When you create an effective thesis statement, writing your essay will be simple.

You are in class, and your teacher or professor tells you, you need to write an academic essay that’s due on Friday.  You have a topic for the essay, but do you know how to take it and turn it into a thesis statement?

The good news is that it is easy to learn how to do.  There are 5 steps that will help you develop your thesis statement for an essay.

And if you have an effective thesis statement it’s much easier to write your academic essay because you know what you need to include in it.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement includes 2 things: 1. Your main topic and 2. Your opinion or point of view(POV) about that topic. It’s important because it tells your reader what your essay is about, and how you will prove or explain your topic.  A thesis statement is a roadmap guiding you through your essay.

Here is the basic framework for writing your academic essay:

  • Introduction:  Hook & thesis statement
  • Body:  Main ideas & evidence supporting your thesis statement
  • Conclusion: Summarizing your thesis statement and why your thesis is important

For a detailed look at the organization of an essay, please check out Purdue OWL, “Expository Essay” https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/02/

The common element in every part of your essay is the thesis statement.  So, a good thesis statement is crucial to writing an essay. Let’s look at how a thesis statement is created.

An example thesis statement:

This is an example for the topic “Using Wikipedia for academic research.”

This topic is interesting because there are some students who want to quote facts and ideas from Wikipedia.   But there are many teachers who do not want students to use Wikipedia as part of their research.  So, there are different opinions about this topic.

You may have different ideas about this topic, but I’m an academic writing tutor so here are my ideas:

  • It’s not good to cite Wikipedia articles in an essay or academic paper because the articles can be written and edited by anyone.  The author of a Wikipedia article might not be a reliable source.
  • But, Wikipedia articles can be useful because they give an overview of a topic, and they have a bibliography at the end that can be used to find credible sources of information.

I have a topic and my point of view.  Now I need to look over this information and write 1 sentence that combines my topic and point of view.

Here’s the thesis statement I came up with:

“Students should not cite Wikipedia articles in academic essays because it’s difficult to know if the authors of the articles are trustworthy, but students can use Wikipedia to find reliable sources of information.”

In this thesis statement, I would focus on why Wikipedia articles shouldn’t be in academic essays.  I would also write how Wikipedia can help people find credible sources of information.

If you wanted to write an essay with this thesis statement, it would be easy to organize the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

Are you ready to write your own?   

5 Easy Steps to Develop Your Thesis Statement

1. Think of your essay topic: You want to pick a topic that fits the type of essay you’re assigned, is specific and a topic that interests you.  If you pick a topic that bores you it’s harder to focus and put all the effort you need into writing your paper.You also want to select a topic that has research on it.

No matter how awesome your topic is, if there isn’t any research or evidence you can write about, the content of your essay will be weak.

2. Ask the questions:  What do I think about my topic? And why do I think that?   Brainstorm your thoughts.  You could do this by listing ideas, using a mind map or freewriting on your topic for 10 minutes or more.

3. Decide on your answer. This answer will determine your opinion or point of view (POV) about your essay topic.

4. Write a sentence that connects your essay topic to your point of view.  It is important to write a sentence that guides the rest of your essay.

5. Check your thesis statement and ask yourself: Is it specific? Or is it too general?  Can you support it with evidence?

Writing Challenge

Pick a topic and develop a thesis statement for an essay.  Share your work in the comment section below or post your idea on my Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneDavisESLonlinetutor/

Here are sample topics, but feel free to choose your own. I can’t wait to see what you write!

  • An environmental issue that concerns you
  • Analyze a book, poem or movie
  • Online learning
  • Most important characteristics of leadership
  • Legalizing marijuana