When You Write a Good Thesis Statement, You Build a Great Argument

Student writing a good thesis statement for a paper One of the hardest parts about writing a paper is coming up with a great thesis statement. This is the central component of your paper, and it can make or break your grade.

To write a good thesis statement, you need to be able to construct an argument that will prove a point throughout your paper. It has to be something you can build on, but specific enough that you can narrow down to a focus.

There are many ways you can write a thesis. Here are 5 of the most reliable methods to craft a successful paper and impress your professors.

1. Ask Questions

One easy way to write a thesis statement is to start asking questions about your subject. These questions should spark some curiosity about something to do with the topic, and prompt you to find the answers.

For example, if you’re writing a paper about World War II, you could ask yourself one of the following questions:

●Why was the war so significant to American history?

●What were the economic, social, and political impacts of the war on either the Allies or the Axis powers?

●What are some of the important developments that came out of the war that went on to change the way society functioned in a specific country?

You may have to narrow your questions down to form an argument, but it’s a great way to peak your own interest about the topic and dig deeper for more information.

2. Tailor Your Thesis Statement to the Type of Paper You Are Writing

Every type of paper is different and has a different type of thesis statement to go along with it. Some papers will need a specific, broken down statement that outlines 2 or 3 main arguments to be made within the content. Others will require a brief explanation of how the paper will be organized.

For example, the thesis for an argumentative essay will have a different structure than one you write for a comparative essay. Knowing this information will help you figure out how to write down your points and bring them together to form a concise 1-2 sentence thesis for your paper.

3. Read Through Your Sources and Develop an Opinion

If you’re ready to sit down and write your paper, chances are you’ve already found at least some of the sources you are going to use. Read them ahead of time and see what those authors are saying. Do you agree with their opinions? Write your ideas and thoughts down about each article you read and see if there are any trends, patterns, or frequent occurrences there.

4. Make a Mind Map

Sometimes it takes a bit of visual representation to really narrow down what you’re trying to say. Make a mind map about your topic and write down everything that comes to your mind that relates to your topic, even in the slightest way.

Once you’re finished, you should have a great word cloud with many keywords that stand out to you. Take some of those terms and do a little bit of research to see what’s out there. Chances are, your arguments will come to you in no time.

5. Pick a Side

The answer to your problems could be as simple as taking a side to an argument about a topic. Start with something broad, and then narrow in on a more specific argument within the scope of that theme. Weigh the arguments on both sides to figure out which one you agree with more, but don’t forget to account for the opposition within your paper.

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References:
Center for Writing Studies. (n.d.) Writers workshop: Writer resources. The University of Illinois. Retrieved from http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/.

Nordquist, R. (2017). How to write a good thesis statement. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/thesis-statement-composition-1692466.

Tardiff, E. & Brizee, A. (2014). Tips and examples for writing thesis statements. Purdue Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/01/.

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