Crafting a Thesis Statement

What is a thesis statement?

  • A sentence that contains the focus of your essay and outlines what it will be about.
  • Appears at, or near, the end of the introductory paragraph.
  • A thesis should answer research questions and take a position that needs to be argued and supported. Make sure your position is debatable by considering other possible viewpoints and answers to your research question.

A thesis statement has 2 parts:

  1. Statement of the topic
    • The death penalty…
    • Black holes…
    • Rosa Parks…
  2. The point of the essay
    • …is both cruel and ineffective.
    • …can teach scientists about how the universe works.
    • …was the most influential person of the civil rights movement.

What to avoid when writing a thesis statement:

  • Simply stating the topic or just stating a fact.
  • Statements such as, “In my opinion,” “I think.” “This paper will discuss” …
  • Questions- it is a statement and not a question.

Be direct and specific to make sure your readers clearly know your position on the topic.

Examples of bad and good thesis statements:

Bad: This paper will discuss influential George Washington.

Good: George Washington was the most influential person of the history of the United States because of his morals and humble nature.

Bad: Pollution is bad for the environment.

Good: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.

Bad: The War of 1812 occurred before the Civil War.

Good: The War of 1812 set into motion the main events that caused the Civil War.