Your Thesis Statement

What is the thesis statement in an essay?

Simply put, it is the idea around which your essay arguments will revolve. In other words, it is your stated position on the topic.

What is your clear, specific opinion on the topic you are writing about?

Before you get too attached to any one opinion, keep in mind:

An argument is only as good as its thesis. Therefore, yours must be strong.


A flawed thesis cannot be successfully argued. Think about it. If you tried to convince everyone that apples were neon pink, would it work? No. No matter how eloquent your writing, we all know apples don't come in bright pink. The foundation of your entire argument was flawed. The best way to avoid a flawed thesis statement is to make sure you have all of the facts clear before you formulate it. A little research goes a long way.

A strong statement:
  • is given at the beginning of the essay
  • Not necessarily in the very first sentence, but soon afterward.

  • is no more than one to three sentences.
  • Be brief. Wordiness will hurt you here.

  • is clear and detailed.
  • Avoid the vague. Specific is the rule.

  • is fully fleshed out in the essay.
  • Your arguments and examples help the reader fully understand your position.

These guidelines for a strong thesis apply to every kind of essay, including the personal essay. The whole point is to be opinionated. To take a firm stand on an issue, one way or the other.

Once you have drafted your statement, write out your arguments for and against to be sure it is strong enough to carry the essay.

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