Writing a thesis statement can be one of the most important, yet most difficult parts of your entire paper. There seem to be varying rules and standards that need to be applied in order to determine whether or not your thesis is of high quality or not. However, there are some universal rules that, if followed, will always create an excellent thesis.
Universal Rules of Thesis Statement Writing
1. Your Thesis Should Reflect the Type of Paper You Are Writing
There are three basic types of papers that require a thesis statement: argumentative, analytical, and explanatory. Each of these three unique purposes creates a specific purpose for your thesis.
An argumentative statement should define the subject, what the subject should do or change, and the reasons that this is the case. For example, "College graduates [Subject] should be required to participate in an internship [what the subject should do], relating to their field of study, in order to gain real world experience [reason to change 1] and a working knowledge of their industry [reason to change 2]."
An analytical thesis should provide a clear message what action or conflict needs analyzed. For example, "An analysis of the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee reveals the challenge of accepting teams with a solid season-long performance or a team with an average season-long performance capped by an outstanding final eight games." From this statement, the reader knows that you will be sharing with them 1. an analysis of the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and 2. the challenge of choosing between the two types of teams.
Finally, an explanatory thesis statement needs to identify the subject and what you will be explaining about them. For example, "The average plan to lose weight consists of eating right, daily exercise, and sleeping well." Your paper would then explain how or why a diet plan revolves around these three characteristics.
2. Always Ask Yourself...
There are a series of questions that you need ask yourself about every thesis statement that you write. The answer to these questions will help you decide of you have formulated a successful thesis statement.
Where is your thesis statement?
Ideally, your statement will be as early in your essay as possible, preferably in your first paragraph. For longer essays, it may be necessary for your thesis statement to be several sentences or be in the second paragraph. Try not to bury your statement in the middle of a paragraph. It should either at the beginning or end because it allows that thesis statement to guide the readers more effectively.
Is the statement specific or general?
A specific statement essentially summarizes the purpose of your paper in one sentence. If it is too general or broad, there is a good chance that you paper will not be able to cover every aspect or caveat of the statement.
While writing your thesis statement can seem like a daunting task. Following these two simple rules will help you to create an effective thesis every time.
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