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What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is a concise introduction to and overview of an essay’s argument. While it seems simple, it is crucial for the effectiveness of the essay and serves several purposes. The first is assisting the writer in developing and strengthening their argument. A high-quality thesis statement describes exactly what a paper will be about, so creating one before writing will help the writer to determine what points they should make to best defend their argument. A skilled writer will ensure that everything said in their writing supports their thesis statement. Readers benefit from the inclusion of thesis statements as well. A condensed explanation of a paper’s contents provided in the introduction makes it easy to determine exactly what the reader will learn from the paper, and it tells the reader what points they should look for to better understand the argument.

Developing a Thesis Statement

Fortunately, developing a thesis statement is a relatively simple process. Any paper can be seen as an in-depth answer to a question. For example, an essay describing the benefits of regular exercise answers the question, “Why should people exercise regularly?” To form a thesis statement, a writer simply needs to identify the question that their paper answers, then concisely answer that question in one or two sentences. If a reader unfamiliar with the topic could read a thesis statement and know what the entire essay will be about, then it is effective.

Strengthening a Thesis Statement

While creating a thesis statement can be easy, it is still important to take time to ensure that it is strong and effective. A strong thesis statement is both concise and specific. While a paper may address many details, it should still have only one main focus. This main focus is what the thesis statement should introduce, and it should be worded clearly, without extraneous details that could confuse the reader. Specificity is important because a vague statement is less convincing and less likely to capture a reader’s attention. A good thesis statement also tells the reader that the topic needs to be discussed. This involves making it clear which side of an argument the essay defends and, in some cases, addressing the fact that many people disagree. Doing this will make readers curious to see how the paper defends the argument and encourages them to keep reading.