- a rhetorical question
- a quotation
- a definition
- an interesting fact
- a question that will be answered in your paper
- some background information on your topic
If written properly, your thesis can act as a “roadmap” for your paper, where each main idea presented in your thesis essentially becomes the topic of your body paragraph. To see this in action, use the suggested outline below.
A thesis statement is a sentence that states the topic and purpose of your paper. A good thesis statement will direct the structure of your essay and will allow your reader to understand the ideas you will discuss within your paper.
Your thesis should be stated somewhere in the opening paragraphs of your paper, most often as the last sentence of the introduction. Often, a thesis will be one sentence, but for complex subjects, you may find it more effective to break the thesis statement into two sentences.
- answer a question;
- be engaging; it can be challenged or opposed, thus also defended;
- pass the “so what? why should I care?” test;
- be supported by your paper;
- not be too broad nor too vague.
Since the rest of your paper will be spent defending your thesis–offering support for the thesis and reasons why criticism of the thesis may not be valid–it’s crucial that you develop a strong thesis.