Thesis Statement

A Thesis statement, in essays, is a single line which clarifies the main argument for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement, is usually found at the end of the first paragraph of an [essay] or similar document, and summarizes the main point and perspective of the writer. The main function of a thesis statement is to introduce the reader to the purpose of the document and outline the major topics that will be covered to achieve that purpose. The thesis statement must then be referred to in the conclusion of the essay, as the author must then balance the multiple perspectives presented in the argument: which side of the argument is stronger and how does this enhance the reader’s understanding of the debate? If the main argument of the essay in unclear, then the thesis statement is badly written.

A thesis statement is an assertion, not a statement of fact or an observation.

* Fact or observation: People use many lawn chemicals.

* Thesis: People are poisoning the environment with chemicals merely to

keep their lawns clean.

A thesis takes a stand rather than announcing a subject.

* Announcement: The thesis of this paper is the difficulty of solving our environmental problems.

* Thesis: Solving our environmental problems is more difficult than many environmentalists believe.

A thesis is the main idea, not the title. It must be a complete sentence that explains in some detail what you expect to write about.

* Title: Social Security and Old Age.

* Thesis: Continuing changes in the Social Security System makes it almost impossible to plan intelligently for one’s retirement.

A thesis statement is narrow, rather than broad. If the thesis statement is sufficiently narrow, it can be fully supported.

* Broad: The American steel industry has many problems.

* Narrow: The primary problem of the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment.

A thesis statement is specific rather than vague or general.

* Vague: Hemingway’s war stories are very good.

* Specific: Hemingway’s stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words.


A thesis statement has one main point rather than several main points. More than one point may be too difficult for the reader to understand and the writer to support.

* More than one main point: Stephen Hawking’s physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world-renowned physicist, and his book is the subject of a movie.

* One Main point: Stephen Hawking’s physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world renowned physicist.

You can revise your thesis statement whenever you want to while you are writing your essay. Writers often discover what their real purpose and point is in the process of putting their thoughts into words and then reading what they’ve written.