what is in a thesis

what is in a thesis

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.
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.

  • Avoid merely announcing the topic; your original and specific “angle” should be clear. In this way you will tell your reader why your take on the issue matters.
    • Original thesis: In this paper, I will discuss the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood.
    • Revised thesis: Not just empty stories for kids, fairy tales shed light on the psychology of young children.
  • Avoid making universal or pro/con judgments that oversimplify complex issues.
    • Original thesis: We must save the whales.
    • Revised thesis: Because our planet’s health may depend upon biological diversity, we should save the whales.
  • When you make a (subjective) judgment call, specify and justify your reasoning. “Just because” is not a good reason for an argument.
    • Original thesis: Socialism is the best form of government for Kenya.
    • Revised thesis: If the government takes over industry in Kenya, the industry will become more efficient.
  • Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise… why would your point matter?
    • Original thesis: Hoover’s administration was rocked by scandal.
    • Revised thesis: The many scandals of Hoover’s administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party’s nominating process.
  • Avoid burying a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph or late in the paper.
  • Be as clear and as specific as possible; avoid vague words.
  • Indicate the point of your paper but avoid sentence structures like, “The point of my paper is…”

What is in a thesis
Take a look at the following examples:
A thesis statement clearly identifies the topic being discussed, includes the points discussed in the paper, and is written for a specific audience. Your thesis statement belongs at the end of your first paragraph, also known as your introduction. Use it to generate interest in your topic and encourage your audience to continue reading.

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.
A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible. Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, “Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite’s inability to address the economic concerns of the people” is more powerful than “Communism collapsed due to societal discontent.”

  • We all need to work hard to overcome the legacy of slavery and racism.
  • Global warming must be stopped!
  • Music teachers should teach their students about the African American roots of American popular music.
  • The United States economic system should be reformed so that everyone has equal economic opportunity.
  • Racism in this country has historical roots in the theft of indigenous land and the enslavement of African peoples to work that land (Lowen, 143).
  • Global warming is real and is caused by human activity, not natural changes in the climate.
  • American popular music is rooted in the folk tradition of African Americans.
  • The United States does not offer equal economic opportunity to all of its citizens.

References:

http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/
http://rasmussen.libanswers.com/faq/32467
http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
http://app.shoreline.edu/doldham/102/HTML/What%20is%20a%20Thesis.html
http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/

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