12 Developing Your Thesis Statement

After you have started to develop your ideas and mapped out the main concepts that you will cover in your assignment, it can now be a good time to consider what will be your thesis statement.

Remember that your thesis statement can change as you continue to develop your ideas – using an outline can help you keep checking on the connection between your body paragraphs and your thesis statement.

Sometimes, thinking of a question can help you focus your ideas and make connections.

In this video[1], you can see how a question can be used to structure and develop a thesis statement (Note, video has no narration; a transcript of the text used on screen is available below):

 

 

The three steps outlined in the video:

  • Creating a question about your topic
  • Finding reasons, and
  • Putting it all together

are a good place to start if you are a beginner academic writer.

Another strategy to developing a thesis statement is to use the template suggested in this KPU Learning Aid on “Thesis Statement Design:

Using the KPU Learning Aid, we can return to our example:

 

Transit bus with KPU on its destination sign sits next to a transit stop. Text reads "Are transit services effective for Kwantlen University students?"

 

Here is the suggested template:

 

Template: Counterargument, Main Point #1, Main Point #2, and Main Point #3 prove/show/mean Argument/Claim

 

By beginning to to organize my ideas about effective transit and KPU students, I can say:

 

Using template from above, elements have been added in different sections to create a sentence that reads: While the U-Pass saves students money, transit for KPU students is rarely on time, can limit course options, and reflects a larger lack of transit options in Surrey. This means that public transit, in particular, the public bus system, is not effective for KPU students.

 

Right now, my thesis is two sentences:

While the U-Pass saves students money, transit for KPU students is rarely on time, can limit course options, and reflects a larger lack of transit options in Surrey. This means that public transit, in particular the public bus system, is not effective for KPU students.

 

My thesis may change as I continue to write and revise my essay. In the next chapter, we’ll look at more questions suggestions you can use to further refine your thesis statement.

Transcript for Text from “How to Write a Thesis for Beginners”

 

Writing a Thesis Statement

Step 1 (creating a question about your topic)

What is your topic?

Superman

Form a question

Why is Superman so cool?

Step 2 (finding reasons)

What are some of the reasons that Superman is cool?

(Try to think of at least 3 reasons)

Superman can fly!

He saves people from danger

Superman is really strong

That’s why he is Superman!

Step 3 (putting it all together)

We need to take the information from step 1 and 2 and combine it Make sure to answer your question Why is Superman so cool?

Superman is so cool because

(part 1)

he is strong, helps people in danger, and he can fly.

(part 2)

Remember your thesis is the road map for writing your paper.

Make sure you write about what your thesis says. Whether you are writing about Superman, China, or Australia.


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Academic Writing Basics by Megan Robertson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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