A thesis statement is usually one or two sentences that appear at the end of your introduction paragraph. Your thesis statement is a summary of the paper's main idea and should include your overall message (or argument) as well as your subpoints.
A thesis statement:
Tells the reader what the essay will be about and what point you will be making (be specific!).
Tells the reader how the essay is going to be structured and in what direction the argument is going.
Expresses a point that needs to be proven through discussion and examples (e.g., it can't be a simple statement of fact or an opinion that cannot be supported by evidence).
* Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect what you have discussed in the paper. That's fine!
Check out this presentation by our Writing and Grammar Tutor Claire Pienaar about how to create a thesis statement.
Examples of thesis statements from Claire's presentation
“Many college students believe Taco Bell is the best fast-food restaurant because it is inexpensive, offers delicious food, and is open 24 hours.” (Susan Inez, Kibin.com)
“Although most American politicians support ongoing funding for the DEA, the war on drugs is a travesty of justice because sentencing laws are discriminatory, more prisons than colleges are built, and addiction is treated as a crime rather than a disease.” (Susan Inez, Kibin.com)
“At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade businesses’ clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.” (Purdue OWL)
“An academic paper requires organization, adequate research or attention to the subject matter, and expression in conventional English; however, without the author’s deep understanding of the topic, the essay falls flat.” (University of Manitoba)