In the sample editorial, you probably caught a particular sentence that captures the writer’s conviction about the issue. This sentence that gives the reader particular focus on the writer’s perspective is called the thesis statement.
The thesis statement is the main idea of your paper that is usually conveyed in one declarative sentence. It serves as a summary of your writing and gives your viewpoint about a particular topic. It is like a signpost that tells your readers what to expect from your essay. Through the thesis statement, you guide your readers by briefly explaining your argument, giving clues on how you will defend your claim.
As a writing strategy, the thesis statement helps you determine what significant ideas to emphasize in your writing. You may evaluate your essay using your thesis to see if it is consistent with the ideas you have expressed. If your essay contains other useful information not reflected in your thesis, you might wish to revise it to include the information you have left out.
Although usually found at the start of the essay, it is not unusual to find the thesis statement in the concluding paragraph. But whether it is placed in the introduction or conclusion, the thesis statement serves as the basis for your outline.
Parts of a Thesis Statement
The thesis statement should be concise enough to include only the essential parts. An arguable thesis statement consists of the following: the claim or conviction, objective, position, and issue. An important element of an arguable thesis statement is the issue or problem that the writer wants to tackle. This may be linked with the claim or conviction, which reflects the writer’s argument. The claim may be a short phrase that expresses what the writer wants to prove. Although the thesis statement is usually expressed in one or two sentences, it should be able to accommodate the objective, which reflects what the writer wants to accomplish. The position is an expression of what the writer believes should be done about the issue.
(What do you want to prove?)
|OBJECTIVE (What do you want to accomplish?)
|POSITION (What do you believe and what shall be done about it?)
|ISSUE/S (What are the problems?)
|That junk food contains carcinogenic substances that jeopardize a person’s health
|That school authorities should ban junk food from food establishments within and near schools
|That the government should impose stricter regulations concerning foods that are made available to school children
|The proliferation of junk food; the deception committed by food manufacturers to lure school children to buy junk food packaged in attractive containers
Thesis: Due to the health risks posed by attractively packaged junk food containing harmful substances, authorities should ban those zero-nutrient food items within and near schools.
Thesis: Attractively packaged foods containing toxic substances pose health o school children; thus, authorities should ban those zero-nutrient within and near schools.
Functions of a Thesis Statement
1. How to Use Thesis Statement as a Writing Strategy?
The first thesis statement below is a weak thesis statement. Although it seems to have a stand, no reasons were included to explain why they are useful as learning resources.
|E-books are useful learning resources.
|E-books have significantly influenced students’ positive perceptions about reading and learning; therefore, educators should explore more avenues and programs for the use of e-books in classrooms.
The improved thesis has a clear claim that can be defended.
2. A thesis statement gives direction to the academic text.
In the example below, the first thesis does little to advance the essay’s direction. Not only is it vague, it also contains no specific detail explaining why poverty is prevalent in the Philippines.
|In the Philippines many people are poor.
|According to a 2015 study, 22% of the Philippine population are poor despite the poverty alleviation program of the government due to a number of factors: ineffective implementation of government programs, widespread corruption, and the continued poverty mentality among the marginalized sector.
A thesis statement has often been compared to a road map since it gives direction to an essay.
The details provided in the improved thesis give a clearer picture w. to which aspects of poverty in the Philippines the writer will discuss.
3. A thesis statement defends a writer’s claim.
It should be strong enough to stand the “So what?” test. Try asking yourself this question each time you write a thesis. Keep asking the question until you are sure your thesis is complete and debatable. 11 your thesis fails to answer this basic question, rewrite it until you have exhausted the “So what?” question.
The thesis statement below contains the writer’s claim but fails the “So what?” test.
|Television may be your child’s worst enemy.
(Ask yourself: So what if television is a child’s worst enemy? So what should be done about it?)
|Due to the adverse effects of watching television, parents should strictly monitor the amount of time children spend in front of the television, as well as the programs they watch.
Guidelines in Formulating a Thesis Statement
1. Your thesis statement shall be expressed as declarative, not a question.
2. Your thesis statement shall be more than just a statement of fact about a topic.
3. Your thesis should contain enough supporting details and should be more than just a title.
4. Your thesis statement should be specific enough to be defended.
5. Your thesis should reflect your opinion, giving enough arguments that can be proven.
Differentiating between a Thesis Statement and a Topic Sentence
The thesis statement and topic sentence have similarities but they differ in several aspects. The topic sentence gives a glimpse of what the paragraph talks about, while the thesis statement contains the writer’s conviction. The topic sentence connects to the thesis statement; the thesis statement encompasses all the other sentences in the essay. Because the thesis covers the entire essay or research paper, it is broader in scope than the topic sentence. Two or more ideas may be presented in a thesis statement, while only one idea should be contained in a topic sentence.
What words do you associate with the word thesis? Complete the list below with the words you’ve brainstormed with your classmate. Write a short summary of your findings and be prepared to present your findings in class.