Sample Thesis Statement
Because writing a thesis statement is a skill that develops over the course of an academic career, students who have not completed much academic writing may benefit from viewing some sample thesis statements. Sample thesis statements may be available through the instructor of the course, through the university's writing lab, or through an Internet search. Instructors of Composition I or Composition II may also provide excellent assistance, because they teach this skill every semester in their classes.
A student who is examining a sample thesis statement in order to learn how to write one should look for certain elements. First, the thesis statement should immediately show whether the paper is expository or persuasive. Does the statement just contain an overview of some information, or does it push a certain opinion on a topic? The student should focus on the type of sample thesis statement that is relevant to the assignment at hand.
Second, the student should notice the complexity of the sample thesis statement. Because a thesis statement contains a brief summary of the entire scope of an academic paper, it is often a complex sentence that is longer than ordinary sentences. Does it include a list of the points the paper intends to make? If it does, the student should notice that there are probably three or five points; groups of three or five points seem rhetorically strong to the Western reader, so academic writers often arrange their arguments that way. Does the sample thesis statement include subordinating conjunctions, such as "because," "although," or "while"? Using these conjunctions helps the writer of a thesis statement to express causal relationships or to include a brief mention of the opposition's opinion on the subject.
The student may then write some practice thesis statements based on that sentence structure. The student may eliminate all nouns, verbs, and adjectives, leaving blank spaces where those words were; then, he or she may refill those spots with nouns and verbs on a different subject. In this way, the student will become comfortable writing sentences that look like thesis statements.