Practice developing thesis statements

This statement is more precise in that it identifies two American characteristics that drive-ins appear to symbolize: creativity and ingenuity. But this assertion also seems to be one that few would argue with. Clarify Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.

This statement introduces a new idea, and it is the first statement that is arguable to some extent. The new information is that drive-in movies were forerunners of later developments and that they had an impact on our culture. This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, , will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track—well able to understand and appreciate your argument. This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Identify a topic

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses. Generating Ideas for. Thesis vs. Purpose Statements. Architecture of Arguments. Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources. Citing Sources in Your Paper. Generating Ideas for Your Paper. Developing Strategic Transitions. Revising an Argumentative Paper. Revision Strategies for Longer Projects. How to Proofread your Paper. Collaborative and Group Writing. U niversity of W isconsin —Madison. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement. Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.

Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph. Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument. Identify a topic Your topic is the subject about which you will write.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do Inform yourself about your topic Focus on one aspect of your topic Ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts Generate a topic from an assignment Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments. Identified topic The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.

Reason This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad warfare being a major theme in that work. Developing a Thesis Statement—Additional information Consider what your assignment asks you to do Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. Focus on one aspect of your topic As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic.

Ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Derive a main point from topic Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. Look for patterns in your evidence Compose a purpose statement Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement. Example 2 Topic The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.

Evidence The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image. The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare. Possible conclusion: At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end. Purpose statement This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.

Thus, you might begin with something like this: This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression. Purpose statement Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement. Question-to-Assertion If your assignment asks a specific question s , turn the question s into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion. List ideas Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them. Formula Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement you will revise this later.

Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment Question each part of your draft thesis Clarify vague phrases and assertions Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Why Get Help with a Thesis Statement from Our Certified Experts

Sample Assignment Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked.

It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information.

Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers.

Identifying Thesis Statements | Basic Reading and Writing

You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing.

Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say. These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument.


Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude. On a sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident. Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration. Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown. Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.

How to write a thesis for beginners

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, co-workers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays. Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look four pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis.

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay. A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end. A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad. Read the following thesis statements.