Move confidently into the essay. Question: How is this a graphical representation of an introduction Paragraph? Answer: Because it starts broad, and gradually narrows towards a focused, but not overly specific thesis.
Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement
The thesis is specific enough to fully explore the essay, but it's not so specific that there is nothing more to write about. Many people believed that profiling was the best way to identify possible terrorists, but many others worried about violations of civil liberties.
While some airports began to target passengers based solely on their Middle Eastern origins, others instituted random searches instead. Now many experts in the government and in airport security are recommending the use of a national ID card or Safe Traveler Card. Back to Student Learning Tools. Attention-Getter Lead-in. Set Up for a Thesis After the attention getter or lead-in, writers need to gradually narrow the broad subject towards the thesis.
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Thesis Statements A thesis statement manages to encapsulate an essay's main argument in a succinct, one-sentence comment. Sample Introduction Paragraph Taken from College Writers pg. This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life.
You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view.
This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence.
If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement.
When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively.
Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information. A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts such as surprising contrasts or similarities , and think about the significance of these relationships. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way. Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement.
For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own.
How to Cite
When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :. Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. You turn on the computer and type out the following:. This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information.
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How are they the same? How are they different? Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life. You write:.
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Now you have a working thesis!