What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is a sentence or sentences that present the main idea or the central argument of your essay. It tells the reader what your position is on the topic discussed in your paper. Your thesis statement should be presented near the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of your first paragraph. A good thesis statement will answer your essay question and outline what you will write about, clearly and concisely.
Why should your essay include a thesis statement?
The thesis statement guides you to write your essay in a developed and organised way, allowing you to present your argument in a manner that is not too broad. In addition, it provides the reader with an overview of what your essay is going to argue.
There were multiple complicated and inter-related causes of the Holocaust, including the economy of Germany, the ideology of the fascists and Hitler’s personal racism.
From this thesis statement, a reader will know that the essay is going to talk about the causes of the Holocaust. It is also clear that the main causes the essay will discuss are (1) the economy of Germany, (2) the ideology of the fascists and (3) Hitler’s personal racism.
How to write a thesis statement
- From the general issue that you are interested in arguing, you should narrow down which part of the issue you are going to discuss. From the example above, you select the Holocaust and narrow it down to discuss only the causes of the Holocaust, not the results, consequences or its influences.
- Question the issue that you are going to discuss. For example, if you are going to discuss the causes of the Holocaust, you would ask yourself, ‘What were the causes of the Holocaust in World War II?’ and then gather your evidence as part of your research for your essay.
- Answer your question with one main idea and provide main valid points to support your answer. For example, from the question above, your main answer might be, ‘There were multiple complicated and inter-related causes of the Holocaust’. Then you might support your main answer with these reasons:
– The economy of Germany
– The ideology of the fascists
– Hitler’s personal racism
- Try to write your thesis statement in one or two sentences, concisely and comprehensively. Avoid introducing your thesis statement with phrases such as ‘In this paper, I argue that…’ From the above example, your complete thesis statement might be ‘There were multiple complicated and inter-related causes of the Holocaust, including the economy of Germany, the ideology of the fascists and Hitler’s personal racism’.
Once you have written your thesis statement you are well on your way to writing a high-quality essay!
Updated 04 October 2018