A thesis statement is a descriptive sentence or two of an argument, interpretation or analysis. The statement helps to focus the report and refine its intent. A strong statement allows the reader to determine the direction of the paper. Depending on the work produced, the statement needs to be specific so that it narrows the theme for the reader.
Develop a statement that allows the paper to flow, make sense and stay on topic. The quintessential statement sets the work in progress, in the first paragraph. With clear and straightforward concepts, the reader will know exactly where the author is headed. If the intent of the paper changes as the paper evolves, be sure to adjust the clarifying statement.
The statement of intent must help the reader to evaluate the idea or issue that is the focal point of the paper. Managing an idea in a declarative sentence or two will keep the paper on track.
Thesis Statement Examples
The Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab describes a good thesis statement,
• “The life of a college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.”
This declarative statement sets the tone of the paper by describing the population to be studied, “the typical college student”. Although a broad category, the remaining description, narrows the focus of the paper.
• Listing the behavior to be observed, “…studying, attending class and socializing with peers,” tells the reader that the paper will focus on proving that the typical college student spends her time studying as well as being present in the classroom and hanging out with friends.
A good thesis statement illustrates the population described, analyzed or argued. The point or focus for the remainder of the paper will include how the author determines the behaviors to be ‘typical’ and the measure of ‘time spent’, studying, attending class and socializing.
Here is another example of a thesis statement. The amount of money required to buy groceries for a family of four is $800.00 per month. This simple declarative statement establishes the population as a family of four. The measure or analysis lies in proving that $800.00 is the amount of money required to purchase groceries for one month for a family of four. This article could focus on the amount or quality of groceries purchased with these funds. The focal point may also include the inflationary value of food costs. In either example, the example thesis statement establishes a concept, direction and outcome. If the statement is vague, the author runs the risk of overwriting. If the thesis statement splinters into too many areas, the author must work harder to direct her audience.
With arguments or analysis of straightforward concepts, the author attempts to prove or explore one or two individual ideas. Building a case for a paper written about how college students spend their time or the cost of groceries for a family of four establishes a format or a progression of events that place an economic, social, political or philosophical edge to the purpose of the paper.