• Writing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement is a sentence that expresses the main ideas of the paper and answers the question or questions posed by the paper. It offers the reader a quick and easy-to-follow summary of what the paper will discuss. The kind of thesis that a writer creates depends on purpose of the paper. This section will cover general thesis statement tips in order to help alleviate any confusion about how a thesis statement should be constructed.

    General Thesis Statement Tips :

    • A thesis statement generally consists of two parts: your topic and your analysis, explanation, or assertion that you are making about the topic. The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on what kind of paper you are writing.
    • In some kinds of writing, such as narratives or descriptions, a thesis statement is less important, but you may still want to provide some kind of statement in your first paragraph that helps to guide your reader through your paper.
    • A thesis statement is a very specific statement—it should cover only what you want to discuss in your paper, and be supported with specific evidence. The scope of your paper will be determined by the length of your paper and any other requirements that might be in place.
    • Generally, a thesis statement appears at the end of the first paragraph of an essay, so that readers will have a clear idea of what to expect as they read.
    • You can think of your thesis as a map or a guide both for you and your audience, so it might be helpful to create an outline of your ideas and how they are connected to help get you started.
    • As you write and revise your paper, it is acceptable to change your thesis statement—sometimes you do not discover what you really want to say about a topic until you have started writing. Just make sure your final thesis statement accurately shows what will happen in your paper.


    1. Adapted from Purdue University webpage: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/general/gl_thesis.html

Last Modified on June 10, 2007