A thesis is a statement that conveys the central idea of an essay. All the points, details, examples, and research in the body paragraphs should develop and prove the thesis. Think of this statement as a roadmap for readers. It gives the audience a specific focus and sense of direction for following your ideas.
Traditionally, the thesis is at the end of the introduction. The location could change depending on your paper topic and your instructor’s directions, but thesis is normally at the end of the introduction to provide direction for the rest of the essay.
The thesis statement should be one to two sentences. If your thesis is longer than this, then it is probably too broad and needs to be more focused and straightforward.
The thesis should be brief, concise, and complete. Since it needs to express one main idea, it should not be too broad and try to discuss several points all at once. A thesis should also not be so narrow that it cannot fully express an idea. Because you need to prove your thesis, it should be an opinionated statement and not merely a fact or already accepted idea. Additionally, the thesis is a statement of your position on the topic or issue rather than a question. Remember, you are answering the question of what your opinion is on a topic.
Follow this formula: Thesis = Claim + Evidence. The claim is your opinion, or position, on a topic. It should be argumentative and defensible, meaning you can logically support your position. Evidence is your reason for the opinion you express in the thesis, or why you hold your position on a topic. Even though the thesis is comprised of your opinion and reasons, avoid saying this outright. There is no need to expressly state, “In my opinion, firmer government intervention is needed to keep global warming under control.” There is also no need to announce that the paper will argue this, as in “This paper will argue that firmer government intervention is needed to keep the global warming under control.” In other words, removing the underlined portions of the example sentences above, leaves you with a more fluid and sophisticated thesis. The reader already knows the paper reflects your beliefs, so the reader should be shown, not told, what the paper will accomplish.
To be clear, here are more examples of making unnecessary disclaimers in your writing:
Thesis statements come in a variety of forms, so select the one that matches your assignment prompt.
Types of thesis statements include:
Claims of Policy consider what course of action should be taken to address an issue. This claim asks and answers: What should we do to solve a problem? What actions should we take? A sample claim of policy would be: “Some people think that their jobs will be preserved even after Artificial Intelligence becomes more of a presence in daily life. However, a turn toward self-expression is necessary to ensure human employment.”
By spending time to develop a strong thesis, you are also forming the foundation for a strong essay. Since this is an important step in the writing process, feel free to visit the Writing Center in person or online for additional feedback and guidance. To find out how, see the Scheduling a Live Session handout by visiting the RVC Writing Center Resource Library at: https://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/StudentServices/Tutoring/WritingCenter.cfm