What is a thesis statement?
The thesis statement is important for determining the quality of your essay. Every essay needs a crisp, clear, and effective thesis statement. The thesis statement should be able to provoke your audience to think, make them ask questions, and should be debatable and intriguing.
A good essay is not defined by its length or the use of great words. It is defined to a large extent by the central idea it propounds. A long, meandering essay won’t win you any marks; neither will a short, obtuse essay, unless and until you provide a proper statement of intent or condensed version of the argument or statement that you are going to present within it. This is the thesis statement.
What does a thesis statement do?
A thesis statement is vital to ensure that your essay appears organized and focussed. It provides an anchor that can be used by the audience as a guide, as they make their way through the different arguments presented in the body of the essay.
The thesis statements are of particular use when the essays are of the following kinds: analytical, expository, and argumentative. Analytical essays are those in which an issue or topic is broken down into its constituent parts and the reason for this is presented as a thesis statement. Expository essays involve detailed discussion and elaboration on a particular idea or theme; again, this idea is presented in the form of the thesis statement. Argumentative essays revolve around a single claim; the evidence is presented for or against this claim and the thesis statement would summarize this. Thesis statements are definitely needed for this kind of essay but they can also be helpful for essays, which are not so much as based on rational analysis such as narrative essays.
If you are writing a thesis for an argumentative essay, then it is going to be the main claim in the essay. It has to be very strong, very debatable, and able to generate different opinions. Avoid using statements for the thesis position, which are lukewarm and widely accepted; which do not evoke strong feelings or reactions, and on which, positions are already very well established with considerable evidence for or against it.
The thesis student should be very specific and should be supported by evidence. It should only center around what would be discussed in the paper. The narrower the thesis, the more powerful your argument. Also, you would not have to worry about finding that much evidence to corroborate your statement, as you would have to when the thesis is broad-based.
What are some ways to generate great thesis statements?
Brainstorming and mind-mapping techniques can be used for determining the various topics within an issue. You can then analyze these topics further and determine potential relationships between them. You can extract the meaning or relevant information from a topic given to you and convert it into specific statements. If the topic does not specifically highlight something of interest, you can break it down to various sub-issues and make a thesis statement from some issue, which seems particularly debate worthy.
Once you have determined such an issue, it needs to be converted into the form of a statement. Before you decide to continue with that issue as a thesis statement, you need to do your research so that there is enough evidence available to support the premises of your statement. In addition, the thesis statement should pick a particular side it wants to support.
You cannot do a balancing act here—while the purpose of writing a thesis statement is lost. The statement has to present a particular side of the issue and the conclusions you have arrived at. To make the statement more impactful, you need to use specific words and make an assertion using specific facts and statistics if needed. There should be a conclusion included making the statement convincing.
To check whether your thesis statement is effective or not, ask yourself whether the thesis statement corroborates the answer you have given in the essay. They both should support each other. Check whether the statement takes a strong, assertive position on the topic, supported by evidence.