How to Write a Thesis Statement to Make It Clear
A good thesis statement is the basis for an excellent essay. Without it, your writing won’t have a starting point or clear structure.
A thesis statement is a concise claim (one or two sentences) that reflects the main idea of an essay or research paper and establishes the structure of the main body.
Your main purpose is to make your thesis relevant to the body paragraphs so that they develop the topic in the context of your interpretation.
Let’s figure out how to write a strong thesis statement step by step.
How to Write a Thesis Statement for an A-Level Essay: 5 Steps
1. Turn your topic into a question.
If you’re not lucky enough and your topic doesn’t sound like a question, you have to transform it. For example, let’s say your topic is on double characters in the novel “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
You can transform this topic into the following question: “What heroes in the novel Crime and Punishment are double characters, and how do they represent different sides of Raskolnikov’s character?”
2. Answer this question.
“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment.”
That’s a great start. But that’s not it. We haven’t answered the whole question. Let’s try again.
3. Refine your answer.
“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment, and they represent three different sides of Raskilnikov’s nature.”
Much better. That’s already a good thesis statement. But we want to make it perfect, right? Let’s see how we can add more detail.
4. Remember the examples.
“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment, and they represent three different sides of Raskolnikov’s nature: sense of consciousness, destructiveness, and desire to follow progressive ideas.”
With this thesis statement, you give your readers a sense of direction. They’ll know what exactly you’re going to write about.
But we can dig deeper. A list of characters isn’t enough. You have to answer the question, “So what?” What is the role of the double characters? How do they contribute to the plot of the novel?
5. Polish your thesis statement.
“Sonya, Svidrigailov, and Lebezyatnikov are double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment, and they represent three different sides of Raskolnikov’s nature: sense of consciousness, destructiveness, and desire to follow progressive ideas; they make possible a better and deeper understanding and analysis of the protagonist.”
That’s our finalized thesis statement for an A-level essay. How do you like it?
You’re welcome to use the same instruction to compose thesis statements for any kind of topic. Now, let us share a few rules that will make your thesis statement even better.
How to Write a Good Thesis Statement: 6 Rules
- The thesis statement isn’t your topic.
You can’t simply say: “In this essay, I’ll analyze double characters in the novel Crime and Punishment.” You have to explain to your readers what exactly you’re going to write in your essay.
- Put your thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph.
A perfect essay introduction consists of three main elements: a hook, transition, and a thesis statement. The hook grabs the attention, and the thesis statement provides information.
- Your thesis statement should give your readers (and you) direction.
Imagine that your thesis statement is a guiding point for you and your readers. It will help you to stay on track during the writing process, and it will help your readers to follow your thoughts.
- Link back to your thesis statement.
The research process can be really exciting, and sometimes, it goes far beyond our plans. Look at your thesis statement from time to time not to lose you path.
- Your thesis statement shouldn’t be a fact, but an OPINION that needs to be proved.
“The beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world” – that’s a fact. You can’t use this sentence as your thesis statement.
“The beagle is the best dog breed for apartments” – that’s an opinion. This claim is debatable, and you can use it as your thesis statement.
- You can change your thesis statement throughout the writing process.
The thesis statement is your compass. But what if you decide to change your final destination? Remember that you can change your thesis statement at any moment. The most important part is that it remains relevant to your text as a whole.
Our guide on how to write a thesis statement can serve as a list of hints for you each time you write an essay. One day, your skills will improve, and you won’t need it. Until then, keep it at your fingertips so that you can always take a look.
By the way, on our blog, you can also find a helpful guide on how to write an essay for beginners. We’re sure that it’ll come in handy for composing your essays.
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