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Thesis Statements

Friday, April 6th, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized, USF Writing Center Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by Karen Langbehn | No Comments »

Thesis statements can be one of the most difficult aspects of writing an essay. Whether you’re working on a rhetorical analysis for your Comp II class, or trying to prepare your masters thesis, a strong thesis statement is a must! Writing Center consultant Jose Aparicio has some great tips below for creating and proofreading the strength of your thesis statement.

Thesis Statements

A thesis controls the paper as the central idea that the whole paper depends.

A thesis answers a question: “What is it I want to say?”

A good thesis is:

  1. Assertive—a good thesis should take a stand
  2. Specific—your topic should be narrow, but not too narrow. Your thesis should show exactly what your paper will be about.
  3. Justifies the discussion—a good thesis answers the “so what?” question. A good thesis engages with a topic and should make readers interested in how you will support your stance
  4. Expresses one main point (idea)
  5. Employs words such as: because, since, although, unless. A good thesis usually has a topic and an important point made about the topic.

When you have a thesis your want to use, proofread it to make sure it’s strong.

Questions to ask yourself about the thesis:

  1. Do I answer the question?
  2. Have I taken a position others might challenge? (don’t “shoot fish in a barrel or only state facts)
  3. Is my thesis specific enough?
  4. Does my thesis answer the “so what” question?
  5. Does my essay support my thesis specifically without wandering?
  6. Does my thesis pass the “how and why” test? If your reader is left asking “how” or “why” then your thesis might be too vague
 

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