What is a thesis statement? It is the most important sentence in your paper!
• A one-sentence guide for your readers to what you will prove in your research paper.
• An opinion statement for which you will present supporting evidence.
• A clear expression of your viewpoint, which must be a claim that others might dispute.
How do I create a thesis statement?
• Choose an issue you'd like to explore.
• Read, read, read about your topic! Whatever you do, don't skip this step! It will not only save you time, but it will also prevent disaster later on.
• Brainstorm your ideas about the topic.
• Write a few questions you might want to answer in your research paper.
• Compose a few complete sentences that answer the questions.
Try using the "Even though...nevertheless...because" formula:
Here is a formula for drafting a thesis statement, using three key words:
• Even though (or although) - states the main argument AGAINST your opinion
• Nevertheless - tells your basic position on the topic (consider using the word "should" for this part)
• Because - states the strongest evidence that SUPPORTS your opinion
Here are two examples, each taking a different side of the capital punishment controversy:
Although victims' families might like to have revenge, nevertheless, capital punishment should be abolished because life in prison without parole is less expensive and makes the criminal face his guilt longer.
Although it doesn't deter other criminals, nevertheless, we need capital punishment because each execution makes it certain that one murderer will not kill again.
How do I know if I have a good thesis statement?
Make sure you can answer "yes" to the first two questions and "no" to the last one:
• Does your thesis statement take a stand on an issue?
• Could a reasonable person disagree with your statement?
• Would a reasonable person respond "So what?" or "Who cares?" to your thesis statement?Extra Help
- a topic
- opinions about the topic
- some reasons for your opinion and why other people might disagree.