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What Is a Thesis in an Essay?

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❶Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:

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Thesis Statement Definition
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What is a Thesis?

What Is an Organizational Thesis? What Is a Thesis in an Essay? Function The thesis is a statement of the paper's purpose; it therefore drives every paragraph of the essay.

Features A thesis statement is a single sentence. Location Writers commonly place the thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph. Identification Besides its location, the thesis can be identified by its clear statement of the essay's purpose. Benefits A thesis provides the reader with a controlling idea that places the rest of the essay in context.

Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Just as all the parts of your body are connected to the spine, and without the spine your body could not stand, so too in your essay all parts must be connected to the thesis, and without the thesis the essay cannot stand.

Parts that are not connected must be revised so that they do connect, or else eliminated. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot in your essay; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.

An arguable thesis is one you have to give reasons for, that is worth proving i. So my example above is not a valid thesis, because everybody knows what color the sky is. This statement is not obvious, and it would require evidence about the nature of the atmosphere a billion years ago, and explanations of why that evidence is reliable, in order to be proved. Theses can be statements about matters of fact e. In this class theses about values are not allowed. Your paper should make a persuasive case about some question of fact, interpretation or analysis.

Your paper will then attempt to answer this question, and the answer you provide will be your thesis. In order for it to be a thesis statement, it has to be arguable, and cannot be considered fact. In academic writing, the thesis statement will generally be placed at the end of your introductory paragraph, at the beginning of your paper. A more advanced writer may place a thesis statement anywhere in their writing.

General Statement A general statement differs from a thesis statement in that it does not have anything to do with your stance on the topic. It is just a sentence that once you start explaining, may start to resemble a thesis.

A general statement is one that does not need to be supported, and is more of an explanation or events, circumstances, or facts. When writing an assignment, the function of a general statement is to clarify points or add to ideas.

Which One To Choose If you are looking for a controlling statement or a main idea, then a thesis statement is what you need. But if you are beginning a new essay, and you are not required to take a stance on the subject, a general statement is probably going to work better for you.

Once you figure out what kind of writing you need to do, selecting what kind of statements you need will be a little easier.


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Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships.

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2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive. Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay. For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.

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Essay Writing vs. Thesis Writing. For the duration of the time you are in school, writing assignments will just be a part of everyday life. For some, you will be required to do intensive research, but for others, it may be more about parroting facts. Essay writing is a key skill for any student, and the thesis statement is the key sentence of any essay. Function. The thesis is a statement of the paper's purpose; it therefore drives every paragraph of .

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Thesis (plural: theses, pronounced THEES-eez): The point that an essay is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something.