2THESIS STATEMENTS: DEFINITION A thesis statement is a sentence that:makes a promise about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper.summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.captures the whole argument in one sentence usually near the end of the introduction.is focused and specific enough to be proven within the paper.provides a framework for the paper.
3What does a thesis do? For the writer, the working thesis statement: serves as a planning tool.helps the writer determine the paper's focus.becomes a reference point for all topic sentences in support of the argument.anticipates questions about the topic.
4What does a thesis do? For the reader, the thesis statement: serves as a "map" to follow through the paper.keeps the reader focused on the argumentengages the reader in the argument.offers enough detail for the reader to grasp the argument.
5What does a thesis look like? It is usually one or two sentencesIt is at the end of the introductory paragraphIt takes a strong stance on something that deserves proof.It has no errors.It uses language that reflects the thesis question.
6Working and Final Theses: There is an important distinction between a working and a final thesis.A working thesis guides the writer's investigation into the subject and suggests questions, problems, and strategies. It is useful in early drafts.A final thesis should be present in the final draft. It generally comes late in the writing process, and it is the result of revisions done to the working thesis
7Test Thesis versus Drafted Thesis There are many types of thesis statements, but two important categories that most fit into are test and drafted theses.When you are asked a question on a test, you want to present a simple thesis that intiates the answer to your prompt and provides a preview of the content you will discuss.When you are working on a drafted thesis, you want have it do everything that a test thesis does, but with style and subtlety.
8When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following: Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it's possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like "good" or "successful," see if you could be more specific: why is something "good"; what specifically makes something "successful"?
9When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following: Does my thesis pass the "So what?" test? If a reader's first response is, "So what?" then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It's o.k. to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.Does my thesis pass the "how and why?" test? If a reader's first response is "how?" or "why?" your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.Is my thesis the most fluent and interesting sentence in the paper?