The thesis statement is one complete sentence that states
the point the writer will argue throughout the entire paper.
This statement is usually the last sentence of the introduction.
1. A thesis statement must be a statement, not a question.
Just a question: Should people use abortion as a method of birth-control? A thesis statement: People should never use abortion as a method of birth-control.
About the writer: I don't believe a Bigfoot could exist in the wilds of North America. About the topic: The facts do not support the existence of a large, unknown hominid like Bigfoot.
About the paper: The thesis of this paper is Social Security and old age. About the topic: Continuing changes in the Social Security System makes it almost impossible to plan intelligently for one's retirement.
2. A thesis statement is about your topic.
It is not about you.
It is not about your paper.
3 A thesis statement must be arguable.
This means a reasonable person
should be able to argue against it.
This means a thesis statement cannot be merely a fact.
Just a fact: People use many lawn chemicals. Arguable Thesis: People are ruining the environment with chemicals merely to keep their lawns clean.
Just a fact: The first polygraph was developed by Dr. John A. Larson in 1921. Arguable Thesis: Because the polygraph has not been proved reliable, even under the most controlled conditions, its use by private employers should be banned. (Hacker 33)
More than one main point: The American steel industry has many problems. One main point: The primary problem in the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment.
More than one main point: Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world-renowned scientist, and his book is the subject of a movie. One main point: Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world renowned physicist.
4. A thesis statement has just one main point.
Don't try to tackle two topics at once, even if they seem related.
Pick one and stick with it.
5. A thesis statement must be specific.
Anything that can be answered with a list Claims of goodness or badness
Merely a claim of goodness: Hemingway's war stories are very good. A more specific claim: Hemingway's stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words.
Vague: Many drugs are now being used successfully to treat mental illnesses Specific: Despite its risks and side effects, lithium is an effective treatment for depression (Hacker 33).
Leads to a list: The following guitarists have been admitted into the Guitarist Hall of Fame. A more specific claim:Geddy Lee of Rush should be admittedinto the Guitarist Hall of Fame.
6. Make the thesis statement straightforward, clear cut, simplified.
Try to limit it to twenty-five words or fewer.
Don't start with a pronouns: They shouldn't be judged by the color of their skins. Do start with specific nouns: Students entering college shouldn't be judged by the color of their skins.
Don't refer to what was written outside the thesis statement: Because of the reasons listed above, prisoners should never get the death penalty.
Don't write too much: Making it legal to test beauty products on animals that could injure or even kill them isn't fair to these precious animals; they deserve to be loved by someone who will love and care for them, to be free, and realize what life has to offer them. Keep it crisp: It should not be legal to test beauty products on animals if those tests could injure or kill them .