Many of your college classes will require you to write argumentative papers, which also require you to have a clear, concise thesis statement. A good paper has that; a weak one lacks it. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that you’re providing a great thesis statement that the rest of your paper can follow.

What is a thesis statement?

Part of doing something well is being able to understand what it is in the first place. A thesis statement is a sentence or two at the beginning of your paper that basically tells exactly what you’re arguing for. It contains the very focus of what your paper is going to be. Because of this, it’s good to just get straight to the point, and you want to write something that can be debatable so that you can argue for one side.

Developments of a strong thesis

A thesis should contain a few different things to make it strong. First of all, your argument should be narrow. This means that it should be focused and not a broad statement. Instead of saying, “the government is spending money in a bad way,” you should say, “the government should spend 25% more of its budget on education developments, services, and programs.” By having a narrow thesis statement, you’re giving the reader (which in most cases will be your professors who are skilled in knowing whether or not a thesis is strong or not) a chance to see exactly what you’re arguing for.

The reason why it’s so important to have a great thesis statement is because it really sets up the rest of your paper. It gives you something to refer back to if you ever get confused about what you’re arguing for, and it allows you to cultivate your paper according to how you think your topic should grow.

Key ideas for strong thesis statements

- You should be taking a stand with what you’re saying, on a topic that has more than one side. Being specific on a topic that has many different options to argue for is ideal.

- You should also have a thesis statement that makes your readers want to discuss your argument. This gives you more of a chance to make a well-rounded argument.

- Pick one topic, not multiple topics. This plays into specificity; picking more than one topic will make it harder for you to develop a coherent, precise argument.

- Know your topic. It’s not going to do you any good if you’re writing the paper, let alone the thesis statement, off of the top of your head. Do your research and know what you’re talking about beforehand. You don’t want to make an argument on a topic that doesn’t even make sense, or one that you can’t back up with real evidence.

These are just a few things that you can do to help you develop a strong thesis statement for your papers. Many people struggle with these kinds of statement for multiple reasons, but by following these tips, you should be able to create something great.

What else would you add to make a great thesis statement?