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How to Write a Thesis Statement

written by: Stephanie Michael • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/5/2012

Writing a thesis is an important part of any essay or research paper. It is where you summarize what your paper will be about and prepare your reader to receive your points of discussion. In this article you will learn a quick and reliable way to write your thesis sentence.

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    What is a Thesis Sentence?

    Do you know how to write a thesis statement? Do you know what a good thesis sentence is? A good thesis sentence is one that sums up the message of your paper. It is one of the most important aspects of your paper and can help you clearly explain what your paper will be about. In this article you will read about how to create a simple outline of your paper and then use that outline to build a strong and concise thesis sentence.

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    Create an Outline

    The last sentence of that paragraph could be considered this article's “thesis sentence” although very simply stated it explains what the article is going to be about. So let's get started.

    The first step is to create a brief, but complete outline of your paper. By now you have done your research and should know what it is you want to discuss. For an example we will pretend the topic is “Dogs.” You do your research and determine you want your paper to include information about how the dog was domesticated and the roles that dogs play today. While gathering your research keep in mind your audience's current level of knowledge. Make sure to explain advanced terms and subject specific lingo.

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    Sample First Outline

    • Introduction - include facts about history of dogs.
    • 1st point of discussion - discuss the origin of the dog, how they were domesticated from wolves and why.
    • 2nd point of discussion - discuss how dog's jobs evolved from hunting and retrieving to herding and companionship.
    • 3rd point of discussion - discuss what part the dog plays in today's world. Explain how in some places dogs are kept purely for companionship while in other countries that can have more traditional jobs.
    • Conclusion - sum up the importance of dogs to humans throughout history and today. Include statistic about pet ownership.
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    Creating the Thesis Sentence

    Of course if you have more than three points of discussion feel free to include those but always try for a minimum of three. Using the outline above you can easily create a first draft of your thesis statement by combining your three points of discussion into a thoughtful and informative statement. For the example I might make the thesis sentence “While dogs were first domesticated to help humans hunt large prey their versatility quickly made them an integral part of human society.”

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    Write and Polish the Essay

    Your next step is to begin writing your essay. Gather your resources and try to complete your first draft without stopping. Just get all your ideas down on the paper. In between drafts take a look at your resources one last time. See if there is any additional information that supports your thesis. In the second draft move more slowly adding and subtracting sections as you see fit. If you're serious about getting a good grade on your paper have a friend read your second draft and ask for feedback. Creating a third draft before your final paper is optional but can't hurt. You'll find that each time you rewrite your paper it gets better and your points become clearer.

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    Polishing Your Thesis Sentence

    As you polish your outline into a first, second, possible third, and final draft your thesis sentence will also be polished. The hardest part of writing your thesis is doing the research and deciding what the most important points of discussion are. Keep in mind who your audience is and what they know and be clear in your thesis sentence. You are trying to summarize the information in your essay and you will have plenty of time to explain in depth in the body of your paper.