how to write a working thesis statement
Bad: High levels of alcohol consumption are bad for you.
– This is too broad. What are the specific detriments of alcohol consumption that you would like to discuss?
Good: High levels of alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on your personal health, such as weight gain, heart disease, and liver complications.
– Notice we got very specific in our reasons why. In your thesis statement, you don’t need to state every single detriment you’re going to lay out (in fact, you shouldn’t as it will risk becoming a run-on sentence) but you can point to the main areas you will explore.
Here are six more thesis statement examples for you to consider:
Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.
- Original thesis:
- There are advantages and disadvantages to using statistics. (a fill-in-the-blank formula)
- Revised theses:
- Careful manipulation of data allows a researcher to use statistics to support any claim she desires.
- In order to ensure accurate reporting, journalists must understand the real significance of the statistics they report.
- Because advertisers consciously and unconsciously manipulate data, every consumer should learn how to evaluate statistical claims.
You should provide a thesis early in your essay — in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph — in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction.
Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can’t just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute. An ineffective thesis statement would be, “Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it.” This isn’t really something that’s a debatable topic.
Something that would be more debatable would be, “A puppy’s cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness.” These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they’re really soft and fuzzy.
The support is also lacking. The key words here are “always” and “never.” If things are always one way, can anyone argue against them? This statement doesn’t open itself to debate. The way it’s presented is not arguable. Also, be wary anytime someone uses ultimatums like “always” or “never” because they are almost always wrong. Not all liars get caught.
“Gandhi’s understanding of poverty, which takes into account the spiritual side of human nature, is better than that of Marx, whose analysis is solely economic.”