Essentials of a Paragraph

What is a thesis statement

1. A thesis statement expresses a scholarly argument, not a fact or observation

Fact: West Side Story premiered on Boradway in 1957.

Thesis: The themes of West Side Story echo many found in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

2. A thesis statement states an opinion rather than announcing a subject

Announcement: The thesis of this paper is the introduction of mandatory school uniforms.

Thesis: School uniforms should be made mandatory in order to diminish peer pressure among pupils.

3. A thesis statement is the main idea of your paper, not just a title. It must be a complete sentence that explains in some detail what you expect to write about

Title: The social problems caused by Alzheimer’s

Thesis: As the European population ages, strategies must be found for dealing with the largescale effects of the disease and other forms of dementia.

4. A thesis statement is narrowly focused, not general. Make sure that you will be able to support it in the body of your essay.

General: The American steel industry is faced with many problems.

Thesis: The main problems of the American steel industry are low-priced foreign products and insufficient financial resources.

5. A thesis statement does not state the obvious

Obvious: Unemployment harms the economy.

Thesis: Allowing companies more flexibility to make hiring decisions would be an important step towards reducing unemployment.

6. A thesis statement focuses on one main point

More than one point: Britain’s education system is characterized by the fact that pupils are separated at an early age, and schools in many parts of Britain face problems caused by the lack of recognition of their qualifications.

One main point: In order to motivate pupils in British schools, opportunities for training and employment after leaving school must be offered.

Thesis Statement vs. Personal Statement

This guide will help you understand the difference between thesis and purpose statements. When it comes to writing an essay the key idea to remember is this: usually, it is not advised to have a statement of purpose within a paper. However, you can use purpose statements as the first sentence of an essay sometimes. Purpose statements also work well in abstracts. Occasionally, you can use purpose statements as a thesis statement in scientific and heavily-research based papers.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a sentence, which delineates the topic, predicts how the topic will be developed and says something precise about the topic. The key point here is not only to announce a topic, but to be precise with the conclusions you made about the topic. A good thesis statement contains succinct and very clear information about the key points of the topic, its purpose and provides answers to the topic questions. The writer should be able to prove and support a thesis statement within the paper. Therefore, such statement should not be too large or general, since it defines the key route for the paper.

In a short paper, a thesis statement should be located at the end of the intro paragraph. In a longer paper, a thesis statement may consist of several sentences or an entire thesis paragraph (for example, dissertations).


Good: The war has significantly changed the historical background of … due to …

Bad: In this paper, I will discuss the war and its consequences…

Purpose statement

The goal of a purpose statement is to announce the purpose, direction and the general scope of the paper. Nevertheless, unlike a thesis statement, purpose statement does not provide particular conclusions made by the writer. Just like a thesis statement, a purpose statement is located at the end of the intro paragraph, or may take the form of a separate paragraph in large papers, such as dissertations etc.

While both ways to present your paper are acceptable in academic writing, we advise you to cling to thesis statements. Purpose statements are typical for the written assignments like research papers. They are also a common requirement among definite disciplines. Therefore, we recommend you to consult your customer if you are not sure which method to choose to present your topic.


This paper will examine the consequences of the war and the causes of this conflict. The focuswill be on the political and social instability preceding the tragic events.

You may use such phrases for your purpose statement:

  • This essay seeks to remedy these problems by analyzing the literature of …
  • This essay seeks to address the following questions …
  • The purpose of this study is to …

Prof. Angela


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