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Thesis


A thesis statement is a complete sentence that summarizes the point of view or the general idea of the paper.


Some defining features of a thesis:
  • for most student work, a thesis is one sentence that outlines the purpose or point of your paper. A thesis is to a paper what a topic sentence is to a paragraph 
  • it should point toward the development or course of argument, but does not have to specifically include your three main topics 
  • because the rest of the paper will support or back up your thesis, a thesis is normally placed at or near the end of the introductory paragraph. 
  • it is sufficiently narrow and specific that your supporting points are necessary and sufficient, not arbitrary; 
  • it argues or displays one main point 
  • most importantly, it passes The "So What?" Test.  That is...be sure to choose a topic worth arguing about or exploring.

     


Here are a few examples:

Too broad and too general...
War experiences in a novel can be very real.

Too limited and too specific...
Because the memoirs of Civil War soldiers are similar to Fleming’s experience, Stephen Crane’s novel is an accurate portrayal of a soldier’s emotions and actions during war.

Sample Thesis Statements:

1. The monster’s neglect and lack of love he receives from his creator, as well as those with whom he comes in contact, forces him to follow a path of evil, which ultimately results in his own self destruction. (Thesis for a paper on Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft’s novel Frankenstein)

2. Four young boys experience danger, fear, and death through their loss of innocence and rebirth into reality. (Thesis for a paper on Stephen King’s novel The Body)

3. Because recent research confirms second-hand smoke as cancer causing, smoking should be banned not only in the work place, but in all social settings as well. (Thesis for a persuasive research paper)