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Student Learning Center: Thesis Statements

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Thesis Statements

Thesis Statements!


Purpose of a thesis statement:


thesis statement is a declaration of purpose for your essay. It should introduce a position on an issue that is arguable, meaning more than one answer or viewpoint is plausible, possible, or realistic.


Thesis statement examples:


“The current television rating system does little to help parents make programming choices for

      their children.”

Presumably, this essay will discuss the current television rating system, and will make an argument that it is not useful to parents in deciding what their children should and shouldn’t watch.


    “The local Women’s Center performs a valuable service and deserves a budget renewal.”

This essay would outline and discuss those “valuable services” that the Women’s Center performs to argue why it deserves a budget renewal.


How to generate a thesis statement:


A working thesis can help to focus your initial research and provide a framework around which to compile evidence.


*Don’t worry if your final thesis statement is vastly different from your original working thesis; you may come to find that the information your research reveals supports a viewpoint different from the one you originally intended to argue, or you might decide that a different aspect of the topic you’re discussing holds more interest for you.



First, ask a question!


Too broad: How does film depict race, social class, and gender?


Try and narrow your question down to specific aspects of your theme. What type or genre of film? What aspect of race? How are you defining social class? Or gender?


BetterHow do science fiction films introduce issues of gender?


Try and tailor your thesis to the size of the essay you’ll be writing. If your length requirement is only a few pages, you won’t want to have a thesis that is too broad. You won’t be able to cover all those topics in just three pages!


BestIn what ways does the film Alien (1979) explore the idea of the  




Also, narrowing your topic down to a concise thesis will actually help you to write more. Your research will be more focused and directed, and you’ll avoid the tendency to jump from idea to idea that a writer may have when they’ve run out of pertinent material.


Tips: Be sure to use words that are emotive and specific. The more specific your thesis is, the more focus your paper will have, and the more interesting it will be to your reader.

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