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Writing a Thesis Statement


Writing a thesis statement is one part of an academic writing project that often requires a great deal of attention and revision. A thesis statement briefly apprises readers of the scope of the paper in order to prepare them to reach a certain conclusion, if the paper is persuasive, or to learn a certain body of information, if the paper is expository. Moreover, a well-written thesis statement helps the student write more clearly, because in a highly condensed form it reminds the student of what the paper intends to say.

Students may benefit from writing thesis statements and revising them several times throughout the course of the project. If the student begins at the outset of research by writing a thesis statement that seems tenable, he or she will be able to refer back to it as the research progresses in order to check its validity. This practice will help the student keep track of what position the project seeks to defend, even when the research begins to become murky or tangential.

Students should remember that writing a thesis statement is not an irrevocable act. Instead, students should give themselves permission throughout the writing process to reword thesis statements to reflect new changes in perspective. As an academic writing project progresses, its writer continually learns new things about the topic, which may change the project's trajectory. This style of writing thesis statements with an eye to change them as necessary relieves the student of the pressure to produce one perfect, unalterable thesis statement.

As the student begins the project by writing a thesis statement, so should he or she conclude the project. The student should reread the paper carefully and ascertain that the thesis statement precisely reflects the paper's discussion. The thesis statement should include each major point that the paper makes, and it should not include superfluous information or points that the student chose not to include in the final draft.


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