A thesis statement:
• tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
• is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
• directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
• makes a claim that others might dispute.
• is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.
is a non-focused selection of text that can be anywhere from just one sentence to a thousand pages in length which clearly delineates the argument that will be presented in a proposed paper. A thesis statement should be prepared in advance for all types of scientific writing.
Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement
1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:
• An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts,
evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the
• An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
• An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with
specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a
cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper
is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided
2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss
in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.
3. The thesis... [continues]
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