WHAT IS A THESIS?

 

A thesis statement is one or two sentences in your introduction that explains the core idea of your paper. The thesis is the foundation of the paper and should act as a roadmap for your paper. It should not only be a guide for the reader, but for the writer as well.

 

When writing your thesis, think about how you want to get your point across to the reader. State your claim and make sure it is arguable. Knowing what you’re going to argue helps you take you in the right direction and stay on track. A thesis is usually located near the end of the introduction, often the last sentence of the introduction. This provides a smooth transition into the body of the paper.

 

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR THESIS

 

Before developing an argument you must 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.

 

Remember… writing your thesis is a process. Writing your thesis is like learning a new soccer move. You have to keep working with it to perfect it.

 

Let’s say your professor assigns you a 3 to 4-page paper and you have to write about consumerism in America. Before even thinking about writing your thesis, do some research. What usually works for me is typing the topic into the search bar and then I briefly educate myself on the topic. By doing this, I am familiarizing myself with the topic and it makes it easier to narrow down what I want to write about. After doing some research, ask yourself an arguable question? Your thesis should be the answer to your question.

 

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR THESIS IS STRONG

 

Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Is my thesis statement specific enough?

Vague thesis statements do not usually have strong arguments.

  1. Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?

If your thesis statement isn’t arguable, you’re simply making a statement, not a thesis statement.

  1. Did I answer the question?

Be sure to follow directions and respond to the proper task.

  1. Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test?

Your reader should be able to form a relationship with the thesis and the thesis should connect to a larger issue.

 

BAD EXAMPLES

 

Miley Cyrus is a bad role model for teens.

 

The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different.

 

GOOD EXAMPLES

 

Miley Cyrus is an inadequate role model for teens, as she advertises drug and alcohol abuse in her hit song, “We Can’t Stop.”

 

While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.