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CONSTRUCTING A THESIS STATEMENT

THESIS STATEMENT
is the concise expression of what the paper is all about.
is a declarative statement that states the main idea of the research study.
also helps you in limiting the scope of the study and in shaping the structure of the paper.
provides you direction in gathering information for your research paper;
will also determine what ideas should be fleshed out in the paper; and
helps you find focus

THE THESIS STATEMENT V.S. THE TOPIC SENTENCE


Sullivan (1994, p. 134) writes:
A thesis statement governs the content and structure of the whole composition,
whereas the topic sentence guides only one of its parts or paragraphs. Both sentences are signals of
what is to come. The thesis statement plans the trip, as it was; the topic sentence shows one of the
places that must be passed through to get to the destination.
Thus, A THESIS STATEMENT is
broader, covers the idea for the whole essay or research paper
presents 1,2,or 3 ideas which are carefully developed
A TOPIC SENTENCE is
specific to a paragraph, chapter or section
focuses only on one idea within the paragraph/chapter
a sentence which ideas should be logically connected and is usually incorporated to the thesis
statement

FUNCTIONS AND QUALITIES OF A GOOD THESIS STATEMENT


1. The thesis statement is an answer to a research question.
2. The thesis statement predicts, controls, and obligates.
3. The thesis statement is an indicator of position or belief about a particular idea.
4. The thesis statement is different from a topic sentence.

SAMPLE THESIS STATEMENT AND TOPIC SENTENCE


Thesis statement: Too much dieting should be avoided because it can lead to loss of strength,
starvation, and different diseases.
Topic sentence 1
One effect of dieting is the loss of strength in a person.
Topic sentence 2
Starvation is another effect of excessive dieting.
Topic sentence 3
Low resistance to diseases can be another effect when one rejects food immoderately.

Remember: A thesis statement is not


a fragment
a question
a command
a definition
a source/a material
a statement of fact or statistics
obvious/cliche
an opinion or value judgment

STEPS IN WRITING A THESIS STATEMENT


1. Focus on your chosen topic.
2. Have a specific goal in writing your report.
3. Use an affirmative tone to indicate that you believe you are correct in your assumption about
the answer to your research question.
4. A thesis statement should be specific.
5. It should be your guide throughout the entire research process.
(AWS text, p.43)

FORMATS OF A THESIS STATEMENT


FORMAT 1: THE THESIS STATEMENT AS A STATEMENT OF INTENT
What do you intend to show in your paper?
What does your paper seek to accomplish?
What is the purpose of your paper?
Examples of thesis statements (format 1)
In this paper, the researchers intend to prove that yoga is the best possible way to cure heart
problems.
This paper seeks to study more closely the effects of television violence on viewers.
This paper aims to show that exercising and dieting produce most effective results in the
treatment of diabetes.

FORMAT 2: THE THESIS STATEMENT AS A STATEMENT OF POSITION


This kind of thesis statement answers the following questions:
What do you believe in?
What do you believe about the topic?
EXAMPLES (Format 2)
Having the right Internet security software is important because it helps prevent hacking.
The computer is efficient in teaching English because it is effective, dependable, and
entertaining.

FORMAT 3: THE THESIS STATEMENT AS A PRO-CON STATEMENT


This kind of statement answers the question What are the two sides of the issue?
The view in the main clause is the one that the paper needs to prove.
EXAMPLES (Format 3)
Although the all-protein and the no-carbohydrate diets may help adults shed off unwanted fat,
they may also promote malfunction of the heart and the nervous system, anaphylactic shock
(allergy to protein), and diabetes.

Although Western medicine is a commonly accepted method in treating ailments, acupuncture


should still be administered because it is proven to be effective in aiding the sick despite the
fact that at times, it needs to be combined with other therapies to be effective.