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Writing exercises thesis statements

Apr 16, 2018

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements


This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Contributors: Elyssa Tardiff, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-01-24 02:29:37

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

Thesis Statements - Example

Here is an exercise to help create a thesis statement in 3 simple steps:

Step #1 – Think of a broad subject and then narrow that subject into a more specific topic. Example – I want to write about the subject of what skills a college student learns in college, and I want to focus on the skill of writing (topic).

Step #2 – Once the topic has been established, create a specific question that relates to the topic: Why is it important that college students learn how to write well?

Step #3 – Now, create an answer to the question above: Because writing is a skill that is required in most classes, college students need to learn how to write well in order to succeed academically. This answer becomes a potential working thesis statement for an essay. 
This exercise can be used to help create a thesis statement for any type of essay with any topic. 

I. Identify the problems in the following thesis statements using these categories:
(a) conflicting ideas   (b) open-ended question  (c) too broad   (d) not limited

        1.  The World’s Fair in New Orleans was a disaster because of the way the press criticized the way it was run, but it was exciting for little children and had many good food booths.

        2.  TV commercials are obnoxious to the person who is intent on watching a good show; on the other hand, they provide entertainment in the antics of the performers and they provide a good opportunity to take a snack break.

        3.  Since politicians are constantly bombarding each other, how do they expect anyone to know who is right and who is wrong?

        4.  Rap music is a popular form of art because it is creative and original and because it follows the traditions of other spontaneously developed music like jazz.

        5.  Unless people are conscious of pollution, the world will be destroyed by the year 2050 
II. Possible Example Thesis Statements
Choose the best revision for each thesis statement


1) “The Raven” is a dark and morose poem that leaves the audience feeling depressed by the last stanza. Poe succeeds in creating that effect in “The Raven” through use of repetition and adds to it through contrast of religious Christian and Greek mythological references.


a) E.A. Poe uses repetition and contrasting religious symbolism to create the dark and morose feeling of “The Raven.”


b) Through the use of droning alliteration and assonance, Poe creates a dark and morose feeling in “The Raven”; Poe enhances this feeling by employing both Christian and Greek religious symbolism.


c) E.A. Poe’s “The Raven” conveys dark, morose, and depressing feelings because of the repetition of sounds and the contrasting Christian and Greek symbols of death and the afterl

2) Alexander Hamilton appeals to the logic of the Americans reading this text. 


a) Alexander Hamilton appeals to the logic of his audience by relying on well-chosen diction and syntax.


b) By employing well-chosen diction and syntax, Alexander Hamilton appeals to his audience’s sense of logic.


c) In “The Federalist #1,” Alexander Hamilton appeals to his audience’s sense of logic through his use of powerful diction and clear syntax.

3) While describing her feelings for her husband in this poem, Anne Bradstreet uses many symbols to get her point of the love for her husband across to the reader.


a) In “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Anne Bradstreet uses several symbols, including “gold” and “rivers,” to convey her feelings of love.


b) Anne Bradstreet invokes her feelings of love in “To My Dear and Loving Husband” because of her effective use of symbols, including “gold” and “rivers.”


c) In the poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Anne Bradstreet accomplishes her main goal of expressing her love for her husband by effectively using the symbols of “gold” and “rivers.” 

III. Choose the best thesis statement

1. In the future, students may have choice of studying at home by using technology such as computers or televisions or of studying at traditional schools. Which would you prefer? Use specific details to explain your choice.

a. Interaction with my fellow students is important to me so I would prefer to study at a more traditional setting.

b. Computers and televisions are two examples of technology that would change a lot in the future.

c. The advantages of studying what you want, when you want, and where you want do not, for me, outweigh the disadvantages of using technology for home education.

2. In general, people are living longer now because of improvement. How will this change affect society? Use specific details to explain your choice.

a. People are living longer now becuase of improvement in medical care

b. As the majority of population becomes older, our communities will have to shift their focus from providing services to the young, like schools, to services to aging adults, like medical care.

c. Society has been around a long time and it is always changing.

IV. Complete the following thesis statements by adding the specific points, claims or areas of investigation that you think should feature in the essay.

1. The life expectancy of the average person is increasing because of ...

2. Technology is changing our lives in three important areas: ...

3. A teacher must have the following qualities: ...

4. The purpose of this paper is to examine...

5. Owning an automobile is a necessity both...

6. Poverty has numerous negative consequences for society, including...

7. The main difficulties affecting foreign students at university are...

8. Living together before marriage is becoming increasingly popular for three main reasons: ...

Different people have different opinions, and it's okay to respect all of them. Juan Pablo Galavis

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