Although there are several places on the blog that mention thesis statements in context, this post singles them out for a more detailed discussion.
“Thesis” isn’t a word often used in conversation, so first a definition, just to be clear. A thesis is an assertion that the author plans to prove. Two components then: assertion and evidence. A thesis statement is expected to be arguable. After all, an assertion springs from a personal claim regarding the topic. However, the assertion will need to be compatible with at least some accepted facts. (No matter how sharply intuitive you consider yourself, hunches alone will not substitute for evidence when proving your assertion.)
Test time and other nightmares
Almost all writing has a beginning (introduction), middle (body), and an end (the conclusion). Even when writing under a deadline, you should try to create all three components. Ignore the temptation to just start writing and hope you will make all the correct split-second decisions about what to say and where to include it. I know, I know – you’ve done it this way in the past and it has turned out okay. Trust me, a little time spent planning will more than pay you back in reduced test frenzy.
You have just been dropped on a trail in an unfamiliar state park. You have no snacks, no water bottle, and no GPS. Although you can probably accomplish some and maybe even all of the hike in just the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet, you will be at the mercy of the terrain, the temperature, and the length of the trail.