Thesis Creation

Thesis: 4.  A proposition laid down or stated, esp. as a theme to be discussed and proved, or to be maintained against attack a statement, assertion, tenet. (English Oxford Dictionary; amended here)

What’s your point? Your argument? Your assertion?

The foundation for an academic paper that is alive with good critical thinking skills is a thesis. The term “thesis” comes from the Greek word for “putting” or “position”. A thesis statement then is your position or argument about a subject. It is your promise or “cue” to the reader about what you are going to say in your paper.

Explanation: Your mom asks if you’d like to go to the store with her. You decide to go and hop in the car. Then along the way she stops at the bank, the cleaners, and the gas station. You complain because you thought you were only going to the store. She replies. “We are. I just thought while we were out, I’d go ahead and make these other stops.” When you write, your “thesis” is your promise to your readers that you will take them where you said you would – with no unscheduled stops or irrelevant arguments thrown in along the way.

A developed thesis statement has THREE parts:

  1. Context
  2. Subject
  3. Claim

Your thesis should address the following questions:

  • Why is this significant?
  • Who cares about it?
  • What is your point?

Example:       

In the film version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the monster depicts the detrimental effects of isolation and alienation on the human subject.

Context → Subject → Claim are identified:

Context: In the film version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,

Subject: the monster

Claim: depicts the detrimental effects of isolation and alienation on the human subject.

Dos and Don’ts


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