Thesis Statements What is a thesis statement?



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Thesis Statements

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 ____ sentence.

  • A thesis statement is usually ____ sentence.
  • It is often placed at the end of the ______________ 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 ________ (main idea of what you are writing about)
  • contain an __________ 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 PLHS a fantastic school.

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

  • San Diego is a great city because of mild weather and access to many wonderful beaches.
  • San Diego is a wonderful place to live.

A thesis statement should not be too wordy.

  • Wordy
  • Some problems with Point Loma High School is that it needs a larger campus, an air conditioned gym, a bigger auditorium, restrooms connected to each classroom, running water in the classrooms, and a number of other physical changes to the building.
  • Better
  • Structural changes in the building layout at Point Loma High School would make it a better school.

A thesis statement should not be too general.

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

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.

A thesis statement should not be a title.

  • A title
  • Cost of Living
  • Better
  • Because the cost of living in San Diego is higher than in most other cities, San Diegans should be paid higher salaries.

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

A thesis statement should not be a a fact.

  • A fact
  • The average temperature for San Diego is 75 degrees.
  • Better
  • The climate in San Diego is ideal for outdoor sports year round.

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 hour.
  • B. Recycling is one of the most important jobs a person can do to protect our environment.

More Practice

Directions: 1) Find and circle 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.

Directions: 1) Find and circle 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 San Diego.

Directions: 1) Find and circle 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.

  • San Diego and Los Angeles differ in many ways.

Directions: 1) Find and circle 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 and circle 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 because it aids the spread of racism and stereotypes.

Is this thesis good or bad? Write “good” or “bad” in the margin next to the thesis.

  • Many people do not like to watch violent horror movies.
  • Even though movie makers now use high-tech special effects, 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

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

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