Easy Ways to Write a Thesis Statement
A Good Thesis Statement...
- explains what you want the reader to think, do, believe, or know.
- is usually just one sentence.
- usually comes at the end of the first or second paragraph.
- may give a roadmap of the rest of the essay.
So... how do you write a really good one? Below, you'll find several brainstorming solutions for organizing your thoughts and building a strong and interesting thesis statement.
5 Easy Steps to Write a Thesis
1. Make a Thesis Question
Take your essay topic idea and turn it into a question.
Example: Divorce. Thesis Question: How does divorce affect children?
2. Brainstorm Answers
Write down as many ideas as you can think of. You might want to Google search for ideas.
Example: Divorce causes children to feel insecure about the future, not do as well in school, feel insecure in relationships, worry about their parents, become bullies or be bullied, have to get along with a new family of siblings, have a lower standard of living, wonder if they caused the divorce.
3. Pick a Thesis Answer
Look at your brainstorming and decide your main answer.
Example: How does divorce affect children? Divorce causes children to feel insecure.
4. Make a Thesis Road Map
Now go back to your brainstorming. What are the best reasons for your answer? Try to pick at least three. Add these to your thesis.
Example: How does divorce affect children? Divorce causes children to feel insecure because they often have a lower standard of living after the divorce, they feel less secure in relationships, and they worry about the future.
5. Add Emphasis
Steps 1-4 will help you build a solid thesis, but if you want to bump it up to the next level, you can do two more steps: tell how your view contrasts with other people, and use intensifying transitions like "in reality" or "in fact."
Example Format: Thesis Question. Although (what many people might answer), in reality (your answer) because: (your three or more reasons).
How does divorce affect children? Although some people argue that children quickly get over a parent's split, in reality, divorce causes children to feel insecure for a long time afterwards because they often have a lower standard of living after the divorce, they feel less secure in relationships, and they worry about the future.— (example thesis statement)
How to Make a Great Thesis Sentence
What other people think
thesis/what you think
: list of 3 or more topic ideas
Why do ?
, in reality
the reason is...
because: 3 or more reasons
What causes ?
Some people think...
, the truth is
the cause is...
: 3 or more causes
What is ?
, I believe
that ____ is...
: 3 or more aspects
How does ?
, in fact
what happens is...
: 3 or more steps
What is the history of ?
Most people assume...
the sequence was...
: 3 or more parts
How can we solve ?
Previously, people have tried..
, however, I suggest
the best solution is...
because: 3 or more solutions
Examples of 5 Types of Thesis Statements
Here are a variety of examples of thesis statements for different types of essays:
Thesis Statements That Assert a Cause
For example: Why are Americans rapidly becoming more obese? Some people think that the cause of rising obesity is lack of individual self-control; however, the truth is that Americans' growing waistlines are caused by corporations that covertly add sugar to make foods more addictive, technology which has made people less active and more tied to their work, and too-large portions sizes in restaurants which have ingrained overeating into our habits.
Thesis Statements That Evaluate
For example: Does recycling make a difference? Although it's true that one person's recycling may not make much of a difference, in fact, when all of us join together, we can make a difference. When we all recycle, less waste goes into landfills, reuse becomes a natural reflex, and people get into better habits.
Thesis Statements That Explain
For example: How does playing a sport affect young people? Most people would say that learning how to play is the most important thing children get from a sport. In fact, children who play sports gain even more by learning about teamwork, realizing they must overcome defeat, and accepting their own role on the team.
Thesis Statements That Assert an Argument
For example: Should parents be concerned if their children are obsessed with horror movies? Although many people scoff at the idea that movies influence our behavior, in reality, parents need to be concerned about what their children are watching because children often can't tell truth from fiction, violent images desensitize them to real violence, and kids who watch violence obsessively may exhibit signs of deeper emotional problems. (To learn more about writing argumentative essays, read How to Write an Argumentative Essay, Step by Step.)
Expository Thesis Statements
Although this article might make you think that there is only one method for writing a good thesis statement, in fact, you can write good thesis statements in several different ways. However, by following the method described here, you will learn an easy way to write a complex thesis idea that will not only impress your instructor but will also help you to organize your thoughts and write your essay more easily.
Using One Topic to Write 8 Essay Questions
Here is an example of the different kinds of essay questions you can come up with for the topic of horror movies.
Explaining: What are the shared characteristics of classic horror movies?
History: How have horror movie plots, settings, and characters changed over time?
Cause/Effect: What causes people to enjoy watching horror movies?
Description: What classifies a movie as a "horror" movie?
How to: How can you learn to like horror movies?
Propose a Solution: How should parents handle the violence of horror movies and the effect it has on their kids? (To learn more about Problem/Solution essays, read How to Write a Problem Solution Essay: Step-by-Step Instructions.)
Evaluation: What is the best horror movie of all time?
Argument: Do horror movies cause some people to act out the violence they see on the screen?
How to Use a Semicolon to Write a More Complex Thesis Statement
Using a semicolon in your thesis statement can help you because:
- You can write a longer, more complicated thesis.
- The semicolon makes the thesis statement stand out for your reader.
- Using a semicolon and transition word lets you show how your ideas relate (by contrasting with "however" or adding "moreover").
How can I use a semicolon in a thesis?
1. Combine two sentences by using a semicolon instead of a period (of course, the two sentences must be related to one another). Like this:
Example: I agree with Stephen King that horror movies are popular; I disagree that people who watch them will be less violent.
2. Combine two sentences and use a transition word which explains how the two sentences are related. Like this:
Sentence; transition, sentence.
Example: I agree with Stephen King that horror movies are very popular; however, I disagree that watching them keeps people from doing violence.
How to Use a Colon to Make a Thesis That Has a List of Answers
Using a colon (:) before your list helps you to make that list clearer.
Example: Looking at violence is dangerous: it causes people to be desensitized to real violence, it makes some viewers desire to imitate the violence or ignore the violence of others, and it leaves the viewer wanting even more violence and bloodier special effects.
Parallel structure: In a list, be careful that all of the list items are in the same form. How to check?
- Check the first words of each list item. In the example above, each phrase starts with the same sorts of words: it causes, it makes, and it leaves.
- Can you finish the sentence ("Looking at violence is dangerous...") with all of the listed items? Test each assertion:
- because watching violence causes people to be desensitized...
- because watching violence makes some viewers imitate...
- because watching violence leaves the viewer wanting even more...
Questions & Answers
What do you think of, "what is the effect of addiction to online gaming?" for a thesis?
Other questions on this topic could be:
1. Is online gaming addictive?
2. When is a gaming addiction destructive?
3. Can online gaming train people to deal with real-world problems?Helpful 34
How do I write about the difference between American and Filipino desserts or snacks? What I want to say that the difference is that Filipino snacks or desserts do not use as much sugar.
Combine your ideas into one good comparison and contrast sentence. For example, you could say, "American and Filipino desserts are both delicious, but Filipino snacks and desserts do not use as much sugar or contain as many ingredients as American treats."Helpful 19
How can I use the question "Why is chocolate important?" as a topic for a thesis statement?
Your question would be better if you narrowed it to explain what kind of importance you are talking about. Here are some ideas:
1. Why is chocolate so important to me?
2. Why is chocolate production so important in (choose a country)?
3. Why is chocolate so important that people choose it as their favorite flavor?
4. Why is chocolate so important in a healthy diet?
5. Why is chocolate the favorite flavor of many people?Helpful 14
"How can a graduate degree further a career goal?" Would this be a good thesis statement?
That topic is rather specific but could be a good thesis question. The answer to that question would be the thesis statement. Other possible questions could be:
1. Why is a graduate degree important?
2. How important to your career is a graduate degree?Helpful 11
Why is Head Start important?
A good topic question generally can be answered in more than one way. Here are some better ways of wording this topic:
1. How important is Head Start?
2. Is Head Start an effective way to get children ready for school?
3. Should Head Start programs be given more attention and support?Helpful 10