What Makes a Thesis Statement Strong? |Criteria for a Good Thesis (From Martin Maner’s The Research Process, 2nd | |Arguable: |The thesis should express an idea that can be doubted. | |Clear: |The thesis should use precise, unambiguous language, and thus it should contain no metaphors, similes, or | | |other figures of speech. | |Predictive: |The thesis should predict the paper’s plan of development, usually by mentioning the paper’s main subtopics| | |in order of appearance. | |(Using transitions and pair conjunctions) | |Original: |The thesis should be original (at least to some degree). | Useful Questions • Does the thesis inspire a reasonable reader to ask “how” or “why”? (arguable) • Would a reasonable reader not respond with “huh”? (clear) • Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences or subtopics needed to prove the thesis? (predictive) • Does the thesis avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as "all" or "none" or "every"? narrow) • Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project? (narrow) • Would a reasonable reader not respond with “duh” or “so why”? (original) Analyzing Thesis Statements Instruction: For each group, circle the thesis statement that is the strongest.

Be ready to explain why you think the statements are weak or strong. 1. A. Electronic mail has affected our society since its invention. B. TV can be terrible for young children.

C. Electronic mail has had many negative effects on our communication styles since its invention. . A.

Although the Internet is a valuable tool for many people, it needs to be censored and controlled. B. As the Internet is becoming increasingly significant in our society, there is an urgent need to establish laws and policies to protect the young and the innocent. C. There are two reasons why the Internet must be controlled.

3. A. I want to give my opinion on the national law that sets 21 as the legal age to drink alcohol and the reasons I feel this way. B.

To reduce the number of highway fatalities, our country needs to enforce the national law that designates 25 as the legal minimum age to purchase and consume alcohol. C. The legal minimum age for purchasing alcohol should be 25 instead of 21. 4.

A. In my opinion, taking courses that are held in big lecture halls is stupid. B. Large lecture classes provide a poor environment for students who learn best through interaction with both teachers and peers. C.

Large lecture classes are bad for two reasons. 5. A. Because of its complicated processes, the Parking Permit system at this college iscourages students from applying for one.

B. The Parking Permit system at this college should be completely revised. C. When you apply for a Parking Permit, you will find out how complicated it is.

6. A. Living in an apartment for the first time can teach you many things about taking care of yourself. B. College students should take the opportunity to live in an apartment because the experience can teach you a number of things.

C. By living in an apartment, freshmen can learn valuable lessons in financial planning and and time management. . A.

My thesis states that the federal government should devote more money to solar energy research. B. In this essay, I will discuss why the federal government should give more money to solar energy research . C. The federal government should devote more money to solar energy research not only because of protecting the environment, becoming free from oil dependence, but also saving natural resources for the future generations.

8. A.Taking two years of foreign language is extremely important for every college student. B. Why should every college student be required to take two years of foreign language? C. With a two-years foreign language study, every college student will be given more opportunities in life and greater tools for communication.

Revising Thesis Statements Instruction: The following thesis statements are vague and not directive. Revise the sentences by giving clear and concrete controlling ideas. 1. People can avoid burglaries by taking certain precautions.

Rewrite: The precautions for… 2. There are several advantages to majoring in a medical field. The advantages of… 3. Most US universities require a 550 point TOEFL score for a number of reasons.

The reasons for… 4. Air pollution in Mexico City is the worst in the world for a number of reasons. The causes of… Or The effects of… 5. Editing academic essays can be stress-less if the following procedures are considered. The procedures for… 6. There are several enjoyable ways to travel between the US and Mexico.

The methods of… 7. Animals in danger of becoming extinct come from a wide range of countries. The different countries 8. Effective leadership requires specific qualities that anyone can develop. The qualities (or characteristics or traits) of… 9.

Industrial waste poured into Lake Michigan has led to dramatic changes in its ability to support marine life. The effects of… 10. In order to fully explore the wreck of the Titanic, scientists must address several problems. The difficulties (obstacles) of…