How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement can be referred to as a brief summary of the main points or ideas in research or normal essays. The statement as a catalyst to generate the interest of the audience to continue reading. A good thesis statement identifies the topic of discussion and is placed just after the introduction paragraph of an essay. It is important to determine the kind of paper one is writing to craft the best thesis statement. Thesis statements are typically required for but not limited to expository, analytical, and argumentative essays.

Contents of a Strong Thesis Statement

  1. It should make a debatable claim.

A strong thesis statement should evoke the audience to think or form an opinion for or against the statement. If the thesis statement contains something that is generally accepted, then there is no basis for persuasion or formation of an argument. Below is an example of a non-debatable statement;


  • All car engines pollute the environment.


To begin with, the word “pollution” refers to substances that harm the environment. Additionally, it is in the public domain that both hybrids or fully electric cars emit CO2 either directly or indirectly. What is contended is rather the amount of carbon footprint emitted by each technology. Below is an example of a debatable thesis statement;


  • As much as electric vehicles are deemed eco-friendly, their life cycle emits a higher carbon footprint, just like conventional vehicles.


You may have already formed your objections by reading the above example. Firstly, one may want to see the scientific evidence that resulted in this conclusion. Secondly, one could argue that convectional cars are the ones that pollute the environment more. Another could say that the carbon footprint should only be calculated from when a vehicle becomes operational as opposed to totaling all the pollution activities that are involved in the making of electric cars.


  1. It should relay your interpretation or argument concerning the subject matter. For example;

  • While many argue that the legalization of medicinal marijuana will be beneficial in the health sector, its legalization will only create channels for its exploitation and abuse.


From the above statement, it is clear that the writer does not support the legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.


  1. If the writer does not take any sides as illustrated on the first and second points, at least two or three competing variables should be given.

This scenario mostly occurs when the writer adopts a third-person point of view. However, by including competing ideas, the readers’ mind is still evoked even with the writer not disclosing their stand regarding the essay. For example;

  • An engagement with Kenya’s finest athletes reveals one challenging dilemma they face: changing citizenship and getting better pay in developed countries or remaining home and being treasured national heroes.


  1. It should highlight the general contents of the paper.

From the above example, the paper should delve into contrasting;


  • The benefits or implications that come with relocating and gaining citizenship from a developed country.
  • The satisfaction and other benefits that the athletes reap from retaining citizenship and representing their home country internationally.



  1. Make it a single sentence.

The intention is for it to possess some title/heading like attribute i.e., concise as opposed to looking like another paragraph on the paper. However, if the whole idea is not captured by one sentence, one can opt for two or three.

  1. It should offer some specificity.

Below is an example of a vague thesis statement;


  • Electric vehicles are good.


Such a statement is too broad and vague. It is not clear whether the “good” is on the side of the manufacturer, the buyer, or even the performance of the vehicle. On the side of the manufacturer, the “goodness” could be derived from the vehicles’ selling price being higher than the conventional ones thus creating more profit, it could be the accessibility of raw materials, it could be the reduction of time spent in the production of a single unit, etc. On the other hand, on the side of the buyer or the vehicle itself could be the comfortability levels, fuel consumption, performance, eco-friendliness, durability, maintenance cost, etc. Below is an example of a narrowed thesis statement;

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  • Electric engines are a better alternative to gasoline-powered engines since their fuel consumption, emission, and maintenance benefits outweigh the conventional car by far.


Note that the above examples give the reason why electric cars are better than conventional vehicles. You should avoid using general terms such as “good,” “okay,” etc.




  1. Your thesis statement should cover what you have written on the paper.

You need to reflect upon the statement once done with the paper and adjust it accordingly.




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Are intelligence and aptitude test scores mostly genetically determined

In your post, consider the nurture/nature debate as applied to intelligence and aptitude tests. Are intelligence and aptitude test scores mostly genetically determined, or are they mostly environmentally determined? What are the implications for education practice and policy if these abilities are mostly genetically determined? What are the implications if they are mostly environmentally determined? Please be sure to refer to the APA Code of Ethics in your post.

The Nature of Human Intelligence

One of the challenges of developing a measure of human intelligence is to decide on a coherent theoretical basis. What are the important aspects of intelligence that can and should be measured? Do the existing tests predict academic and career success? Contemporary intelligence theorist Robert Sternberg (2014) held that IQ tests only measure one type of intelligence: a formal type of analytic ability needed to perform well academically. This includes indicators such as verbal ability, reasoning ability, and logic. An individual might succeed academically, but may be less able to flexibly adapt to novel and changing demands when applying his or her knowledge, an activity that requires creative, imaginative thinking. Sternberg (2014) also identifies a practical, interactive social knowledge he identifies as “tacit learning,” which is the knowledge that is not formally taught in school, but is necessary for career success. For example, a geology professor could be extremely knowledgeable in his or her subject field, but to be a successful professor, he or she needs to acquire other information, such as how to obtain grants, attain good course evaluations, and understand and navigate department and college politics.

Sternberg (2014) identifies all three of these types of intelligence as necessary, useful, and indicative of very different kinds of knowledge, and he devised an intelligence test to measure these three types of intelligence. However, when his test was subjected to factor analysis (a statistical procedure that looks for clusters within data), only a single factor of general intelligence was found, suggesting his three types are not as distinct from one another as he believed, at least as measured by his test.


One of the implications of the nurture/nature debate about intelligence is whether it can be modified. One position is that intelligence is mostly genetically determined, implying that an individual is born with a fixed amount of it: Either one has it or one does not. This argument is often used as a reason to deny funding to compensatory education programs, such as Head Start; it is claimed that the cost is not justified because ability cannot be modified or enhanced.

As a counterpoint, one researcher, Richard Nisbett (2009), believes that the genetic basis for intelligence has been greatly overstated and in his book Intelligence and How to Get It, he describes cultural, social, and economic factors that can be modified. One such factor is the frequency and manner in which parents talk to their young children. Those whose parents frequently ask them questions that elicit thinking, such as “What sound does a cow make?” are much more prepared for the formal learning demands of school.

Another researcher, Carol Dweck (2007), states that an individual’s personal theory of intelligence itself can determine his or her success. In her book Mindset, she describes two types of attributions children make about their intellectual ability: Some children see themselves as having a fixed amount of intelligence—if they answer questions quickly and correctly, or if learning comes easily to them, that means they are smart. However, given that premise, if they are not successful or do not learn immediately, they conclude that they must be dumb. Children with this “fixed” mindset avoid challenges and lose motivation quickly when they encounter setbacks. In contrast, a child with a “growth” mindset does not equate success or failure with how smart they are and will persist with the task, focusing on effort or different strategies. Both Nisbett and Dweck conclude that one way to increase intelligence is to increase persistence and motivation by reinforcing effort rather than “smartness.” To draw a parallel—a fixed mindset is analogous to the genetic viewpoint, whereas a growth mindset resembles the environmental viewpoint. These attitudes and attributions about intelligence are not measured by IQ tests, yet have large implications for academic attainment.


Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Random House.

Nisbett, R. L. (2009). Intelligence and how to get it: Why schools and cultures count. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

Sternberg, R. (2014). Intelligence as trait- and state? Journal of Intelligence, 2(1), 143-144.

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