Thesis statement expresses the core idea of the paper.
Usually thesis statement is a specific and debatable statement expressed in one sentence.
It should be specific (specific topic, aspect, problem; specific interpretation, solution of this problem) and debatable (should not be a fact already proved by someone else; should not be an obvious/common knowledge information).
Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:
Pollution is bad for the environment.
Example of a debatable thesis statement:
At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.
Another example of a debatable thesis statement:
America’s anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars.
A thesis statement is a hypothesis you will need to prove throughout your paper.
All the rest of the essay/paper should prove and argue for the thesis statement provided in the Introduction.
A thesis statement has to be specific.
Example of a thesis that is too broad:
Drug use is detrimental to society.
Example of a narrow or focused thesis:
Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence.
Narrowed debatable thesis 1:
At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
Narrowed debatable thesis 2:
America’s anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most citizens to contribute to national efforts and care about the outcome.
Examples are taken from Purdue OWL
What thesis statement is not?
Thesis statement is not an introduction of the paper
Thesis statement is not instructions for the paper
Thesis statement is not the main topic (This paper explores the issue of gender discrimination in Africa during the last 10 years)
Thesis statement is not the purpose of the paper (This paper seeks to solve the problem of gender discrimination in Africa)
Thesis statement is not a plan of the paper (The problem of gender discrimination is discussed in the first section of the paper, and the solutions are given in the second section)
Thesis statement is not a fact (African women face gender discrimination)
Thesis statement is not a rhetoric question (Does gender discrimination in Africa exist?)
Thesis statement is not a research question (What are the historical reasons for gender discrimination of women in Eastern Africa?)
NO: Women should support their right for abortion because it is their choice
YES: Women should support their right for abortion because this prevents the government from forcing them to give birth to unwanted (for some reasons) child
NO: This paper is focused on beneficial effects of reading on children’s development
TOPIC IS TOO BROAD: Reading books stimulates children’s development in a positive way
YES: Reading books stimulates children’s development positively because it activates imagination in the first place.
NO: Levels of pollution in different states will be analyzed
YES: Analysis of pollution levels in different states shows significant increase in northern states compared to southern states due to increased concentration of pollutants during winter months, which leads to poor health of citizens and results in increased health care funding from the government.