How to Make Your Thesis Statement Stronger

Purpose of A Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is like a flashlight because it shows you where you are going, and most importantly, it is “flashy”. In other words, a thesis statement offers cues and direction to the structure, organization and approach of an essay. Further, the thesis statement should be focused to allow the reader to comprehend what the paper is about. Ideally, a thesis statement should be compelling or interesting enough to keep the reader interested. A thesis statement has two purposes.

For starters, it draws in skeptical audience who is only interested in how you defend your main argument or how you present your main points. Second, a thesis statement can make you a more thoughtful and organized as it asks you to mitigate and reflect on the potential counterarguments. Further, a strong thesis statement helps pass the readers “So What?” test. Here is what a strong thesis does:

  • Preview the conclusion of the argument
  • Capture the reader’s attention
  • Take a position on an arguable claim
  • Point to the significance of the conclusion
  • Preview the structure or the organization of the paper
  • Highlight or encapsulate the most critical points of the paper

Different Types of Thesis Statements

There are two different types of thesis statements, but the overall role they play is the same: the argumentative and explanatory. The explanatory thesis statement announces the main argument to the reader. But it never declares a position that requires an argument to defend. Such these statements are evident in research papers or expository essays.

On the other hand, an augmentative thesis statement is a claim and not a personal response or a factual statement to a topic. In other words, it should be an idea or a claim that provokes opposition or something the audience might choose to oppose or refute.

Qualities of a Strong Thesis Statement

For every paper you write, it would help if you focused on the main idea. This central idea stems from the topic you have been assigned or the one you have chosen. It would help to remember that a thesis statement is not a topic itself. Instead, it is an interpretation of the subject or the research question.

For whatever topic you want to explore, you must ask yourself “what is my main argument?” answering this question is essential to formulating a strong thesis that is forceful, confident and precise. A strong thesis statement must have the following qualities:

1.    It must be precise

A strong thesis must be precise enough to allow you the writer to present a coherent argument and to focus on the topic at hand. For instance, if the specific topic is “what coronavirus feels like”, then it would help if your thesis makes an exact claim about it. In essence, it should focus on what coronavirus does to your lungs”, or what coronavirus does to your body”. It would help if you further pointed out what you are going to say about what coronavirus symptoms are.

2.    Specificity

A strong thesis must focus on a specific area of a broad topic. It would help if you remembered that formulating a thesis begins when you formulate a general topic and then narrow down until you arrive at a specific subject of the topic. The “coronavirus” for instance, is a broad topic, a but a strong thesis would focus on a specific area of the coronavirus. For example, a specific area would be: “how coronavirus is transmitted”; or “how coronavirus test works”.

3.    Ability to be argued

The ability to argue is the ability to influence. And the ability to influence is the ability to persuade others to change their belief, attitudes, ideas, behaviors or reasoning. The ability to persuade is vital because it’s what makes your work valuable.

That said, a strong thesis must present a specific and relevant argument that can be considered arguable. A thesis statement that has the ability to be argued is one that can be supported with enough evidence.

4.    Ability to be demonstrated

For any argument you make in your thesis statement, you must provide examples and reasons for your claim. A worthy argument is that which is backed up by evidence.

Also, it has examples and details that can clearly illustrate how valuable it is. In a nutshell, you must formulate a thesis statement that allows you to provide further details. Moreover, there is the need for examples to demonstrate the credibility of your paper.

5.    Authoritative stance

A strong thesis statement has an authoritative stance to help persuade your audience to have faith in your claim and open their minds to whatever you are saying. Taking an authoritative stance shows your audience that you are confident of what you are saying. Avoid using phrases such as “I believe” or I “feel”, as such phases only imply that you are the only one that believes in what you are saying.

Tips on How to Formulate A Strong Thesis Statement

While developing your paper, think of it as a building, and the writers are the architect who designs and constructs. Before you build the building, you must design a scale model that will allow you to see the overall design and shape—your thesis is you scale model and here is how to construct it:

A.   Ask yourself “why” and “how”

While developing your trial thesis, it is imperative to ask yourself “why?” and “how”. This assist to check and see whether it makes sense. If it does make sense, the answer you will provide to the questions will be a stronger thesis as compared to your trial thesis statement. Most strong thesis statements state both the premise and the conclusion and often take the “X because of Y” form.

This means that you provide a conclusion and answer the question “why” as you develop your thesis. But if you cannot answer the question “why” in the thesis you are attempting to develop, you should add a “because clause. “However, you must ensure that it is not a phrase.

B.   Ensure it is a positive statement

To trick is to make the thesis statement positive. You have to tell your reader what lead to the problem and not what did not cause the problem. What someone did, and not what they did not do. And if you are writing about how the coronavirus spreads, tell your audience why coronavirus spread so fast” and not why it does not. 

The problem with formulating a negative thesis is that one must support it with a positive claim. This means that if you word your thesis negatively, there are chances you have not brought out clearly what you needed to say. It would help if you remembered that you have to ask the question “why?” of your trial thesis. That said, please take note that if you ask the “why?” for your negative thesis, you will virtually always give it a positive answer.

C.    Make your thesis debatable

If you are writing a persuasive or argumentative essay, ensure that you begin with a debatable claim or thesis. In other words, the thesis statement must be a claim that your readers could rationally have differing opinions on. If you formulate a thesis statement that your audience agree with or they generally accept as a fact, then there is no need to attempt to persuade people.

For example, the coronavirus lockdown is doing more harm than good.

This is an example of a claim that is debatable because some people will have different opinions with it. Some people may argue that are no differences in fatality rate for the states that implemented the lockdown late or early, or among European nations whose lockdown or social-distancing measures varied significantly.

Still, others may look at the economic impact of lockdown and argue that the impact is more significant than the impact of coronavirus itself.

D.   Make your thesis as narrow as possible

Making your thesis statement narrower is useful because it will give you an easy time to present all the available evidence. However, if you make your thesis statement broad, you must similarly provide more evidence to convince your audience that your stance is right. In other words, a broader thesis makes claims that are vague, overreaching and ambiguous.

They attempt to address multiple topics for the essay, and they never have a clear focus. Also, essays that have a broad thesis often include too much information. This case means that it is less likely to go into details when considering that information. However, if you make your thesis too narrow, is too specific or single-minded to use in developing a well-developed paper.

E.    Gather your materials first

Rather than formulating a thesis and then struggling to find information to back up your argument, it would help if you gathered your materials first. If you want to argue that “lockdown is unconstitutional”, find sources that give you safety and crash statistics. Search for materials that present both sides of the argument. And if you are writing about which coronavirus symptoms come first”, do further research to find out if other scholars say about the same.

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Approximately 250 words