How to Write A Thesis Statement Effectively

Are you one of the many people who do not know how to write a thesis statement? If you are, it is not difficult at all. It just takes some practice.

A thesis is simply “what you plan to say or write.” Thus, before you can write a thesis, you have to have some idea of “what you plan to say or write.” If you don’t, stop here and go to my writing ideas page to learn some great ways to get your ideas flowing. If you already have some ideas and have done some brainstorming, then proceed.

No matter if you are writing a paper or giving a speech, there are two essential elements you must include:

  1. Begin with a point or a thesis.
  2. Support that point or thesis with relevant and specific evidence.

Keep reading to find out more information on just how to do this.

**Note: Although I only mention a "written essay" below, a thesis statement is essential to have in both a written assignment as well as a verbal presentation. Why? Because a thesis statement presents a clear layout for the information you are about to present to your readers or listeners. It provides a sense of structure. A well written thesis statement emphasizes a specific topic and gives readers a clear idea of what the paper or speech will be about. A good thesis helps the writer, as well, by organizing the rest of the paper/speech.

On some rare occasions, a thesis statement may be implied and not directly stated. In cases like this, the writer makes several arguments and examples where a similar idea (thesis) is indirectly stated. The writer expects for the reader to be able to articulate those ideas and details and come up with a conclusion about the topic. When a thesis is implied, the writer leads the reader to their desired conclusion by providing the reader with hints to what he/she is trying to get you to understand-which is basically their purpose (or thesis).

However in most cases like in an academic setting, professors want students to have a direct thesis in your paper. Even if you aren’t required to have a thesis statement, it is a good rule of thumb to always include one in your paper.

Here are some tips for how to write a thesis effectively:

  • Make sure you have brainstormed your ideas first before you start writing your paper. If you need help getting your ideas down on paper, click here for some useful writing ideas and pre-writing strategies.
  • Never write your thesis as an opinion.

    EXAMPLE: I think that schools should ban smoking.

    Your readers know "what you think" because you wrote it. By simply rephrasing the sentence to “Schools must ban smoking,” you have a more powerful sentence that urges your readers that action is needed.

  • Avoid awkward announcements like: “In this essay I will talk about…” or “I will attempt to show you” or “I feel that”. Instead you should jump right into what your point is by simply stating “Smoking on campus is a serious problem.”

These are just a few tips on how to write a thesis strategically.

What does a thesis statement look like?

Well, a thesis statement is usually one sentence that can be found in the introduction.

It should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Keep in mind that some introductions are more than one paragraph. If this is the case in your essay, then be sure that your thesis is the last sentence of your introduction. However for more complex topics, the length of a thesis can be more than one sentence; it can even be a few sentences.

For more information on how to write an introduction, click here.

A sample thesis may look like this:

Smoking must be banned on all campuses to prevent second hand smoke, hazardous fires, and to promote a clean campus environment.

Or simply:

Smoking must be banned on all campuses.

In the first example, the writer is telling the reader what each additional paragraph will be about.

In the second example, the writer is simply stating what they are arguing.

So now that you know what a thesis statement looks like, let's explore how to write one

Once you have brainstormed all of your ideas about a particular topic you should have some sub-ideas about that topic.

Take each of those ideas and write one or two sentences that will be the basis for your argument.

Then, guess what? You have a thesis statement! Now you no longer have to Google "how to write a thesis statement." :)

Yes, it is that easy. The hardest part is taking the time to really think about what you want your readers to get out of the information that you are presenting to them. Click here to learn how to organize and work through your writing ideas.

If you are still not sure how to write a thesis, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my essays purpose?
  • How can I develop it?
  • What do I want to prove or explain to my audience?

By asking yourself these questions, you will be forced to come up with a specific sentence that will address what your purpose is. Remember:

You have to back up your thesis with specific evidence in your body paragraphs. To learn how to write a paragraph effectively, click here. Do not include information in your thesis that you will not explain later in your essay.

You can always modify your thesis as you write your paper. As you write, you will find that maybe one of your sub-ideas is linked to another or maybe one is hard to develop and you prefer to omit it. That is fine, take the time to fine-tune your thesis to truly reflect the message you are trying to convey.

Writing takes practice and patience. As you write more, you will learn even more tools on how to write a thesis as well as many other different parts of an essay. Whatever you do, just don't give up. Practice is key!

If you need more help on how to write a thesis or any other aspect of your paper, feel free to contact me.

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