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how to write thesis statement sentence

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

how to write thesis statement sentence

What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

how to write thesis statement sentence

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

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.

Introduction

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. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

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.)

How do I create a thesis?

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. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. 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 .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

[ Back to top ]

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

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25 Thesis Statement Examples

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A thesis statement is needed in an essay or dissertation . There are multiple types of thesis statements – but generally we can divide them into expository and argumentative. An expository statement is a statement of fact (common in expository essays and process essays) while an argumentative statement is a statement of opinion (common in argumentative essays and dissertations). Below are examples of each.

Strong Thesis Statement Examples

school uniforms and dress codes, explained below

1. School Uniforms

“Mandatory school uniforms should be implemented in educational institutions as they promote a sense of equality, reduce distractions, and foster a focused and professional learning environment.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay or Debate

Read More: School Uniforms Pros and Cons

nature vs nurture examples and definition

2. Nature vs Nurture

“This essay will explore how both genetic inheritance and environmental factors equally contribute to shaping human behavior and personality.”

Best For: Compare and Contrast Essay

Read More: Nature vs Nurture Debate

American Dream Examples Definition

3. American Dream

“The American Dream, a symbol of opportunity and success, is increasingly elusive in today’s socio-economic landscape, revealing deeper inequalities in society.”

Best For: Persuasive Essay

Read More: What is the American Dream?

social media pros and cons

4. Social Media

“Social media has revolutionized communication and societal interactions, but it also presents significant challenges related to privacy, mental health, and misinformation.”

Best For: Expository Essay

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Social Media

types of globalization, explained below

5. Globalization

“Globalization has created a world more interconnected than ever before, yet it also amplifies economic disparities and cultural homogenization.”

Read More: Globalization Pros and Cons

urbanization example and definition

6. Urbanization

“Urbanization drives economic growth and social development, but it also poses unique challenges in sustainability and quality of life.”

Read More: Learn about Urbanization

immigration pros and cons, explained below

7. Immigration

“Immigration enriches receiving countries culturally and economically, outweighing any perceived social or economic burdens.”

Read More: Immigration Pros and Cons

cultural identity examples and definition, explained below

8. Cultural Identity

“In a globalized world, maintaining distinct cultural identities is crucial for preserving cultural diversity and fostering global understanding, despite the challenges of assimilation and homogenization.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay

Read More: Learn about Cultural Identity

technology examples and definition explained below

9. Technology

“Medical technologies in care institutions in Toronto has increased subjcetive outcomes for patients with chronic pain.”

Best For: Research Paper

capitalism examples and definition

10. Capitalism vs Socialism

“The debate between capitalism and socialism centers on balancing economic freedom and inequality, each presenting distinct approaches to resource distribution and social welfare.”

cultural heritage examples and definition

11. Cultural Heritage

“The preservation of cultural heritage is essential, not only for cultural identity but also for educating future generations, outweighing the arguments for modernization and commercialization.”

pseudoscience examples and definition, explained below

12. Pseudoscience

“Pseudoscience, characterized by a lack of empirical support, continues to influence public perception and decision-making, often at the expense of scientific credibility.”

Read More: Examples of Pseudoscience

free will examples and definition, explained below

13. Free Will

“The concept of free will is largely an illusion, with human behavior and decisions predominantly determined by biological and environmental factors.”

Read More: Do we have Free Will?

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

14. Gender Roles

“Traditional gender roles are outdated and harmful, restricting individual freedoms and perpetuating gender inequalities in modern society.”

Read More: What are Traditional Gender Roles?

work-life balance examples and definition, explained below

15. Work-Life Ballance

“The trend to online and distance work in the 2020s led to improved subjective feelings of work-life balance but simultaneously increased self-reported loneliness.”

Read More: Work-Life Balance Examples

universal healthcare pros and cons

16. Universal Healthcare

“Universal healthcare is a fundamental human right and the most effective system for ensuring health equity and societal well-being, outweighing concerns about government involvement and costs.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Universal Healthcare

raising minimum wage pros and cons

17. Minimum Wage

“The implementation of a fair minimum wage is vital for reducing economic inequality, yet it is often contentious due to its potential impact on businesses and employment rates.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage

homework pros and cons

18. Homework

“The homework provided throughout this semester has enabled me to achieve greater self-reflection, identify gaps in my knowledge, and reinforce those gaps through spaced repetition.”

Best For: Reflective Essay

Read More: Reasons Homework Should be Banned

charter schools vs public schools, explained below

19. Charter Schools

“Charter schools offer alternatives to traditional public education, promising innovation and choice but also raising questions about accountability and educational equity.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

internet pros and cons

20. Effects of the Internet

“The Internet has drastically reshaped human communication, access to information, and societal dynamics, generally with a net positive effect on society.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of the Internet

affirmative action example and definition, explained below

21. Affirmative Action

“Affirmative action is essential for rectifying historical injustices and achieving true meritocracy in education and employment, contrary to claims of reverse discrimination.”

Best For: Essay

Read More: Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

soft skills examples and definition, explained below

22. Soft Skills

“Soft skills, such as communication and empathy, are increasingly recognized as essential for success in the modern workforce, and therefore should be a strong focus at school and university level.”

Read More: Soft Skills Examples

moral panic definition examples

23. Moral Panic

“Moral panic, often fueled by media and cultural anxieties, can lead to exaggerated societal responses that sometimes overlook rational analysis and evidence.”

Read More: Moral Panic Examples

freedom of the press example and definition, explained below

24. Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is critical for democracy and informed citizenship, yet it faces challenges from censorship, media bias, and the proliferation of misinformation.”

Read More: Freedom of the Press Examples

mass media examples definition

25. Mass Media

“Mass media shapes public opinion and cultural norms, but its concentration of ownership and commercial interests raise concerns about bias and the quality of information.”

Best For: Critical Analysis

Read More: Mass Media Examples

Checklist: How to use your Thesis Statement

✅ Position: If your statement is for an argumentative or persuasive essay, or a dissertation, ensure it takes a clear stance on the topic. ✅ Specificity: It addresses a specific aspect of the topic, providing focus for the essay. ✅ Conciseness: Typically, a thesis statement is one to two sentences long. It should be concise, clear, and easily identifiable. ✅ Direction: The thesis statement guides the direction of the essay, providing a roadmap for the argument, narrative, or explanation. ✅ Evidence-based: While the thesis statement itself doesn’t include evidence, it sets up an argument that can be supported with evidence in the body of the essay. ✅ Placement: Generally, the thesis statement is placed at the end of the introduction of an essay.

Try These AI Prompts – Thesis Statement Generator!

One way to brainstorm thesis statements is to get AI to brainstorm some for you! Try this AI prompt:

💡 AI PROMPT FOR EXPOSITORY THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTUCTIONS]. I want you to create an expository thesis statement that doesn’t argue a position, but demonstrates depth of knowledge about the topic.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTRUCTIONS]. I want you to create an argumentative thesis statement that clearly takes a position on this issue.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR COMPARE AND CONTRAST THESIS STATEMENT I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that remain objective.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Writing Studio

How do i write a thesis statement.

This page is Part 1 of a two-part handout that continues with our Thesis Statement Checklist .

What is a Thesis Statement?

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: See p. 1 of How Do I Write a Thesis Statement Return to Writing Studio Handouts

A thesis statement is a very specific argument that guides your paper. Generally, a thesis statement consists of two parts :

  • A clearly identifiable topic or subject matter
  • A succinct summary of what you have to say about that topic

For your reader, a thesis functions like the case a lawyer has to make to the judge and jury in a courtroom. An effective thesis statement explains to your reader the case you are going to make and how you are going to make it.

For you as the author, your thesis can also help you to stay focused as a writer and determine what information you do (and don’t) need to include in your analysis.

Traditionally, the thesis statement is found near the end of your introduction , though this may change depending on the assignment and context. Don’t be afraid to draft a thesis statement that is more than one sentence.

A Note on Writing Process

You do not need a perfect thesis statement before you draft the rest of the paper. In fact, you will likely need to modify your thesis once you have a complete draft to make sure that your draft and your thesis match one another. If your argument evolves in productive ways as you write, your thesis should, too.

Honing and tweaking a thesis statement during the revision process is ultimately more important than having it exact and precise during the drafting process.

Characteristics of a WEAK thesis statement

  • Vague: Raises an interesting topic or question but doesn’t specify an argument
  • Offers plot summary, statement of fact, or obvious truths instead of an argument
  • Offers opinion or conjecture rather than an argument (cannot be proven with textual evidence)
  • Is too broad or too complex for the length of the paper
  • Uses meaningful-sounding words, but doesn’t actually say anything of substance

Disclaimer: This is not a complete list! You can probably think of many more characteristics of a weak thesis statement.

Characteristics of a STRONG thesis statement

  • Answers a specific question
  • Takes a distinct position on the topic
  • Is debatable (a reasonable person could argue an alternative position)
  • Appropriately focused for the page length of the assignment
  • Allows your reader to anticipate the organization of your argument

Having trouble drafting a thesis? Try filling in the blanks in these template statements:

  • In this paper, I argue that _____, because/by _____.
  • While critics argue _____, I argue _____, because _____.
  • By looking at _____, I argue that _____, which is important because _____.
  • The text, _____, defines _____ as _____, in order to argue _____.

Disclaimer: These are only models. They’ll be useful to help you to get started, but you’ll have to do quite a bit of tweaking before your thesis is ready for your paper.

For more on thesis statements, check out part 2: Our Thesis Statement Checklist .

Last revised: 07/15/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 5/2021

In order to access certain content on this page, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader or an equivalent PDF viewer software.

How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement

The important sentence expresses your central assertion or argument

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  • Writing Research Papers
  • Writing Essays
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  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

A thesis statement provides the foundation for your entire research paper or essay. This statement is the central assertion that you want to express in your essay. A successful thesis statement is one that is made up of one or two sentences clearly laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.

Usually, the thesis statement will appear at the end of the first paragraph of your paper. There are a few different types, and the content of your thesis statement will depend upon the type of paper you’re writing.

Key Takeaways: Writing a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement gives your reader a preview of your paper's content by laying out your central idea and expressing an informed, reasoned answer to your research question.
  • Thesis statements will vary depending on the type of paper you are writing, such as an expository essay, argument paper, or analytical essay.
  • Before creating a thesis statement, determine whether you are defending a stance, giving an overview of an event, object, or process, or analyzing your subject

Expository Essay Thesis Statement Examples

An expository essay "exposes" the reader to a new topic; it informs the reader with details, descriptions, or explanations of a subject. If you are writing an expository essay , your thesis statement should explain to the reader what she will learn in your essay. For example:

  • The United States spends more money on its military budget than all the industrialized nations combined.
  • Gun-related homicides and suicides are increasing after years of decline.
  • Hate crimes have increased three years in a row, according to the FBI.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of stroke and arterial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

These statements provide a statement of fact about the topic (not just opinion) but leave the door open for you to elaborate with plenty of details. In an expository essay, you don't need to develop an argument or prove anything; you only need to understand your topic and present it in a logical manner. A good thesis statement in an expository essay always leaves the reader wanting more details.

Types of Thesis Statements

Before creating a thesis statement, it's important to ask a few basic questions, which will help you determine the kind of essay or paper you plan to create:

  • Are you defending a stance in a controversial essay ?
  • Are you simply giving an overview or describing an event, object, or process?
  • Are you conducting an analysis of an event, object, or process?

In every thesis statement , you will give the reader a preview of your paper's content, but the message will differ a little depending on the essay type .

Argument Thesis Statement Examples

If you have been instructed to take a stance on one side of a controversial issue, you will need to write an argument essay . Your thesis statement should express the stance you are taking and may give the reader a preview or a hint of your evidence. The thesis of an argument essay could look something like the following:

  • Self-driving cars are too dangerous and should be banned from the roadways.
  • The exploration of outer space is a waste of money; instead, funds should go toward solving issues on Earth, such as poverty, hunger, global warming, and traffic congestion.
  • The U.S. must crack down on illegal immigration.
  • Street cameras and street-view maps have led to a total loss of privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

These thesis statements are effective because they offer opinions that can be supported by evidence. If you are writing an argument essay, you can craft your own thesis around the structure of the statements above.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement Examples

In an analytical essay assignment, you will be expected to break down a topic, process, or object in order to observe and analyze your subject piece by piece. Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include:

  • The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 (" The First Step Act ") aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.
  • The rise in populism and nationalism in the U.S. and European democracies has coincided with the decline of moderate and centrist parties that have dominated since WWII.
  • Later-start school days increase student success for a variety of reasons.

Because the role of the thesis statement is to state the central message of your entire paper, it is important to revisit (and maybe rewrite) your thesis statement after the paper is written. In fact, it is quite normal for your message to change as you construct your paper.

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how to write thesis statement sentence

How to write a thesis statement (with examples)

Since 2006, oxbridge essays has been the uk’s leading paid essay-writing and dissertation service.

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What exactly is a thesis statement?

What if I told you that one sentence in your essay or thesis could be the difference between a First and a Fail?

It may sound absurd – perhaps even unfair – but it’s true. I refer, of course, to the thesis statement. A thesis statement is your entire essay if it were condensed into a single sentence. If your essay title is a question, then your thesis statement is the one-sentence answer.

It tends to arrive near the end of the first paragraph of a thesis.

Let’s take a look at an example from a Master of Education degree thesis:

Thesis title What constitutes ‘good writing’ for GCSE students of English?

Thesis statement The examination rubric by which GCSE English writing performance is assessed, influenced by a long history of variable ‘tastes’, may now be said to describe ‘good writing’ as that which is grammatically accurate, sophisticated, and suited to purpose, genre and audience.

(The thesis statement would be located in paragraph 1, after a brief overview of the subject).

Why is a thesis statement important?

As I mentioned, the way your thesis statement is written can be the difference between a First and a Fail. But how?

To answer that, let’s think about what ‘thesis’ means. From the Greek thésis, meaning ‘proposition’, your thesis is your main argument.

It is the position you have to support and defend for the remainder of your essay. Without something clear to defend, the fortress you build will crumble and the army you deploy will run about like headless chickens.

In essence: without a clear thesis statement, you don’t have an essay.

“Establishing a clear thesis at the start of your essay is crucial for both you and your examiner. For your examiner, it’s evidence that you have answered the question. For you, it can function as an essay plan.”

For both of you, it’s a litmus test for the quality of the argument: if you can’t fit your essay’s arguments into a sentence, they are too diffuse; and if you can’t stick to your thesis statement’s focus throughout your essay, you are not focused.

A precisely focused and well-grounded essay is more worthy of a First Class grade than one with a scattergun approach.

how to write thesis statement sentence

What should a thesis statement include?

What your thesis statement includes is determined by three things:

1. The subject and topic of the essay. 2. The purpose of the essay. 3. The length of the essay.

Let’s examine each of those in more detail to see how they can help us refine our thesis statement.

The subject and topic of the essay

Look at this real-life title from an undergraduate Sports Science essay:

What are the key differences between training recommendations for maximising muscular strength and maximising muscular hypertrophy?

The first task is, of course, to determine the subject of the essay.

In this example, that would be ‘training recommendations for maximising muscular strength and training recommendations for maximising muscular hypertrophy’.

Knowing that means that I know I will need to deploy my knowledge about those two similar but distinct areas. It also means that I should be using the specialist terminology relevant to the field, such as load, isotonic and volume.

Next, I need to determine the topic.

Here it would be ‘the key differences’ between training recommendations for those two goals. That phrase ‘key differences’ is likely to be at the heart of my thesis statement, to show that I’m on track.

With that in mind, my thesis statement might look like this:

Whilst both training outcomes require resistance training centred upon isotonic contractions, it is likely that the absolute load requirements may need to be higher for strength purposes, whilst the total training volume may need to be higher for hypertrophy purposes.

It is by no means a complete essay, but it states clearly what the ‘short answer’ to the question is, whilst paving the way for the ‘long answer’ to follow.

But what if the essay isn’t just looking for the facts organised into a specific order? What if the essay is asking for analysis? Or an argument?

The purpose of the essay

Different essay purposes require different thesis statements. Fortunately, there are only three main essay purposes, and they’re pretty easy to recognise:

1. The expository essay: This is an essay type that asks for the key facts on a subject to be laid out, with explanations. The Sports Science question above is an example of this. It asks for the WHAT and HOW of something.

2. The analytical essay: This essay type asks you not only to lay out the facts, but also to analyse and deconstruct them to better understand them. It is typical in subjects such as English Literature and Fine Art. It asks for the WHY of something.

3. The argumentative essay: This type of essay asks you to use the facts available, to analyse them for value, and then to provide a point of view about the subject. It moves more quickly through the WHAT, HOW and WHY of a topic through to: WHY DOES IT MATTER?

All of the above essay types need a thesis statement that includes a proposition (a statement which answers the question or addresses the title).

Beyond that, these three essay types all require different additions.

For the expository essay , you need to add an overview of the details of the conclusion. Let’s look at an example:

Expository essay title: What are the key differences between training recommendations for maximising muscular strength and maximising muscular hypertrophy? (BSc in Sports Science)

Expository thesis statement: Whilst both training outcomes require resistance training centred upon isotonic contractions, it is likely that the absolute load requirements may need to be higher for strength purposes, whilst the total training volume may need to be higher for hypertrophy purposes. (The basic conclusion is that both approaches need isotonic resistance training; the details are teased out in bold.)

For the analytical essay , you need to add an overview of the analysis performed. Here’s an example:

Analytical essay title: Why did England and Wales vote to leave the European Union? (BA in Politics)

Analytical thesis statement: A close consideration of the voter demographics, the populist nature of political messages leading up to the referendum, and the history of Britain’s status in the EU, will demonstrate that Brexit was primarily motivated by the machinations of the Right.

(The basic conclusion is that Brexit was influenced by politicians; the analytical approach is in bold.)

For the argumentative essay , you need to add an overview of your reasoning. Another example:

Argumentative essay title: To what extent do you consider the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays to be in question? (BA in English Literature)

Argumentative thesis statement: Shakespeare’s authorship of his plays is beyond question, given both the entirely unconvincing nature of any counter-theories and the relatively unstable conception of the playwright’s identity as it stands. (The basic conclusion is that Shakespeare did write his plays; the reasoning is in bold.)

As you can see from these examples, the purpose of the essay gives a very clear demand for something beyond a simple answer.

But, there’s more!

The length of the essay

The prescribed length of the essay also defines what you need to do with your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is a microcosm : a miniature, compressed version of your whole essay.

So, it makes sense that the length of the actual essay is going to impact upon the content of the thesis statement.

If, for example, your essay is expected to be 800 words long and on the subject of Eve in the Bible, then it would be overly ambitious for your thesis statement to say: ‘through comprehensive study of the Bible and extant criticism’. For an 800 essay, more precision will be necessary. It would be better for your thesis statement to say: ‘with due awareness of the complexity of the issue, focusing on feminist readings of Genesis .’

“Matching the scope given in your thesis statement to the depth you provide in your essay is a very effective way to ensure precision.”

Contrastingly, if your essay is expected to be 80,000 words long (a PhD thesis, for example), on the subject of stop-motion animation, it would be rather unambitious to suggest that the essay will ‘provide a visual analysis of Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers’, only. For a PhD, we would expect more content to be covered, and multiple approaches to analysis to be considered.

Indeed, matching the scope given in your thesis statement to the depth you provide in your essay is a very effective way to ensure precision.

how to write thesis statement sentence

So, to summarise, how do I write a thesis statement?

It’s a simple, three-part process:

1. Identify the question in the title (or make a question from the statement). 2. Answer that question in as few words as possible. 3. Complete the sentence by providing an overview of the foundation behind your answer.

Easy, right? It can be!

That said, there are plenty of traps that essayists can fall into with this part of the essay. Let’s look at some of these pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Pitalls to Avoid

Pitfall #1: amateurish style.

This is common throughout academic essays written by beginners. It’s not just the thesis statement that falls foul of sounding amateurish. There are plenty of ways this happens, which are beyond the scope of this argument, but the following example is a prime example: In this essay, I will explore the various pieces of evidence before concluding.

This is amateurish for a few reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t actually say anything. You could otherwise word it, ‘I will write an essay which answers the question’ – a rather wasted sentence. The next, and more forgivable issue is the use of the first-person. We want to get a sense that an individual wrote this essay, but we never want to hear them mentioned! Make sense? No? Sorry.

This should instead read more like:

This essay considers evidence from X in light of Y which ultimately reveals Z at the heart of the issue.

(It focuses on the specifics, X, Y, and Z, and is devoid of any mention of its author.)

Pitfall #2: empty phrasing

This is similar to amateurish style. However, empty phrasing is not just amateur-sounding; it’s manipulative-sounding.

Using phrases such as “in order to” instead of, simply, “to” – or “due to the fact that” instead of just “as” – look like attempts to fill up the word count with waffle rather than content. The same goes for phrases that can be substituted for one word: ‘it is evident that’ can (and should) become ‘evidently’.

Watch this thesis statement from a GCSE essay on Music go from hideous to tolerable:

Beethoven was unable to hear his work, due to the fact that he was deaf, so it is evident that he musically conceptualised the notes in order to compose. (Wordy!)

Beethoven was unable to hear his work, as he was deaf, so it is evident that he musically conceptualised the notes to compose. (Slightly less wordy.)

Beethoven’s deafness made him unable to hear his work, so evidently he musically conceptualised the notes to compose. (About as concise as such a complex sentence will get…)

Do not mistake wordiness for sophistication. Your ideas should be sophisticated; your writing should be clear.

Pitfall #3: non-standard grammar

For an examiner, the English language is not just a vehicle for your ideas. It should be, but the academic process always involves the assessment of your expression.

So, to satisfy our examiners’ prescriptive tastes, we need to adhere to the basic tenets of Standard English.

Take a look at the following thesis statement example from an A Level Sociology essay: Considering the status of BAME in Internet culture, the demonstrably racist treatment at the hands of the police, and the energy behind the BLM protests, concluding that there is hope for the future.

This sentence has no finite main verb, so it is technically not a sentence. To become a grammatical sentence, we would need to make ‘concluding’ finite: ‘it can be concluded’, or ‘we conclude’.

The writer got lost in this example because the sentence was so long!

Long sentences can also lead to a failure to make subject and verb agree, like in the next thesis statement example from a school Geography essay:

The most populous municipalities of Spain, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Zaragoza, does not rank in the top ten most dense populations of the country, with the exception of Barcelona.

Because the subject ‘municipalities’ is separated from the verb ‘does’ by eight words, it is easy to forget that they do not agree. It should, of course, be ‘do, not ‘does’.

Final words

The thesis statement, as I said at the start, can be the difference between a First and a Fail. So, take your time with it.

Write it carefully.

Then redraft and refine it several times, until it’s as good as you can make it.

The payoff is a slick, coherent thesis statement that paves the way to a great essay that really impresses your examiner.

how to write thesis statement sentence

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how to write thesis statement sentence

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How To Write a Thesis Statement (with Useful Steps and Tips)

How To Write A Thesis Statement? Writing a thesis statement is one of the most important parts of crafting an essay. Without it, the audience is not informed as to what the purpose of the essay is or your take on it. In this article, we are going to be looking at how to write an effective and hard-hitting thesis statement that will enable you to write an excellent essay .

Table of Contents

How To Write A Thesis Statement

What Is A Thesis Statement?

Before we begin looking at how to write a thesis statement , it is important to fully understand what one is. In short, a thesis statement is a short statement which offers the reader information on what the essay is about, stating its main point or argument. A thesis statement should appear in both the introduction paragraph as well as the conclusion paragraph of the essay .

Now that we are fully aware as to what a thesis statement is and what it is used for, we can begin to look at how to write one.

For Assigned Subjects

If you have been asked to write an essay on a specific subject or topic, you can model your thesis statement around this. For example, if you have been given the essay question of ‘How does unemployment affect homelessness?’ you could write a thesis statement in direct reply to this, it might look something like the following…

Unemployment affects homelessness in two ways, it causes a rise in how many homeless people there are which in turn has an effect on how much money is being spent on charities such as food banks and homeless shelters.

This statement neatly sums up the main point of the essay and gives a brief look into what is going to be discussed in more depth throughout the piece of writing.

For Non-Assigned Subjects

If you have free reign over the essay topic, you must first select what you are going to write about. Once you have decided on this, you can begin crafting your thesis statement. You should remember to ensure that the thesis statement takes care of the following points:

  • Show one main argument or idea
  • Gives space for people to disagree.
  • Shows your personal conclusion on the topic.

Now let’s presume that you have chosen the topic of whether homework is conducive to learning, you need to take into consideration the following points:

  • What is the main point of the essay?
  • What are your views on the topic?
  • Can you find any research to back your opinion or even change it?

When you have answered these questions, you are then more easily able to come up with a good thesis statement. As with the assigned essay, it is important to answer a question with your thesis statement. So, considering we are writing an essay on the subject of homework, you could then turn that subject into a question ‘Is homework conducive to learning?’ Your thesis statement might look something like this:

More and more parents are refusing to allow their children to do homework, saying that it eats into their free time and provides no benefit to learning. It has been shown that this is not true, in a study conducted in Germany, 90% of children who completed homework passed their exams with a higher grade.

The above thesis statement is strong because it:

  • Shows the author’s stance on the topic.
  • Provides a clear insight to the essay purpose.
  • Uses clear and concise language and does not waffle .
  • Expresses one main argument.

When writing your thesis statement it is important to ensure that it actively meets the above criteria in order for it to be strong and effective.

Creating a Strong Thesis Statement

Identifying the main idea.

A key step in crafting a strong thesis statement is identifying the main idea of your essay. The main idea reflects the primary subject or topic you will be discussing. To begin, make sure to have a clear understanding of the assignment and the specific requirements. If you are having trouble pinpointing the main idea, start by asking yourself what problem or question your essay aims to solve or answer. Once you have identified the main idea, use it as the focal point for your thesis statement.

Narrowing the Focus

Another crucial element in creating a solid thesis statement is narrowing the focus. Instead of attempting to address a broad topic, focus on a smaller, more specific aspect of the subject. This will help you create a strong and concise thesis statement that effectively addresses the primary question or issue.

Consider the following steps to narrow your focus:

  • Break down the main idea into smaller, related components
  • Determine which aspect of the topic is most relevant to your essay
  • Evaluate the scope of your research and analysis

By narrowing the focus, you provide a clear and specific direction for your essay, making it easier for both you and your reader to understand the central argument.

Taking a Stand

A strong thesis statement should not only present the main idea but also take a stand. It is important to make a clear, decisive assertion that demonstrates your perspective on the subject. This means avoiding vague or weak statements, and instead, confidently presenting a well-informed and well-reasoned argument.

To create a thesis statement that takes a strong stand, ensure that it:

  • Clearly articulates your position on the topic
  • Is debatable, meaning that it can be supported by evidence and allows for differing opinions
  • Presents a specific and strong point of view

By incorporating these elements, you demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the subject and have formed an educated opinion based on your research and analysis.

In summary, to craft a strong thesis statement, start by identifying the main idea, narrow the focus of your essay, and take a clear stand on the subject. These steps will help ensure that your paper is well-organized, compelling, and effectively communicates your central argument.

Testing and Refining Your Thesis Statement

Evaluating your working thesis.

It is crucial to evaluate your working thesis throughout the writing process. This allows you to determine if your thesis is focused, clear, and relevant to your research. Keep these questions in mind when evaluating your thesis:

  • Does it answer the research question or address the main issue?
  • Is it specific and concise?
  • Does it serve as a guide for your ideas and analysis?

Revise your thesis if it does not fulfill these criteria or needs improvement.

Considering Counterarguments

A powerful thesis statement should take into account potential counterarguments. By considering negative perspectives and possible objections to your argument, you can refine your thesis and ensure its strength. Examine your thesis to see if it can withstand opposing views:

  • Can you think of any counterarguments?
  • Do your research and analysis support the thesis statement in light of these counterarguments?
  • Can you provide plausible evidence to refute the counterarguments?

If your thesis can stand up to scrutiny and maintain its focus in spite of potential objections, it is on the right track.

Revising for Clarity and Strength

Once you have evaluated your working thesis and accounted for counterarguments, it is time to revise your thesis statement for clarity and strength. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Remove any vague phrases and make your thesis statement as specific as possible.
  • Ensure that your thesis does not try to cover too many ideas or provide unrelated information.
  • Test your thesis against new research and perspectives that emerge throughout your writing process.

By revising your thesis statement and ensuring that it is clear, concise, and backed by relevant research and analysis, you will create a strong foundation for your paper.

Supporting Your Thesis Statement

Gathering evidence.

When working on a thesis statement, it is essential to gather relevant evidence to support your position. Evidence can include statistics, research findings, primary sources, or expert opinions. Start by reviewing available material, assessing its credibility and reliability, and choosing the most reliable and valuable sources. Organize the evidence in a logical manner to make it easy for the reader to understand and follow your argument.

Understanding Topic Sentences

A well-structured paper begins with clear and concise topic sentences. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that identifies the main idea of the paragraph, and it should link back to the thesis statement. This helps maintain focus and coherence throughout the paper. For example:

  • In a paper about the benefits of renewable energy, a topic sentence could be: “Solar energy is a reliable and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels.”

Analyzing Sources and Facts

Thoroughly analyze your sources to determine their relevance, credibility, and accuracy. An effective way to do this is through the following steps:

  • Check the author’s background and expertise.
  • Evaluate the source’s publication date and ensure it is up-to-date.
  • Determine if the source is peer-reviewed or published by a reputable organization.
  • Check for biased language or exaggerated claims.

When presenting facts, remain neutral and unbiased, accurately representing the information you’ve gathered. Lastly, provide proper citations to give credit to the authors and avoid plagiarism.

Organizing Your Material

Effectively organizing your material is crucial for a well-structured and coherent paper. Make sure to:

  • Create an outline to map out the flow of your argument.
  • Group related pieces of evidence together, using bullet points or tables when necessary for clarity.
  • Transition smoothly between paragraphs to maintain the reader’s interest and understanding.

By following these steps, your paper will effectively support your thesis statement, convincingly presenting your argument and contributing to the field of education.

Additional Tips For A Good Thesis Statement

We are now going to look at some final hints to ensure that you write the best thesis statement possible.

  • Ensure that your thesis statement appears in your introduction and conclusion and does not get burying deep within the body of the essay.
  • Make sure that the thesis statement does not exceed two sentences.
  • Avoid making obvious statements such as ‘this is an essay about….’ or ‘the point of this paper is….’ The thesis statement should be able to convey this without using such up-front language.
  • Write clearly and articulately.

In conclusion, a thesis statement is a critical element in the process of writing a research paper, essay, or dissertation. It serves to provide focus, direction, and convey the main argument of the work. The following paragraphs will explore some examples, tips, and guidelines on effective thesis statement writing.

When crafting a thesis statement, it is essential to ensure it is clear, concise, and focused. One way to create a strong thesis is to consider the scope of your research and align your statement with the overall themes and objectives of the project. Using specific, well-defined language helps to articulate your argument and demonstrate a solid understanding of the topic. Consider the following example:

Example:  “Through a comparative analysis of European and American film noir, this paper will reveal the influence of post-WWII societal anxieties on the genre’s distinctive narrative and stylistic elements.”

In this example, the thesis statement clearly states the research question, the subject matter, and the intended scope of the analysis.

Additionally, it is important to be consistent with the type of paper you are writing. For instance, if you are writing an analytical paper, your thesis statement should break down the issue and present an evaluation. However, if your paper is argumentative, your thesis should make a claim and justify your stance. Here are few examples for each type:

Analytical paper:  “Through an examination of campaign strategies, this study will explore the effectiveness of social media in modern political discourse.”

Argumentative paper:  “Despite the widespread use of social media in political discourse, it is argued that traditional media continues to be pivotal in shaping public opinion.”

Finally, to aid in the comprehension and readability of your work, consider employing formatting elements such as tables and bullet points when presenting complex information. This will help ensure your thesis statement and research paper is understandable and effective in conveying your main argument.

How To Write A Thesis Statement Infographic

How To Write A Thesis Statement (with Useful Examples)

Writing a good thesis statement can have a big impact on your essay. A thesis statement should include the point of view of the author , the main point of the writing and be clear and easy to understand.

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Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is:.

  • The statement of the author’s position on a topic or subject.
  • Clear, concise, and goes beyond fact or observation to become an idea that needs to be supported (arguable).
  • Often a statement of tension, where the author refutes or complicates an existing assumption or claim (counterargument).
  • Often answers WHY or HOW questions related to the topic at hand.

A thesis statement is NOT:

  • A statement of fact or observation (no matter how astute the observation).
  • A statement of personal conviction or opinion.
  • A generalization or overly broad claim.

For the writer, the thesis statement:

  • Helps the writer determine the essay’s real focus. What are you trying to say with the evidence presented? A thesis provides a theory to be tested by evidence.
  • Serves as a planning tool. The component parts of the thesis often correspond with the essay’s topic sentences.

For the reader, the thesis statement:

  • Serves as a “map” to guide the reader through the paper. In the same way the thesis helps you organize your paper, the thesis helps organize the reader’s thinking. Once a solid thesis is presented, the reader will understand that all of the evidence presented is in service of proving the thesis.
  • Creates a reason to keep reading. The reader will want to discover the support behind the thesis.

If you are having trouble writing a thesis...

...ask yourself a genuine, difficult question about the topic (usually a “how” or “why” question), and state your response, even if you are not sure why you want to give that answer. Your response may very well be a workable thesis, and the pursuit of proving that answer may reveal to you more about your sources of evidence.

...think of a strong statement or observation you have made about the subject beginning with the words “In this essay, I will...” Then ask yourself why this observation is important, or “So What?” 1 Answer the question with “I believe this is because...” In the draft stage you might phrase a working thesis as the following:

In this essay, I plan to explain how Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contrasts his river and shore scenes. I believe Twain is telling us that in order to find America’s true democratic ideals one must leave “civilized” society (the shore) and go back to nature (the river).

Then revise out the “I” statements. A revised version of this thesis might look like this:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Mark Twain’s Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

Writing in the Disciplines

Keep in mind that thesis statements vary depending on the purpose of the assignment (or type of essay), and also by discipline. Here are a few notes on the thesis statements and the purpose of writing in a few different disciplines. 2

English: “A thesis is an interpretive argument about a text or an aspect of a text. An interpretive argument is defined as one that makes a reasonable but contestable claim about a text; in other words, it is an opinion about a text that can be supported with textual evidence."

Sciences (Biology): “A well-written scientific paper explains the scientist’s motivation for doing an experiment, the experimental design and execution, and the meaning of the results... The last sentences of the introduction should be a statement of objectives and a statement of hypotheses.”

Business: “When you write in business courses, you will usually write for a specific audience. Your goal will be to communicate in a straight-forward manner and with a clear purpose." 3

History: “In historical writing, a thesis explains the words or deeds of people in the past. It shows cause and effect; it answers the question why?... A thesis must change a reader’s mind to be of value. If it presents only facts or an obvious finding, it will merely confirm what the reader already believes.”

1. This strategy comes from Writing Analytically by Jill Stephen and David Rosenwasser.

2.  The following statements on writing in the disciplines have been borrowed from the Writing Guides found at the Writing Across the Curriculum website at http://wac.gmu.edu/guides/GMU%20guides.html .

3.  From A Writer’s Reference, 6th Edition, with Writing in the Disciplines, by Diana Hacker.

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What Makes a Thesis Statement Spectacular? — 5 things to know

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Table of Contents

What Is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is a declarative sentence that states the primary idea of an essay or a research paper . In this statement, the authors declare their beliefs or what they intend to argue in their research study. The statement is clear and concise, with only one or two sentences.

Thesis Statement — An Essential in Thesis Writing

A thesis statement distills the research paper idea into one or two sentences. This summary organizes your paper and develops the research argument or opinion. The statement is important because it lets the reader know what the research paper will talk about and how the author is approaching the issue. Moreover, the statement also serves as a map for the paper and helps the authors to track and organize their thoughts more efficiently.

A thesis statement can keep the writer from getting lost in a convoluted and directionless argument. Finally, it will also ensure that the research paper remains relevant and focused on the objective.

Where to Include the Thesis Statement?

The thesis statement is typically placed at the end of the introduction section of your essay or research paper. It usually consists of a single sentence of the writer’s opinion on the topic and provides a specific guide to the readers throughout the paper.

6 Steps to Write an Impactful Thesis Statement

Step 1 – analyze the literature.

Identify the knowledge gaps in the relevant research paper. Analyze the deeper implications of the author’s research argument. Was the research objective mentioned in the thesis statement reversed later in the discussion or conclusion? Does the author contradict themselves? Is there a major knowledge gap in creating a relevant research objective? Has the author understood and validated the fundamental theories correctly? Does the author support an argument without having supporting literature to cite? Answering these or related questions will help authors develop a working thesis and give their thesis an easy direction and structure.

Step 2 – Start with a Question

While developing a working thesis, early in the writing process, you might already have a research question to address. Strong research questions guide the design of studies and define and identify specific objectives. These objectives will assist the author in framing the thesis statement.

Step 3 – Develop the Answer

After initial research, the author could formulate a tentative answer to the research question. At this stage, the answer could be simple enough to guide the research and the writing process. After writing the initial answer, the author could elaborate further on why this is the chosen answer. After reading more about the research topic, the author could write and refine the answers to address the research question.

Step 4 – Write the First Draft of the Thesis Statement

After ideating the working thesis statement, make sure to write it down. It is disheartening to create a great idea for a thesis and then forget it when you lose concentration. The first draft will help you think clearly and logically. It will provide you with an option to align your thesis statement with the defined research objectives.

Step 5 – Anticipate Counter Arguments Against the Statement

After developing a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This list of arguments will help you refute the thesis later. Remember that every argument has a counterargument, and if yours does not have one, what you state is not an argument — it may be a fact or opinion, but not an argument.

Step 6 – Refine the Statement

Anticipating counterarguments will help you refine your statement further. A strong thesis statement should address —

  • Why does your research hold this stand?
  • What will readers learn from the essay?
  • Are the key points of your argumentative or narrative?
  • Does the final thesis statement summarize your overall argument or the entire topic you aim to explain in the research paper?

how to write thesis statement sentence

5 Tips to Create a Compelling Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a crucial part of any academic paper. Clearly stating the main idea of your research helps you focus on the objectives of your paper. Refer to the following tips while drafting your statement:

1. Keep it Concise

The statement should be short and precise. It should contain no more than a couple of sentences.

2. Make it Specific

The statement should be focused on a specific topic or argument. Covering too many topics will only make your paper weaker.

3. Express an Opinion

The statement should have an opinion on an issue or controversy. This will make your paper arguable and interesting to read.

4. Be Assertive

The statement should be stated assertively and not hesitantly or apologetically. Remember, you are making an argument — you need to sound convincing!

5. Support with Evidence

The thesis should be supported with evidence from your paper. Make sure you include specific examples from your research to reinforce your objectives.

Thesis Statement Examples *

Example 1 – alcohol consumption.

High levels of alcohol consumption have harmful effects on your health, such as weight gain, heart disease, and liver complications.

This thesis statement states specific reasons why alcohol consumption is detrimental. It is not required to mention every single detriment in your thesis.

Example 2 – Benefits of the Internet

The internet serves as a means of expediently connecting people across the globe, fostering new friendships and an exchange of ideas that would not have occurred before its inception.

While the internet offers a host of benefits, this thesis statement is about choosing the ability that fosters new friendships and exchange ideas. Also, the research needs to prove how connecting people across the globe could not have happened before the internet’s inception — which is a focused research statement.

*The following thesis statements are not fully researched and are merely examples shown to understand how to write a thesis statement. Also, you should avoid using these statements for your own research paper purposes.

A gripping thesis statement is developed by understanding it from the reader’s point of view. Be aware of not developing topics that only interest you and have less reader attraction. A harsh yet necessary question to ask oneself is — Why should readers read my paper? Is this paper worth reading? Would I read this paper if I weren’t its author?

A thesis statement hypes your research paper. It makes the readers excited about what specific information is coming their way. This helps them learn new facts and possibly embrace new opinions.

Writing a thesis statement (although two sentences) could be a daunting task. Hope this blog helps you write a compelling one! Do consider using the steps to create your thesis statement and tell us about it in the comment section below.

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College Essay Format: Top Writing and Editing Tips for 2024

A good college essay format, with the right topic, goes beyond describing your academic accomplishments and extracurriculars. Learn how to make your college essay stand out with these tips.

[Featured image] An aspiring college student works on her college essay with a notebook and laptop.

You want to stand out in a crowd, particularly when you’re applying to the college of your choice. As part of the application process, many schools ask for an essay to accompany the standard academic and personal information they require.

At its core, your college application essay tells a story that offers admissions officers a glimpse into who you are, beyond your grades, extracurricular activities, and test scores. Your college essay, often called a "personal statement," is your opportunity to reveal your personality and give an idea about the kind of student you'll be in college.

So how should a college essay be formatted? This article covers formatting best practices, how to choose a compelling topic for your essay, and tips to help you craft an essay that captures your reader's attention, clearly communicates its message, and is free from errors.

College essay format best practices

Your personal statement should tell a compelling story that effectively demonstrates your unique values and personality. While the format of your college essay is largely up to you, consequently, it can be helpful to have a sense of how you might format your essay before composing it.

Consider the following college essay format to organize your writing and craft the most compelling story possible.

1. Think about using a title.

A title for your college essay isn't necessary. But, including one could make your essay intriguing to readers. That said, if you're low on word count, skip a title altogether and just jump into your narrative. You can also wait until after you write your essay to decide. It's often easier to come up with a fitting, compelling title after you've told your story.

2. Open with a hook.

Your opening sentence is one of the most important parts of your essay. It's what you'll use to capture the attention of the reader and compel them to continue reading. The start of your essay is your opportunity to make an impactful first impression, so make your opening a good one.

Here are two examples of how you might craft an interesting hook for your essay:

Start in the middle of your story: Call out the most interesting point of your story, and then backtrack from there. For example, "And there I found myself, surrounded by baby sea turtles on the hazy shores of Virginia Beach."

Make a specific generalization: This is a sentence that makes a general statement on what your essay will be about but gives a specific description. An example: "Each year on our family vacation out of the city, I contemplate the meaning of life as we cross the Golden Gate Bridge."

3. Use your introduction to set up your story.

While your hook will spark the reader's curiosity, the rest of your introduction should give them an idea of where you're going with your essay. Set your story up in four to five sentences, making sure to only include information that is absolutely necessary to understand your story.

4. Tell your story in the body of your essay.

The Common Application has a 650 word limit for personal statements. That means, if both your introduction and conclusion are roughly 100 words each, your body will most likely end up being about 450 words. Think of that as three to five paragraphs, with each paragraph having its own main idea or point. 

Write in a narrative style—closer to how you might write a short story than an instruction manual. Tell your story in a way that’s logical, clear, and makes sense for what you're trying to convey about yourself.

While you should pay strict attention to using proper grammar and sentence structure, you have the freedom to make your essay a reflection of your personality. If you're a humorous person, use humor. If you're an eternal optimist or love getting into the minute details of life, let that shine through. But, keep in mind that your essay is fundamentally about highlighting the qualities that you'd bring to a college community, so keep your anecdotes focused and on point.

5. Use the conclusion to clarify your essay's core idea. 

Finish your story with a conclusion paragraph, where you clarify the value or idea you're trying to convey. What is the main thing you want the college to know about you through this story? Is it what you've learned, a value that's important to you, or what you want to contribute to society? Finally, use the last line of your personal statement to reinforce this central idea, so that your reader leaves with a clear impression about who you are. After the "hook" of your personal statement, the concluding line is the most important of your essay.

How to develop your college essay story

Now that you know how to format your college essay, we'll explore how to develop the story you'll tell in it. Here are some steps to get started:

1. Explore past college essay prompts

Over 900 colleges use Common App essay prompts, which means you may be able to write one essay for several college applications. Some past Common App college essay prompts—which are announced publicly each year—include the following topics:

Share a story about your background, interest, identity, or talent that makes you complete as a person.

Describe a time when you faced a setback, failure, or challenge and what you learned from it.

Tell about a topic, concept, or idea that is so captivating to you that you lose all track of time.

Write about something that someone has done for you that you are grateful for, and how gratitude has motivated or affected you.

These are broad topics that give you the freedom to tell all kinds of different things about yourself. Explore these questions to start brainstorming ideas of stories you may be able to tell about yourself.

There are a lot of potential prompts out there. Some of the other college essay prompts you might encounter include:

Describe a person you admire and how that person has influenced your behavior and thinking.

Why do you want to attend this school?

Describe your creative side.

Name an extracurricular activity that is meaningful to you and how it has impacted your life.

Tell about what you have done to make your community or school a better place.

2. Pick a topic.

Choose a topic that allows you to best highlight what you want the college to know about you. A good start is to list three positive adjectives that describe you. Then, see if you can write two or three real-life examples of each trait that demonstrates that you possess that characteristic.

If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, think about the stories other people tell about you or the positive words they use to describe you. Consider asking people who know you well the following questions:

What do you think sets me apart from others? 

What are my strengths? 

How would you describe my personality? 

What are my quirks?

These ideas can become the inspiration to develop material for a good college essay. You don't have to write about a major life-changing event. It can be a mundane or ordinary situation—like a dinner table conversation, a day at school, or a conversation with a friend. Often, slightly unusual topics are better than typical ones because they hold a reader's attention.

Regardless of the topic you choose, remember that the true topic of your college essay is you, and the purpose of it is to show how you are unique. It highlights an important piece of who you are and where you want to head in life.

3. Consider length.

Consult your college application instructions to see how long your essay should be. Typically, personal statements are between 500 and 650 words long, while supplemental essays are often around 250 to 300 words. Use the required essay length to help you determine what you will share. You won't be able to tell your life story within these few paragraphs, so choose the most impactful examples as your content. 

4. Outline your essay.

An outline helps you plan your essay's key points, including its beginning, middle, and end. Use your outline to stay on topic and get the most out of your word count.

The most effective outlines are usually the simplest. For instance, a good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Likewise, your essay will have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Unless the college requests a specific admission essay format, use the format you've been using to write essays in high school that you're likely to be the most comfortable with.

If you're stuck on how to open your essay, write the middle of your story first. Then, go back and write a compelling introduction and a concise conclusion.

Tips for writing your college essay

Your college essay format and writing should be both compelling in clear. So, as you're writing your college essay, keep these tips in mind:  

1. Be authentic.

One of the most essential parts of how to format a college application essay is to be authentic. The college wants to know who you are, and they will be reading dozens of essays a day. The best way to make yours stand out is to just be yourself instead of focusing on what you think they want to hear. 

Imagine you’re speaking to an actual person as you write. Be honest and accurate, using words you normally use. Your essay is a personal statement, so it should sound natural to the reader—and to you too.

2. Show you can write .

While the most important part of your personal statement is showcasing who you are, you'll also be judged on your writing ability. That's because knowing the fundamental principles of writing is important to college success. Show that you understand the structure of an essay and proper use of the English language.

3. Stay on topic.

If you're using a specific question as your writing prompt, answer the question directly in the opening paragraph. Then, use the rest of the essay to elaborate on your answer. Make good use of your word count limit by being concise and coherent. Stay on topic and refrain from adding any information that doesn't add to the main idea of your essay. 

4. Use concrete details to make your story come to life.

Your essay should describe a real-life event that you've experienced. And, to make that experience as vivid as possible for your reader, you'll want to lean into concrete details that effectively convey it through the written word. This adds color and validity to your personal statement. Personal examples will show you embody the characteristics or values you claim to, rather than merely saying you do.

5. Follow directions.

Read and understand the specific instructions set by the college for your essay. Then, review them again before you submit your essay to make sure you've met all of the requirements. Only once you're confident that you've followed them correctly and that your essay is free from any errors should you submit your essay.

How to edit your college essay

Once you've written your essay, you'll want to edit it until you’re satisfied it conveys your message and is free of errors. Let your first draft be as messy or pristine as it comes out. Then, go back later—several times if needed—to clean it up. Ask yourself these questions as you edit your essay:

Is my essay free of grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation errors?

Is it the proper word length assigned by the college?

Have I answered the question in the prompt?

Does the introduction make me want to read more?

Are there any vague statements I can replace with more specific details?

Do any parts drone on or feel boring?

Does it feel too formal?

Are any parts or words repetitive?

Have I misused any words (such as there, their, and they're)?

Are my sentences varied in length?

Have I shared with the college what I most want them to know about me? 

It can also be helpful to ask someone you trust to read your essay and give you constructive feedback. This might be a trusted teacher, parent, school counselor, or college student. It's best to choose someone who is familiar with the purpose of a college essay.

Ask them to give feedback about your essay using the same questions as above. But they should never try to rewrite your essay. And never let others edit out your voice. Ask them to focus on grammar and mechanics and to give suggestions on items to add in or leave out. 

Above all, ask your guest editor what point they think you were trying to make with your essay. If they get it right, you know you've crafted a college essay that reflects you and your intended message. 

PSA: Save your essay drafts!

Instead of writing your essay directly in the online application, draft and save your essay in a document like Google Docs or Word—or start out on paper and pen if that's what you're most comfortable with. That way you can make edits and use helpful online spelling and grammar checkers. And, you won't risk losing your essay if the application times out or you navigate away from it by mistake.

When you copy and paste your essay into the application, make sure your formatting, such as line spacing and bolding for headings, remains intact.

Enhance your writing skills on Coursera

Bring out your best in your college essay with a course in Writing a Personal Essay from Wesleyan University. Learn how to find your voice, structure your essay, choose relevant details, and write in a way that pulls in your readers.

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Working with sources
  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

Table of contents

How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

Citing a quote in mla style.

An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
  • Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .

Complete guide to MLA

Citing a quote in chicago style.

Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .

Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.

, 510.

Complete guide to Chicago style

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how to write thesis statement sentence

Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

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If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing
  • Critical thinking

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:

  • To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
  • To give evidence from primary sources
  • To accurately present a precise definition or argument

Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:

  • APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
  • MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

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  • Graduate School

How to Write an Effective Statement of Intent

How to Write an Effective Statement of Intent

While most students have heard of a personal statement or statement of purpose, not many can accurately describe what a statement of intent is. This grad school admissions requirement is subtly different from the other “statement” essays you may be familiar with. It is most often requested as an application component for research intensive master’s programs. It typically centers around a cohesive narrative of the applicant’s research interests, experiences, long-term goals, and what they intend to study in grad school. You’ll need to tailor your essay to ensure you meet the unique requirements for this application component.

In this blog, our grad school essay tutors reveal what a statement of intent is, how it differs from a statement of purpose for graduate school , and how to write and structure your statement of intent. You can also check out a sample statement of intent for graduate school.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 16 min read

What is a statement of intent.

A statement of intent, sometimes called statement of interest, is one of the many written essay-style components requested during the higher education admissions process to help admissions committees understand the applicant better. Specifically, a statement of intent is something you’ll need to write to get into grad school . Not all master’s programs ask for it. It is typically requested in addition to the statement of purpose or as an alternative to the statement of purpose. Research-intensive programs most often favor this type of statement. In this essay, they are looking for applicants to expand on their research skills, research experience, and specialized interests.

A statement of intent is, at its core, a functional document with an implicit argument. It serves a very specific purpose and has a singular theme: explaining how your research or career interests align with the features of the program you’re applying to.

It’s important to understand the difference between a statement of purpose and a statement of intent, especially if you need to submit both during a single application cycle. It’s easy to mix up these two essay components! They have a lot of overlap in terms of their content, presentation, and format. Both ask applicants to focus on their research interests, describe why they are interested in a specific field, expand on relevant past academic/professional experiences, and explain their long-term career goals. Admissions committees evaluate both of these statements to assess specific skills and qualities: communication skills, research skills, scientific literacy, problem solving, intellectual curiosity, teamwork, and leadership potential.

Despite these similarities, there are certain factors that differentiate a statement of intent and statement of purpose. The key difference is the scope. A statement of purpose is more general, focused on your overall suitability for the program. A statement of intent is more specific and detailed, focused on your intention to make use of actual features of the program. Statement of intent prompts often ask you to talk about which faculty members you want to work with, what program faculties you wish to use, etc.

The way you discuss your experiences is also different in each of these essays. In a statement of purpose, you can discuss your overall research vision, and connect your past experiences to your long-term career goals. While you can certainly do this in a statement of intent as well, you need to take it one step further. Programs actually expect you to use this essay to expand on the specific skills you gained through past research experiences and connect them with program details like curriculum, preferred departments or modules, faculty members, on-going projects, etc.

The statement of intent actually works as a base template for your research proposal. Many students opt to use their statement of intent to develop their research proposals later in their career. As it’s extremely detailed, some programs even opt to use it in lieu of an interview. On the other hand, some programs refer to your statement of intent as a kind of blueprint to structure your graduate school interview questions . You can expect questions that directly reference the ideas and experiences you’ve discussed in your statement of intent. That’s why it’s so important to be confident about and committed to the ideas you discuss in your statement of intent.

Are you working on your statement of purpose and looking for tips? Check this out:

The structure of your statement of intent is very important as it serves to build a coherent progression of experiences. In this type of essay, you need to provide specific, technical details related to your research interests and experiences, while also telling an engaging narrative that logically builds to the conclusion of you applying to grad school. The key to achieving this balance is creating an effective essay structure.

Start by creating an outline of your essay that is centered around your basic thesis or main point. Return to this thesis periodically to ensure you’re not straying from it as you structure your essay.

Add the following paragraphs:

Introduction:

The first paragraph should immediately grab the reader’s attention and set up a clear framework for the rest of the statement. Unlike, say, a medical school personal statement , or college essays , we don’t recommend starting with an “anchor” story or incident. Since this is a more functional document, including dramatic personal details or childhood memories would only end up clouding the key message of your statement. It’s better to go with a more straightforward introduction that succinctly sets up the main thesis. You can opt to make your introduction more engaging by adding a quote or referencing a specific book or mentor who inspired you; having said that, make sure any external references are always relevant to your actual research interest and further your central argument. Critically, make sure you don’t forget to introduce your research topic, the name of the school you’re applying to, as well as the name of the specific program/department in the very first paragraph.

Body Paragraph 1/2/3/4/5

Next, you can add 1 to 5 main body paragraphs (depending on your word count) where you build a foundation of your research work, interests, experiences, and goals. Each paragraph should be clear, concise and informative. There are certain critical content targets you should keep in mind as you write these paragraphs:

Address the prompt and talk about the specific aspects of the program you\u2019re interested in, such as faculty members you\u2019d love to work with. "}]">

Your conclusion should include a concise statement of your key qualifications and unique suitability for the program. Touch upon how you’ll make use of your time at this school, and how that will help you in your long-term career goals. Reiterate your interest in their specific program.

The word count for a statement of intent can vary from school to school, but it generally ranges between 250 to 1000 words. You should tailor your statement as per your specific word count requirements.

Top Tips for Writing Your Statement of Intent

Keep these tips in mind to write an outstanding statement of intent that effectively communicates your research strengths.

Develop your central research thesis

If you’re applying to grad school, then you probably already have some idea about the kind of research you want to specialize in. If you’re having trouble formulating this idea or condensing it down for your statement of intent, try using the following strategy to structure your thinking and organize your thoughts in a more logical flow. Break down your research interest into three levels, as follows:

Are you solving any specific problem or addressing an existing issue via this research? ","label":"Problem","title":"Problem"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

As we mentioned above, your statement of intent needs to be very specific and must reference the programs you’re applying to. Some schools even provide a specific prompt asking you to talk about which faculty members you want to work with, what sub-department you want to study under, and so on. Make sure you do the required research about what the school and the program have to offer so you can accurately reference this information in your statement. To begin with, you should check the program websites. If they don’t provide enough information, we recommend you reach out to alumni, professors, and current students to learn more.

Find out about the credentials of faculty members, their previous published work, their on-going projects, etc. Check the range of facilities that the school is offering, such as equipment, labs, and academic resources, as well as unique research or clinical experience opportunities. Don’t neglect the extracurriculars such as student support groups, prestigious clubs, and other opportunities that you won’t get on any other campus.

While you’re doing this research, make notes about how your own strengths connect to the unique features of the program. Do you have skills that could be particularly useful for an on-going research project? Do you have past research experience in the same topics that a faculty member is an expert in? When you’re actually writing the statement, these notes will help you to explain not only what you have to offer to the program, but also how you can use this program to further your long-term professional or academic goals.

Looking for a summary of our top tips for writing an effective statement of intent? Check out this infographic:

Follow the guidelines

As you begin your writing, ensure that you review all the guidelines that the school has provided and are closely adhering to then. For example, if there’s a prompt, go through it a few times, and make sure you are responding to the spirit as well as the letter of the prompt. Other considerations you should keep in mind include the maximum and minimum word count, the specific format, and “recommended” stylistic guidelines. For example, some schools ask you to write a formal statement that includes academic citations of works to support each of your research arguments along with references to works that have inspired you. You’ll have to customize the presentation, format, and content of each statement of intent to meet these kinds of specific requirements.

Tell a story with your experiences

It’s very important to remember that your statement of intent, though it is a more technical and functional essay, should not be merely a dry summary of facts, similar to a CV for grad school . Instead, you should write a logical and engaging narrative of the achievements and experiences that led you to your research goals, and how they connect to the program you’re applying to. Add details of your skills and commendable qualities backed up by actual experiences that demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the subject. Admissions committees are always more impressed by “proof” of abilities i.e., they want applicants to show them their journey, not merely tell them about it. For example, instead of merely saying that you have an extensive knowledge of bio-chemical reactions in banana enzymes, identify the specific research experience where you honed this knowledge, and explain the circumstances in your essay. If it was a research project, then provide details about the project name and supervisor, as well as your own role in the project and the daily tasks you performed.

Check out this video for tips on writing your CV for Grad School:

Don’t clutter your statement of intent with too many experiences and achievements. Always keep referencing your central thesis and evaluating if a specific experience will add to your overall narrative or not. After you’ve worked out your central thesis, spend some time analyzing all your academic, research, volunteer, extracurricular, employment, and life experiences. Select 2 to 5 of the most suitable experiences that align with both your research interests and the program admissions criteria and add only those. If you have numerous such experiences to choose from, we suggest prioritizing current or recent experiences.

As you’re discussing each experience or achievement, be specific and detailed, and provide all the relevant information including the names of supervisors, a detailed list of your duties, and so on. You can also make your statement of intent more robust by referring to a wide variety of sources as your research “inspiration”, including classes, academic conversations, workshops, lectures, seminars, books, as well as the more typical experiences of volunteering, work, or research.

A useful tip: make sure you’re adding transitory statements at the end and beginning of each paragraph, to build that logical flow and connect one experience or idea to the next. If you think your essay is looking too dry or CV-like, this is one quick fix you can try in order to narrativize your experiences.

Since a statement of intent is a more formal document written for a very specific purpose, ensure you are using professional/academic and formal language and, if required, you can use technical terms to explain your research ideas. Your evaluators will most likely be professionals from the same field, and they actually expect you to show your expertise in that specific area.

At the same time, avoid using long, complicated sentences. Make sure you use your authentic voice and keep your tone as natural as possible. Thoroughly check your essays for grammar, spelling, clarity of thought, logical flow, and coherence.

Remember that your statement of intent is very different from a personal statement. As we mentioned previously, it’s more formal and has a very specific focus. The admissions committee is expecting to see a coherent autobiography of your academic or professional interests and experiences. That should be your focus – you should only refer to personal information as it relates to the larger context of your academic experiences. For example, avoid telling stories from your childhood about your early interests or including details about life events that shaped you, unless they are strictly relevant to your research journey.

This isn’t the right platform to expand upon excessively personal issues such as an illness or major life changes. You can briefly touch upon these topics or weave them into your professional narrative, if it makes sense. For example, if your grades took a serious dip in a specific period due to personal circumstances, you could choose to briefly address that. But don’t make such incidents the central thesis of your statement of intent. Focus on skills, abilities and contributions, and your inspiration and motivation to pursue research. Rather than expanding on irrelevant childhood details, expand on your professional, academic, and personal connections to the program and school you’re applying to.

Avoid cliches and focus on facts

You don’t need a high-level research “break-through” or nationally recognized academic or research award to make your statement of intent stand out. Many students turn to cliches such as “I want to make the world a better place” or “I just want to help people” to hide what they perceive as insufficiently impressive experiences. In fact, no matter what your past experiences, it’s much better to focus on covering the facts, rather than evoking sentimental cliches to make your experiences seem grander than they actually are. Admissions committees aren’t expecting you to have advanced achievements beyond your level – the whole point of applying to grad school is to get the opportunity to do that level of work.

So instead of worrying about the “quality” of your experiences, focus on ensuring that your essay effectively discussed your best skills and true capabilities. Spend some time self-reflecting about what you learned from your academic, professional, and extracurricular experiences, how they contributed to your journey to grad school, what new skills you developed, what obstacles you overcame, and so on.

Write multiple drafts and seek feedback from experts

A statement of intent requires a little more intensive writing and editing than your typical admissions essays and statements. We suggest sharing your essay with subject matter experts such as research supervisors, faculty members, and other academic mentors who can give you their detailed feedback about the technical aspects of your statement. Their suggestions can help you refine your essay and identify ways to differentiate your thesis from others.

If you’re sure about the technical content of your essay, but need help with the writing, flow, coherence, grammar, and other such stylistic elements, consider getting expert help from a graduate school admissions consultant . These consultants have worked with numerous other students and can help you improve your written communication skills with proven strategies that work.

Whether or not you engage the help of experts, make sure you ask at least 1 other person to review your statement of intent once, even if they’re just a friend or family member. Remember, after going over the same content over and over again for days and weeks, visual fatigue sets in. A fresh pair of eyes can spot small errors and mistakes that you might have missed.

Sample Statement of Intent

Here’s a sample statement of intent for your reference:

Program/School : Clinical Psychology Masters at Ryerson University

Prompt : Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study in the Psychology program, your research interests, how your previous studies and experiences have prepared you for the program, as well as your career objectives and how the graduate degree will advance them. (500-1000 words)

Statement of Intent:

“What is the ticking mechanism of the human mind? How can we truly know it?”

Professor Donaldson’s words from my very first Intro to Psychology class sparked my interest in the world of clinical psychology. Following my curiosity rewarded me with the discovery of my central academic passion in life – developmental psychology and its applications for adolescent females. Today, I hope to enroll in Ryerson University’s Clinical Psychology program so I can further explore my research interests and channel them towards my long-term goals of becoming a research-psychologist, combining clinical psychology practice with research experience to make new discoveries in this area. I believe my undergraduate education has prepared me to undertake advanced research projects and I would be an excellent candidate for your program.

My initial interest in psychology at the beginning of my freshman year soon led me to take on advanced psychology coursework, targeted personal reading, and extra credit projects. I soon built up a strong foundational base in the concepts of General Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Psychology of Gender Roles. When completing the last course during my sophomore year, I found that I had a strong academic interest in the intersections of gender theory and clinical psychology. I was simultaneously completing a Psychological Assessment Tools course to hone my clinical lab skills. The confluence of these two courses helped me synthesize my special interest in understanding and addressing the biases in classic psychological assessment tools and analyzing their impact on incorrect diagnosis, failed treatments, and rate of relapse in impacted patients, especially women. That was when I decided that I wanted to improve my research skills so I could eventually complete advanced studies in this area.

A statement of intent is an autobiographical summary of your research interests and experiences, with an emphasis on how the program you’re applying to can help you achieve your goals. Some schools provide specific prompts for their statement of intent, asking students to describe aspects of their program they would most benefit from. A statement of intent is a more formal and functional document than your typical admissions essays, and usually only research-intensive master’s courses request this type of essay in your application.

While these two admissions essays have a lot in common – for example, they are both research-focused and help admissions committees evaluate your academic and professional credentials for their program. However, a key difference between them is the scope. A statement of purpose is more general, focused on your overall academic, professional and/or extracurricular experiences and your long-term career goals. A statement of intent is more targeted and detailed, with a clear focus on your specific research interests. In your statement of intent, you must reference the programs you’re applying to, and explain at length how you can contribute to them and which of their offerings most attract you.

This depends on the specific requirements of the program you’re applying to. Generally, a statement of intent has a prescribed word count ranging from 250 to 1000 words. Even if there’s no maximum word count provided, we recommend not exceeding 900 words. While you need to explain your research interests in detail, remember that this essay is not a research thesis and doesn’t need that level of scientific enquiry.

Your statement of intent should have the following structure:

  • Introduction : This should clearly set out your central thesis and reference your research interests and the name of the program/school you’re applying to.
  • Main body paragraphs : You can add 1 to 5 body paragraphs to discuss the details of relevant experiences and achievements, key skills and qualities, and your specific interest in the program you’re applying to.
  • Conclusion : Here, make sure you reiterate your research thesis, and call back to the program/college name. Provide a clear statement of why you think you are a uniquely well-suited candidate for their program.

To write an impressive statement of intent, you’ll have to spend sufficient time researching the facilities and features of the program and school you’re applying to, analyzing your own research interests and skills, and coming up with a central “thesis” that aligns the two. Include details of multiple experiences, achievements, awards, and activities to support your claims and prove your passion and suitability for a specific research area. Avoid including irrelevant personal details or cliches, and instead focus on creating a logical flow of experiences leading to your current application.

No, your statement of intent must be tailored for each program you’re applying to. That’s the whole point of a statement of intent – it explains why you’re well-suited to a particular program, and how you intend to use their resources to further your research interests. If you don’t refer to their unique offerings and instead just provide a general summary of your research interests, admissions committees will not be able to gauge why you’re a good fit for their program.

No, not all graduate programs ask for a statement of intent. Some ask for an additional statement of intent along with a personal statement and/or statement of purpose, while others only require the statement of intent. You should check the admissions websites of the schools you’re applying to learn more.

We recommend that you spend at least 6 weeks writing your statement of intent. This will give you sufficient time to refine your central “research thesis”, analyze your history of experiences to identify the most suitable ones, write and edit multiple drafts, and seek out feedback from expert reviewers.

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ITABANA, BLESSING EFFIONG

Absolutely loved reading this. Great job!!!

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello and thank you very much for your comment! So glad you enjoyed this article!

Do you have any research statement of intent for Master's in Physics?

Hello Saba! Thanks for your comment. We will try to include one when we update the blog :)

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how to write thesis statement sentence

IMAGES

  1. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

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  2. The Best Way to Write a Thesis Statement (with Examples)

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  3. How to Write an Effective Thesis Statement

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  4. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  5. 15 Thesis Statement Examples to Inspire Your Next Argumentative Essay

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  6. The Best Way to Write a Thesis Statement (with Examples)

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VIDEO

  1. Teaching class how to write thesis statement

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  3. How To Write A Thesis Statement

  4. Thesis Statement| English Essay by Dr Arif Javid

  5. What is Thesis Statement and How to Write Thesis Statement

  6. Thesis: How to write Thesis Statement of an Essay

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  2. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  3. How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

    Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing. Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and ...

  4. How to write a thesis statement + Examples

    A good thesis statement needs to do the following: Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences. Answer your project's main research question. Clearly state your position in relation to the topic. Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

  5. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  6. PDF Thesis Statements

    state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you'll make in the rest of your paper. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.

  7. Thesis Statements

    A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.

  8. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  9. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Even if your assignment doesn't ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you'd like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you'd like to write about. A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  10. Developing A Thesis

    A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. Steps in Constructing a Thesis. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

  11. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  12. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

    Checklist: How to use your Thesis Statement. Position: If your statement is for an argumentative or persuasive essay, or a dissertation, ensure it takes a clear stance on the topic. Specificity: It addresses a specific aspect of the topic, providing focus for the essay. Conciseness: Typically, a thesis statement is one to two sentences long.

  13. Writing a Thesis Statement

    The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on the type of paper you are writing. Here is how to write the different kinds of thesis statements: Argumentative Thesis Statement: Making a Claim. Analytical Thesis Statement: Analyzing an Issue. Expository Thesis Statement: Explaining a Topic.

  14. PDF Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

    **Thesis s •A thesis statement can appear as one sentence (see examples C and D) or several sentences (see examples A and B); this is dependent on the requirements of your rhetorical context. ** Note: these are general guidelines for constructing a strong thesis statement and topic sentences in a thesis driven essay; always refer to your ...

  15. How Do I Write a Thesis Statement?

    Generally, a thesis statement consists of two parts: A clearly identifiable topic or subject matter. A succinct summary of what you have to say about that topic. For your reader, a thesis functions like the case a lawyer has to make to the judge and jury in a courtroom. An effective thesis statement explains to your reader the case you are ...

  16. How to Write a Thesis Statement With Examples

    Examples of a thesis statement for an analytical essay include: The criminal justice reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in late 2018 ("The First Step Act") aims to reduce prison sentences that disproportionately fall on nonwhite criminal defendants.

  17. How to write a thesis statement (with examples)

    What your thesis statement includes is determined by three things: 1. The subject and topic of the essay. 2. The purpose of the essay. 3. The length of the essay. Let's examine each of those in more detail to see how they can help us refine our thesis statement.

  18. How To Write a Thesis Statement (with Useful Steps and Tips)

    Make sure that the thesis statement does not exceed two sentences. Avoid making obvious statements such as 'this is an essay about….' or 'the point of this paper is….'. The thesis statement should be able to convey this without using such up-front language. Write clearly and articulately.

  19. The Writing Center

    For the reader, the thesis statement: Serves as a "map" to guide the reader through the paper. In the same way the thesis helps you organize your paper, the thesis helps organize the reader's thinking. Once a solid thesis is presented, the reader will understand that all of the evidence presented is in service of proving the thesis.

  20. Thesis statement: Tips and Examples

    A thesis statement is a declarative sentence that states the primary idea of an essay or a research paper. In this statement, the authors declare their beliefs or what they intend to argue in their research study. The statement is clear and concise, with only one or two sentences. Thesis Statement — An Essential in Thesis Writing

  21. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab (the Purdue OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out ...

  22. College Essay Format: Top Writing and Editing Tips for 2024

    1. Be authentic. One of the most essential parts of how to format a college application essay is to be authentic. The college wants to know who you are, and they will be reading dozens of essays a day. The best way to make yours stand out is to just be yourself instead of focusing on what you think they want to hear.

  23. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use "p."; if it spans a page range, use "pp.". An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  24. How to Write a Statement of Intent

    Next, you can add 1 to 5 main body paragraphs (depending on your word count) where you build a foundation of your research work, interests, experiences, and goals. Each paragraph should be clear, concise and informative. There are certain critical content targets you should keep in mind as you write these paragraphs: 01.