Thesis Statements Made Easy!

Writing Tutorial

Thesis Statements Made Easy!

Intro

What even is a Thesis Statement!? This is a question myself and many other like me asked when first hearing this term being thrown around in high school. It seemed intimidating to even think about, let alone write! Worry not, whether it is your first time writing one or you are writing one for the 100th time but aren’t sure about your product, this tutorial will help you craft something any professor would be proud of.

Sample Problem

Your history teacher gives you an essay to write and says that one of the requirements of the essay is that it have a introduction, body, conclusion and thesis statement. Let’s say the assignment is to write in detail about the factors contributing to the breakout of WWI.

Solution

Think of your essay as a story! Whoever is reading your ‘story’ needs to know what you will be writing about, preferably at the beginning. You don’t want to leave them guessing what the theme you’ve chosen is. This is where the Thesis statement comes into play. Think of it as a snapshot of what you will be writing about. Here are a few general rules to follow when trying to craft your thesis:

1) Placement. Remember, your Thesis should be near the beginning of your paper. I prefer to finish my introduction paragraph up with my Thesis. (But you can fit it in where you feel it works best)

2) Length. Your thesis shouldn’t be long! No more than two sentences. Be concise.

3) Content. Your Thesis should preview what you are going to write about. A general statement of what is to come.

4) Don’t contradict yourself. If you are writing an essay trying to argue a point of view, don’t present the opposite view in your Thesis!! Only write about what you would like your reader to focus on.

So let’s take our example; the factors that contributed to the outbreak of WWI.

A useful acronym for this subject is MAIN…
Militarism- Powers like Great Britain, Germany and France were building huge arsenals of weapons and glorifying their militaries. Each wanted to have the biggest and best military and be able to show it off.
Alliances- There were many secret alliances before the war. Countries signed defensive pacts with each other, promising to go to war if their friend was attacked. Basically, if one country was attacked, its allies were obliged to help defend their friend.
Imperialism- Colonies throughout the world (especially Africa) were controlled by each European power. Each power wanted to have the biggest empire and were all willing to fight to defend their colonies.
Nationalism- The citizens of each European power were taught to think that their country was superior to all the others. Each power thought their citizens to be the best educated and that their way of life was better than all others.

So now that we have some background information on the subject, let’s construct our thesis!

You’ve now written your introduction about how WWI was devastating and had significant impacts on the world etc. You decide it looks good, so it’s time to wrap up that intro paragraph with your thesis (remember 1: Placement).

Here are some examples that would be excellent:
Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, and Nationalism were all factors leading to the outbreak of WWI. (2: Short and concise 3: We wrote about the four main factors leading to the WWI, which is exactly what the rest of the essay will be about! 4: We haven’t at all contradicted ourselves)

WWI, although seeming to break out quickly and surprisingly, actually had many underlying causes that existed for some time before 1914. These include militarism, secret alliances, imperialism and nationalism. (2: Longer this time, but still concise 3: Briefly covered the our topics we are focusing on later in the essay, with some extra flare! 4: No contradictions!)

But remember… BE CREATIVE!!! The best thesis is one that you spend time crafting.



About The Author

History And Writing Expert
I studied history and German at SUNY Oswego from 2012 to 2016. My specialty was Medieval Europe. I originally started at Oswego studying history education, but decided that this was not the career path for me. I have, however, acquired teaching experience during my time in this major. I even taug...
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