How to write a thesis statement

Writing Tutorial

How to write a thesis statement

Intro

One of the first steps to writing any paper is to identify what your paper is going to be about. In most cases this is known as your thesis statement; the thing in which your paper is going to focus on proving/explaining. A lot of students stress out over writing their thesis statements, but I am here to tell you that it is not as hard as it seems.

Sample Problem

All a thesis statement is, is a sentence that defines what your paper will be about. Here is all you need to know about writing a thesis statement:
1. it needs to be a statement that requires supporting evidence(research) in order to prove.
2. it is focused and uses concrete language
3 it should either answer a question, take position in a debate, or resolve a problem
4. Never use the words I feel, I believe, or I think( using these words means you are just proving that you feel, believe, or think something is true and not that it is actually true)
Example:
Let’s say you are assigned the topic of the death penalty. What are some potential thesis statements you can make on this topic?

Solution

There are two stances you can take with the death penalty. You can be for it or against it. There are some cases in which you can write a paper about both the pros and cons of a topic, but for most academic writing situations you have to pick a side.

Option 1) The death penalty should be allowed in every state across the U.S. because it is less expensive then a life sentence, it deters criminals from committing crimes in the first place, and it provides closure to the family’s of the victims.

Or

option 2) The death penalty should be outlawed in every state across the U.S. because it is a racially biased system, it does not deter criminals from committing violent crimes, and it is a violation of our constitutional rights.

As you can see, both of these statements adhere to the four rules.
1. Both statements require further research to prove.

2. Both statements use concrete language. Notice how I didn’t mention the issue of morality. That is because morality is an abstract term; it is not concrete language. I chose issues that could be supported by statistics and facts.

3. Both statements pick a side of the issue. They are not questions or problems. They are definitive statements that clearly express which side of the topic I am on.

4. I did not use an “I” statement. This is very important because if you use an “I” statement then you are not really proving anything at all and you are wasting your time and the reader’s time.



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I have a M.A. in English and three years of teaching experience at the college level. I have taught multiple writing course and literature courses. In addition to my teaching experience, I have also worked as an Oral Reading Specialist for the Kumon Learning Center. I have a Valid NY State Teaching ...
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