A thesis statement should be clear and concise, encapsulate the main argument of your essay, and tell readers right away what they should take away from it. Every paragraph of your paper should have a thread leading back to your thesis. Remember: in the body of your essay, paragraphs are the limbs and the thesis is the heart.
Things to remember:
- Don’t let your thesis be too wordy. If it’s too long, your topic will get lost and seem watered-down.
- Make sure your thesis shows your stance. Whatever the argument of your paper is, whether it be that 1984 is an epic hero’s journey or that emojis are becoming a modern form of hieroglyphics, your reader should know it.
- Give a brief summation of your argument.
Example: “Over the years, the existence of Bigfoot has been corroborated by many sources. Localized sighting reports, tales of personal encounters, and numerous bits of evidence collected by cryptozoologists all give credence to the modern myth of this famous sasquatch.”
As you can see, it 1) clearly states the position of the paper 2) lists the major factors behind the conclusion and 3) Is structured so the reader can follow the argument.
Ensure that you have a body paragraph or two to support each piece of your thesis. For example, a paper with the above thesis needs to include sections about:
- Where are the places Bigfoot sighting reports are coming from? Is it a localized area?
- What do stories about sightings have in common? Is there a general agreement of what Bigfoot looks like? How they behave?
- What have cryptozoologists found? How have they tested the findings? What do they believe is the origin of these findings?
Writing a Strong Conclusion
A conclusion should be similar to your thesis, but not be a verbatim copy. It should sum up the evidence you presented in the body of your essay. This is the feet of your essay – what it all stands on. Make sure it’s a firm base.
Example: “Public records and scientific reports have uncovered where Bigfoot roams, what they look like, and several common behaviors. Bigfoot, much like the giant squid, is a rarely-seen, but very real spectre of nature.”
The best way to self check a conclusion is to do the “So What?” test. Read your conclusion over again. If there’s room for a reader to ask “So What?” “Why should I care?” or the like, go back and tighten it.