Definition of a thesis statement

A thesis statement briefly and clearly informs the reader what the piece is all about. It sets an expectation of what is to follow. The Oxford dictionary defines it as follows: “an opinion that is discussed in a logical way and presented with evidence in order to prove that it is true.” A strong start gives the piece value and hooks the reader right in.

Writing a thesis statement

A good thesis statement is made up of three parts:

  1. The topic.

  2. The point of the essay or three main ideas that will be discussed.

  3. Your attitude towards the topic.

Suggested Verbs...

The verbs below might prove useful.Keep you own updated list.

  • Capture
  • Comprehend
  • Determine
  • Discover
  • Distinguish
  • Find out
  • Identify
  • Know
  • Observe
  • Realise
  • Review
  • See
  • Study
  • Uncover
  • Understand

Constructing an effective statement

A good statement is made up of three parts:

  1. The topic.
  2. The point of the essay or three main ideas that will be discussed.
  3. Your attitude towards the topic.

Some effective examples

  • Learning about the fish eagle’s appearance, habitat and diet can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
  • Discovering the appearance, habitat, and diet of the fish eagle might just surprise you.
  • Environmentalists and birding enthusiasts have spent years observing the fish eagle, its appearance, habitat and prey.
  • You can identify the fish eagle by its characteristic appearance and unique call. These winged predators can be found in their natural habitat hunting for prey.
  • "Through Mansfield's skilful handling of point of view, characterization, and plot development, Miss Brill comes across as a convincing character who evokes our sympathy." (thesis statement in Miss Brill’s Fragile Fantasy)
  • "I think people are disturbed by the discovery that no longer is a small town autonomous--it is a creature of the state and of the Federal Government. We have accepted money for our schools, our libraries, our hospitals, our winter roads. Now we face the inevitable consequence: the benefactor wants to call the turns."(E.B. White, "Letter from the East")
  • "It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost."(Gore Vidal, "Drugs")

    Sentence starters using thesis verbs

    Can you distinguish ...

    Do you know that ...

    Have you ever seen ...

    I will review ...

    It has been determined that ...

    It has been shown that ...

    It is interesting to study ...

    Learning about ...

    Let’s discover ...

    Let’s find out about ...

    Lets explore ...

    Most people don’t realise that ...

    Soon you will understand ...

    Taking the time to ...

    We can begin to comprehend ...

    We can identify ...

    We will uncover ...

    While discovering ...

    While investigating the ...

    Why not observe ...

    Would you recognise ...

    You can identify ...

    Recommended Links

    Expository essay outline.

    Sentence starters for main ideas.

    Choosing the right essay topic.

    Types of expository writing.

    Tips for writing essays.

    Return from thesis statement to the homepage.


    Step-by-step Strategies For Teaching Expository Writing

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