what does a thesis contain
Bad: Organ donors should be financially compensated.
– Why? What happens to them that causes you to take this stance?
Good: Given the grueling surgery and lifelong changes they endure, kidney donors should be financially compensated for their act of self-sacrifice.
– There are many forms of living organ donation. As with any good thesis, you want to get as specific as possible. Now, our stance is clear and the reader will understand that we’re about to describe the grueling process of kidney donation as well as any forthcoming lifestyle changes.
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?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.
In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.
Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many “to be” verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning.
- 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.
Thesis Statements always take a stand and justify further discussion.
The government should ban 4×4 pickup trucks except for work-related use.
Tip: Do not spend too much time on your background and opening remarks before you have gotten started with the main text.
In a scholarly research article, the section dealing with method is very important. The same applies to an empirical thesis. For students, this can be a difficult section to write, especially since its purpose may not always be clear.