Structure of a Thesis Statement

In high school teachers do not talk about thesis statements much. They tend to teach about them, but do not expect you to use them throughout high school. I know this to be true because during my experience in high school I was not required to use thesis statements in any of my essays for any of my classes. In college, however, this all changes. Professors require thesis statements at the end of the first paragraph, no matter what class it is. This can make freshman year even more complicated, because you are not used to using them yet.

A thesis statement is the central argument of your essay and is very important. The thesis allows you to give a short and sweet introduction to the rest of your paper. The details in a thesis statement are like the milk in ice cream, without them, you will not have a complete thesis statement. Because of this, it is essential to be as clear and detailed as possible without being too wordy.

Make sure that your thesis statement has:

  • Your standpoint on the topic
  • Short summary of the main arguments
  • Road map to the paper

Several things go into writing a strong thesis statement.

Steps to Writing a strong Thesis:

  • First, research topic and come up with ideas
  • Then, write a rough draft of your thesis statement using your research
  • Third, narrow down your thesis to make sure it addresses all the main points that are going to be in your paper
  • Last, make sure it is a “road map” to your paper

Key points that make a thesis statement:

  • It takes a stand on a topic
  • Has specific details about the topic
  • And expresses the main idea of the paper

Even though every paper should have a thesis statement, the formula can vary from type to type of paper. The basic formula, however, does not change. The thesis statement is a complex sentence that explains your main claim, and then follows with the arguments you will be presenting. Usually, you should start with your weakest argument and finish the paper with your strongest. Each argument should be a different paragraph or set of paragraphs, and have clear breaks between sections.

Things that are not Thesis Statements:

  • A question, but it can be the answer to a question
  • A statement of purpose
  • A simple topic


Examples Thesis Statements:

  • Bad: Why are grades not good?
    • Reason why it is bad: question
  • Good: Grades should not be important in school because they cause anxiety and unnecessary pressure on students.
  • Bad: Drug usage is growing throughout society.
    • Reason why it is bad: To broad of a topic
  • Good: Illegal drug usage is becoming more common throughout all ages
  • Bad: Starbucks coffee is so much better then Java City coffee because it has more flavor, better quality, and more variety.


    • Reason why it is bad: Very weak thesis statement
  • Good: Based on x statistic, more people prefer Starbucks coffee to Java City because of the flavors, quality and variety.


For more examples and different types of thesis statements you can use this website