A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

An essay’s thesis consists of the following elements:

  • The main idea of your paper expressed in a simple sentence.
  • The reason(s) why you support and choose this idea.
  • A counterargument to your claim. This is a valid piece of information which can, in turn, support your position. Use it only in case you have one.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: PARTNER CONTENT


  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience. Let us write an analytical paper for you
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical paper thesis statement:An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

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Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Here are examples of good and bad thesis statements:

Good writers should differentiate between good and bad thesis statements. We have very professional writers who can easily do that as a result of our vigorous and ongoing training. Take a look below:

Example 1:A: The death penalty should not be abolished because people who commit violent crimes should be punished.
B: Although many argue that human life is sacred, the death penalty should remain for people that commit brutal crimes and offer no positive value to their society.

Which one is a good option? That’s right, thesis B is better because the author gave a more descriptive and narrowed version of their beliefs. This makes it easier for them to prove their point overall.