Any academic paper needs a central idea, which is usually expressed while writing a thesis statement. However, crafting one might be a real challenge for a student. No wonder: a thesis statement should convey the idea of the entire paper in a clear, engaging, and laconic manner, which is especially uneasy if your work is 5+ pages long. At the same time, a thesis statement plays a huge role in any assignment: it guides your readers throughout your main ideas and how you defend them. Let’s discuss the peculiarities of this text element and reveal some tips on how to create a winning one.
The goal of a thesis statement
A thesis statement’s main aim is to organize your entire paper and present your main thought to the audience. As you may know, this statement usually appears at the end of the introduction and takes one or two sentences. It should include an interpretation, claim, or position in a dispute. Later, you will develop this claim through examples and analysis to prove that your argument is valid.
The rest of your paper should support your thesis statement. Maybe, validation of your claim needs logical proof, factual examples, or exposition of your line of thinking. This means that a thesis statement cannot be just an obvious claim. Instead, you are required to deliver a disputable or intriguing fact.
How to develop your argument?
To craft a worthy thesis statement, make sure to follow these hints:
- Analyze sources
What are the main points of the authors? Do you agree with them or not (and why)? Are the authors in conflict? Think about their reasons to make particular claims and reveal their motivations instead of retelling and summarizing ideas.
- Draft your thesis statement
You are not obliged to produce the final version of your thesis from the very beginning of the writing process. Form a draft first and revise it later. You can refine and reformulate your ideas later. Who knows, maybe, you will find a better form after revealing some facts and thinking about them one more time.
- Think about the opposite position
Remember that a good argument always has a counterargument. Think about the other side of the case, and your own claim will become more apparent to you. Also, you may want to use the opposite point of view in your essay to highlight the issue objectively.
Make it straightforward
If your thesis is vague or dry, your readers won’t be motivated to read the paper. Being specific is essential: don’t leave your readers with the “so what” question in their minds. Make your sentence complex and intriguing, give some context, and offer an example of your main point. For instance:
- Weak thesis: There are some negative and positive aspects to the Strawberry Herb Tea Supplement.
This thesis statement is weak because it doesn’t make a factual claim – the words “negative” and “positive” make it blurry and meaningless.
- Strong thesis: Because Strawberry Herb Tea Supplement promotes fast weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it creates a potential risk to customers.
This thesis is specific: it makes a stand and shows the course of the argument.
Remember that a strong thesis is 50% of your paper’s success. Reveal a specific argument, provide examples, and show the scope you are going to grasp further.
Be careful with questions
A claim cannot be a question, which means that you should be very careful when stating your thesis in such a form. Even a rhetorical question that suggests a concrete answer is not always a good idea. You cannot leave your readers wondering about your main claim.
Still, you can use questions in your introduction, but not at the end of the paragraph. A provocative or dubious question might appear at the beginning to grab your readers’ attention and encourage them to stay tuned.
Don’t be aggressive
Sometimes, it is really hard to stay calm and avoid confrontation in your argumentative papers, especially when you work with a topic that makes you emotional. Remember, your task is to prove the point and stay cold-minded – you are not trying to protrude your opinion and force your readers to agree with your claim. If your evidence is strong enough, they will take it into account anyway. After all, you are an academician, so strive to objectivity, facts, statistics, and clarity. Avoid emotions and manipulations.
- Incorrect: Capitalism is a nightmare for every thinking person.
This is not an academic claim.
- Correct: Capitalism promotes the gap between rich and poor increasing even in the world’s richest countries such as the US, and it becomes clear that a capitalist economic system can only result in massive exploitation of the working class.
This claim includes evidence, argument, and an idea to develop.
Avoiding manipulative statements is one of the rules of a correct academic voice. Informally, you may be absolutely against capitalism and find it unfair. However, to make your claim academic, you must add argumentation and explain your position. Focus on logic, causes, and effects instead of emotions.
We hope that most of your questions about thesis statements have vanished into the air now. Keep these tips in mind to make your essays strong and professional! Good luck with your assignments!