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How Long Can a Thesis Statement Be?


Whether you are writing an analytical or persuasive paper, your writing needs a main point. A sentence that clarifies your position is the thesis statement. Its purpose is to guide your paper and keep your writing focused. It is more effective if it's one or two statements and is located early in the paper.

Position

The thesis statement works best in the introduction of your paper. Begin the paper with an engaging statement and lead the reader to the main point or the thesis statement. Avoid embedding the thesis in the middle of the introduction where it can be overlooked. It is more effective if it's near the end of the introduction or the last sentence of the introduction. Introductions are usually one paragraph in length; however, some longer papers require more than one paragraph to introduce the topic.

Wording

Avoid vague words in your thesis statement, such as "many" or "interesting." Keep the sentence or sentences succinct and to the point. The thesis should only mention the issues you wish to discuss in your paper. If your thesis is two sentences in length, you may be able to combine the sentences into one sentence with either a coordinating or subordinating conjunction to help relate the ideas. As your paper develops, be prepared to reword and revise the thesis to fit your developing thoughts.

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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