Checklist for an effective thesis statement

Your instructor will likely give you a handful of topics to choose from or a general topic area. Depending on the instructions you're given, you will have to select and refine the topic. You can choose something you're already interested in or something you know nothing about—either way, you'll be doing your research and learning along the way. Use various sources of information.

With the vast amount of information available today, you're far from limited when it comes to choosing your sources. Use books, websites, journal articles, research studies, interviews—the world is your oyster!

How to Write a Thesis Statement in 5 Simple Steps

Just remember to keep track of your sources so that you can cite them properly and add them to your bibliography. Also check what kinds of sources your professor wants: primary, secondary, or both? Brainstorm original ideas. Brainstorm ideas, and use mind mapping to come up with an original thesis statement. Mind maps are diagrams that help you organize your thoughts and visually understand how they are connected.

Your goal should be to develop a thesis statement that embodies the focus and direction of your essay—it's what your essay is all about. Do not plagiarize.

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

Cite your work and give credit where it's due. Do not take credit for others' thoughts or ideas, and make yourself aware of the basic rules for avoiding plagiarism. Create an outline. Make a rough outline of the sections and points of your essay. Writing your ideas down will help you organize your thoughts and see what you need to add, change, or rearrange. Provide evidence. Use evidence from your research to support your ideas. Each body paragraph will contain an original idea, but you will need to back it up with evidence to make it credible.

Don't use "I" statements or make sweeping generalizations. Stay objective, and be specific. Grab your audience's attention. Come up with an attention-grabbing title and introduction that will make your reader want more. Use logic. Within each paragraph and throughout your essay, keep your ideas coherent and linear. Use an essay style that complements your content and is in accordance with your professor's guidelines.

How to Build a Thesis Statement

There are four main types of essays: Expository : The writer explains an idea or issue to the reader. Persuasive : The writer tries to convince the reader to take his or her position on an idea, issue, or topic. Analytical : The writer examines and analyzes an idea, issue, or topic. Argumentative : The writer tries to prove that his or her position is correct. Answer what , why , and how. Regardless of the type of essay you write, it should answer each of these questions. Don't feel obliged to write your first draft in order, from introduction to bibliography.

It can be difficult to write a completely linear essay when you have lots of different ideas, so start by writing whatever you're ready to write—you can put all the pieces together later. This will make the process easier and less stressful. Introduction The introductory paragraph broadly introduces your topic by giving your reader an overview of what your essay will be about and the points that will be discussed. Do not explicitly explain your intentions. For example, do not say, "The purpose of this essay is to.

Research Paper Writing Checklist

By the time readers get to the end, they will have a comprehensive understanding of your essay and its intent. Choose a thesis statement that the body of your essay will be able to support. This thesis will be the "hook" of your essay, and it is often one of the last sentences in the introductory paragraph. A hook is a line that grabs the reader's attention—it "hooks" them, just like a fishing hook grabs a fish. The goal of the hook is to keep your reader interested and to clearly indicate the purpose of the essay.

Body The body of the essay develops the argument that was outlined in the introduction.

How to Write a Thesis Statement in 5 Simple Steps

Use topic sentences. The topic sentence of each paragraph provides a brief summary of what the paragraph is about. Support each claim.


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The rest of the paragraph explains and supports the topic sentence, providing concrete evidence to support it. This can be done by citing specific works or quoting reputable sources. Where does the supporting evidence come from? It can come from a variety of sources e. Set up the transition to your next point.

The concluding sentence of each paragraph should function as a hook and transition into the next paragraph. Discuss and support a different idea in each paragraph. Limit each paragraph to one main idea. The topic sentence of each paragraph will help you organize your own thoughts and let the reader know what that paragraph is about.


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  • If you're writing a five-paragraph essay, follow this general outline: The first paragraph contains the strongest argument and ties into the hook at the end of the introductory paragraph. Discuss your first point, elaborate on it, and provide evidence in support of it.

    Strong thesis statement checklist

    Close with a transitional hook. The second paragraph contains a more neutral argument, and it ties into the hook at the end of the first paragraph.


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    • Discuss your second point, elaborate on it, and provide evidence to support it. The third paragraph contains another strong argument and ties into the hook at the end of the second paragraph. Discuss your third point, elaborate on it, and provide evidence to support it. Close with a transitional sentence that leads smoothly into the concluding paragraph. Conclusion In contrast to the introductory paragraph, the concluding paragraph starts out specific by reintroducing the thesis and becomes more general.

      Restate your thesis though not necessarily using the exact same words.

      5.1 Apply Prewriting Models

      It ties your ideas together and brings your paper to a close. Discuss your findings based on your research and evidence. Has your thesis been proven? Don't introduce any new ideas. The point here is to sum up and wrap up your essay, not to confuse readers by providing new information. End on a high note. You can finish the essay in a variety of ways.

      For example, you might provide suggestions for future research, state a call to action, share a quote, or ask a question. Depending on the topic and purpose of your essay, choose a closing line that will fit well with the rest of your essay's structure and leave readers thinking " Wow! Use the style guide assigned by your instructor. However, there are many other style guides including style guides that are specific to individual universities , so check with your instructor to make sure you know which style you should be using. Remember that both your references and in-text citations must be correct and consistently follow the same style guide.

      To make creating your reference list easier, use citation software. There are many different options out there, and several of the software programs are free especially if you're enrolled in a university that has a subscription to one of the services. These citation software programs essentially create your bibliography for you, making the process fast, easy, and accurate.

      Review, Revise, Rework Give yourself a day or two before rereading and revising your essay. What is a Thesis Statement? A single sentence that is located at the end of your introduction. Tells the reader what your opinion is and what paper is going to prove.

      Directs your reader to the main pieces of evidence you will explore.