The Thesis

All good writing contains a thesis.  Every sentence in the writing in some way points back to the thesis.  It is the main idea, the controlling thought, the theme.  When you write essays for school, you must have a thesis: a point that you are proving, a concept you are explaining, something that the rest of the writing illustrates, explains, or describes.  Everything in an essay should relate to the thesis and help prove it.

The Thesis in Standard Essays and Research Papers 

            The first paragraph of an essay or research paper must contain a thesis.  Do not confuse a thesis with a topic.  A topic is simply a general idea of what the paper is about.  A thesis is a complete sentence that clearly states what your writing will prove.

Topic: Walt Disney

Thesis:  Walt Disney’s animated characters provide more than entertainment; they introduce children to significant social and personal values.

See the difference?  All good writing contains a thesis!


Creating a Thesis for Research Writing

            You may be wondering, “How do I find a thesis?”  You don’t actually find one; you create one of your own.  A thesis is not something you copy from another source.  You make it up according to what you learned from that source.  Here are some ideas for creating a thesis:

o    Benjamin Franklin was a versatile man whose scientific inventions, statesmanship, and writing still influence our world today.

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