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- How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .
Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.
You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:
- Start with a question
- Write your initial answer
- Develop your answer
- Refine your thesis statement
Table of contents
What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.
A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.
The best thesis statements are:
- Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
- Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
- Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.
The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.
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You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.
You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?
For example, you might ask:
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 .
Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.
In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.
The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.
In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.
The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.
A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:
- Why you hold this position
- What they’ll learn from your essay
- The key points of your argument or narrative
The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.
These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.
Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:
- In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
- In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.
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.
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.
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.
The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .
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25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze
Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement.
Let's take a minute to first understand what makes a solid thesis statement, and what key components you need to write one of your own.
A thesis statement always goes at the beginning of the paper. It will typically be in the first couple of paragraphs of the paper so that it can introduce the body paragraphs, which are the supporting evidence for your thesis statement.
Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can't just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute . An ineffective thesis statement would be, "Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it." This isn't really something that's a debatable topic.
Something that would be more debatable would be, "A puppy's cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness." These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they're really soft and fuzzy.
All cuteness aside, you want to make sure that your thesis statement is not only debatable, but that it also actually thoroughly answers the research question that was posed. You always want to make sure that your evidence is supporting a claim that you made (and not the other way around). This is why it's crucial to read and research about a topic first and come to a conclusion later. If you try to get your research to fit your thesis statement, then it may not work out as neatly as you think. As you learn more, you discover more (and the outcome may not be what you originally thought).
Additionally, your thesis statement shouldn't be too big or too grand. It'll be hard to cover everything in a thesis statement like, "The federal government should act now on climate change." The topic is just too large to actually say something new and meaningful. Instead, a more effective thesis statement might be, "Local governments can combat climate change by providing citizens with larger recycling bins and offering local classes about composting and conservation." This is easier to work with because it's a smaller idea, but you can also discuss the overall topic that you might be interested in, which is climate change.
So, now that we know what makes a good, solid thesis statement, you can start to write your own. If you find that you're getting stuck or you are the type of person who needs to look at examples before you start something, then check out our list of thesis statement examples below.
Thesis statement examples
A quick note that these thesis statements have not been fully researched. These are merely examples to show you what a thesis statement might look like and how you can implement your own ideas into one that you think of independently. As such, you should not use these thesis statements for your own research paper purposes. They are meant to be used as examples only.
- Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
- Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don't forget what they've learned throughout the school year.
- School Uniforms School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
- Populism The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
- Public Libraries Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
- Cyber Bullying With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyber bullying is on the rise. Cyber bullying puts a lot of stress on many teens, and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smart phones, monitor their children's online activity, and report any cyber bullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
- Medical Marijuana for Veterans Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them re-integrate back into civilian life.
- Work-Life Balance Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
- Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age appropriate lessons.
- Whether or Not to Attend University A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and a future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a "gap year" where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
- Studying Abroad Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
- Women's Body Image Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman's body image collectively as a culture.
- Cigarette Tax Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn't deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
- Veganism A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
- University Athletes Should be Compensated University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighborhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
- Women in the Workforce Sheryl Sandberg makes a lot of interesting points in her best-selling book, Lean In , but she only addressed the very privileged working woman and failed to speak to those in lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs.
- Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide should be legal and doctors should have the ability to make sure their patients have the end-of-life care that they want to receive.
- Celebrity and Political Activism Although Taylor Swift's lyrics are indicative of a feminist perspective, she should be more politically active and vocal to use her position of power for the betterment of society.
- The Civil War The insistence from many Southerners that the South seceded from the Union for states' rights versus the fact that they seceded for the purposes of continuing slavery is a harmful myth that still affects race relations today.
- Blue Collar Workers Coal miners and other blue-collar workers whose jobs are slowly disappearing from the workforce should be re-trained in jobs in the technology sector or in renewable energy. A program to re-train these workers would not only improve local economies where jobs have been displaced, but would also lead to lower unemployment nationally.
- Diversity in the Workforce Having a diverse group of people in an office setting leads to richer ideas, more cooperation, and more empathy between people with different skin colors or backgrounds.
- Re-Imagining the Nuclear Family The nuclear family was traditionally defined as one mother, one father, and 2.5 children. This outdated depiction of family life doesn't quite fit with modern society. The definition of normal family life shouldn't be limited to two-parent households.
- Digital Literacy Skills With more information readily available than ever before, it's crucial that students are prepared to examine the material they're reading and determine whether or not it's a good source or if it has misleading information. Teaching students digital literacy and helping them to understand the difference between opinion or propaganda from legitimate, real information is integral.
- Beauty Pageants Beauty pageants are presented with the angle that they empower women. However, putting women in a swimsuit on a stage while simultaneously judging them on how well they answer an impossible question in a short period of time is cruel and purely for the amusement of men. Therefore, we should stop televising beauty pageants.
- Supporting More Women to Run for a Political Position In order to get more women into political positions, more women must run for office. There must be a grassroots effort to educate women on how to run for office, who among them should run, and support for a future candidate for getting started on a political career.
Still stuck? Need some help with your thesis statement?
If you are still uncertain about how to write a thesis statement or what a good thesis statement is, be sure to consult with your teacher or professor to make sure you're on the right track. It's always a good idea to check in and make sure that your thesis statement is making a solid argument and that it can be supported by your research.
After you're done writing, it's important to have someone take a second look at your paper so that you can ensure there are no mistakes or errors. It's difficult to spot your own mistakes, which is why it's always recommended to have someone help you with the revision process, whether that's a teacher, the writing center at school, or a professional editor such as one from ServiceScape .
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15 Thesis Statement Examples to Inspire Your Next Argumentative Essay
Have you ever watched a great film trailer and thought, “I have to see that movie!”? A good trailer gives you the basic premise of the movie , shows you the highlights, and encourages you to want to see more.
A good thesis statement will accomplish the same thing. It gives readers an idea of the most important points of an essay, shows the highlights, and makes them want to read more.
It will also help keep you, the writer, from getting lost in a convoluted and directionless argument.
Most importantly, a good thesis statement makes a statement. After all, it’s called a thesis statement for a reason!
“This is an interesting statement!” you want your reader to think. “Let’s see if this author can convince me.”
This blog post will dissect the components of a good thesis statement and give you 15 thesis statement examples that you can use to inspire your next argumentative essay .
The Thesis Statement Dissected
Before I give you a blanket list of thesis statement examples, let’s run through what makes for a good thesis statement. I’ve distilled it down to four main components.
1. A good argumentative thesis is focused and not too broad.
It’s important to stay focused! Don’t try to argue an overly broad topic in your essay, or you’re going to feel confused and unsure about your direction and purpose.
Don’t write: “Eating fast food is bad and should be avoided.”
This statement is too general and would be nearly impossible for you to defend. It leaves a lot of big questions to answer. Is all fast food bad? Why is it bad? Who should avoid it? Why should anyone care?
Do write: “Americans should eliminate the regular consumption of fast food because a fast food diet leads to preventable and expensive health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.”
In this example, I’ve narrowed my argument to the health consequences related to a diet of fast food . I’ve also chosen to focus on Americans rather than everyone in the universe.
2. A good argumentative thesis is centered on a debatable topic.
Back in the ‘80s, teens loved to say “ that’s debatable ” about claims they didn’t agree with (such as “ you should clean your room” and “ you shouldn’t go to that movie” ).
Don’t write: “There are high numbers of homeless people living in Berkeley, California.”
No one can argue for or against this statement. It’s not debatable. It’s just a fact.
An argument over this non-debatable statement would go something like this:
“There are lots of homeless people in Berkeley.” “Yes, there sure are a bunch of them out there.” “Yup.”
As you can see, that’s not much of an argument.
Do write: “Homeless people in Berkeley should be given access to services—such as regular food donations, public restrooms, and camping facilities—because it would improve life for all inhabitants of the city.”
Now that’s debatable .
Opponents could also easily argue that homeless people in Berkeley already receive adequate services ( “just look at all those luxurious sidewalks!” ) or perhaps that they shouldn’t be entitled to services at all ( “get a job, ya lazy loafers!” ).
Interested in picking up a few more tips about debating issues and perfecting the art of persuasion? Read How to Write a Persuasive Essay That’s Convincing .
3. A good argumentative thesis picks a side.
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Picking a side is pretty much the whole entire point of an argumentative essay. Just as you can’t root for both the Yankees and the Mets, you can’t argue both sides of a topic in your thesis statement.
Learn more about the importance of picking sides by reading the post The Secrets of a Strong Argumentative Essay .
Don’t write: “Secondhand smoke is bad and can cause heart disease and cancer; therefore, smoking should be outlawed in public places, but outlawing smoking is unfair to smokers so maybe non-smokers can just hold their breath or wear masks around smokers instead.”
A wishy-washy statement like this will make your reader scratch his head in puzzlement. Are you for smoking laws or against them? Yankees or Mets? Mets or Yankees?
Pick a side , and stick with it!
Then stick up for it.
Do write: “Secondhand smoke is just as harmful as smoking and leads to a higher prevalence of cancer and heart disease; therefore, smoking in any public place should be banned.”
4. A good thesis makes claims that will be supported later in the paper.
As I explained in the post How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline , your claims make up a critical part of building the roadmap to your argument.
It’s important to first include a summary of your claims in your thesis statement. During the course of your essay, you will back each of your claims with well-researched evidence .
Don’t write: “Humans should relocate to Mars.”
This statement doesn’t include any supporting claims. Why should humans move to Mars? What are the benefits of moving to a planet without oxygen or trees?
Do write: “It is too late to save earth; therefore, humans should immediately set a date for their relocation to Mars, where they can, with proper planning, avoid issues of famine, war, and global warming.”
This statement includes some thought-provoking claims. The reader will wonder how the author plans to defend them. (“ Famine, war, and global warming can be easily avoided on Mars? Go on…”)
Looking for even more help understanding the key components of a strong thesis statement? Check out these posts:
- How to Write a Thesis Statement in 5 Simple Steps
- How to Turn a Good Thesis Statement Into a Great One
- How to Make a Thesis Statement the Easy Way (Infographic)
- How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement
Now that you have a better understanding of the all things thesis statement, here are 15 more thesis statement examples to inspire your next argumentative essay.
15 Thesis Statement Examples
Below are 15 debatable, supportable, and focused thesis statements for you to learn from. Feel free to customize them for use in your own argumentative essay.
As you read the following examples, be careful not to use these thesis statements word-for-word. I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble if your teacher did a copy/find Google maneuver on you!
#1. Vaccinations should be mandatory
Inspired by this sample essay on vaccinations .
Vaccinations against diseases such as polio, rubella, and mumps should be mandatory for all U.S. children who wish to attend school as these vaccinations are critical to the control and eradication of deadly infectious diseases.
#2. Government surveillance is harmful
Inspired by this sample essay on government surveillance .
Government surveillance programs, such as PRISM, should be banned because they invade civil liberties, lead innocent people to suffer unfair punishments, and ultimately fail to protect the citizens that they are designed to safeguard.
#3. Organ donors should be financially compensated
Inspired by this sample essay on organ donation .
Organ donors should be financially compensated to increase the supply of available organs and, at the same time, to decrease profitable, illegal organ-harvesting activities in the black market.
#4. Schools are too dependent on technology
Inspired by this sample essay on technology dependence .
Schools’ dependence on technology has caused students to lose the ability to think independently, leading to a greater prevalence of mood disorders, memory loss, and loneliness.
#5. School officials should fight cyberbullying
Inspired by this sample essay on cyberbullying .
In order to improve the online behavior of students and decrease cyberbullying-related suicide attempts, school officials should have the authority to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying .
#6. The U.S. media should update the depiction of traditional families
Inspired by this sample essay on families .
The U.S. media depicts the traditional family as comprising a mother, father, and children; however, this notion of the traditional family is outdated and can be harmful to children who look to this as the gold standard.
#7. Student loans should be forgiven
Inspired by this sample essay on student loans .
Crippling student debt is stifling the growth of the U.S. economy because it inhibits graduates from being able to spend money on consumer goods and home purchases.
#8. Marijuana should be legalized
Inspired by this sample essay on legalizing marijuana .
Marijuana has numerous medical applications, such as treating symptoms of epilepsy, cancer, and glaucoma. Legalizing the use of marijuana in the United States will greatly benefit the medical sector by giving physicians the ability to prescribe this life-saving drug.
#9. Foreign aid to Africa does not work
Inspired by this sample essay on foreign aid to Africa .
Sending foreign aid to African countries is doing more harm than good because the practice has caused African countries to become vulnerable to inflation, currency fluctuations, corruption, and civil unrest.
#10. China’s one-child policy led to unintended and negative consequences
Inspired by this sample essay on advertising to children .
Though some argue that advertising to children is harmful, it is actually a positive marketing technique that spurs economic growth.
#12. Most teen celebrities should not be role models for children
Inspired by this sample essay on teen celebrities as role models .
Teen celebrities often engage in inappropriate and sometimes illegal activities and thus should not be considered role models for children.
#13. The current welfare system promotes dependency
Inspired by this sample essay about the abuse of welfare .
The welfare system was designed to assist those in need; however, the current system does more harm than good by promoting government dependency.
#14. Schools should start at a later time of day
Inspired by this sample essay about school start times .
Beginning the school day at a later time would stabilize students’ sleep patterns, improve students’ moods, and increase students’ academic success.
#15. Schools should distribute birth control to teens
Inspired by this sample essay about birth control distribution in schools .
Though some argue that distributing condoms to teens means that schools are encouraging sexual behavior, schools should distribute birth control to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Now…Turn Your Thesis Statement Into an Essay
Any one of these thesis statement examples will get you started on the road to writing an awesome argumentative essay, but if none of these thesis statements or topics are working for you, try one of these:
- 70 Argumentative Essay Topics That Will Put Up a Good Fight
- 30 Argumentative Essay Ideas That Will Pick a Good Fight
Have a topic and thesis but need to put all of your ideas into essay format ? Try prewriting , outlining , or using a graphic organizer to help organize information.
Once your essay is finished, feel free to send it to a Kibin editor , who can check for grammar errors, sentence structure issues, and of course, the strength of your thesis.
Good luck with your essay!
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .
About the Author
Naomi Tepper is a former Kibin editor, the former content manager for the Kibin blog, and forever a word nerd.
- argumentative essays
- thesis statements
What this handout is about.
This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.
Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the 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 the paper.
- directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
- makes a claim that others might dispute.
- is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.
If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)
How do I create a thesis?
A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.
Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .
How do I know if my thesis is strong?
If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :
- Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
- Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
- Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
- Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
- Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
- Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.
Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:
Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.
You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.
- Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
- Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
- Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
- Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
- Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?
After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:
Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.
This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.
Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:
Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.
You begin to analyze your thesis:
- Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.
Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:
In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
- Do I answer the question? Yes!
- Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
- Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
- Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
- Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”
After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:
Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.
This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.
Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.
Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.
Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.
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Developing Strong Thesis Statements
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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.
The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable
An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.
Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:
This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.
Example of a debatable thesis statement:
This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.
Another example of a debatable thesis statement:
In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.
The thesis needs to be narrow
Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Example of a thesis that is too broad:
There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.
Example of a narrow or focused thesis:
In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:
Narrowed debatable thesis 1:
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.
Narrowed debatable thesis 2:
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.
Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.
Types of claims
Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.
Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:
Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:
Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:
Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:
Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.
Essay Writing Guide
Thesis Statement Examples
Good Thesis Statement Examples For Your Help
Published on: Oct 18, 2017
Last updated on: Jan 23, 2023
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A thesis statement aims to make a claim that will guide the reader throughout the paper. Coming up with a solid thesis statement is the first step in the essay writing process after deciding on the topic.
Understanding the key elements of a solid thesis statement is important for writing impressive research papers.
If you are the kind of person who looks at examples before starting writing, then explore our list of effective thesis statement examples below to start writing your own.
Keep reading the blog until the end and know what it takes to develop a strong thesis statement.
Thesis Statement Examples for Different Types of Essays
A thesis statement is a one-sentence statement that aims to express the essay’s main idea to the reader. It makes a claim that directly answers the question.
The following are some great thesis statement examples for essays that will help you better understand the different types of essays they apply in.
Refer to the following section and learn how to write a great thesis statement example from experts.
Please note that the below examples for different types of essays are only written to help you understand the concept better. You should not use these examples as it is for your research paper. However, you can take help and implement your ideas into it that you find interesting.
Thesis Statement Examples for Argumentative Essay
Below are some interesting argumentative thesis statement examples for your help.
- Though uniforms are meant to enhance unity and spirit, educational institutes should not force students to wear them. This idea is completely based on the fact that uniforms restrict the student’s freedom of expression and it is specifically supported by the fact that restricting the freedom of expression is actually a violation of human rights.
- High school graduate students should take a year off to participate in community service projects in order to increase maturity and awareness before entering college.
Thesis Statement Examples for Informative Essay
Refer to the following informative thesis statement examples to get a clear idea.
- Feminism was supposed to be used as a weapon for supporting equal rights and not for proving that women were superior to men. In a literal sense, feminism is all about snatching equal rights, not about proving gender imbalance.
- Homework pressure can take childhood rights from the kids. Therefore, they should be given less homework to bring out their playfulness.
Thesis Statement Examples for Compare and Contrast Essay
The following compare and contrast thesis statement examples will help you understand how to create a perfect thesis statement.
- Although Vaughana Feary and Edmund Wall both consider harassment an unbidden statement, their ideas are not similar in several other points, which makes the scholars view cases of sexual harassment differently.
- While bears and bats appear to have not been common at first glance, they are notably similar in their hibernation habits and species classifications.
Thesis Statement Examples for Persuasive Essay
These persuasive essay thesis statement examples can help you understand how to present your essay’s main idea.
- Baseball is a more exciting, revitalizing, and captivating sport played between two opposing teams.
- Jelly and bean sandwiches are the best type of sandwiches because they are easy to make, handle, and taste good.
Narrative Essay Thesis Statement Examples
Refer to these personal narrative thesis statement examples if you are stuck at the start of your essay.
- Though the idea of studying abroad seems a costly option, the experience of interacting with other cultures and different learning approaches is worth it.
- There is nothing wrong with who chooses not to have children, and society has to understand that. It is not about others’ beliefs but her time and life that are at stake.
Thesis Statement Examples for Expository Essay
Here are some excellent expository essay thesis statement examples for your help.
- The life of a typical high school student is distinguished by time studying, attending classes, and participating in other peer activities.
- The US spends more time on its military budget than all the other industrialized countries combined.
Thesis Statement Examples for Literary Analysis Essay
It will be easier for you to write your excellent literary analysis essay with these thesis statement examples.
- In ‘Paul’s Case’ written by Willa Cather, a portrayal of suicidal behaviors among adults is a possible factor that might have been identified and remedied.
- The details of ‘The Story of an Hour’ point out how language, institution, and appearance can suppress the natural desire and ambitions of women.
Cause and Effect Essay Thesis Statement Examples
Learn more about ending the introductory paragraph with these cause and effect thesis statement examples.
- The increasing rates of divorces result from poor communication, changing social values, and unrealistic expectations.
- Coal miners whose jobs are vanishing should be retrained in other fields such as technology and renewable energy. This will improve local economies and lead to lower unemployment rates.
Thesis Statement Examples for Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Look at these rhetorical analysis thesis statement examples to learn how to represent the final element of your essay introduction.
- The author has successfully developed an argument in favor of gun carry but focused on emotional appeal with no factual information that has weakened his argument.
- Although Alex includes several convincing, logical arguments using facts, readers may not agree with the presented analysis because of his sarcastic tone.
Strong Thesis Statement Examples
To develop a good thesis statement, you should get help from professionally written examples.
Below are some examples that our expert writers write, and you can easily get an idea from them for your thesis statement.
Thesis Statement Examples History
Here are some history thesis statement examples for your better understanding.
- There are many causes for world war 1; the main factor was the new definition of nationalism and a slight upward trend in technology development.
- The US clash with the Soviets was an important factor in the decision of Trump to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Thesis Statement Examples for Research Papers
Refer to these research paper thesis statement examples to help you understand how to express the main idea of a research paper.
- Exams are not a productive way to evaluate the knowledge and skills of students. There should be an alternative way to measure students’ abilities by banning exams.
- The government should not have access to the information that we share online and should not use it.
Thesis Statement Examples for College Essays
Here are some examples of a thesis statement for college essays to guide you in the essay introduction process.
- Doctors should get the highest salary in a world where humans’ lives are the biggest value. They save lives, relieve our physical pain. They have spent years studying and practicing to do that.
- Abortions should be legalized as women should have the freedom to make decisions regarding their bodies. There could be no other solution to this problem.
Thesis Statement Examples Middle School
The following thesis statement examples for middle school students will help you understand how to end the introductory paragraph.
- To minimize the damage caused by hurricanes, everyone needs to take preventive measures.
- Studying abroad might sound costly, but the experience that one will get from the interactions with another culture and teaching approach is worth it.
Thesis Statement Examples in Literature
A good thesis statement will guide your paper’s tone of voice and direction. Here are some excellent examples that you can use as inspiration.
- “The Third and Final Continent” has characteristics that you see in writings by immigrants: tradition, adaptation, and identity.
- In “A Worn Path,” Eudora Welty creates a fictional character named Phoenix Jackson who is determined, faithful and cunning. This shows the indomitable human spirit.
3-Point Thesis Statement Examples
The perfect thesis statement for your paper is the foremost thing. We compiled some great examples that give you a better idea of how to create one, and these will help you get started.
- All students at the school should wear uniforms so the school is safer, they feel closer to their classmates and get more of a sense of belonging, and it will save parents money.
- There are two sides to the issue of children using social media. Many people think that it does not hurt children. But others think they shouldn't use social media because they see unreal lives.
To conclude, keep in mind that a strong thesis statement keeps the readers engaged throughout the paper or essay. It should be specific and relevant to your chosen topic. For that, it is important to write your thesis statement again and again until you end up with a perfect one.
What Makes a Perfect Thesis Statement?
A perfect thesis statement must incorporate the following elements.
- It should be brief and informative.
- It should present your arguments in a clear argument to state your opinion on the issue.
- It must have a logical basis even if you share your personal opinion.
- The thesis statement should relate to the rest of the paper.
In other words, a perfect thesis statement should identify the topic, the claim, and the key points that you will use to support your claim.
Composing a great thesis statement takes more time and effort than other parts of writing an essay. It contains an entire argument in one sentence, so you should spend some time refining your thesis statement.
If you are still unsure how to craft a solid thesis statement, ask for help to ensure you are on the right track. You can always contact MyPerfectWords.com and get help from our professional paper writer to write an argumentative paper or any type of thesis statement.
Why wait? Place your order right now from the top-notch essay writing service .
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you not do in a thesis statement.
Here are some things that you should avoid in writing a thesis statement.
- Avoid writing a thesis statement that is more than one sentence long.
- Avoid questions, facts, being too broad or narrow in scope, and focusing on what you will do rather than the topic itself.
- Avoid writing announcements about what you will do.
What are the two types of thesis statements?
There are two types of thesis statements: explanatory and argumentative. An explanation will identify the topic but never take a side, whereas an argument states its position and defends it with reasons/evidence.
What are the 3 parts of a thesis statement?
The three parts of the thesis statement are:
- Limited subject
- Precise opinion
- Blueprint of reasons
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How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
The important sentence expresses your central assertion or argument.
arabianEye / Getty Images
- Writing Research Papers
- Writing Essays
- English Grammar
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
A thesis statement provides the foundation for your entire research paper or essay. This statement is the central assertion that you want to express in your essay. A successful thesis statement is one that is made up of one or two sentences clearly laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
Usually, the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first paragraph of your paper. There are a few different types, and the content of your thesis statement will depend upon the type of paper you’re writing.
Key Takeaways: Writing a Thesis Statement
- A thesis statement gives your reader a preview of your paper's content by laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
- Thesis statements will vary depending on the type of paper you are writing, such as an expository essay, argument paper, or analytical essay.
- Before creating a thesis statement, determine whether you are defending a stance, giving an overview of an event, object, or process, or analyzing your subject
Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples
An expository essay "exposes" the reader to a new topic; it informs the reader with details, descriptions, or explanations of a subject. If you are writing an expository essay , your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example:
- The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.
- Gun-related homicides and suicides are increasing after years of decline.
- Hate crimes have increased three years in a row, according to the FBI.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
These statements provide a statement of fact about the topic (not just opinion) but leave the door open for you to elaborate with plenty of details. In an expository essay, you don't need to develop an argument or prove anything; you only need to understand your topic and present it in a logical manner. A good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details.
Types of Thesis Statements
Before creating a thesis statement, it's important to ask a few basic questions, which will help you determine the kind of essay or paper you plan to create:
- Are you defending a stance in a controversial essay ?
- Are you simply giving an overview or describing an event, object, or process?
- Are you conducting an analysis of an event, object, or process?
In every thesis statement , you will give the reader a preview of your paper's content, but the message will differ a little depending on the essay type .
Argument Thesis Statement Examples
If you have been instructed to take a stance on one side of a controversial issue, you will need to write an argument essay . Your thesis statement should express the stance you are taking and may give the reader a preview or a hint of your evidence. The thesis of an argument essay could look something like the following:
- Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways.
- The exploration of outer space is a waste of money; instead, funds should go toward solving issues on Earth, such as poverty, hunger, global warming, and traffic congestion.
- The U.S. must crack down on illegal immigration.
- Street cameras and street-view maps have led to a total loss of privacy in the United States and elsewhere.
These thesis statements are effective because they offer opinions that can be supported by evidence. If you are writing an argument essay, you can craft your own thesis around the structure of the statements above.
Analytical Essay Thesis Statement Examples
In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece. Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include:
- The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 (" The First Step Act ") aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.
- The rise in populism and nationalism in the U.S. and European democracies has coincided with the decline of moderate and centrist parties that have dominated since WWII.
- Later-start school days increase student success for a variety of reasons.
Because the role of the thesis statement is to state the central message of your entire paper, it is important to revisit (and maybe rewrite) your thesis statement after the paper is written. In fact, it is quite normal for your message to change as you construct your paper.
Watch Now: How to Write and Effective Thesis
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Example: Improved thesis statement on the invention of braille The invention of braille transformed the lives of blind people in the 19th century, but its success depended on mainstream acceptance by sighted teachers, and this process was shaped by debates about disabled people’s place in society.
Thesis statement examples Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able... Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students... School Uniforms School uniforms may ...
15 Thesis Statement Examples. Below are 15 debatable, supportable, and focused thesis statements for you to learn from. Feel free to customize them for use in your own argumentative essay. As you read the following examples, be careful not to use these thesis statements word-for-word.
Example of an analytical thesis statement: An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds. The paper that follows should: Explain the analysis of the college admission process.
Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.
Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money.
Thesis Statement Examples for Persuasive Essay Baseball is a more exciting, revitalizing, and captivating sport played between two opposing teams. Jelly and bean sandwiches are the best type of sandwiches because they are easy to make, handle, and taste good.
Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include: The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 ("The First Step Act") aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.