What is a Thesis Statement?

Many students have trouble writing thesis statements and want to know what is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is a short description or summary (one or two sentences) of the argument that you'll be answering or supporting in your essay writing.

Being able to write a good clear thesis statement is a very important skill for students and academic writers to learn. More often than not if you write a good, clear and concise thesis statement your essay will be clear, concise and focused on its topic, which will make it a good essay. So being able to answer, what is a thesis statement, is very important for students.

How to Write Your Thesis Statement

What is a thesis statement is something many students want to know.

We’ve answered the question, 'what is a thesis statement?' But now we need to answer, 'how to write the thesis statement?'

You’ll often be given the topic, about which to write your essay, but will have to develop your own thesis statement.

The easiest way to think about writing a thesis statement is to turn the topic of your essay into a question. Essay topics will be given either as a question you’ve to answer or, sometimes, as a statement you’ve to write about. If this is the case turn the statement into a question first before trying to develop your thesis statement.

So, for example, the topic of your essay might be:

  • Write a report that supports the use of tablet computers in hospitals.

You could turn it into the question:

  • What are the benefits of using tablet computers in hospitals?

The answer to the questions could be:

  • The benefits of using tablet computers in hospitals are...

The completed answer, which could focus on efficiency improvements or health benefits among others, would be the thesis statement.

Thinking of Your Own Topic from Which to Generate a Thesis Statement

You might also have to generate the specific question that your essay will be about in addition to thinikng about what is a thesis statement. Sometimes you won’t be given a topic and you’ll have to think of the topic of your essay yourself. Once you’ve decided on the topic of your essay, how you write your thesis statement will still follow the same procedure as above.

Generating your own essay topic will be similar to generating an idea for a research paper. You’ll need to brainstorm a good essay topic before being able to define your thesis statement.

The best brainstorming methods to use would be freewriting and clustering, as detailed on the page about generating a topic for a research paper. The methods used in freewriting and clustering are slightly different but both come down to spending time letting your ideas flow out of your head and on to a sheet of paper; then deciding which is the best idea.

Generating ideas in a structured way like this is much better that just sitting and thinking, where you might get distracted too easily.

What is a Good Thesis Statement?

You now know the answer to the question, what is a thesis statement, but how do you know that you’ve written a good thesis statement?

There are several measures of what a good thesis statement is. You should try to make sure that your thesis statement includes all of them or most of them.

Your thesis statement includes your conclusion.
It needs to present your main conclusion as you’ll be arguing your paper in relation to the thesis statement. So if your thesis statement is too weak, it doesn’t present your conclusion, you’ll find it harder to present your argument. Academic writing is about presenting your view point backed up by evidence, to do this you need to specifically state your view point and a good place for this is in the thesis statement.

Your readers would want to discuss your thesis statement with you.
Present your thesis statement in such a way that the person reading it has to form an opinion. They should either agree or disagree with you. If your thesis statement leaves them feeling ambivalent it’s not a good thesis statement. If it fits with your topic try to make your thesis statement slight controversial.

Have just one main idea in your thesis statement.
It should be clear from your thesis statement what the main idea or conclusion of your paper is. It won’t be clear if you present two or more ideas in your thesis statement. Phrase your ideas so that they make just one point when they’re written as part of the thesis statement.

Be specific in your thesis statement.
Often the paper that your thesis statement is for will be quite short. This means that you won’t be able to write about a large general topic in enough detail. It’s much better to cover a smaller topic in much greater detail than a large topic with hardly any detail at all. If your thesis statement is specific it’ll limit the scope of your essay to a manageable topic that you’ll be able to write about in detail.

When you’ve written your thesis statement remember to read it carefully, and think about it careful, to make sure it’s well written.

If you need any help proofreading your essay or research paper see the page about my proofreading service. I’ll be able to tell you if the thesis statement you’ve written fits with the rest of the essay, and if not offer suggestions for improvements. I won’t write it for you but will give advice about how you can make it better yourself.

For any additional help with your thesis statement writing you can visit the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook. I’m happy to answer your questions or offer advice on this page.

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