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What is a thesis statement?

Exposition essays ask your opinion and it is essential you have


one. Your position/argument is called your thesis. It must be
supported by evidence from the texts.
Why Should Your Essay Contain A Thesis Statement?
to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or
two
to better organize and develop your argument
to provide your reader with a "guide" to your argument
In general your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if
you think of the thesis as the answer to the !uestion your
essay explores.
A strong thesis takes some sort of stand.
"emember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions
about a sub#ect. $or example if you are writing an essay for a
class on fitness you might be asked to choose a popular
weight%loss product to evaluate. &ere are two thesis
statements'
There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana
Herb Tea Supplement.
(his is a weak thesis. $irst it fails to take a stand. )econd the
phrase "negative and positive" aspects" are vague.
Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that
results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass and so poses
a potential danger to customers.
(his is a strong thesis because it takes a stand.
A strong thesis justifies discussion.
Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your
assignment is to write an essay on kinship systems using your
own family as an example you might come up with either of
these two thesis statements'
My family is an extended family.
(his is a weak thesis because it states an observation. Your
reader won*t be able to tell the point of the statement and will
probably stop reading.
While most American families would view consanguine
marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure many
!ranian families li"e my own believe that these marriages
help reinforce "inship ties in an extended family.
(his is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience
contradicts a widely accepted view. + good strategy for
creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is
controversial. "eaders will be interested in reading the rest of
the essay to see how you support your point.
A strong thesis expresses one main idea.
"eaders need to be able to see that your essay has one main
point. If your thesis expresses more than one idea then you
might confuse your readers about the sub#ect of your essay.
$or example'
#ompanies need to exploit the mar"eting potential of the
!nternet and web pages can provide both advertising and
customer support.
(his is a weak thesis statement because the reader can*t decide
whether the essay is about marketing on the Internet or web
pages. (o revise the thesis the relationship between the two
ideas needs to become clearer. ,ne way to revise the thesis
would be to write'
The !nternet is filled with tremendous mar"eting potential$
companies should exploit this potential by using web pages
that offer both advertising and customer support.
(his is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are
related. &int' a great many clear and engaging thesis
statements contain words like "because" "since" "so"
"although" "unless" and "however."
A strong thesis statement is specific.
+ thesis statement should show exactly what your essay will be
about and will help you keep your essay to a manageable
topic. $or example if you write an essay on hunger you might
say'
World hunger has many causes and effects.
(his is a weak thesis statement for two ma#or reasons. $irst
"world hunger" can*t be discussed thoroughly in five or ten
pages. )econd "many causes and effects" is vague. You should
be able to identify specific causes and effects. + revised thesis
might look like this'
Hunger persists in Appalachia because %obs are scarce and
farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.
(his is a strong thesis because it narrows the sub#ect to a more
specific and manageable topic and it also identifies the specific
causes for the existence of hunger.
Your turn
-rite a thesis statement for consumerism along the lines of the
one below.
Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that
results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass and so poses
a potential danger to customers.
(his is a strong thesis because it takes a stand.
Example % (he greed and superficiality that characterises
.onsumerism promotes the loss of personal connection and so
poses a disturbing threat to the emotional and spiritual
wellbeing of our society.
What should an introduction do?
Whatever you are writingan essay, a report, an article, a
journal, a literature review, or any other piece of academic
writingthe introduction will be the first thing the reader sees. If
an introduction is poorly written or constructed, if it does not tell
readers what they need to know, if it does not help readers to
orient themselves to your paperthen you have lost your
readers' goodwill right from the beginning, and can be sure of
losing marks, no matter how well the rest of the assignment is
constructed.
Its essential, then, that you get the introduction right. his
means that you must know what the introduction is supposed to
do, what sorts of things must go into the introduction, how to
write and structure the introduction properly, and how to
interest your reader from the start.
An introduction should do the folloing!

!ave a thesis

Indicate the scope and direction of the paper, and act as a navigation
guide to its reading.

show the reader how you are interpreting and approaching the
"uestion

provide a conte#t for the main issue

indicate a conceptual understanding


Your turn
Example % (he greed and superficiality that characterises
.onsumerism promotes the loss of personal connection and so
poses a disturbing threat to the emotional and spiritual
wellbeing of our society.
In (insert poem title), Dawe is critical of the way consumer
cultures
Similarly, in (insert name of Unseen poem), conveys
Topic sentence what pararaph is a!out, lin" !ac" to thesis
some how
Te#tual evi$ence e#ample from the te#t that will prove your
point
Summative sentence reinforcin what you %ust sai$ roun$s
up your pararaph