A thesis is a statement of position, belief or opinion. It conveys the central or main
idea of the entire text and indicates how the main idea will be supported.
-Serves as a summary of the whole composition.
-The focus of the first paragraph or introduction.
-Just like a topic sentence, a thesis statement signals what is to come.
(Thesis=whole essay. Topic Sentence=one paragraph or section.)
Imagine being on a trip, your opinion or view point proven, being the final
destination. A thesis not only states where you are going but also explains how you are
going to get there. It plans the trip for you! A topic addressed in the essay body is a place
you pass through (a signpost) to get to your destination (conclusion).
A Thesis has 2 parts:
1. Statement (Argument)- The specific argument of the paper.
a. The thesis statement controls the subject of the paper.
b. The thesis statement must be arguable, be specific in its importance
and/or impact, and leave room for analysis.
Non-Specific Statement (Argument): Trees are good.
Specific Statement (Argument): Trees create a better quality of life.
2. 3 Supports- How the statement will be proven.
a. The 3 thesis supports must be distinct and clearly in support of the
b. The thesis support controls the organization of the paper.
i. The thesis support shows “parallel structure”: Composition
must discuss each point addressed in the thesis, and in the
order that the thesis states them.
ii. There should also be a reason for the order of supports.
(Ex: chronologically fits, order of significance, etc.)
c. The thesis support must state the relation to the argument.
Support #1: Trees create a better quality of life because they are
Support #2: Trees create a better quality of life because they
provide needed shade.
Support #3: Trees create a better quality of life because they clean
the air we breathe.
*The need of the Thesis Statement (Argument) and Thesis Support:
These elements are inextricably linked – a Thesis is not a meaningful
argument without the specifics of importance and/or impact, and it cannot
successfully be argued without support.