How to Write a Thesis Statement: Complete Writing Guide

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:

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:

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.
Topic: stress
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.

Here are examples of good and bad thesis statements:

Example 1:

A: The death penalty should not be abolished because people who commit violent crimes should be punished.

B: Although many argue that human life is sacred, the death penalty should remain for people that commit brutal crimes and offer no positive value to their society.

Which one is the good option? That’s right, thesis B is better because the author gave a more descriptive and narrowed version for their beliefs. This makes it easier for them to prove their point overall.

Example 2:

A: Owning a college degree should not be a requirement for professional positions in the workforce.

B: If a candidate has work experience, reasonable competency in the field, and shows a strong work ethic, they should not be disqualified from competing for a position due to the lack of having a college degree.

Option B provides three distinct subpoints it will use to prove its main statement, while the first sentence just makes a general claim.

Example 3:

A: Gun laws should be more strict and demand more requirements because of the increased amount of nationwide shootings.

B: A strict gun regulations policy will not reduce nationwide violence since guns are still obtainable illegally, and humans, not weapons, are the catalysts of brutality.

Option B goes more in-depth about why it’s claim is correct and presents reasoning that can be justified from many external sources.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Pick a primary question to answer and come up with a clear, concise response to it in a thesis statement. All essays should have a thesis statement because it is the basic element of nearly any type of paper—apart from perhaps creative writing.

Students commonly spend a lot of time formulating rough ideas without knowing what a thesis statement should include. When writing any type of academic paper, it is important to have an organized system to complete the task promptly.

Here are some tips for formulating a good thesis statement:

Thesis Statement Examples & Templates

For many students, the best way to learn is to see some realistic examples. So here we will see how a thesis statement depends on the aim of the paper:

Argumentative Thesis Statement

Make a claim about a chosen topic/question and try to justify this main argument by using reasons and credible evidence. Decide which type of thesis you plan to use. The main argument could be an opinion, analysis, or proposal. The writer should offer something some people can disagree with. Persuade the audience of your truth throughout the paper.

Example:The Brexit referendum result was caused by working-class frustration with the political elite and by austere policies that have eroded public services and fragmented communities; the referendum offered an alternative to the status quo.

Analytical Thesis Statement

You do not have to introduce a strong argument, you rather need to analyze, interpret, and evaluate different aspects of the same topic. It should introduce the key points of your analysis.

Example:An assessment of a barn owl’s flight technique depicts a couple of flight patterns: the ones connected with hunting prey and those related to courtship.

Expository Thesis Statement

The main aim of an expository thesis statement is to explain and discuss the facts of a topic.

Example:Gerbils are believed to be a perfect pet for kids as they are low-maintenance and cheap.

Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement

In a compare and contrast thesis statement your goal should be to compare, review, and juxtapose the two points.

Example:While Judaism and Christianity are Abrahamic religions sprung from the same cultural hearth, they are different by their implementation of traditions, their realizations of religious cannons, and their perceptions of Jesus Christ.

Cause and Effect Thesis Statement

In a cause and effect thesis statement you need to explain the reason for some event or happening.

Example:The primary reason why high school bullying takes place is the fact that modern teens watch violent videos and play violent video games.

In-Text Examples

Download PDF examples of essays with a thesis statement. The statements are highlighted.

Thesis Statement Example: Cricket in South Asia

Cricket, in the South of Asia between 1880-2005, played a political role in not only easing tensions and restrictions of caste members, but allowing Pakistan and India to release some political tensions from a religious aspect.

Thesis Statement Example: Settings in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea

In Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, the setting is the hot and colorful West Indies in the post-colonial days. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre the setting is murky gray England: the heart of the empire and Mr. Rochester’s home. Thornfield in Wide Sargasso Sea is depicted as dark and ancient, while Antoinette’s surroundings in Jane Eyre are often green and dream-like. The contrasting climates and settings in the two novels showcase how different Antoinette’s concept of home is from Jane’s, yet they also add parallel qualities to the two novels

Still Can’t Come Up With a Thesis Statement?

Writing a good thesis statement is never easy. It is the most important piece of an entire essay. Is it possible to create one with minimal effort? Our “write an essay for me” service will pair you with an experienced academic writer that has written hundreds of excellent thesis statements before and knows all of the ingredients for a successful one. Click down below and fill out the help request form to get in touch with a member of our custom paper writers team. Education doesn’t have to be stressful!

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