A thesis statement is one sentence that expresses the main idea of a research paper or essay. It makes a claim, directly answering a question. A thesis statement must be very specific, indicating statements that are about to be made in your paper and supported by specific evidence. Generally, your thesis statement can be the last line of the first paragraph in your research paper or essay.
It's worth reiterating that a good thesis statement is specific. If you find yourself using general words like "good," then you're not digging deep enough. For example, "European travel is a good way to spend your summer," is not specific enough. Why is European travel good? Further examine the heart of your topic and focus on very specific areas of European travel that you can realistically cover and support with solid evidence. "Solo European travel requires independence which, in the end, bolsters personal confidence." Now, you can hone in your research on solo travel through Europe, the need for independence, and its positive effect on personal confidence.
Finding Your Point of View
A good thesis statement is developed from the point of view of the reader. Be very careful you're not developing a topic that is of interest to you alone. This is a harsh yet necessary question to ask yourself: will my readers have any reason to care about what I'm writing? In the example above, readers might be interested in European travel but will they be interested in solo travel, and greater independence and confidence? Hopefully the answer is yes; just make sure you examine all viewpoints before investing your valuable time in a well-written piece.
A thesis statement is powerful on two fronts. First, it allows the reader to get excited about what, specifically, is coming their way. Second, it stands as the point of reference for your entire paper. Think of it as a loving mother steering her children away from danger. Essay writers run the risk of getting off track and wandering into thickly-wooded forests of needless tangents. (This is also why a well-planned outline is essential.) However, a strong thesis statement will help keep you in check; have you wandered off topic?
Thesis Statement Examples: Bad vs. Good
Bad: Everyone should exercise.
Why should I? What's in it for me?
Good: Americans should add exercise to their daily morning routine because it not only keeps their bodies at a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Here, we've made several specifications i.e. Americans (not everyone), the morning routine (not the evening), weight maintenance, and high blood pressure prevention. Your research actually becomes easier when you have very specific objectives.
Bad: High levels of alcohol consumption are bad for you.
This is too broad. What are the specific detriments of alcohol consumption that you would like to discuss?
Good: High levels of alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on your personal health, such as weight gain, heart disease, and liver complications.
Notice we got very specific in our reasons why. In your thesis statement, you don't need to state every single detriment you're going to lay out (in fact, you shouldn't as it will risk becoming a run-on sentence) but you can point to the main areas you will explore.
Bad: Reading can develop a child's analytical mind.
Words like "can," aren't strong enough. This thesis statement begs the question of how? If you're about to write several paragraphs (or pages) about a topic make sure you can confidently defend every point you make.
Good: Reading develops a child's mind by fostering comprehension skills, increasing vocabulary, and exposing them to new worlds they might not otherwise encounter.
Now, we've not just stated that reading is good, we've provided a sampling of all the benefits we're about to bring to light in our paper.
Bad: All retirees should relocate to Florida.
Your research paper or essay will need to delve into numerous supporting claims. This broad thesis statement runs the risk of allowing you to go off on several tangents.
Good: Retirees should relocate to Florida, where 75% of Americans choose to settle, because you will afford yourself the opportunity to develop a wide array of friendships.
From here, you can introduce a paragraph on the importance of friendship and then cite studies or testimonials describing how people can discover these important new relationships.
Bad: The Internet has improved the lives of many.
Again, while readers may agree with this and your statement may be true, how has the Internet improved people’s lives? Also, you should run your thesis statement past the "What's in it for me" test. Why should readers care?
Good: The Internet serves as a means of expediently connecting people all across the globe, fostering new friendships and an exchange of ideas that wouldn't have occurred prior to its inception.
While the Internet offers a plethora of benefits, we're choosing to hone in on its ability to foster new friendships and exchange ideas. We'd also have to prove how this couldn't have happened prior to the Internet's inception – and that is good. The tighter your focus, the better your paper.
Bad: Organ donors should be financially compensated.
Why? What happens to them that causes you to take this stance?
Good: Given the grueling surgery and lifelong changes they endure, kidney donors should be financially compensated for their act of self-sacrifice.
There are many forms of living organ donation. As with any good thesis, you want to get as specific as possible. Now, our stance is clear and the reader will understand that we're about to describe the grueling process of kidney donation as well as any forthcoming lifestyle changes.
Always Be Specific
When searching for a new home, realtors will tell you there are three important factors: location, location, and location. When developing your one-sentence thesis statement, it is important for you to be: specific, specific, specific. Write your thesis statement once and then rewrite it again with greater specificity. Also, make sure your audience will want to learn these new facts and possibly embrace these new opinions. Now, you have a compass for your entire paper, keeping you safely on course.
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Thesis Statement Examples
By YourDictionaryA thesis statement is one sentence that expresses the main idea of a research paper or essay. It makes a claim, directly answering a question. A thesis statement must be very specific, indicating statements that are about to be made in your paper and supported by specific evidence. Generally, your thesis statement can be the last line of the first paragraph in your research paper or essay.
Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for “Women in Love” by D.H. Lawrence that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in the text and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary “Women in Love” by explaining different elements that could be important in an essay. Of course, you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “Women in Love” by D.H. Lawrence at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay. Before you begin, however, please get some useful tips and hints abouthow to use PaperStarter.comin the brief User's Guide…you'll be glad you did.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Definitions of Beauty
Attention to detail is important in Women in Love—detail to people, place, and objects. Consider the different definitions of beauty that are offered by each character and write an essay in which you define beauty through them. You may choose to write only about one character, or compare and contrast their definitions. Be sure to address notions not only of physical beauty, but other forms of beauty that are not so visible. This topic could also form the basis for a good argumentative essay in which you argue about the ultimate message conveyed in the novel concerning beauty. A good question to consider might be how important beauty is throughout “Women in Love” and what this indicates about the society depicted.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Psychology of Industrialization
In contrast to beauty—indeed, a threat to it—is the backdrop of industrialization in Women in Love. The industrialized space is at times so oppressive that it becomes a character. Consider one or more passages in which the industrialized space is described vividly. Examine how the images in your selected passages contest the definitions of beauty, which are so important to the characters. As you are writing this, remember to take into account the historical conditions, both in literary and straight history terms, that helped shape the narrative.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Issues of Gender in “Women in Love”
Many of the characters in Women in Love do not conform to traditional gender norms. Choose one or more characters and offer an essay in which you compare and contrast their negotiation of gender roles and the significance of their modes of resistance. You may wish to situate your observations within an historical framework, drawing from secondary academic texts. Explain why these forms of resistance are important to the development of the novel’s theme.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Images of Nature
Just as industrialization is important to this novel, so too is nature, which represents an important counterbalance. Consider the many ways in which images of nature are used in this novel. Focus your essay by selecting one particular function of nature. One example may be to examine female characters and the ways in which they are described in comparison to nature. Develop an essay in which you offer the symbolic significance of these nature images.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Love
As is the case with nature, beauty, and gender, each of the characters has his or her own definition of love. Again, select one or more characters and offer an essay in which you compare and contrast their definitions of love. Explain what experiences have shaped these definitions. Select the definition that makes the most sense to you, and explain why it is appealing to you.
This list of important quotations from “Women in Love” by D.H. Lawrence will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “Women in Love” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text by D.H. Lawrence they are referring to.
“I get no feeling whatever from the thought of bearing children." (55)
“Not many people are anything at all…They jingle and giggle…." (73)
“They had not the faintest belief in deep relationship between men and men, and their disbelief prevented any development of their powerful but suppressed friendliness." (83)
“When we have knowledge, don’t we lose everything but knowledge?" (91)
“Well, if mankind is destroyed, if our race is destroyed like Sodom, and there is this beautiful evening with the luminous land and ttrees, I am satisfied." (111)
“She was rich, full of dangerous power. She was like a strange unconscious bud of powerful womanhood. He was unconsciously drawn to her." (148)
“Now she realized that this was the world of powerful, underworld men who spent most of their time in the darkness….They sounded also like strange machines, heavy, oiled." (174)
“He would never, never dare to break her will, and let loose the maelstrom of her subconsciousness…." (202)
“One is tired of the life that belongs to death…." (254)
“I suppose we do love each other, in some way." (255)
Reference: Lawrence, D.H. Women in Love. New York: Penguin, 1950.