How to Create a Good Thesis for Your Essay

A thesis can make or break an essay. Simple yet complicate, short yet difficult, these statements are a complete headache for most students. Crafting a viable, excellent thesis statement is a skill that escapes most students today – likely, because they’ve never been taught how to do it properly. A thesis statement doesn’t have to be difficult, though. In fact, with some simple tips and tricks, they can be the easiest and most enjoyable part of essay-writing. By using these strategies, students are far more likely to produce high-quality thesis writing regardless of their essay topic!

  1. Clarity if key. Writing an essay doesn’t always mean you have to embellish every little detail, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should get lost in your own words. Clearness and conciseness is all you need for greatness. Make sure your reader fully understands the purpose and methods of your essay. Understanding is the first step to great writing, so reread and make sure that your thesis is clearly stated.
  2. Answer a question. Many thesis assignments will require you to address a specific topic or answer a probing question. It’s your job to either a) answer the question at hand, or b) invent one that you can answer. The best guide for a thesis is a simple answer to a simple question. For example, your topic could be childhood obesity; your question might be, “how does childhood obesity affect confidence?” or, “who is at a higher risk for childhood obesity?”
  3. Pick something interesting and relevant. If you’re allowed more freedom with your essay thesis, then take advantage of it! Review some scholarly articles and other research theses relevant to your field. See what topics are hot and which ones entice your curiosity. If you develop a thesis similar to these, or a thesis personally interesting to you, it’s likely to meet with a much more positive response from others.
  4. Overview in your thesis. A thesis statement should always give your audience a brief preview of your paper. You should be able to communicate the purpose the essay, as well as the methods you’ll use to address that purpose. For example, a thesis may dictate that the purpose of the paper is to address symbolism in Shakespeare’s King Lear. You should then identify, briefly, the types of symbols you’ll be examining.
  5. Review and edit. Everything should be put up for review – from your first thesis idea to your final draft. You can even enlist the aid of friends or editors to help you improve and clarify your thesis. This is an essential step – revision is the key to producing the best essays.

Published on November 1st, 2012

 
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