Thesis in an essay refers to the main point that a writer makes. An essay must have a thesis. It does not only mean to report facts. Instead, it is making a statement and proving a viewpoint. To prove your thesis, you need to present some facts and relevant examples. In other words, your entire essay revolves around the thesis.
The thesis is an idea, concept or a point that an essay aims to prove. The thesis is also called the argument or a claim. In a persuasive essay, students need to back their claim by valid evidence and explanation.
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Presenting a thesis means that you are taking a position on a particular topic or issue. In that context, you also examine opposing arguments or ideas. For endorsing your point, you negate opposing claims by stating the relevant facts.
A thesis gives the reader an idea as to what the writer is going to discuss in their essay. Students need to construct their essays based on the thesis. From the beginning to the end, an essay has some objective. It attempts to convey to the readers some important point, and that is why a thesis is a fundamental part of your paper.
A good essay is the one, which has a strong thesis, and it keeps readers interested throughout the paper. By reading the first few lines of an essay, a reader should have an idea as to what is the thesis of the paper.
Writers Express Thesis as a Statement
You need to summarize your main point of the essay through a statement. A comprehensive statement elaborates your idea or stance in one-sentence. In a persuasive essay or paper, a well-written thesis statement catches the attention of readers. A thesis statement should reflect your definitive position about a particular topic.
For example, “democracy is the best governance system of the world.” This statement represents a stance or a position about the governance system. It could be the thesis statement of the topic, “The best governance system of the world.”
You maintain a specific position at the beginning of the paper, and in the remaining paper, you present evidence to support your thesis.
The Thesis is Arguable
Your thesis that you state in the essay is not an obvious fact. Therefore, you need to provide reasons as to how your claim is valid. For example, the statement: “slavery is not a good thing” is not a strong arguable thesis. Everyone knows that slavery is against the fundamental freedom of humans, and that is the reason why it is not a good thing.
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However, the statement such as “Slavery is the darkest period of the U.S. history” is arguable because there is a perspective of this argument. The statement talks explicitly about the slavery era in the United States.
One can use this thesis statements for the topic such as “Slavery in the United States” or “Effects of Slavery in the United States.”
The thesis enables students to research a particular direction. In the above thesis statement example, a writer would know that they need to research the injustice during the times of slavery also, how slave owners treated their slaves.
To prove the thesis statement, the writer would mention some historical incidents representing the hardships of slaves, and exploitation committed by the slave owners. Credible references and proper in-text citation would further substantiate the author’s claim.
It is your academic responsibility to cite references of the journals, books or websites from where you have borrowed some idea or got relevant material.
Your Thesis Addresses Your Research Question
In the research-based essays, you come up with a question, provide background and then answers the question. Your answer is your thesis; you give all the necessary information that supports the answer to your research question.
Read More: How to Write an Argumentative Essay?
For instance, “this paper investigates as to what are the reasons behind the Arab Spring in the Middle East.” This question serves as a thesis statement, which indicates that the paper would discuss the historical events and the factors that resulted in the Arab Spring.
Descriptive Thesis and Prescriptive Thesis
A descriptive thesis is a statement of claim about a particular topic or issue. The Prescriptive thesis comes up with the claim of how things should be. In a way, a Prescriptive essay gives specific direction or provides a solution about a particular topic the way doctors provide advice to their patients.
The readers may agree with the writers even if they do not share their values. However, they cannot agree on how things should be until the writer shares at least one value. The prescriptive thesis discusses the question of values and morality.
Following are the features of descriptive and prescriptive theses.
A descriptive thesis
- Includes “is” statement
- States the evidence that one could observe and verify
- Comprises a logic that a reader can analyze and confirm
- Makes analysis, comes up with explanation, interpretation and measurement.
The prescriptive thesis also employs logic, examination, explanation, comparison and interpretation. Nevertheless, in contrast to a descriptive statement, an authoritative statement:
- Includes a “should” statement
- Focuses on mutual values or morality
- Analyzes what is right and wrong
Following are the examples of descriptive theses:
- The country suffered due to racism, and most African-Americans were at the receiving end (Smith 201).
- The world is facing the serious threat of global warming; mainly, human activity is deteriorating the situation.
- African-Americans represent American popular music as it is in their roots.
- Among the recent presidents of the United States, Barack Obama adopted lenient policies toward Iran.
Following are the examples of prescriptive thesis:
- Every individual needs to work hard to contribute to the economy of the country.
- Humans should work to minimize the harmful effects of global warming.
- American music teachers should enlighten students about the rich culture of popular music.
In the essay, the thesis aims to prove the main point of the author. You validate your main point through relevant historical facts, evidence and examples.