how to write an thesis
Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: it needs to be as clear as possible. By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean.
- Original thesis:
- There are serious objections to today’s horror movies.
- Revised theses:
- Because modern cinematic techniques have allowed filmmakers to get more graphic, horror flicks have desensitized young American viewers to violence.
- The pornographic violence in “bloodbath” slasher movies degrades both men and women.
- Today’s slasher movies fail to deliver the emotional catharsis that 1930s horror films did.
Some Caveats and Some Examples
Anticipate the counterarguments. Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you’ll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn’t, then it’s not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)
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.
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.
In the example above, the final thesis statement doesn’t just state a position but summarizes the overall argument:
Come up with a research question that you want to answer, or extract the question from your assignment prompt. In the examples given above, that question would be:
Make an assertion based on clearly stated support.
You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:
Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.