Thesis statements and topic sentences help organize the ideas in an essay. Academic writers are expected to use thesis statements and topic sentences.
Academic essays are often organized using the following pattern: Introduction—the first paragraph of the essay. The thesis statement is usually the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Body paragraphs—the paragraphs. Each of these body paragraphs usually begins with a topic sentence. Last paragraph—Called the conclusion or concluding paragraph. This paragraph should reiterate the thesis idea and wrap up the entire essay to bring it to a meaningful close.
A thesis statement conveys the overall idea of the entire essay and is usually (though not always) the last sentence of the first paragraph of the essay.
A thesis statement presents your essay’s limited subject and your point of view, or attitude, about the subject. Think of the thesis statement as answering the questions “So what?” and “What difference does it make?” about your essay topic. There is no specific “correct” length for a thesis statement. It’s okay if the sentence seems long, as long as it conveys the entire point of your essay.
Don’t make an announcement. Some writers use the thesis statement merely to announce the limited subject of their paper and forget to indicate their attitude toward the subject. Don’t make a factual statement. Your thesis and thus your essay should focus on an issue capable of being developed as a position. Your thesis point should be arguable. If a fact is used as a thesis, you have no place to go; a fact generally doesn’t invite much discussion. Don’t make a broad statement. Avoid stating your thesis in vague, general, or sweeping terms. Broad statements make it difficult for readers to grasp your essay’s point. Think of how you might answer these questions: “What’s the point I want to make?” and “What do I want my reader to know and think about this subject?”...
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