Incorrect : British indifference caused the American Revolution. Correct : By treating their U.
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Although you do want to grab your reader's attention, asking a question is not the same as making a thesis statement. Your job is to persuade by presenting a clear, concise concept that explains both how and why.
Incorrect : Have you ever wondered why Thomas Edison gets all the credit for the light bulb? Correct : His savvy self-promotion and ruthless business tactics cemented Thomas Edison's legacy, not the invention of the lightbulb itself. Correct : While a number of economic factors caused the stock market crash of , the losses were made worse by uninformed first-time investors who made poor financial decisions.
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Share Flipboard Email. An Introduction to Essay Writing. Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks. Updated September 29, Read and compare your sources : What are the main points they make?
Do your sources conflict with one another? Don't just summarize your sources' claims; look for the motivation behind their motives. Draft your thesis : Good ideas are rarely born fully formed. Some research assignments will require a specifically stated thesis statement, while other projects will simply require that you maintain a strong focus, without requiring a specific thesis. A thesis statement expresses the central arguments and establishes the focus of a piece of writing.
Here is a simple formula for the thesis statement:.
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An effective thesis statement for a research argument should be debatable. Because humans communicate in a variety of ways, the following thesis statement on text messaging fits the criteria for a debatable thesis:. Although text messaging can often be a convenient mode of communication, overreliance on the practice can lead to insincerity, confusion, and a lack of depth in human communication. This is certainly an open topic for debate, as many people born in the last two decades view text messaging as the preferred method for staying in touch with friends and family. But the practice is not without controversy.
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Most traditional research essays will require some kind of explicitly stated thesis. This means you should state your thesis clearly and directly for your readers.
A thesis is a statement of purpose, one to two sentences long, about your research, that is often presented at the beginning of your essay to prepare your audience for the content of your whole research paper. Your thesis is often presented at the end of your introductory paragraph or paragraphs. Your thesis statement should state your topic and, in a persuasive research essay, state your assertion about that topic.
A good thesis statement will tell your readers what your research paper will be about and, specifically, why it is important.
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You should avoid thesis statements that simply announce your purpose. For example, in a research paper on health care reform, you should avoid a thesis statement like this:. Instead, a good thesis statement on health care reform in the United States would be more specific and make a point that will help establish a clear purpose and focus for your essay. It might look something like this:. Although health care reform is a controversial topic in the United States, the need for strong reform is important, as too many Americans are living without access to health care.
Of course, not all research papers are persuasive. Some research papers can also be analytical. A good analytical thesis statement might look something like this:. Not all research papers will require an explicitly stated thesis.