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Thesis Builder

Thesis Builder

This thesis builder article has been written to help you create that perfect thesis for every one of your writing assignments, be it an essay, a research paper, a dissertation, or anything else.

Definition of a thesis statement

Every essay or paper should have a central theme or a main idea and all the arguments you make in the paper or essay should be around this central idea. The particular sentence that captures this central theme or idea is called as the thesis statement.

A thesis statement is usually not more than one or two sentences long. It should contain the topic question and also your position or stand in relation to the subject. A thesis statement helps your reader understand how the paper is going to flow and also helps you keep your arguments focused.

How to formulate a thesis statement?

The thesis statement should be placed in the introductory paragraph of the paper. This is important so that the reader gets an idea of the direction earlier on. Here are some tips to create a great thesis:

  • Do not put it in the middle of a paragraph or very late in the paper

  • Be specific and clear and do not use vague words

  • While the thesis statement should clearly state the point of the essay, do not use sentence structures like, "I would like to use this essay to prove that," or "The point of my essay is," etc.

  • As you present your arguments in the paper, you will be able to refine, evolve, and make your thesis statement more specific than when you started with the paper

If there are two sentences to make your thesis, then check for the following before proceeding:

  • Are the two sentences loosely connected by a simple conjunction such as but, or, and, for, yet, etc?

  • Would a subordinating conjunction be more suitable such as although, while, since, etc?

  • Are the two sentences coming across as fuzzy or vague? If yes, then convert the two sentences into one focused statement and then move forward.

Ensure your thesis statement is not very general. A long essay that is not focused and crisp but meanders all over the topic will not earn any brownie points from your professor.

Here is an example of a general thesis statement: Horror movies of today are very violent. The reader will have no idea which direction the paper will take. What kind of horror movies will be spoken about? What kind of violence will be discussed in the paper? There is no clear direction in the thesis statement.

Now compare the following thesis statements to the above one:

Driven by the advanced technologies available today, filmmakers are producing horror films that are extremely graphic leading to desensitization of violence among the modern youth. Here the reader will clearly get the idea that the essay will lead to how desensitized today's youth are to even extreme violence.

The extreme pornographic violence depicted in the horror movies of today degrades both men and women. Here too, the reader will clearly know that the essay will talk about how degrading the pornographic horror movies are.

The modern day highly graphical horror movies fail to deliver the emotional cathartic effect of the 1940s. Here, the paper will talk about the missing emotional element that was present in the earlier horror movies.

The three thesis statements are specific and clearly tell you the direction the paper is going to take as against the first one which gave no clue to the readers as to the direction the paper is going to take.

Clarity is critical to a good thesis statement

Just like all aspects of your writing, your thesis statement must also be as clear as possible. Clarity in your thesis statement will leave no doubt in your reader's mind as to what to expect in the paper. Here are some tips you can use to bring in clarity in your thesis statement:

  • Avoid technical language except if you are writing a technical paper. Avoid use of jargon too unless you are absolutely certain that your target audience can recognize the jargon.

  • Avoid words that convey ambiguity as such as difficult, interesting, unusual, exciting, etc

  • Avoid abstract words like culture, society, values, etc which could mean encompass anything or leave out everything

The scope of these ambiguous words, if used, must be clearly explained to the reader in the beginning itself. For example, do not assume that the reader understands the meaning of the word, "society," the same way as you do. To you, society could mean the entire country whereas for your reader it could mean only the community or neighborhood or class that he or she comes from. Here is a set of two thesis statements which illustrates the point of clarity:

While the timber wolf is a gentle and timid animal, it is being systematically and consistently exterminated by humans. [If it is gentle and timid, why is the timber wolf being systematically killed? Isn't is unclear?]

Now, look at the revised thesis statement: Even if the timber wolf is actually a gentle and timid animal, it is being systematically killed by man because of a misconception that it is a cold-blooded and ferocious killer. Now, this thesis statement is very clear leaving no doubt in the mind of the reader about the intent and direction of the paper.

The thesis statement must include your position with respect to the topic

The thesis statement should not merely state facts but should also include what stand you will be taking with respect to the topic. Here are some tips along with examples of a good thesis statement for each tip:

Don't merely state the topic in the thesis statement. Clearly specify the angle of perception you are going to take in the paper. For example, instead of merely saying, "I will be discussing the relationship between early childhood and fairy tales," a better thesis statement could be, "Fairy tales are not merely empty stories for children but illustrate the working of young children's minds."

Don't make universal statements in your thesis statement. Instead, specify more details in it. For example, instead of saying, "It is important to save whales," a better statement could be, "To preserve the biological diversity of the world at large and oceans in particular, it is very important that we save our whales."

If you are going to take a judgmental call, then reason it out in your thesis statement. For example, instead of saying, "Socialism is the best way forward for Kenya," a better thesis statement will be, "Taking over of industries by the government will improve efficiencies and help in better distribution of wealth among the people."

Your thesis statement should not merely report a known fact. You should expand it further with your own ideas. For example, instead of saying, "Nixon's administration was rife with scandals," a better thesis statement would be, "The numerous scandals of Nixon's administration reflect a basic fault in the presidential nomination process of the party."

It would be highly impossible to get that perfect thesis statement the first time you write it. As you do more research and present your arguments, you will see the thesis statement evolving and becoming clearer during the writing process.

Final Notes

Keep your thesis statement original and avoid generic statements. Clarity and specificity are the two arms of a great thesis statement. Always be conscious of these two elements and ensure they are maintained. A great thesis statement is the basis of a great paper. It reflects the intelligence and the excellent writing skills of the writer.

You can call Prescott Papers for a variety of custom thesis writing services. Our team of writers and editors will be happy to help you with all your academic writing needs.

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