Tips for Writing an Effective Thesis Statement

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Thesis statements are essentially the driving force and backbone of an academic essay. Without a thesis statement, your essay will lack a cohesive argument and will read more like a list of statistics, quotations or connecting ideas. Before completing your thesis statement, ask yourself:

Effective thesis statements directly and boldly articulate a complex, arguable or surprising argument (or arguments) of your own which will need to develop throughout the essay. They should be intelligent, well thought-out responses to a question or problem your essay will address.

Weak Thesis Statements Often:

Make No Claim

Are Obviously True or Statements of Fact

Restate Conventional Wisdom or Clichés

Offer Personal Conviction as the Basis for the Argument

Make Overly Broad Claims

More Questions for Constructing Strong Thesis Statements:

A strong thesis statement is often not created all at once but will rather go through stages of revision. A thesis statement in its early form is called a “working thesis.” While honing and tightening your working thesis, ask yourself these questions:

Points to Remember:

Credit: “Thesis Statements,” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 25 October 2017, http://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements; “Developing Strong Thesis Statements,” Purdue Online Writing Lab. 25 October 2017, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/.