Craft a Perfect Thesis
In university and even in high school, the quality of your paper totally depends on the quality of your thesis. What’s a thesis? The point of your paper! It should outline what your essay will argue, and what examples you will use to prove the point. Almost every single paper in high school and university requires a thesis, unless the teacher or professor specifically states that a thesis is not necessary.
Sometimes, the instructions will give you your thesis. That’s when the directions say, “write a paper arguing climate change is a threat to Canada’s environment,” or “write an essay either agreeing or disagreeing with the idea that history advances because of the decisions of great leaders”. Other times, an essay assignment will just give you the topic for your paper, like “write a paper about an American leader in the Cold War.” These papers still require a thesis, which your argument will revolve around.
No matter what the instructions are for your paper, it has to have a main point. Find your thesis by asking yourself, “what am I trying to say in this essay?”. The thesis statement will focus this into a single sentence or paragraph. It will show your reader, professor or TA, what to expect when they read your paper. Summarize your main point into one sentence, and then summarize the arguments you will use to prove this point. Avoid being too general, or the reader may be confused. And avoid being so specific that your argument ends up straying from the precise thesis. Be as concise and specific as possible but stay on point.
The thesis should appear somewhere in your paper’s introduction, most likely at the end of the first paragraph. Avoid burying the thesis in the middle of your paper, unless the assignment specifically requires you to give a lot of background information before getting to your argument.
If it helps, it’s usually fine to structure the sentence in a way that makes your thesis statement obvious. Starting the thesis with, “This paper will argue . . .” or “The point of this essay is . . .” makes the thesis stand out, and makes it easy for your professor to find.
As you write your paper, keep checking to make sure each paragraph and each argument is related to your thesis. You can help the reader along by adding one sentence into each paragraph directly relating it to the thesis. And be sure to reword your thesis in the essay’s conclusion! This will end your paper naturally, and demonstrate how well you made your point.
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Writing tips: Thesis statement. (2013). Retrieved August 26, 2015, from http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/