Thesis Statement Writing 101

June 6, 2018 | GradeMiners
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Written homework is an essential part of the academic workload. Although most students are frosty about doing essays, compositions, case studies or reports, these assignments mean to teach but one crucial skill very useful in adult life – persuasion.

Convince the boss you deserve a raise. Convince the wife she doesn’t need own car. Convince a salesperson to give you a lucrative deal. Persuasion is used ubiquitously. To teach you this skill, as well as check the ability to synthesize data and apply logical thinking, essays and other types of papers are assigned. Where does the training start? Right in the beginning. First and foremost, you have to persuade and convince a reader, most often a professor or instructor, that your point of view on the assigned subject is accurate, relevant, and worthy of exploring into.

If we are to use a formal term, this form of persuasion is called an “academic argument.” It has a commonly accepted pattern and specific rules. The main rule is to introduce a topical sentence at the end of the introduction. It is usually a short one-sentence phrase that conveys the key point or claim of the text. A topic sentence is compulsory. Without capturing your position on an assigned topic, a document won’t get a pass. Thesis statement summarizes the argument you’ll delve upon further in a paper.

How to cogitate a valid thesis statement?

Coming up with a thesis statement usually takes from one hour to an evening, sometimes even longer. To make a strong argument, you have to first synthesize available topic information, background data, and known facts up to the mark. Only after getting a full grasp of a subject matter you could brainstorm a powerful topic sentence. At the end of the day, it’s all about making a claim others would want to dispute or discuss. Otherwise, it would be a mere summary of a text.

All too often a student draws up a so-called “working thesis.” This draft is usually the very first intelligent attempt to present a statement. While working on a paper, you’ll constantly be rethinking and reworking both a thesis statement and argumentation, depending on where the work on a project will be taking you in the process. Formulation of a thesis takes time and precision, do not expect to put up a central claim of a paper vault on.

Great vs lousy thesis statement

Many a student will normally err on the side of drawing up anything but a thesis statement. A summary, judgmental spike, statement of the fact, you name it! And a topic sentence is all about making a bulletproof claim supported by credible evidence. Please take a look at the most wide-spread mistakes students make in terms of writing a thesis statement.

A lousy thesis merely announces a topic; a great thesis offers a peculiar angle and a point of view.

  • Lousy: In this essay, I will shed light on modern parenthood.
  • Great: Ubiquitous use of mobile phones affects intellectual development of pre-school kids.

A lousy thesis is too general and vague; a great thesis delivers facts to justify a claim.

  • Lousy: Comic book movie adaptations are horrible.
  • Great: Due to excessive use of CGI, comic book movie adaptations offer too little acting and too much plastic graphical effects.

A lousy thesis is pure weasel talk; a great thesis is specific hands down.

  • Lousy: It is said, although many would disagree, that Michael Bay is considered a middling film director.
  • Great: Despite such great movies as ‘Bad Boys,’ ‘Pearl Harbor’ and ‘The Island,’ Michael Bay is only good to shoot popcorn blockbusters.

A lousy thesis delivers some universal truth; a great thesis cuts to the chase.

  • Lousy: The greenhouse effect causes the icebergs to melt.
  • Great: The speed of icebergs melting because of the greenhouse effect increases by 3% annually.

A lousy thesis exploits on someone else’s ideas; a great thesis presents genuine speculations.

  • Lousy: Enduring Love’s protagonist is a moral authority to all of us.
  • Great: In contrast to a commonly accepted opinion, I find Enduring Love’s protagonist a complete madman.

It takes time and training to formulate a killer topical sentence. That’s why don’t hesitate to start working on an assignment in advance. Although a 5-paragraph essay might seem a walk in a park, to deliver a strong paper, you’ll have to put in work and especially time.

10 characteristic features of a sublime thesis statement

  • Is one sentence long, two sentences allowed for longer papers
  • Goes at the end of the first paragraph of a paper (most often in the introduction)
  • Contains a precise claim regarding the point of a research
  • Makes a strong argument others would like to dispute
  • Has no vague formulations or ambiguous phrases
  • Specifies your take on a subject and delivers paper’s central message
  • Can withstand a question “So what?” and suggest further argumentation
  • Is difficult to dispute, the harder – the better
  • Takes some time to think of and formulate perfectly well
  • Is a product of brainstorming and deliberate selection among a couple of variants

Thesis statement writing Q&A

Q: Where do I put a thesis statement in a text?

A: Last passage of an essay introduction or the end of the first paper paragraph.

Q: Is a thesis statement obligatory?

A: Goes without saying, it’s an essential part of any academic text. To say even more, it’s the very heart of research that sets the tone for the entire paper. Without a topic sentence, no one will understand the point of your paper, why it’s relevant, or what’s it about in general.

Q: Should I accentuate or mark off visually a thesis statement?

A: No special means of emphasizing a topical sentence are needed. It’s usually seen from the context.

Q: How to pass the so-called “So what?” test?

A: If a teacher asks you such question after reading a thesis statement, then it lacks relevance. Reconsider your thesis to make it more relevant to a topic and more attention-grabbing.

Q: How to pass the so-called “How and why?” test?

A: Chances are high your thesis is still confusing and broad. Seek to narrow it down and make clearer for a reader to understand.

Q: How to brainstorm a thesis statement?

A: First of all, you must familiarize with the subject matter. Just as you get a solid grasp of what’s it about, you could commence cogitating a thesis. Ensure it reflects your personal position regarding the subject. Before choosing the final variant, you will want to shuffle several options. Best variant is usually decided on closer to writing roundup.

Q: How long thesis statement must be?

A: One short essay will do for an essay. Two sentences are allowed when writing a dissertation or any other lengthy research.

Q: Can I use quoting in a thesis statement?

A: Absolutely not! In-text citations must be used in the main body where your argumentation and supporting evidence is presented. Speaking of a thesis, it always has to rely on your personal words and ideas. Use quotes only as a mean to fortify your claim.  

We hope the tips will help you put up a more consistent assignment! If you encounter difficulties working on any part of your research, feel free to contact anytime. We’re available around-the-clock via 7/24 Customer Support and Live Chat.

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