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.

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