What Is Essay Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement refers to a two to three-sentence condensation of a particular argument, usually at the beginning of the essay. Ideally, it should be the last part of the introduction part.
A thesis statement serves the following purposes:
- It distills your essay ideas into one or two sentences
- You can create your argument and keep it organized
- It serves as ‘readers’ guide’ to your argument
To achieve all the items in the above checklist, you must develop a thesis statement that answers every question you explore in your essay.
Common Attributes of a Thesis Statement
Here are some of the standard defining factors of a well-written thesis statement.
It Cannot Be a Question
Anyone going through an academic paper always expects a question to be raised, discussed, assessed, and answered. Questions cannot be arguments, and there’s no thesis if it has no argument.
It Cannot Be a List
Consider this statement:
“Cultural, social, and economic reasons brought about the downfall of communism.”
This statement incredibly ‘telegraphs’ readers what they should expect in the article from which it’s been extracted. The essay definitely elaborates on the three reasons – social, political, economic, and cultural. But all these are the probable causes of the downfall of communism. There’s no tension in the statement; hence it doesn’t stand as an argument.
If Its Antagonistic, Ambiguous, Or Provocative, Then It Isn’t a Thesis
Consider this example
“Communism is a wicked culture, and this explains why it collapsed.”
It’s evidently difficult to argue this way. What do you mean when you say ‘wicked?’ Even if you were trying to send a thorough and rational message, this statement would paint you as a high-minded and condemnatory person. If the reader is a communist or just a sympathizer, they are likely to counter with a defensive reaction. They are more likely to stop reading your essay if they intensely differ with your statement.
It Must Have a Confident, Debatable Claim
Consider this remark:
“Cultural forces facilitated the downfall of communism, but economic disintegration was the key factor in the decline of communism.”
This effective statement also gives readers a glimpse of the content. They’ll definitely anticipate a segment dedicated to cultural factors, then the next one explaining the impact of economic disintegration. Such a statement gives a convinced, arguable assertion – economic disintegration was more instrumental in beating communism than cultural factors.
On reading this, your tutor would think, “The writer could be true, but I’m not so certain. Maybe his explanations will influence me. So let me read on.”
It Has to be Precise and Distinct
To develop a strong thesis statement, you have to keep it as distinct and precise as you can. Avoid using clichés, overused terms, or obstructions if you want a scoring piece.
A thesis is a crucial document that you will be required to write occasionally throughout your academic years. As such, you must know how to write a clear, specific, and strong thesis statement. The tips above will aptly guide you in coming up with a great piece.