What is the purpose of a thesis statement

What is the purpose of a thesis statement

As a student, you have definitely have come across professors insisting on the use of a thesis statement in your essays. Or asking you to use a strong thesis statement. For most students, they do not understand the meaning of a thesis statement or even the essence of the thesis statement. Whenever a thesis statement is mentioned, the formidable question students ask themselves is, what is the purpose of a thesis statement?

What is the purpose of a thesis statement

A thesis statement is a sentence that asserts something about a topic and forecasts how it will be developed. It doesn’t only announce a topic; it communicates something about it.

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Good: X has made a significant impact on the global warming due to its . . .

Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

A thesis statement format promises the reader something about the goal, scope, and direction of the writing. It summarizes the writer’s conclusions on the subject.

A thesis statement is usually found near the end of an introduction. The thesis may be expressed in several sentences or a whole paragraph in a lengthy paper.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough that it can be substantiated within the parameters of the article. Keywords (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and structure of supporting evidence, analysis or arguments emphasis, and suggestive of the scope of the study.

What is the purpose of a thesis statement: Is your thesis serving a purpose?

Assume you’re writing on the United States Constitution. You construct the following thesis statement example: “The United States Constitution established ideals that remain highly vital to our government today.” Now consider whether this thesis is serving its objective. Is it a particular argument? No, not at all.

It is an unarguable argument, yet it is so vast that you would need to write loads of pages to explain all of the problems covered by this thesis. Is it intended to be a guide for the reader? No, because the reader has no idea what principles you’re going to discuss or why they’re so important.

A more compelling thesis statement example could be, “The ‘commerce clause’ in Article 1, Section 8 has been the most influential single line in the Constitution, shaping the size and scope of the modern federal government.” This is an argument that is precise enough to argue and will inform your reader about the topic of your essay.

What are the Aspects of a Good Thesis Statement Outline?

Whenever you write an essay, assume that you are guiding your readers through uncharted territory. You must provide clear signals to your readers throughout your article to let them know where they are going. The most crucial of these is your thesis statement, which is typically a one-sentence statement stating the specific claim you will defend throughout your essay.

It’s an Argument

The thesis statement is an argument, not just a reiteration of the question or prompt. It should be an argument that takes a stance on which others may disagree. For example, if you’re writing on the Civil War, the thesis “The United States Civil War was fought for numerous causes, both good and evil” is insufficient. That statement makes no claim or argument; it just presents a fact and makes an observation.

It’s Specific

It is critical to have a precise thesis statement for each essay. A particular thesis will not only act as a useful roadmap for your reader, but it will also serve you well by ensuring that you can justify your thesis.

Every thought in your essay should complement your argument, therefore having a clear thesis can help you identify when ideas are irrelevant. The thesis “The lingering impacts of the Civil War have the biggest influence in defining American politics today” is an argument that takes a stance, but it is so wide that it would be difficult to sustain in an essay and your readers would have no idea where you are taking them.

It expresses a Unifying Concept.

As precise as your thesis is, it should also integrate all of the other concepts and sub-arguments in your essay, as they all reinforce the thesis. The thesis serves as the foundation for all of the other points in your essay, therefore it must address them all.

Because the arguments are disconnected and focused on multiple themes, the thesis “The battles of Bleeding Kansas directly affected the Civil War, and the South was fighting largely to maintain the institution of slavery” does not work very well. Both of these arguments would be difficult to defend at the same time.

A perfect thesis statement example

A thesis such as “The Civil War was essentially an economic war caused by the loss of power of the agrarian states of the South to a quickly industrializing North.” This statement makes an argument and sparks debate. People may disagree with your argument, but because it makes a precise point, it will be easier to support. Your readers will know where the essay is going because you said clearly that you will discuss economic difficulties that contributed to the conflict. You contend that they were the most important historical causes that led to the war.

Where should my thesis statement go?

A thesis statement is part of your paper’s introduction. It is frequently found in the first or second paragraph to inform the reader about the aim of your research right away.

What should the length of a thesis statement be?

If you are thinking, “how long should a thesis statement be?” A thesis statement should generally consist of one or two sentences. It all depends on your academic and professional background. For more information on this topic, see our guidance on the length of thesis statements.


Should thesis statements be included in high school essays?

Yes. As part of the opening of any decent essay, there should be a thesis statement.  Obviously, as a high school student, you are not required to have a lengthy statement. So a couple of straightforward sentences outlining the purpose of your essay will do.


How to Create a Thesis Statement When the Topic Has Been Assigned

Almost any task, no matter how difficult, can be reduced to a single question. The first step is to narrow down the assignment to a single question. For instance, if the task is to “Write a report to the local school board describing the possible benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” rephrase the request as “What are the potential benefits of utilizing computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve decided on the question to which your essay will respond, write one or two complete sentences in response to that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?”

A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”


A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

How to Create a Thesis Statement When the Topic Has Not Been Assigned

Even though your assignment does not ask a specific question, your thesis statement must answer a question about the topic you wish to investigate. Your duty, in this case, is to decide out what question you want to write about.

A solid thesis statement will typically have the four characteristics listed below:

Takes on a topic on which reasonable people could take on a topic on which reasonable people could debate

Deal with a subject that, given the nature of the assignment, can be effectively dealt with

Present a single main idea

Establish your viewpoint on a topic

Let’s take a look at how to create a thesis statement for a social policy essay.

Brainstorm the topic.

Perhaps your class is concerned with the issues raised by changes in Americans’ food patterns. You become interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You begin with a thesis statement such as this: Sugar consumption.

This paragraph does not have a thesis statement. Instead, it just denotes a broad subject. Furthermore, your reader is confused about what you intend to imply regarding sugar consumption.


Narrow your focus.

However, your research has led you to the conclusion that primary school students consume significantly more sugar than is healthy.

You reatructure your thesis to read as follows:

Sugar consumption among elementary school children is being reduced.

This fragment not only introduces your topic, but it also concentrates on a specific demographic: elementary school kids.

Furthermore, it introduces a topic on which reasonable people might debate, because while most people agree that youngsters are consuming more sugar than they used to, not everyone agrees on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a stand on the subject.

After some further thought on the subject, you conclude that what you truly want to say about it.

You could say that something should be done to minimize the quantity of sugar these children consume.

You update your thesis statement such that it looks something like this:

More emphasis should be placed on the food and beverage options offered to primary school students.

This statement supports your point of view, although the terms “greater attention” and “food and beverage options” are ambiguous.

Use specific language.

You decide to elaborate on your point concerning food and beverage preferences, so you write:

According to experts, half of the elementary school youngsters consume nine times the daily sugar limit.

This is a specific statement, but it is not a thesis. Instead of expressing an assertion, it just gives a statistic.

Make a claim based on clearly presented evidence.

Finally, you revise your thesis statement one more time so that it looks like this:

Because half of all elementary school children in the United States consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be obliged to replace soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Take note of how the thesis responds to the question, “What should be done to minimize children’s sugar consumption, and who should do it?” You may not have had a clear question in mind when you began thinking about the paper, but as you became more immersed in the issue, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis has been updated to reflect your new discoveries.

How to Spot a Good Thesis Statement from a Bad One

  1. A powerful thesis statement takes a stance.

Remember that your thesis must demonstrate your conclusions on a topic. For instance, if you’re writing a paper for a fitness class, you might be asked to assess a popular weight-loss product. Here are a couple of thesis statements examples:

The Banana Herb Tea Supplement has both positive and negative elements.

This is an inadequate thesis statement. For starters, it refuses to take a position. Second, the statement “bad and positive characteristics” is imprecise.

Customers may be jeopardized if they use Banana Herb Tea Supplement since it encourages quick weight loss, which results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass.

This is a powerful thesis since it takes a position and is explicit.

A compelling thesis statement justifies further debate.

The thesis statement should state the topic of the discussion. If you are assigned to write a paper on kinship networks using your own family as an example, you could use one of the following thesis statements:

My family is a big family.

This is a weak thesis because it only makes a single observation. Your reader will be unable to understand the statement’s point and will most likely stop reading.

Whereas most American families would consider consanguineal marriage to be a danger to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, including my own, believe that these marriages assist to strengthen kinship links within an extended family.

This is a powerful thesis because it demonstrates how your experience contradicts a well held belief. A excellent method for developing a powerful argument is to demonstrate that the topic is contentious. Readers will want to read the rest of the essay to see how you back up your perspective

A good thesis statement expresses a single core concept.

Readers should be able to tell that your paper has a single core theme. If your thesis statement reflects more than one viewpoint, your readers may become confused regarding the topic of your paper. As an example:

Companies must take advantage of the Internet’s marketing potential, and Web pages may serve as both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement since the reader is unsure whether the paper is about Internet marketing or Web pages. The relationship between the two ideas must be clarified in order to revise the thesis. One technique to improve the thesis is to write:

Because the Internet has enormous marketing potential, businesses should take advantage of it by creating Web pages that provide both advertising and customer service.

This is a powerful thesis since it demonstrates the relationship between the two concepts. Hint: a great most precise and engaging thesis statements consist of words like, however, unless, since, so, because, although, and so.

A strong thesis statement is detailed.

A thesis statement should describe precisely what your essay will be about and will assist you in keeping your paper on a suitable topic. For example, in a seven-to-ten-page paper on hunger, you might write: World hunger has various causes and effects.

For two fundamental reasons, this is a weak thesis statement. For starters, world hunger cannot be adequately covered in seven to ten pages. Second, many of the causes and effects are hazy. You should be able to distinguish between distinct causes and effects. A revamped thesis could look something like this:

Because jobs are limited and farming in the poor soil is rarely successful, hunger prevails in Glandelinia. This is an effective thesis statement since it narrows the subject to a more particular and manageable topic while also identifying the unique reasons of hunger in the community.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis statement is never a question. Readers of academic writings anticipate questions to be debated, investigated, or even answered. A query (“Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?”) is not an argument, and a thesis is doomed without one.

A thesis is never a list of points. “Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe for political, economic, social, and cultural reasons” does a good job of “telegraphing” to the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons.

However, the only possible grounds for communism’s demise are political, economic, social, and cultural. This sentence is devoid of tension and does not progress the argument. Everyone understands the significance of politics, economics, and culture.

A thesis statement should never be ambiguous, argumentative, or confrontational. “Communism fell in Eastern Europe because communism is wicked,” for example, would be an ineffectual position. This is difficult to discuss (evil from whose point of view? what does evil mean?) because it is more likely to portray you as moralistic and judgmental than rational and comprehensive. It may also elicit a defensive reaction among communist sympathizers. Readers may stop reading immediately if they strongly disagree with you.

An effective thesis makes a specific, definable, and debatable proposition. “While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, economic disintegration played a key role in driving its decline,” is an effective thesis sentence that “telegraphs,” so the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about economic disintegration.

This thesis presents a clear, debatable claim: economic collapse was more crucial than cultural influences in the defeat of communism in Eastern Europe. The reader’s reaction to this statement might be, “Perhaps what the author claims is accurate, but I’m not convinced.”

A thesis should be as specific and unambiguous as feasible. Avoid using overused, broad phrases and abstractions. “Communism failed in Eastern Europe because of the governing elite’s incapacity to handle the people’s economic concerns,” for example, is more forceful than “Communism collapsed owing to social unrest.”

The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement

When writing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but also other factors such as position in the paper, length and the strength of the argument.

Length: Depending on how many elements are mentioned, a thesis statement can be brief or long. However, it is usually only one short sentence. It does have at least two clauses, which are usually an independent clause (the viewpoint) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You should usually strive for a single sentence that is at least two lines long, or about 30 to 40 words.

Position: A thesis statement should always appear at the start of an essay. This is due to the fact that it is a sentence that informs the reader of what the writer is about to address.

Professors will have varied preferences for where the thesis should be placed, but a reasonable rule of thumb is within the last two or three phrases of the introduction paragraph.

Finally, in order for a persuasive proposition to be strong, it must be arguable. This suggests that the assertion isn’t self-evident, and it’s not something that everyone agrees on.

The bottom line

At this point, you definitely understand what is the purpose of a thesis statement. You also understand the tips and also the mistakes to avoid whenever you are tasked with an assignment that requires you to use a thesis statement.

However, it is normal for students to experience challenges when crafting their essays. It could be a tight deadline or maybe just a difficult task. Whenever you need assignment help in any subject, our team of expert writers is here for you. Contact us today.


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