Most effective thesis statements often answer these three questions:. I might begin with a sentence like this:. This is a good start because it does express my position without announcing it; unfortunately, it is vague and general and therefore ineffective. It is not all that exciting for my reader, and it leaves my audience too many unanswered questions.
How to Write A Good Thesis Statement
WHY is playing sports good for people? HOW does playing sports benefit people?
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WHICH people benefit from playing sports? Asking questions about the topic is a great way to find more specific information to include in my thesis. I might next have a thesis like this:.
Maybe I think that playing sports helps children develop better cooperation skills, better coordination, and better overall health. I might have a thesis that ends up like this:. Playing sports is beneficial for children because it helps them develop better cooperation skills, better coordination, and better overall health.
Most effective thesis statements contain this type of structure, often called an action plan or plan of development. This is such an effective type of thesis because it clearly tells the reader what is going to be discussed; it also helps the writer stay focused and organized. Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible.
Normally you will continue to refine your thesis as you revise your argument s , so your thesis will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a better sense of where your argument is taking you. Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages.
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Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface. The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis too general with three possible revisions more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic :.
Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: it needs to be as clear as possible. By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean. These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them.
What is a Thesis Statement?
Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible. Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear :. Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper.
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The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops. Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader.
Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas. Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible.
A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning. Use your own words in thesis statements; avoid quoting. Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper. General Writing The Writing Process.
Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements Summary: This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements. An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.