A thesis statement or hypothesis is essentially what makes an essay what it is. This one statement, found in an essay’s introduction, tells a reader what the essay is about and what the writer’s main argument or research findings are. Because this sentence states the purpose of the essay itself, it should be clear and concise and provide the writer’s concrete view of the particular subject. Writing a thesis statement that clearly outlines your stance on the topic and that is easy to understand differentiates a strong essay from a weak one. In this article, what makes a good thesis will be explained. We also provide some thesis statement examples to show you what works.
A Thesis Statement Should be Arguable
A good thesis statement can be debated and, therefore, can be backed up by research to persuade others that the hypothesis is correct or the best solution to a problem. You want the reader of your essay to agree with whatever you have argued, so stating facts does not make a good thesis or a good essay. The point of research is to further knowledge of a particular subject. Take a look at this thesis statement example that is simple but arguable:
Saving endangered species, like the polar bear, should be the responsibility of all countries.
There are people who would argue that it is not up to the entire world to save the polar bear but that it is the responsibility of the countries in which polar bears are found. This statement is easily debatable.
A Thesis Statement Should be Focused
Writing a focused thesis statement will not only keep your writing on track and help you avoid an overwhelming amount of research but will also allow you to create a solid argument. Every hypothesis must be supported by evidence and research. You do not want to make so broad a statement that you need a wide range of evidence to support it. Focus your statement on a specific area of your topic, and narrow your research to just this area.
The disappearance of suitable climates in which woolly mammoths could live likely resulted in the extinction of the species.
The thesis statement example given here is focused on a specific aspect that likely contributed to the extinction of the woolly mammoth—climate change. Researching evidence on one aspect of your topic can strengthen the final argument.
A Thesis Statement Should Reflect the Type of Essay being Written
The way you’ll go about writing a thesis statement will depend on the type of essay you need to write. A thesis for a book review will be worded differently than a thesis for a research proposal. Each version outlines the main purpose of the essay itself. Below are thesis statement examples for a variety of essay types.
A book or journal review thesis is a statement of your critical evaluation of the book
In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien explores the theme of friendship through the loyalty and respect displayed between many of the main characters, such as Frodo and Sam, Gimli and Legolas, and Merry and Pippin.
A position or argumentative essay thesis is a statement of your position and why you adhere to it
University graduates in the 21st century cannot find valuable work because of the state of the economy and because many workers of the baby boomer generation refuse to retire.
A comparative essay thesis is a statement of your main argument and the main points of your comparison
Dogs often make better pets than cats because they can be easily trained and are more emotionally responsive.
A research paper thesis is a statement of your main claim relating to a topic or problem
Because of a greater sense of community and cultural involvement, people who live in the city experience a higher quality of life than people who live in rural areas.
A research proposal thesis is a statement of what you believe to be the main claim about a topic or problem
Evidence indicates that children who learn an instrument frequently go on to work in creative fields as adults.
Once you have a solid understanding of your research topic, writing a thesis statement should be relatively simple. Having your thesis statement planned out before you start your essay will allow you to focus your writing and help you create a strong argument. Once you have compiled all your research and know what you want to say in your essay, try writing out a few versions of your thesis statement, keeping in mind that it must be arguable, focused, and appropriate for the type of essay you’re writing.
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