Thesis Statement

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What is a thesis statement?
A single sentence that summarizes your main idea

How do you create a thesis statement?
Two Parts: (1) Topic + (2) Opinion = Thesis Statement

The good, the bad, the ugly…
Good thesis statements are clear, to the point sentences with enough detail to make the main idea of the essay unmistakable and the writer’s opinions obvious.

Bad thesis statements may make the main idea and writer’s opinion obvious, but the only thing they really offer to the reader is a sentence with vague generalizations.

Ugly thesis statements can be corrected with careful thought, but they are broad, tell the reader little to nothing specific about the topic or opinion, and the statement is so general that not much can be learned about the paper.

Types of Bad Thesis Statements

1. The Non-Thesis Thesis Statement
A thesis statement takes a clear position on an issue. This is different from normal topic sentences because the thesis statement cannot be neutral. This is your own opinion that you intend to back up (think of it like a debate). The thesis statement is your reason and motivation for writing. A non-thesis thesis does none of these things.

Example: “The Masque of the Red Death” is a short story that uses symbols.

Analysis: Sure, “The Masque of the Red Death” is a short story and it does use symbols, but what is your opinion of the short story or how symbols are used.

Better Thesis: Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” uses complex symbols to offer a powerful statement about life and death.

Analysis: The topic is the same…”The Masque of the Red Death” and symbols, but the writer’s opinion is also clear…the symbols are complex and make a powerful statement. Not everyone may agree with that statement, but this writer can prove those points in the essay (that’s the support and body).

2. The Overly Broad Thesis
A thesis statement should be as...
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