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What is a Thesis Statement?

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Introduction

People usually, don't get exactly what is a thesis statement. It is because people often confuse it with those college dissertations written by the final-year students. However, that is not what we are discussing here. The thesis relevant here is a statement that declares the primary purpose of writing a particular essay or paper. A single statement that condenses the main ideology behind the essay or piece of writing is known as a thesis statement. Follow this comprehensive guide to know everything that is to know about how to write a thesis statement.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement narrows down the scope of a wide explorable idea or topic to concentrate the attention of the reader towards those areas or aspects that are going to be covered in the essay. It establishes the direction in which the writer will advance to put across a certain point or claim and informs the reader about it in a nutshell. To simplify a thesis statement definition, it is a sentence or a small group of sentences that justify why an essay is worth writing, reading and discussing in the first place. To learn further about how to write a thesis statement, you should first understand the primary characteristics of a good thesis statement.


Essentials of a good thesis statement

1. Types of thesis statements:

The thesis statements are either informative or persuasive kind. A good thesis statement conveys the intention of the writer to the reader. If the purpose of the writer is to just convey information to the reader, then the thesis statement should be informative.

For example:- "The rising crime rate in cities has a direct correlation with the increase in unemployment." In this thesis statement, the writer is expressing his intention of exploring the cause-effect relationship between rising unemployment and the increase in urban crime rate.

Similarly, while writing an argumentative or persuasive essay, the thesis statement must reflect the objective of the essay by laying down the stance or position of the writer on a particular issue. For example:- "The corrupt corporate media is largely to blame for the rising polarization and communal tensions brewing in the country." In this particular thesis, the writer has taken a position against the corporate media houses and their negative influence on the public discourse.


2. Length of a thesis statement:

Thesis statements could be written either in 2-to-3 points or in one overarching point. A thesis statement required for a brief essay could lay out a brief outline of the narrow focus of the essay. It could easily be of 2 to 3 lines or around 50 to 60 words.

For example:- "J.K. Rowling is rightly considered as one of the greatest fantasy-fiction writers of our age. By writing the immensely popular Harry Potter series of books, she not only managed to capture the imagination of a generation through escapist and fantastical story-telling, but also conveyed themes like- the triumph of good over evil, overcoming your fear, gaining the courage to stand for good, and importance of friendship and camaraderie."

 In this example, this thesis is apt for a short essay as it is providing details on the writer's focus. Here it is clear that the writer wants to discuss how the author of harry potter books, has explored various real-life themes in a fantasy setting. The thesis also provides a brief introduction to those themes and how those themes have resonated with readers around the world.

On the other hand, a long-form essay requires an all-encompassing theme or subject that can be expanded upon in great detail during the length of an essay. This requires a thesis statement to be a short, one-line introduction of the overarching theme that will be explored by the writer in the essay in excruciating detail. For example:- "We all must be a little skeptical about corporate philanthropy."

This thesis statement is perfect for a long-form essay as it does provides the clue to the readers that the discussion will concentrate on corporate philanthropy, however, it leaves ample scope for the writer to discuss all the reasons why he thinks we should be suspicious of plutocratic generosity.  


3. Placement of a thesis statement:

The right placement or position of a thesis statement is at the end of the introductory paragraph of an essay. The first paragraph introduces the readers to the purpose and subject matter of the essay by providing an initial hook to grab their attention and then building some background. After this set-up, the thesis statement appears at the end of the paragraph to round-off the introduction by providing a concise summary to the readers about the direction of the essay.


4. The essence of a thesis statement is ambiguity:

A decent thesis statement is never just a piece of factual information. It is always a statement that engages and intrigues the reader because of its ambiguity. There is always scope for argument or disagreement in a good thesis statement. If your thesis is stating something which most people already know to be true or on which there is already an overwhelming consensus, then you should change it because it is very likely to not involve or engross the reader.

For example:- "Access to clean water is a human right", is a non-disputed fact. However, " Rainwater harvesting should be immediately adopted and implemented on a large-scale by the government to fight water scarcity", is a much more preferable thesis statement. Here, there is abundant scope for counter arguments regarding the government's resourcefulness and competency, which challenges the writer to draw a formidable argument. This also makes the essay, interesting and engrossing for the reader.
Now that you are familiar with all the essentials and have gone through some thesis statement examples, it is time for you to learn how to make a thesis statement.


How to make a thesis statement using mind-mapping

Mind maps are a visual articulation of your thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It helps you to contextualize your vision and draw inspiration from it to guide your direction of writing and craft the language and terminologies that will best express your vein-of-thought.

Mind-mapping can work wonderfully to guide you in choosing an appropriate thesis statement for your essay. Mind-maps helps you to develop an understanding of the text that you are trying to write. A visual map of ideas whether hand-drawn or done through computer software is a fun way of putting together all your ideas and assertions in one easy-to-read format.

This mapping of ideas will orient you towards the central theme or element of the essay that is crucial for you to highlight. This central idea is what needs to be communicated to the reader and therefore will determine the content and form of your thesis statement.


Conclusion

It is hard to express too much in not too many words. However, this exactly what a thesis statement is. There is a lot to convey however, you have to keep it short. The key is to avoid vagueness and focus on the central theme of your writing. Use language that is easy to understand and quick to grasp, while keeping the reader's perspective in mind.  Do that and rest assured, you have learned how to make a thesis statement.