Developing a Thesis Statement

The main purpose of a thesis statement is to help a reader identify the main idea of an essay, summary, or research paper. Another purpose of a thesis statement is to help a writer develop a plan for the writing of a paper. Most writers will change their thesis statements several times before they are satisfied that the thesis clearly communicates the main idea of the paper.

There is no one way to write a good thesis, but it is a good idea to decide on your thesis early in the writing process because it can help you narrow your topic and organize your information. Following are some examples of thesis statements.

Chronology: Gallaudet has changed dramatically since 1986 when Gallaudet College became Gallaudet University.
Procedure: Educational placement for deaf children in the U.S. follows a five-step screening process.
Cause: Many children became deaf in the 1960s becase of an outbreak of Rubella
Effect: As a result of the Rubella outbreak, schools for the deaf had to expand to accommodate new students.
Problem: Many educators of deaf children believe that Alexander Graham Bell's philosophy of oralism prevented deaf children from having easy access to learning.
Solution: Recent research in deaf education shows that deaf children can get easy access to learning if their teachers communicate in American Sign Language.
Comparison: Deaf people raised American Sign Language seem to be more successful than deaf people raised orally.
Contrast: Deaf children who use American Sign Language from birth are different from deaf children who learned Sign Language as adults.
Similarity: American Sign Language is similar to French Sign Language because many ASL signs originated from LSF.
Difference: The quality of deaf education varies from country to country.
Relationship: American education of deaf children was influenced by the French.
Analysis: I. King Jordan raised three important issues during his recent speech.
Pro: Some hearing parents of deaf children support cochlear implants because they believe implants help deaf children communicate.
Con: Many members of the deaf community oppose putting cochlear implants in deaf babies.
Advantages: Deaf people think they are lucky to be deaf because they are members of a close-knit community.
Disadvantages: Deaf people think it's difficult to be deaf because communication technology is often not accessible for deaf people as fast as it is for hearing people.

Note: Individual supporting paragraphs in the body of a paper can use different organizations like cause/effect, comparison/contrast; but overall, the paper will follow the style of organization stated in the thesis.


Updated August 18, 2015
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