Strength: Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.
A thesis statement is one sentence that expresses the main idea of a research paper or essay, such as an expository essay or argumentative essay. It makes a claim, directly answering a question.
A good thesis statement is developed from the point of view of the reader. Be very careful you’re not developing a topic that is of interest to you alone. This is a harsh yet necessary question to ask yourself: will my readers have any reason to care about what I’m writing?
The form of your thesis statement will look different depending on the aim of your paper.
In the example above, the final thesis statement doesn’t just state a position but summarizes the overall argument:
“Africa is a misunderstood continent, especially when it comes to the native cultures and traditions.”
For example, a thesis statement saying, “Not taking care of yourself when pregnant is bad” has no particular stand. What does “taking care of yourself” in this case entails?
A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should “telegraph” how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.
First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author’s argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)