A thesis is perhaps the most important sentence in an entire essay. It introduces the topic, gives your stance, and briefly previews the main topics in an essay. Using the following checklist, you can create the perfect thesis every time:
- Does it answer the question posed by the writing prompt?
- Does it introduce your topic?
- Does it preview your three main points?
- Does the point preview match the order of the body paragraphs?
- If you looked at it by itself (with no other writing around it), does it still make sense?
Be sure to ask yourself these questions as you write your thesis. Here is a guide to help you create a perfect thesis for your expository paper:
Prompt: Everyone, at some point in life, will experience stress. Stress can actually have a negative effect on your health, so it’s important to manage it effectively. What are three ways to reduce stress in a person’s life?
Topic: Reducing Stress in Your Life
Time to build our thesis! But, where do we start?
First, introduce the topic in a way that answers the prompt: Three ways to reduce stress in a person’s life are…
Next, create your three main points.
This is where your brainstorming skills will come in handy. Come up with a number of ideas, and choose your best three!
- Going on vacation
- Playing a game
- Talking about the problem
- Listening to music.
- Asking someone for help.
Finally, we’ll connect the dots between the response to the prompt and your top three ideas. To do this, combine it all into one sentence:
Three ways to reduce stress in a person’s life are meditating, exercising, and talking about the problem.
Let’s double-check our list of questions to make sure we’re on track with this thesis.
- Does the thesis answer the question in the prompt? Yes!
- Does it introduce the topic? Yes!
- Does it preview the three main points? Yes!
- When writing the essay, the first paragraph will be about meditating, the second will be about exercising, and the third will be about talking about the problem.
- Does it make sense by itself? Yes!
Excellent! Our thesis is right on target.
It’s Your Turn to Create a Thesis!
Use this blank template to help create the perfect thesis for your next essay.
First, introduce the topic in a way that answers the prompt:
Next, create your three main points:
Finally, combine it all into one sentence:
Does it answer the question in the prompt?
Does it introduce the topic?
Does it preview the three main points?
When writing the essay, the first body paragraph will be about ______________, the second paragraph will be about _____________, and the third will be about ___________________.
Does it make sense by itself?