Information presented below provides a definition of thesis statement, why it should be used in academic writing, and how you can easily create it in any type of essay.
While studying at college or university, you will definitely encounter many academic assignments that will oblige you to use your power of persuasion. Students should be able to easily convince readers and choose solid arguments in support of their claims. Even if you do not expect it, you use persuasive techniques in everyday life situations. You ask your aunt to borrow you a car, claiming that it would be faster and easier to get to the desired location on your own. You persuade your friend to go to the movie instead of watching a film at home.
The same happens in academic writing, where your power of persuasion is essential. Argumentative writing is rather complex in its nature because there are different forms of persuasion. Very often, professors ask to use various writing techniques in argumentative writing and students are confused about how they can get the message across. In order to make your writing clear, you should always include a thesis statement in the end of introduction. This sentence is a statement of your personal argument and the rest of your paper should be connected with it.
Definition of a Thesis Statement
In academic writing, a thesis statement:
- Explains the importance and significance of discussion.
- Is a small sketch of the whole paper and shows what will be explored further.
- Can include ideas that others might disprove or disagree.
- Provides a clear answer to the research question. However, it should not restate the question, but answer it.
- Takes usually one sentence only, depending on the scope of writing. If you have to write a long essay and discuss multiple perspectives, you can include two sentences. Thesis statement should not include any evidence or be based on quotes.
There are many writing assignments, when your teacher will ask you to choose one specific side. If you present your standpoint in the thesis statement, it should be supported in the whole paper.
If you have got your home assignment and it does not include a word “thesis statement,” it does not mean that you should not present it. Most likely, your professor thinks that you will add one since any academic assignment requires it. If you are not sure, do not be shy to contact your professor and ask for some clarifications. Moreover, since there different essay types (compare and contrast essays, analysis essays, definition essays, cause and effect essays, etc.), the thesis statement varies accordingly.
How to Write a Thesis Statement
Do not think that you can create a thesis statement in a couple of minutes because it is usually a result of a complex and time-consuming thinking process. Some teachers ask students to create a thesis statement first and then work on the rest of the paper. However, prior to composing a thesis, you will have to read carefully the task file, do research to have a good understanding of the assigned topic, identify possible inconsistencies in research ideas, interpret the topic in your own way, etc. After that, you can make up a “working thesis” – the one that is used in draft writing. It can be adjusted later, if you happen to introduce new ideas in the paper.
There are different writing techniques and hints how to compose a brilliant thesis statement without wasting much time. One of the most effective techniques is brainstorming. You can find many types of brainstorming and their application/definition on the web.
Checklist for Thesis Statement Writing
If you have already composed a thesis statement and are not sure if your teacher will approve it, read our checklist with the most essential questions that will give a hint if you succeeded to present a clear thesis statement or not.
- Did I manage to provide a clear and brief answer to the question? Always get back to your teacher’s instructions and read an essay prompt one more time. If you come across some differences, adjust your thesis statement.
- Did I present a persuasive thesis statement? In argumentative writing, your thesis statement should be the claim that others might oppose or disagree. If you merely state facts, there is no chance that reader will oppose them and you presented an informative thesis statement instead of a persuasive one.
- Do I have a strong argument? Students often present a dull and vague thesis statement that does not clearly show what side of issue they chose. Eventually, the reader is misled and does not know what writer tries to prove.
- Does the reader see a clear sense of completion in a thesis statement? If he/she has a “So what?” question, it means that you should be more clear in your expressions.
- Do I have relevant topic sentences that reflect a thesis statement? If you go around the bush and include all possible ideas without a clear organization, your teacher will not appreciate it. Check if the major essay parts comply with your thesis statement and there are no off topic ideas.
Do I give a chance for a reader to choose any side of the issue? Remember that in persuasive writing, your thesis statement should be straightforward. Your readers should not be given an option to choose one side or another. They should regard your ideas as the most valid and accurate ones and share the same standpoint.