Construct a thesis statement and try it on for size

Before beginning to write the paper, write the thesis statement. Boil down the main point of your paper to a single statement. Hamilton College (Williams) gives this explanation of the thesis statement:

A well-written thesis statement, usually expressed in one sentence, is the most important sentence in your entire paper. It should both summarize for your reader the position you will be arguing and set up the pattern of r-

organization you will use in your discussion. A thesis sentence is not a statement of accepted fact; it is the position that needs the proof you will provide in your argument. Your thesis should reflect the full scope of your argument--no more and no less; beware of writing a thesis statement that is too broad to be defended within the scope of your paper.

The article from which this quote is taken also gives some excellent examples of thesis statements for papers in various disciplines. See the Hamilton College article and others in the Links section for Thesis statement (p. 52).

Another way to summarize the nature and function of the thesis statement is that it is a single sentence, usually in the first paragraph of the paper, which:

• declares the position you are taking in your paper,

• sets up the way you will organize your discussion, and

• points to the conclusion you will draw.

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