Thesis Statement

How To Write a Thesis statement

Thesis statement remains one of the most popular sentences in all essay writing. You must have heard your professor insist that for your essay to score highly, it must have a strong thesis statement.

So, what is a thesis statement? How to write it? Where to place it? What is meant by a strong thesis statement? Importance of the thesis statement? Read through to understand these.

Thesis statement definition

A thesis statement is defined as a short statement that summarizes the entire essay or poses a claim, that is supported or explained in the essay body by use of facts, examples, or illustrations. A thesis statement is mostly the last sentence of the first paragraph,

Importance of a thesis statement

  • Informs the reader what the rest of the paper will be talking about.
  • It is the basis of the claim that readers or criticizers can dispute.
  • Informs readers how you will elaborate on the subject matter.

Types of Thesis statements

Based on the essay you have chosen above, you can either have a persuasive thesis statement or an argumentative thesis statement.

  1. Explanatory thesis statement – A statement that just states the fact about the subject matter. It does not pose a position or claim to provoke a debate.
  2. Argumentative thesis statement – A statement that is simply a claim, therefore, readers can choose to agree or disagree with. It provokes a debate

Characteristics of a strong thesis statement?

A strong thesis statement should be:

  1. Debatable: A debatable thesis statement is one that critics should present opposing ideas against the claim.
  2. Should not be obvious: The statement should not be plain.
  3. Specific and Narrow: A thesis statement is said to be narrow when it has a narrow scope. Such a thesis requires a few evidence to support the claim. When a thesis is broad, you will require a lot of points to convince the opposers which may be difficult.

Thesis Statement Example

“Government should reduce drug trafficking among the youth “

Questions: Is the above thesis statement debatable, obvious, and specific?

Analysis: Based on the above facts, let us evaluate if the above thesis statement example is strong.

  • It is obvious: It is obvious that the government should reduce drug trafficking. Secondly, it is obvious that drug trafficking is usually among the youth. 
  •  It is not debatableSince it is obvious that drug trafficking affects youth and government should reduce it, the statement has nothing to be debated about. 
  • It is not specific: The above thesis statement is not specific rather it is general. 

Correct thesis statement Example

Above thesis statement could have read as below:

 “Drug trafficking among the youth can reduce by 50% if the government can create drug awareness centres in each town.”

Readers and critics can easily debate whether this claim is possible or not. This is a good example of how to write a debatable thesis statement that is not very obvious.

5 Thesis Statement Writing Tips

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to write a strong thesis statement. 

Step 1: Decide what type of essay:  Decide whether the essay you want to write is:

  • Analytical Essays that break down a concept and evaluates ideas within the concepts, then present the ideas to the potential audience
  • Expository –  Essays that elaborate or explain a concept to the audience.
  • Argumentative– Essays that pose a claim and try to justify the claim.
  • Narrative – Essays different from the above categories. Such essays require a sentence in the first paragraph of the essay as a thesis to guide the reader.

2. Thesis statement Placement: Ensure your thesis statement appears as the last sentence of the first paragraph. In other words, a thesis statement is the 

3. Should be Specific: Write a specific thesis statement such that it only covers what is contained in the rest of the paper. Whatever is stated in the thesis statement should have evidence within the body of the essay.

4. Can be Written as the last item: Write a thesis statement as the last item after writing the essays. Note that your topic may change in the process of writing. By writing the sentence as the last item will ensure the thesis statement is actually reflecting what is contained in the paper.

5. Should be revised: You should revise your thesis statement if you had written it before writing the entire body. Revisiting ensures that the statement is valid should the topic have changed or new ideas included as you continued writing. 

Dont’s in writing a thesis statement

A thesis statement should:

  1. Not be a question: A good thesis statement need to be debatable as mentioned earlier. In general, a question has no argument. Without an argument, a thesis is not debatable anymore.
  2. Not be a list: It is not advisable to list items in a thesis statement. For example, “Drugs, prostitution, lack of jobs, and illiteracy are contributing to insecurity in contemporary society.”
  3. Not be confrontational or vague: An inappropriate thesis is like “Most people are unapologetic especially women.” Such statement portrays you as irrational and sexist.