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How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement: A Step-By-Step Guide

Aug 7, 2020

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A thesis statement is an integral part of academic papers. Think of it as the opening scene to a movie or novel. If it is mind-blowing and specific, your anticipation for the film increases; else, your interest in watching the film or book wanes from the very start. 

In your essay, the thesis statement informs the reader of what to expect in the paper. So, it is important to pay extra attention to the content of this fragment of your paper. In this guide, you will discover how to come up with a solid thesis statement. You will also learn the best stage of writing most suitable for crafting an impactful thesis statement.

Examples of Thesis statements

Academic writing allows thesis statements of all kinds, depending on the nature of the paper and personal preference. However, it is always vital to choose a thesis statement that blends in with the paper’s overall tone. Here are some examples of thesis statements and how to use them:

Statement of fact

This kind of thesis statement contains a claim that cannot be argued because it is valid on its merit.

  • Bad example: This paper will discuss the relevance of fairy tales in character development.
  • Good example: This paper focuses on the psychological impacts of fairy tales on character development in kids. 

Opinion or personal standpoint

You have to specify a stance with which the reader might agree or disagree. This kind of thesis statement is used mostly for argumentative essays.

  • Bad example: Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for homelessness.
  • Good example: The activities of pharmaceutical companies have aggravated the opioid crisis, which has also played a role in increasing homelessness.

Steps to writing an effective thesis statement

You can’t just jump into writing a thesis statement without understanding the topic properly. A proper grasp of the subject will help you come up with a specific and relevant thesis statement. 

Let’s take a look at the steps involved:

1.Brainstorm before you start writing
You need to dedicate a few extra minutes to researching and coming up with your thesis statement. With the facts obtained, you can narrow the statement down to a sentence or two that points toward the paper’s central message.

2. Keep it short but relevant
It is always advisable to keep the number of sentences to a maximum of two – the jab and the cross. The first statement (jab) will provide the topic; the second sentence(cross) will specify an area of concentration. Anything extra will make the thesis statement less impactful.

3. Write in two stages
Opinions are split on writing the thesis statement at the start or after completing the paper. 
It is always advisable to write a draft first and come back to improve it when the essay is complete. This technique will help you get a clearer understanding of what to include or remove.

4. Review and adjust
The last step in writing your thesis statement is the proofreading and honing stage. Consider removing ‘filler words’ to improve clarity. Fix every grammatical error and spelling mistake.

Any essay without a solid thesis statement will be difficult to digest. You must dedicate enough time to research and write your thesis statement. Academic writing allows statements of fact as well as opinions in thesis statements. Always create a draft of the statement and edit it after completing the paper to suit the overall narrative. 

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