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Writing Center

Creating a Clear Thesis Statement

So What?

Writers must consider readers' expectations. For example, readers typically expect a written text that is organized and cohesive. One way of helping readers understand the organization and cohesion of ideas within a text is by including a clear thesis statement. Without a clear thesis statement, readers will not know what to expect in a text, they will struggle to follow ideas, and they might feel that the writer is unsure of his/her purpose for writing.

Summarized Explanation

  • End an introduction with a thesis statement.
  • Avoid using first-person perspective in a thesis statement.
  • Create a concise thesis statement that is ideally one sentence long.
  • Include a main statement and at least three key ideas to form the thesis statement.

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Detailed Explanation

For starters, it is important to note that a thesis statement may take different forms depending on the type of text, and sometimes a thesis statement will be subtle. However, most written texts can benefit from a strong, distinct thesis statement at the very end of the introductory section. A thesis statement should ideally be a single sentence that presents a writer’s main statement about a topic along with at least three key ideas that will be used to prove the statement. Furthermore, it is best to avoid first-person perspective (I think, I feel, I believe), which can make the statement sound too informal. Lastly, a thesis statement serves as a road map for a written text, so the order of ideas presented in the thesis statement should be mirrored in the body section of the text.

Examples (all using the same general topic of this writing guide)

Type of Writing Main Statement Key Ideas Full Thesis Statement
Evaluation

This writing guide about thesis statements is effective.

  

clear, concise, and relevant This writing guide about thesis statements is effective because it is clear, concise, and relevant.
Proposal

This writing guide about thesis statements should be offered in other languages.

accessibility, standardized writing practices, site traffic This writing guide about thesis statements should be offered in other languages to make the information more accessible, encourage standardized writing practices across cultures, and increase site traffic.
Informative Report

This writing guide about thesis statements was developed as a comprehensive resource.

significance, standards, and form This writing guide about thesis statements was developed as a comprehensive resource, which includes information about the significance, standards, and form of thesis statements.
Argumentation

This writing guide will likely have a far-reaching effect.

school, work, and ministry

This writing guide will likely have a far-reaching effect since it is intended to support people who are writing for school, work, and ministry.  

Consider using the Thesis Generator tool as a first step in creating a thesis statement with a main statement and three key ideas.