How do I develop a thesis statement?

This presentation is designed to introduce your students to a variety of factors that contribute to strong, well-organized writing. This presentation is suitable for the beginning of a composition course or the assignment of a writing project in any class.

These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

A strong thesis statement is a definitive assertion you can make with confidence and conviction. To write a statement for a paper where you must take a stance, for example, break your topic into three parts: your stance, the reason you take that stance and the opposing stance on the same topic.


Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

You might make adjustments to your thesis statement as you research and write, but this forms the basis for your paper. You might even need to spend a little additional time clarifying your statement if it is too broad.


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As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Purpose Statements; Developing a Thesis Statement; ..

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., "eating disorders and body image among adolescent women") or that simply are not important (i.e. "why I like ice cream"). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

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Directions: This web page explains the different parts to a thesis statement and helps you create your own. In this section you'll learn what a thesis statement is and how to. Research Paper Thesis. Your thesis is the concise statement of your argument.

Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement

The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

2.3.2: Developing Strong Thesis Statements

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.