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Your thesis states your essay's main idea, your specific point about the topic. A thesis is usually a single sentence and most often appears at the beginning of an essay. A good thesis has three important characteristics.
1) A thesis must be so clear that it leaves no doubt in your mind, or in you reader's mind, about what you are going to discuss in your essay. It is the proposition that enables your readers to make sense of your ideas and follow their progression throughout your essay.
Subject: Coeducational dormitories2) The thesis takes a stand. It is an idea that your readers can agree or disagree' with. In either case your thesis should generate serious discussion in your essay and prompt serious consideration by your reader. A thesis, therefore, is much more than (title of an essay or a statement of purpose.
Topic: An examination of the pros and cons of coeducational dormitories
Thesis: Despite predictions to the contrary from parents and church groups, coeducational college dormitories have not proved to be hotbeds of promiscuity.
Statement of purpose: In this paper I will discuss whether the public has a right to know about the private life of its elected officials.Please note: a statement of purpose is useful in the planning stage of the essay, but should not be written into the essay itself.
Title: The President, the Media, and the Public
Thesis: The public has a right to know about the private life, as well as the public rife, of elected officials.
3) The thesis statement must be specific enough to give your essay direction and purpose, For example, the statement "The president has failed to control inflation" indicates the writer's topic and general stand, but it includes no information and establishes no center around which to construct the essay. The revised version, including specific information about the writer's topic and position, is more effective.
Thesis: Even though the President had promised to control inflation, his efforts to date have been tentative and ineffective.This thesis statement gives the reader some sense of how the paper will be divided: for example, the paper will probably discuss the President's promises and then go on to discuss efforts that have been tentative and ineffective.
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last updated on 3/30/99