One of the things that makes writing so interesting and exciting is that, in the process of writing, you almost always discover ideas and connections between ideas that you didn't recognize before. Even if you have a clear idea of what you think you want to say before you start to write, you will usually discover that in the process of writing your idea changes.
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Often you will have to start writing with only a question to answer or a topic to explore, and you'll have to write your way to a thesis. You will keep revising your thesis statement as you revise your essay. Where the thesis statement is most important is at the end of the process, during revision.
25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze
You want your essay to come to a point, to have a clear thesis that every reader will understand. This brings us to the second question. Even if we accept that every good essay does have a thesis statement, often that thesis is implied by the essay and not explicitly stated. But I am going to ask you to submit your thesis statement in writing with every draft and every essay you write. What's the value of writing out your thesis statement on a piece of paper? If you know the point you are trying to make, isn't that enough?
The basic answer is "yes. On the other hand, if your thesis is clear in your mind, it is very easy to write it down on a piece of paper. It just takes a few seconds. No problem. Unfortunately, most of us are not absolutely clear in our minds about what point we are making when we write. Even when we think we know exactly what we want to say, we often discover when we start to write it down that it isn't all there. The main reason I ask you to write down your thesis statement and submit it before, during, and after you write your essay is that we will use the trial thesis statement as a tool to discuss and revise your essay.
Think of your essay as a building. You are the architect. As you design the building you construct a scale model so that you and your clients can see what the finished building will look like. It doesn't have all the detail the finished building will, but it does allow us to see the shape and overall design. If you make changes in the design, you will alter the scale model. People's reactions to the scale model may help you to decide how to alter the design.
How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement - EasyBib Blog
Your thesis statement is to your essay as the scale model is to the building. Until construction is complete, you can always make changes. And so your scale model will not be "final" until the building is finished. If you think of the thesis statement as a scale model of your essay, you can see why your thesis statement must evolve and develop as your essay does, and you won't worry about having a finished thesis statement until you have a finished essay. But you will recognize that in working on your thesis statement you are working on your essay. If the thesis statement is a good model of your essay--if everything in the essay is reflected in the thesis statement and everything in the thesis statement is developed in the essay--then we can give you useful feedback on your trial thesis statement that will help you to decide how to revise your essay.
Having to develop a written thesis statement along with your essay also helps you to discover problems with your essay and solve them.
For example, unless you have a very clear idea of what you want to say when you start writing your essay, you are likely to "drift" as you write the first draft. That is to say, you will change your argument as you develop it. This is a good thing because you usually improve your argument as you change it.
But it often results in a draft that starts out by posing one question and ends up by answering a different one. The essay will often seem to be two separate half-essays pasted together in the middle. This problem is usually not hard to fix, but it may be hard for you to see at first because you are so close to the essay that you have just written. A thesis statement can help you to recognize that your essay has changed from its original intention. And in trying to revise your thesis statement so that it summarizes your whole essay, you will see that that is an impossible task until you have settled on a single direction in which to revise the essay.
If you think of the thesis statement as a scale model of your essay, it will point you toward answers to many of the questions that arise in the process of revision.
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Sometimes it will not be easy to see the relationship between your thesis statement and your essay. This can be frustrating. You may be tempted to think that if you could just ignore the thesis statement your essay would be fine. Usually, this is wishful thinking. One of the reasons why it may be hard to come up with a thesis statement that matches your essay is that you haven't really decided what you want to say in the essay. You may have seven or ten decent paragraphs down on paper. They might even be interesting. But if you can't say for sure what they add up to, what point they make, you probably don't have an essay yet.
A good thesis statement will tell you when you have finished.
This may not sound important, but it is. One of the hardest things about writing good essays--even for very experienced writers--is knowing when you're finished, knowing when you should stop revising, knowing when you've reached the end of the process. Most essays that don't work very well fail because they were never completed. And one reason we hand in incomplete essays is that we don't know how to tell when they are finished.
If you make the effort to really develop and revise your thesis statement, you will find that it gets much easier to tell when the finished essay has done what it needs to do. If you understand why you are writing a thesis statement, it will be easier to write one. To get started, use whatever techniques seem to work for you: freewriting, clustering, talking it over with friends, brainstorming.
By the time you write a thesis statement, we will have discussed the topic in class, and you will have an idea how your fellow students--your audience for the essay--are thinking about it. You will have read about the general topic and written on your reading. Throughout the whole process of reading, writing, and discussing the topic in class, be on the lookout for questions and problems that interest you.
Don't try to think of the one perfect topic for an essay; there probably isn't one. Try to think of interesting issues, several of them. I'll probably ask you to suggest three or four topics that might lead to interesting essays.
Once you have a topic, the actual development of a thesis statement begins. At first, your goal is just to get your rough idea down on paper. You should not expect to just sit down and write a perfect thesis statement. It doesn't work that way. Your first trial thesis statement is only a rough approximation of what you will eventually end up saying.
But it gives you something to work with, something to improve. Usually, the process of revising a trial thesis statement consists of making your point clearer and more specific, narrowing down and filling in what you can really do in the essay, saying more about less.
Thesis Statements That Suck
This is a process that writers have to go through in order to produce good work. It's normal and healthy. It's a form of success, not a sign of failure. If you expect not to have to revise your thesis statement, you are bound to feel bad when you do. It's the false expectation that causes the problem.
So expect to revise your thesis statement and you will neither be surprised or disappointed. You can just get on with it.