The Thesis Statement



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The Thesis Statement

  • A Road Map for Your Essay
  • ESSAY
  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Body Paragraph #1
  • Body Paragraph #2
  • Body Paragraph #3

What is a thesis statement?

  • A thesis statement is the main idea of an essay.
  • It is often a point you want to argue or support in an essay.
  • SO
  • The thesis statement explains to a reader the main idea of the essay, and the writer’s opinion on that idea.

A thesis statement is usually one sentence.

  • A thesis statement is usually one sentence.
  • It is often placed in the introductory paragraph of an essay.
  • A thesis statement is a claim that could be argued.
  • The essay will contain evidence and opinions that support the argument.

Thesis statements avoid the following:

  • the first person (I believe, In my opinion, etc.)
  • unclear language (It seems, etc.)
  • attempting two topics at once (even if they seem related). Pick one and stick with it.
  • just stating a fact - A thesis is something you plan to make an argument about.

A thesis statement should

  • contain a topic (main idea of what you are writing about)
  • contain an opinion about the topic (what your attitude is toward the topic)

A thesis statement should not be too broad.

  • Too Broad
  • The world is a magnificent place to live.
  • Better
  • Good teachers make Southwestern Randolph High School a fantastic school.

Which sentence is too broad to be a good thesis statement?

  • The wide range of places to hunt makes Asheboro a great place to live.
  • Asheboro is a great place to live.

Too Broad

  • Asheboro is a great place to live.

A thesis statement should not be too wordy.

  • Wordy
  • Some problems with Southwestern Randolph High School is that it needs a larger stadium, an air conditioned gym, a larger theater, more classroom space, more access to technology, and a number of other physical changes to the building.
  • Better
  • Southwestern Randolph High School needs several changes to its facility to make it a better school.

A thesis statement should not be too general.

  • Too general
  • Southwestern Randolph High School is a good school.
  • Better
  • Daily writing practice has led to improved writing skills for the students at Southwestern Randolph High School.

Which sentence is too general to be a good thesis statement?

  • A. Music makes people happy.
  • B. Music therapy is useful in relieving stress and other conditions.

Too general

  • Music makes people happy.

A thesis statement should not be a title.

  • A title
  • Cost of Living
  • Better
  • The cost of living in Asheboro is lower than in most other cities in the United States.

Which sentence would not be a good thesis statement because it is a title?

  • A. Good teaching has led to an increase in AP scores at Southwestern Randolph High School.
  • B. Rising AP Scores at Southwestern Randolph High School

A Title

  • Rising AP Scores at Southwestern Randolph High School

A thesis statement should not be a a fact.

  • A fact
  • The average temperature for Asheboro in winter is 34 and in summer is 75 degrees.
  • Better
  • The climate in Asheboro is ideal for outdoor sports.

Which sentence would not be a good thesis statement because it is a fact?

  • A. The recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
  • B. Recycling is one of the most important jobs a person can do to protect our environment.

A Fact

  • The recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.

More Practice

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • Although most people believe otherwise, bats are harmless and highly beneficial.

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • In this essay I will discuss the crime rate in Asheboro.

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • Energetic exercise is a good way to help relieve stress.

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • Asheboro and Boone differ in many ways.

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • This paper will consider the advantages and disadvantages of students having nightly homework.

Directions: 1) Find the opinion words in the statement. If there are no opinion words, it is not a thesis statement. 2) Tell if the statement is a good thesis statement.

  • Hate speech should be eliminated for many reasons.

Take out a piece of notebook paper and number from 1 to 10. In each of the following slides tell whether the sentence is a good or bad thesis statement.

Good or Bad

  • Many people do not like to watch violent horror movies.
  • Today’s movies do not have the emotional impact of the classic horror movies of the 1940’s.

Good or Bad

  • Rap music is the best music ever.
  • Although many people find rap music offensive, it has had a positive impact on today’s youth.

Good or Bad

  • I enjoy white water rafting.
  • The first white water rafting trip can challenge a person both in body and spirit.

Good or Bad

  • Sixth grade students are busy.
  • The life of a typical sixth grade student is challenging due to the need to succeed in extracurricular activities.

Good or Bad

  • Community service projects include building shelter for the homeless, servicing meals to the hungry, providing transportation for the sick, distributing clothes, and a large number of other helpful activities.
  • Students should help others who are less fortunate.
  • When I was young, I always knew that I wanted to become a teacher someday. When I played, I would often gather my dolls together and pretend to teach them how to do math problems or how to read a book. As I grew older, my desire to become an ESL teacher became clearer as I did some volunteer teaching overseas and in the United States. As I look back on my reasons for becoming a teacher, there are three reasons that stand out. These are: my love for the English language, my innate interest in how people learn, and my desire to help other people .
  • Thesis Statement
  • The thesis statement contains the main idea that controls the content of the essay.
  • Subpoints in the thesis or nearby help the reader know how the essay will be organized
  • Location
  • Another Example
  • Maya Angelou is an accomplished African-American author in the United States. While growing up, she suffered tremendous hardship. Some of her most difficult life events are portrayed in novels and poems such as, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and, Still I Rise. Her written works often include strong themes such as perseverance through trials, love for family, and passionate optimism.
  • The thesis statement comes at the end of the introductory paragraph. This sentence tells the reader that he/she can expect to read more about how Maya Angelou expresses these themes in her writing.


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