The point of a thesis statement is to sum up your topic and stance on it in one sentence. It’s basically the main point of your essay boiled down into a single sentence that’s powerful enough to draw the attention of whoever is reading your essay. When you need to write one for a school essay, it can be hard to think of the right words to use. A thesis statement is so short that you don’t have a lot of legroom, so to speak, with your ideas for this essay.
The best way you can practice thesis statement writing and see what works and what doesn’t work is to read other people’s thesis statements. When you see how someone else can take a whole essay idea and pare it down into a sentence, you’ll get ideas for how to structure your own.
Why does your essay need one anyway? Shouldn’t the whole essay be enough to show your perspective and stance on the issue at hand? If you’re writing about something complicated or that happens over a long period of history, then it’ll be even harder to put all that detail into one sentence. But that’s actually the point of a thesis statement – you’re not trying to put every detail into it. You’re only highlighting the most important part, the reason why you’re writing this essay in the first place.
Go back through your notes and the instructions from your teacher to discover the single reason that you’re even spending your time on this essay (besides having to get a good mark for it). Then you can use those ideas to inform your thesis statement. It should only have one main idea, and be about 30 words or less.
Once you have your thesis statement, where do you put it? Most teachers like seeing it at the end of your introduction. This isn’t necessarily the end of your first paragraph, because sometimes introductions can be more than one paragraph. The traditional format of an introduction is:
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