thesis statement writing
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.
The first example makes a generalizing statement – it isn’t clear what will be analyzed or why. The second example is much more specific, and guides the reader through the historical analysis that your paper will undertake.
The first example takes a position, but doesn’t tell the reader anything about how you will build your argument. The second example condenses the key ideas and evidence that you will use to convince your reader.
Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the “meat” of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don’t settle for three pages of just skimming the surface.
- Be prepared to answer вЂњSo what?вЂќ about your thesis statement.
- Be prepared to explain why the point you are making is worthy of a paper. Why should the reader read it?
Bad: Reading can develop a child’s analytical mind.
– Words like “can,” aren’t strong enough. This thesis statement begs the question of how? If you’re about to write several paragraphs (or pages) about a topic make sure you can confidently defend every point you make.
Good: Reading develops a child’s mind by fostering comprehension skills, increasing vocabulary, and exposing them to new worlds they might not otherwise encounter.
– Now, we’ve not just stated that reading is good, we’ve provided a sampling of all the benefits we’re about to bring to light in our paper.
When searching for a new home, realtors will tell you there are three important factors: location, location, and location. When developing your one-sentence thesis statement, it is important for you to be: specific, specific, specific. Write your thesis statement once and then rewrite it again with greater specificity.
A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational. An ineffective thesis would be, “Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil.” This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.
Some Caveats and Some Examples