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Creating a Thesis Statement

Once you have determined a topic you need to narrow it with a controlling idea to create a thesis. Some general guidelines for thesis statements are that they should:

  • Never be an open-ended question
  • Be limited to mentioning only those points you plan to discuss in your essay
  • Never be so broad that it's difficult to discuss all relevant information
  • Only present one specific idea; not multiple ideas
  • Not contain two conflicting ideas

In addition, good thesis statements are analytical, expository or argumentative.

  • Analytical - breaks topic down into parts and analyzes them individually
  • Expository - seeks to explain a process to the reader
  • Argumentative - makes an assertion or claim and justifies it


Topic Controlling Idea Thesis
The Death Penalty – Analytical Many ways to determine if a criminal deserves the death penalty Analyzing if a person is guilty of murder is much easier today by using DNA testing and other methods of modern crime scene science.
Marijuana – Expository Assists with debilitating diseases Marijuana aids patients with their pain through the stages of their debilitating diseases.
Homeless in Chicago – Argumentative Increase support is needed With the increase in people losing their homes and forced to live on the streets, Chicago needs to add more resources for the homeless.

Plagiarism and Avoiding It Creating a Thesis Statement Organizing Your Information