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Writing Good Thesis Statements

Great essays include great thesis statements. Learn how to write a strong thesis statement here!

Nicole Petraitis

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Writing Good Thesis Statements

How to
Write a
Statement A Thesis Statement... One (or two) sentences that establish the main point of the essay.
An opinionated statement (something you believe others may or may not agree with) - You need to give your opinion!
Contains a subject + an opinion
Answers the topic question
YOU CANNOT WRITE AN ESSAY WITHOUT ONE! A Thesis is TYPICALLY: Located near the end of the introduction (often the last sentence of the intro)
This provides a smooth transition into the body of the paper What to do BEFORE writing a Thesis Statement: Begin with a topic question (either teacher provided or take the time to come up with one)
You must form an opinion and state it CLEARLY. Don't be wishy-washy!
Consider both sides of an issue and approach your topic without bias. Writing a Good Thesis Statement A good thesis statement is short & simple: it should be no longer than one sentence, regardless of essay length.
Good example: Success is the result of doing the right thing consistently.
Bad example: In a world full of success gurus and books about success, it becomes ever so more important to delineate the one trait that ultimately determines success: doing the right things consistently. A good thesis statement is limited to one main idea.
Good example: The key to successful dieting is focusing on a specific goal.
Bad example: The key to successful dieting is focusing on a specific goal, which is also the key to successfully running a business and coaching a football team. A good thesis statement is a declarative sentence with no qualifiers (might, maybe, perhaps, etc.):
Good example: Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound make him the league's most valuable player.
Bad example: Does Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound make him the league's most valuable player?
Bad Example: Lebron James' ability to score, pass, and rebound just might make him the league's most valuable player. Evaluating Thesis Statements Have you answered the question or merely restated it?
Good example: Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminish the credibility of his love for Juliet.
Bad example: This essay examines whether or not Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminishes his love for Juliet.

Have you tried to argue both sides of the case? It is important to acknowledge the other side and address the other position. That does not, however, excuse you from choosing a side.
Good example: Juliet was not the first woman to capture Romeo's fancy; she was, however, the one who affected him the most.
Bad example: Romeo loved Juliet with all his heart, but he loved Rosaline too; It could be argued they were both his favorite.

Have you prejudged the issue by using loaded language? Immature writers manipulate readers through emotionally-charged language.
Bad example: Immature, whiny, male-pig Romeo, a male harlot, ruined precious Juliet whom he loved no more than Rosaline. The following examples are based on this question:
Does Romeo's prior feelings for Rosaline diminish the credibility of his love for Juliet? Helpful Tip! A thesis statement should never contain the following: "in my opinion", "I think", "I believe", etc. However, it may be helpful for you to begin your thesis statement rough draft with "in my opinion", "I believe", or "I think" to make sure you are expressing your thoughts or opinion on a specific subject or issue. When writing the final thesis statement, simply eliminate those phrases. TAG (Title/Author/Genre) + Device + Effect In Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, the themes significance of hospitality, the necessity of loyalty, and the pitfalls of temptation are portrayed throughout the poem to show the morals and values of Ancient Greece. Thesis Statement Challenge Your challenge: Write a thesis statement for the following essay topic:

Fate and coincidence are used extensively in Romeo and Juliet. Were Romeo & Juliet fated to die from the very beginning or did their actions and behaviors lead them to their catastrophe?

Your thesis statement will be read aloud and evaluated by the class.
Clear everything off of your desk besides your thesis statement.
You will be broken up into groups and asked to read your thesis statement to your group.
Your group will give the thesis statements a rank of 1-4. Discuss how each thesis statement could be improved.
We will then read the statements aloud and discuss strengths and weaknesses of each.
We will vote, as a group, on the top 3 thesis statements. Those statements will receive extra credit.
For homework, you will revise your thesis statement into a final draft. Evaluate your thesis statement.
Is it clear and well-focused?
Does it follow these guidelines?
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