Creating a good thesis statement is the hardest part of writing an A+ essay. Do you agree? Well, it’s certainly one of the most difficult aspects of academic writing because the thesis must meet a number of strict requirements and define the structure of the entire essay. Moreover, it may also change during the evolution of the essay, which can present additional problems for the writer.
That’s why it’s better to get it right from the start. Remember: you may have perfect grammar and a great idea, but if the thesis statement isn’t good, then your essay won’t achieve its goals, including a high grade. So, let’s ensure that your thesis is strong enough to do that.
What are the Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement?
Before we get to actual writing, let’s quickly remind ourselves what is the thesis statement. It’s the main idea of the paper that sets up the organization and the rest of the essay by providing strong points for discussion or arguments for debate (this depends on the type of the essay).
A winning thesis statement has these characteristics:
- It contains one, specific idea
- It expresses your true opinion
- It’s shaped to fit the question that you would like to answer
- It has the form of a statement, not a question.
With these characteristics in mind, let’s go through the steps of creating a winning thesis statement for your essay.
Step 1: Consider the Type of Essay
Your thesis statement depends on the type of essay you’re writing. For example, an argumentative essay requires a strong statement that expresses your position on a certain issue while a general essay’s thesis may not be as complex and have different claims.
Thesis for an argumentative essay where the author takes a decisive position on the topic: “the U.S. Federal Government should legalize marijuana because of its medical benefits for patients suffering from anxiety and depression.”
Thesis for a general essay where the author lists some of the known facts: “The main reasons why the U.S. entered WWII were the attack at Pearl Harbor and growing Japanese control of China and Asia.”
Step 2: Let Google Help with the Research
Supposedly you have a topic in mind as well as some ideas on how to write about it. At this point, you need to get more information to make sure that your thesis statement is sufficiently complex and has relevant details.
For that, we’ll turn to Google. “Do a quick search on your topic and you’ll immediately notice some patterns and common themes that you can use to make your thesis more complex, and better researched to answer the main question,” advises Sallie Stephenson, an academic researcher at Get Academic Help.
For example, if your topic is “Marijuana legalization,” you’ll find scientific papers describing its certain benefits for medical patients and potential harms, so this information will give you an idea on how to shape the thesis.
Step 3: Make it Narrow
Let’s suppose you’re writing an essay for your nutrition class and you want to make it about lemon water. It’s a known fact that drinking lemon water on an empty stomach has lots of benefits, so it’s a good topic to research.
So, you go ahead and write this thesis:
“Drinking lemon water in the morning benefits health.”
The statement is there, and you have only one idea, so it’s good to go, right?
Well, not exactly. While it’s certainly relevant and meets some of the requirements put forth to thesis statements, it’s not sufficiently narrow. For example, quick Internet research reveals at least 15 potential benefits of drinking lemon water that you could describe in the essay, including:
- Providing vitamin C
- Helping with maintaining the pH balance
- Helping with maintaining digestive health
- Providing calcium, magnesium etc.
So this means that you’ll have to dedicate a separate paragraph to each of these benefits, and this automatically means a lot of text! Since the length of a typical essay is just 500 words, chances are high that you’ll be struggling to stay within this limit.
To avoid that, you need to identify the benefits that you would like to research in you thesis; for example:
“Drinking lemon water in the morning provides the system with vitamin C, and helps to maintain the pH balance, and digestive health.”
Each benefit equals one paragraph, so you’ll definitely stay within a limit.
Step 4: Make it Perfect for Answering the Question or Exploring Something You Would like to Research
If you write about something that you are truly interested in, then it would be easier for you to complete this essay. For example, let’s suppose that you would like to research the life of Coco Chanel and her approach to fashion business (or find out why she was such an inspiration to many women).
In this case, you can write a thesis like this:
“Coco Chanel was an inspiration for all women in the fashion business because she was not afraid to share her wild fashion ideas.”
Time to Write!
Keep in mind the characteristics of a good thesis and remember that only one sentence sets up the organization of the entire essay, so be careful and spend as much time as you need to make it really good.