Defining your Purpose

Defining Your Purpose:

Writing an Effective Thesis Statement

A well-focused thesis statement, key to organizing an essay, contains two elements:  a precise subject and a precise restricting element.

                  Vague - Ecological disasters are a major concern today.

                  Precise - Pollution of underground water supplies threatens cities on

                                 the American West Coast.

Use a precise topic rather than a generalized topic when writing a thesis. Avoid statements like “I will use my essay to consider. . .” and “This paper will discuss….”  Although there is no required position for the thesis in a multi-paragraph writing, normally it is located at the end of the introductory paragraph.  It serves as a guide to both the reader and the writer.

A thesis should have the following characteristics:

     *It should be simple or complex, never compound.

     *It should be stated positively.

     *It should be restricted, precise, and unified.

     *It should not contain figurative language


Your thesis statement makes your purpose clear from the beginning and sets up the arrangement of the text that follows.