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A thesis statement is a statement in an essay that the writer plans to support, discuss or prove. Not all of these statements can be empirically proven, but many of them represent an argument. It should also stand out as an indicator of the clear direction in which the writer will take the essay. It should be strongly worded, impossible to miss, and in shorter essays of a few pages, it should show up in the first paragraph or introduction.
Most essays live or die by the strength of their thesis statements and by their ability to keep focused on their thesis. If the writer hasn't clearly indicated the focus or argument, it will often be difficult for him to stay focused on the issue he plans to discuss, argue or explain. Even if the essay is about how to build the perfect peanut butter sandwich, the writer will significantly improve the quality of the essay by letting readers know that this is what the subject is.
Though some people strive for an eloquently worded thesis, there’s nothing wrong in most cases with being perfectly direct. If using first person is permissible in the essay, writers can easily turn it into something like the following:
- In this essay, I will discuss how to make the best peanut butter sandwich in the world, with emphasis on bread choice, jam choice, and variants of the basic recipe.
If first person is not allowed in the essay, the writer can choose to say This essay will discuss instead of I will discuss.
To create a good thesis statement, a writer can ask himself a single question: What is the main focus of my essay? Sometimes, when a person must write on a topic that is already assigned, the answer is already provided. If a writing prompt is in the form of a question, the writer can simply restate the question into a statement, then set about creating a body of paragraphs that support that statement.
When the writer concludes the essay, he may want to briefly restate the thesis statement and refer to how he's supported it. It should be clear by the end of the essay that he has stayed focused on the topic, and done all he could to write a clear paper. At the end of the peanut butter sandwich essay, the writer might tell the audience that he has fulfilled his task.
This statement is just as valuable when writing a speech. Most experts will teach that the three key elements of a speech are for the speaker to tell the audience what he is going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what he told them. A short essay should work much in the same manner. The thesis equals telling the audience, the body is the exploration of the thesis, and the conclusion restates what the writer told the audience. With these ideas in mind, a writer can focus on writing a terrific thesis for each work that will help him clearly organize and present his thoughts for both written and spoken material.