Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question.For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?
” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific.
Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.[Back to top]Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject.
Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow.
We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.
” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.
The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.[Back to top]Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore.For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate.Here are two thesis statements: This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic.Since body paragraphs for an essay should be centered around one main idea that relates the thesis, creating a clear topic sentence is helpful for both the writer and the reader.Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion.If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements: While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.You start out with a thesis statement like this: This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children.Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it.This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view.A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial.