Resources On Writing: Function of Thesis Statements
About Thesis Statements
Most thesis statements do not end up the way they started. Changes are made as research is discovered and conclusions are drawn. Most writers discover a thesis almost by trial and error, refining their ideas as facts are gathered. A working thesis is a place to start, a statement of beginning ideas from which to build more detailed and refined main ideas and supporting details (Hult and Huckin 114).
A thesis statement states for the reader the “central idea that the paper will argue” or the directions a paper will take (Hult and Huckin 217).
However, a thesis statement can also reflect the reporting of information rather than taking a stand on an arguable issue (Hult and Huckin 217).
An arguable thesis or claim
- is debatable. Not everyone will agree with it;
- can be supported with evidence available to everyone;
- can be countered with arguments against it;
- is a clearly stated claim of fact, value, or policy with terms defined; and
- is not based just on personal opinion or subjective feelings inaccessible to others. (Hult & Huckin 113).
Questions to ask regarding a working thesis:
- Does the thesis define a specific topic?
- Does the thesis make a strong point about the topic?
- Does the thesis provide a blueprint for the paper’s development?
An Argumentative Thesis: “Whatever the causes, males and females have different perspectives on computers and their uses” (Hult and Huckin 217).
An Informational Thesis: “This paper will trace the evolution of computers from the first room-sized mainframes to the current hand-held notebooks” (Hult and Huckin 218).
Source: Hult, Christine A., and Thomas N. Huckin. The New Century Handbook. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999.