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How to Write a Thesis Statement

About this worksheet:.

Practice developing thesis statements with this writing introduction worksheet! Students will learn how to improve their writing with a strong, attention grabbing thesis statement. This activity helps build writing skills by asking students to create a statement for the topics provided, such as: “What was the greatest challenge in your life?”.

How to Write a Thesis Sentence Activity

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  • Thesis, Analysis, & Structure

Thesis Activity

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skills lesson creating and using thesis statements practice

One way to think about a thesis statement is:

An effective thesis is one that is not obvious; rather it is one that is discussible, arguable, and interesting.

Avoid self-evident statements.

In the US, movie stars are greatly admired. 


A strong thesis will give readers an idea of the general direction of your paper and the evidence you will provide.

Because definitions of obscenity change as society changes, the Supreme Court has handed down three contradictory decisions on censorship in the past five years.


A few things to keep in mind:

  • A thesis must be a complete sentence(s), not a fragment(s).
  • A thesis should not be worded as a question.
  • A thesis should neither be too broad nor too specific.
  • A thesis should not contain elements which are extraneous or irrelevant to your paper.
  • A thesis should avoid phrases like  I think  and  in my opinion  because they weaken the writer's argument.

Having said all of that, let's venture into never-never land, take a trip to the world of happily-ever-after. Let's look at fairy tales.

Take a common fairy tale.  Little Red Riding Hood , for example. Your average tale of good vs. evil, right?

In my opinion, Little Red Riding Hood is a classic tale of good versus evil.

Now, there's a thesis that is sure to keep you up at night. Interesting. Innovative. Imaginative. I think not.

Let's try something else. How about:

Because she dares to defy societal norms of acceptable female behavior, Little Red Riding Hood faces death at the hands of the Big Bad Wolf, who embodies patriarchy.

Little Red Riding Hood serves as a feminist tale, demonstrating how an independent, intelligent woman subverts the entrenched forces of male power and privilege.

The forest in Little Red Riding Hood--with its various elements of danger, fear, and foreboding--symbolizes a young girl's rite of passage into womanhood; by challenging the elements in the forest, the naive and trusting Little Red Riding Hood emerges an empowered, mature, confident young woman.

Television shows and movies also offer a wealth of possible thesis statements. Consider the following:

As the middle child, Jan Brady is insecure and demonstrates a negative self-perception: she feels inferior to Marcia, who embodies the qualities of the "ideal" teenager and to Cindy, the "innocent" child and center of the family's attentions.

While appearing to be a simplistic situation comedy about a group of castaways, Gilligan's Island is actually a complex representation of vice; each of the characters represents one of the seven deadly sins.

While  Star Trek : The Next Generation may appear to represent an ideal version of a multicultural, gender-equal society, the command structure on the Enterprise, headed by Picard and Riker, reinscribes western, patriarchal notions of power.

Although praised for its realism, Saving Private Ryan glorifies American patriotism and heroism, excluding alternative perspectives.

Now it is your turn. Construct an interesting, compelling thesis using a fairy tale, television show, popular song, or movie.

Luisa Giulianetti 
Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley
©1998 UC Regents

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Forming a Thesis Statement

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Forming a Thesis

The whole purpose of writing is to transfer an idea from your head into someone else's. If you can state your idea in a single, clear sentence, your reader can easily grasp it.

Use this simple formula to craft an effective thesis statement (for an essay) or topic sentence (for a paragraph).

Topic (who or what am I writing about? )

+ Focus (what specific thought or feeling do I have about my topic?)

_________________________________

= Thesis Statement (or Topic Sentence)

Here are some examples of the formula in action with different forms of writing.

Explanatory

Antibiotic resistance (topic) creates superbugs through the misuse of modern medicine (focus).

Sex and gender (topic) are related but different, one defined by biology and the other by culture (focus).

Narrative Writing

My hectic senior year of high school (topic) embodied the word overcommitment (focus) .

Your Turn Use the formula to create thesis statements for the following topics. Note: The focus is up to you.

  • Career opportunities
  • Community involvement
  • Generational differences
  • The search for colleges
  • Lasting lessons of high school

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2.2: Developing Thesis Statements

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The Thesis Statement

At the heart of most good nonfiction prose there is a concise statement that controls the development of the composition, predicts its content, and restricts the topic. This concise statement is called a thesis, and it is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will support the thesis and persuade the reader of the logic of your argument.

What is a Thesis Statement:

A thesis will always have a topic and a claim about the topic.

A good thesis: • Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. • Is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. • Is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be the surge of asylum seekers at the southern border or the health-care crisis; a thesis must then offer a way to understand these issues. • Is a debatable topic that makes a claim that others might dispute.

Consider the following before you write your thesis statement:

• Have I addressed the question? Re-reading the prompt/writing assignment after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument. • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”? • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue. • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.

Example of building a thesis:

Suppose you are asked to write an argumentative essay on drone technology, you might start with a statement such as: Drone technology has many positive benefits.

This one is too general? what kind of benefits? how is it positive? to whom is it beneficial? You might be a bit more specific: Drone technology can be beneficial to state and local governments.

This one is a working thesis with potential. How can we make it more specific? Drone technology can be beneficial to state and local governments across the U.S. in areas such as fighting wildfires, supporting law enforcement, and monitoring the border. This final thesis statement takes a clear stand and creates a roadmap for the reader.

The following video, Introduction to the Thesis Statement: How to Write an Essay created by edX Series demonstrates how to create an effective thesis statement:

What A Thesis is Not:

A thesis is: • Not an announcement Example: I am going to discuss the 2020 presidential elections

• Not introduced by an opinion phrase such as I think, I feel, I believe. It weakens the argument. Example: I think too many democratic candidates are running for the presidential primary elections.

• Not a statement of fact. Example: Joe Biden is the president of America. So what? What am I trying to argue?

• Not a question. Example: Why should you care about the health insurance crisis? Remember, a thesis states your position on your topic. A question cannot state anything because it is not a statement. A question is a great lead into a thesis, but it can’t be the thesis.

• Not a quote. Example: Kamala Harris writes “The core of my campaign is the people” This quote tells us Kamala Harris’ position, but it does not clearly express a position. It therefore cannot be an effective thesis.

What A Thesis Is:

• It is a claim (not a fact) that can be supported by evidence • It directly answers the question of the assignment • It is a statement that unifies the paper by stating the writer's most important or significant point regarding the topic • It forecasts the content and order of the essay • It is placed most often in the beginning of the essay, preferably at the end of the introduction • It should be stated explicitly rather than implicitly

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Activities to Teach How to Write A Thesis Statement

Research Writing , Secondary Literacy , Writing

If there’s any literacy skill you would want your English Language Arts students to master, it would probably be how to write a thesis statement . If you want to teach your students how to write powerful, eloquent, and exceptionally captivating thesis statements, then you’ll love the activities in this article.

The key to any good essay is a strong thesis statement. A strong thesis statement sets the tone and clarifies the author’s purpose : it tells you the writer’s opinion, along with the level of thought and criticism that has gone into formulating it.

A strong thesis statement also creates an alluring introduction paragraph. This makes each paper in your grading pile a lot more inviting.

How do you teach students to write a thesis statement to make their audience continue reading? This blog post explores six activities to teach how to write a thesis statement.

Activities to Teach How to Write a Thesis Statement in High School

1. Differentiate Between Strong and Weak Thesis Statements

Writing a thesis statement might be a new skill for your students. Thesis statements are often taught as a topic sentence or the “whole essay boiled down into one sentence.” This can be a challenging concept for your students to grasp.

To teach how to write a thesis statement, have a discussion about what makes a strong thesis statement. You can turn this into a collaborative lesson by brainstorming clarifying statements ; these statements dictate what a thesis is and is not.

For example: “ A proper thesis statement is written in one sentence ,” or “ a proper thesis statement is directly related to the rest of the essay .” This is a great opportunity to teach students the difference between concepts like a “topic sentence” or a “hook.”

Your students can use this free bookmark to differentiate between a strong thesis statement and a weak one. This slideshow lesson also explores clarifying statements with detailed examples.

How to scaffold thesis statements: the ultimate guide

2. Evaluate Thesis Statement Examples

Now that students have plenty of guidelines, challenge their understanding by evaluating thesis statement examples . You can use thesis statement examples from past students’ essays. You can even write your own examples based on the clarifying statements you create with your class.

If you’re open to your students receiving constructive, anonymous criticism , you can even have them write a thesis statement and evaluate each one as a class. I’ve had success with providing students with a thesis statement topic and having them write a thesis statement. Then, I prompt them to swap with their elbow partner to offer feedback.

If you’d rather provide a comprehensive list of thesis statements that reflect the common errors you would typically see in students’ essays, there are several student examples in this introductory lesson on how to write a thesis statement – this is one of my favourite activities for teaching thesis statement writing!

Scaffolding How to Write Thesis Statements

3. Provide a Thesis Statement Template

One of the easiest ways to teach how to write a thesis statement is to offer a thesis statement template . There are a variety of thesis statement templates that students can use as a framework for their essays. I start with a basic template that involves the three parts of a thesis statement: a topic, position, and evidence . I then demonstrate to students how they can create variations of this template, depending on which order they introduce each part. You can find examples for each template in these thesis statement handouts .

You can also introduce a few sentence styles to your students. These styles scaffold eloquent thesis statements. They also offer students the space to articulate their thoughts without exceeding the one-sentence limit.

Sentence Styles for the Three Parts of a Thesis Statement

Here are a few sentence styles that incorporate the three parts of a thesis statement. Each style also includes an example written by a real student:

  • Style A : “Noun phrase; Noun phrase; Noun phrase – Independent Clause” Example: “The promotion of hygiene; the presence of medical professionals; the prevention of death – these are all reasons why supervised injection services are an important facet of public health.”
  • Style B : If (subject + verb + object phrase), if (subject + verb + object phrase ), if (subject + verb + object phrase ), then (independent clause) Example: “If taxpayers do not wish to have their money allocated to cruelty, if more than 100 million animals die from animal testing a year, if alternatives to animal testing exist, then governments should ban the practice of testing on animals.”
  • Style C : Independent clause: subject + verb, subject + verb, subject + verb Example: “College education should be entirely funded by the government: student debt would be eliminated, education would not be commodified, and access to education would not be exclusive to privileged people.”

All of these sentence styles are outlined in these practice worksheets for how to write a thesis statement, with writing prompts to reinforce each thesis statement template through repeated practice.

Thesis Statement Templates for Teaching Writing in ELA

4. Daily Practice Activities to Teach How to Write a Thesis Statement

One of the most effective ways to teach how to write a thesis statement is through repeated practice. You can do this by incorporating daily bell ringers into your persuasive writing unit. To assign this activity, I provide students with three topics to choose from. I then prompt them to develop an opinion and write a thesis statement for one.

I’ll also include bell ringers that provide a thesis statement that students need to evaluate. Students really enjoy these drills! They get the opportunity to develop opinions on interesting topics, and many of them choose to explore these ideas as the subject of their final research paper.

If you’re looking for pre-made worksheets with thesis statement activities, these daily thesis statement bell ringers include one month’s worth of thesis statement prompts, graphic organizers, and templates in both digital and ready-to-print format.

5. Use a Self-Assessment Thesis Statement Anchor Chart

You can provide students with a thesis statement anchor chart to reference the guidelines and rules they’ve learned. A personalized anchor chart is best – like this free thesis statement bookmark – so that students can have it on hand while they are reading and writing.

You can distribute the anchor chart at the beginning of your research paper unit. Students can refer to it while evaluating thesis statement examples or completing daily practice activities. A thesis statement anchor chart has been a complete game-changer in my classroom, and I’m pleased to learn that many of my students have held on to these after completing my course.

Teaching thesis statements in high school ELA

6. Provide Engaging Thesis Statement Topics

You can collaborate with your students to generate an engaging list of good topics for thesis statements. Start by writing down every topic that your students suggest. Then, you can narrow this list down to avoid broad, far-reaching thesis statements that lead to a watered-down essay. When I make this list with my students, we end up with topics that are truly engaging for them. I also have the opportunity to clarify which topics might be a little too vague or broad for an exceptional essay.

For example, students often suggest topics like “racism” or “the problem with school.” These are learning opportunities to demonstrate to students that a great thesis statement is the essential starting point for an even greater essay.

To elaborate, a topic like racism has different implications all over the world. It is far too complex to explore in a single, 750-word essay. Instead, we work together to narrow this topic down to something like “racism in the media,” or even better, “representation in Hollywood.”

Additionally, a topic like “the problem with school” is more of a conclusion. To solve this, we work backward to identify some of the aspects of our school that make it an obstacle . This can include uniforms, early starts, or cell phone policies. This process leads students to a more concise topic, like “cell phone policies in twenty-first-century schools.”

If you’re looking for engaging thesis statement topics to inspire your students, I’ve included a list of 75 argumentative essay topics in this practice unit for how to write a thesis statement .

Tying it All Together

There are plenty of fun thesis statement activities and practice lessons that you can incorporate into your curriculum. Give thesis statements the love and attention they deserve in the classroom – after all, they truly are the most important part of a research essay.

All of the worksheets, lessons, and activities explored in this blog post are included in Mondays Made Easy’s unit for teaching how to write a thesis statement . This bundle has everything you need to teach your students how to master their thesis statements and apply these essential literacy skills to their writing.

Module 3: Writing Essentials

Thesis statements, learning objectives.

  • Identify strong thesis statements

The thesis statement is the key to most academic writing. The purpose of academic writing is to offer your own insights, analyses, and ideas—to show not only that you understand the concepts you’re studying, but also that you have thought about those concepts in your own way and agreed or disagreed, or developed your own unique ideas as a result of your analysis. The thesis statement is the one sentence that encapsulates the result of your thinking, as it offers your main insight or argument in condensed form.

We often use the word “argument” in English courses, but we do not mean it in the traditional sense of a verbal fight with someone else. Instead, you “argue” by taking a position on an issue and supporting it with evidence. Because you’ve taken a position about your topic, someone else may be in a position to disagree (or argue) with the stance you have taken. Think about how a lawyer presents an argument or states their case in a courtroom—similarly, you want to build a case around the main idea of your essay. For example, in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted “The Declaration of Sentiments,” she was thinking about how to convince New York State policymakers to change the laws to allow women to vote. Stanton was making an  argument .

Some consider all writing a form of argument—or at least of persuasion. After all, even if you’re writing a letter or an informative essay, you’re implicitly trying to persuade your audience to care about what you’re saying. Your thesis statement represents the main idea—or point—about a topic or issue that you make in an argument. For example, let’s say that your topic is social media. A thesis statement about social media could look like one of the following sentences:

  • Social media harms the self-esteem of American pre-teen girls.
  • Social media can help connect researchers when they use hashtags to curate their work.
  • Social media tools are not tools for social movements, they are marketing tools.

A basic thesis sentence has two main parts:

  • Topic:  What you’re writing about
  • Angle:  What your main idea is about that topic, or your claim

Example Thesis Statements

Thesis:  A regular exercise regime leads to multiple benefits, both physical and emotional.

Topic:  Regular exercise regime

Angle:  Leads to multiple benefits

Thesis:  Adult college students have different experiences than typical, younger college students.

Topic:  Adult college students

Angle:  Have different experiences

Thesis:  The economics of television have made the viewing experience challenging for many viewers because shows are not offered regularly, similar programming occurs at the same time, and commercials are rampant.

Topic:  Television viewing

Angle:  Challenging because shows shifted, similar programming, and commercials

When you read all of the thesis statements above, can you see areas where the writer could be more specific with their angle? The more specific you are with your topic and your claims, the more focused your essay will be for your reader.

Identifying the Thesis Statement

You’ll remember that the first step of the reading process, previewing ,  allows you to get a big-picture view of the document you’re reading. This way, you can begin to understand the structure of the overall text. The most important step of understanding an essay or a book is to find the thesis statement.

A thesis consists of a specific topic and an angle on the topic. All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis. The thesis statement is often found in the introduction, sometimes after an initial “hook” or interesting story; sometimes, however, the thesis is not explicitly stated until the end of an essay. Sometimes it is not stated at all. In those instances, there is an implied thesis statement. You can generally extract the thesis statement by looking for a few key sentences and ideas.

Most readers expect to see the point of your argument (the thesis statement) within the first few paragraphs. This does not mean that it has to be placed there every time. Some writers place it at the very end, slowly building up to it throughout their work, to explain a point after the fact. Others don’t bother with one at all but feel that their thesis is “implied” anyway. Beginning writers, however, should avoid the implied thesis unless certain of the audience. Almost every professor will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction.

Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay. Thesis statements typically share the following characteristics:

  • presents the main idea
  • is one sentence
  • tells the reader what to expect
  • summarizes the essay topic
  • presents an argument
  • is written in the third person (does not include the “I” pronoun)

The following “How to Identify a Thesis Statement” video offers advice for locating a text’s thesis statement. It asks you to write one or two sentences that summarize the text. When you write that summary, without looking at the text itself, you’ve most likely paraphrased the thesis statement.

You can view the  transcript for “How to Identify the Thesis Statement” here (download).

Writing a Thesis Statement

Remember your thesis should answer two simple questions: What topic are you writing about, and what is your position, or angle, on the topic?

A thesis statement is a single sentence (or sometimes two) that provides the answers to these questions clearly and concisely. Ask yourself, “What is my paper about, exactly?” Answering this question will help you develop a precise and directed thesis, not only for your reader, but for you as well.

A good thesis statement will:

  • Consist of just one interesting idea
  • Be specific and written clearly
  • Have evidence to support it

A good basic structure for a thesis statement is “they say, I say.” What is the prevailing view, and how does your position differ from it? However, avoid limiting the scope of your writing with an either/or thesis under the assumption that your view must be strictly contrary to their view.

Following are some typical thesis statements:

  • Although many readers believe Romeo and Juliet to be a tale about the ill fate of two star-crossed lovers, it can also be read as an allegory concerning a playwright and his audience.
  • The “War on Drugs” has not only failed to reduce the frequency of drug-related crimes in America but actually enhanced the popular image of dope peddlers by romanticizing them as desperate rebels fighting for a cause.
  • The bulk of modern copyright law was conceived in the age of commercial printing, long before the Internet made it so easy for the public to compose and distribute its own texts. Therefore, these laws should be reviewed and revised to better accommodate modern readers and writers.
  • The usual moral justification for capital punishment is that it deters crime by frightening would-be criminals. However, the statistics tell a different story.
  • If students really want to improve their writing, they must read often, practice writing, and receive quality feedback from their peers.
  • Plato’s dialectical method has much to offer those engaged in online writing, which is far more conversational in nature than print.

Thesis Problems to Avoid

Although you have creative control over your thesis sentence, you still should try to avoid the following problems, not for stylistic reasons, but because they indicate a problem in the thinking that underlies the thesis sentence.

  • For example, look at the thesis: Hospice workers need support. This is a thesis sentence; it has a topic (hospice workers) and an angle (need support). But the angle is very broad. When the angle in a thesis sentence is too broad, the writer may not have carefully thought through the specific support for the rest of the writing. A thesis angle that’s too broad makes it easy to fall into the trap of offering information that deviates from that angle.
  • Consider this thesis: Hospice workers have a 55% turnover rate compared to the general health care population’s 25% turnover rate.  This sentence really isn’t a thesis sentence at all, because there’s no angle idea to support. A narrow statistic, or a narrow statement of fact, doesn’t offer the writer’s own ideas or analysis about a topic. A clearer example of a thesis statement with an angle of development would be the following:

Practice identifying strong thesis statements in the following interactive.

argument : in writing, the argument is the main stance, claim, or position that is supported with evidence

explicit thesis : a clear and direct statement of the writer’s claim

thesis statement : a statement of the topic of the piece of writing and the angle the writer has on that topic

  • Modification, adaptation, and original content. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Annotating an Essay or Book. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/orc/what-to-do-while-reading/annotating/annotating-an-essay-or-book/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Checklist for a Thesis Statement. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/esl-wow/getting-ready-to-write/developing-a-thesis/esl-checklist-for-a-thesis-statement/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Judging Thesis Statements. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/esl-wow/getting-ready-to-write/developing-a-thesis/esl-judging-thesis-statements/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Research Writing and Argument. Authored by : Pavel Zemliansky. Located at : https://learn.saylor.org/mod/page/view.php?id=7163 . Project : Methods of Discovery: A Guide to Research Writing. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Parts of a Thesis Sentence and Common Problems. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/writing-process/thesis-sentence/thesis-sentence-angles/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Argument in College Writing. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/argument-in-college-writing/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • How to Identify the Thesis Statement. Authored by : Martha Ann Kennedy. Located at : https://youtu.be/di1cQgc1akg . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

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9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning objectives.

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements.
  • Revise your thesis statement.

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision. A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness. A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence. In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe . These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident.

  • Texting while driving
  • The legal drinking age in the United States
  • Steroid use among professional athletes

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness
  • The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye , Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.

Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side.

Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.

A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.

Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.

A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.

Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

Read the following thesis statements. On a separate piece of paper, identify each as weak or strong. For those that are weak, list the reasons why. Then revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis.

  • The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.
  • The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.
  • Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the nineteenth century.
  • In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore.
  • Despite his promises during his campaign, President Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation.
  • Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.
  • My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement , an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people , everything , society , or life , with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard , the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.

Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke . The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (See Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” for more information on the 5WH questions.) By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be , a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis: Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis: The Kansas City legislature cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are . Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis: Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In the first section of Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you determined your purpose for writing and your audience. You then completed a freewriting exercise about an event you recently experienced and chose a general topic to write about. Using that general topic, you then narrowed it down by answering the 5WH questions. After you answered these questions, you chose one of the three methods of prewriting and gathered possible supporting points for your working thesis statement.

Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down your working thesis statement. Identify any weaknesses in this sentence and revise the statement to reflect the elements of a strong thesis statement. Make sure it is specific, precise, arguable, demonstrable, forceful, and confident.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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INTRODUCTION

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

WHAT IS A THESIS STATEMENT?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. 

HOW DO I CREATE A THESIS?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY THESIS IS STRONG?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Learning Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis,  ask yourself the following:

  • Do I answer the question?  Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that has missed the focus of the question.
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?  If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough?  Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific:  why  is something “good”;  what specifically  makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test?  If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering?  If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test?  If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.
  • Source:  http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/

  • Thesis Statement How-to Guide Workshop PowerPoint slides: how to write effective thesis statements
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Writing a Thesis Statement

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Here is a guided writing workshop to teach students how to brainstorm and draft a thesis statement. This activity provides students an opportunity to consider their prompt and develop a claim that is effective and arguable. Three handouts are included in each download, with the teacher version also containing instructions on how to conduct the workshop.

This lesson plan can be used with any persuasive, argumentative, or research-based essay.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

Christopher Curley holds a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Ursinus College. He has extensive writing experience, contributing on topics including health, wellness, health research policy, and health science, as well as tutoring experience in English and standardized testing prep.

Table of Contents

The thesis explained, when you're given an essay prompt, when you're not given an essay prompt, revising your thesis, lesson summary, lesson objectives.

Presumably you know what a thesis is by now. If not, go and watch 'What is a Thesis Statement?' Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go! Yeesh.

Okay, for the REST of you, let's recap what a thesis does, and then we'll break down what makes it tick so you can duplicate it. Today we've decided to kick it old school with our pal (and famous Greek mythological warrior) Theseus, the thesis... guy. He'll help lead us down the LABYRINTH of writing a good thesis. Are you ready, Theseus?

Haha! That's right, Theseus. But I think you'd better let me take it from here.

A strong thesis does three things:

  • Answers a question with a claim that needs to be proved.
  • Tells the audience what to expect in the rest of your essay going forward.
  • Is specific.

Now, how you express these three elements depends on the type of essay you're being asked to write, so let's look at a couple of situations.

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  • 0:04 The Thesis Explained
  • 1:06 When Given an Essay Prompt
  • 2:36 No Essay Prompt?!
  • 4:56 Revising Your Thesis
  • 7:21 Lesson Summary

To answer the first point, before you can answer the question posed by the prompt, you have to answer how you feel about the question for yourself. In other words, do a little brainstorming to see if you agree or disagree.

So let's say your prompt is as follows:

'There is no great success without failure.' - Develop an essay that explains how much you agree or disagree with the previous statement using examples from your reading, experiences, or observations.

First, decide whether you agree or disagree with the prompt. Maybe you think winning is all that matters, or maybe you think failing has its own virtues. What do you think, Theseus?

Phainomai tous kalistous logous einai... (Theseus is chased off by a Minotaur.)

Maybe there are shades of grey in between - it's okay to talk about that, too - but your thesis is going to tell us YOUR position. So, following the formula for a strong thesis, we'll try our own.

Success is defined by winning, not failure, but failure is an essential part of learning to succeed.

Does this satisfy the three requirements? It appears to answer the question - the writer thinks that failure is permissible and good - and it appears to make a claim that needs to be proved - namely, why it's essential to success. The audience can expect an essay about failure, but it's a little broad and lacks specifics. We'll address how to revise this thesis a little bit later.

If you're not given an essay prompt - or are given a more ambiguous one - a thesis statement still serves the exact same purpose we've already laid out. The only difference is that you're coming up with both the question (the prompt) and the answer (the thesis) on your own.

Let's say your teacher asks you to discuss the meaning of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur in an essay. Without any other direction, where do you go from there? Well, first you have to research the topic story and try to develop a persuasive argument. Maybe you decide that Theseus is a symbol of revolution, and that the labyrinth represents the difficulty of navigating politics, and the Minotaur represents the monster that lies at the heart of all governments.

With these symbols in hand, perhaps you ask the question: Is the story of Theseus and the Minotaur representative of something beyond a simple myth? And you decide that yes, each major character and challenge represents something about the process of revolution. Then you narrow down the specifics - Theseus is a revolutionary, the maze represents the difficulty of navigating politics, et cetera - so your eventual thesis looks like this:

The tale of Theseus and the Minotaur is a metaphor for revolution, with Theseus, the Minotaur, and the labyrinth each symbolizing a different aspect of the process of social upheaval.

This thesis answers the question the writer poses and makes a claim that needs to be proved (what the story symbolizes and how), lets the reader know what is going to be discussed, and then gives several specifics (we know we'll be talking about three major symbols and how they relate to social upheaval and revolution), making this a serviceable thesis.

One thing I should note here is that you shouldn't try to bite off more than you can chew with your thesis, and that's another reason why it pays to be specific. Discussing symbolism in a short tale is appropriate for a short or medium-length essay. Discussing all instances of symbolism in an epic-length poem like The Iliad is better suited to a whole book. If your thesis seems too broad, find a way to narrow it down.

No thesis is born perfect, but during a timed test - where you may have only 30 minutes to an hour to brainstorm, organize, write, and edit your full essay - you may have to try to get it right the first time. All other times, however, you should revise your thesis.

When revising your thesis, ask yourself:

  • Does the thesis make one argument that my reader can disagree with? Too many arguments will confuse your reader as to what the thrust of your essay is.
  • Does the thesis allow me to fully explain my argument in the space I'm given? If not, you'll have to narrow your topic.
  • Is this thesis worth talking about? This step often gets left out, but it's important. It's okay if the argument you want to make is way out in left field, but you have to work extra hard to justify it.

Let's try the earlier thesis and see if we can make it better.

This appears to make a certain argument - namely, that failure is an important part of learning to succeed - so it appears to satisfy the first category. It's essentially a slight rephrasing of the prompt, which is okay, even if it's not very exciting.

What about the second component? Can you fully explain the argument? I don't think so, unless you're going to explain every failure you can possibly have in life and why it's good for you. You're going to have to be more specific. As it is, the thesis might be worth talking about, but it's too broad to say for sure. Let's try being more specific.

Michael Jordan, President Abraham Lincoln, and a group of Singaporean scientists all have one thing in common: They think that failure is not only normal, but necessary for success - and you should too.

This thesis answers the question the writer poses and makes a claim that needs to be proved. It takes the position that failure is necessary for success and even directly confronts the reader that they should believe the same thing, thus pulling the reader into the essay. It also gives three (odd) specific examples up front that you know they're going to talk about in the essay. This combination of specifics and challenging the reader makes this an effective thesis.

Remember that a great, well-written (and revised) thesis:

  • Answers a question and makes an argument.
  • Sets the reader's expectations.
  • Has one main, overarching point and does not promise more than it can deliver in the space provided.
  • Is specific and concrete.
  • Is worth talking about and can be well argued.

After watching this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the three requirements of a strong thesis
  • Explain how to write a thesis when you're given an essay prompt and when you're not
  • Understand how to revise a thesis

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COMMENTS

  1. Skills Lesson: Creating and Using Thesis Statements Practice

    The following steps will help you to develop this working thesis statement. Step 1: Write down a description of your research subject. Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like Which thesis statement is well worded?, Read the sentence below and complete the instruction that follows. Requiring that students wear uniforms ...

  2. PDF Tutorial #26: Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

    5. A troublesome thesis is a fragment; a good thesis statement is expressed in a complete sentence. Example: How life is in New York after September 11th. Better: After September 11th, the city of New York tends to have more cases of post-traumatic disorder than other areas of the United States and rightfully so.

  3. How to Write a Thesis Statement Worksheet Activity

    About this Worksheet: Practice developing thesis statements with this writing introduction worksheet! Students will learn how to improve their writing with a strong, attention grabbing thesis statement. This activity helps build writing skills by asking students to create a statement for the topics provided, such as: "What was the greatest ...

  4. Writer's Web: The Thesis Statement Exercise

    Part I: Possible Example Thesis Statements. Choose the best revision for each thesis statement. 1) "The Raven" is a dark and morose poem that leaves the audience feeling depressed by the last stanza. Poe succeeds in creating that effect in "The Raven" through use of repetition and adds to it through contrast of religious Christian and ...

  5. PDF Thesis Statement Mini-Lesson

    Work through good and bad thesis statements together with the students. (5-10 min.) 4. Give students the second handout containing problematic thesis statements in need of correction. 5. Have the students break into groups to correct the thesis statements. (5-10 min.) 6. Discuss the corrections as a class. (5 min.)

  6. Thesis Activity

    Thesis Activity. One way to think about a thesis statement is: An effective thesis is one that is not obvious; rather it is one that is discussible, arguable, and interesting. Avoid self-evident statements. In the US, movie stars are greatly admired. A strong thesis will give readers an idea of the general direction of your paper and the ...

  7. PDF Thesis Statements Lessons

    Workshop Lesson Plan . Thesis Statements. Lesson Objectives: 1. To understand the purpose of a thesis statement 2. To convey the importance of a one sentence thesis statement Preparation: 1. Review lesson plan, student handouts, and the activity answer key. 2. Check if there are enough copies of all student handouts. Make copies if necessary ...

  8. Forming a Thesis Statement

    Forming a Thesis Statement. The whole purpose of writing is to transfer an idea from your head into someone else's. If you can state your idea in a single, clear sentence, your reader can easily grasp it. Use this simple formula to craft an effective thesis statement (for an essay) or topic sentence (for a paragraph).

  9. 2.2: Developing Thesis Statements

    What is a Thesis Statement: A thesis will always have a topic and a claim about the topic. • Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. • Is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. • Is an interpretation of a question or ...

  10. Activities to Teach How to Write A Thesis Statement

    Activities to Teach How to Write a Thesis Statement in High School. 1. Differentiate Between Strong and Weak Thesis Statements. Writing a thesis statement might be a new skill for your students. Thesis statements are often taught as a topic sentence or the "whole essay boiled down into one sentence.".

  11. Thesis Statements

    Example Thesis Statements. Thesis: A regular exercise regime leads to multiple benefits, both physical and emotional. Topic: Regular exercise regime. Angle: Leads to multiple benefits. Thesis: Adult college students have different experiences than typical, younger college students. Topic: Adult college students. Angle: Have different experiences.

  12. 9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps: 1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness. Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

  13. Writing Effective Thesis Statements

    WHAT IS A THESIS STATEMENT? A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or ...

  14. Skills Lesson: Creating and Using Thesis Statements Practice ...

    It is neither debatable nor specific. 20 of 20. Quiz yourself with questions and answers for Skills Lesson: Creating and Using Thesis Statements Practice and Quiz, so you can be ready for test day. Explore quizzes and practice tests created by teachers and students or create one from your course material.

  15. PDF WRITING THESIS STATEMENTS

    Arguable thesis statement: The government should ban smoking altogether. Statement of fact: Small cars get better fuel mileage than 4x4 pickup trucks. Arguable thesis statement: The government should ban 4x4 pickup trucks except for work-related use. Statement of fact: On average, people with college degrees earn more money in the workplace.

  16. How to Teach Writing Strategies: Thesis Statement Writing

    When teaching students how to write a thesis statement, there are 5 steps they can follow: Have students find the evidence they have collected for a draft. Identify commonalities between pieces of evidence to categorize them. Evidence 1 and Evidence 2 should be similar in some way and then Evidence 3 and 4 should have a commonality as well.

  17. Writing a Thesis Statement

    Writing a Thesis Statement Free Lesson Plan. Here is a guided writing workshop to teach students how to brainstorm and draft a thesis statement. This activity provides students an opportunity to consider their prompt and develop a claim that is effective and arguable. Three handouts are included in each download, with the teacher version also ...

  18. Skills Lesson: Creating and Using Thesis Statements

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like How does the thesis statement aid the writer?, Read the sentence below and answer the question that follows. Why is elementary school success an indicator of graduation rates? Why is this sentence not a thesis statement?, A well-worded thesis statement is both __________ and ...

  19. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    To answer the first point, before you can answer the question posed by the prompt, you have to answer how you feel about the question for yourself. In other words, do a little brainstorming to see ...