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Oak Trees: Thesis Statements

What is a Thesis Statement?

What is a thesis statement? 

A thesis statement declares what you believe and what you intend to prove. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts.

The thesis statement is usually located at the end of the first paragraph.

Start your research by reading background information on your topic until you know enough about it to identify key or essential questions. You may not know how you stand on an issue until you have examined the evidence.

Develop a working, preliminary or tentative thesis which you will refine until you are certain of where the evidence leads. A tentative thesis will help you focus your search for information.

A good thesis statement is:

  • Specific and focused
  • Debatable: something on which people could have differing opinions
  • An argumentative assertion about a topic  
  • States the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper
  • Clearly asserts your conclusion based on evidence
  • Provides the reader with a map to guide them through your paper
  • Leads the reader through the subtopics needed to prove your thesis
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that support your argument
  • Anticipates and refutes counter-arguments





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