This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy.
We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement. In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores. Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic. Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question.
Last Updated: June 2, References Approved. To create this article, 10 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.