Writing a THESIS STATEMENT by TIm

how to write a thesis statement this is a particular interest if you’re writing something in the States but I think the principles of the thesis statement are useful wherever you’re approaching academic English the thesis statement is the purpose of your essence often a single sentence which occurs at the end of your introductory paragraph it does four distinct things but don’t be mislead because I think your thesis statement should nevertheless be brief don’t allow it to move between well don’t allow it to get much more than one complex sentence work out what sort of essay that you are writing is it argumentative you have a goal and a job to convince the reader of your point of view so your thesis statement works towards that goal is it analytical or expository what are you explaining your thesis statement is the first step towards that and everything else is going to be evidence think of the various critical thinking skills which you are targeting IIIi think the six of them analysis comparison evaluation argument and the last one eludes me reflection who are you writing for do remember your audience all the time for instance if you are writing a lab report then your thesis statement is simply a statement of your main purpose if you are writing a critical review then you are already making an evaluation about the particular article or the book that you are reviewing just a note here and there’s a difference between a thesis statement and a research question this becomes significant at higher levels of academic writing particularly when you writing a degree thesis sometimes the research question is given to you and sometimes particularly in the higher academic papers you have to write your own research question and there’s a tendency to confuse the two things the research question proposes the question is that your thesis statement is going to answer and and of course as you move into higher academic studies you have to ask how does how does your research question or how does your thesis statement a relate to already published material now a good thesis statement whether whatever form of writing your your um your doing is going to be an introduction to not only your work but also to the way that you are thinking about it it signals how you understand and interpret the question it tells the reader what to expect from the way you answer it answers the basic questions of the paper or so so in fact everything else that you write is simply fleshing out what you’ve already stated in your thesis statement everything else is in fact evidence to back up what you’ve just said it is the thesis statement establishes the core issue may be something controversial so it has the same resonance as the conclusion to your essay so don’t hurry to write your thesis statement take your time consider all the evidence if you write something fast it may be inadequate or wholly inappropriate and you’ll spend the rest of your essay her trying to defend the indefensible or contradicting yourself don’t be afraid particularly in these days when you’re writing essays on your computer to go back and revise your thesis statement be prepared as you write your essay to revise your thesis statement in line with what you’re writing so you begin by collecting evidence by brainstorming before you write your thesis statement what are the known facts can you add to these facts can you uncover something new how do these facts go here how to learn together what are the particular links look at the significance of these facts check that the views of people you don’t like our view is that you can deal with look at the points that you want to what want to address look at those things you want to disagree with scribble some sentences once you have a working thesis and see how that develops then draft your thesis statement but don’t stop there ask yourself three questions the first one does it answer the question I’ve said before I always like to write my essay question on a Piton a separate piece of paper and keep it in front of me all the time keep the journalistic words in mind all the time how why when how why when where who it your thesis must answer at least some of these questions point two or the second question make sure that there is an argument don’t simply provide a summary of the fact that’s not going to be interesting but be clear avoid vague woolly words a thesis is no good when the reader has looked at it if he or she shrugs and says so what make it count and the third question you have to answer when you’re writing a thesis statement is are you being specific are you being focused why or how is something good useful successful bad evil peculiar and so on finally try to focus your statement some people like to see the thesis statement in the context of a paragraph that hooks the reader into the subject a description an example or an anecdote something that captures the reader’s attention I I should add just for the record that I’m not a great fan of this approach my own feeling is that we should not waste time with the introductory paragraph we should try to get as fast as possible into the meat of the essay and start dealing with the evidence stop marshalling that information so that it does its job but the opening paragraph those opening words that you write including the thesis statement are going to have a lasting effect on the reader and if the read doesn’t get beyond that opening paragraph whatever else however good you are in the later paragraphs you have wasted your time so that is why it is so important in these days of the computer to be prepared to go back and revise your thesis statement to make sure that what you are writing is good if you don’t have a lot of time right the main paragraphs of the essay and then go back and write your thesis statement but make sure your thesis statement is clear and focused and succinct thank you this is Tim