Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool
Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text.
1. State your topic.
2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic.
This will form the heart of your thesis. An effective statement will
- express one major idea.
- name the topic and assert something specific about it.
- be a more specific statement than the topic statement above.
- take a stance on an issue about which reasonable people might disagree.
- state your position on or opinion about the issue.
3. Give the strongest reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
4. Give another strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
5. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your opinion/main idea, if applicable. This should be an argument for the opposing view that you admit has some merit, even if you do not agree with the overall viewpoint.
7. Provide a possible title for your essay.
Thesis Statement Guide Results
Thesis Statement Model #1: Sample Thesis Statement
Parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Thesis Statement Model #2: Thesis with Concession
Notice that this model makes a concession by addressing an argument from the opposing viewpoint first, and then uses the phrase "even though" and states the writer's opinion/main idea as a rebuttal.
Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Thesis Statement Model #3: Thesis with Reasons
Here, the use of "because" reveals the reasons behind the writer's opinion/main idea.
parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it isn't always intellectually stimulating.
Thesis Statement Model #4: Thesis with Concession and Reasons
This model both makes a concession to opposing viewpoint and states the reasons/arguments for the writer's main idea.
While television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it inhibits social interaction, shortens children's attention spans, and isn't always intellectually stimulating.
Remember: These thesis statements are generated based on the answers provided on the form. Use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like. Your ideas and the results are anonymous and confidential. When you build a thesis statement that works for you, ensure that it addresses the assignment. Finally, you may have to rewrite the thesis statement so that the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.
Thesis Statement Guide: Sample Outline
Use the outline below, which is based on the five–paragraph essay model, when drafting a plan for your own essay. This is meant as a guide only, so we encourage you to revise it in a way that works best for you.
Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.
Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating
First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.
Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Additionally, it inhibits social interaction.
The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement. Generally, the second point listed in the thesis statement should be developed here. Like with the previous paragraph, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this point after the Assertion. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Finally, the most important reason parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch is it is not always intellectually stimulating.
Your strongest point should be revealed in the final body paragraph. Also, if it's appropriate, you can address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your thesis statement here. As always, include evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports your strongest point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Indeed, while television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Rephrase your thesis statement in the first sentence of the conclusion. Instead of summarizing the points you just made, synthesize them. Show the reader how everything fits together. While you don't want to present new material here, you can echo the introduction, ask the reader questions, look to the future, or challenge your reader.
Remember: This outline is based on the five–paragraph model. Expand or condense it according to your particular assignment or the size of your opinion/main idea. Again, use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like, until you reach a thesis statement and outline that works for you.
From choosing a topic to organizing a paper, writing an essay can be tricky. In addition, you have to check for spelling errors, make sure you haven’t plagiarized, and cite any sources you may have used. With all this in mind, it may be time to call in some extra help. While you should not go as far as hiring someone to write the essay for you, it is okay to get a little help and the web offers a wealth of resources to help you write a stellar essay. Below you will find resources to help you every step of the way, from choosing a topic to checking your paper for plagiarism and errors.
Topics and Theses
Often, coming up with a topic to write about is the hardest part. These resources are designed to help you come up with a topic by offering ideas or generating random topics for you. Once you have the topic, you have to figure out the direction for your essay and write a thesis statement. Thesis generators can help you turn your topic into a well-directed thesis, which can lead to a well-organized paper.
- – Search for a topic by subject or type of assignment and receive three essay topic suggestions.
- Thesis Builder Topic-o-Rama – Scroll through suggested topics, save topics you like and use your list of likes to come up with the best topic for your paper.
- Write On Prompt Generator – Look through the list of random topics until you find one that strikes you as something interesting to write about.
- Thesis Generator 1.0 – Enter your topic, main argument and two supporting reasons for that argument and this thesis generator gives you three possible thesis statements for your paper.
- Thesis Statement Generator – Once you enter all of the components of a strong thesis statement, the generator turns them into a thesis statement that you can copy and paste directly into your essay.
Not all essays are created equal. If you are writing a narrative essay, you will write in a more personal style and will typically use first-person. Descriptive essays paint a picture, persuasive essays include a lot of propaganda techniques and persuasive language, and compare/contrast essays have a unique format of their own. These resources are designed to make sure you are on the right track with the specific type of essay you need to write.
- – Review the different types of essays and read samples of each to help get your essay on the right track.
- – Learn the basic structure of the two main types of essays: persuasive and narrative. Explore how other types of essays use those structures as well.
- ReadWriteThink – Use these student interactives, such as the Persuasion Map or Comparison and Contrast Map, to organize your essay.
- Thesis Builder – The Causinator and Persuasive Essay Thesis Builder & Online Outliner help you organize your essay and make sure it follows the right format.
- – Go through an online lesson and quiz on how to write a proper compare/contrast essay.
When it comes to writing an essay, organization is crucial. If your ideas are jumbled, your point may be lost and your essay may be extremely hard to follow. Using an organizer will help you make sure the outline of your essay makes sense and ensure you stay on the right track while you are writing your essay.
- – Map out your essay and keep your thoughts organized with this interactive essay map.
- – View the essay organizer template online or download a customizable Word format and type your essay outline directly onto the template.
- – Organize your essay on your smartphone by downloading this app and using it to take notes or walk through the steps of writing an essay.
- – Follow the steps to color code your essay and outline to ensure you have all of the required components.
- Project Write MSU – Choose and print one of these PDF graphic organizers to help organize your essay in a way that works best for you.
Grammar and Syntax
You may have written a great essay, but if it is full of errors in grammar and syntax, it will not be much harder to read. While most word processing programs come with spelling and grammar checkers, sometimes they are not enough. Not only will these resources help you check your paper for errors, they will also introduce you to common errors so you can learn to avoid simple mistakes while you are writing.
- Purdue OWL – Find everything you could possibly want to know about grammar, syntax and general essay requirements with this comprehensive English resource through Purdue’s Online Writing Lab.
- – Read the essay writing tips offered by the UNLV Writing Center to avoid making common mistakes in your essay.
- Grammarly – Get an instant grammar report through this online proofreader and personal grammar coach that also offers suggestions for improving the vocabulary used in your essay.
- SpellCheckPlus.com – Copy and paste your text into the text box to check it for common spelling and grammar mistakes.
- PaperRater – Not your average spelling and grammar checker, your paper will also be checked for plagiarism and provide you with suggestions for improvement in style and vocabulary.
Plagiarism is a big deal. It is okay to quote someone else’s work, but trying to pass it off as your own, even unintentionally, can lead to huge problems. Whenever you write, double check your work with a plagiarism checker to make sure all of your ideas are original and that you have included citations for any borrowed ideas.
- PlagTracker – Copy and paste your paper into the text box and receive links to webpages and articles that contain duplicate content.
- – Download the plagiarism checker so you always have the ability to quickly check your papers for instances of plagiarism.
- Article Checker – Copy and paste your essay into the text box or enter a website link and instantly check your content against the results of a Google or Yahoo search.
- Reference Machine: In-Text Citations – Enter your source information and information about where you want to cite the source in your essay and create an instant, properly formatted in-text citation.
- CiteFast – Quickly create in-text citations and bibliography entries to avoid plagiarism in your essay.
Return to the Resources Page to continue your research.