Before discussing how to write a thesis statement, lets begin by defining what a thesis statement is. To begin with, a thesis statement is one or two sentences that outline the purpose or the main point(s) of the paper. Depending on the type of the paper, a thesis statement either declares your stand on a given issue and gives reasons as to why you have taken that particular stand or declares your intentions and guides the reader to the conclusion you have reached. NB: A thesis statement is different from a thesis paper. A thesis paper is a research paper submitted by a student to support his or her application for a given academic degree.
Types of thesis statements
There exist two main types of thesis statements viz. argumentative or persuasive and informative or expository thesis statements.
The argumentative thesis statement contains an opinion and justification for the opinion. For instance, Chocolate coconut cake is the best type of cake because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good. This is a type of argumentative thesis statement because I have stated my opinion (the best type of sandwich) followed by an explanation as to why I think my opinion is correct.
The expository thesis statement declares the author’s intentions and guides the reader to the conclusion that you reach. For example; To make a chocolate coconut cake, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments. This particular thesis statement shows the reader the topic (a type of cake) and the direction the essay will take which is describing how to make a chocolate coconut cake.
How to write a thesis statement
Step 1: Develop a research question
Compose a research question that you want to answer. You can formulate the question from the assignment prompt.
Step 2: Find an answer and take a position
Look for a simple answer that will help guide your research and writing and if you’re writing an argumentative paper, you should pick one side and take a strong position on the issue.
Step 3: Support your answer
Here you are required to defend your answer with logical reasoning and evidence. Given that it is a research process, your answer is likely to change as you discover new evidence. You should take this opportunity to refine your thesis statement.
A strong thesis statement should be concise– build up to a central argument, contentious– make a claim that requires further evidence, analysis or argument to back it up and coherent– should have several parts that add up to a coherent whole.
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