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25 Thesis Statement Examples

25 Thesis Statement Examples

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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thesis statement examples and definition, explained below

A thesis statement is needed in an essay or dissertation . There are multiple types of thesis statements – but generally we can divide them into expository and argumentative. An expository statement is a statement of fact (common in expository essays and process essays) while an argumentative statement is a statement of opinion (common in argumentative essays and dissertations). Below are examples of each.

Strong Thesis Statement Examples

school uniforms and dress codes, explained below

1. School Uniforms

“Mandatory school uniforms should be implemented in educational institutions as they promote a sense of equality, reduce distractions, and foster a focused and professional learning environment.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay or Debate

Read More: School Uniforms Pros and Cons

nature vs nurture examples and definition

2. Nature vs Nurture

“This essay will explore how both genetic inheritance and environmental factors equally contribute to shaping human behavior and personality.”

Best For: Compare and Contrast Essay

Read More: Nature vs Nurture Debate

American Dream Examples Definition

3. American Dream

“The American Dream, a symbol of opportunity and success, is increasingly elusive in today’s socio-economic landscape, revealing deeper inequalities in society.”

Best For: Persuasive Essay

Read More: What is the American Dream?

social media pros and cons

4. Social Media

“Social media has revolutionized communication and societal interactions, but it also presents significant challenges related to privacy, mental health, and misinformation.”

Best For: Expository Essay

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Social Media

types of globalization, explained below

5. Globalization

“Globalization has created a world more interconnected than ever before, yet it also amplifies economic disparities and cultural homogenization.”

Read More: Globalization Pros and Cons

urbanization example and definition

6. Urbanization

“Urbanization drives economic growth and social development, but it also poses unique challenges in sustainability and quality of life.”

Read More: Learn about Urbanization

immigration pros and cons, explained below

7. Immigration

“Immigration enriches receiving countries culturally and economically, outweighing any perceived social or economic burdens.”

Read More: Immigration Pros and Cons

cultural identity examples and definition, explained below

8. Cultural Identity

“In a globalized world, maintaining distinct cultural identities is crucial for preserving cultural diversity and fostering global understanding, despite the challenges of assimilation and homogenization.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay

Read More: Learn about Cultural Identity

technology examples and definition explained below

9. Technology

“Medical technologies in care institutions in Toronto has increased subjcetive outcomes for patients with chronic pain.”

Best For: Research Paper

capitalism examples and definition

10. Capitalism vs Socialism

“The debate between capitalism and socialism centers on balancing economic freedom and inequality, each presenting distinct approaches to resource distribution and social welfare.”

cultural heritage examples and definition

11. Cultural Heritage

“The preservation of cultural heritage is essential, not only for cultural identity but also for educating future generations, outweighing the arguments for modernization and commercialization.”

pseudoscience examples and definition, explained below

12. Pseudoscience

“Pseudoscience, characterized by a lack of empirical support, continues to influence public perception and decision-making, often at the expense of scientific credibility.”

Read More: Examples of Pseudoscience

free will examples and definition, explained below

13. Free Will

“The concept of free will is largely an illusion, with human behavior and decisions predominantly determined by biological and environmental factors.”

Read More: Do we have Free Will?

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

14. Gender Roles

“Traditional gender roles are outdated and harmful, restricting individual freedoms and perpetuating gender inequalities in modern society.”

Read More: What are Traditional Gender Roles?

work-life balance examples and definition, explained below

15. Work-Life Ballance

“The trend to online and distance work in the 2020s led to improved subjective feelings of work-life balance but simultaneously increased self-reported loneliness.”

Read More: Work-Life Balance Examples

universal healthcare pros and cons

16. Universal Healthcare

“Universal healthcare is a fundamental human right and the most effective system for ensuring health equity and societal well-being, outweighing concerns about government involvement and costs.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Universal Healthcare

raising minimum wage pros and cons

17. Minimum Wage

“The implementation of a fair minimum wage is vital for reducing economic inequality, yet it is often contentious due to its potential impact on businesses and employment rates.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage

homework pros and cons

18. Homework

“The homework provided throughout this semester has enabled me to achieve greater self-reflection, identify gaps in my knowledge, and reinforce those gaps through spaced repetition.”

Best For: Reflective Essay

Read More: Reasons Homework Should be Banned

charter schools vs public schools, explained below

19. Charter Schools

“Charter schools offer alternatives to traditional public education, promising innovation and choice but also raising questions about accountability and educational equity.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

internet pros and cons

20. Effects of the Internet

“The Internet has drastically reshaped human communication, access to information, and societal dynamics, generally with a net positive effect on society.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of the Internet

affirmative action example and definition, explained below

21. Affirmative Action

“Affirmative action is essential for rectifying historical injustices and achieving true meritocracy in education and employment, contrary to claims of reverse discrimination.”

Best For: Essay

Read More: Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

soft skills examples and definition, explained below

22. Soft Skills

“Soft skills, such as communication and empathy, are increasingly recognized as essential for success in the modern workforce, and therefore should be a strong focus at school and university level.”

Read More: Soft Skills Examples

moral panic definition examples

23. Moral Panic

“Moral panic, often fueled by media and cultural anxieties, can lead to exaggerated societal responses that sometimes overlook rational analysis and evidence.”

Read More: Moral Panic Examples

freedom of the press example and definition, explained below

24. Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is critical for democracy and informed citizenship, yet it faces challenges from censorship, media bias, and the proliferation of misinformation.”

Read More: Freedom of the Press Examples

mass media examples definition

25. Mass Media

“Mass media shapes public opinion and cultural norms, but its concentration of ownership and commercial interests raise concerns about bias and the quality of information.”

Best For: Critical Analysis

Read More: Mass Media Examples

Checklist: How to use your Thesis Statement

✅ Position: If your statement is for an argumentative or persuasive essay, or a dissertation, ensure it takes a clear stance on the topic. ✅ Specificity: It addresses a specific aspect of the topic, providing focus for the essay. ✅ Conciseness: Typically, a thesis statement is one to two sentences long. It should be concise, clear, and easily identifiable. ✅ Direction: The thesis statement guides the direction of the essay, providing a roadmap for the argument, narrative, or explanation. ✅ Evidence-based: While the thesis statement itself doesn’t include evidence, it sets up an argument that can be supported with evidence in the body of the essay. ✅ Placement: Generally, the thesis statement is placed at the end of the introduction of an essay.

Try These AI Prompts – Thesis Statement Generator!

One way to brainstorm thesis statements is to get AI to brainstorm some for you! Try this AI prompt:

💡 AI PROMPT FOR EXPOSITORY THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTUCTIONS]. I want you to create an expository thesis statement that doesn’t argue a position, but demonstrates depth of knowledge about the topic.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTRUCTIONS]. I want you to create an argumentative thesis statement that clearly takes a position on this issue.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR COMPARE AND CONTRAST THESIS STATEMENT I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that remain objective.

Chris

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd-2/ 21 Cozy Classroom Reading Corners
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Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

what is an author thesis statement

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

  • Literary Terms
  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Write a Thesis

I. What is a Thesis?

The thesis (pronounced thee -seez), also known as a thesis statement, is the sentence that introduces the main argument or point of view of a composition (formal essay, nonfiction piece, or narrative). It is the main claim that the author is making about that topic and serves to summarize and introduce that writing that will be discussed throughout the entire piece. For this reason, the thesis is typically found within the first introduction paragraph.

II. Examples of Theses

Here are a few examples of theses which may be found in the introductions of a variety of essays :

In “The Mending Wall,” Robert Frost uses imagery, metaphor, and dialogue to argue against the use of fences between neighbors.

In this example, the thesis introduces the main subject (Frost’s poem “The Mending Wall”), aspects of the subject which will be examined (imagery, metaphor, and dialogue) and the writer’s argument (fences should not be used).

While Facebook connects some, overall, the social networking site is negative in that it isolates users, causes jealousy, and becomes an addiction.

This thesis introduces an argumentative essay which argues against the use of Facebook due to three of its negative effects.

During the college application process, I discovered my willingness to work hard to achieve my dreams and just what those dreams were.

In this more personal example, the thesis statement introduces a narrative essay which will focus on personal development in realizing one’s goals and how to achieve them.

III. The Importance of Using a Thesis

Theses are absolutely necessary components in essays because they introduce what an essay will be about. Without a thesis, the essay lacks clear organization and direction. Theses allow writers to organize their ideas by clearly stating them, and they allow readers to be aware from the beginning of a composition’s subject, argument, and course. Thesis statements must precisely express an argument within the introductory paragraph of the piece in order to guide the reader from the very beginning.

IV. Examples of Theses in Literature

For examples of theses in literature, consider these thesis statements from essays about topics in literature:

In William Shakespeare’s “ Sonnet 46,” both physicality and emotion together form powerful romantic love.

This thesis statement clearly states the work and its author as well as the main argument: physicality and emotion create romantic love.

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolically shows Hester Prynne’s developing identity through the use of the letter A: she moves from adulteress to able community member to angel.

In this example, the work and author are introduced as well as the main argument and supporting points: Prynne’s identity is shown through the letter A in three ways: adulteress, able community member, and angel.

John Keats’ poem “To Autumn” utilizes rhythm, rhyme, and imagery to examine autumn’s simultaneous birth and decay.

This thesis statement introduces the poem and its author along with an argument about the nature of autumn. This argument will be supported by an examination of rhythm, rhyme, and imagery.

V. Examples of Theses in Pop Culture

Sometimes, pop culture attempts to make arguments similar to those of research papers and essays. Here are a few examples of theses in pop culture:

FOOD INC TEASER TRAILER - "More than a terrific movie -- it's an important movie." - Ent Weekly

America’s food industry is making a killing and it’s making us sick, but you have the power to turn the tables.

The documentary Food Inc. examines this thesis with evidence throughout the film including video evidence, interviews with experts, and scientific research.

Blackfish Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary Movie HD

Orca whales should not be kept in captivity, as it is psychologically traumatizing and has caused them to kill their own trainers.

Blackfish uses footage, interviews, and history to argue for the thesis that orca whales should not be held in captivity.

VI. Related Terms

Just as a thesis is introduced in the beginning of a composition, the hypothesis is considered a starting point as well. Whereas a thesis introduces the main point of an essay, the hypothesis introduces a proposed explanation which is being investigated through scientific or mathematical research. Thesis statements present arguments based on evidence which is presented throughout the paper, whereas hypotheses are being tested by scientists and mathematicians who may disprove or prove them through experimentation. Here is an example of a hypothesis versus a thesis:

Hypothesis:

Students skip school more often as summer vacation approaches.

This hypothesis could be tested by examining attendance records and interviewing students. It may or may not be true.

Students skip school due to sickness, boredom with classes, and the urge to rebel.

This thesis presents an argument which will be examined and supported in the paper with detailed evidence and research.

Introduction

A paper’s introduction is its first paragraph which is used to introduce the paper’s main aim and points used to support that aim throughout the paper. The thesis statement is the most important part of the introduction which states all of this information in one concise statement. Typically, introduction paragraphs require a thesis statement which ties together the entire introduction and introduces the rest of the paper.

VII. Conclusion

Theses are necessary components of well-organized and convincing essays, nonfiction pieces, narratives , and documentaries. They allow writers to organize and support arguments to be developed throughout a composition, and they allow readers to understand from the beginning what the aim of the composition is.

List of Terms

  • Alliteration
  • Amplification
  • Anachronism
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Antonomasia
  • APA Citation
  • Aposiopesis
  • Autobiography
  • Bildungsroman
  • Characterization
  • Circumlocution
  • Cliffhanger
  • Comic Relief
  • Connotation
  • Deus ex machina
  • Deuteragonist
  • Doppelganger
  • Double Entendre
  • Dramatic irony
  • Equivocation
  • Extended Metaphor
  • Figures of Speech
  • Flash-forward
  • Foreshadowing
  • Intertextuality
  • Juxtaposition
  • Literary Device
  • Malapropism
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Parallelism
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Personification
  • Point of View
  • Polysyndeton
  • Protagonist
  • Red Herring
  • Rhetorical Device
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Science Fiction
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  • Synesthesia
  • Turning Point
  • Understatement
  • Urban Legend
  • Verisimilitude
  • Essay Guide
  • Cite This Website

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

what is an author thesis statement

what is an author thesis statement

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Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

Basics of thesis statements.

The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper. Specific means the thesis deals with a narrow and focused topic, appropriate to the paper's length. Arguable means that a scholar in your field could disagree (or perhaps already has!).

Strong thesis statements address specific intellectual questions, have clear positions, and use a structure that reflects the overall structure of the paper. Read on to learn more about constructing a strong thesis statement.

Being Specific

This thesis statement has no specific argument:

Needs Improvement: In this essay, I will examine two scholarly articles to find similarities and differences.

This statement is concise, but it is neither specific nor arguable—a reader might wonder, "Which scholarly articles? What is the topic of this paper? What field is the author writing in?" Additionally, the purpose of the paper—to "examine…to find similarities and differences" is not of a scholarly level. Identifying similarities and differences is a good first step, but strong academic argument goes further, analyzing what those similarities and differences might mean or imply.

Better: In this essay, I will argue that Bowler's (2003) autocratic management style, when coupled with Smith's (2007) theory of social cognition, can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover.

The new revision here is still concise, as well as specific and arguable.  We can see that it is specific because the writer is mentioning (a) concrete ideas and (b) exact authors.  We can also gather the field (business) and the topic (management and employee turnover). The statement is arguable because the student goes beyond merely comparing; he or she draws conclusions from that comparison ("can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover").

Making a Unique Argument

This thesis draft repeats the language of the writing prompt without making a unique argument:

Needs Improvement: The purpose of this essay is to monitor, assess, and evaluate an educational program for its strengths and weaknesses. Then, I will provide suggestions for improvement.

You can see here that the student has simply stated the paper's assignment, without articulating specifically how he or she will address it. The student can correct this error simply by phrasing the thesis statement as a specific answer to the assignment prompt.

Better: Through a series of student interviews, I found that Kennedy High School's antibullying program was ineffective. In order to address issues of conflict between students, I argue that Kennedy High School should embrace policies outlined by the California Department of Education (2010).

Words like "ineffective" and "argue" show here that the student has clearly thought through the assignment and analyzed the material; he or she is putting forth a specific and debatable position. The concrete information ("student interviews," "antibullying") further prepares the reader for the body of the paper and demonstrates how the student has addressed the assignment prompt without just restating that language.

Creating a Debate

This thesis statement includes only obvious fact or plot summary instead of argument:

Needs Improvement: Leadership is an important quality in nurse educators.

A good strategy to determine if your thesis statement is too broad (and therefore, not arguable) is to ask yourself, "Would a scholar in my field disagree with this point?" Here, we can see easily that no scholar is likely to argue that leadership is an unimportant quality in nurse educators.  The student needs to come up with a more arguable claim, and probably a narrower one; remember that a short paper needs a more focused topic than a dissertation.

Better: Roderick's (2009) theory of participatory leadership  is particularly appropriate to nurse educators working within the emergency medicine field, where students benefit most from collegial and kinesthetic learning.

Here, the student has identified a particular type of leadership ("participatory leadership"), narrowing the topic, and has made an arguable claim (this type of leadership is "appropriate" to a specific type of nurse educator). Conceivably, a scholar in the nursing field might disagree with this approach. The student's paper can now proceed, providing specific pieces of evidence to support the arguable central claim.

Choosing the Right Words

This thesis statement uses large or scholarly-sounding words that have no real substance:

Needs Improvement: Scholars should work to seize metacognitive outcomes by harnessing discipline-based networks to empower collaborative infrastructures.

There are many words in this sentence that may be buzzwords in the student's field or key terms taken from other texts, but together they do not communicate a clear, specific meaning. Sometimes students think scholarly writing means constructing complex sentences using special language, but actually it's usually a stronger choice to write clear, simple sentences. When in doubt, remember that your ideas should be complex, not your sentence structure.

Better: Ecologists should work to educate the U.S. public on conservation methods by making use of local and national green organizations to create a widespread communication plan.

Notice in the revision that the field is now clear (ecology), and the language has been made much more field-specific ("conservation methods," "green organizations"), so the reader is able to see concretely the ideas the student is communicating.

Leaving Room for Discussion

This thesis statement is not capable of development or advancement in the paper:

Needs Improvement: There are always alternatives to illegal drug use.

This sample thesis statement makes a claim, but it is not a claim that will sustain extended discussion. This claim is the type of claim that might be appropriate for the conclusion of a paper, but in the beginning of the paper, the student is left with nowhere to go. What further points can be made? If there are "always alternatives" to the problem the student is identifying, then why bother developing a paper around that claim? Ideally, a thesis statement should be complex enough to explore over the length of the entire paper.

Better: The most effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction may be a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy, as argued by Baker (2008), Smith (2009), and Xavier (2011).

In the revised thesis, you can see the student make a specific, debatable claim that has the potential to generate several pages' worth of discussion. When drafting a thesis statement, think about the questions your thesis statement will generate: What follow-up inquiries might a reader have? In the first example, there are almost no additional questions implied, but the revised example allows for a good deal more exploration.

Thesis Mad Libs

If you are having trouble getting started, try using the models below to generate a rough model of a thesis statement! These models are intended for drafting purposes only and should not appear in your final work.

  • In this essay, I argue ____, using ______ to assert _____.
  • While scholars have often argued ______, I argue______, because_______.
  • Through an analysis of ______, I argue ______, which is important because_______.

Words to Avoid and to Embrace

When drafting your thesis statement, avoid words like explore, investigate, learn, compile, summarize , and explain to describe the main purpose of your paper. These words imply a paper that summarizes or "reports," rather than synthesizing and analyzing.

Instead of the terms above, try words like argue, critique, question , and interrogate . These more analytical words may help you begin strongly, by articulating a specific, critical, scholarly position.

Read Kayla's blog post for tips on taking a stand in a well-crafted thesis statement.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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what is an author thesis statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

what is an author thesis statement

What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

what is an author thesis statement

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what is an author thesis statement

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What is a Thesis Statement and How to Write It (with Examples) 

What is a Thesis Statement and How to Write It (with Examples)

A thesis statement is basically a sentence or two that summarizes the central theme of your research. In research papers and essays, it is typically placed at the end of the introduction section, which provides broad knowledge about the investigation/study. To put it simply, the thesis statement can be thought of as the main message of any film, which is communicated through the plot and characters. Similar to how a director has a vision, the author(s) in this case has an opinion on the subject that they wish to portray in their research report.  

In this article, we will provide a thorough overview on thesis statements, addressing the most frequently asked questions, including how authors arrive at and create a thesis statement that effectively summarizes your research. To make it simpler, we’ve broken this information up into subheadings that focus on different aspects of writing the thesis statement.

Table of Contents

  • What is a thesis statement? 
  • What should a thesis statement include (with examples)? 
  • How to write a thesis statement in four steps? 
  • How to generate a thesis statement? 
  • Types of thesis statements? 
  • Key takeaways 
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement, in essence, is a sentence that summarizes the main concept the author(s) wishes to investigate in their research. A thesis statement is often a “question/hypothesis” the author(s) wants to address, using a certain methodology or approach to provide sufficient evidence to support their claims and findings. However, it isn’t necessarily the topic sentence (first sentence) in a research paper introduction, which could be a general statement.  

Returning to our movie analogy, a thesis statement is comparable to the particular viewpoint a director wants to convey to his audience. A thesis statement tells the reader the fundamental idea of the study and the possible course it will take to support that idea. A well-structured thesis statement enables the reader to understand the study and the intended approach, so both its placement and clarity matter here. An appropriately placed thesis statement, usually at the end of an introductory paragraph, ensures the reader will not lose interest. A thesis statement plays another crucial role, it summarizes the main idea behind the study so that readers will understand the question the author is trying to answer. It gives the reader some background information and a sense of the topic’s wider context while also hinting at the work or experimental approach that will come next. To summarize, thesis statements are generally that one key phrase you skim over to rapidly understand the thesis of a study.  

What should a thesis statement include (with examples)?

Now that we have understood the concept, the next step is learning how to write a good thesis statement. A strong thesis statement should let the reader understand how well-versed you are, as an author, in the subject matter of the study and your position on the topic at hand. The elements listed below should be considered while crafting a statement for your thesis or paper to increase its credibility and impact.  

  • The author should take a position that a sizable portion of the readership may disagree with. The subject should not be a well-known, well-defined issue with just unanimity of view. This form of thesis statement is typically viewed as weak because it implies that there is nothing substantial to investigate and demonstrate. To pique readers’ interest, the thesis statement should be debatable in some way, and the findings should advance the body of knowledge. 
  • A review of pertinent literature on the subject is a must in order for the author to establish an informed opinion about the questions they wish to pose and the stance they would want to take during their study, this is the basis to develop a strong thesis statement. The authors of the study should be able to support their statements with relevant research, strengthening their stance by citing literature.  
  • The thesis statement should highlight just one main idea, with each claim made by the authors in the paper demonstrating the accuracy of the statement. Avoid multiple themes running throughout the article as this could confuse readers and undermine the author’s perspective on the subject. It can also be a sign of the authors’ ambiguity. 
  • The main objective of a thesis statement is to briefly describe the study’s conclusion while posing a specific inquiry that clarifies the author’s stance or perspective on the subject. Therefore, it is crucial to clearly establish your viewpoint in the statement. 

Based on the considerations above, you may wonder how to write a thesis statement for different types of academic essays. Expository and argumentative essays, the most common types of essays, both call for a statement that takes a stand on the issue and uses powerful language. These kinds of thesis statements need to be precise and contain enough background material to give a comprehensive picture of the subject. However, in persuasive essays, which typically integrate an emotive perspective and personal experiences, the opinions are presented as facts that need supporting evidence. The sole difference between argumentative and expository essays and persuasive essays is that the former require the use of strong viewpoints, while the latter does not. Last but not least, the thesis statement for a compare-and-contrast essay addresses two themes rather than just one. Authors can choose to concentrate more on examining similarities or differences depending on the nature of the study; the only caveat is that both topics must receive equal attention to prevent biases. 

How to write a thesis statement in four steps?

Coming up with a research question might be challenging in situations when the research topic is not decided or it’s a new field of study. You may want to delve deeper into a widely researched subject, continue with your current research, or pursue a topic you are passionate about. If you don’t have a thesis statement yet, here are four easy stages to get you started. 

  • Start with a working thesis statement : Writing the statement is not so straightforward; you won’t magically write the final thesis statement at once. It is preferable to choose an initial working thesis after reviewing relevant literature on the topic. Once you have chosen a subject that interests you, attempt to think of a specific query that has not been raised or that would be fascinating to contribute to the body of literature. For example, if you are writing an article or paper about ChatGPT, you could want to look into how ChatGPT affects learning among students. You can even get more specific, like, “How does ChatGPT harm learning and education?” 
  • Outline your answer (your positioning on the subject): Based on your review of past research, you would form an opinion about the subject—in this example, the effect of ChatGPT on students’ learning—and then you write down your tentative answer to this question. If your initial response is that ChatGPT use has a detrimental impact on education and learning, this would serve as the foundation for your research. Your study would include research and findings to support this assertion and persuade the reader to accept your hypothesis. 
  • Provide evidence to support your claim : The goal of your study should be to back your hypothesis with enough evidence, relevant facts and literature, to support your claim and explain why you selected that particular response (in this case, why you believe that ChatGPT has a negative impact on learning and education). The focus should be on discussing both the benefits and drawbacks of using ChatGPT and demonstrating why the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. An argumentative thesis statement example on the same topic would be that, despite ChatGPT’s enormous potential as a virtual learning tool for students, it has a detrimental effect on their creativity and critical thinking skills and encourages problematic behaviors like cheating and plagiarism.  
  • Polish your thesis statement: After outlining your initial statement, improve it by keeping these three elements in mind.  
  • Does it make it clear what position you hold on the subject? 
  • Does it effectively connect the various facets of the study topic together?  
  • Does it summarize the key points of your narrative?  

The thesis statement will also gain from your comments on the approach you will employ to validate your claim. For example, the aforementioned thesis statement may be clarified as “Although ChatGPT has enormous potential to serve as a virtual tutor for students and assistant to instructors, its disadvantages, such as plagiarism and the creation of false information, currently outweigh the advantages.” This particular illustration offers a thoughtful discussion of the subject, enabling the author to make their case more persuasively. 

How to generate a thesis statement?

No matter how complicated, any thesis or paper may be explained in one or two sentences. Just identify the question your research aims to answer, then write a statement based on your anticipated response. An effective thesis statement will have the following characteristics: 

  • It should have a take on the subject (which is contentious/adds to existing knowledge) 
  • It should express a main topic (other themes should only be included if they connect to the main theme) 
  • It should declare your conclusion about the issue 
  • It should be based on an objective, broad outlook on the subject. 

To understand how to write a thesis statement from scratch, let’s use an example where you may want to learn about how mental and physical health are related.  

Since the subject is still broad, you should first conduct a brainstorming session to acquire further thoughts. After reading literature, you determine that you are curious to learn how yoga enhances mental health. To develop a compelling thesis statement, you must further narrow this topic by posing precise questions that you can answer through your research. You can ask, “How does yoga affect mental health. What is the possible mean”? This topic makes it plain to the reader what the study is about but it is necessary for you to adopt a position on the issue. Upon further deliberation, the premise can be rephrased as “Yoga, a low impact form of exercise, positively impacts people’s mental health by lowering stress hormones and elevating healthy brain chemicals.” This clearly states your position on the topic. Finally, you may further develop this into a clear, precise thesis statement that asks, “Does practicing yoga induce feel-good hormones and lower the stress hormone, cortisol, that positively affects people’s mental health?” to turn it into a study.  

Types of thesis statements?

The three primary categories of thesis statements are analytical, expository, and argumentative. You choose one over the other depending on the subject matter of your research or essay. In argumentative thesis statements, the author takes a clear stand and strives to persuade the reader of their claims, for example, “Animal agriculture is the biggest driver of climate change.” It is specific, concise, and also contentious. On the other hand, the purpose of an expository thesis statement is to interpret, assess, and discuss various facets of a subject. Here you shortlist the key points of your interpretation, and state the conclusion based on the interpretation you drew from the study. An analytical thesis statement aims to discuss, glean information on the subject, and explain the facts of the topic. Here, the goal is to critically analyze and summarize the points you will cover in the study.  

Key takeaways

  • A good thesis statement summarizes the central idea of your thesis or research paper.  
  • It serves as a compass to show the reader what the research will contend and why.  
  • Before creating a thesis statement, keep in mind that the statement should be specific, coherent, and controversial. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A thesis statement can be defined as a sentence that describes the main idea of the research or thesis to inform the reader of the argument the research will pursue and the reason the author adopts a specific stance on the subject. Essentially, it expresses the author’s judgment or opinion based on a review of the literature or personal research experience. 

Any academic essay or research piece must have a thesis statement since it directs the research and attracts the reader’s attention to the main idea of the subject under discussion. In addition to confining the author to a specific subject, so they don’t veer off topic, it also enables the reader to understand the topic at hand and what to expect.

To create an impactful thesis statement, simply follow these four easy steps. Start by creating a working statement by posing the question that your research or thesis will attempt to answer. Then, outline your initial response and choose your position on the matter. Next, try to substantiate your claim with facts or other relevant information. Finally, hone your final thesis statement by crafting a cogent narrative using knowledge gained in the previous step. 

Ideally the thesis statement should be placed at the end of an introduction of the paper or essay. Keep in mind that it is different from the topic sentence, which is more general.  

We hope this in-depth guide has allayed your concerns and empowered you to start working craft a strong statement for your essay or paper. Good luck with drafting your next thesis statement! 

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Try it for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime , which unlocks unlimited access to premium features like academic translation, paraphrasing, contextual synonyms, consistency checks, submission readiness and more. It’s like always having a professional academic editor by your side! Go beyond limitations and experience the future of academic writing. Get Paperpal Prime now at just US$19 a month !    

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Frequently asked questions

What is a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

Frequently asked questions: Writing an essay

For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

Your essay’s conclusion should contain:

  • A rephrased version of your overall thesis
  • A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
  • An indication of why your argument matters

The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.

The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.

An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

Let’s say you’re writing a five-paragraph  essay about the environmental impacts of dietary choices. Here are three examples of topic sentences you could use for each of the three body paragraphs :

  • Research has shown that the meat industry has severe environmental impacts.
  • However, many plant-based foods are also produced in environmentally damaging ways.
  • It’s important to consider not only what type of diet we eat, but where our food comes from and how it is produced.

Each of these sentences expresses one main idea – by listing them in order, we can see the overall structure of the essay at a glance. Each paragraph will expand on the topic sentence with relevant detail, evidence, and arguments.

The topic sentence usually comes at the very start of the paragraph .

However, sometimes you might start with a transition sentence to summarize what was discussed in previous paragraphs, followed by the topic sentence that expresses the focus of the current paragraph.

Topic sentences help keep your writing focused and guide the reader through your argument.

In an essay or paper , each paragraph should focus on a single idea. By stating the main idea in the topic sentence, you clarify what the paragraph is about for both yourself and your reader.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.

Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.

The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.

The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.

Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.

You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.

Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.

Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

If you’re not given a specific prompt for your descriptive essay , think about places and objects you know well, that you can think of interesting ways to describe, or that have strong personal significance for you.

The best kind of object for a descriptive essay is one specific enough that you can describe its particular features in detail—don’t choose something too vague or general.

If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?

The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.

Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.

When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.

Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.

An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.

Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.

You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.

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Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is a sentence (sometimes more than one sentence) in the introduction that tells the reader the following information:

  • What the topic of the paper is
  • How the writer intends to discuss that topic
  •  It gives a blueprint for how the essay will be structured
  •  How the writer intends to prove or demonstrate his or her main points.

Think of your paper as a human body, and your thesis statement as the spinal cord. Without it, there is no structure.

For you as the writer, the thesis statement:

Develops through the interrelationship of thinking, reading, and writing;

Limits your research by providing you with one controlling main idea that intrigues you;

Narrows your writing to one specific claim that you can develop or prove;

Organizes your ideas so you know the important points you want to make in your paper; and

Clarifies your writing by keeping you on target to fulfill your proposed purpose.

For your readers, the thesis statement:

 Identifies the main point and sub-points of your essay clearly and quickly;

Functions as a road map so your readers can easily follow your ideas; and

Gives satisfaction at the conclusion of the paper when your readers discover you have fulfilled your promise by proving or developing your main point.

Characteristics of Effective Thesis Statements

An effective thesis statement must be  factual and narrow.

An effective thesis statement prepares readers for facts and details, but it cannot itself be a fact. It must always be an inference that demands proof or further development. These proofs come from the literature. 

UNT Dallas campus has two buildings.

Not factual enough: The UNT Dallas campus is the perfect size.

Just Right:  While some might see small universities as a disadvantage, the small campus of UNT Dallas holds many advantages for students, including a close-knit campus community, smaller class sizes, and better support from professors.

2. Narrow Topic

A good thesis should be narrow, and not too broad or too vague. If the topic is too broad, you won’t be able to cover the entire topic in your paper.  If it’s too narrow, you might not be able to find research, and your paper probably won’t be long enough. 

Too Broad: College students have a lot of responsibilities.

Too Narrow: Student workers in the Learning Commons at UNT Dallas have many responsibilities in their course work and tutoring. 

Just Right: College students who are financially independent have many responsibilities as they must maintain good grades, pay living expenses, and balance work and school.

Remember, a thesis statement is not: 

  • Instead , you should argue, based on facts and literature, why or why not NASA should receive more funding.  
  • Ask yourself--can I find anything in literature to prove this point, or is this MY opinion? 
  • Instead, you should argue why or why not people like chocolate OR why or why not chocolate is healthy for you based on facts and literature findings. 
  • Similar to the subjective opinion, ask yourself is this statement is based on facts and literature findings or if this is YOUR opinion. Although it is ok to have your own opinion, professors usually do not like to read articles about beliefs (students have been writing about these for years and years). 
  • Instead, you could discuss theories about politics or religions and use literature to prove or disprove those theories.
  • This is too factual (the Himalayas WERE formed from a collision of tectonic plates), and there is nothing to discuss because this IS a fact in itself. 
  • Instead, you could compare and contrast the tectonic plate formation of different mountains. 

Examples of Thesis Statements

A thesis statement f or a 5 paragraph essay conta ins three parts:.

1. A Topic: the main idea of the essay

2. The Controlling Idea: what you want to say about the topic

3. The subtopics: usually 3 examples/reasons you will discuss in your paper

Here is an example  of a thesis statement.

Ex: Regularly visiting the Writing Center at UNT Dallas will help you become the best writer on the planet because it offers superhero tutors, current technology, and fantastic handouts.

The main topic explores the idea that regularly vsiting the writing center will help you become the best writer on the planet, and the subtopics further expand this opinion with three distinct examples: 1) tutors, 2) technology, and 3) the handouts.

Outline Example

The paper should be organized around the subtopics.  For example, for the thesis written above, the writer would write one body paragraph about the tutors, one about technology, and one about the handouts. 

Here is a sample essay outline based on this thesis:

  • Introduce the topic of tutoring
  • Thesis (last sentence of intro): Regularly visiting the Writing Center at UNT Dallas will help you become the best writer on the planet because it offers superhero tutors, current technology, and fantastic handouts.
  • topic sentence
  • Restate thesis
  • Concluding remarks

For further assistance with the structure, see our handouts on Introductions and Conclusions and Topic Sentences.

A thesis statement for a LONG ESSAY contains two parts: A Topic: the main idea of the essay The Controlling Idea: what you want to say about the topic 

Throughout the paper, your thesis promises your readers that you will prove specific facts or develop certain ideas ; therefore, every paragraph, sentence, and word in your paper must relate to this controlling idea.

Here are some examples of thesis statements.

  • Baseball, once a national pastime and even an addiction, has lost its popularity because of the new interest in more violent sports.
  • Since the space program has yet to provide the American people with any substantial, practical returns, it is a waste of money and should be dissolved.
  • To stop the alarming rise in the number of violent crimes committed every year, our courts must hand out tougher sentences.
  • Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills.
  • Hemingway's war stories helped to create a new prose style.
  • Bronte utilizes light and fire to symbolize the emotional expressions of the characters.

Here is a suggested outline for a long essay and how that would look in terms of your thesis statement, topic, and controlling ideas:

  • Introduce the novel Jane Eyre and the topic of symbolism
  • Thesis (last sentence of intro): Bronte utilizes light and fire to symbolize the emotional expressions of the characters.
  • textual examples and elaboration

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Identifying Thesis Statements, Claims, and Evidence

Thesis statements, claims, and evidence, introduction.

The three important parts of an argumentative essay are:

  • A thesis statement is a sentence, usually in the first paragraph of an article, that expresses the article’s main point. It is not a fact; it’s a statement that you could disagree with.  Therefore, the author has to convince you that the statement is correct.
  • Claims are statements that support the thesis statement, but like the thesis statement,  are not facts.  Because a claim is not a fact, it requires supporting evidence.
  • Evidence is factual information that shows a claim is true.  Usually, writers have to conduct their own research to find evidence that supports their ideas.  The evidence may include statistical (numerical) information, the opinions of experts, studies, personal experience, scholarly articles, or reports.

Each paragraph in the article is numbered at the beginning of the first sentence.

Paragraphs 1-7

Identifying the Thesis Statement. Paragraph 2 ends with this thesis statement:  “People’s prior convictions should not be held against them in their pursuit of higher learning.”  It is a thesis statement for three reasons:

  • It is the article’s main argument.
  • It is not a fact. Someone could think that peoples’ prior convictions should affect their access to higher education.
  • It requires evidence to show that it is true.

Finding Claims.  A claim is statement that supports a thesis statement.  Like a thesis, it is not a fact so it needs to be supported by evidence.

You have already identified the article’s thesis statement: “People’s prior convictions should not be held against them in their pursuit of higher learning.”

Like the thesis, a claim be an idea that the author believes to be true, but others may not agree.  For this reason, a claim needs support.

  • Question 1.  Can you find a claim in paragraph 3? Look for a statement that might be true, but needs to be supported by evidence.

Finding Evidence. 

Paragraphs 5-7 offer one type of evidence to support the claim you identified in the last question.  Reread paragraphs 5-7.

  • Question 2.  Which word best describes the kind of evidence included in those paragraphs:  A report, a study, personal experience of the author, statistics, or the opinion of an expert?

Paragraphs 8-10

Finding Claims

Paragraph 8 makes two claims:

  • “The United States needs to have more of this transformative power of education.”
  • “The country [the United States] incarcerates more people and at a higher rate than any other nation in the world.”

Finding Evidence

Paragraphs 8 and 9 include these statistics as evidence:

  • “The U.S. accounts for less than 5 percent of the world population but nearly 25 percent of the incarcerated population around the globe.”
  • “Roughly 2.2 million people in the United States are essentially locked away in cages. About 1 in 5 of those people are locked up for drug offenses.”

Question 3. Does this evidence support claim 1 from paragraph 8 (about the transformative power of education) or claim 2 (about the U.S.’s high incarceration rate)?

Question 4. Which word best describes this kind of evidence:  A report, a study, personal experience of the author, statistics, or the opinion of an expert?

Paragraphs 11-13

Remember that in paragraph 2, Andrisse writes that:

  • “People’s prior convictions should not be held against them in their pursuit of higher learning.” (Thesis statement)
  • “More must be done to remove the various barriers that exist between formerly incarcerated individuals such as myself and higher education.” (Claim)

Now, review paragraphs 11-13 (Early life of crime). In these paragraphs, Andrisse shares more of his personal story.

Question 5. Do you think his personal story is evidence for statement 1 above, statement 2, both, or neither one?

Question 6. Is yes, which one(s)?

Question 7. Do you think his personal story is good evidence?  Does it persuade you to agree with him?

Paragraphs 14-16

Listed below are some claims that Andrisse makes in paragraph 14.  Below each claim, please write the supporting evidence from paragraphs 15 and 16.  If you can’t find any evidence,  write “none.”

Claim:  The more education a person has, the higher their income.

Claim: Similarly, the more education a person has, the less likely they are to return to prison.

Paragraphs 17-19

Evaluating Evidence

In these paragraphs, Andrisse returns to his personal story. He explains how his father’s illness inspired him to become a doctor and shares that he was accepted to only one of six biomedical graduate programs.

Do you think that this part of Andrisse’s story serves as evidence (support) for any claims that you’ve identified so far?   Or does it support his general thesis that “people’s prior convictions should not be held against them in pursuit of higher learning?” Please explain your answer.

Paragraphs 20-23

Andrisse uses his personal experience to repeat a claim he makes in paragraph 3, that “more must be done to remove the various barriers that exist between formerly incarcerated individuals such as myself and higher education.”

To support this statement, he has to show that barriers exist.  One barrier he identifies is the cost of college. He then explains the advantages of offering Pell grants to incarcerated people.

What evidence in paragraphs 21-23 support his claim about the success of Pell grants?

Paragraphs  24-28 (Remove questions about drug crimes from federal aid forms)

In this section, Andrisse argues that federal aid forms should not ask students about prior drug convictions.  To support that claim, he includes a statistic about students who had to answer a similar question on their college application.

What statistic does he include?

In paragraph 25, he assumes that if a question about drug convictions discourages students from applying to college, it will probably also discourage them from applying for federal aid.

What do you think about this assumption?   Do you think it’s reasonable or do you think Andrisse needs stronger evidence to show that federal aid forms should not ask students about prior drug convictions?

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Thesis and Dissertation Policies and Practices

All thesis-option master’s students and doctoral students must follow the Thesis & Dissertation Policies that are outlined in the University Catalog – Policies and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs .

Thesis Copyright Protection

Purdue University Policy I.A.1 , May 18, 2007, Intellectual Property , established that copyright ownership now resides with you, the author. The copyright symbol © is not required for works to be copyrighted. All candidates have the additional option of applying for registration of their copyright: This establishes a public record of theses/dissertations and confers additional legal rights, enabling individuals to file infringement suits and seek statutory damages as well as attorneys’ fees. Copyright registration can be filed here .

Specific questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under U.S. copyright law may be addressed to the Purdue University Copyright Office: 765.496.3864 or Stewart Center Room 246A.

Using Material Protected by Copyright

Purdue University promotes compliance with U.S. copyright law and understanding of the appropriate use of copyrighted works: Purdue University Policy I.A.3, January 1, 2015 Use of Copyrighted Materials for Educational and Research Purposes .

When quoting extensively from copyrighted material, the author must obtain written permission from the copyright holder. There is no precise relationship between the amount of text quoted and the requirement for written permission to use the material. The law governing copyright infringement is based on the fair use principle. Ordinarily, if you plan to quote more than 150 words of continuous text from copyrighted material, you should ask permission from the author. If the work you are quoting has significant commercial value, you should obtain permission to quote any complete or nearly complete text item or section. When your quotation of copyrighted material could have a negative impact on the existing commercial value of that material, obtain the copyright holder’s permission. Figures or other graphical material, including Web pages, should not be reprinted in your thesis without the author’s consent. Permission to use copyrighted material is usually granted on condition that acknowledgment is made. You will be responsible for any required payments.

You will be required to upload copyright permissions to HammerRR (Figshare) when depositing your thesis with the Purdue University Graduate School.

By depositing a thesis with the Purdue University Graduate School, you certify that all copyrighted material incorporated into the thesis complies with United States copyright law and that you have received written permission from the copyright owners for the use of their work, which is beyond the scope of the law. You also agree to indemnify and save harmless Purdue University from any and all claims that may be asserted or that may arise from any copyright violation.

Data subject to EAR, ITAR, DFARS Clause 252.204-7012, and other controlled data designators require increased security to establish compliancy with government regulations. Due to these increased security requirements an alternative method is required to be followed for controlled theses see Controlled Thesis Submission Process -  Guidance Document - Controlled Thesis Submission Process.

Publication of the thesis or dissertation is a required part of the deposit process. The university currently uses HammerRR to publish the thesis after which, your thesis will become an Open Access document with no additional cost to you.

All theses submitted to HammerRR are considered the final copy and are required to undergo a format review. Candidates will upload their thesis to HammerRR and Graduate School administrators will review the thesis for any format errors. In the event format changes are required, the administration will provide you a list of necessary changes that you should make and re-submit to HammerRR as soon as possible. Format reviews will continue until your format is in an acceptable condition. You may schedule a Formatting Consultation before your Final Exam (Defense) to avoid an extensive format review during the deposit process.

To further promote and preserve the intellectual contributions of its degree recipients, Purdue is also partnering with ProQuest / Clarivate to disseminate its emerging scholarship through the ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global and Web of Science databases, which reaches thousands of institutions and millions of researchers worldwide. ProQuest also partners with major search and discipline-specific indexes for additional amplification and provides all of these services free of charge. By distributing your work with ProQuest, you will increase its visibility and impact within the global research community.  ProQuest recognizes the critical importance of embargos and will never publish a thesis until it has been released for dissemination by the university. You may withdraw your work from distribution at any time. You are eligible for a 10% royalty based upon sales and usage of the full text of the work. Please contact [email protected] with any questions and to set up your account to collect royalties.

Open Access Theses and Dissertations

Each student grants, without restriction, royalty free to Purdue University the nonexclusive right and license to reproduce, distribute, and display, in whole or in part, all theses and dissertations in any format now known or later developed for preservation and access in accordance with this agreement and will be made to the general public at no charge.

Benefits of an Open Access Thesis or Dissertation:

[1] Higher Citation Rates

The more users who can access a work, the more researchers that can cite that work.

[2] Better Global Visibility of Your Work

By making their work globally visible through open access, authors are allowing more scholars, more promising students and future scholars, less wealthy institutions, policy makers, news reporters, and the unexpected reader and citizen scholar to have access to their work who may not have otherwise had the ability or funds to access closed-access scholarship.

[3] Meeting the Land Grant Mission of the University

"Open access at Purdue can publicly showcase the scholarly output of the University and its community members, this provides greater visibility and traffic to your department, school, and ultimately the university. It can also show that scholars and researchers at Purdue think beyond their own disciplines by showcasing the interdisciplinary scholarship and research being created at Purdue. Finally, open access scholarship demonstrates accountability to the public that funds the university, while disseminating knowledge gained and created at Purdue; satisfying the public, land-grant mission of the university."

Students who wish to delay public release of their thesis must make the appropriate selection on the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF), provide the reasoning for the requested embargo, and make the same embargo selection in their HammerRR profile. The information that is provided to ETAF and HammerRR will be validated for consistency at the time of your thesis submission. If inconsistencies are present between the ETAF and HammerRR, the HammerRR profile will be updated by administrators to match what you have selected and what your committee chair has approved on the ETAF. Embargo periods are 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or indefinite. During the embargo period, the deposited thesis abstract will be available for viewing; however, the main content will remain unpublished until the embargo period has expired. Students may embargo their thesis when applying for patents, have publications pending, or when proprietary rights are involved.

Confidentiality

Students who are applying for patents, are including sensitive ITAR/Export Controlled material, have a contract on file with Sponsored Program Services (SPS), or are including proprietary information may request confidentiality of their thesis. Confidentiality can be requested for one or two years and students who have contracts on file with SPS may request longer periods.

ADA Compliance and Accessible Documents

Before depositing your thesis with the Graduate School, the PDF copy of your thesis needs to be made accessible (the file will be accessible to screen readers and other assistive computer technologies) to the best of the author’s ability.

Word users: To check your thesis for accessibility it is recommended that you use Word 2013 or Word 2016 as these versions have a built-in accessibility checker. You can learn more about the accessibility checker from the Microsoft Accessibility Checker page. Once you convert your file to PDF, you should also verify that the accessible Word document has converted to an accessible PDF file.

LaTeX users: Authors using LaTeX should manually check the accessibility of their PDF document using Acrobat Pro.

Post-Facto Edits

The Graduate School expects candidates and departments to thoroughly review format and content of theses and dissertations prior to their electronic submission. The Graduate School does not generally permit post-facto revisions to ETDs once they have been accepted for deposit by the Thesis & Dissertation Office. Post acceptance changes are only permitted to correct significant textual, data, or mathematical errors affecting accuracy of content and which could be potentially embarrassing to Purdue University.

Exceptions to Graduate School policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be requested by submitting a letter with justification for the exception to the Graduate School for consideration. Requests must be endorsed by the student’s major professor and the Head or Chair of the Graduate Program. The Graduate School may require additional approvals if the request may impact other offices within the University (see Section VII.I of the University Catalog).

A thesis authored at Purdue University should be structured and formatted using one of the below methods:

Traditional

A traditional thesis is a document that provides a complete and systematic account of your research. A typical traditional thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Statement of Approval page
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Acknowledgments (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Appendix (optional)
  • Vita (optional)
  • List of Publications (optional)

* Thesis structure may vary by department. Please consult your committee for specific departmental requirements.

Article-based

An article-based thesis is a collection of published (or will be published) research articles consisting of an introductory and concluding chapter. A typical article-based thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Published Article #1
  • Published Article #2
  • Published Article #3

Theses authored using this structure will need to include acknowledgement of prior publication within the respective chapter. Although each journal may have specific statement requirements, the acknowledgment should be single spaced and appear 3 single spaces under the chapter title. Consult your publisher regarding required information that should appear in this acknowledgment.

Creative work

The Graduate School is prepared to accept theses in creative formats subject to departmental and committee approval. Students wishing to submit a creative work as their thesis requirement should consult with their committee chair and contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office with their proposal.

If the primary literature on a subject matter is in a language other than English and the thesis or dissertation addresses a community of scholars who publish in a language other than English, a student may elect to write the thesis in a language that all committee members speak and read and support its use in the thesis. In this case, the thesis should contain a title page and abstract page in English.

All West Lafayette , IUPUI , and Northwest candidates are required to submit the ETAF through their Plan of Study portal. This form should be submitted on the day of Defense or no later than the date of the Final Examination Deadline each semester.

Purdue Fort Wayne candidates are required to submit paper versions of Forms 9, 32, and 15 . Copies of these forms should be submitted to the Thesis & Dissertation Office prior to submitting the thesis to HammerRR.

Effective September 1, 2014, Purdue’s Graduate School requires that all theses and dissertations be reviewed using the iThenticate software and any issues identified by the software and any issues identified by the software addressed prior to the deposit of the final thesis or dissertation with the Graduate School. Satisfaction of this requirement will be certified by both committee chair and degree candidate on the ETAF. Click here for more information.

All master’s candidates are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $90 and Ph.D. candidates are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $125. The fees will be uploaded to a student’s myPurdue account within 5-10 business days after the HammerRR submission is approved.

West Lafayette, PFW, and PNW candidates will pay the fee through their local bursar’s office. IUPUI candidates will receive an e-bill following their successful thesis deposit.

Candidates are required to meet both departmental and Graduate School deadlines each term.

Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students are required to submit their thesis for a final format check to the Graduate School no later than the close of business (5:00pm ET) the day before the semester's designated deposit deadline date. Candidates who miss the semester's deposit deadline at 5:00, but still wish to graduate, must submit a request for a deposit extension (endorsed by committee chair and department head) to the Graduate School for full consideration. If approved, the student should expect to pay a Late Graduation Deadline Fee . Contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office for questions.

Ph.D. and master’s students are required to complete the Graduate School Exit Questionnaire (GSEQ). In addition to the GSEQ, Ph.D. candidates are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. These surveys will become available to complete during the semester the student registers as a candidate for graduation.

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Carnegie Mellon University

Properties of Cyclic Graphical Models or Why the way up and the way down are one

 The work contained in this MS thesis seeks to extend the theory of causal models that is  elaborated in Spirtes, Glymour and Schemes’, Causation, Prediction and Search. Spirtes et. al., develop a theory of causal models, under the assumption that causation was anti?symmetric, i.e. that if A is a cause of B, then B is not a cause of A. Though many causal  systems are of this kind, as the authors acknowledge in their final chapter, in many situations  one must allow for the possibility of feedback - i.e A is a cause of B, while B itself is also a  cause of A. In Chapter 1 we consider causal systems with feedback. Traditional models of systems with  feedback often assume that the system is in equilibrium, but no account is given of how the  system arrived at this state. We give a sketch of how one might attempt to give a causal  account of the process of equilibration, by interpreting an equilibrium model, as the limit  (with regard to time) of a dynamic process. In Chapter 2 we give the main result of this thesis: a computationally feasible characterization  of the conditional independencies entailed by a linear causal model with feedback. Such a  characterization will greatly facilitate the construction of efficient ‘discovery’ algorithms, that  will, under various assumptions, output an equivalence class of cyclic causal models  compatible with conditional independencies present in data taken as input. Since the  characterization itself is quite involved we try to give some insight into the intuitions that are  driving them. In addition we show how the characterization leads to a (correct) polynomial  equivalence algorithm that will decide whether two cyclic causal models entail the same sets  of conditional independencies. In Chapter 3 we prove the Cyclic Equivalence Theorem, which characterizes the cyclic  equivalence classes. Both Chapter 2 and 3 are intended to be fairly self-contained; Chapter 2  provides the level of detail necessary to understand the statement of the result, while Chapter  3 of necessity is more involved. Since there are a large number of technical defintions we  provide a Glossary is provided at the end.  

Degree Type

  • Master's Thesis

Degree Name

  • Master of Science (MS)

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COMMENTS

  1. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

    Strong Thesis Statement Examples. 1. School Uniforms. "Mandatory school uniforms should be implemented in educational institutions as they promote a sense of equality, reduce distractions, and foster a focused and professional learning environment.". Best For: Argumentative Essay or Debate. Read More: School Uniforms Pros and Cons.

  2. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  3. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

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  5. The Writing Center

    A thesis statement is: The statement of the author's position on a topic or subject. Clear, concise, and goes beyond fact or observation to become an idea that needs to be supported (arguable). Often a statement of tension, where the author refutes or complicates an existing assumption or claim (counterargument).

  6. Thesis: Definition and Examples

    The thesis (pronounced thee -seez), also known as a thesis statement, is the sentence that introduces the main argument or point of view of a composition (formal essay, nonfiction piece, or narrative). It is the main claim that the author is making about that topic and serves to summarize and introduce that writing that will be discussed ...

  7. PDF Thesis Statements

    thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you'll make in the rest of your paper. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of ...

  8. How to write a thesis statement + Examples

    A good thesis statement needs to do the following: Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences. Answer your project's main research question. Clearly state your position in relation to the topic. Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

  9. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement is the brief articulation of your paper's central argument and purpose. You might hear it referred to as simply a "thesis." Every scholarly paper should have a thesis statement, and strong thesis statements are concise, specific, and arguable. Concise means the thesis is short: perhaps one or two sentences for a shorter paper.

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    The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper. 4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper. Thesis Statement Examples. Example of an analytical thesis statement:

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    Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing. Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and ...

  12. What is a Thesis Statement and How to Write It (with Examples)

    A thesis statement can be defined as a sentence that describes the main idea of the research or thesis to inform the reader of the argument the research will pursue and the reason the author adopts a specific stance on the subject. Essentially, it expresses the author's judgment or opinion based on a review of the literature or personal ...

  13. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. Analytical Thesis Statement: Analyzing an Issue. Expository Thesis Statement: Explaining a Topic.

  14. What is a thesis statement?

    The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons: It gives your writing direction and focus. It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point. Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

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    Thesis statements go by many names depending on what kind of writing is being talked about. In scientific papers a hypothesis is a formalized version of thesis, ... idea of how the author thinks something works. Creative writing, by its nature, does not need a thesis; however it is helpful to consider the concept "plot twist" that is

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    A thesis statement is a sentence (sometimes more than one sentence) in the introduction that tells the reader the following information: What the topic of the paper is. How the writer intends to discuss that topic. It gives a blueprint for how the essay will be structured. How the writer intends to prove or demonstrate his or her main points.

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    A thesis statement is a declaration. of one or two sentences that gives the topic and purpose of an essay or speech. More specifically, it provides information to the audience about what the. author/speaker intends to prove or declare, with specific discussion points. The thesis statement is usually placed toward the end of the introductory.

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  19. Mastering the Thesis Statement: Examples and Tips for Academic ...

    A thesis statement should appear in the introduction of the essay to layout the main topic and the author's stance on it. It should also appear in the conclusion of the essay, where the author can refer back to it. A thesis statement should be a short statement of only one or two sentences that delivers clear and concise information.

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    There are four obvious places to look--the same four places where you searched for an author's central question in Phase 2. Each place offers you a glimpse of the author's thesis, which, in turn, may help you come up with a new thesis statement for your list. Select each location below to skim an article from the journal Social Problems.

  21. PDF What is the Thesis Statement? Definition

    thesis statements. Things a write r should do when composing a thesis statement: Your thesis should indicate your original point, idea, or argument. A thesis should be one or two quality sentences. Write a thesis that is specific, not general. Clarity for the reader should be important when writing a thesis statement. Your thesis should include

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    The thesis statement is found at the end of the conclusion and summarizes the supporting details in the text. The thesis statement is the sentence found at the beginning of each body paragraph and is followed by supporting details. The thesis statement is the sentence in the introduction that states the author's specific ideas about the topic.

  23. Thesis and Dissertation Policies and Practices

    A thesis authored at Purdue University should be structured and formatted using one of the below methods: Traditional. A traditional thesis is a document that provides a complete and systematic account of your research. A typical traditional thesis suggests the following structure: Preliminary pages Title page; Statement of Approval page

  24. Properties of Cyclic Graphical Models or Why the way up and the way

    The work contained in this MS thesis seeks to extend the theory of causal models that is elaborated in Spirtes, Glymour and Schemes', Causation, Prediction and Search. Spirtes et. al., develop a theory of causal models, under the assumption that causation was anti?symmetric, i.e. that if A is a cause of B, then B is not a cause of A. Though many causal systems are of this kind, as the ...