Like high-beam headlights on a dark road, thesis statements shed light and help provide direction. Students in college composition courses fine-tune their skill at writing thesis statements as they are assigned some of the standard types of college essays. Five of the most common are comparison-contrast, description, example, persuasion and process.
Write a thesis statement for a comparison-contrast essay by setting the stage for how you will address how two subjects are alike and then how they are dissimilar. Such a thesis might read, “I've worn both contact lenses and glasses and believe that, all things considered, contact lenses are the superior choice.”
Demonstrate your ability to show, not just tell, in writing a thesis statement for a description paper. Use adjectives sparingly, not liberally, and rely on concrete and specific details. For example, “My grandfather's workshop was a virtual treasure trove of three generations of families, including everything from battered high chairs and riding horses to antique makeup tables and gentlemen's bureaus.”
Develop a thesis for an example essay by pointing out a spot-on demonstration of your essay's larger point. Such a thesis might say, “Home decorating projects present an array of challenges, but perhaps none is more frustrating than the task of removing wallpaper.”
Compel a reader to consider your point of view by writing a reasoned and logical yet compelling thesis statement for a persuasive paper. Many such thesis statements include the word “should.” Such a statement might read, “Give the high percentage of divorces in the United States, I believe that all couples should live together for at least six months before getting married.”
Set up the straightforward, organized structure of a process essay by writing a thesis statement that spells out exactly the task or function you wish to outline. Such a statement might read, “By following a series of simple steps, even a novice can create a beautiful, decoupaged table for a foyer or entryway.”
Writing is a recursive process, often requiring you to constantly review your thesis against the body of your essay to ensure that the former provides support and illustration for the latter.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements
- The New St. Martin’s Handbook; Andrea Lunsford and Robert Connors
- The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers; Maxine Hairston and John Ruszkiewicz
- Step by Step Writing; Randy Devillez
- The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Writing Concisely
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Expository Essays
- The Prentice Hall Guide to Basic Writing; Emil Roy and Sandra Roy
- Indiana University: Proofreading for Common Surface Errors: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
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