How to Write a Thesis Statement: Complete Writing Guide
To avoid this problem and work with coherent structure, one must know how to write a good thesis statement. This post will break down the statements purpose as well as fundamental elements necessary to create an effective thesis.
What Is a Thesis Statement?
One of the main reasons students struggle with their thesis statements is a lack of technical understanding. It can be hard to grasp the fact that the thesis is, single-handedly, the most important sentence in the entire text. The rest of the paper is made up of supporting points to support the thesis statement.
“What is a thesis statement?” – A thesis statement is the main argument or point that is set out to be proven using tools like logical and/or emotional reasoning. It is the root from where the rest of your paper grows. The goal of a thesis-based paper is to make a claim about the relevant topic of discussion and defend this claim with logic, analysis, and third-party validation (external sources).
You should not confuse your thesis statement with an introduction—as most students asking about how to start an essay do! An essay’s thesis is mostly used to close your introduction rather than substitute it. So when writing an introduction, you should first hook the readers, introduce your topic, and only then state a thesis.
Another question is: “What is a good thesis statement?” In order to have a good thesis statement, the author must be well-informed about the topic at hand. He/she should have factual confirmation from other parties (experts, and primary & secondary sources) before developing the main statement. This is why it is important to do research and have accurate comprehension of the topic before brainstorming ideas.
Why It Is so Important
Essentially, a thesis statement is the best way to organize your thoughts and narrow down the focus of the paper. If you know exactly what you aim to prove, you will have an easy time making valid points, defending your logic, etc. This statement should be the first thing an author creates when starting to work on the paper.
A good thesis statement can help make your paper more logical and focused, and even simplify the writing process for you. When you understand the main idea of your paper, you can express it in a clear and intelligible manner throughout the paper.
Another reason why the thesis statement is so important is that you are not likely to get an A for an essay which doesn’t include a thesis statement. It is one of the first things a professor evaluates in an academic paper and one of the main factors for your grade.
Can a Thesis Statement Be a Question?
Another common question to pop up is, “Can a thesis statement be a question?” The short answer would be “No”. The goal of the thesis is to explain what the paper will cover. It is impossible to fulfil this mission with a question. According to the definition, this part of the academic paper presents the argument a writer has to support using credible sources in the rest of the text. A claim can never be a question. The conclusion should pose no new questions, and the thesis can even be considered the overarching conclusion.
Length Requirements: How Long Should a Thesis Statement Be?
The length of a thesis statement should not be too long. As a thesis statement is a concise summary of a main claim, it should consist of a single, complete sentence. Some circumstances may require two to three sentences, depending on the length of the entire paper. Example: a five-paragraph essay should only have a single-sentence thesis. The writer should summarize the idea of the paper. If one is writing a twenty-page research paper, the statement will likely require several sentences as there will be more information to cover.
Elements of a Thesis Statement
An essay’s thesis consists of the following elements:
- The main idea of your paper expressed in a simple sentence.
- The reason(s) why you support and choose this idea.
- A counterargument to your claim. This is a valid piece of information which can, in turn, support your position. Use it only in case you have one.
So, after you have determined these points, you should organize them in one or two coherent sentences. Here is an example of a good thesis statement that includes all of the necessary elements mentioned above:
Example: Though uniforms can improve unity in schools, schools should not make students wear them.
This statement is based on the idea that uniforms can limit students’ freedom, which is, in a way, a violation of basic human rights.
Points to check to see that your statement is strong:
• It’s brief and carries valuable information.
• It gives a clear argument which shows your opinion.
• It has a logical basis and is backed by basic logic or facts.
The thesis statement should highlight the topic, the claim, and the major points which you are going to use in your academic paper to support the claim.
Another example of a thesis statement:
Example: Stress in the fast-food workplace can lead to serious physical, psychological, and emotional problems for employees.
Claim: can lead to serious problems
Major points: physical, psychological and emotional problems.
In your thesis you should provide an interpretation of a subject, not the subject itself.
Below are Good Examples of a Thesis Statement
- The death penalty should not be abolished because people who commit violent crimes should be punished.
- Gun laws should be more strict and demand more requirements because of the increased amount of nationwide shootings.