Where's Your Thesis, Man?

August 12, 2015

If you do any type of scholastic writing, you'll know that the thesis statement is your BFF.  Here's our modified take on the "No justice, no peace" chant during civil upheaval:


If you haven't heard of this term and are in school, you should be concerned.  But if you've heard of it but aren't sure what it is, this blog post is for you.  We'll delve into the elusive thesis statement, and we'll talk about why it's so central to all the official writing that you do in school.


Thesis Statement


In short, it's the central argument you make in your submission.  You'll need this for essays, research papers, dissertations, and theses.  You'll also need this for business writing, especially in cases in which you have to convince people to your way of thinking, i.e., via business proposals.


How Does It Work?


Because it's an argument, it should be set up in such a way to make what you're arguing clear to the reader.  Although there are number of ways you can position the argument, here are two common ones:


While X is true, Y is truer



Here's how this plays out in real writing:  "While the minimum wage provides some guarantees of salary earnings, it is insufficent to support moving workers out of poverty."


It is true that the minimum wage does offer wage guarantees; however, it's truer that that people wouldn't be in poverty if they earned a livable wage.


Another way to position your thesis is by creating dependencies in the argument:


Because X happens, Y happens


Here's how this plays out in real writing:  "Because the criminal-justice system in this country is too harsh, prisons are increasingy overcrowded, putting prisoners in dangerous a position, and even violating their rights."


The argument that prisoners are in dangerous situations is dependent on the argument that the law is unreasonable.


The rest of your submission should provide solid evidence supporting your argument.  We cannot stress to you that the evidence has to be solid.  Offering quotes from Wikipedia or your previously incarcerated cousin does not constitute solid.  Without this evidence, you're offering nothing more than a knee-jerk opinion.


You want to keep in mind, however, that it's called a thesis statement for a reason:  You're arguing a point.  Making the statement does not imply that the argument isn't false.  (The amount and integrity of empirical support will make that determination.)


So spend your time crafting a solid thesis.  That means you must consider how much evidence you have to support the thesis; you'll also want to consider who will be the recipient of your arguments.  That is as important the thesis itselt.


Keep on writing!






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