The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.

Introduction

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

thesis statement for objective

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

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 for objective

What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the main idea of a paper or an essay. Similar to the statement of the problem in research, it prepares the reader for what is to come and ties together the evidence and examples that are presented and the arguments and claims that are made later. 

A good thesis statement can provoke thought, arouse interest, and is always followed up by exactly what it promises—if the focus or direction of your essay changes over time, you should go back to your statement and adapt it as well so that it clearly reflects what you are explaining or discussing. 

Where does the thesis statement go in my paper?

Your thesis statement should be placed near the end of your introduction—after you have given the reader some background and before you delve into the specific evidence or arguments that support your statement.

these statement example, books on a shelf

Can you give me a thesis statement template?

Depending on the type of essay you are writing, your thesis statement will look different. The important thing is that your statement is specific and clearly states the main idea you want to get across. In the following, we will discuss different types of statements, show you a simple 4-step process for writing an effective thesis statement, and finish off with some not-so-good and good thesis statement examples.

Table of Contents:

  • Types of Thesis Statements
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step 
  • Not-So-Good and Good Thesis Statements 

Types of Thesis Statements 

Depending on whether your paper is analytical, expository, or argumentative, your statement has a slightly different purpose. 

Analytical thesis statements

An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its components, evaluates the pieces, and presents an evaluation of this breakdown to the reader. Such papers can analyze art, music, literature, current or historical events, political ideas, or scientific research. An analytical thesis statement is therefore often the result of such an analysis of, for example, some literary work (“Heathcliff is meant to be seen as a hero rather than a horrible person”) or a process (“the main challenge recruiters face is the balance between selecting the best candidates and hiring them before they are snatched up by competitors”), or even the latest research (“starving yourself will increase your lifespan, according to science”). In the rest of the paper, you then need to explain how you did the analysis that led you to the stated result and how you arrived at your conclusion, by presenting data and evidence.

Expository thesis statements

An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience, such as a historical development, a current phenomenon, or the effect of political intervention. A typical explanatory thesis statement is therefore often a “topic statement” rather than a claim or actual thesis. An expository essay could, for example, explain “where human rights came from and how they changed the world,” or “how students make career choices.” The rest of the paper then needs to present the reader with all the relevant information on the topic, covering all sides and aspects rather than one specific viewpoint.

Argumentative thesis statements

An argumentative paper makes a clear and potentially very subjective claim and follows up with a justification based on evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the author’s claim is true. A thesis statement for such a paper could be that “every student should be required to take a gap year after high school to gain some life experience”, or that “vaccines should be mandatory”. Argumentative thesis statements can be bold, assertive, and one-sided—you have the rest of the paper to convince the reader that you have good reasons to think that way and that maybe they should think like that, too.

How to Write a Thesis Statement Step-by-Step 

If you are not quite sure how you get from a topic to a thesis statement, then follow this simple process—but make sure you know what type of essay you are supposed to write and adapt the steps to the kind of statement you need. 

First , you will have to select a topic . This might have been done for you already if you are writing an essay as part of a class. If not, then make sure you don’t start too general—narrow the subject down to a specific aspect that you can cover in an essay. 

Second , ask yourself a question about your topic, one that you are personally interested in or one that you think your readers might find relevant or interesting. Here, you have to consider whether you are going to explain something to the reader (expository essay) or if you want to put out your own, potentially controversial, opinion and then argue for it in the rest of your (argumentative) essay.

Third , answer the question you raised for yourself, based on the material you have already sifted through and are planning to present to the reader or the opinion you have already formed on the topic. If your opinion changes while working on your essay, which happens quite often, then make sure you come back to this process and adapt your statement.

Fourth and last, reword the answer to your question into a concise statement . You want the reader to know exactly what is coming, and you also want to make it sound as interesting as possible so that they decide to keep reading.

Let’s look at this example process to give you a better idea of how to get from your topic to your statement. Note that this is the development of a thesis statement for an argumentative essay .

  • Choose a specific topic: Covid-19 vaccines 

Narrow it down to a specific aspect: opposition to Covid-19 vaccines

  • Ask a question: Should vaccination against Covid-19 be mandatory?     
  • Answer the question for yourself, by sorting through the available evidence/arguments:

Yes: vaccination protects other, more vulnerable people; vaccination reduces the spread of the disease; herd immunity will allow societies to go back to normal…

No: vaccines can have side-effects in some people; the vaccines have been developed too fast and there might be unknown risks; the government should stay out of personal decisions on people’s health…

  • Form your opinion and reword it into your thesis statement that represents a very short summary of the key points you base your claim on:

While there is some hesitancy around vaccinations against Covid-19, most of the presented arguments revolve around unfounded fears and the individual freedom to make one’s own decisions. Since that freedom is offset by the benefits of mass vaccination, governments should make vaccines mandatory to help societies get back to normal.

This is a good argumentative thesis statement example because it does not just present a fact that everybody knows and agrees on, but a claim that is debatable and needs to be backed up by data and arguments, which you will do in the rest of your essay. You can introduce whatever evidence and arguments you deem necessary in the following—but make sure that all your points lead back to your core claim and support your opinion. This example also answers the question “how long should a thesis statement be?” One or two sentences are generally enough. If your statement is longer, make sure you are not using vague, empty expressions or more words than necessary .

Good and Bad Thesis Statement Examples

Not-so-good thesis statement : Everyone should get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Problem: The statement does not specify why that might be relevant or why people might not want to do it—this is too vague to spark anyone’s interest.

Good : Since the risks of the currently available Covid-19 vaccines are minimal and societal interests outweigh individual freedom, governments should make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.

Not-so-good thesis statement : Binge drinking is bad for your health.

Problem: This is a very broad statement that everyone can agree on and nobody needs to read an article on. You need to specify why anyone would not think that way.

Good : Binge drinking has become a trend among college students. While some argue that it might be better for your health than regular consumption of low amounts of alcohol, science says otherwise.

Not-so-good thesis statement : Learning an instrument can develop a child’s cognitive abilities.

Problem: This is a very weak statement—”can” develop doesn’t tell us whether that is what happens in every child, what kind of effects of music education on cognition we can expect, and whether that has or should have any practical implications. 

Good thesis statement : Music education has many surprising benefits on children’s overall development, including effects on language acquisition, coordination, problem-solving, and even social skills.

You could now present all the evidence on the specific effects of music education on children’s specific abilities in the rest of your (expository) essay. You could also turn this into an argumentative essay, by adding your own opinion to your statement:

Good thesis statement : Considering the many surprising benefits that music education has on children’s overall development, every child should be given the opportunity to learn an instrument as part of their public school education.

Not-so-good thesis statement : Outer space exploration is a waste of money.

Problem: While this is a clear statement of your personal opinion that people could potentially disagree with (which is good for an argumentative thesis statement), it lacks context and does not really tell the reader what to expect from your essay.

Good thesis statement : Instead of wasting money on exploring outer space, people like Elon Musk should use their wealth to solve poverty, hunger, global warming, and other issues we are facing on this earth.

Get Professional Thesis Editing Services

Now that you know how to write the perfect thesis statement for your essay, you might be interested in our free grammar checker , the Wordvice AI Proofreader. And after drafting your academic papers, be sure to get proofreading that includes manuscript editing , thesis editing , or dissertation editing services before submitting your work to journals for publication.

We have many more articles for you on all aspects of academic writing , tips and tricks on how to avoid common grammar mistakes , and resources on how to strengthen your writing style in general.

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Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning objectives.

  • Understand the elements of a strong, clear thesis statement
  • Revise a thesis statement to make it clearer

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea—the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity . A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision . A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued . A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated . For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness . A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence . In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe. These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness

Ex: The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.

Ex: Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.

Ex: Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.

Ex: J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.

Ex: Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.

Ex: Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.

Ex: In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.

A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.

A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.

Ex: Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

WRITING AT WORK

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement, an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard, the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.

Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke. The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? are the 5WH questions). By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be, a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis : Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis : The Kansas City legislature cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are. Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis : Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis : Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

• Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.

• A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.

• A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.

• A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.

• A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.

• Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.

• Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement Copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Kepka is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Essay Writing Guide

Thesis Statement Examples

Nova A.

20+ Thesis Statement Examples for Different Types of Essays?

Published on: Oct 18, 2017

Last updated on: Oct 20, 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.

On This Page On This Page -->

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. 

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Starting the research process
  • Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023.

Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement . They should:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project
  • Contribute to your research design
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to existing knowledge

Table of contents

What is a research objective, why are research objectives important, how to write research aims and objectives, smart research objectives, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research objectives.

Research objectives describe what your research project intends to accomplish. They should guide every step of the research process , including how you collect data , build your argument , and develop your conclusions .

Your research objectives may evolve slightly as your research progresses, but they should always line up with the research carried out and the actual content of your paper.

Research aims

A distinction is often made between research objectives and research aims.

A research aim typically refers to a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear at the end of your problem statement, before your research objectives.

Your research objectives are more specific than your research aim and indicate the particular focus and approach of your project. Though you will only have one research aim, you will likely have several research objectives.

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Research objectives are important because they:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project: This helps you avoid unnecessary research. It also means that your research methods and conclusions can easily be evaluated .
  • Contribute to your research design: When you know what your objectives are, you have a clearer idea of what methods are most appropriate for your research.
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to extant research: They allow you to display your knowledge of up-to-date research, employ or build on current research methods, and attempt to contribute to recent debates.

Once you’ve established a research problem you want to address, you need to decide how you will address it. This is where your research aim and objectives come in.

Step 1: Decide on a general aim

Your research aim should reflect your research problem and should be relatively broad.

Step 2: Decide on specific objectives

Break down your aim into a limited number of steps that will help you resolve your research problem. What specific aspects of the problem do you want to examine or understand?

Step 3: Formulate your aims and objectives

Once you’ve established your research aim and objectives, you need to explain them clearly and concisely to the reader.

You’ll lay out your aims and objectives at the end of your problem statement, which appears in your introduction. Frame them as clear declarative statements, and use appropriate verbs to accurately characterize the work that you will carry out.

The acronym “SMART” is commonly used in relation to research objectives. It states that your objectives should be:

  • Specific: Make sure your objectives aren’t overly vague. Your research needs to be clearly defined in order to get useful results.
  • Measurable: Know how you’ll measure whether your objectives have been achieved.
  • Achievable: Your objectives may be challenging, but they should be feasible. Make sure that relevant groundwork has been done on your topic or that relevant primary or secondary sources exist. Also ensure that you have access to relevant research facilities (labs, library resources , research databases , etc.).
  • Relevant: Make sure that they directly address the research problem you want to work on and that they contribute to the current state of research in your field.
  • Time-based: Set clear deadlines for objectives to ensure that the project stays on track.

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Methodology

  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility

 Statistics

  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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  • Aims and Objectives – A Guide for Academic Writing
  • Doing a PhD

One of the most important aspects of a thesis, dissertation or research paper is the correct formulation of the aims and objectives. This is because your aims and objectives will establish the scope, depth and direction that your research will ultimately take. An effective set of aims and objectives will give your research focus and your reader clarity, with your aims indicating what is to be achieved, and your objectives indicating how it will be achieved.

Introduction

There is no getting away from the importance of the aims and objectives in determining the success of your research project. Unfortunately, however, it is an aspect that many students struggle with, and ultimately end up doing poorly. Given their importance, if you suspect that there is even the smallest possibility that you belong to this group of students, we strongly recommend you read this page in full.

This page describes what research aims and objectives are, how they differ from each other, how to write them correctly, and the common mistakes students make and how to avoid them. An example of a good aim and objectives from a past thesis has also been deconstructed to help your understanding.

What Are Aims and Objectives?

Research aims.

A research aim describes the main goal or the overarching purpose of your research project.

In doing so, it acts as a focal point for your research and provides your readers with clarity as to what your study is all about. Because of this, research aims are almost always located within its own subsection under the introduction section of a research document, regardless of whether it’s a thesis , a dissertation, or a research paper .

A research aim is usually formulated as a broad statement of the main goal of the research and can range in length from a single sentence to a short paragraph. Although the exact format may vary according to preference, they should all describe why your research is needed (i.e. the context), what it sets out to accomplish (the actual aim) and, briefly, how it intends to accomplish it (overview of your objectives).

To give an example, we have extracted the following research aim from a real PhD thesis:

Example of a Research Aim

The role of diametrical cup deformation as a factor to unsatisfactory implant performance has not been widely reported. The aim of this thesis was to gain an understanding of the diametrical deformation behaviour of acetabular cups and shells following impaction into the reamed acetabulum. The influence of a range of factors on deformation was investigated to ascertain if cup and shell deformation may be high enough to potentially contribute to early failure and high wear rates in metal-on-metal implants.

Note: Extracted with permission from thesis titled “T he Impact And Deformation Of Press-Fit Metal Acetabular Components ” produced by Dr H Hothi of previously Queen Mary University of London.

Research Objectives

Where a research aim specifies what your study will answer, research objectives specify how your study will answer it.

They divide your research aim into several smaller parts, each of which represents a key section of your research project. As a result, almost all research objectives take the form of a numbered list, with each item usually receiving its own chapter in a dissertation or thesis.

Following the example of the research aim shared above, here are it’s real research objectives as an example:

Example of a Research Objective

  • Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.
  • Investigate the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup.
  • Determine the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types.
  • Investigate the influence of non-uniform cup support and varying the orientation of the component in the cavity on deformation.
  • Examine the influence of errors during reaming of the acetabulum which introduce ovality to the cavity.
  • Determine the relationship between changes in the geometry of the component and deformation for different cup designs.
  • Develop three dimensional pelvis models with non-uniform bone material properties from a range of patients with varying bone quality.
  • Use the key parameters that influence deformation, as identified in the foam models to determine the range of deformations that may occur clinically using the anatomic models and if these deformations are clinically significant.

It’s worth noting that researchers sometimes use research questions instead of research objectives, or in other cases both. From a high-level perspective, research questions and research objectives make the same statements, but just in different formats.

Taking the first three research objectives as an example, they can be restructured into research questions as follows:

Restructuring Research Objectives as Research Questions

  • Can finite element models using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum together with explicit dynamics be used to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion?
  • What is the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup?
  • What is the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types?

Difference Between Aims and Objectives

Hopefully the above explanations make clear the differences between aims and objectives, but to clarify:

  • The research aim focus on what the research project is intended to achieve; research objectives focus on how the aim will be achieved.
  • Research aims are relatively broad; research objectives are specific.
  • Research aims focus on a project’s long-term outcomes; research objectives focus on its immediate, short-term outcomes.
  • A research aim can be written in a single sentence or short paragraph; research objectives should be written as a numbered list.

How to Write Aims and Objectives

Before we discuss how to write a clear set of research aims and objectives, we should make it clear that there is no single way they must be written. Each researcher will approach their aims and objectives slightly differently, and often your supervisor will influence the formulation of yours on the basis of their own preferences.

Regardless, there are some basic principles that you should observe for good practice; these principles are described below.

Your aim should be made up of three parts that answer the below questions:

  • Why is this research required?
  • What is this research about?
  • How are you going to do it?

The easiest way to achieve this would be to address each question in its own sentence, although it does not matter whether you combine them or write multiple sentences for each, the key is to address each one.

The first question, why , provides context to your research project, the second question, what , describes the aim of your research, and the last question, how , acts as an introduction to your objectives which will immediately follow.

Scroll through the image set below to see the ‘why, what and how’ associated with our research aim example.

Explaining aims vs objectives

Note: Your research aims need not be limited to one. Some individuals per to define one broad ‘overarching aim’ of a project and then adopt two or three specific research aims for their thesis or dissertation. Remember, however, that in order for your assessors to consider your research project complete, you will need to prove you have fulfilled all of the aims you set out to achieve. Therefore, while having more than one research aim is not necessarily disadvantageous, consider whether a single overarching one will do.

Research Objectives

Each of your research objectives should be SMART :

  • Specific – is there any ambiguity in the action you are going to undertake, or is it focused and well-defined?
  • Measurable – how will you measure progress and determine when you have achieved the action?
  • Achievable – do you have the support, resources and facilities required to carry out the action?
  • Relevant – is the action essential to the achievement of your research aim?
  • Timebound – can you realistically complete the action in the available time alongside your other research tasks?

In addition to being SMART, your research objectives should start with a verb that helps communicate your intent. Common research verbs include:

Table of Research Verbs to Use in Aims and Objectives

Last, format your objectives into a numbered list. This is because when you write your thesis or dissertation, you will at times need to make reference to a specific research objective; structuring your research objectives in a numbered list will provide a clear way of doing this.

To bring all this together, let’s compare the first research objective in the previous example with the above guidance:

Checking Research Objective Example Against Recommended Approach

Research Objective:

1. Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.

Checking Against Recommended Approach:

Q: Is it specific? A: Yes, it is clear what the student intends to do (produce a finite element model), why they intend to do it (mimic cup/shell blows) and their parameters have been well-defined ( using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum ).

Q: Is it measurable? A: Yes, it is clear that the research objective will be achieved once the finite element model is complete.

Q: Is it achievable? A: Yes, provided the student has access to a computer lab, modelling software and laboratory data.

Q: Is it relevant? A: Yes, mimicking impacts to a cup/shell is fundamental to the overall aim of understanding how they deform when impacted upon.

Q: Is it timebound? A: Yes, it is possible to create a limited-scope finite element model in a relatively short time, especially if you already have experience in modelling.

Q: Does it start with a verb? A: Yes, it starts with ‘develop’, which makes the intent of the objective immediately clear.

Q: Is it a numbered list? A: Yes, it is the first research objective in a list of eight.

Mistakes in Writing Research Aims and Objectives

1. making your research aim too broad.

Having a research aim too broad becomes very difficult to achieve. Normally, this occurs when a student develops their research aim before they have a good understanding of what they want to research. Remember that at the end of your project and during your viva defence , you will have to prove that you have achieved your research aims; if they are too broad, this will be an almost impossible task. In the early stages of your research project, your priority should be to narrow your study to a specific area. A good way to do this is to take the time to study existing literature, question their current approaches, findings and limitations, and consider whether there are any recurring gaps that could be investigated .

Note: Achieving a set of aims does not necessarily mean proving or disproving a theory or hypothesis, even if your research aim was to, but having done enough work to provide a useful and original insight into the principles that underlie your research aim.

2. Making Your Research Objectives Too Ambitious

Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. It is natural to want to set ambitious research objectives that require sophisticated data collection and analysis, but only completing this with six months before the end of your PhD registration period is not a worthwhile trade-off.

3. Formulating Repetitive Research Objectives

Each research objective should have its own purpose and distinct measurable outcome. To this effect, a common mistake is to form research objectives which have large amounts of overlap. This makes it difficult to determine when an objective is truly complete, and also presents challenges in estimating the duration of objectives when creating your project timeline. It also makes it difficult to structure your thesis into unique chapters, making it more challenging for you to write and for your audience to read.

Fortunately, this oversight can be easily avoided by using SMART objectives.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea of how to create an effective set of aims and objectives for your research project, whether it be a thesis, dissertation or research paper. While it may be tempting to dive directly into your research, spending time on getting your aims and objectives right will give your research clear direction. This won’t only reduce the likelihood of problems arising later down the line, but will also lead to a more thorough and coherent research project.

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Module 3: Writing Essentials

Thesis statements, learning objectives.

  • Identify strong thesis statements

The thesis statement is the key to most academic writing. The purpose of academic writing is to offer your own insights, analyses, and ideas—to show not only that you understand the concepts you’re studying, but also that you have thought about those concepts in your own way and agreed or disagreed, or developed your own unique ideas as a result of your analysis. The thesis statement is the one sentence that encapsulates the result of your thinking, as it offers your main insight or argument in condensed form.

We often use the word “argument” in English courses, but we do not mean it in the traditional sense of a verbal fight with someone else. Instead, you “argue” by taking a position on an issue and supporting it with evidence. Because you’ve taken a position about your topic, someone else may be in a position to disagree (or argue) with the stance you have taken. Think about how a lawyer presents an argument or states their case in a courtroom—similarly, you want to build a case around the main idea of your essay. For example, in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted “The Declaration of Sentiments,” she was thinking about how to convince New York State policymakers to change the laws to allow women to vote. Stanton was making an  argument .

Some consider all writing a form of argument—or at least of persuasion. After all, even if you’re writing a letter or an informative essay, you’re implicitly trying to persuade your audience to care about what you’re saying. Your thesis statement represents the main idea—or point—about a topic or issue that you make in an argument. For example, let’s say that your topic is social media. A thesis statement about social media could look like one of the following sentences:

  • Social media harms the self-esteem of American pre-teen girls.
  • Social media can help connect researchers when they use hashtags to curate their work.
  • Social media tools are not tools for social movements, they are marketing tools.

A basic thesis sentence has two main parts:

  • Topic:  What you’re writing about
  • Angle:  What your main idea is about that topic, or your claim

Example Thesis Statements

Thesis:  A regular exercise regime leads to multiple benefits, both physical and emotional.

Topic:  Regular exercise regime

Angle:  Leads to multiple benefits

Thesis:  Adult college students have different experiences than typical, younger college students.

Topic:  Adult college students

Angle:  Have different experiences

Thesis:  The economics of television have made the viewing experience challenging for many viewers because shows are not offered regularly, similar programming occurs at the same time, and commercials are rampant.

Topic:  Television viewing

Angle:  Challenging because shows shifted, similar programming, and commercials

When you read all of the thesis statements above, can you see areas where the writer could be more specific with their angle? The more specific you are with your topic and your claims, the more focused your essay will be for your reader.

Identifying the Thesis Statement

You’ll remember that the first step of the reading process, previewing ,  allows you to get a big-picture view of the document you’re reading. This way, you can begin to understand the structure of the overall text. The most important step of understanding an essay or a book is to find the thesis statement.

A thesis consists of a specific topic and an angle on the topic. All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis. The thesis statement is often found in the introduction, sometimes after an initial “hook” or interesting story; sometimes, however, the thesis is not explicitly stated until the end of an essay. Sometimes it is not stated at all. In those instances, there is an implied thesis statement. You can generally extract the thesis statement by looking for a few key sentences and ideas.

Most readers expect to see the point of your argument (the thesis statement) within the first few paragraphs. This does not mean that it has to be placed there every time. Some writers place it at the very end, slowly building up to it throughout their work, to explain a point after the fact. Others don’t bother with one at all but feel that their thesis is “implied” anyway. Beginning writers, however, should avoid the implied thesis unless certain of the audience. Almost every professor will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction.

Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay. Thesis statements typically share the following characteristics:

  • presents the main idea
  • is one sentence
  • tells the reader what to expect
  • summarizes the essay topic
  • presents an argument
  • is written in the third person (does not include the “I” pronoun)

The following “How to Identify a Thesis Statement” video offers advice for locating a text’s thesis statement. It asks you to write one or two sentences that summarize the text. When you write that summary, without looking at the text itself, you’ve most likely paraphrased the thesis statement.

You can view the  transcript for “How to Identify the Thesis Statement” here (download).

Writing a Thesis Statement

Remember your thesis should answer two simple questions: What topic are you writing about, and what is your position, or angle, on the topic?

A thesis statement is a single sentence (or sometimes two) that provides the answers to these questions clearly and concisely. Ask yourself, “What is my paper about, exactly?” Answering this question will help you develop a precise and directed thesis, not only for your reader, but for you as well.

A good thesis statement will:

  • Consist of just one interesting idea
  • Be specific and written clearly
  • Have evidence to support it

A good basic structure for a thesis statement is “they say, I say.” What is the prevailing view, and how does your position differ from it? However, avoid limiting the scope of your writing with an either/or thesis under the assumption that your view must be strictly contrary to their view.

Following are some typical thesis statements:

  • Although many readers believe Romeo and Juliet to be a tale about the ill fate of two star-crossed lovers, it can also be read as an allegory concerning a playwright and his audience.
  • The “War on Drugs” has not only failed to reduce the frequency of drug-related crimes in America but actually enhanced the popular image of dope peddlers by romanticizing them as desperate rebels fighting for a cause.
  • The bulk of modern copyright law was conceived in the age of commercial printing, long before the Internet made it so easy for the public to compose and distribute its own texts. Therefore, these laws should be reviewed and revised to better accommodate modern readers and writers.
  • The usual moral justification for capital punishment is that it deters crime by frightening would-be criminals. However, the statistics tell a different story.
  • If students really want to improve their writing, they must read often, practice writing, and receive quality feedback from their peers.
  • Plato’s dialectical method has much to offer those engaged in online writing, which is far more conversational in nature than print.

Thesis Problems to Avoid

Although you have creative control over your thesis sentence, you still should try to avoid the following problems, not for stylistic reasons, but because they indicate a problem in the thinking that underlies the thesis sentence.

  • For example, look at the thesis: Hospice workers need support. This is a thesis sentence; it has a topic (hospice workers) and an angle (need support). But the angle is very broad. When the angle in a thesis sentence is too broad, the writer may not have carefully thought through the specific support for the rest of the writing. A thesis angle that’s too broad makes it easy to fall into the trap of offering information that deviates from that angle.
  • Consider this thesis: Hospice workers have a 55% turnover rate compared to the general health care population’s 25% turnover rate.  This sentence really isn’t a thesis sentence at all, because there’s no angle idea to support. A narrow statistic, or a narrow statement of fact, doesn’t offer the writer’s own ideas or analysis about a topic. A clearer example of a thesis statement with an angle of development would be the following:

Practice identifying strong thesis statements in the following interactive.

argument : in writing, the argument is the main stance, claim, or position that is supported with evidence

explicit thesis : a clear and direct statement of the writer’s claim

thesis statement : a statement of the topic of the piece of writing and the angle the writer has on that topic

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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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thesis statement for objective

How to Write a Thesis Statement: A Quick Guide to Effective Writing

thesis statement for objective

One intriguing aspect of a thesis statement is its ability to serve as the compass for an entire piece of writing. Despite its concise nature, a well-crafted thesis statement encapsulates the essence of the entire work, providing a roadmap for both the writer and the reader.

In this article, we will give a definition of a main argument, share expert thesis statement tips, and provide concise examples. Remember that at any point, you can ask us, ‘ Write my thesis ,’ and we will have all your writing troubles covered. 

What Is a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement definition is a concise declaration that encapsulates the central point or argument of an academic paper or essay. Positioned typically towards the end of the introductory paragraph, it serves as a roadmap for the reader, offering a preview of the key points and the overall direction of the paper. 

A well-crafted statement succinctly conveys the writer's stance on a particular topic and sets the tone for the entire piece of writing. It acts as a focal point around which the supporting arguments and evidence revolve, providing clarity and direction to both the writer and the reader.

A strong thesis statement goes beyond merely summarizing the main idea; it presents a clear, specific, and arguable claim. It has to be a concise, declarative sentence or two that articulates the main point, claim, or central idea of an academic paper or essay.

Characteristic Features:

  • Clearly presents the main idea of the paper.
  • Targets a particular aspect or angle of the topic.
  • Makes a definitive statement rather than posing a question.
  • Briefly summarizes the essence of the argument.
  • Guides the reader on what to expect in the paper.
  • Presents a stance or position on the topic.
  • Offers a roadmap by hinting at the supporting arguments.
  • Maintains an academic and objective tone.
  • Typically found near the end of the introductory paragraph.
  • May evolve as the writer delves deeper into research and analysis.
  • Is integral for a strong and effective academic paper.

Many students find writing a strong central argument difficult. So, if you’re wondering, ‘Where to pay someone to write my paper ?’, we suggest using your expert help right now.

Thesis Statement Essential Tips 

Positioned at the beginning of a paper, within the opening paragraph, the thesis statement stands as a vital means to initiate an essay. While not necessarily the inaugural sentence, it is customary to captivate the reader with an engaging hook at the outset, deferring the introduction of the central idea or argument to a later point in the first paragraph. 

thesis statement

Frequently misconstrued with a topic sentence, the first sentence in a paragraph, a thesis shares the role of introducing the central idea that unfolds in the subsequent discourse. In essence, envision thesis statements as the overarching topic sentence that encapsulates the essence of your entire paper. Here are ten key features of brainstorming a great thesis: 

1. Clarity is Key: Ensure that your thesis statement is clear and concise, presenting your main point in a straightforward manner.

2. Specificity Matters: Be specific in your thesis, addressing a particular aspect of the topic to provide a focused and targeted argument.

3. Make a Definitive Statement: Formulate your thesis as a declarative statement rather than a question to assert a clear position.

4. Be Concise: Keep your thesis statement brief, capturing the essence of your argument without unnecessary elaboration.

5. Provide a Roadmap: Offer a glimpse of the main points or arguments that will be explored in your paper, giving the reader a preview of what to expect.

6. Take a Stance: Clearly express your stance on the topic, making it evident whether you are supporting, refuting, or analyzing a particular idea.

7. Maintain an Objective Tone: Keep your language formal and objective, avoiding emotional or biased expressions in your thesis statement.

8. Position in the Introduction: According to essay format rules, you must place your thesis statement near the end of the introductory paragraph to provide context for the upcoming discussion.

9. Allow for Evolution: Understand that your thesis may evolve as you delve deeper into research and analysis, adapting to newfound insights.

10. Revise and Refine: Regularly review and refine your thesis statement as you progress with your writing, ensuring its alignment with the evolving content of your paper.

How to Write a Thesis Statement Step by Step

As we’ve already covered the basic thesis statement tips in the previous section, let’s guide you further to a step-by-step guide to writing a thesis. Also, if you’re interested in ‘how to write my personal statement ,’ we’ve got another helpful guide for you. Check it out!

thesis statement

Step 1: Topic Brainstorm

Brainstorming a great essay topic is a critical step in the writing process as it lays the foundation for a compelling and engaging piece of writing. Firstly, a well-chosen topic captures the writer's interest and enthusiasm, fostering a genuine investment in the exploration and analysis of the subject matter. This intrinsic motivation often translates into a more passionate and coherent narrative, enhancing the overall quality of the essay. 

Secondly, a carefully brainstormed essay topic ensures relevance and resonance with the intended audience. A topic that aligns with the readers' interests or addresses pertinent issues not only sustains their attention but also contributes to the essay's impact and effectiveness in conveying a meaningful message or argument. Here are some tips related to topic brainstorming in connection with writing a strong thesis statement:

  • Begin by choosing a broad topic that aligns with the assignment or your area of interest.
  • Gather basic information about your chosen topic through preliminary research.
  • During your research, identify key themes, concepts, or arguments related to your topic. 
  • Formulate questions related to your topic. What aspects intrigue you? What do you want to explore or analyze further?
  • Engage in free writing or mind mapping to generate ideas.
  • Review your generated ideas and prioritize the ones that resonate most with your interests and the assignment requirements.
  • Based on your prioritized ideas, formulate a working thesis statement.
  • Based on feedback and further refinement, finalize your thesis statement.

Using this analytical essay example , you can discover how a thesis is used in an academic paper.

Step 2: Start with a Question

As you’ll see in the thesis statement examples below, using a question involves posing a thought-provoking inquiry that your essay seeks to answer or address. The answer to the question becomes the central argument or perspective presented in your thesis. 

Select a question that stimulates curiosity and aligns with the focus of your essay. Reflect on possible answers or responses to your question. These potential answers will guide the development of your thesis statement. Develop a tentative thesis statement that responds to the question. Refine your thesis to make it more specific and tailored to the main points you plan to explore in your essay. 

Strong Thesis Statement Examples:

Original Question 1: How does technology impact educational outcomes?

Tentative Thesis 1: "The integration of technology in education presents both opportunities and challenges, influencing student learning outcomes through enhanced accessibility to information and the need for critical digital literacy skills."

Original Question 2: What role does cultural diversity play in shaping societal norms?

Tentative Thesis 2: "Cultural diversity serves as a dynamic force in shaping societal norms, fostering a rich tapestry of perspectives that both challenge and enrich the collective values of a community."

By using questions to frame thesis statements, you set up an inquiry-driven approach, prompting a nuanced exploration of your chosen topic.

Step 3: Write Down the Initial Answer

Let's take the examples provided above and outline how to write an answer to each question, developing a strong thesis statement in the process.

Question 1: How does technology impact educational outcomes?

Answer/Thesis Statement 1: "The integration of technology in education significantly shapes educational outcomes by providing students with increased access to information. However, this positive impact is accompanied by challenges, necessitating the cultivation of critical digital literacy skills to navigate the complexities of the digital learning environment."

Question 2: What role does cultural diversity play in shaping societal norms?

Answer/Thesis Statement 2: "Cultural diversity plays a pivotal role in shaping societal norms, acting as a dynamic force that introduces varied perspectives and challenges existing norms. This enriching influence fosters a collective environment where cultural differences contribute to a more nuanced understanding of societal values and behaviors."

In crafting these answers, the thesis statements respond directly to the questions posed. They articulate a clear position on the respective topics and provide a roadmap for the subsequent discussion in the essay. Each thesis statement also hints at the complexities within the chosen subjects, setting the stage for a nuanced exploration in the body of the essay.

Step 4: Revise Your Answer in the Process 

Reviewing a thesis statement during the writing process is vital to ensure that it accurately reflects the evolving content of the essay and maintains clarity and focus. Here are specific examples illustrating the importance of reviewing the thesis as the writing progresses:

Alignment with Content:

  • Example: As the essay delves into the challenges posed by technology in education, the initial thesis might not fully encompass these complexities. Through ongoing review, the writer realizes the need to adjust the thesis to align with the content, ensuring a cohesive narrative that includes both positive and challenging aspects.

Focus and Relevance:

  • Example: Initially, the thesis might state, "Cultural diversity impacts societal norms." During the writing process, the essay explores how cultural diversity challenges existing norms. A review prompts a more focused and relevant thesis: "Cultural diversity plays a pivotal role in shaping societal norms, acting as a dynamic force that introduces varied perspectives and challenges existing norms."

Reader Engagement:

  • Example: The initial thesis might lack an engaging element. A review during the writing process allows for the incorporation of a captivating hook: "In a world shaped by technology, the integration of digital tools in education transforms the learning landscape, presenting both opportunities and challenges that demand critical digital literacy skills."

Adaptation to Feedback:

  • Example: If peer feedback suggests a need for more specificity in the thesis about how technology impacts education, a review during the writing process allows for incorporation of this feedback. The writer might adjust the thesis to better address specific aspects like online collaboration or information overload.

Writers of our custom essay service suggest that by regularly reviewing the thesis during the writing process, it becomes a dynamic and responsive element of the composition. 

Step 5: Final Revision

This is the final step in learning how to write a thesis statement like a pro. Here are specific examples illustrating the importance of reviewing the thesis after writing is complete:

Verification of Clarity and Precision:

  • Example: After completing the essay on the impact of technology on education, a review might reveal that the thesis could be clearer. The initial thesis might have been, "Technology impacts education positively and negatively," but upon review, it can be refined to, "The integration of technology in education significantly shapes outcomes by providing increased access to information, but challenges arise, requiring critical digital literacy skills."

Alignment with Final Content:

  • Example: The completed essay on cultural diversity and societal norms may have introduced new insights. A review ensures that the thesis aligns with the final content, prompting adjustments if needed. The refined thesis might address specific aspects uncovered in the essay, such as, "Cultural diversity plays a pivotal role in shaping societal norms, fostering a nuanced understanding that both challenges and enriches collective values."

Ensuring Focus and Relevance:

  • Example: In the essay exploring the positive and negative impacts of technology in education, a review may reveal that the thesis could be more focused. The final thesis might be refined to emphasize specific aspects highlighted in the essay, such as, "While technology enhances educational access, challenges like information overload underscore the need for critical digital literacy skills."

Enhancing Reader Engagement:

  • Example: Post-writing, the writer realizes that the thesis lacks an engaging element. A review prompts the addition of a captivating hook to the thesis: "In our technology-driven world, the integration of digital tools in education transforms the learning landscape, presenting both opportunities and challenges that demand critical digital literacy skills."

Incorporating Feedback:

  • Example: If feedback from peers suggests a need for more clarity regarding the cultural diversity essay's impact on societal norms, a post-writing review allows for refinement. The final thesis might address specific feedback by stating, "Cultural diversity plays a pivotal role in challenging and enriching societal norms, fostering a nuanced understanding of collective values."

Reviewing the thesis after completing the writing process ensures that it accurately reflects the nuanced insights developed throughout the essay. It serves as a final check to guarantee that the thesis remains a powerful and cohesive representation of the essay's main argument, offering readers a clear and engaging roadmap to the writer's perspective.

Types of Thesis Statements

Writing a thesis statement can take various forms based on the purpose and nature of the essay or research paper. Here are common types of thesis statements:

1. Analytical: Breaks down an issue or idea into its components, providing an in-depth analysis of the topic. Example: "Through an examination of historical records and cultural artifacts, this essay analyzes the impact of the Industrial Revolution on societal structures."

2. Explanatory: Explains a concept, phenomenon, or idea to the reader. Example: "In this paper, I will explain the key principles of quantum physics and their implications for our understanding of the universe."

3. Argumentative or Persuasive: Takes a stance on an issue and seeks to persuade the reader to adopt a particular perspective. Example: "The government should implement stricter regulations on carbon emissions to address the imminent threat of climate change."

4. Comparative: Highlights the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. Example: "By examining the economic, social, and cultural aspects, this essay compares the effects of globalization in Western and Eastern societies."

5. Narrative: Presents the main point of a narrative or story. Example: "In this personal narrative, I will recount the transformative journey of overcoming adversity and discovering resilience."

6. Cause and Effect: Explores the cause-and-effect relationship between variables or events. Example: "The rise of social media has significantly influenced political discourse, shaping public opinions and electoral outcomes."

7. Debatable: Introduces an arguable claim that invites discussion and analysis. Example: "While some argue that technology isolates individuals, this essay contends that it fosters new forms of social connection and communication."

8. Definitional: Provides a clear definition or explanation of a term or concept. Example: "In this paper, the term 'cultural relativism' will be defined and examined in the context of anthropological studies."

9. Problem-Solution: Identifies a problem and proposes a solution. Example: "This essay addresses the issue of food insecurity in urban areas and proposes community gardens as a viable solution to improve access to fresh produce."

10. Descriptive: Paints a vivid picture or description of a particular scene, concept, or phenomenon. Example: "The sunsets over the serene coastline create a breathtaking spectacle, capturing the essence of tranquility and natural beauty."

Now, you know how to write a thesis statement, but do you know how to write a thesis, which is an entire academic paper? If you feel troubled by this question, consider using our thesis writing service , which will sort all the troubles out.   

Good Thesis Statement ExamThesis Statement Examples

"By analyzing the symbolism and narrative techniques in George Orwell's 'Animal Farm,' this essay explores the allegorical representation of political power and corruption."

"This paper explains the psychological mechanisms behind the phenomenon of false memories, delving into the cognitive processes that contribute to their formation."

"The widespread adoption of renewable energy sources is imperative for mitigating climate change, and governments should prioritize policies and investments to transition from fossil fuels."

"Examining the economic policies of the Great Depression and the 2008 financial crisis reveals striking parallels in government responses and their impacts on global economies."

"In this personal narrative, I recount the transformative journey of solo backpacking across Europe, exploring self-discovery and cultural immersion."

"The ubiquity of smartphones has led to a decline in face-to-face social interactions, contributing to a rise in feelings of isolation and loneliness among young adults.”

"While some argue that artificial intelligence poses a threat to employment, this essay contends that AI technologies can enhance productivity and create new job opportunities."

"In the context of bioethics, 'gene editing' refers to the deliberate modification of an organism's genetic material, raising ethical concerns about the potential for unintended consequences."

"This essay addresses the growing issue of plastic pollution in oceans and proposes comprehensive recycling initiatives and public awareness campaigns as effective solutions."

"The historic city of Kyoto, with its ancient temples, traditional tea houses, and serene gardens, embodies the cultural richness and timeless beauty of Japanese heritage."

In-Text Examples

Download PDF examples of essays with a thesis statement. The statements are highlighted.

Cricket, in the South of Asia between 1880-2005, played a political role in not only easing tensions and restrictions of caste members, but allowing Pakistan and India to release some political tensions from a religious aspect.
In Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, the setting is the hot and colorful West Indies in the post-colonial days. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre the setting is murky gray England: the heart of the empire and Mr. Rochester’s home. Thornfield in Wide Sargasso Sea is depicted as dark and ancient, while Antoinette’s surroundings in Jane Eyre are often green and dream-like. The contrasting climates and settings in the two novels showcase how different Antoinette’s concept of home is from Jane’s, yet they also add parallel qualities to the two novels

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do i start a thesis statement.

To start a thesis statement, begin by identifying the key topic or issue you intend to address in your essay. Clearly state your main point or perspective on the topic, ensuring it is specific and arguable. A well-crafted thesis should provide a roadmap for your readers, giving them a clear idea of what to expect in your essay. It's often beneficial to avoid vague or broad statements and instead focus on a specific aspect or argument related to your topic. Lastly, refine and revise your thesis as needed throughout the writing process to ensure it remains aligned with the evolving content of your essay. If you find yourself in lack of time to finish a composition, use our essays help to wrap up the task faster.

How Long Should a Strong Thesis Statement Be?

One of the best thesis statement tips is to keep it concise and to the point, consisting of one or two sentences. While there is no strict rule for the exact length, it's crucial to keep it clear, focused, and specific. A well-crafted thesis should effectively communicate the main point or argument of your essay without unnecessary elaboration. If your thesis statement becomes overly complex or extends beyond a couple of sentences, it might indicate a need for refinement to maintain clarity and precision. Remember that a thesis serves as a roadmap for your readers, guiding them through the main points of your essay, and brevity is generally appreciated to keep the statement impactful and easily digestible.

Can a Thesis Statement Be a Question?

Yes, a strong thesis statement can be framed as a question. When using a question as a thesis statement, it typically serves to introduce an inquiry or prompt critical thinking. However, it's important to note that the question should still articulate a clear stance or perspective. Whether posed as a statement or a question, a thesis should provide a clear position that guides the reader through the writer's main argument or perspective. Sometimes, you have to rewrite a thesis many times; the same goes for your entire article in some cases. That’s why you can use a rewrite essay service to ace such a task.

A carefully constructed thesis is the cornerstone of an effective essay, providing a roadmap for both the writer and the reader. Through this article, we've explored the significance of precision, clarity, and adaptability in thesis writing. 

A well-crafted thesis not only encapsulates the main argument but also propels the essay forward, ensuring coherence and engagement. As writers, we must recognize that the knowledge of how to write a thesis statement empowers us to convey our ideas effectively, fostering a deeper connection with our audience. So, let us recognize the pivotal role played by a well-crafted thesis in shaping the success of our written assignments.

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Overview of Changes

Starting Spring 2024, the Graduate College will release a new set of Thesis/Dissertation templates and requirement checklists. The requirements have been carefully reviewed and discussed with interdisciplinary consultants to optimize Iowa State University theses and dissertations for accessibility, usability, readability, and consistency.   Skip to the end of this page to read definitions of these priorities. The updated requirements also take into account basic academic norms and variation across disciplines. This page lays out the requirements that will be put into place.

One aim of releasing these format requirement updates at this time is to ensure that the Graduate College is in compliance with Iowa State University's Digital Accessibility policy , which will go into full effect in July 2026.

The updated requirements are presented in three sections:

  • New Format Requirements. Prior to January 2024, these requirements have not been listed in the checklist or enforced by Iowa State University thesis/dissertation reviewers. Graduate students and faculty are advised to carefully review the new requirements. Tutorials and support will be available to students to ensure they have the skills to incorporate these requirements into their thesis/dissertation manuscripts.
  • Continuing Format Requirements . These requirements have been listed in the checklist and enforced by Iowa State University thesis/dissertation reviewers since the last template update. Tutorials and support will continue to be available to students to ensure they have the skills to incorporate these requirements into their thesis/dissertation manuscripts.
  • Discontinued Format Requirements. Some requirements listed in the checklist prior to January 2024 will now be designated as recommendations.

Grace Period (Gradual Implementation)

To accommodate students who are currently close to completing their thesis/dissertation, and who started their writing process with the old templates, there will be a 12-month grace period from January 2024-December 2024 . During this grace period:

  • The New Format Requirements and the Discontinued Format Requirements will be treated as recommendations .
  • Only the Continuing Format Requirements will be treated as requirements .
  • Starting in January 2025, the New Format Requirements will be treated as requirements .

The following section delineates the differences between recommendations and requirements .

Protocols for Requirements and Recommendations

Requirements.

Iowa State University thesis/dissertation reviewers will check all theses and dissertations submitted to ProQuest after the student passes their Final Oral Exam. Where the submitted mansucript fails to meet one or more requirements, the reviewer will issue a request for revisions. Students must implement these revisions and resubmit their manuscript within one week of the submission deadline for that semester. If the requirements still are not met, the reviewer will issue another request for revisions. The thesis/dissertation will not be accepted until all requirements are met , even if this results in a delay to the student's graduation.

Recommendations

Students are strongly encouraged to implement these recommendations, which enhance usability, readability, and consistency in theses/dissertations. Iowa State University thesis/dissertation reviewers will check all theses and dissertations submitted to ProQuest after the student passes their Final Oral Exam. Where the submitted mansucript fails to meet one or more recommendations, the reviewer will issue a single request for students to revise. If the thesis/dissertation is resubmitted without the recommendations implemented, it will be acceptable. It is important to note that theses and dissertations cannot be revised after they are accepted. Students who resubmit theses and dissertations that do not follow the recommendations will not have another chance to improve the appearance of their manuscript. 

New Format Requirements for 2024

Continuing format requirements, discontinued format requirements (no longer required after november 30, 2023).

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9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

Learning objectives.

  • Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements.
  • Revise your thesis statement.

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions.

Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body.

Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Elements of a Thesis Statement

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea —the main idea upon which you build your thesis.

Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, “What do I want to say about it?” Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful and confident.

A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities.

Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.

Precision. A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence.

Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details.

Forcefulness. A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose.

Confidence. In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use confidence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken the readers’ sense of your confidence because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insufficient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say.

Even in a personal essay that allows the use of first person, your thesis should not contain phrases such as in my opinion or I believe . These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident.

  • Texting while driving
  • The legal drinking age in the United States
  • Steroid use among professional athletes

Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements

Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements:

  • Specificity
  • Ability to be argued
  • Ability to be demonstrated
  • Forcefulness
  • The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenge of black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States.
  • Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration.
  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot.
  • J. D. Salinger’s character in Catcher in the Rye , Holden Caulfield, is a confused rebel who voices his disgust with phonies, yet in an effort to protect himself, he acts like a phony on many occasions.
  • Compared to an absolute divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown.
  • Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts.
  • In today’s crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not significant enough education to land a stable, lucrative job.

You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, coworkers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to people’s opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Pay attention to your own everyday thesis statements as well, as these can become material for future essays.

Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis statement and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:

A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.

Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side.

Weak thesis statement: Religious radicals across America are trying to legislate their Puritanical beliefs by banning required high school books.

A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.

Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.

A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.

Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.

Read the following thesis statements. On a separate piece of paper, identify each as weak or strong. For those that are weak, list the reasons why. Then revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis.

  • The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets.
  • The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.
  • Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the nineteenth century.
  • In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore.
  • Despite his promises during his campaign, President Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation.
  • Because many children’s toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all children’s toys are safe.
  • My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

Writing at Work

Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an e-mail. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your e-mail request. While your e-mail will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your first paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benefits are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request.

Thesis Statement Revision

Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reflect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember from Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement , an indefinite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing.

Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper.

The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming definite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement.

Ways to Revise Your Thesis

You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps:

1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people , everything , society , or life , with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness.

Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.

Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have discipline and persistence in order to find and maintain a stable job in which they can use and be appreciated for their talents.

The revised thesis makes a more specific statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not define exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard , the writer can better focus his or her research and gain more direction in his or her writing.

2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis.

Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke.

Revised thesis: The welfare system keeps a socioeconomic class from gaining employment by alluring members of that class with unearned income, instead of programs to improve their education and skill sets.

A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarification for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke . The writer should ask himself or herself questions similar to the 5WH questions. (See Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” for more information on the 5WH questions.) By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately defines his or her stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay.

3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be , a verb that simply states that a situation exists.

Working thesis: Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough.

Revised thesis: The Kansas City legislature cannot afford to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations in a district that sorely needs highly qualified and dedicated teachers.

The linking verb in this working thesis statement is the word are . Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, “Why are they not paid enough?” But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask himself or herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more definitive stance on the issue:

  • Who is not paying the teachers enough?
  • What is considered “enough”?
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the results

4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support.

Working thesis: Today’s teenage girls are too sexualized.

Revised thesis: Teenage girls who are captivated by the sexual images on MTV are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth depends on her sensuality, a feeling that harms their self-esteem and behavior.

It is true that some young women in today’s society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. The writer of this thesis should ask the following questions:

  • Which teenage girls?
  • What constitutes “too” sexualized?
  • Why are they behaving that way?
  • Where does this behavior show up?
  • What are the repercussions?

In the first section of Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you determined your purpose for writing and your audience. You then completed a freewriting exercise about an event you recently experienced and chose a general topic to write about. Using that general topic, you then narrowed it down by answering the 5WH questions. After you answered these questions, you chose one of the three methods of prewriting and gathered possible supporting points for your working thesis statement.

Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down your working thesis statement. Identify any weaknesses in this sentence and revise the statement to reflect the elements of a strong thesis statement. Make sure it is specific, precise, arguable, demonstrable, forceful, and confident.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to fix the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and tell the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revision to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specific focus and suggest how the essay will be organized.
  • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself.
  • A strong thesis is specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
  • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.
  • A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued.
  • Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use first person point of view.
  • Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specific, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  4. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  2. Thesis and Purpose Statements

    A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic. A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction.

  3. Thesis Statements

    directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. makes a claim that others might dispute.

  4. Writing a Good Thesis Statement in Five Steps

    1. Choose a topic. Before writing a good thesis statement, you'll have to decide what you're writing about. This step requires a lot of thought because you want to pick a topic that you're passionate about, but that can also resonate with a wide audience. 2. Set your objective. Next, ask yourself what your goal is.

  5. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  6. Thesis statement: Tips and Examples

    Conclusion What Is a Thesis Statement? A thesis statement is a declarative sentence that states the primary idea of an essay or a research paper. In this statement, the authors declare their beliefs or what they intend to argue in their research study. The statement is clear and concise, with only one or two sentences.

  7. The Writing Center

    For the reader, the thesis statement: Serves as a "map" to guide the reader through the paper. In the same way the thesis helps you organize your paper, the thesis helps organize the reader's thinking. Once a solid thesis is presented, the reader will understand that all of the evidence presented is in service of proving the thesis.

  8. What Is a Thesis?

    Dissertation What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree.

  9. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. Analytical Thesis Statement: Analyzing an Issue. Expository Thesis Statement: Explaining a Topic.

  10. What is a thesis statement?

    Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way. An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn't have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way.

  11. How To Write A Strong Thesis Statement

    The thesis statement is the most imporant part of your essay because it tells the reader everything they can expect. Here's a guide to writing a strong one.

  12. Thesis Generator

    1 State your topic Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. It is usually a few words or a phrase that summarizes the subject of your paper. For your thesis statement, try to make your topic as specific as possible. monitoring children's television use 2 State your main idea about this topic

  13. How to Write a Thesis Statement-Examples

    A thesis statement summarizes the main idea of a paper or an essay. Similar to the statement of the problem in research, it prepares the reader for what is to come and ties together the evidence and examples that are presented and the arguments and claims that are made later.

  14. Thesis Statement

    Video 60 views What is the Purpose of a Thesis Statement? The purpose of a thesis statement is to showcase the main idea and or the main argument of an essay.

  15. Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    A Strong Thesis Statement. A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities. Specificity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic.

  16. 20+ Outstanding Thesis Statement Examples for Students

    1. Thesis Statement Examples for Different Essay Types 2. Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper 3. Elements of a Good Thesis Statement 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.

  17. Research Objectives

    Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023. Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

  18. Aims and Objectives

    Summary One of the most important aspects of a thesis, dissertation or research paper is the correct formulation of the aims and objectives. This is because your aims and objectives will establish the scope, depth and direction that your research will ultimately take.

  19. Thesis Statements

    The thesis statement is the key to most academic writing. The purpose of academic writing is to offer your own insights, analyses, and ideas—to show not only that you understand the concepts you're studying, but also that you have thought about those concepts in your own way and agreed or disagreed, or developed your own unique ideas as a result of your analysis.

  20. 25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze

    Published on April 30, 2018 PDT Last Modified on August 30, 2023 PDT 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.

  21. How to Write a Thesis Statement That Resonates

    Maintain an Objective Tone: Keep your language formal and objective, avoiding emotional or biased expressions in your thesis statement. 8. Position in the Introduction: According to essay format rules, you must place your thesis statement near the end of the introductory paragraph to provide context for the upcoming discussion.

  22. PDF The Thesis Statement: Purpose and Process

    Thesis Statement. Like a roof, a thesis statement establishes the overarching claim or purpose of the paper that will be supported by the body paragraphs. Each body paragraph clearly states its connection to the thesis, providing distinct and cohesive support to the whole argument. Conclusion. The conclusion is the foundation for your argument ...

  23. 2024 New Thesis/Dissertation Format Requirements

    The Graduate College will ensure this thesis/dissertation [choose thesis or dissertation] is globally accessible and will not permit alterations after a degree is conferred. Consistency: Preliminary Pages: Title Page: The manuscript type must be correctly designated as either a thesis or dissertation (2 places) in the Responsibility of Content ...

  24. 9.1 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

    You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by taking the following steps: 1. Pinpoint and replace all nonspecific words, such as people, everything, society, or life, with more precise words in order to reduce any vagueness. Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life.