- Thesis = topic + your opinion
- It can sometimes help to use the word "because" in your thesis to force yourself to add an opinion.
- A thesis must be debatable, which means that someone else could argue against it.
- Your argument should be manageable given the parameters of the assignment.
- Usually the thesis is a single sentence that comes at the end of your introduction. Your teacher should be able to identify it easily. After reading it, your readers should know what the central argument of your essay is.
- Each body paragraph should connect back to the thesis. If you can't explain how a detail proves your point, reconsider using it. Ask yourself, "Why is this evidence important? How does it prove my thesis?"
Common Thesis Problems
“The Scarlet Letter is a novel that many readers will enjoy and others will not.”
“The Scarlet Letter is a novel about a woman named Hester Prynne who is publicly shamed by her community.”
“In this essay I will discuss how the major themes of The Scarlet Letter relate to Pearl.”
“Adultery is bad.”
“The Scarlet Letter highlights how internal conflicts can affect a character.”
“The Scarlet Letter is my favorite novel.”
“The Scarlet Letter is a brilliant novel that masterfully shows…”
Not an argument!
Don't use personal pronouns! Also, this is a basic observation, not a specific argument.
This seems too simplistic.
Be more specific: which internal conflicts and which characters?
Great, but is the idea relevant for this essay? Probably not.
This example editorializes, or gives too much personal opinion about the success of the novel. Just stick to your argument!