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How to Write a Thesis Statement in High School Essays

by Kathryne Bradesca, Demand Media

    The thesis statement is an important road map in the development of any essay. In five-paragraph essays and other expository writing, the thesis sentence is found at the very end of the first paragraph. It gives the paper direction and tells the reader about the focus of the essay. It shows what you will prove throughout the essay and explains how you will do it. The thesis statement is a pact with the reader about what direction the paper will take.

    Research and Development

    Research your assigned topic to narrow the focus. Gather your information logically and begin to develop an argument. Choose a clear topic and research it thoroughly, which will ensure that once you write the thesis, you can support the stance of the thesis sentence through the entire paper. As research occurs, the claim you make as a writer will start to take shape.

    Type of Essay

    The type of essay you write will determine the stance of your thesis sentence. Analytical papers break down an issue into smaller parts, evaluate the situation and then present that information to the reader. An expository essay explains or exposes a topic. An argumentative paper makes a claim about a specific topic and then justifies the claim to the audience. All three essay types will require a thesis sentence that is the nub of the dissertation.

    Write the Thesis

    Use clear, concise language when you write your thesis statement. Use the third-person point of view, a strong verb and vivid adjectives. Make your thesis statement declarative -- state specifically what the paper will cover and give a sense of how you will cover the information. Avoid wordiness, cliches and first- or second-person usage when writing a thesis.


    Rewrite if necessary. Once the pieces of the puzzle are put together and you write the entire paper, you may realize that your original thesis sentence may not fit as a road map for the entire paper. In this case, rewrite the thesis to accommodate new material and new angles that have developed through the process. Stick closely to the flow of the entire paper while revising the thesis sentence to ensure that the writing is organized.

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    About the Author

    Kathryne Bradesca has been a writing teacher for more than 15 years. She has also contributed to newspapers and magazines such as "The Morning Journal" and "The Ignatius Quarterly." Bradesca received a master's degree in teaching from Kent State University.

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