State a personal opinion in the first sentence. In the remainder of the paper, defend that opinion with good logic and supporting evidence.
Submit the paper to turnitin.com and to the drop box in Week 10. Do not turn in a paper written earlier for another course or for your job. If you are writing a paper on the same topic for another class this term, you must secure approval ahead of time. Your paper may check out as being plagiarized if you submit it in more than one class.
Developing a Thesis Statement
Select a topic
Let’s say that a topic in the course focuses on problems posed by changes in dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.
You start out with a thesis statement like this:
This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.
Narrow the topic
Your readings about the topic have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children consume far more sugar than is healthy.
You change your thesis to look like this:
Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.
This fragment announces your subject and focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. It also raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree. While most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone agrees on what should be done or who should do it. This fragment is still not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.
Take a position on the topic
After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide what you really want to say is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.
You revise your thesis statement to look like this:
More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.
This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.
Use specific language
You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices, so you write:
Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.
This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.
Make an assertion based on clearly stated support
You revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:
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