Some Tips for Writing Effective Thesis Statements created by Barbara Toth Effective Thesis Statements • Suggest a mode of organization and provide direction for a reader. Does this thesis suggest a mode of organization and provide a sense of direction for a reader? Even though many history texts have primarily focused on accomplishments of white males, women of various backgrounds have also made significant contributions. Some tips for revising your thesis statement-- • Ask yourself what your subject is. • Then what is the significant thing you want to say about your subject. Examples Subject POS Video Games, if properly offer many educational managed by parents, benefits to children. Our family’s view of career has been shaped to some success extent by several cultural codes. Czech and Slovak have produced immense television during the last cultural wealth and three years reinforced important regional traditions. Try thinking of your thesis in these terms-- SUBJECT + POINT OF SIGNIFICANCE = THESIS. How effective do you think this thesis statemnt is? Subject: Despite their being omitted from many history books thus far, many African Americans, particularly X, Y, and Z, POS: have significantly contributed to the American story. Effective Thesis Statements are-- • Limited in scope. (unless you are writing a dissertation). Effective thesis statements • contain qualifiers that make the thesis manageable for the writer and credible to the readers. Qualifiers are very important in thesis statements. • Avoid words like “all” “none,” “always,” “never.” • Remember if you use a word like “Americans” without a qualifier, it means all Americans by default. Some examples of qualifying words-- • Often • Primarily • Frequently • Too often • Regularly • Some • Many • Most Effective Thesis Statements are-- • Debatable and argumentative. One test: • Ask yourself if reasonable, generally knowledgeable readers might not have the same position on your issue. If so, your thesis may be argumentative. PURPOSES 1. Remember that your purpose in writing is to “sway” readers to your way of viewing the topic or issue. P.S. The word “persuade” derives from the word “sway.” 2. Remember that your purpose is also to prove to your instructor that you have read and comprehended the readings for the course. Thesis Statements are • A contract between you and your readers. • A promise that you will follow through on what you say. • A commitment. How true you are to that commitment determines how effective your essay is. MORAL: Pick a thesis you can be true to. Look at thesis statements as an opportunity to change readers’ perspectives in order to effect positive change.
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