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What makes a good thesis statement?

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Quick Answer

A good thesis statement will focus on a specific aspect of a given topic, inform the reader's interpretation of the paper and make a claim that is open to dispute. It will usually appear as a sentence in the opening to the paper.

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In order to decide upon a thesis statement, it is first necessary to thoroughly research the relevant existing literature. It is important, more specifically, to look for relationships and contrasts between the known facts about a given topic. A good thesis statement might take such a relationship and explore its significance within the wider context of the topic.

Instructors and tutors can be consulted for their evaluation of a working thesis statement, but there are some general criteria to be aware of. Chiefly, the thesis statement must directly address the topic or question provided. It should also invite discussion by making an argument. If the topic is the Civil War, for instance, a good thesis statement might compare or contrast the opposing forces' divergent reasons for fighting each other, rather than simply state that their reasons were sometimes shared and sometimes different.

Making the thesis statement specific is important to focus the paper, but it should always be related back to the broader context.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you write a thesis statement for a research paper?

    A:

    To write a thesis statement is to make a claim and outline how you are going to support that claim throughout the rest of the research paper. The thesis statement should be clearly stated in the first paragraph of the research paper.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between thesis and topic?

    A:

    The difference between a thesis and a topic is that a thesis, also known as a thesis statement, is an assertion or conclusion regarding the interpretation of data, and a topic is the subject a research paper is based on. The thesis provides an answer to the research question. In addition, the thesis is based on facts rather than opinion.

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  • Q:

    What is a tentative thesis?

    A:

    A tentative thesis is a statement in an essay that explains the overall purpose of the piece and provides focus for the content within the academic paper. The term tentative refers to a thesis that is in progress and open to revision as the essay is written and developed.

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  • Q:

    How do you write a theme statement?

    A:

    A theme statement helps you interpret and write about literature by forcing you to decide on a clear, simple interpretation before you begin writing and by providing your reader with a summary of your interpretation of the piece of literature. Write a theme statement that describes the general meaning of the work.

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