Thesis Statement

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Associate Level Material
Appendix G

Thesis Statements

What Is a Thesis Statement?

If you have ever worked in an office with computers, your computer was probably connected to a network. In a network, there is one main computer to which all the other computers send and receive information. If that base computer shuts down, all the other computers shut down—everything centers on that one computer. In the same way, every word, sentence, and paragraph in an essay must relate to or center on the thesis statement. A thesis statement concisely informs readers of your intention in writing the paper. No matter what type of paper you write—expository, argumentation, compare or contrast, or research—the center of your paper is always your thesis statement. From now through the rest of your academic career, instructors will expect your essays to contain a well-developed thesis. For this reason, it is important that you learn to write effective thesis statements. While writing your paper, you have a tentative or working thesis, which most likely changes as you find support and write your paper. You may write and rewrite a thesis several times while developing an essay. The concept of the thesis statement may be difficult for beginning writers to understand. The following are some characteristics of an effective thesis statement: • A thesis statement is only one sentence consisting of 25 words or fewer. A thesis statement makes an assertion related to the topic of the essay—what you want to prove. The thesis statement should be located near the end of your introduction. Everything in your paper must support, be related to, or point back to your thesis statement. A thesis statement answers the questions “How?” or “Why?” A thesis statement passes the “So what?” test—what does this topic have to do with anything? Why should I care? Why should others care?

Equation for Developing a Thesis Statement

A standard equation used to...
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