How to Clearly State Your Thesis


A thesis statement is a concise sentence, generally appearing at the beginning of a paper, that specifically states the argument that the writer will make in the paper. By composing a clear and to-the-point thesis statement, you make evident from the start the argument you will be presenting. This greatly strengthens your composition. Because this statement is a particularly important one, writing a clear thesis is something to which you should devote much time.

  • Compose a specific statement that illustrates your argument. The thesis statement should be short, to the point thesis and specific. For example, if your paper is about the impact of video games on children's physical fitness, your thesis statement may read, "The prevalence of video games has led to a decline in physical fitness levels of youths as many select lounging on the couch, controller in hand, over more physical play options."

  • Include a reference to support your argument. While you don't need to elaborate on your references in your thesis statement, you should allude to them. For example, if arguing that teen-pregnancy prevention requires parental involvement, reference facts about the power of positive parental influence, statistics regarding teen-pregnancy prevention and psychologists' statements regarding the causes of teen pregnancy.

  • Edit the statement for clarity, ensuring that it is concise. While your thesis is important, it shouldn't be long. A verbose or unclear thesis statement may turn readers off to your paper entirely, making them less than eager to read your paper and giving them the impression that your argument is too complex for them to understand.

  • Place the thesis prominently in the first paragraph. This statement traditionally is the last sentence of the first paragraph; however, this isn't a set-in-stone rule. Your thesis should appear somewhere in the first paragraph, but its specific placement is up to you.


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