A thesis statement clearly states the topic of the essay.
A thesis statement:
1.) Holds a piece of writing together
2.) Its purpose is to set forth the writer’s perspective, or point of view, on the subject at hand.
3.) All information in the essay should be related to this main idea or thesis.
A good thesis should:
Be strong and assertive!
Clearly state (and in an interesting manner) the writer’s position and let the readers know where the essay is going and what it is about.
Be meaty enough to guide the direction of the whole essay.
You need a thesis statement for every essay that you write:
It’s important that you get your thesis right because you have to stick to it throughout your essay – if you keep changing your focus or subject then your essay won’t be organized, consistent, or coherent!
2.) Then think of the particular focus that you are taking – your view on the subject.
Bad example: …having a job is hard work
Good example:…teaching is a pressured job.
3.) Finally, think of some supporting points for your focus:
Teachers have to keep up with constantly changing standards.
Teachers have to deal with the pastoral care of students as well as their education.
You Need to be Able to Spot the Thesis in Other Writing:
You might be asked to identify the thesis of a piece of writing on the exit exam or California State Standards Test.
It could be obvious. Where is the subject? Where is the focus?
“Chess is becoming a high-profile game. These days winning an international chess tournament brings huge cash prizes as well as great prestige.”
…or it could be trickier to spot:
“There was a time when African elephants roamed freely over much of Africa. However, elephants have suffered much at the hands of man; their habitat has been destroyed and they have been hunted relentlessly for their tusks.”
The Thesis isn’t clear, but…
You can work out the subject is African elephants and
The Focus is how human activity has reduced their populations.
You may need to develop an existing thesis:
You will be asked to think of some more supporting points.
Example: For the African Elephant essay:
“Tourism in Africa means that it’s possible to see elephants in their natural habitat.”
Is this supporting point right or wrong for the focus of the essay?