Thesis Statement: The main claim/idea of a paper; drives the entire essay
I work with many students who wonder what a thesis is and/or why a writer needs one anyway. If you are feeling this way, no worries! The below information will surely ease your mind. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to becoming a thesis-writing expert!
Why Thesis Statements are AWESOME:
- They are only one sentence long
- They don’t beat around the bush
- They are powerful, ruling over the entire paper.
- They make a claim about your topic that can be debated (argumentative/persuasive), but ultimately show you are right (and who doesn’t like to be right?)
Where the Thesis Belongs in the Paper:
- The thesis actually should not come until the last sentence of your full introduction. It’s very important to remember that before you get into the body of your paper, you have to give your reader the “map.” Without that map, readers are likely to get lost. That’s why they need that thesis early on.
What the thesis should say:
- Very clearly, the thesis should answer the writing prompt or assignment using key words and phrases from the prompt to ensure that you following the assignment.
- A thesis has TWO IMPORTANT PARTS: the WHAT (topic) and the WHY (reason or reasons)
Let’s try it!
Consider the following writing prompt: Who is most to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths and why?
Here are three attempts at thesis statements to answer the prompt. Read them over, and think about how effective each one is. Consider ranking them from 1 (the most effective) to 3 (the least effective).
___ Romeo is most to blame for his and Juliet’s deaths because, throughout the play, he makes choices before thinking about the consequences.
___ Romeo is most to blame.
___ Romeo is primarily to blame for his and Juliet’s deaths because he rushes into the marriage, is prone to overdramatic depressive episodes, and he kills Tybalt in Act Three.
Right away, we know that thesis #2 doesn’t give enough information; it just gives the topic, but no reasoning.
Thesis statement #3 is a strong three-part thesis. It has the topic (Romeo is to blame) and three reasons why. This type of thesis is usually used in a five-paragraph essay. It gives a direct map for the reader.
Thesis statement #1 hits the mark if you are not required to write a five-paragraph essay with a three-part thesis. This thesis states the topic (Romeo is to blame) and gives the reason (he makes choices without thinking of the consequences). This thesis statement tells your reader that your paper will discuss several examples of times Romeo rushed into choices, but doesn’t give any spoilers as to what examples you will use.
So, there you have it. You are now ready to tackle your own thesis statement. And no worries, the tutors at tutor.com are available to help you along the way if you get stuck or want someone to read your thesis over!