Writing a good thesis statement middle school

Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, either being too brief in places that needed further explanation or providing too many details on a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story first, then moved to the beginning and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not flow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions. Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing.

That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specific focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body. Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point.

You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.

What is a Thesis Statement?

For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no.

You have to form a specific opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling idea—the main idea upon which you build your thesis. Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. A thesis is one sentence long and appears toward the end of your introduction. It is specific and focuses on one to three points of a single idea—points that are able to be demonstrated in the body. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue but rather dissects it.

A thesis statement must concentrate on a specific area of a general topic. As you may recall, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specific aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specific area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage.


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A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specific topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited effects, such as whom they affect and what the cause is.

Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specific argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence. Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations in order to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid.

A worthy argument is backed by examples and details. A thesis statement that is forceful shows readers that you are, in fact, making an argument.

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Tips on Writing a Good Thesis Statement at the Middle School Level

The argument s you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement. A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic.

15 Thesis Statement Examples to Inspire Your Next Argumentative Essay

Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused. You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph -- in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction.

Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible. Normally you will continue to refine your thesis as you revise your argument s , so your thesis will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a better sense of where your argument is taking you. Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it.

Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface. The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis too general with three possible revisions more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic :.

Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: it needs to be as clear as possible. By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean.

Why it’s important

These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious.


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To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible. Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear :. Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops. Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader.

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