What is the function of a thesis statement? A thesis statement:

 Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

A thesis statement, for example, might read:

E-13 Effective Thesis Statement 11/06/08, G:ASC Eng Reading Page 1 Writing Handout E-13: Writing an Effective Thesis Statement A thesis statement helps unify a paper.

(Note that the thesis statement is more complex than the purpose statement)

You may encounter a thesis statement that reads:

The thesis statement is found in the introductory paragraph, contains the subject of an essay, and makes a statement or an assertion about the subject.

Consider the example below that puts the pieces of a thesis statement together:

Probably the most daunting task for any writer is to generate an effective thesis statement. In college, academic writing follows a specific pattern— after a brief opening, you state your position in one clear sentence. Whether your essay is explanatory or argumentative, a strong thesis statement will provide the map, guiding the entire essay. Confusion arises, however, over the difference between a purpose statement and a thesis.

These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.


Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement.

Working through this process creates a working thesis statement. If you are not required to take a position on a topic, omit the opposing position portion, and replace your stance and reasoning by answering the questions of “how” or “why.”

In this section you'll learn what a thesis statement.

(This version of the statement emphasizes the Medieval, not modern, teenager, but it still does not present an argument to be defended)

Your thesis statement is the central.

It is a complete sentence.
It summarizes your point of view.
It identifies the purpose of your paper.
It conveys something important with respect to your topic.
It is specific enough for the paper’s assigned length.
It provides a guide as you write your paper.

The thesis statement declares the main purpose of the entire paper.

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to "play God."

14 Jul 2014 A good thesis statement will accomplish the same thing.

Before you begin creating an outline from your thesis statement, make sure it meets the assignment requirements. Are you being asked to explain your thesis or argue a point about it? In either case, make sure the thesis statement contains a solid, well-defined idea.

The thesis statement will reflect the kind of paper being written.

Nevertheless, a good thesis in a well structured introduction does not need to state "I hope to show why medieval teenagers lacked personal freedom." That point will be apparent to readers soon enough; see the example below for how to improve this type of statement.