Thesis Statement

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Thesis Statements
A thesis statement should be argumentative (debatable) and function as a one-two sentence --condensation of your paper’s primary claim (or argument). Thesis statements are necessary so that readers can identify the point and/or argument of your paper early in the paper.

A thesis statement also allows you to state the primary reasons behind your paper’s argument early in the paper.
A thesis statement is not a “duh” statement, such as “The extermination of the Jews was bad.” --A good thesis statement makes an argument that has not been over -discussed. A thesis statement should include specific and pointed language as opposed to unclear or unsure wording. Avoid words such as “kind of,” “arguably,” “somewhat,” etc. **In general, your thesis statement will accomplish the aforementioned goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question(s) your paper explores.

104 Morrill Hall  744-6671 

Oklahoma State University Writing Center

Criteria for a Good Thesis

Examples of Good and Bad Thesis Statements:
Good: Hunger persists in Appalachia because jobs are scarce, and farming in the infertile soil of the region is rarely profitable.
**This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic and identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger. Bad: Hunger persists in Appalachia.

**This is a poor thesis statement because it does not provide any reasons behin d WHY “hunger persists in Appalachia.” In addition, this thesis statement gives the reader only a vague idea of what the paper is going to argue.

Good: The concept of global warming should not receive the amount of attention that is currently focused on this issue because the earth constantly goes through spells of warming and cooling; the increasing temperature of the earth is but a part of this natural cycle and out of human control.

**This is a good thesis statement because it...
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