Keeping the thesis statement at the forefront of your mind while reading the essay a second time can help you better understand the author’s objectives, findings and conclusions.
Read the essay entirely. Take notes along the way about what you think the essay is trying to say about a particular subject, issue or event. These notes should be related to the big-picture meaning, not of specific passages. Consider whether the tone of the essay is factual, or emotional and persuasive. Determine the main idea of each paragraph, and ask how these ideas support the conclusion found in the last paragraph of the essay.
As you can see in the thesis statement examples below, you must be very specific, summarizing points that are about to be made in your paper, and supported by specific evidence. Generally, your thesis statement can be the last line of the first paragraph in your research paper or essay.
Think of it as a loving mother steering her children away from danger. Essay writers run the risk of getting off track and wandering into thickly wooded forests of needless tangents. (This is also why a well-planned outline is essential.) However, a solid thesis statement will help keep you in check. Refer back to it and ask have you wandered off topic?
Always Be Specific