When you get admitted to college, chances are that you will have to take an English course in which you are required to write academic essays that involve writing a thesis statement. Not to mention you’ll have prompts on your SATs, ACTs, and many of the scholarships you apply for. Reading a sample thesis statement from the web and copying it is not enough if you want to ace your paper. You should know at least the basics of writing one for you to be able to apply it in all your paper requirements.
“Even though the thesis statement is one sentence communicating the main idea and argument to the reader, there are rules to follow and common errors to avoid when crafting a strong thesis statement.” – Alyssa Sellors, Demand Media
This article will serve as your all in one guide in writing thesis statements that are easy to read and at the same time, very informative.
Table of Contents
Defining a thesis statement
We are sure you have already heard of the word “thesis” which is used to address the final requirement of a college student before graduation. That is not what we are going to teach you here. Although, you can learn a thing or two from this article that can be useful in writing some parts of an actual thesis project.
The focus of this blog is to teach you how to craft a sentence that contains the main point/idea/message of a whole academic essay. In other words, the thesis is a statement that summarizes every significant point you are going to discuss in your paper. Usually, your teacher or professor will only look at your thesis statement to gauge whether your paper is worth reading so learning how to write one effortlessly is a necessary skill.
The ideal length of a thesis statement
One good tip on how to write a good thesis statement is that should not be too wordy. If possible, it should only be a long sentence explaining your stance. However, if the ideas that will be presented really require statement breaks, two sentences are already the maximum. You can apply this not only for academic papers but also if you want to be a freelance writer.
Informative vs persuasive thesis statement
There are different types of academic essays that you will be assigned to write during your high school and college years. Just as there are many essay purposes, there are also different types of thesis statement that agrees with the type of essay that you are writing. The two most common categories of a thesis statement are informative and persuasive and identifying them is one of the first steps on how to write a good thesis statement.
The goal of writing a thesis statement that is informative is to simply state facts and inform the readers about the topic. It does not aim to argue or present a stance because its focus is only on presenting and sharing essential facts for the reader to learn.
A persuasive thesis statement is the most common type of thesis used in writing essays. Aside from presenting the issue, the writer should identify his stance about it. For instance, if your teacher asked you to write an academic paper about federalism and your opinion about it, your thesis statement should include what federalism is and what is your view about it– are you in favor or not?
Steps on how to write a good thesis statement
To help you in your dilemma on how to write a good thesis statement, we have listed four easy steps for you to follow. From here, you will be able to outline a style that suits your writing style.
1. Answer the prompt
I know what you’re thinking. This seems obvious, doesn’t it?
Have you ever started telling a story to make a point, and gotten caught up telling 2 or 3 other stories in the process… only to realize that you never ended up making the first point? The same thing can happen in an essay.
You want to make sure that you clearly address the question being asked.
While stating that technology can cause us to be withdrawn may IMPLY that it causes us to feel more alone, it doesn’t necessarily answer the question of how, or why.
2. Be specific
A good thesis statement will provide a miniature outline for how the body paragraph of the essay will go. This is a useful tip on how to write a good thesis statement.
The best thesis statements will provide readers with a good idea of what to expect within the following text.
A well-constructed thesis serves as a lighthouse for your readers, offering them a guiding light in the stormy sea of claims and evidence that make up your argumentative essay. It will also help keep you, the writer, from getting lost in a convoluted and directionless argument. – Kibin
3. Take a stance
One of the key characteristics of a good thesis statement, or any thesis statement really, is that it makes an argument. Here is another one of the thesis statement examples that explain this step.
In the example above, the first sentence is far too open-ended. It also does not take a stance. It is hard for anyone to disagree with the idea that an engineering major has never been found difficult by anyone, ever.
In contrast, the second sentence gives very clear reasons as to why engineering is perceived to be a difficult major. It is specific, and it takes a stance.
4. Answer the “How” and “Why”
Notice how the thesis statement examples in the first step label different parts of the thesis statement as “How” and “Why”. These are the two questions you want to pinpoint in your thesis statement.
Bonus Tip: Support Your Argument
When you are writing a thesis statement, make sure to use points that you can support with strong facts and references. It will save you time to think about these things while you are writing your thesis so that the rest of your essay goes smoothly! Lookup a good sample thesis statement and you will see what we are talking about.
Checklist of a good thesis statement
To know whether you have formulated a good thesis statement, we have prepared a checklist to serve as your additional guide:
- Your thesis statement is found in the introduction of your essay
- Your thesis statement is specific
- Your thesis statement is not too general
- Your thesis statement is clear and direct to the point
- Your thesis statement includes your position about the issue
- Your thesis statement is original and is not plagiarized
A list of sample thesis statement
Here is a list of some sample thesis statement from Servicescape to guide you on your writing journey:
Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
Educational Resources for Low-Income Students
Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don’t forget what they’ve learned throughout the school year.
School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyberbullying is on the rise. Cyberbullying puts a lot of stress on many teens and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smartphones, monitor their children’s online activity, and report any cyberbullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
Medical Marijuana for Veterans
Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them reintegrate back into civilian life.
Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex
Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age-appropriate lessons.
Whether or Not to Attend University
A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a “gap year” where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
Women’s Body Image
Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman’s body image collectively as a culture.
Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn’t deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
University Athletes Should be Compensated
University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student-athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighbourhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
I bet you didn’t realize how much went into writing a good thesis statement! It’s not just copying a sample thesis statement from the web.
If you haven’t encountered them in high school, thesis statements are something you will definitely run into when you are asked to write academic papers in college. Now you can be prepared to tackle your writing assignments head-on.
To review, the steps we talked about how to write a thesis statement were:
- Answer the prompt
- Be specific
- Take a stance
- Answer the “How” and “Why”
We hope that you have also learned from the thesis statement examples we included from Servicescape. Good luck!
Have you written a sample thesis statement before? Am I missing any important tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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