If you’ve never heard of a “thesis” or if it has been several years since you have written a thesis statement, do not worry!
A thesis statement is a main, organizing sentence that summarizes what you intend to demonstrate or prove. In other words:
- A thesis statement is usually one sentence that organizes the entire paper.
- At a minimum, a thesis describes what will be discussed in the paper.
- An excellent thesis statement goes beyond mere description and states what will be argued (i.e., what is the point?)
- A thesis can have variety, but the most common form is this: “This paper will argue that _____________ because of point 1, point 2, and point 3.”
Example: The San Antonio Spurs should have won game six, but they lost because of a missed free throw, a missed rebound, and an air ball.
(Notice the argument: the loss was due to three specific causes. In contrast, a weak thesis would be: “This paper will discuss why the Spurs lost game six.”)
The paper would then be organized like this:
- Introductory paragraph with the thesis at the end
- Body 1: Paragraph about the missed free throw & the crowd noise that caused it.
- Body 2: Paragraph about the missed rebound and the resultant three-pointer.
- Body 3: Paragraph about the air ball and what caused it.
- Conclusion (that summarizes but does not introduce new information).