The thesis statement aims to inform your readers what your essay or speech will cover. It provides contexts and limitations on your topic.
Your thesis statement can make or break your essay. Even though it’s only one to two sentences short, it’s still the most challenging part of your paper to write. Follow these templates and examples when writing your thesis statement.
What Is a Thesis Statement?
Whether in high school or college, you’ve probably heard of the term thesis statement when writing school essays. A thesis statement is a single idea found in the introductory paragraph of every piece.
As the secret to a strong essay outline, this statement sums up the central idea of your essay. It informs the reader how you will analyze, argue, or describe a subject matter. It also directly answers the question, “What is your paper all about?”
A weak thesis statement won’t be able to tell the reader what to expect from your paper. The thesis statement is also different from the topic sentence, which is a sentence summing up every body paragraph.
Why Your Essay Needs a Thesis Statement
It would help if you spent extra time writing an effective thesis statement in your essays so that the readers will know its scope. The thesis also informs the readers of your ideas on your paper, especially if you’re writing academic papers like analytical or argumentative essays.
A clear thesis statement will make the audience understand your stance if you’re writing about a debatable topic. It will ensure that your relevant evidence is related to the paper and that your ideas can be tested.
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Where to Put the Thesis Statement
Thesis statements usually appear at the end of the essay introduction and before the body paragraphs.
Thesis statements are usually generated once you’ve decided on the type of essay you’re making, whether it’s an informative or argumentative essay. It would help if you also decided on the topic of your entire paper before writing the direct statement.
Tips for Writing a Thesis Statement
Consider these tips and examples when writing a thesis statement for your essay.
Determine the Type of Paper You’re Writing
Different types of papers require different methods for writing a thesis statement. Once you understand the formula, you’ll develop a strong thesis that can be supported by substantial evidence.
An argumentative thesis statement should state the position you argue for or against with all the key points. Here are some argumentative thesis statement examples.
- The war on drugs has more disadvantages than advantages because it leads to the criminalization of drug users, mandatory sentencing, and excessive imprisonment levels that directly impact the poor.
- The federal government should regulate the size of chips and sodas because of the health effects of junk food.
Meanwhile, an expository paper aims to explain. That means there should be no opinion or persuasion in this sentence. Take a look at these expository thesis statement examples.
- The government allots most of its budget to the military rather than the education system or food security.
- The rate of suicide is higher among men than women.
An analytical essay focuses on exploring a concept in-depth. That means the thesis statement may serve as a summary of your analysis. Here are some analytical thesis statement examples.
- The implications of Olivia Wilde’s movie, Don’t Worry Darling, contributes to notions of liberal feminism.
- In modern times, Korean music is heavily influencing the consumption of Filipinos.
Ask a Question
Don’t forget to ask a question whenever you write a thesis statement for your paper. If the professor assigns a topic to you, the assignment question may serve as a guide to your thesis. But if they haven’t assigned a topic, you should think about what you want to discuss and turn it into an interrogative statement.
Here are a few quick sample questions based on the types of thesis statements you will produce.
- Argumentative thesis question: Should cigarettes and other tobacco products be outlawed?
- Expository thesis question: What are the health effects of a lack of sleep?
- Analytical thesis question: How are Virginia Woolf’s works relevant to modern times?
Below is a sample thesis statement for the analytical thesis question.
- Virginia Woolf’s novels and essays have shaped women’s writing, artistic theory, and the politics of power.
As you can see, a single sentence could answer the question and produce a thesis statement. However, this answer may still be tentative. It should only guide your research process first. Along the way, your analysis and writing structure may still change.
Decide on an Answer You Can Defend or Explain
After conducting enough research on your thesis statement, it’s time to finalize your answer. Will your strong thesis statement be supported by richer ideas and evidence throughout the paper?
Importantly, your statement should definitely be something that a reader could disagree with, even if it’s an expository essay.
For example, it’s not enough to say that “Access to foreign countries has a huge effect on our culture” since the statement is too obvious. Instead, ask yourself why or how it has a huge effect. Think of a position that your readers could rationally disagree with or dispute.
Here is an example to show you what I mean.
“Access to foreign countries has enabled cultural changes by bringing people of different backgrounds and traditions together.”
Here are other examples of argumentative and analytical thesis statements.
- Argumentative: COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory.
- Analytical: A Little Life by Hanya Yanaghihara is an unrealistic representation of mental health struggles.
Refine Your Thesis Statement
Thesis statements are clear and concise, at most two sentences. However, they should be specific enough to summarize the key arguments of your paper and answer the essay question.
From your initial answer, you need to make some expansions that will include every point in your body paragraphs. Below is an example of an incomplete argumentative thesis statement with main points.
- COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- COVID-19 vaccines will reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
Once everything is set, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Your goal is to write your main point and supporting details in one to two sentences. Below is an example.
- COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory because they are safe and effective and can help reduce hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19.
Here’s another example of a complete thesis statement.
- The benefits of internet use among adolescents outweigh the downsides: It allows them to easily access information, develop their identities through self-expression, and hone critical thinking skills.
If you find this step challenging, you can hire professional essay writers to generate a thesis statement and outline for your essay needs.
Check if Your Thesis Statement Is Strong
Whether you’re writing an essay about politics or cinema, you need to maintain a solid thesis statement. Here are some questions to ask when checking your thesis.
Was I Able to Answer the Question?
As you already know, the question depends on the type of paper you’re writing. Your answer should be a clear and concise 1-2 sentence statement. Try changing the wording if the question prompt isn’t phrased as a question.
Have I Shared an Opinion That Others Might Oppose?
Your argumentative thesis statement should not merely state facts that people already know. Remember that you’re not writing a summary, so make your thesis as opinionated as possible.
Beyond being debatable, you should also have a convincing thesis statement. This is especially important if you’re writing persuasive essays.
Is It Specific Enough?
Being specific is critical to producing a solid statement. Make sure it does not contain general words like good or successful. Once your argument is strong, the process of writing essays will be much easier.
Does the Entire Essay Support the Thesis?
An ineffective thesis statement does not support the next couple of paragraphs of the entire essay. Therefore, if you say that low-income students and student-athletes should receive more assistance in terms of their crippling student debt, then your empirical evidence should support it in your argumentative paper.
The Backbone of Your Essay Is Your Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a declarative statement that expresses your paper’s position or main topic. It fulfills the several roles of your paper, whether it’s a research paper, an essay for coursework, or a speech.
Make sure to place your thesis statement at the end of your introduction before your first body paragraph.
More Thesis Statement Examples
- Incorrect: People should eat healthily.
- Correct: Americans should start eating a balanced diet because it keeps their body healthy and prevents the risk of stroke.
- Incorrect: Everyone should stop smoking because it is bad for our health.
- Correct: Individuals must stop smoking because it causes cancer, lung disease, and diabetes.
- Incorrect: Listening to music can make people feel relaxed.
- Correct: Listening to music relieves stress as the brain synchronizes to the beat and causes alpha brainwaves.
Thesis Statement Template
Use these templates for your essays when writing a thesis statement.
Comparison/Contrast Thesis Statement Templates
- The similarities between ____________ and ____________ are [striking, pronounced], and they ____________ [deserve, merit] [thorough, rigorous, meticulous] [investigation, scrutiny, examination].
- [Despite, despite bearing, although they bear] some [superficial, minor] similarities, the differences between ____________ and ____________ are [clear, striking, remarkable, pronounced].
- While some differences between ____________ and ____________ are [evident, obvious, noticeable], the similarities are ____________.
Proposition Thesis Statement Templates
- The [belief, thought, notion, idea, proposition] that ____________ is ____________ is [an interesting, a fascinating, a thought-provoking, a provocative] one, and one that I believe in.
- ____________ is true because of ____________.
Informative Thesis Statement Template
- The ____________ is characterized by ____________, ____________, and ____________.
- An analysis of ____________ reveals that ____________.