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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

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.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. 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?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

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How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

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. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

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. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” 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.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. 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:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

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:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

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.

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. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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How To Write A Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the most important part of an essay. It’s the roadmap, telling the reader what they can expect to read in the rest of paper, setting the tone for the writing, and generally providing a sense of the main idea.

Because it is so important, writing a good thesis statement can be tricky.

Before we get into the specifics, let’s review the basics: what thesis statement means. Thesis is a fancy word for “the subject of an essay” or “a position in a debate.” And a statement , simply, is a sentence (or a couple of sentences).

Taken together, a thesis statement explains your subject or position in a sentence (or a couple of sentences). Depending on the kind of essay you’re writing, you’ll need to make sure that your thesis statement states your subject or position clearly.

While the phrase thesis statement can sound intimidating, the basic goal is to clearly state your topic or your argument . Easy peasy!

The basic rules for writing a thesis statement are:

  • State the topic or present your argument.
  • Summarize the main idea of each of your details and/or body paragraphs.
  • Keep your statement to one to two sentences.

Now comes the good stuff: the breakdown of how to write a good thesis statement for an informational essay and then for an argumentative essay (Yes, there are different types of thesis statements: check them all out here ). While the approach is similar for each, they require slightly different statements.

Informational essay thesis statements

The objective of an informational essay is to inform your audience about a specific topic. Sometimes, your essay will be in response to a specific question. Other times, you will be given a subject to write about more generally.

In an informational essay , you are not arguing for one side of an argument, you are just providing information.

Essays that are responding to a question

Often, you will be provided with a question to respond to in informational essay form. For example:

  • Who is your hero and why?
  • How do scientists research the effects of zero gravity on plants?
  • What are the three branches of government, and what do each of them do?

If you are given a question or prompt, use it as a starting point for your thesis statement. Remember, the goal of a thesis statement in an informational essay is to state your topic.

You can use some of the same vocabulary and structure from the questions to create a thesis statement. Drop the question words (like who , what , when , where , and why ). Then, use the keywords in the question or prompt to start your thesis statement. Be sure to include because if the question asks “why?”

Check out the following example using the first prompt:

Original question : Who is your hero and why? Drop the question words : Who is your hero and why? Answer the question using the key words : My hero is Amelia Earhart, because she was very brave, did things many women of her time did not do, and was a hard worker.

If we were to write the rest of the essay based on this thesis statement, the outline would look something like this:

Introduction : My hero is Amelia Earhart, because she was very brave, did things many women of her time did not do, and was a hard worker. Body paragraph 1 : Details about how Amelia Earhart was brave Body paragraph 2 : Details about how she did things many women of her time did not do Body paragraph 3 : Details about how she was a hard worker Conclusion:  It is clear that Amelia Earhart was a brave woman who accomplished many things that women of her time did not do, and always worked hard. These are the reasons why she is my hero.

These general guidelines work for other thesis statements, with some minor differences.

Essays that are responding to a statement or given subject

If you aren’t given a specific question to respond to, it can be a little more difficult to decide on a thesis statement. However, there are some tricks you can use to make it easier.

Some examples of prompts that are not questions are:

  • Write about your favorite sports team.
  • Describe how a motor works.
  • Pick a famous scientist and write about their life.
  • Compare and contrast the themes of a poem and a short story.

For these, we recommend using one of the following sentence starters to write your thesis with:

  • In this essay, I will …
  • [Subject] is interesting/relevant/my favorite because …
  • Through my research, I learned that …

As an example of how to use these sentence starters, we’ve put together some examples using the first prompt: Write about your favorite sports team.

  • In this essay, I will describe the history and cultural importance of the Pittsburgh Steelers, my favorite sports team.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite because they have had a lasting impact on the history and culture of the city.
  • Through my research, I learned that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had a lot of influence on the history and culture of Pittsburgh.

Any one of these thesis statements (or all three!) could be used for an informational essay about the Pittsburgh Steelers football team and their impact on the history and culture of Pittsburgh.

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Argumentative essay thesis statements

The basic building blocks of an informational essay also apply when it comes to an argumentative essay . However, an argumentative essay requires that you take a position on an issue or prompt.

You then have to attempt to persuade your reader that your argument is the best. That means that your argumentative thesis statement needs to do two things:

  • State your position on the issue.
  • Summarize the evidence you will be using to defend your position.

Some examples of argumentative essay prompts are:

  • Should high school students be required to do volunteer work? Why or why not?
  • What is the best way to cook a turkey?
  • Some argue that video games are bad for society. Do you agree? Why or why not?

In order to create a good thesis statement for an argumentative essay, you have to be as specific as possible about your position and your evidence. Let’s take a look at the first prompt as an example:

Prompt 1: Should high school students be required to do volunteer work? Why or why not? Bad thesis statement: No, I don’t think high school students should be required to do volunteer work because it’s boring. Good thesis statement: I think high school students should not be required to do volunteer work because it takes time away from their studies, provides more barriers to graduation, and does not encourage meaningful volunteer work.

Let’s look at a couple other examples:

Prompt 2: What is the best way to cook a turkey? Bad thesis statement:  The best way to cook a turkey is the way my grandma does it. Good thesis statement:  The best way to cook a turkey is using my grandmother’s recipe: brining the turkey beforehand, using a dry rub, and cooking at a low temperature.

Prompt 3: Some argue that video games are bad for society. Do you agree? Why or why not? Bad thesis   statement:  Video games aren’t bad for society, because they’re super fun. Good thesis statement:  Video games aren’t bad for society because they encourage cooperation, teach problem-solving skills, and provide hours of cheap entertainment.

Do you notice the difference between the good thesis statements and the bad thesis statements? The bad statements are general, not specific. They also use very casual language. The good statements clearly lay out exactly what aspects of the argument your essay will focus on, in a professional manner.

By the way, this same principle can also be applied to informational essay thesis statements. Take a look at this example for an idea:

Prompt:  What are the three branches of government, and what do each of them do? Bad thesis statement:  There are many branches of government that do many different things. Good thesis statement:  Each of the three branches of government—the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—have different primary responsibilities. However, these roles frequently overlap.

In addition to being more specific than the bad thesis statement, the good thesis statement here is an example of how sometimes your thesis statement may require two sentences.

Final thoughts

A thesis statement is the foundation of your essay. However, sometimes as you’re writing, you find that you’ve deviated from your original statement. Once you’ve finished writing your essay, go back and read your thesis statement. Ask yourself:

  • Does my thesis statement state the topic and/or my position?
  • Does my thesis statement refer to the evidence or details I refer to in my essay?
  • Is my thesis statement clear and easy to understand?

Don’t hesitate to edit your thesis statement if it doesn’t meet all three of these criteria. If it does, great! You’ve crafted a solid thesis statement that effectively guides the reader through your work. Now on to the rest of the essay!

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How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.

Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused. Since a thesis is so important, it’s probably a good idea to look at some tips on how to put together a strong one.

Guide Overview

What is a “thesis statement” anyway.

  • 2 categories of thesis statements: informative and persuasive
  • 2 styles of thesis statements
  • Formula for a strong argumentative thesis
  • The qualities of a solid thesis statement (video)

You may have heard of something called a “thesis.” It’s what seniors commonly refer to as their final paper before graduation. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That type of thesis is a long, well-written paper that takes years to piece together.

Instead, we’re talking about a single sentence that ties together the main idea of any argument . In the context of student essays, it’s a statement that summarizes your topic and declares your position on it. This sentence can tell a reader whether your essay is something they want to read.

2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive

Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay.

For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.

To make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments.

This thesis showed the reader the topic (a type of sandwich) and the direction the essay will take (describing how the sandwich is made).

Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.

In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.

2 Styles of Thesis Statements

Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.

The first style uses a list of two or more points . This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments.

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the richest works of the 20th century because it offers an escape from reality, teaches readers to have faith even when they don’t understand, and contains a host of vibrant characters.

In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay.

In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into.

Good vs. evil is the main theme of Lewis’s Narnia series, as is made clear through the struggles the main characters face in each book.

In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. The broader scope of this thesis allows me to write about each of the series’ seven novels. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.

Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis

One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:

___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:

___________________ is true because of _____________________.

Students usually end up using different terminology than simply “because,” but having a template is always helpful to get the creative juices flowing.

The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement

When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.

Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.

Position: A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences.

Strength: Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.

Example of weak thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.

Most people would agree that PB&J is one of the easiest sandwiches in the American lunch repertoire.

Example of a stronger thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.

This is more arguable because there are plenty of folks who might think a PB&J is messy or slimy rather than fun.

Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay. However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think.

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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

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What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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How to write a thesis statement for a research paper

How to write a thesis statement

The thesis statement is the central argument of your research paper makes and serves as a roadmap for the entire essay. Therefore, writing a strong thesis statement is essential for crafting a successful research paper—but it can also be one of the most challenging aspects of the writing process. In this post, we discuss strategies for creating a quality thesis statement.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is the main argument of an academic essay or research paper . It states directly what you plan to argue in the paper.

A thesis statement is typically a single sentence, but it can be longer depending on the length and type of paper that you’re writing.

How to write a good thesis statement

In this section, we outline five key tips for writing a good thesis statement. If you’re struggling to come up with a research topic or a thesis, consider asking your instructor or a librarian for additional assistance.

1. Start with a question

A good thesis statement should be an answer to a research question. Start by asking a question about your topic that you want to address in your paper. This will help you focus your research and give your paper direction. The thesis statement should be a concise answer to this question.

Your research question should not be too broad or narrow. If the question is too broad, you may not be able to answer it effectively. If the question is too narrow, you may not have enough material to write a complete research paper. As a result, it’s important to strike a balance between a question that is too broad and one that is too narrow.

Thesis statements always respond to an existing scholarly conversation; so, formulate your research question and thesis in response to a current debate. Are there gaps in the current research? Where might your argument intervene?

2. Be specific

Your thesis statement should be specific and precise. It should clearly state the main point that you will be arguing in your paper. Avoid vague or general statements that are not arguable (see below). The more specific your thesis statement is, the easier it will be to write your paper.

To make your thesis statement specific, focus on a particular aspect of your topic. For example, if your topic is about the effects of social media on mental health, you can focus on a specific age group or a particular social media platform.

3. Make it debatable

A good thesis statement must be debatable (otherwise, it’s not actually an argument). It should present an argument that can be supported with evidence. Avoid statements that are purely factual or descriptive. Your thesis statement should take a position on a topic and argue for its validity.

4. Use strong language

Use strong, definitive language in your thesis statement. Try to avoid sounding tentative or uncertain. Your thesis statement should be confident and assertive, and it should clearly state your position on the topic.

It’s a myth that you can’t use “I” in an academic paper, so consider constructing your thesis statement in the form of “I argue that…” This conveys a strong and firm position.

To help make your thesis more assertive, avoid using vague language. For example, instead of writing, "I think social media has a negative impact on mental health," you might write, "Social media has a negative impact on mental health" or “I argue that social media has a negative impact on mental health.”

5. Revise and refine

Finally, remember that your thesis statement is not set in stone. You may need to revise, and refine, it as you conduct your research and write your paper. Don't be afraid to make changes to your thesis statement as you go along.

As you conduct your research and write your paper, you may discover new information that requires you to adjust your thesis statement. Or, as you work through a second draft, you might find that you’ve actually argued something different than you intended. Therefore, it is important to be flexible and open to making changes to your thesis statement.

The bottom line

Remember that your thesis statement is the foundation of your paper, so it's important to spend time crafting it carefully. A solid thesis enables you to write a research paper that effectively communicates your argument to your readers.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to create a thesis statement

Here is an example of a thesis statement: “I argue that social media has a negative impact on mental health.”

A good thesis statement should be an answer to a research question. Start by asking a question about your topic that you want to answer in your paper. The thesis statement should be a concise answer to this question.

Start your thesis statement with the words, “I argue that…” This conveys a strong and firm position.

A strong thesis is a direct, 1-2 sentence statement of your paper’s main argument. Good thesis statements are specific, balanced, and formed in response to an ongoing scholarly conversation.

How to write a research paper

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25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze

JBirdwellBranson

Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement.

Let's take a minute to first understand what makes a solid thesis statement, and what key components you need to write one of your own.

Perfecting Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement always goes at the beginning of the paper. It will typically be in the first couple of paragraphs of the paper so that it can introduce the body paragraphs, which are the supporting evidence for your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can't just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute . An ineffective thesis statement would be, "Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it." This isn't really something that's a debatable topic.

Something that would be more debatable would be, "A puppy's cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness." These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they're really soft and fuzzy.

All cuteness aside, you want to make sure that your thesis statement is not only debatable, but that it also actually thoroughly answers the research question that was posed. You always want to make sure that your evidence is supporting a claim that you made (and not the other way around). This is why it's crucial to read and research about a topic first and come to a conclusion later. If you try to get your research to fit your thesis statement, then it may not work out as neatly as you think. As you learn more, you discover more (and the outcome may not be what you originally thought).

Additionally, your thesis statement shouldn't be too big or too grand. It'll be hard to cover everything in a thesis statement like, "The federal government should act now on climate change." The topic is just too large to actually say something new and meaningful. Instead, a more effective thesis statement might be, "Local governments can combat climate change by providing citizens with larger recycling bins and offering local classes about composting and conservation." This is easier to work with because it's a smaller idea, but you can also discuss the overall topic that you might be interested in, which is climate change.

So, now that we know what makes a good, solid thesis statement, you can start to write your own. If you find that you're getting stuck or you are the type of person who needs to look at examples before you start something, then check out our list of thesis statement examples below.

Thesis statement examples

A quick note that these thesis statements have not been fully researched. These are merely examples to show you what a thesis statement might look like and how you can implement your own ideas into one that you think of independently. As such, you should not use these thesis statements for your own research paper purposes. They are meant to be used as examples only.

  • Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
  • Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don't forget what they've learned throughout the school year.
  • School Uniforms School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
  • Populism The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Public Libraries Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
  • Cyber Bullying With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyber bullying is on the rise. Cyber bullying puts a lot of stress on many teens, and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smart phones, monitor their children's online activity, and report any cyber bullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
  • Medical Marijuana for Veterans Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them re-integrate back into civilian life.
  • Work-Life Balance Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
  • Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age appropriate lessons.
  • Whether or Not to Attend University A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and a future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a "gap year" where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
  • Studying Abroad Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
  • Women's Body Image Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman's body image collectively as a culture.
  • Cigarette Tax Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn't deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
  • Veganism A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
  • University Athletes Should be Compensated University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighborhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
  • Women in the Workforce Sheryl Sandberg makes a lot of interesting points in her best-selling book, Lean In , but she only addressed the very privileged working woman and failed to speak to those in lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs.
  • Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide should be legal and doctors should have the ability to make sure their patients have the end-of-life care that they want to receive.
  • Celebrity and Political Activism Although Taylor Swift's lyrics are indicative of a feminist perspective, she should be more politically active and vocal to use her position of power for the betterment of society.
  • The Civil War The insistence from many Southerners that the South seceded from the Union for states' rights versus the fact that they seceded for the purposes of continuing slavery is a harmful myth that still affects race relations today.
  • Blue Collar Workers Coal miners and other blue-collar workers whose jobs are slowly disappearing from the workforce should be re-trained in jobs in the technology sector or in renewable energy. A program to re-train these workers would not only improve local economies where jobs have been displaced, but would also lead to lower unemployment nationally.
  • Diversity in the Workforce Having a diverse group of people in an office setting leads to richer ideas, more cooperation, and more empathy between people with different skin colors or backgrounds.
  • Re-Imagining the Nuclear Family The nuclear family was traditionally defined as one mother, one father, and 2.5 children. This outdated depiction of family life doesn't quite fit with modern society. The definition of normal family life shouldn't be limited to two-parent households.
  • Digital Literacy Skills With more information readily available than ever before, it's crucial that students are prepared to examine the material they're reading and determine whether or not it's a good source or if it has misleading information. Teaching students digital literacy and helping them to understand the difference between opinion or propaganda from legitimate, real information is integral.
  • Beauty Pageants Beauty pageants are presented with the angle that they empower women. However, putting women in a swimsuit on a stage while simultaneously judging them on how well they answer an impossible question in a short period of time is cruel and purely for the amusement of men. Therefore, we should stop televising beauty pageants.
  • Supporting More Women to Run for a Political Position In order to get more women into political positions, more women must run for office. There must be a grassroots effort to educate women on how to run for office, who among them should run, and support for a future candidate for getting started on a political career.

Still stuck? Need some help with your thesis statement?

If you are still uncertain about how to write a thesis statement or what a good thesis statement is, be sure to consult with your teacher or professor to make sure you're on the right track. It's always a good idea to check in and make sure that your thesis statement is making a solid argument and that it can be supported by your research.

After you're done writing, it's important to have someone take a second look at your paper so that you can ensure there are no mistakes or errors. It's difficult to spot your own mistakes, which is why it's always recommended to have someone help you with the revision process, whether that's a teacher, the writing center at school, or a professional editor such as one from ServiceScape .

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Examples logo

Good Thesis Statement Examples, How to Write, Tips

Good thesis statement examples

Crafting a compelling thesis statement is pivotal in guiding your audience through the heart of your argument. Whether you’re a budding writer or an academic veteran, diving into exemplary thesis statements can refine your understanding and elevate your writing prowess. This guide showcases sterling examples, offers step-by-step writing insights, and provides invaluable tips, ensuring that your thesis statement stands tall with clarity, precision, and confidence.

What is an Example of Good Thesis Statement?

A good thesis statement clearly conveys the main argument or point of a paper and gives direction to the content that follows. Here’s an example of a good thesis statement:

“In William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, the ambition of the main character acts as a double-edged sword, driving him to achieve power at any cost, yet simultaneously leading to his tragic downfall.”

This statement provides a clear position on the role of ambition in the play, setting the stage for a detailed analysis of Macbeth’s character and the play’s themes.

100 Good Thesis Statement Examples

good thesis statement examples

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A thesis statement is the cornerstone of academic writing. It encapsulates the main argument or point of a paper in a concise manner. A well-crafted thesis provides direction for the content and signals to the reader what to expect. Here are 100 examples of good thesis statements to inspire your own academic endeavors.

  • “The advancement of internet technology has revolutionized modern communication, leading to numerous societal changes, including a more interconnected world and the rise of telecommuting.”
  • “Climate change poses a severe threat to global ecosystems, necessitating immediate and substantive action to mitigate its destructive impacts.”
  • “The portrayal of women in classic literature often reflects societal norms of their time, offering insights into gender roles and societal expectations.”
  • “While many view animal testing as a necessary evil, alternative methods can and should be developed to reduce the reliance on animal cruelty.”
  • “The impact of the Industrial Revolution extended beyond economics, reshaping societal structures, living conditions, and even art.”
  • “The rise of fast food has played a significant role in the obesity epidemic facing many developed nations.”
  • “The ‘American Dream’ in Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ underscores the illusion of prosperity and the decay of moral values in the Roaring Twenties.”
  • “Children exposed to violent video games are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, underscoring the need for parental guidance.”
  • “The effects of social media on mental health, particularly among adolescents, is a growing concern that warrants in-depth research and awareness campaigns.”
  • “The colonization of Africa had long-lasting effects, including cultural assimilation, resource exploitation, and the reshaping of geopolitical boundaries.”
  • “Digital currencies, like Bitcoin, present both significant potential for reshaping global finance and inherent risks related to regulation and stability.”
  • “The Renaissance period, while renowned for its artistic achievements, also laid the groundwork for scientific discoveries and the spirit of inquiry.”
  • “Adopting a plant-based diet not only promotes personal health but also significantly reduces one’s carbon footprint.”
  • “In George Orwell’s ‘1984’, the omnipresent surveillance state serves as a chilling commentary on government overreach and the dangers of unchecked power.”
  • “Education reform is essential in addressing systemic inequalities and ensuring every student has access to quality learning.”
  • “The use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, is imperative in combating the detrimental effects of fossil fuels.”
  • “The character of Hamlet explores the complex interplay between madness and sanity, revealing deep insights into human nature.”
  • “Urbanization, while driving economic growth, also presents challenges like increased pollution and strains on public infrastructure.”
  • “Migration patterns in the 21st century are heavily influenced by geopolitical unrest, economic disparities, and climate change.”
  • “Childhood vaccinations are crucial in preventing deadly diseases and ensuring the overall health of a community.
  • “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not merely a moral obligation but a strategic move that can provide companies with a competitive edge in the modern business environment.”
  • “Despite the advent of e-books and digital reading platforms, physical books remain significant due to their tangible nature and the immersive reading experience they offer.”
  • “The prohibition era in the U.S. illustrates the unintended consequences of policies that don’t consider societal behaviors and demands.”
  • “Despite its controversial nature, stem cell research holds the key to potential cures for terminal diseases and understanding cellular growth.”
  • “Modern education needs to incorporate more emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving rather than rote memorization.”
  • “The cultural and societal implications of artificial intelligence will be as impactful, if not more, than its technological advancements.”
  • “Language evolves over time, reflecting societal changes, migrations, and cultural mergers, and it’s essential to study these shifts to understand societies better.”
  • “Marketing in the age of social media requires a shift from traditional strategies to a more interactive and customer-centric approach.”
  • “Elderly populations in developed countries are on the rise, necessitating a comprehensive approach to geriatric care and social support systems.”
  • “While globalization has led to more interconnected economies and cultures, it has also resulted in significant cultural homogenization and loss of local identities.”
  • “Mental health, once a taboo subject, requires increased awareness and resources, given its impact on overall health, productivity, and societal well-being.”
  • “Space exploration, beyond its scientific implications, has profound effects on how humans perceive themselves in the universe.”
  • “The concept of heroism in literature has evolved, reflecting societies’ changing values, moral codes, and perceptions of heroics.”
  • “Dietary habits are deeply interwoven with culture, traditions, and in many cases, religious beliefs, making them more than mere choices of food.”
  • “While urbanization offers numerous opportunities, it also exacerbates challenges like housing shortages, traffic congestion, and environmental pollution.”
  • “The global financial crisis of 2008 underscores the need for transparency, regulation, and ethical considerations in banking and investment sectors.”
  • “Art movements, from Renaissance to Surrealism, reflect more than aesthetic preferences: they mirror political, social, and cultural evolutions of their times.”
  • “The rise of gig economies challenges traditional employment models, necessitating new legal and social frameworks.”
  • “Music’s evolution over the decades is not just a progression of genres but a reflection of societal changes, technological advancements, and cultural shifts.”
  • “The ethics of gene editing, especially CRISPR technology, needs comprehensive debate, considering its profound implications on human evolution and identity.
  • “The emergence of telemedicine, accelerated by the global pandemic, offers a new horizon for healthcare but also prompts significant considerations regarding access, quality, and patient privacy.”
  • “Climate change’s implications stretch beyond environmental degradation, influencing migration patterns, geopolitical tensions, and global economic shifts.”
  • “The Renaissance’s influence isn’t restricted to art and literature but extends to scientific thinking, societal norms, and the evolution of political thought.”
  • “Consumerism’s rise in modern societies doesn’t only influence economies but also molds individual identities, values, and life purposes.”
  • “With rising automation, the definition of work is undergoing a transformation, calling for adaptive educational systems and new social structures.”
  • “Historically, pandemics have reshaped societies, and COVID-19’s impacts will be seen in domains ranging from international relations to local community structures.”
  • “The portrayal of women in media, while slowly changing, has long-term effects on societal gender norms and individual self-perceptions.”
  • “The growing popularity of plant-based diets isn’t merely a health trend but a reflection of increasing environmental awareness and ethical considerations.”
  • “While nuclear energy presents a solution to fossil fuel dependency, it also poses profound ethical, environmental, and geopolitical challenges.”
  • “The transformation of the family unit in contemporary societies reveals broader trends concerning mobility, gender roles, and individualism.”
  • “As cryptocurrencies gain traction, they challenge traditional economic systems, question the role of centralized banks, and redefine value.”
  • “Migration patterns throughout history don’t merely reflect economic pursuits but are intertwined with cultural exchanges, conflict resolutions, and the global shaping of identities.”
  • “The minimalist movement goes beyond aesthetic choices, reflecting a broader societal fatigue with consumerism and a quest for genuine experiences.”
  • “The evolution of fashion isn’t just about changing styles but mirrors societal attitudes, economic conditions, and even political movements.”
  • “Increased screen time among younger generations necessitates a reevaluation of learning models, social interactions, and the definition of community.”
  • “Colonization’s legacies are still evident today, influencing global politics, cultural interactions, and even individual identities.”
  • “The pursuit of happiness in modern societies is increasingly tied to material acquisitions, calling for a reevaluation of values and measures of well-being.”
  • “Water scarcity, an impending global challenge, will dictate geopolitical strategies, economic models, and demand innovative technological solutions.”
  • “Digital privacy concerns in the age of big data don’t just relate to personal safety but challenge fundamental rights and the very nature of democracy.”
  • “Urban green spaces, beyond their environmental benefits, play crucial roles in mental well-being, community building, and fostering biodiversity.
  • “While space exploration heralds new frontiers for humanity, it brings forth ethical, financial, and existential questions that must be addressed.”
  • “The dynamics of global politics are increasingly being shaped by technology, redefining national security, diplomacy, and global citizenry.”
  • “The role of folklore in preserving cultural identities is critical in this era of globalization, aiding in understanding shared human experiences.”
  • “Declining bee populations are not only an environmental concern but an impending economic crisis due to their crucial role in pollination.”
  • “The gig economy, while offering flexibility, poses challenges related to job security, benefits, and the very definition of employment.”
  • “Holistic education goes beyond academics, addressing students’ emotional, social, and physical needs, preparing them for the complexities of modern life.”
  • “Urbanization, while indicative of progress, also brings forth challenges related to sustainability, social disparities, and cultural preservation.”
  • “The resurgence of vinyl in a digital age signifies a longing for tangibility and the intrinsic value of experiences.”
  • “Cultural festivals, beyond their entertainment value, serve as bridges for intercultural understanding, fostering peace and global camaraderie.”
  • “The debate over artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence delves into philosophy, ethics, and the potential redefinition of life itself.”
  • “Genetic editing, while promising medical breakthroughs, also opens Pandora’s box of ethical considerations related to identity, evolution, and societal norms.”
  • “The blending of traditional and western medicine presents opportunities for holistic health solutions, yet raises concerns about authenticity and misuse.”
  • “Mental health awareness in contemporary societies is not just a health concern but an economic, social, and cultural imperative.”
  • “Craftsmanship in the age of mass production celebrates human ingenuity, authenticity, and a counter-narrative to rampant consumerism.”
  • “Language extinction is not merely a linguistic loss but erodes cultural diversity, shared histories, and human perspectives.”
  • “The rise of e-sports challenges traditional definitions of sports, athleticism, and physicality, reflecting shifts in entertainment and cultural values.”
  • “The ocean’s depths, less explored than outer space, harbor potential solutions to medical, technological, and environmental challenges.”
  • “Plant consciousness, while scientifically controversial, encourages a reevaluation of life, inter-species relationships, and our role in the ecosystem.”
  • “The philosophy of minimalism, in contrast to modern excess, suggests a life of purpose, clarity, and sustainable choices.”
  • “Architectural trends, like the tiny house movement, reflect evolving societal values concerning sustainability, materialism, and the concept of home.
  • “The growing popularity of farm-to-table dining isn’t just a culinary trend, but a statement on sustainability, locality, and the personal connection to food sources.”
  • “The proliferation of digital detox retreats illustrates society’s increasing acknowledgment of technology’s impact on mental well-being and the yearning for authentic human interactions.”
  • “Rise of homeschooling, propelled by customizable learning experiences, showcases an evolution in educational philosophies and parental roles in a child’s academic journey.”
  • “The interest in ancestral DNA testing unveils an intrinsic human desire to understand one’s origins, identity, and the interconnectedness of cultures.”
  • “Virtual reality, while a technological marvel, forces us to confront and redefine our understanding of experiences, relationships, and reality itself.”
  • “Solar energy’s ascension isn’t merely about environmental conservation; it’s a testament to human adaptability and the pivot towards sustainable choices.”
  • “Revival of handwritten letters in the digital age signifies a desire for personal connection, authenticity, and the tangible amidst the ephemeral.”
  • “Shifts in fashion towards gender-neutral clothing reflect broader societal conversations around gender identities, fluidity, and the deconstruction of stereotypes.”
  • “The embrace of urban farming in metropolises worldwide underscores the importance of sustainability, self-sufficiency, and reconnection with nature even within urban landscapes.”
  • “The growing trend of unplugged weddings emphasizes the importance of being present, cherishing moments, and prioritizing personal connections over digital documentation.”
  • “The movement towards ethical consumerism isn’t just a shopping trend; it’s a societal shift towards responsibility, awareness, and the power of collective impact.”
  • “The resurgence of board games in an era dominated by video games underscores the human need for direct interaction, strategy, and tactile experiences.”
  • “Sustainable tourism is not merely an industry response; it’s a commitment to preserving culture, environment, and ensuring mutual respect between travelers and local communities.”
  • “Intergenerational living, or multiple generations under one roof, challenges the conventional Western living standards and underscores the importance of family, shared responsibilities, and cultural preservation.”
  • “The adoption of adult coloring books highlights the universal need for creative outlets, mindfulness, and the therapeutic value of art.”
  • “The zero-waste movement is more than an environmental initiative; it’s a global call to action, emphasizing individual responsibility and systemic change.”
  • “The increasing importance given to soft skills in professional settings speaks to the evolving understanding of holistic employee value, team dynamics, and long-term organizational success.”
  • “The preference for experiences over possessions among younger generations challenges materialistic values and emphasizes the impermanence and value of memories.”
  • “The rise of artisanal and handcrafted goods counters the age of mass production and highlights the appreciation for uniqueness, tradition, and human touch.”
  • “The embrace of slow living in fast-paced societies underscores the yearning for mindfulness, purpose, and the significance of life’s simple pleasures.

Good Thesis Statement Starter Examples

Beginning a thesis statement requires a concise premise that draws the reader’s attention. Here are examples that illustrate how to commence your thesis effectively:

  • “First and foremost, urban development…”
  • “At the core of this argument, environmental conservation…”
  • “Central to this discussion, global economic trends…”
  • “Fundamentally, artistic expression…”
  • “The primary consideration, ethical consumption…”
  • “An essential perspective, child development…”
  • “At the heart of the matter, digital communication…”
  • “Rooted in historical context, the Renaissance era…”
  • “Pivotal to this debate, the role of artificial intelligence…”
  • “Integral to this analysis, cultural integration…”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper

A thesis statement for research paper demands a clear, specific, and thought-provoking thesis. Here are suitable examples:

  • “Recent studies on climate change demonstrate the dire need for renewable energy transition.”
  • “Neurological research reveals that bilingualism significantly impacts cognitive ability.”
  • “Archaeological evidence from the Mediterranean supports the existence of matriarchal societies in ancient times.”
  • “Data-driven marketing strategies have revolutionized e-commerce and consumer behavior.”
  • “A review of mental health studies shows a strong correlation between social media usage and anxiety among teenagers.”
  • “Genetic research indicates certain mutations as predictive markers for specific cancers.”
  • “Recent advancements in AI are tracing the line between human intelligence and machine learning.”
  • “Microplastics in marine ecosystems have a detrimental effect, as indicated by recent oceanographic research.”
  • “Quantitative analysis of global trade indicates a shift towards service-oriented economies.”
  • “Cultural anthropology studies reveal the importance of oral narratives in indigenous societies.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Essays

Crafting a thesis for essays involves capturing the essence of your narrative or argument. Here are examples:

  • “Modern parenting challenges differ significantly from those of a generation ago, especially with the rise of technology.”
  • “Nostalgia, while a comforting emotion, can sometimes prevent progress and keep us anchored to the past.”
  • “The introduction of digital reading is redefining the experience of literature.”
  • “Despite its challenges, traveling solo can be an enlightening and transformative experience.”
  • “Embracing minimalism can lead to a more fulfilling and less cluttered life.”
  • “The transition from childhood to adulthood is marked by significant emotional, social, and psychological changes.”
  • “A vegan lifestyle, beyond dietary preferences, represents a choice for health and ethical practices.”
  • “Cultural festivals, more than celebrations, are reflections of identity, heritage, and community bonding.”
  • “Design, in its essence, isn’t just about aesthetics, but about function, purpose, and intuition.”
  • “Music transcends languages, bridging gaps, and resonating emotions universally.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay’s thesis statement should clearly state your position. Here are solid stances:

  • “Compulsory voting ensures a democratic process that truly reflects a nation’s collective decision.”
  • “While technology has its advantages, it cannot replace the value of traditional classroom learning.”
  • “Animal testing is not only ethically problematic but also scientifically limited and should be replaced with alternative methods.”
  • “Legalizing marijuana can provide significant economic benefits and reduce crime rates.”
  • “Censorship, under the guise of protection, can often stifle creativity and freedom of expression.”
  • “Childhood vaccinations should be mandatory, given their crucial role in preventing outbreaks and ensuring public health.”
  • “Fast fashion is not only environmentally harmful but also promotes unethical labor practices.”
  • “Privacy in the digital age is not a luxury but a fundamental human right that needs stringent protection.”
  • “While sports promote discipline and teamwork, an undue emphasis on winning can deter the essence of play.”
  • “Capital punishment, despite its deterrent effect, raises ethical dilemmas and should be reconsidered.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and contrast essays require a clear delineation between two subjects. Here are examples that set the stage:

  • “While both classical and modern music have their merits, they cater to different emotional palettes and generational contexts.”
  • “Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian civilizations, though contemporaries, had distinctly different cultural and architectural achievements.”
  • “Freelancing and traditional employment both have their pros and cons concerning flexibility, job security, and career growth.”
  • “While both Apple and Microsoft have impacted computing, their philosophies, aesthetics, and user experiences differ markedly.”
  • “Renting and buying a home, each have their financial implications, but also offer varying degrees of freedom and permanence.”
  • “Both introversion and extraversion have unique strengths and challenges, influencing how individuals navigate social contexts.”
  • “American football and soccer, while both team sports, have different rules, global reach, and cultural significance.”
  • “While cats are known for their independence, dogs are often appreciated for their loyalty and companionship.”
  • “Novels and short stories, though both literary forms, cater to different attention spans and narrative depths.”
  • “Traditional marketing and digital marketing, while aiming for the same goal, employ different mediums and strategies.

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Success

Success is multifaceted and personal. These thesis statements delve into various perceptions and interpretations of success:

  • “Success isn’t merely measured by financial wealth but by personal growth and fulfillment.”
  • “True success lies in one’s ability to maintain balance in personal and professional life.”
  • “For many, success is the realization of personal freedom and the ability to dictate one’s own pace of life.”
  • “Modern society often equates success with material possession, overlooking emotional and spiritual well-being.”
  • “The journey, with its challenges and lessons, is as significant as the end-point in defining success.”
  • “Success in academics doesn’t always translate to success in real-life scenarios and vice versa.”
  • “The parameters of success differ across cultures, reflecting diverse values and priorities.”
  • “Individuals who overcome adversity often have a richer understanding of success.”
  • “Long-term contentment and understanding of self are underappreciated markers of success.”
  • “Success isn’t static; its definition evolves with personal experiences and milestones.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for College

College life brings about a plethora of experiences and learnings. These college essay thesis statements shed light on the myriad facets of collegiate life:

  • “College isn’t merely an academic pursuit but a journey of self-discovery and growth.”
  • “The college experience is as much about developing soft skills as it is about academic excellence.”
  • “While college provides a structured learning environment, self-motivation remains a critical determinant of success.”
  • “Extracurricular activities in college play a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s character and perspective.”
  • “The diversity in a college setting fosters cultural appreciation and global-mindedness.”
  • “College debts, while burdensome, are investments in one’s future potential and aspirations.”
  • “Digital advancements have revolutionized the traditional college experience, making education more accessible.”
  • “The challenges faced during college years equip individuals with resilience and adaptability for future endeavors.”
  • “Networking in college can pave the way for professional opportunities and lasting friendships.”
  • “Critical thinking, a skill honed in college, is indispensable in navigating real-world complexities.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Students

Student life is characterized by its challenges, learnings, and milestones. These thesis statements reflect diverse aspects of student experiences:

  • “Balancing academics with extracurriculars equips students with multitasking abilities and time management skills.”
  • “For students, failure can be a profound learning experience, shaping resilience and adaptability.”
  • “Modern students grapple with the pressures of digital distractions and the advantages of technology-enhanced learning.”
  • “International exchange programs provide students with a broader perspective and cultural appreciation.”
  • “Students today are more attuned to global issues, thanks to digital interconnectedness.”
  • “Peer pressure, while often viewed negatively, can also motivate students to excel and set higher benchmarks.”
  • “Real-life education, often neglected in curriculum, is crucial in preparing students for adulthood challenges.”
  • “Active participation in student governance instills leadership qualities and a sense of responsibility.”
  • “Practical internships and workshops complement theoretical knowledge, giving students an edge in professional realms.”
  • “Mental health and well-being are as vital as academic achievements for holistic student development.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About a Person

Thesis statements about individuals shed light on their characteristics, achievements, or significance. Here are some crafted examples:

  • “Nelson Mandela’s resilience against apartheid showcases the power of perseverance in the face of adversity.”
  • “Steve Jobs, beyond his technological innovations, exemplified the essence of visionary leadership and creative thinking.”
  • “Mother Teresa’s life underscores the profound impact of compassion and selflessness in addressing societal challenges.”
  • “Frida Kahlo, through her art, gave voice to pain, love, and the complexities of identity.”
  • “Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence resonates globally, advocating peace over conflict.”
  • “Oprah Winfrey’s journey from adversity to global influence underscores the possibilities of determination and a positive mindset.”
  • “Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath, exemplifies the limitless potential of human curiosity and innovation.”
  • “Malala Yousafzai’s advocacy for girls’ education sheds light on the transformative power of youth activism.”
  • “Elon Musk’s ventures span various industries, reflecting an insatiable quest for innovation and progress.”
  • “Jane Austen, through her novels, offered incisive commentary on society, love, and individuality.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Family

Family forms the foundational fabric of our lives. These thesis statements reflect on its multifaceted nature:

  • “The modern family structure has evolved, reflecting societal changes and diverse cultural norms.”
  • “Families, beyond biological ties, are bound by shared experiences, values, and unconditional support.”
  • “Blended families, with their unique challenges, underscore the universality of love and understanding.”
  • “The role of grandparents in families extends beyond tradition, offering wisdom and timeless bonds.”
  • “In the digital age, maintaining familial connections requires conscious efforts amidst technological distractions.”
  • “The dynamics of sibling relationships play a pivotal role in shaping individual personalities and perspectives.”
  • “Families act as safe havens, providing emotional anchorage in an unpredictable world.”
  • “The challenges of modern parenting lie in balancing tradition with contemporary realities.”
  • “Familial roles are fluid, constantly adapting to changing life stages and circumstances.”
  • “Family traditions, while reflective of heritage, also evolve, mirroring changing times and values.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Life

Life, with its myriad experiences, offers endless perspectives. These thesis statements delve into its vast expanse:

  • “Life’s unpredictability demands resilience, adaptability, and an undying spirit of exploration.”
  • “Digital advancements, while enhancing life’s quality, also present challenges to genuine human connections.”
  • “The pursuit of happiness in life is a journey of self-discovery, introspection, and meaningful connections.”
  • “Life’s challenges, often viewed as setbacks, are pivotal in shaping character and destiny.”
  • “The essence of life lies in cherishing fleeting moments, recognizing their transient nature.”
  • “Balancing personal aspirations with societal expectations is a recurring challenge in modern life.”
  • “Mindfulness practices, in the hustle of life, offer solace and a deeper connection to the present.”
  • “Life, in its essence, is a continuous learning experience, offering lessons in unexpected places.”
  • “The concept of success in life is personal, reflecting individual goals, values, and benchmarks.”
  • “Life’s beauty lies in its diversity, presenting myriad experiences, emotions, and milestones.

What 3 things should be in a good thesis?

A well-crafted thesis statement serves as the backbone of your paper, providing clarity and direction. For a thesis to be effective, it should possess the following three characteristics:

  • Clear Focus: The thesis should pinpoint a specific idea or argument rather than being overly broad or vague. It should give the reader a clear understanding of what the paper will discuss.
  • Arguable Point: A good thesis often presents an argument that could be challenged. It shouldn’t state a fact but rather a claim that others might dispute.
  • Supporting Evidence or Reasoning: While the thesis statement doesn’t need to list all the supporting points, it should hint at or introduce the line of reasoning you’ll use to back up your claim.

How do you write a catchy thesis statement? – Step by Step Guide

  • Understand the Assignment: Before crafting your thesis, make sure you comprehend the requirements of the assignment. Is it analytical, argumentative, expository, etc.?
  • Research the Topic: A thorough understanding of your subject matter will help you formulate a robust and intriguing thesis. Dive deep into the available literature.
  • Identify a Specific Focus: Narrow down your topic to a specific area of interest or argument.
  • Draft a Preliminary Statement: Begin with a broad thesis statement, which you can refine as you progress.
  • Make it Debatable: Ensure your thesis makes a claim or presents a viewpoint that others could challenge.
  • Keep it Concise: While your thesis should be detailed enough to convey your argument, it should also be succinct and free from unnecessary jargon.
  • Revise and Refine: As you continue your research and start writing, revisit your thesis. Make sure it remains relevant and adjust as necessary for clarity and precision.
  • Seek Feedback: Discuss your thesis with peers, instructors, or mentors to get their insights.
  • Finalize with Confidence: Once you’ve honed your thesis to its best form, confidently place it at the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of the introduction.

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement

  • Position it Right: Typically, the thesis statement should be at the end of your introduction, setting the tone for the rest of the paper.
  • Avoid Ambiguity: Be clear and precise. Vague thesis statements can confuse readers.
  • Stay Away from Clichés: While some generic statements can apply to many topics, they often lack depth and originality.
  • Use Strong Language: Avoid wishy-washy phrases like “I think” or “I believe.” Be assertive in presenting your argument.
  • Stay Relevant: As you progress in your writing, ensure every part of your paper supports or relates back to your thesis.
  • Avoid Superlatives: Words like “best,” “most,” “all,” etc., can make your thesis weaker. Stick to more nuanced language.
  • Revisit Regularly: As your paper evolves, make sure your thesis remains applicable. Adjust if necessary to reflect your paper’s direction.
  • Limit to One or Two Sentences: While this isn’t a strict rule, a concise thesis often makes a stronger point.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: The more you practice writing thesis statements, the better you’ll get at crafting compelling and effective ones.
  • Stay Passionate: If you’re genuinely interested in your thesis, it’ll reflect in your writing, making your entire paper more engaging.

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Thesis Statement Examples

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20+ Thesis Statement Examples for Different Types of Essays?

Published on: Oct 18, 2017

Last updated on: Dec 30, 2023

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Are you finding it tough to come up with a strong thesis statement? Well, you're not alone! 

Creating a short and clear thesis statement might seem tricky, but it's a really important part of your essays and research papers. It's like the main message of your whole paper in just one sentence. 

But don't worry, we're here to help. In this blog, we've gathered over 20 examples of different kinds of essays. These examples will show you exactly how to do it. 

So, let's dive in and read on to learn more.

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Thesis Statement Examples for Different Essay Types

A thesis statement is like the central message of your essay. It states the main claim along with the reason or rationale that supports the claim. It's a single sentence that sums up what your essay is all about. 

When someone reads your essay, they should know from the thesis statement what your essay is trying to prove or explain. 

Now, in some cases, like more complex essays or research papers, you might use a three-point thesis statement. This means your thesis statement has not just one, but three main ideas or arguments that your essay will explore.

Here are some good thesis statement examples for the common types of essays:

Argumentative Thesis Statement Examples

An argumentative essay persuades by presenting evidence on a debatable topic. Here is what a thesis statement looks like for an argumentative essay:

Claim + Reasons/Evidence

Here are argumentative essay thesis statement examples:

  • "Social media negatively impacts mental health by fostering excessive comparison and cyberbullying, leading to increased stress and anxiety among users."
  • "Stricter gun control laws are necessary to reduce firearm-related violence in our society, as evidenced by lower rates of gun violence in countries with stringent gun control measures and the potential to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from acquiring firearms."

Informative Thesis Statement Examples

An informative essay educates by presenting facts and details on a specific topic. The thesis statement typically takes this form:

Topic + Main Points

Here are informative essay thesis statement examples:

  • "The history, symptoms, and available treatments for diabetes provide essential knowledge for individuals managing this chronic condition."
  • "Exploring the causes, effects, and preventive measures of climate change sheds light on the urgent need for global environmental action."

Literary Analysis Thesis Statement Examples

In a literary analysis essay , the writer examines a specific element of a literary work. The thesis statement for literary analysis generally follows this structure:

Analysis of Element in Literary Work + Significance

Here are literary analysis thesis statement examples:

  • "The symbolism of the 'green light' in 'The Great Gatsby' represents Gatsby's unattainable American Dream and the disillusionment of the Jazz Age."
  • "Examining the character of Macbeth's descent into madness in 'Macbeth' reveals the tragic consequences of unchecked ambition in Shakespearean tragedy."

Analytical Thesis Statement Examples

An analytical essay delves into a topic by evaluating and presenting multiple perspectives. The thesis statement in an analytical essay often appears as:

Topic + Analysis/Examination

Here are analytical essay thesis statement examples:

  • "Analyzing the economic impact of globalization on developing countries reveals both opportunities for growth and potential challenges."
  • "An examination of societal norms in 'The Catcher in the Rye' underscores the alienation experienced by the protagonist, Holden Caulfield."

Expository Thesis Statement Examples

Expository essays aim to explain or inform by providing details and facts on a subject. The typical expository thesis statement format is:

Subject + Key Aspects

Here are expository essay thesis statement examples:

  • "The exploration of the solar system, including the sun, planets, and asteroids, showcases the vastness and complexity of our cosmic neighborhood."
  • "Understanding the process of photosynthesis, its significance in plant growth, and its role in producing oxygen is vital for comprehending Earth's ecosystems."

Cause And Effect Thesis Statement Examples

Cause and effect essays investigate the relationships between events or phenomena. The thesis statement structure in a cause and effect essay is:

Cause + Effect

Here are cause and effect essay thesis statement examples:

  • "The increase in technology usage has led to a decline in face-to-face social interactions among young adults, contributing to feelings of isolation."
  • "The depletion of the ozone layer results in harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the Earth's surface, leading to various environmental and health consequences."

Narrative Thesis Statement Examples

Narrative essays recount personal experiences or stories. The thesis statement in a narrative essay is often shaped as:

Personal Experience/Story + Significance

Here are narrative essay thesis statement examples:

  • "My backpacking adventure through the Appalachian Trail taught me resilience, self-reliance, and a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature."
  • "The story of my grandmother's immigration journey reflects the strength, determination, and sacrifices made by countless immigrants seeking a better life."

Thesis Statement Examples For Opinion Essays

Opinion essays express the author's viewpoint on a particular subject. You can follow this structure to write a thesis statement in an opinion essay:

Topic + Opinion/Position

Here are thesis statement examples for opinion essays:

  • "Universal healthcare is a fundamental right that should be accessible to all citizens, ensuring equitable access to medical services."
  • "The widespread use of technology in education enhances learning opportunities, preparing students for a tech-driven world."

Thesis Statement Examples for Problem Solution Essay

In a problem-solution essay, the writer identifies a specific problem and proposes a viable solution or solutions to address it. The thesis statement in a problem-solution essay typically follows this structure:

Problem + Solution

Here are thesis statement examples for problem solution essays:

  • "The rising prevalence of food insecurity can be mitigated through community-based programs that promote urban farming and food distribution initiatives."
  • "To combat the issue of plastic pollution in oceans, a comprehensive approach involving strict regulations, public awareness campaigns, and sustainable alternatives is necessary."

Thesis Statement Examples for English Essays

English essays encompass a wide range of topics, from literary analysis to language studies. The thesis statement for English essays can take various forms depending on the specific focus of the essay.

Here are thesis statement examples for different types of English essays:

  • For a Literary Analysis Essay: "The use of symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' underscores the theme of societal hypocrisy and the journey of self-redemption."
  • For a Language and Linguistics Essay: "Exploring the evolution of the English language through historical context reveals the influences and transformations that have shaped it into its current form."
  • For a Comparative Literature Essay: "Comparing the themes of love and tragedy in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' and Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' highlights the universal aspects of human emotions."

Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper

A research paper often critically analyzes a specific topic or issue, conducting in-depth exploration and analysis.

While all academic papers require a thesis statement to convey the central message, they differ in scope and depth. 

Research paper thesis statements are broad and involve in-depth research, often including empirical research, while essay thesis statements are shorter and focus on a specific argument.

Here are some examples of research papers of different natures:

  • For an Analytical Research Paper: "An analysis of historical voting patterns reveals shifts in political ideologies over the past century, shedding light on changing voter demographics and their impact on contemporary elections."
  • For an Experimental Research Paper: "Through controlled experiments and statistical analysis, this research examines the effects of a new drug on patients with a specific medical condition, offering insights into its potential for widespread therapeutic use."
  • For a Comparative Research Paper: "This research paper compares and contrasts the educational systems of two countries, Japan and Finland, exploring the factors contributing to their respective success in student performance and learning outcomes."
  • For a Case Study Research Paper: "Through an in-depth case study of a successful tech startup, this research paper analyzes the key factors behind its rapid growth and profitability, offering valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs."

These examples illustrate the diversity of research paper thesis statements, each tailored to the specific focus and methodology of the research.

Elements of a Good Thesis Statement

A strong and clear thesis statement exhibits several crucial elements:

  • Specific Topic: It addresses a well-defined subject or issue.
  • Debatable Stance: The thesis takes a position that can be debated or questioned.
  • Narrow Focus: It doesn't encompass too broad a scope but rather hones in on a specific aspect.
  • Single Central Idea: It conveys a solitary, precise main point.
  • Supportable: It answers the question with evidence, facts, or reasons in the essay.
  • Clear Position: It presents a distinct viewpoint on the topic.

Example of a Good Thesis Statement

"Increasing access to quality education in underserved communities is essential for addressing socio-economic disparities, and this can be achieved through improved school funding, qualified educators, and community involvement."

Here is an analysis of the elements of the above thesis statement example:

This thesis statement exemplifies these elements well. It explicitly addresses the topic of "increasing access to quality education in underserved communities." 

It takes a debatable stance as the strategies for achieving this goal can vary. It narrows the focus by discussing specific solutions: "improved school funding, qualified educators, and community involvement." 

The central idea is that these actions are necessary to address socio-economic disparities through education. While the evidence isn't in the thesis itself, it's implied that the essay will support these claims . The position is clear: these actions are essential. 

Here’s an example of a good thesis statement versus a bad one:

Good Vs. Bad Thesis Statement - MyPerfectWords.com

You now have a wide range of thesis statement examples to learn from. 

But if you're running low on time or confidence, our reliable essay writing service is here to assist you. Our skilled writers can create clear and strong thesis statements in top-notch essays. 

With their experience and expertise, you can be sure you’ll receive original, unique, and quality essays every time. 

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.

A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.

A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.

When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.

Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.

Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.  

Descriptive thesis (not arguable)  

While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence)  

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim  

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim  

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis  

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
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  • How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples

How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

  • Catch your reader’s attention.
  • Give background on your topic.
  • Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

  • Braille was an extremely important invention.
  • The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

  • The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
  • The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

  • Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

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Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

  • Historical, geographical, or social context
  • An outline of the debate you’re addressing
  • A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
  • Definitions of key terms

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

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As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

  • Argumentative
  • Literary analysis

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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  • Appeal to authority fallacy
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Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Cite this Scribbr article

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McCombes, S. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/introduction/

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