Writing Thesis Statements

WHAT IS A THESIS STATEMENT?

  • A thesis statement presents your opinions or thoughts on a subject or an issue.
  • A thesis statement should include two parts: WHAT and WHY?
  • WHAT: What claim are you making about the text?
  • WHY: Why should we care? Why is your claim important?
  • Your thesis statement should answer the "so what?" question.

TIP:

A thesis statement should never contain the following: in my opinion, I think, I believe, etc. However, it may be helpful for you to begin your thesis statement rough draft with the previously mentioned phrases and then delete when writing your final thesis statement. Use specific language!

HOW DO I SUPPORT A THESIS STATEMENT?

  • Examples from the text: direct quotations, summaries of scenes, paraphrase
  • Other critics' opinions (if they're easily accessible)
  • Historical and social context
TIP:

Always remember to read carefully and highlight/underline/annotate useful passages and quotes!

ADDITIONAL TIPS

"Writing a thesis statement is just like giving someone (your reader) good directions. When someone reads your paper, the direction (the controlling statement or the thesis statement) should be clear and up front. A reader shouldn't have to wander through your writing as you try to piece it together in you mind" -Searle, 2010

THESIS KILLERS

To ensure that you're being specific and clear, DO NOT use the following words, or Thesis Killers:

  • VERY
  • MANY
  • THINGS
  • LOTS
  • STUFF

GOOD OR BAD?

  1. In this paper, I am going to tell you my opinion of the things that are going on in the world of television in the modern day world.
  2. There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.
  3. While most American families would view blood-related marriage is a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families believe hat these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.
  4. Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.
  5. Because the internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential by using web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.


REMEMBER:

A thesis is never a question or a statement of purpose or simply a topic.

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