Thesis Statements

Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is one or more sentences that express what your paper is about and explain what you will be discussing, 

analyzing, or arguing in your essay or paper. It offers your readers an overview of the paper and often gives a sense of what 

and how the argument that you are presenting will be discussed. It is important to have a draft, working thesis statement 

early on in the writing process, as well as to revise it during every stage of the writing process 

in order to better reflect the structure and content of your paper. 


Some Tips For Writing Thesis Statements

You can think of your thesis statement as a map or guide to

your paper both for yourself and your audience.


The order in which your thesis statement presents its claims/ideas will

reflect the order in which these claims/ideas are discussed

in your paper.


The scope of your thesis will be determined by the length of

your paper and any other requirements that might be in

place.


A thesis statement often consists of two parts: a summary

reference to your topic, and then the analysis, explanation,

or assertion that you are making about the topic.


Thesis statements are NOT statements of fact. Rather, they

are propositions. Think of them as “conversation starters.”


If you could not have a conversation with someone about

your thesis statement, then it probably needs to be revised.


Generally, a thesis statement appears at the end of the

introduction to an essay. In many cases, this means that

the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first

paragraph.


Make sure each paragraph of the paper relates to, and

supports, your thesis statement.


As you revise your paper, you will revise your working thesis

statement since, in the course of writing, you will refine and

clarify what the main idea of the paper is and what the

paper is about. 


Adapted from What Is Writing?: An Introduction to Writing as an Act and Medium of Communication (2015).