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.
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:
- Assertive—a good thesis should take a stand
- Specific—your topic should be narrow, but not too narrow. Your thesis should show exactly what your paper will be about.
- 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
- Expresses one main point (idea)
- 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:
- Do I answer the question?
- Have I taken a position others might challenge? (don’t “shoot fish in a barrel or only state facts)
- Is my thesis specific enough?
- Does my thesis answer the “so what” question?
- Does my essay support my thesis specifically without wandering?
- 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