First-Term Resource: Thesis Statements

Thesis Statements

A thesis statement is best defined as the central idea, argument, or focus of your paper. It expresses an idea about a topic in one or two sentences at the end of the introduction. To develop an effective thesis, use this process: start with a topic, develop an idea, ask research questions, find answers, and develop one into a thesis statement. Just as with all effective writing, an effective thesis statement grows from a process. To develop a good thesis, consider the following:

  1. Try brainstorming, freewriting, or another prewriting technique to identify an appropriate topic.
  2. Research your topic. Accessing online research sources is a great place to start.
  3. Ask research questions. Focus on what you want to know about your topic. Here is a sample question. Question: Do television stations and their sponsors have an agenda when playing particular commercials during extended period of programming? When you read to answer this question, other questions will arise like these: What types of stations? What specific sponsors? What kinds of agendas? What specific programming?
  4. Now that you have asked questions and discovered answers, you can develop an idea or point about your topic. Here is an example: Popular movie channels and their fast food sponsorship have an unhealthy and greedy agenda when playing commercials during long movie marathons.

Example

Research question: Do television stations and their sponsorship have an agenda when playing particular commercials during extended periods of programming?

Answer/Potential thesis: Yes, television stations and their sponsorship have an agenda when playing particular commercials during extended periods of programming.

Taking into consideration most theses start with a simple “Yes” or “No,” the remaining portion of the sentence is certainly a start! From this point, be more specific:

What types of television stations? What specific sponsors? What kind of an agenda? What specific programming? At this stage of your thesis development, you need your reader to understand where you intend to take your writing.

Modified and specific thesis: Popular movie channels and their correlating fast food sponsorship have an unhealthy and greedy agenda when playing their alluring commercials during extensive movie marathons.

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