how to state your thesis

how to state your thesis

  • Original: “Society is. ” [who is this “society” and what exactly is it doing?]
  • Revised: “Men and women will learn how to. ” “writers can generate. ” “television addicts may chip away at. ” “American educators must decide. ” “taxpayers and legislators alike can help fix. “
  • Original: “the media”
  • Revised: “the new breed of television reporters,” “advertisers,” “hard-hitting print journalists,” “horror flicks,” “TV movies of the week,” “sitcoms,” “national public radio,” “Top 40 bop-til-you-drop. “
  • Original: “is, are, was, to be” or “to do, to make”
  • Revised: any great action verb you can concoct: “to generate,” “to demolish,” “to batter,” “to revolt,” “to discover,” “to flip,” “to signify,” “to endure. “
  • Avoid merely announcing the topic; your original and specific “angle” should be clear. In this way you will tell your reader why your take on the issue matters.
    • Original thesis: In this paper, I will discuss the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood.
    • Revised thesis: Not just empty stories for kids, fairy tales shed light on the psychology of young children.
  • Avoid making universal or pro/con judgments that oversimplify complex issues.
    • Original thesis: We must save the whales.
    • Revised thesis: Because our planet’s health may depend upon biological diversity, we should save the whales.
  • When you make a (subjective) judgment call, specify and justify your reasoning. “Just because” is not a good reason for an argument.
    • Original thesis: Socialism is the best form of government for Kenya.
    • Revised thesis: If the government takes over industry in Kenya, the industry will become more efficient.
  • Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise… why would your point matter?
    • Original thesis: Hoover’s administration was rocked by scandal.
    • Revised thesis: The many scandals of Hoover’s administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party’s nominating process.

How to state your thesis
If you’re writing an argumentative paper, the answer should pick a side and take a strong position on the issue. In the first example above, the initial thesis statement might be:
The first example is vague and obvious. The second example clearly lays out the sources and categories of information that your paper will explore.

Bad: The internet has improved the lives of many.
– Again, while readers may agree with this and your statement may be true, how has the internet improved people’s lives? Also, you should run your thesis statement past the “What’s in it for me?” test. Why should readers care?
Good: The internet serves as a means of expediently connecting people across the globe, fostering new friendships and an exchange of ideas that wouldn’t have occurred prior to its inception.
– While the internet offers a host of benefits, we’re choosing to hone in on its ability to foster new friendships and exchange ideas. We’d also have to prove how this couldn’t have happened prior to the internet’s inception – and that is good. The tighter your focus, the better your paper.
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.

How to state your thesis
Home > Writing > How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement
Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a “soft-on-crime” image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you’ll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.
Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You’ll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, “This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I’m not convinced yet, but I’m interested to see how I might be.”

References:

http://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/
http://examples.yourdictionary.com/thesis-statement-examples.html
http://www.easybib.com/guides/how-to-write-a-strong-thesis-statement/
http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
http://legacy.owensboro.kctcs.edu/crunyon/E101/Arg%201–sup%20rea.htm

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