One of the most important writing assignments college and university students will be required to complete during their academic career is a thesis paper. Yet, if you are new to the concept of such an assignment, you wonder what is a thesis in order to understand what you should write about. This type of assignment will have a thesis statement, or a main point or question the paper will try to answer with supporting evidence. In order to write a well-written thesis that covers the subject topic from an innovative angle, you should review exactly what is a thesis in an essay.
Thesis (plural: theses, pronounced THEES-eez): The point that an essay is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Just as all the parts of your body are connected to the spine, and without the spine your body could not stand, so too in your essay all parts must be connected to the thesis, and without the thesis the essay cannot stand. Parts that are not connected must be revised so that they do connect, or else eliminated. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot in your essay; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.
Finding a thesis statement in an essay
What Is a Thesis?
Finding a Thesis
Writing an Effective Thesis
Arriving at an Effective Thesis
Placing the Thesis in an Essay
Activities: Identifying a Thesis