To develop your thesis statement, think about what you want your readers to do with the information, and what ideas or arguments are most important to your position. Look through your notes and identify how your sources connect to your ideas. When drafting the thesis, be sure that it is:
SPECIFIC & PRECISE – “Education is important for children.”
This is too vague to be effective.
ARGUABLE – “The 9/11 bombings were a crucial event in U.S. history.”
This is too obvious to make a solid thesis.
APPROPRIATE IN SCOPE – “The Civil War was a defining event in American history.”
This is arguable, but probably too much content to cover in a four-page paper.
APPROPRIATE TO THE ASSIGNMENT – Read back over the assignment prompt to make sure your thesis (and paper as a whole) addresses the right issue.
SUPPORTED BY SOURCES & YOUR WRITING – Read back over your supporting paragraphs and make sure they demonstrate what your thesis is arguing. If the paper has veered in an unexpected direction during the course of your writing process, revise your thesis to fit your evidence. It may help to write a summary sentence for each key piece of support and then compare those to your thesis statement.
(Adapted from the Texas A&M University Writing Center)
“Nature-based play is important for pre-school children because it strengthens cognitive and physical development.
“The television news coverage since the 9/11 bombings has become more sensationalistic and less objective.”
“The American Civil War was historical turning point for how governments around the world buried and venerated soldiers who died in battle.”
Note how each of these thesis statements takes a stand and is specific and focused. They also address the “why” question and allow the reader to understand the scope of your argument.