How to Write a Thesis Statement

No matter if you are working on a huge dissertation or a small literature essay, your paper will need to include a debatable thesis statement. The purpose of any statement is to communicate your position. Useful tips how to develop better writing skills and create a great thesis statement.

Tips for writing a thesis statement:

  • Set the context and identify the target audience;
  • Ask a proper question and use your thesis to answer it;
  • Take a position and provide evidence to support it;
  • Specify the topic and summarize your argument;
  • Don't write more than two sentences in your thesis.

First Method: Creating a Luxurious Thesis Statement

It is a good idea to begin with questions. For example, if you are discussing the advantages of learning technologies, you may want to ask yourself, "What are the key benefits of using virtual reality in the classroom?" Then, you will write your thesis as if you are provided an answer: "Using virtual reality in the classroom has numerous benefits, including flexibility, effective learning, and a user-friendly interface." It may also look as follows:

Question: "How do organizations improve their performance?"

Thesis: "Organizations can improve their performance, by reducing costs, hiring talented workers, and creating a strong leader."

Question: "Why did state-level healthcare reform fail?"

Thesis: "State-level healthcare reforms have failed, due to the lack of motivation, political will, and financial resources."

Question: "Why does President Trump put a ban on immigration?"

Thesis: "President Trump has put a ban on immigration, due to the risks of terrorism, difficult job situation in the country, and crime."

Remember that even the best thesis statement template will not be helpful in your situation, because your statement should fit in the context and purpose of your work. You should also consider the type of paper you are writing and your target audience.

For instance, if you are working on an analytical text, then your thesis statement will need to include some analytical information about the subject: "The healthcare reform is a combination of positive and negative measures that aim to make Americans healthier."

In an expository paper, you will have to expose some aspect of the topic and make it visible to the reader: "The period of industrialization was the time of huge discoveries and major social restructuring, turning profession and earnings into the key criteria of one's social wellbeing."

In an argumentative paper, you will have to argue in favor of your position: "Without the healthcare reform, the United States will never achieve universal health insurance coverage."

Your thesis will sound much more convincing and powerful if you use some subject you are passionate about and take a strong position. You will need to divide your topic or subject into several components and provide evidence to support each in the body of your paper. For example:

"Although all Americans want to feel safe, some are ready to consider the interests of each social group, whereas others want to use discriminatory measures just to reduce their vulnerability to dangers."

"One of the key issues facing the American economy is the lack of a single, strong and persuasive vision of the country's economic future."

"William Shakespeare set a new era in play writing, by using bright characters and investing colorful emotions in his stories."

You can combine your position with some novelty. For example, if you are strong about climate change and want to defend the importance of green technologies, you may want to find some newer arguments and be more creative when writing your thesis:

"No one says that you can't use the sun to heat your own house; you just need some motivation and willingness to change attitudes toward nature."

"Although the U.S. always lagged behind its more developed allies in terms of the healthcare reform, it is now that the country has a chance to improve its healthcare position."

At the same time, no matter how convincing you sound, the main thing is that you must be able to provide evidence. Prove it! Defend your position. Fight and see how your readers change their opinions about the world.

Great Examples:

"It is impossible to see how self-contradictory and conflicting the social reform is; but it is this painful path that we must choose to create better social conditions for our children."

"The current state of research confirms that the use of antibiotics to treat viral infections is one of the greatest mistakes made by parents and nurses."

"When reading Shakespeare's sonnets, we can notice how he exposes the depth of the human soul, while letting the reader to believe in romance."

Bad Examples:

"The American Revolution had to end in a different way." The suggestion is quite provocative, but it lacks specificity and meaning.

Overall, it is better to avoid theses that are not specific and do not provide argumentation that can be easily proved. When you are developing your thesis, think of the evidence you will have to use when you are elaborating on each thesis point. Think of it before it is too late! You do not want to rewrite your paper from scratch, do you?

Second Method: Just Do It

Just in case: you will have to be very thorough and meticulous as you are working on your thesis. You will not need to re-do any useless work if you write your thesis correctly from the start. Imagine that you are creating a map or a guide for your tourists. You want to believe that your recommendations will help them see the brightest pieces. Therefore, writing a thesis statement is an extremely responsible mission. It is not a question.  It is not a point of doubts. You make an assertion, and you defend it. You provide compelling facts to support your stance. As always, when working on your thesis statement, you take a clear position. You describe this position to your readers. This stand also guides the rest of your paper. You may also use your thesis statement to answer the question you intend to explore in the body of your paper. Finally, a successful thesis statement is debatable. Anyone can reach you with arguments that weaken your position.

As you are writing your introduction, you need to be sure that your readers can easily identify it. Proper wording is everything! Be firm in your position. This will make a difference between your thesis statement and the remaining text. Look at the following examples:

"Because the Civil War was all about slavery, the two parties of the conflict could finally clarify their political and social controversies."

"Because Hemingway used simple and honest approaches in writing, he was able to win the hearts and minds of his readers."

Now think of where your thesis statement should be positioned. In almost all cases, your thesis will come as the last sentence of your introduction. However, you may also want to locate it in a different place of your paper, because the exact placement depends on many things, such as your purpose and the context of your work. In the meantime, do not write a thesis statement that is longer than two sentences. The best theses are one-sentence structures. They must be brief and concise. You must be informative in your analysis of the subject.

Third Method: Creating a Brilliant Thesis

Now select a topic of interest. Pick something that makes you passionate. Choose something that you can easily prove. At times, you may not be able to choose the topic on your own. If your professor gives one, then you will have to follow it. No exceptions. No excuses. Whatever the situation is, your first step will be to explore and investigate the issue.

Explore the subject you are going to discuss in your paper. You will have to narrow the topic down, if it is too broad or general. Once it is narrow enough to produce an argument, you can create a draft of your thesis. For example, you were asked to discuss healthcare reform. You can discuss many aspects of the problem. However, you focus on the analysis of healthcare insurance and its effects on vulnerable populations. In this case, you will have to point out the costs of insurance, the effects on healthcare delivery, and the way the vulnerable use their insurance to improve their health.

Consider who your readers are. Your target audience will determine much of how you are working on your thesis statement. If you are working on an argumentative or persuasive paper, then your thesis statement will be written in ways that persuade your readers. If it is an exploratory paper, then you will share the results of your exploration with readers. Be structured. Do not deviate from the main point. Make sure that your thesis comprises two components:

  1. A topic specified clearly and concisely; and
  2. A summary of what you are going to defend in your paper.

Follow one of the schemes or formulas below:

[Topic/subject] [happens] [because] [list reasons].

This is just the basic structure of your thesis statement. You can also begin with a counter-argument, which will make the whole thesis statement much stronger. Whenever you are working on your thesis statement, you should bear in mind that your audience may easily disagree with you.

Now that you know almost everything about thesis statement, it is time to draft one. Create some sort of pre-thesis, which is a draft of the thesis you are going to use in your paper. You can take it as a starting point in your writing. You will take some time to refine and improve your thesis. Here, consider two different opinions about thesis statement writing.

Some people say that it is not worth crafting a thesis statement until you have finished writing your paper. It is the same as writing an introduction and an abstract when the rest of the paper was completed. They believe that you cannot write your thesis at the beginning of the paper, because you do not know where your writing will lead you. Some others claim that writing a thesis statement is the first thing to do, since it will guide your efforts. You are the one to decide what suits you most and how you want to write your thesis. You need to feel comfortable and be sure that you are doing the right thing.

At the same time, no matter what you choose to do, avoid the most typical mistakes:

  • do not write your thesis statement as a question. You need to provide an answer
  • do not present your thesis statement as a list of various options. Do not make your thesis sound like you want to review everything and nothing
  • do not mention anything new in your thesis that you do not intend to discuss in your paper
  • Don’t use first-person pronouns; a thesis statement is not your opinion - it is a statement of your position and you must provide evidence to prove it
  • do not try to attack your opponents. Your task is to persuade rather than fight. Be considerate and concise. Use argumentation and be unquestionably persuasive. This is a win-win strategy for any academic writer.

Even the best thesis leaves much room for disagreement. You do not need to be ideal in your writing to present a compelling work. You will also see that, as you are working on your paper, your opinions and perceptions of the topic change. Do not press too hard and give others a chance to express their beliefs and views. When you are done with your draft, edit and proofread it. Now you can submit it for grading.