How to Write a Thesis Statement
Whether you are writing a short essay or a doctoral dissertation, your thesis statement will arguably be the most difficult sentence to formulate. An effective thesis statement states the purpose of the paper and, therefore, functions to control, assert and structure your entire argument. Without a sound thesis, your argument may sound weak, lacking in direction, and uninteresting to the reader.
Start with a question — then make the answer is your thesis
Regardless of how complicated the subject is, almost any thesis can be constructed by answering a question.
- Question: “What are the benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade classroom?”
Thesis: “Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education.”
- Question: “Why is the Mississippi River so important in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn?”
Thesis: “The river comes to symbolize both division and progress, as it separates our characters and country while still providing the best chance for Huck and Jim to get to know one another.”
- Question: “Why do people seem to get angry at vegans, feminists, and other ‘morally righteous’ subgroups?”
Thesis: “Through careful sociological study, we’ve found that people naturally assume that “morally righteous” people look down on them as “inferior,” causing anger and conflict where there generally is none.”