Thesis focus statement


What Is a Thesis Statement?

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.

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

What is a Thesis Statement For?

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


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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.

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. 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. 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:.

Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity while in middle school and high school. Was this helpful? Chat Hours. Chat Expectations and Guidelines. Rasmussen College Answers. Warning: Your browser has javascript disabled. Without javascript some functions will not work, including question submission via the form. What is a thesis statement? I need some examples, too. Toggle menu visibility. Ask a Question. Narrows the topic down to a specific focus of an investigation. Establishes a direction for the entire paper.

Points forward to the conclusion. Always stated in your introduction. Usually at the end of the first paragraph.


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Always take a stand and justify further discussion. Take a look at the following examples: Statement of fact: Small cars get better fuel mileage than 4x4 pickup trucks. Arguable thesis statement: The government should ban 4x4 pickup trucks except for work-related use.

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Statement of fact: Foul language is common in movies. Arguable thesis statement: The amount of foul language in movies is disproportionate to the amount of foul language in real life. With your narrowed focus in mind, answer the bulleted questions in the checklist for developing a good topic.

Have you ever known someone who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following the train of thought as the storyteller jumped from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe the person told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. The 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. Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay.

Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement

It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

Thesis Statements: Four Steps to a Great Essay - 60second Recap®

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. Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. 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. 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. 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. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence. 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. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose. 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. These statements reduce your credibility and weaken your argument. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a firm attitude.

On a sheet of paper, write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, demonstrable, forceful and confident. Closing all American borders for a period of five years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration. 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. You can find thesis statements in many places, such as in the news; in the opinions of friends, co-workers or teachers; and even in songs you hear on the radio.

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 four 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.

A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end. A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad. Read the following thesis statements. On a 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 government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.

What is a thesis statement?

In this essay, I will give you a lot of reasons why marijuana should not be legalized in British Columbia. Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an email. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your email request. While your email 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. The controlling idea is the main idea that you want to present and develop. For a longer piece of writing, the main idea should be broader than the main idea for a shorter piece of writing. Be sure to frame a main idea that is appropriate for the length of the assignment. Ask yourself how many pages it will take to explain and explore the main idea in detail?

Be reasonable with your estimate. Then expand or trim it to fit the required length. Remember that a thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states your point of view. The thesis statement is not the topic of the piece of writing but rather what you have to say about that topic and what is important to tell readers.

Look at Table 5. You will need it when you begin to outline your assignment as a way to organize it. As you continue to develop the arrangement, you can limit your working thesis statement if it is too broad or expand it if it proves too narrow for what you want to say. On a sheet of paper, write your working thesis statement. You will make several attempts before you devise a working thesis statement that you think is effective. Each draft of the thesis statement will bring you closer to the wording that expresses your meaning exactly. 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.

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. 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. 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. The writer should ask questions similar to 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.

Thesis Statement | Writing About Texts

Linking verbs gives information about the subject, such as a condition or relationship is, appear, smell, sound , but they do not show any action. Linking verbs often make thesis statements weak because they do not express action. Reading the original thesis statement above, readers might wonder why teachers are not paid enough, but the statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask him- 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.

For example, the writer could ask:. 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:. In Section 5. You then completed a freewriting exercise on one of the topics presented to you. Using that 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 sheet of paper, write 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: P lease 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 the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may find that the thesis needs revising to reflect exactly what is expressed in the body. The techniques from this chapter would apply to revising that thesis.

Your prewriting activities and readings have helped you gather information for your assignment. The more you sort through the pieces of information you found, the more you will begin to see the connections between them. Patterns and gaps may begin to stand out. But only when you start to organize your ideas will you be able to translate your raw insights into a form that will communicate meaning to your audience. Longer papers require more reading and planning than shorter papers do.

Most writers discover that the more they know about a topic, the more they can write about it with intelligence and interest. When you write, you need to organize your ideas in an order that makes sense. The writing you complete in all your courses exposes how analytically and critically your mind works.

In some courses, the only direct contact you may have with your instructor is through the assignments you write for the course. You can make a good impression by spending time ordering your ideas.

Thesis Statement Definition

Order refers to your choice of what to present first, second, third, and so on in your writing. The order you pick closely relates to your purpose for writing that particular assignment. For example, when telling a story, it may be important to first describe the background for the action. Or you may need to first describe a 3-D movie projector or a television studio to help readers visualize the setting and scene.

You may want to group your supporting ideas effectively to convince readers that your point of view on an issue is well reasoned and worthy of belief. In longer pieces of writing, you may organize different parts in different ways so that your purpose stands out clearly and all parts of the essay work together to consistently develop your main point. You need to keep these methods of organization in mind as you plan how to arrange the information you have gathered in an outline. An outline is a written plan that serves as a skeleton for the paragraphs you write.

When you write, your goal is not only to complete an assignment but also to write for a specific purpose—perhaps to inform, to explain, to persuade, or a combination of these purposes. Your purpose for writing should always be in the back of your mind, because it will help you decide which pieces of information belong together and how you will order them.

In other words, choose the order that will most effectively fit your purpose and support your main point. Table 5. For an essay question on a test or a brief oral presentation in class, all you may need to prepare is a short, informal outline in which you jot down key ideas in the order you will present them. This kind of outline reminds you to stay focused in a stressful situation and to include all the good ideas that help you explain or prove your point.

The expectation is you will build your paper based on the framework created by the outline. When creating outlines, writers generally go through three stages: a scratch outline , an informal or topic outline , and a formal or sentence outline. The scratch outline is basically generated by taking what you have come up with in your freewriting process and organizing the information into a structure that is easy for you to understand and follow for example, a mind map or hierarchical outline. An informal outline goes a step further and adds topic sentences, a thesis, and some preliminary information you have found through research.

A formal outline is a detailed guide that shows how all your supporting ideas relate to each other. It helps you distinguish between ideas that are of equal importance and ones that are of lesser importance. If your instructor asks you to submit an outline for approval, you will want to hand in one that is more formal and structured. The more information you provide for your instructor, the better he or she will be able to see the direction in which you plan to go for your discussion and give you better feedback.

Instructors may also require you to submit an outline with your final draft to check the direction and logic of the assignment. If you are required to submit an outline with the final draft of a paper, remember to revise it to reflect any changes you made while writing the paper. There are two types of formal outlines: the topic outline and the sentence outline. You format both types of formal outlines in the same way.

Use Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Here is what the skeleton of a traditional formal outline looks like. The indention helps clarify how the ideas are related. In an outline, any supporting detail can be developed with subpoints. For simplicity, the model shows subpoints only under the first main point. Formal outlines are often quite rigid in their organization. As many instructors will specify, you cannot subdivide one point if it is only one part. For example, for every Roman numeral I, there needs to be an A.

For every A, there must be a B. For every Arabic numeral 1, there must be a 2. See for yourself on the sample outlines that follow. Constructing Informal or Topic Outlines An informal topic outline is the same as a sentence outline except you use words or phrases instead of complete sentences. Words and phrases keep the outline short and easier to comprehend.

All the headings, however, must be written in parallel structure. Here is the informal topic outline that Mariah constructed for the essay she is developing. Her purpose is to inform, and her audience is a general audience of her fellow college students. Notice how Mariah begins with her thesis statement.

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