Thesis statement: essay = Topic sentence: Paragraph

A good thesis states the topic and makes a statement about it in a complete sentence.

1. Complete ( A thesis statement is one sentence, not two, or three. It is not a title, a question or a phrase. It does not say "In this paper I will write about...)

2. Limited (The thesis statement should limit the subject into a manageable topic and it should suggest how the topic is approached.)  Writing about your experience with hurricane Katrina is a HUGE topic, so is writing about your high school experience.  For example, consider writing about one day of your high school career or about the day that your returned home after evacuating during the storm. 

3. Unified (The focus of the paper should be clearly identified. The thesis should not suggest two or more different ideas.)

4. Worded precisely (Avoid words, such as "great, " awesome", "terrible," "interesting"  in your thesis sentence because they are too vague to give your reader a clear indication of your assertion.)

The thesis should state an opinion, not a fact, nor a personal preference.

Word choice is particularly important in a thesis sentence. Key words should be carefully selected and used throughout the paper for coherence. Anticipating a method of development can help finding the focus of the paper and shaping the thesis. The thesis can help planning the outline or vice versa. Make the thesis statement a simple or a complex sentence. A compound sentence will not be unified because it communicates two ideas.