8 Tips for Constructing an Amazing Thesis Statement

Posted by on March 15, 2013

A thesis statement is arguably the most important sentence in any essay; yet, most students don’t know how to properly construct a thesis statement.

Thesis Statement, Minnesota School of BusinessFor those of you who don’t know: a thesis statement is the main idea of an essay, which sets the tone for the rest of your paper.

According to Minnesota School of Business writing instructor, Ryan Hanson, it’s understandable that many students are intimidated by the thought of writing a thesis.

Have no fear though—Ryan has put together these 8 tips for constructing an amazing thesis statement just for you:

  • Tell the reader your opinion: A thesis expresses a debatable stance, viewpoint, or proposal. Try this quick test on your next thesis: Ask, “Could a reasonable person disagree with this statement?” If the answer is yes, you probably have a good thesis statement.
  • Stick to one idea: A thesis should contain one, and only one, idea. The essay may have several supporting points to make, but they all should defend the main idea.
  • Make sure it fits: Most essays are fairly short and the writer won’t have the space to go into more than two or three supporting ideas. Consequently, a thesis should only bite off as much as can be covered in the paper.
  • Be specific: Use clear, accurate language to outline your claim. Avoid vague words that have little meaning like “interesting.”
  • Put your thesis in the right spot: The thesis commonly appears as the last sentence of the introduction. If by the end of the introduction your reader can’t tell what the rest of the essay will be about, you’ve failed.
  • Map it out: A mapped thesis adds the main supporting ideas onto the thesis. Mapping is not necessary, but a mapped thesis works as a wonderful organizational tool and helps readers to follow along.
  • Stay focused: After drafting a strong thesis, the rest of the paper needs to support the claim the thesis makes. If parts of the paper don’t defend, examine, or explain the thesis in some way, you may need to do some revisions.  
  • Don’t be afraid of change: Sometimes your stance might change as you write your paper. That’s fine, but be sure to alter your thesis to match your stance.

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