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How To Develop A Successful Thesis Statement

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How To Develop A Successful Thesis Statement

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How To Develop A Successful Thesis Statement

  1. 1. HOW TO Brought to you by ESSAYWRITER.CO.UK DEVELOP A SUCCESSFUL THESIS STATEMENT
  2. 2. An essay must have a main point, main idea or central message. There are other specific arguments in it and they should support or reflect the main idea. Such main point or central message is the thesis. It is written as the thesis statement. BONUS TIP: You can apply this to anything you write or create like blog posts or posters for the internet for example – You should have a main point or central message. THE THESIS STATEMENT
  3. 3. Thesis statement writing is a process. Your goal is to come up with one or two sentences that can convey or state your opinion or position about the topic. The thesis statement should be able to tell readers: 1. the topic (what the essay is about) and 2. your opinion on the topic WRITING THE THESIS STATEMENT: DEVELOPING IT
  4. 4. Your thesis or thesis statement is the product of your research. In turn, it will be your guide when you write your essay. In the writing phase of your essay writing process, you should always refer to your thesis statement to keep everything on track and focused. RESEARCH – THESIS – WRITING
  5. 5. The thesis statement is written as part of the introduction. Usually, it is on the end portion of a one- paragraph introduction for short essays or at the beginning of the second paragraph of the introduction of longer essays. Never it is in the middle of any paragraph where it will be buried and may be entirely missed. It is part of the introduction because it gives readers an overview (at the start) of what you would like to say or do in your essay. LOCATION OF THE THESIS STATEMENT
  6. 6. STATING YOUR THESIS - CLEARLY State your thesis as clearly as possible and as specific as possible. Avoid using vague words. State your message, point or what you would like to do or achieve. However, do not state it in an “elementary” or very simplistic ways.
  7. 7. STATING YOUR THESIS - AVOID “SIMPLICITY” Examples of elementary of very simplistic statements to avoid: A. “My goal for writing this essay is...” B. “The point of my paper is...” C. “The message I would like to convey is...” What to do: Just state your opinion or comment on the topic right away. You do not need to use the above mentioned “statements to avoid” when stating your thesis.
  8. 8. A thesis is developed and so is how it is stated or its thesis statement. Coming up with a thesis is a process and most of it is done during the research phase of your essay writing process. Also, stating the thesis or thesis statement writing is a process and it is mostly done during the writing phase of your essay writing process. DEVELOPING YOUR THESIS
  9. 9. As you wind down your research, come up with an initial thesis and proceed with refining or revising your arguments, you also refine your thesis and how you state it. In the process, you continually obtain a better sense of what your argument is and where it is taking you. Together with this, you continually refine your thesis and how you state it. All along, you should aim to make these clearer and more specific. REFINING PROCESS: TOWARDS BEING CLEAR AND SPECIFIC
  10. 10. Here are guide questions to help you check your thesis. ★ Does my thesis involve two major statements which are loosely connected by a coordinating conjunction? (examples of coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, for, nor, so, yet) ★ Will using a subordinating conjunction help to indicate a relationship between the two sentences? (examples of subordinating conjunctions: through, although, because, since) CHECK YOUR THESIS
  11. 11. Check whether your thesis is too general. If it is, narrow it down. It should be narrow enough or specific enough that all of it will be covered by your essay. Remember that your essay is limited by the time you have, the research resources and even a given maximum word count. If your essay will not be able to cover all of what is mentioned or included in your thesis, you should narrow the latter down. NARROWING DOWN FROM A GENERAL THESIS
  12. 12. Here are guide questions to help you check your thesis. ★ Alternatively, do the two statements cause the thesis to appear or be fuzzy and unfocused? ★ If your answer to the above Question No. 3 is YES, highly consider settling on one single focus and then develop it further. CHECK YOUR THESIS
  13. 13. NARROWING DOWN FROM A GENERAL THESIS - STRAIGHT TO THE IMPORTANT To narrow or make your thesis more specific, determine what is important or substantial about it or about the topic. Then, get straight to such important point or aspect. YOUR GOAL: focused, narrow, and crisp thesis NOT YOUR GOAL: broad, sprawling, or superficial thesis
  14. 14. EXAMPLE An example of a broad thesis and its better revision which is more focused: initial thesis (broad): “Good manners, right conduct and etiquette have experienced a great deterioration in the present society.”
  15. 15. EXAMPLE An example of a broad thesis and its better revision which is more focused: revised thesis (more focused): “Because of the lack of guidance and the emergence of wrong guidance, the present crop of young working people do not have the right attitude and thinking towards work.”
  16. 16. Your whole essay should be clear. That includes, more especially, your thesis statement. You should make it as clear as possible. The purpose is to communicate your message clearly to your readers. USE CLEAR LANGUAGE
  17. 17. Jargon, technical language, vague words, and abstract words are useless especially when readers do not understand them. Worse, they can even lead readers to miss what you really want to tell them. ★ avoid jargon or technical terms or language, except when you are confident that your readers are or will be familiar with them when they read or when you are writing a technical report ★ avoid vague words like interesting, exciting, negative, difficult, unusual, etc. ★ avoid abstract words like culture, society, values, etc. USE CLEAR LANGUAGE - TIPS
  18. 18. USE CLEAR LANGUAGE - DEFINE TERMS Do not assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. Evaluate whether you should define terms you are using like conventional, socialism, society, commercialism, etc. If you need to do define some terms, decide where best to put them.
  19. 19. EXAMPLE An example of a vague thesis and its better revision which is clear: initial thesis (vague): “People think that it is natural for crocodiles eat people. However, crocodiles eat people because the people destroyed the crocodiles' homes.”
  20. 20. EXAMPLE An example of a vague thesis and its better revision which is clear: revised thesis (clear): “People think that the sole reason why crocodiles attack people is to eat them. However, the root cause of such attacking is that there are no longer food in their habitat because the people have destroyed it for profit.”
  21. 21. INCLUDE YOUR OPINION Present the topic or issue and give your opinion about it. ★ Tell what your stand on the topic is. ★ Tell how you will analyse or evaluate the topic or the issue. ★ Do not simply state a general fact or give a statement involving a pro and a con about the subject. ★ Give a concrete statement of what you think regarding the topic.
  22. 22. ★ Show that your opinion on the issue is useful. EXAMPLE initial thesis (useless statement): “Through this essay, I will talk about life experiences and personality and how they factor in the actions and character of a person.”
  23. 23. EXAMPLE revised thesis (useful opinion): “Life experiences are very influential factors to a person's actions and character; however, evidence demonstrate that personality itself is a more influential factor.”
  24. 24. Avoid presenting judgements which are universal or pro/con and which approach with too much simplicity what are truly complex issues.
  25. 25. EXAMPLE initial thesis (oversimplifies): “We must not destroy the habitat of animals.”
  26. 26. EXAMPLE revised thesis (your opinion sufficiently approaches and treats the topic): “We must see to it that animals' habitats are protected because their destruction will lead to environmental imbalance, climate change and natural disasters.”
  27. 27. INCLUDE YOUR OPINION - GIVE SPECIFIC, JUSTIFIED REASON When making a judgement call that is subjective, you should give specific reasons and justify it. For your argument to have a good reason, it should be not “just because.”
  28. 28. EXAMPLE initial thesis (subjective and without specific, justified reason): “An authoritarian leader is the best for Country XXX.”
  29. 29. EXAMPLE revised thesis (having specific, justified reason): “If the leader of Country XXX is authoritarian, it will progress because their poverty is caused by crime.”
  30. 30. INCLUDE YOUR OPINION - SHOW WHY YOUR POINTS MATTERS Avoid merely stating a fact. Go beyond proven facts. Say more with your ideas. This way, what you present is something that warrants attention. Then, use this interest to show why or how your point matters.
  31. 31. EXAMPLE initial thesis (mere statement of fact): “The system of the Finance Department broke down.”
  32. 32. EXAMPLE revised thesis (going beyond stating facts): “The breakdown of the system of the Finance Department exposed the corruption that have been going on for many years.”
  33. 33. Be patient with your thesis statement writing. Remember that it is a process of development. It is thesis statement development or thesis development. You may arrive at a fully formulated thesis statement as late as you have finished writing your essay. Your thesis may change as you research, develop ideas and your essay's outline. A tentative, initial or “working” thesis will help you as you start. You revise along the way as your essay writing process goes on. IMPORTANT REMINDER: BE PATIENT
  34. 34. Avoid generic arguments and formula statements. Nevertheless, you can use them in the early stages of starting to develop your thesis. If you do so have them, you should proceed with continually revising them with the aim of expressing your real ideas which are more specific and, thus, original. BE ORIGINAL
  35. 35. BE ORIGINAL - MAKE A POINT THAT MATTERS The point you raise in your thesis should matter. Be prepared to: 1. answer the question “So what?” regarding your thesis 2. explain why your point warrants writing an essay and, at the same time, warrants reading from your target audience
  36. 36. EXAMPLE initial thesis (generic and formulaic): “Applying a principle sheerly on all or any situation will solve the problem.” revised thesis (specific point that matters): “A problem solver should treat a situation differently from others so that he can solve the problem.”
  37. 37. BE ORIGINAL - AVOID FORMULA AND GENERIC WORDS Avoid using formula and generic words. Use concrete subjects and active verbs. As much as possible, revise “to be” verbs. Specific word choice sharpens and clarifies meaning.
  38. 38. EXAMPLE initial thesis (with formula and generic words): “The present workforce...” [who is this “present workforce” and what what exactly is it doing?]
  39. 39. EXAMPLE revised thesis (using concrete subjects, active verbs, specific words that sharpen and clarify meaning): “Young urban office employees...” initial thesis (with formula and generic words): using: is, are, was, to be, to do, to make revised thesi
  40. 40. Go and develop your thesis. Go and develop your thesis statement. They are processes of development. Use your own words. Avoid quoting. Aim to develop an original, insightful, and memorable thesis. As a student and a writer, you build and protect your credibility. Merely following, using or copying another person's – author, another student – ideas will harm you.
  41. 41. You can improve your performance and character as a student if you are able to develop a well-written thesis statement which reflects well-researched ideas. These manifest that you are intelligent, committed and enthusiastic.

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