How to Make a Thesis

Making a thesis is a practical way to concisely express an arguable idea. A thesis does not state a basic fact, but asserts a detailed opinion about a topic, and sets the tone for a paper by giving clues as to the arguments you'll make. Most theses follow a standard format that outlines what the main point of the text is and how that point will be addressed. Often, a thesis will explore a specific number of reasons behind a particular viewpoint.

Brainstorm and collect information to support the topic. Search for plausible relationships between facts and supportive evidence for the development of the thesis. Analyze the differences and similarities between the arguments related to the topic. Research supportive facts that encourage and strengthen the thesis. Look for evidence that surprises you. For example, the thesis, "Texting is dangerous while driving" is a truthful statement, but it lacks an opinionated stance and doesn't provide a clear direction for your argument. Choose a thesis that expresses controversy and arguable criticism like, "Texting decreases dementia in elderly adults."

State a clear opinion about the subject. Make a strong statement that provides strong reasons to believe your thesis is valid. Write a persuasive statement about the issue that reflects your knowledge and understanding of the topic. Choose viable reasons that give leverage and stability to the opinions expressed in the thesis. Using the previous example, the thesis could state, "Texting decreases dementia in elderly adults by forcing the memory portions of the brain to remain functional throughout the day. Spelling practice, hand-eye coordination and memory recollection enable aging adults to use language portions of the brain consistently."

Validate the subject by encouraging the reader to examine the topic more closely. Create a well-structured and thought provoking thesis that stimulates the reader's interest. Add inspiring and grounded opinions to the thesis that render your argument interesting and engaging. Choose a statement to add to the beginning of the thesis that promotes further speculation. In the previous example, the sentence, "Health insurance providers should supply senior citizens with free texting for their cell phones," could go right before the thesis.

Keep the thesis concise, limiting it to a sentence or two, and using declarative statements. Avoid using a passive voice or word choices that sound like the thesis has been written in the form of a question. Use strong language and active verbs to express the opinions represented in the thesis. Make the point with a bold and assertive tone.

  • Allow the thesis to be contestable. Keep an open mind because the evidence could lead to other conclusions. Always use proper grammar and sentence structure.
  • Do not use vague or simplistic phrases like, "I believe," "It seems," or "In my opinion." These phrases lack an authoritative voice and will not easily persuade a reader.
About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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