Writing an effective thesis statement


Student's name: ________________________________________________
Peer editor's name: ___________________________________________
Thesis statement: _______________________________________________

Discuss the answers to the following questions; then write your answers, comments, and suggestions for revisions.

1. Is the thesis a complete sentence?

2. Does it make a statement about the topic, or does it simply announce the topic? Is it worded as a question? If so, could the answer to the question be the thesis?

3. Does the thesis limit the topic into an approach that can be developed in detail in a 500 words essay?

4. Look for the main verb. Is it an active verb? Is it specific? Avoid is/are/was/were.

5. Analyze sentence structure. Is it a simple sentence? If so, is it specific and detailed?

6. Is it a compound sentence? If so, it divides the topic into two parts and does not provide a focal point for the essay. Focus on one main idea.

7. Is it a complex sentence? If so, is the more important idea stated in the main clause and the subordinate ideas arranged properly?

 8. Is the wording precise so that the reader will not be misled by any ambiguity? Avoid general, all-purpose expressions.

 9. Will you be able to deliver what the thesis statement announces? Do you have enough information? Supporting details, examples, reasons?

10. Is the sentence a statement of fact? If so, can the essay revolve around that idea?

11. Does the sentence state an opinion? If so, is the opinion stated in no uncertain terms without weak approaches, such as "I think" or "in my opinion"?

12. Does it state a personal preference? If so, will the reader be interested?

13. Does it state an inference or deduction? A conclusion based on available evidence can be an effective thesis statement.

14. Describe a typical reader who will be interested in reading the essay

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at elejeune@selu.edu
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