Why do we write essays, anyway? A writer may write for several reasons, but one of the main reasons a writer composes an essay is to clarify for a particular audience his/her answer to a specific critical question about the world around him/her. A thesis statement—which is essentially a relatively succinct answer to a critical question—aids in this communicative process by helping an audience understand what question the writer is asking, why that question is important, and how the writer has responded to that question.
Creating a Working Thesis Statement
1. Topic: What is your topic? Example: The four day school week. 2. Question: What is a question you have about your topic? Example: Should the University of Montana move to a four day school week? 3. Answer: Rephrase the question as an attempt to answer the question. Example: The University of Montana should not move to a four day school week. 4. Elaboration: Tell why you answer the question this way. Example: The University of Montana should not move to a four day school week because increasing students’ workloads on Mondays through Thursdays will make it more difficult for them to excel in their studies, will impact their extracurricular activities, and will not save the institution enough money to justify such an action. *Note: As you continue to investigate your topic, you may find yourself asking a slightly different question, answering your question in a new way, or discovering new points of elaboration. While becoming more familiar with a topic, good writers pay attention to and make note of these changes. 1.Topic:___________________________________________________________________________
2. Question:________________________________________________________________________ 3. Answer:_________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 4....