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Composition & Writing

Developing a Thesis Statement

  • A thesis statement is a declarative sentence that asserts the position a paper will be taking.
  • It tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • This statement should be both specific and arguable.
  • Generally, the thesis statement will be placed at the end of your introduction.
  • It's points need to be referred to several times in the essay. 
  • The entire paper will support the thesis ideas. 
  • In the conclusion of your writing, it will be reworded.
  • The conclusion will also demonstrate how your thesis statement has been proven by the research in your paper. 
  • Often, the thesis is finalized after the paper has been written, since research may disprove original ideas erroneous.

More Information about developing a thesis statement can be found at The Writing Center of UNC-Chapel Hill 
and the University of Illinois Center for Writing Studies

Examples of progressively better thesis statements:

  1. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.
  2. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  3. Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.


  1. Eating fast food is bad and should be avoided.
  2. Eating fast food can lead to health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
  3. The increase of fast food in the American diet has led doctors to notice increases in rates of obesity, heart disease, and heart attacks in white males.