Why Is a Thesis Statement Necessary?

A good thesis has strong impact. It should convey your conclusive opinion on a subject. So, if you are taking a course on physical fitness, you may be asked to write an essay that studies the effectiveness of a well-known brand of exercise equipment. Compare these two thesis statements:

Using the Black Bear Rowing Machine has pro's and cons.

This is a poor statement. It is not definite. The words "pro's" and "cons" convey uncertainty.

Daily use of the Black Bear Rowing Machine is a health hazard to users because it advocates the notion of speedy weight loss by reducing muscle tissue and lean body mass

This is a good statement; it takes a strong viewpoint.



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A Strong Thesis Statement Opens a Defensible Discussion

The essay thesis should convey the text's main point. If you are given an essay on family structures, based on your own background, consider these options as thesis statements:

I belong to a family of African origin.

Again, this thesis example is poor. It merely describes a family type. It does no notable point to indicate what the rest of the text is about; the reader will probably lose interest. Now consider:

While many societies readily accept marriage breakdown, others take the opposite stance in the belief that marriage is the foundation on which families, such as my African one, support each other by valuing the bonds of kinsmanship in embracing a larger, extended group.

This example offers a strong thesis statement because it demonstrates that the writer can validly challenge another viewpoint using his personal knowledge. A provocative idea in an essay thesis can be effective because it arouses interest; the audience will want to read on to see how your argument develops.

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An Effective Thesis Contains One Key Idea

Your audience needs to know that you are presenting one key idea. If you clutter your essay thesis with more than one idea, the reader might become confused as to its subject matter. Take this example:

Business could make better use of the Internet as a marketing tool because of its advertising possibilities and the fact that many sites provide customer support services.

As an essay statement, it fails because it is difficult to tell whether the paper is about advertising or customer support. It needs clarification to demonstrate the relationship between both ideas. The provided thesis statement can be improved in the following way:

Businesses could make better use of the Internet as a marketing tool because of the number of websites offering a combination of advertising and customer help services.

This essay thesis statement has now been strengthened to demonstrate the link between the two ideas. It is noteworthy that successful thesis statements often encompass these words "however", "unless", "although", "because", "so", "since".


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