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;

  • 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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